Four months ago I was fortunate to go to the London “Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh” exhibition. At the end of the tour there was an additional experience. I walked into a room full of chairs looking like, and arranged as, cinema seats. I sat down in one of them, carefully pulled on a comprehensive helmet and headset ready to travel back in time. It was over too quickly but it was fascinating: an imaginative and fun virtual reality experience. Ancient Egypt was an extraordinary culture and there I was moving through the deserts sands and temples.
The word virtual is not new being derived for the Latin word “virtus”. It travelled through the centuries into the 14th century meaning “to influence by physical virtues or capabilities, effective with respect to inherent natural qualities”. Today it suggests what is not physically here but seems to be. Highclere Castle is very much here, indubitably real and you can touch it. You can run your hands across the weathered stones and walk barefoot on the grass. It has stories to tell and a cast of inhabitants both real and fictional. Visitors are drawn here by a love of a make believe world and hopefully depart equally enchanted by the real world of Highclere.
The past few months have challenged all of us on many different levels. In more normal times, the passage of a year is marked by celebrations: by times of feasting and of fasting, of partying and of quiet, of work and relaxation. In lockdown, suddenly we could do whatever we wanted as the whole rhythm of our lives was overturned. Highclere’s layers of history and people are part of this more normal world yet we have had to dance in a different “virtual” way over the last few months, from filming for “At Home at Highclere” for Viking TV (cruises) on Fridays, to a fortnightly virtual cocktail party and Instagram. I look around at the team who have been here and am amazed at what we have managed to achieve.
Friday marked the last of our Virtual Highclere Castle Gin cocktail parties this summer. What made for a marvellous evening was that, rather than just Geordie and I making and discussing cocktails, to our immense relief Luis, our butler and banqueting manager, was back. It was fun just listening to his tips. We positioned ourselves at Jackdaws Castle, one of the follies here at Highclere, although the summer weather was slightly cool and “a little British”.
This particular Temple was built by Geordie’s ancestor in about 1743 using Corinthian pillars which came from the remains of a house in Berkeley Square in London. Appropriately, therefore, Cat (Catriona) one of our lockdown team, began the “virtual” party by singing “A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square”. Although the air was a little too fresh, undaunted we tried a proper a Highclere Castle Gin and tonic, with rosemary and orange before moving on to the two chosen cocktails, neither of which I had ever tried before and both of which I hope to try again.
For some reason not merely did we have two Labradors present but, by way of a whimsy, we also thought we would introduce Phoebe, who is the most charming mare, to the party. She is not always aware she is a horse and decided to step up inside to have look at what we were doing. She found the blackberries and raspberries much to her taste and would have eaten them all if allowed and next made a grab for the orange which needed rescuing. Enjoying herself Immensely, there were a few moments of concern as she swung round and so, whilst nothing had been inadvertently tumbled over, it was perhaps time for her to depart. Delicately and carefully she stepped off the kerb and, utterly relaxed, walked off.
The evening passed quickly and I hope we will revisit our virtual cocktails later in the year and be able to welcome some guests to drink with us. We have ever better microphone equipment and every day we learn a little more about how we can interact virtually. At a time of faint horizons, it can add perspective and a momentary view.
Now we are turning round again to re-open. We have created a “Luis” gin bar for those who come here although with our new found skills we thought we might continue to film him showing off his mixologist skills. I am always fascinated by both new cocktails as well as old favourites.
We have our own permanent Egyptian exhibition in the cellars which celebrates the discovery of Tutankhamun by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter. Lord Carnarvon was passionate about Ancient Egypt and, for all out modern technologies and skills, we just have to hope that our achievements might have the longevity and impressiveness of the pyramids.
Lady Carnarvon, As always a wonderful story. Your blog always makes my week and gives me something to look forward to. I send you my very best, Cheryl
Thank you so much!
Thank you, Lady Carnarvon
A delightful virtual trip to Highclere. Your stories are informative and funny.
Possibly my only visits to your castle, or even Britain, are your pictures and stories.
From a chaotic and extremely busy world here in Los Angeles, thank you for that very clever and well-written reminiscence of Highclere Castle. I needed that today. I have been making your Fruit Crumble here on a weekly basis, as a small salvo for missing our annual June holiday in England.
