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Welcome

Welcome to my blog, inviting you behind the scenes of my life and home and sharing anecdotes from my everyday life at Highclere Castle. The world of Highclere still exists with its own community of Chefs, Gardeners and Housekeepers, Luis our Butler and Maggie the Groom as well as all the other people who make the ‘Real Downton Abbey’ a welcoming place for visitors today.

Assistant Vicar needed at Highclere

Highclere Church hopes to persuade an assistant parson to help our Vicar. We need your help on Sundays and two days/week in return for which there is 4 bedroom house in Highclere village. Read more

Setting The Table

I was astonished at the response to the article on setting the table in The Sunday Times. I had actually written a small paragraph on how we do it here at Highclere in which all the staff here take tremendous pride and thoroughly enjoy teaching the younger generation coming in.

This is what I actually wrote:

 SETTING THE TABLE

Highclere’s dining room table seats between 4 – 30 people depending on how many leaves are carefully put into the Victorian extension mechanism. Setting the table is an art and allowing enough time is important. The detail and charm of the operation hasn’t [...]
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Time and Eternity

The first Sunday of every September the Vicar holds a short service in the Cemetery Chapel here at Highclere Castle. It’s a half hour to reflect on those members of your family who have died and those buried in the beautiful park, shaded by trees in the graveyard next door to pastures with sheep grazing. My husband read a short passage from the Gospel and we all sang loudly accompanied by a slightly dicey piano played by a very kind man James Woodhouse. The small gothic chapel was built by Henrietta the 3rd Countess of Carnarvon to ‘comfort those in [...]
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My Faithful Bicycle

Each day I try to take some exercise and today I set off on my faithful bicycle down the hill away from the Castle with 6 of the dogs more or less near me. We go carefully as cars are coming up, arriving for work. We coast past a group of cottages, where James the Farm Manager lives and then past Don in his Gardener’s Cottage, I then whizz past the old farmyard where the dairy herd used to reside and turn the sharp corner by the Gothic Cemetery Chapel, checking behind me that I am still accompanied by the dogs. Half a [...]
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A Sunny English Morning

I wake this morning to an unusually sunny English summer day, I can hear the Castle starting to wake with cars, horse hoofs and the sound of voices echoing from the kitchen area. No good morning would start without a hot cappuccino so I make my way downstairs to the tea rooms before I have to join the queue behind our lovely visitors who tend to arrive ever earlier. Luis our Banqueting Manager and his team are turning on the machines and collecting the fresh baguettes and sandwiches from the kitchen, reminding me to speak to Paul our Head Chef [...]
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