We post occasional Retrospectives on social media being a series of photos from our days running Trans Africa Overland trips. Not exactly ‘News’ we admit but we’ll include a few here from time to time as not everyone uses Instagram or Facebook.
These particular shots (sorry about quality) were all taken in the 1990’s at a time the only trans-Sahara route was to follow the Moroccan/Mauteanian coast – literally drivng along the dune-lined beach all day to avoid being cornered by the incoming Atlantic tide.
Read all about it in African Approaches: roads to a far-off place
Some time ago we acquired a pre-loved ‘Maharajah’ tent with the idea of making it available to guests who’d like to hold some sort of celebrations here. It’s taken a year to get round to try erecting it (no instructions) only to discover missing parts. However we hope to solve that fairly soon and will signal when it’s ready. In the meantime here’s a preview…
It’s not only people that like to holiday here – these dogs are having a fine ol’ time….
And couldn’t resist this……..!
Note: main resorts like Southwold ban dogs on beaches between April and October but there are plenty of other nearby beaches where dogs are free to run.
You may remember that Salvage Hunters filmed here in January. The result now forms part of Episode 5 of the current series 12.
Other excitement? This month, Belle Grove was used as a location for a 2 day shoot of scenes in a feature film for the Chinese equivalent of Netflix. As it is in Chinese we doubt we’ll ever see it but it would be nice if we could, as it used many iconic Suffolk locales such as Somerleyton, Blythburgh Church, Southwold Pier, Rendlesham Forest and so on. The house was crammed with 20 or so crew, making it very tricky to get ‘behind the scenes’ shots but here’s a few to give the flavour.
We’ve come up with a new wheeze. On account of the fact that there is an unmistakeable dragon squatting on our chimney, a source of fascination for many children, we have created a Dragon Trail. This consists of locating a number of dragons of differing types (including dragonflies) most of which are semi-concealed around the grounds
At Easter this will be about finding the ‘dragon eggs’ but the Trail will exist all through the year givng purpose to exploring the grounds. There is an easy pictorial guide or a more advanced clue guide and children stand to earn a special badge and fun-size chocolate dragon.
Here are a few of the more obvious examples:
Now the en suite bathrooms…
Lined with granite sourced in India. This has a digital drench shower over the bath.
This bathroom has a different colour granite but the same sort of drench shower over the bath.
This has a spacious marble lined shower (no bath)
And this one has a even more spacious marble lined chandeliered shower. Party time?!
We published images of the reception areas earlier in the month and are now catching up with pictures of the bedrooms ……
This room is in the 17th century part of the house with original wide oak floorboards. It takes inspiration from ‘the road to Samarkand’. That is, we acquired the silk embroidered bedspread in Uzbeksitan and the hand-painted ceiling refects Uzbeki motifs. Vintage photographs and intricate watercolours of Uzbeki culture have found their way onto the walls. The windows are fitted with black-out blinds and curtains of embroidered Indian silk..
In this 17th century room, we started with the beautiful Chinese screen. That dictated the rest. The bathroom has a good sized drench shower but, for fun and decadence, we installed a bath in the bedroom . The windows are fitted with black out blinds and curtains of embroidered Indian silk.
The accessible ground floor 17th century bedroom (which can operate as a twin or superking) overlooks the garden on two sides. We’ve used blues and greens to reflect its name as ‘the Garden Room.’ Parquet floor and curtains / bedspread of Indian crewel work.
This is in the new (rebuilt) extension and the colour scheme revolves aroud the ‘distressed’ bedhead and wonderful painted chest of drawers. With its white painted floorboards and teal walls, it somehow smacks slightly of a ship’s cabin. The west-facing velux windows are fitted with remotely operated black-out blinds.
Well, this is a one off for sure. The unusual ‘headboard’ was recovered from a Franco Maria Ricci event. Franco is an Italian art publisher including FMR, an art magazine published in Italian, English, German, French and Spanish for over 27 years – some editions are in the room. Twin or superking. The door into the en suite bathroom is Victorian gothic and due to this and pictures of Venice, this room has become known as the Venetian Gothic. The velux windows (on both sides of the room) are fitted with remotely operated black-out blinds.