Thank you – it is windy showery week here and I have been top and tailing gooseberries which I thought might be a crumble tomorrow
We had gin & tonics made with your Highclere gin last night. It’s one of our favorite souvenirs from our visit with you in September, 2019. Luis brought the bottle over to my husband while we were sitting at one of the tables on the lawn, enjoying a drink. He addressed my husband as “Milord”. Made my husband’s day! I so enjoy your posts, keep up the great work!
Luis is brilliant – life enhancing and that is what we all need ..
The recipe for Gin with Rosemary and Orange, please. Otherwise, thank you for your weekly chats.
I will go and find Luis and take instruction – I tend to pour and not measure! You can see him making it and some useful tips in instagram @highclere_castle
I to went the Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh” exhibition. but didn’t see the Virtual exhibition, it sounded quite interesting.
It’s amazing how it can emmerse you in another world.
Really enjoy reading your blog,
I found your charming and stylish cooking videos, above all else, to be wonderfully useful. Thank you, Lady Carnarvon! I love the fig salad for lunch and butternut squash soup for dinner the most.
What fun to hear all about virtual ways you have been keeping in touch with us! Thanks for introducing us to Phoebe. She is so beautiful!
We are enjoying watching Beecham House and Grantchester on Masterpiece Theater PBS. In the Viking Cruises advertisements by Mr. Hagen we see a quick glimpse of you in a beautiful blue caftan. Thanks too for the reminder to watch the VC virtual tour videos.
This weekend I finished your book, Almina. I enjoyed it immensely, and learned so much from it. She was a fascinating and inspiring woman. You are a gifted writer and historian, and I enjoy reading your weekly posts.
What a delightful picture you painted of two-legged and four-legged residents of Highclere enjoying each other’s company whilst sipping the estate’s home brew! If ever travel is restored In this mad, mad world, I definitely plan a return trip to the UK to include a visit to Highclere and Ross Poldark’s Cornwall!
Yes I agree and Cornwall – my childhood haven
Phoebe’s attending the party must’ve been a highlight! She surely thought she’d found the fruit treasure trove, and I wish there were pictures of her with the orange!! You, your family, and the animals are such a delight! Thank you, Sarah Nash
If you have the time you can see it all on the Highclere Castle instagram @highclere_castle – you can also speed through to where Phoebe is which is halfway through!
Good Day Lady Carnarvon,
What a delightful story about your Virtual Highclere Gin Cocktail party. The party was all inclusive with not only humans in attendance but two dogs and one very amiable, sociable horse, Phoebe. Your writing paints such wonderful pictures, it makes the reader feel as though he or she were there.
Thank you for starting my week off with a smile.
I so enjoyed the cocktail party! From Cat singing the lovely song to Luis teaching us a few cocktail recipes and most unexpectedly Phoebe stealing the spotlight, it was a most welcome diversion during these stressful days.
My daughter Megan and I visited Highclere last August and loved every moment. Your attention to detail shines through. I have visited Egypt and love its culture and history. Your downstairs galleries were “the cherry on top”!
Thank you for taking us along on Fridays to explore Highclere. It has been a pleasure, and I hope it continues! You teach me something new each week.
I’d love to sit on the lawn and sip a gin and tonic with you!
And I with you!
As I began to read about your virtual Egyptian tour, I saw in my mind’s eye the fascinating Highclere exhibit we saw at the castle. And with your usual polish, you segued into the new changes at Highclere, ending with your new Highclere gin cocktail party and a charming picture and story about Phoebe, who must see herself as a party guest and not a mere horse!
When we visited Highclere on tour in 2013, we saw a lady canter into the stable yard on a horse that looked much like Phoebe, dismount, and enter the stable area. We hoped we had just seen the real Lady of Highclere! She was an elegant lady with blond hair….. Could we have been right? I hope so!
Probably me on her predecessor!
Thank you Lady Carnarvon for another great story. I saw the Tutankhamun exhibit in Atlanta Georgia years ago. It was amazing. I love how your Labs look like statues on the walls of the castle. Have a great day.
