Georgian gem in Essex

Mad drive on Friday through thick fog to see a Georgian house on the Essex coast. Well worth the risk, an absolute gem, with more recent works by Quinlan Terry. The owner supplied fresh oysters for lunch, picked up from the beach on his morning walk with the dogs and showed me the back stairs where hundreds upon hundreds of Country Life magazines were neatly piled like an installation in Tate Britain.

It was strangely nostalgic seeing covers of 10 -11 years ago when I began at Country Life, and pleasing to see how cherished our work is by loyal readers.

Trapped at home by snow on one day completed my account of the a lovely early Georgian house we had photographed with a fascinating collection as a record, before its sale last year. I am transported into the 1930s and a civilised band of curator-collectors who championed a taste for Georgian architecture and furniture, and in which authentic music and decoration all played a part.

In the evenings, and while recovering from flu I have been Ackroyd’s Albion: the origins of the English Imagination, a really brilliant tome that reads like butter. Highly recommended.