Thursday, July 08, 2010

Cross one off the list...

The summer of fun is off to a good start. Yesterday the girls and I headed to the Annapolis Valley. Top of the list for summer of fun activities was taking them to Prescott House just outside Port Williams. Charles Prescott was a pioneer of the apple industry in the valley and I visited the house as a child with my Mom when my Dad was at apple grower's meetings. I had forgotten a lot about it though so it was like seeing it for the first time.  The house did not stay in the family for many years until Charles' great granddaughter Mary refurbished it in the early 20th century. Back in the family again and many of the furnishings etc. in the house are Mary's.

In many ways it is similar to Uniacke House (where we went last year, in Mt. Uniacke).  Same architecture, same house layout, etc although Uniacke House is a bit grander. Another commonality between the two houses is the great staff.  When we entered we were asked if we wanted to wander or get the tour - and we said tour. 

How can you appreciate the house without knowing something about the people and pieces inside? Otherwise they are just articles with no context. And it's PEOPLE who make things interesting. So a tour it was. Another tour had gone through before us and was finished, so we even got a sneak peek at the third floor which might have been my favourite.  It was cozy with deep windows and slanted walls, would have been the servants quarters but apparently Mary had school chums stay there. Lucy Maud would have loved that idea...a handful of girls in a romantic attic reading stories and sharing clothes while the "formal" living happened downstairs.

The library was just...glorious. I could have gone right in, plunked myself down with a book and spent the afternoon.

The house also has a large assortment of family portraits. One in particular of Mary's brother who died in WWI.  Let me just say that it was a fine looking family.  There are also several framed samplers in the house - beautiful needlework and I came away with knit and crochet patterns for the gorgeous bedspreads.

After a picnic lunch in the shade, we wandered the gardens, the highlight of which is the roses. Gorgeous blooms.  There is a stone wall and a gigantic tree, and I was in agreement with guide Margrete who said it was her favourite spot on the property.  I could imagine either perching on the wall looking over the fields or sitting beneath the tree with a book. There is lots of room for romance at this house.

But time was ticking on so we hopped back in the truck for the next stops - to Fox Hill Cheese for fresh jalapeno gouda and dill havarti and a scoop of their fab gelato (I had vanilla, eldest had coffee and youngest had green apple). From Fox Hill it was Noggins' Market for produce - strawberries, potatoes, peas, beans and fresh buns for me (tonight Hodge Podge is on the menu!  Hooray!) and beets, carrots and beans for my neighbour. The back seat was getting a bit full and we had one more stop - Gaspereau Winery where I bought a bottle of Castel for me and a rose with my neighbour in mind.  Good thing too - we arrived home to find she was still at our pool, lol, and so we opened the rose and enjoyed a before dinner drink with our toes dangling in the water.

The day finished off with bacon wrapped sirloins on the barbeque and an evening walk with the dog around the neighbourhood.

Today is more low key - mowing the grass this morning before it gets *too* hot, a quick trip to the post office and then reading on the deck and swimming in the pool.  I'm taking this break thing quite seriously!


  1. Sounds like an absolutely glorious day, Donna! Especially the bacon-wrapped sirloin and rose by the pool...sigh...

  2. The pictures are amazing. I certainly wouldn't mind living there especially with that library!