How wonderful it would be to be able to take a virtual reality wander around the castle for those of us far away!
I feel I could just give my next few years up for discovering all the castle has to offer. Would be magical.
“… suddenly we could do whatever we wanted …”
Do you mean “couldn’t”?
Cocktails with the mare sounds lovely!
Ellen in Connecticut
p.s. Hyperlinks to the videos you create would help. I have no idea where to find them!
I am still better with an ink pen .. I am putting them on instgram and have asked the website company to reconfigure the landing page on this blog to include the links
In some ways we are both right, because within each day we could each do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted but within our spaces rather than the construct of a framed day. Yet we also couldn’t do all we wanted and you are right
Dear Lady Carnarvon, you and Lord Carnarvon are bringing such sunlight and smiles to so many people in these difficult times.
Thank you for all that you are doing: we love to read, watch and listen to the stories, songs (Cat’s beautiful singing) and creations (Highclere Gin cocktails) that you continue to share with all of us. Best wishes for your reopening!
Lady Carnarvon, we have so enjoyed meeting up over drinks these last few months and every cocktail adventure seemed more fun than the last. We have your roster of cocktails yet to try and although sadly, Highclere gin is out of our reach at the moment (Canadian) we’ll make do.
We hope your “opening” goes well and we’ll be there in spirit, or is that spirits??
That is very funny and did you send me a present???!!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
another cheery start to the week, thank you. Your creativity and enthusiasm for life is a delight, and the cocktail evenings an inspiration. I’m looking forward to trying Highclere gin and may even buy a cocktail shaker.
On July 11, 2019 we enjoyed a lovely visit to your home and enjoyed afternoon tea and scones. All of your posts have been wonderful reminders of happy times that were and delightful moments yet to be – you have helped to sustain us through these “sheltering in place” months! Blessings!
We so enjoyed our visit this past December, having tea, touring Highclere, shopping in the gift shop , meeting you, what a memorable day. It has been so much fun watching your virtual tours and we have been trying your cocktails!
We hope to visit again in the future.
Thank you for sharing your world!
Thank you so much
“A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square”
One of the Rockabellas favourites and mine too.
Some years ago in Salisbury, a street musician was playing this on a saxophone in one of the shopping malls. WOW ….the sound echoing around the area was fantastic. Perhaps your “secret singer” in October may perform this. Something else to look forward to.
As you mentioned Drink Gin & Save Highclere. I am not a gin drinker but something tells me to give it a try.
Ever heard of SILLY MOO CIDER? You may find it interesting to see how the name originated.
Carry on Highclere.
Did Lady Mary and Lady Syble enjoy the unusual hot weather?
thank you so much – you can see Lady Mary and Lady Syble in a wallow on the Instagram!
I’m completely certain your ancestors would very much approve of the incredible job you have accomplished in maintaining the Highclere Estate. As a ” virtual” fan of Highclere I feel (as I’m sure do many others) that I have an affection for the castle that may match yours. So thank you for being such great stewards of what you have been given. What a blessing!
History is not just the past it leads us to the present and each day is a gift
Dear Lady Carnarvon! For the last two weeks I have been researching your activities to preserve the castle. How lucky your husband is that you share the desire to preserve the historical heritage. I am a historian, so your stories are a step in learning the true story. I am inspired by your activity!
How wonderful that you attended the Tutankhamun exhibition in London ! We had planned to visit before it departed for Egypt for ever but sadly were beaten to the post by the dreaded lockdown. I should have loved to see the virtual part of it, too. I love the reconstructions modern technology enables us to see, and recently saw a programme showing just such a virtual journey through the streets of ancient Pompeii prior to the volcanic eruption. Such an eye opener on the wonders of life in those days, with so much more sophistication than one would ever imagine. Thank you for sharing such lovely pictures of your animals, too. It is so special that you post all of this so that we feel we are almost there with you, something previous incumbents of Highclere would never have dreamed of doing I’m certain ! Please continue to share these times with us all, it really helps in these somewhat dark times.
thank you – we have made it through dark times and will do so this time
So glad your virtual cocktail parties were a success. Your horse seems very sweet and I am sure she enjoyed this recent party immensely! Thank you for sharing more history of Highclere and your family with us.
What a beautiful experience
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Receiving a new blog post on Monday mornings is a wonderful way to start the week. I always enjoy your writing and the photos of Highclere. Most enjoyable are the stories that you tell of life at Highclere with everyone there. Today I especially enjoyed the photos of Phoebe. Did you know that she was partial to blackberries, raspberries and oranges? She is beautiful as are the Labradors.
Thank you for putting a smile on my face this morning.
An old pony of mine used to like blackberries – Phoebe like trying things out! Just as we should.
I’m fortunately to cause I can visit Egypt two times and enjoy this treasures of pharaoh.
Enjoy your treasures at home.
Phoebe’s visit to the cocktail hour, and her apparent ease, reminded me of the history of the Bedouin’s horses living in their tents. It’s probably in her genes.
You are right – I thin she would happily sleep with me
I love how you include your animals in your life!! Thank you for giving us insight into the Castle and its occupants!!
How fortuitous your blog arrived as we were just discussing Egypt and the ancient pyramids yesterday and I was relaying the story of Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter and of course the myths behind it all. Including the true (?) story of his dog that died at the same time as he.
I look forward to a G & T there at some time, although at this rate it will probably be next year due to the travel restrictions from Texas. We are fast becoming used to the new normal. And it’s all rather sad, all this social distancing isn’t it. But I am optimistic of a bright future, for us all, for yourselves and for Highclere. Stay well!
God Bless, Sunny.
P.S. I don’t think I mentioned before, that I had to say a sad farewell to Kelly my golden Lab who was just shy of 14 years. She had become ill. And although difficult the decision by my vet to gently put her to sleep was the most humane option. It was all very quick, peaceful, and calm. This was in the midst of the Covid19 lockdown! Needless to say, I am now fostering an English pointer with so much energy I don’t have time to feel sad!
I am so sorry for you – English pointers are large!!!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
The tasks set before you and Lord Carnarvon have been met with grace, intelligence, humor and creativity. The past four months have thrown out never- imagined challenges, and here you are, graciously inviting all to return. I have been so blessed to have visited Highclere three times, and what incredible experiences they were. The castle, the gardens and the Egyptian exhibit are fascinating and beautiful. Not to mention the delicious treats in the cafe! The virtual cocktail parties were such fun, and I loved Phoebe’s visit. She was quite delicate in her movements despite her size!!
I wish you all such good luck in the coming weeks. Breathe deeply and know that good is always around us. You are an example of that very truth. I am about to order yet another bottle of Highclere Gin (my absolute favorite) and I toast the future, your success, and your good health. Cheers!
Charlotte Merriam Cole
She was delicate!!!
Hello Lady Carnarvon,
I just recently re-read your book on Lady Catherine and learned her wedding ring was a blue sapphire. Any chance the beautiful ring you wear is from her?
I so love all your live-streams and blogs. I look forward to all Mondays and Fridays. I wish you all the very best with opening up soon.
Geordie and I chose my ring – I am not sure what happened to Catherine’s
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for another amusing blog. I look forward to reading them every week. It’s great to hear about the virtual cocktail parties and your animals stealing the show. I saw the excellent TV programme “Secrets of Tutankhamun’s Treasure” on Channel 5 earlier this month and enjoyed watching you in some of the lovely rooms in Highclere I remembered from our visit.. It was such a tragedy the 5th Earl didn’t live to see all of the treasures the tomb contained and Howard Carter should have been honoured much more in his lifetime for the legacy he left.
The virtual cocktail party was even better with the addition of the dogs and Miss Phoebe. She absolutely wanted to join the party and didn’t need much encouragement!! I like your comment about how we adjusted our lives during quarantine. My husband and I had an easier time because we’re retired but I think of all the people on that ever turning treadmill….I’m hoping it’s made some people pause and rethink the pace they live by. Having jumped off that treadmill myself albeit through retirement, I wouldn’t go back for all the tea in China! Enjoy your week!
Thank you – I think Phoebe may need other walk on parts..
Would love to see your cocktail recipes added to your website!
Phoebe is such a character! – thankfully we were introduced to her – what a delightful cocktail hour! Looking forward to your re-opening – loved todays blog – you are a great historian and quite the character yourself!
Beautiful mare! Who is her sire? I keep arabs too, I find they are more dog than horse sometimes, (although my last stallion was a half bulldozer I’m sure..).
Such lovely surroundings, and fun inventive. The cocktails sound delicious too! How I miss England. Well, the borders will open at some stage.
I have a question if I may. Does the estate have a kitchen garden to supply own produce for you/guests? As you can probably tell I’ve not visited yet.
I’m sure there’s some lovely perennial borders as well. Ah! The country houses of Britain… crunch of gravel, scent of roses, birdsong, space and stillness.. bliss! Until a battered hard working ATV rounds the corner that is, haha!
Thank you for your very interesting stories, topics are all fascinating, speaking about your love of animals is something most people reading your blog shares, however probably not described so eloquently by most!
Your beautiful use of the language is a joy, and gives added dimension to the stories.
Vivian A. Harrison
Thank you Phoebe is lovely remarkably calm -her sire is DA VINCI (by Crusader ex Mazurka by Maleik El Kheil). We grow vegetables for us…
Thank you so much for such a wonderful depiction of what must have been a truly fun cocktail hour. I must say that Highclere gin and tonic with rosemary and lime has been my go to cocktail since I discovered it last year. I will certainly try the orange. We are so looking forward to visiting your amazing home next summer at the end of the Viking British Isles Cruise. Surely, all will be well by then!
Look forward to seeing you!
Your enchanting observations are always captivating and having sailed down the Nile and met by horse and carriages in 1992 and explore the Valley of the Kings privately . I was later fortuitous to attend the Tutankhamen Gala at the British Museum accompanied at the time by Dr Zaid Hawass and the great grandson of Georgia O’Keefe . We met and spent time with Suzy Mubarak and were bedazzled by artefacts and sepia photography taken by Howard Carter of your husband’s ancestor , Archeologist and patron of the expedition , 5th Earl of Carnarvon . All seated smiling at a makeshift dining table inside one tomb . Goodness knows how loud the flash bulb was , but no-one looked stunned , just jubilant over the discovery . Just looking again at the photo it feels like you are there and as you mention Virtual Egypt this certainly will be what faces us for some time now . I am writing on Peggy Guggenheims’ Venice for my new on line magazine and feel transported when I research Marchesa Casati’s flamboyant life taking guests on boats at 2am after one summer soiree and commandeering Marcos Square for the rest of the night with a 200 strong band of a human shield for when puzzled onlookers strained to get a glimpse of her in a full regalia monkey , peacock , cheetah and all. Is there any possible way I could fit Highclere during these quiet times as I truly would be honored and delighted to make your acquaintance and to have your presence and words in my next issue of Power Magazine which is a monthly quintessential read for rich minders readers .
Would you email [email protected] ??? Very kind of you
As an avid follower of yours (been reading your blogs since your first year, have all your books and am a Pod Cast subscriber!) I am always thrilled to learn what it is you have to offer us as you are such a lovely writer and great historian. So sorry to have missed the last of your Friday Cocktail events as I was on a Zoom call with friends and DID have my Highclere Castle Gin and Tonic in hand! My favorite drink during our hot FL summer! Even though I have been to your beautiful historic home twice I cannot wait to make the trip again and am so anxious for all these crazy times to be behind us and travel can be safe for all once again. Feeling sad for all the wonderful events you plan throughout your year that had to be canceled due to this horrid global virus. Wishing I could be there to be a part of your reopening but do wish you and yours and your staff the best of luck with the new normal and all you have to go through to make it work. Looking forward to being on the grounds there again one day! Continue to stay well and safe!
Thank you so much – do see some of it on Instagram – it was a bit mad!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Yet another wonderful read and lovely photo’s, I especially liked the one of Phoebe at the table, it looks like she is ordering her own G&T, I’m now going on instagram to have a look.
Thank you once again for sharing your wonderful family (both two & four legged) and home.
Have a wonderful week.
I am pretty sure Phoebe was up for trying anything
I love the story about Phoebe and her love of raspberries and blueberries. She is so charming. God bless on your reopening!
Thank you for your lovely posts. They give me a much needed Monday boost. From, Enisled in Wichita, Kansas
As usual, the animals stole the show, especially your horse. Gracias a Luis for the magnificent cocktails. I’m still waiting for a fund raising bingo night!
Yes indeed I did!! We attended a fabulous High Tea a few years ago in a beautiful restored school house in a little place called Elgin (the area where Anmer, the King’s horse was exiled to after the suffragette tragedy). The guest speaker was the author of the book, I enjoyed it and thought you might too!
Heather G. Freeman
Thank you so so much! It is beside me now!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
What a wonderful story. I loved that Phoebe helped herself to the fruit! Next she will try a cocktail.
Have a wonderful week.
Hello Lady Carnarvon and our Monday Family-
I want to tell you what took place on our first visit to Highclere in 2017. It was our gift to each other for our 50th Anniversary.I was so moved when I first walked into the Foyer that I had tears and was quite wobbly. Everyone was so kind. I had to leave my mobility scooter outside, so my steps were carefully guarded. One of the sweet ladies asked if I needed to set down. I know that sounds childish for a Great Grandmother, but it was a dream come true. After we had walked through the beautiful house (twice) we went out to the Tea Room/ Cafe. I had to have Tea at Highclere! This is where I met Luis. I guess he saw my genuine emotion and approached me. I explained to him that this trip was special for our 50th and he whispered to me, “would you like to see more pictures?” I could not say YES fast enough. I saw the large pictures taken during filming Downton. I was so impressed with his gentleness and compassion. He made the experience even better. My Husband bought a Tea Pot and Highclere mug (Beaker?) for me. They are in my small china cupboard. I treasure them. Please give Luis my best wishes.
I am becoming a Horse lover since reading about you and your horses. I was never exposed to them, so I had no idea that they each have such personalities. It seems they are wonderful friends to have.
God Bless and Keep you,
A delightful Monday read, as always! How many of the pieces for the Egypt exhibit are real, not models?
The first room are real antiquities – then you follow the story
How can I listen to your POD cast?
Thank you – we will put a link here -I think this is the link : https://apple.co/310HMW6
..good day Lady Carnarvon. My wife and I have watched the entire Downton series more times than I’d care to admit. We also watch every documentary that we run across re your beautiful home. Pam and I love ❤️ our gin & tonics and would much appreciate seeing all of your recipes. We have visited your country several times…we love England! Many thanks for continuing your delightful blog…God bless!
Pam & Gavin Hadley
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
We have so enjoyed the virtual cocktail parties – and will miss visiting with you all.
One day, we hope to come to your lovely home and experience it in person – until then,
we will enjoy the “At Home at Highclere” and continue to re-watch “Downton Abbey.”
What a pleasure it has been to spend this unusual time with you at Highclere Castle – the
“virtual” visits have been a wonderful diversion -thank you!
Thank you and we will have choose a date in the autumn too for more cocktails
Bonjour lady Carnarvon, we loved your gin parties and will be very happy to come and visit your wonderful home and of course go in the gin bar. Thanks for your videos, they were something great to look forward to in these strange times. Good luck for your reopening. P.
Thank you – they are strange times..
Only just started reading your blogs Lady Carnarvon and really looking forward to our rearranged first visit in August. Will you be opening for August?
We are opening in July – see you in August!
Thank you so much for including Phoebe in your party! She looks just like the horse I rode as a teenager, Smoky, in Florida. She was also of Arab descent. Highclere looks like a veritable heaven for both people and animals!
I love Egypt. Had a picture of Tut’s great grandmother mummified body. She has the overbite as Tut’s mummified body has. I would love to see that exhibition. I did see “Pharos of the sun” exhibition some years ago. I feel very special being close to someone that knows Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter!
In addition, your cocktail parties are quite special. Kudos to Luis. Lady Carnarvon you make my day!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I do enjoy reading your writings every Monday. Years ago I viewed the King Tutankhamun exhibit in Seattle, WA and in spite of the crowds, enjoyed every minute of it. The old picture you included in today’s writing of Queen Hatshepsut’s funerary temple near the Valley of the Kings was wonderful. In 1979 I visited this spot and even with all the archeological work done since your photo was taken, it still looked surprisingly similar.
I enjoy reading your blog. We had booked to see the Tutankhamen exhibition in London but sadly it had to be cancelled.
Good luck with your opening in July. My husband and I are really looking forward to our visit on 18th August.
Wonderful – see you then
So brilliantly done, Lady Carnarvon. Your cocktail parties were just the thing to get us through this crisis. So many of us looked forward to the beauty of Highclere inside and out and your comments about its history. We are looking forward to your return in the fall when, hopefully, things may be more “normal.” Thank you for including the dogs and Phoebe. (She was so cute when she found the blackberries.) Stay safe and be well.
PS We visited in 2014 and look forward to returning. I still drink tea from my HC cup.
Thank you Susan
Hello Lady Carnarvon
Once again a delightful Monday morning read for me and I recalled with fond memories my visit to the Tutankhamun exhibition in Melbourne some years ago. I loved every minute of seeing those wonderful artifacts and was blown away with the beautiful gold mask of King Tut.
I loved your story about Phoebe and if she decides she likes the cocktails……..welllllll……..I can see the headlines now. “Horse blows over the legal limit at roadside testing”. A cartoon of that event would wonderful and of course Phoebe would lose her drivers licence. 🙂
I can sense the excitement growing towards opening day at Highclere and I hope everybody enjoys the official day and being back at work will most certainly lift spirits (no pun intended).
Every good wish
Thank you for sharing your home with us. You mention a new cocktail… any chance you will share the recipe?
A brilliant point – I think the Highclere Castle Spirits web site needs to have cocktails on it a go to for recipes that are a go to for us all..
You and your wonderful place are a port in the troubled storm we all live in. Thank you so much. Sigh….. Rob in Arizona US
I so enjoyed the visit with Beautiful Cat singing “Nightingale” and the dogs on leash(!). Plus, Phoebe’s visit reminded me so much of one of my horses back in the day. Champ was always quite the opportunist when food appeared. He and I had been ‘toddlers’ together: a bottle-fed foal. He was a beautiful Palomino Tennessee Walker and naturally-gaited. He had the classic golden coat w/flaxen mane and tail. I spent hours grooming him and saving the hair for braiding reins.
Thank you for such an entertaining spring with the various events. While all my travel plans have been squashed for at least another year, these events and the podcasts have cheered me up.
Last year at this time my mother was in her final stages and the anniversary date approaches. As you’ve noted, all ceremonies have been canceled. The state of my current residence has exploded with COVID19 due to political pandering That will mean my travels will be curtailed even longer.
Would you consider continuing the FB broadcasts? I have limited time to bounce around among the various electronic media Highclere is using. Links would be most helpful in a central location.
Best wishes to Luis and his magical talents. Your staff has such amazing talents and ability to communicate. What a pleasure to have a few minutes of relief from the variety of stressors as I rebuild my house, garden and other projects.
You’ve inspired me to continue my writing and I will publish again. Great and wonderful outcomes are available as long as we stay focused, practice healthy self-care and live life through these challenging times.
Ida Lee Duplechin
Dear Ida, Thank you I am going to put links on the front page of this blog and make it all clearer!
Dear Lady Carnavon,
What a beautiful text ! For many years, I had been talking to my students about the discovery of Toutankhamon’s. tomb including the amazing and inspiring story of Lord Carnavon and Howard Carter.
It just a few years ago, that I made the connection between Highclere and Lord Carnavon.
Hope to visit Highclere one day including your own Egyptian exhibition.
Marie Louise Pépin
Montréal, QC, Canada
Lady Carnarvon, the lavender sachets that you sell on line from your gift shop, is the lavender from the grounds of Highclere. Thank you. Cheryl
Some are until we run out!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I enjoy reading about the antics of your animals. It’s a delight and brings laughter in trying times. I also enjoy seeing how your dogs steal the show on Viking TV!
When you write about the Egyptian exhibit and Tutankhamun it excites me for my Viking Egypt cruise in November 2021. There is a new museum in Cairo that will consolidate most of the items discovered by Howard Carter and the 5th Earl of Carnarvon from King Tut’s tomb. Will you be there for the grand opening? I am hoping Viking will include a visit to this new museum as it has direct ties to the 5th Earl and Highclere. Thank you again for an enjoyable read to begin the week.
Aloha from Hawaii,
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
Seems the world came back to life on Monday, so I was not able to read your blog until this evening.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to have visited London twice; once in the last 80’s and again in the mid 2000’s. Someday, I hope to be able to visit Egypt and King Tut’ s Tomb and the Castle’s exhibition when I come to Highclere.
Through Viking’s Facebook page, I have watched “At Home at Highclere” and found the viewings as informative and interesting as your weekly blog.
The virtual cocktail party you invited everyone to was different than the virtual happy hour here in Michigan. Our group meet on Zoom and I was able to see all the participants. Through your Facebook/ Instagram I was not able to see your invited guest(s), only their name or location, as provided in the comment section.
It was nice to have met Luis, and to his sharing of gin cocktail recipe.
Catriona did a very beautiful performance of A Nightingale…
Great to have seen the person behind the scene and voice.
All too funny, Phoebe wanting to be part of the action. She reminded me of Sunday afternoons spent with our daughter taking English riding lessons. Her horse always wanted an apple to eat before and after each session.
Hard to believe that half the year is over. May the last half be of benefit to you as Highclere reopens to the public.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Until next Monday.
Thank you Perpetua – it is a strange world and time has flown by in a strange way.
Lady Carnarvon, I have been saving up what I call my pension pennies and placed an order from your gift shop. I ordered the Ladyship mug and sachet of Lavender. It is Canada Day today so I am celebrating and treating myself from your gift shop. Best Wishes to all, Cheryl
Thank you and Happy Canada day!
Have been obsessed with Highclere castle since watching Downton Abbey and I’ve just been reading your book on lady Catherine and am totally obsessed with all things Highclere castle now …next book to read is about Almina…then it keeps going on….and now your blog….I’m so amazed you know so much history of your home….
I googled Highclere Castle and Downton Abbey and found your blog! It is fascinating. I love Downton Abbey and was so interested to find out more about Highclere Castle and it’s history. Loved your book Almina. I just found another one that you wrote an book called Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey. Can’t wait to read it. I also saw the Tutankhamun exhibition that was here is Toronto in 1979. I was so awed by all the items in the exhibit especially Tutankhamun’s gold death mask! Of course, it is extremely interesting to know that it was the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who was married to Almina, that along with Mr. Carter who found Tutankhamun’s burial site. All this to say, keep up with your blog. Love it!
How very kind – thank you
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I am new to this Virtual Reality world and very much enjoyed your recent blog about the last day of the Virtual Highclere Castle Gin Party. So sorry I’ve missed your blogs before now. A good friend in Glasgow turned me into what you have been up to just today. And I’m very grateful to her.
I’m blown away at how beautiful Highclere Castle still is to this day! And very grateful that you and Lord Carnarvon are doing your best to preserve it and it’s history.
Someday, I hope to make the journey to see the castle for myself. To actually “Run my hands across the weathered stones and walk barefoot on the grass.” To see the inside of the beautiful edifice and “See” more of its history inside and out.
In other’s comments, you have shared recipes. This is wonderful! I look forward to finding them and trying them on my husband very soon!
I hope you do just that!
As a child, my Aunt was taking me to the Tutankhamen exhibition but for some reason we cancelled- 50 years later I was going but Coronavirus stopped that! I am so grateful to have seen your wonderful exhibition!
The cocktail parties have been splendid and it has been a real privilege to feel we were “at home” with you both in your stunning castle.
Wishing you all the best for reopening and hoping for a new book… Thank you!
Lady Carnarvon, Your Viking TV episode was great as always. The outfit you were wearing was very pretty and you look wonderful in the colour blue. Looking forward to your blog tomorrow. Best to all, Cheryl
Lady Carnarvon, I enjoyed this article and want to look up the video of Luis making the drinks. It occurred to me that you should think about creating a Highclere drink named after King Tut. I love you blog and I’m enjoying making recipes from my newly acquired “Christmas at Highclere” book. Wonderful book!