Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chatsworth - Sculpture - Farm Shop Restaurant

We had a super day. Tracy picked Joan up and then chauffered. We stopped at Masson Mills for coffee. Didn't get lost, not even once, and when we arrived at Chatsworth the three of them shot off and I had the buggy-plus-guided tour of the gardens and commentary on points of interest. A good 40 minutes and I learnt lots.

Then I was determined to see the pieces of sculpture I was keen on and I found lots of seats so I could take my time. Picture 1 is 'Bemu' by Zaha Hadid, the architect, who Bungus says seems famous for designing structures which would be well-nigh impossible to build. She is a force to be reckoned with though, and I find her work inspiring. Such a sense of shape ! I took several snaps of this and couldn't really decide which showed it off best. It worked superbly in the parkland with those Derbyshire hills in the distance.

The Exhibition is on loan from Sothebys and I may well 'treat' you to a couple more pics. The lady buggy-driver who took us on the tour wasn't particularly interested in Sculpture but she did stop long enough to allow me a quick go at this Lynn Chadwick (who has been previously mentioned in the blog) and this piece is called 'Crouching Beast' and it looks the part dunnit?

There was also a Damien Hirst on a driveway which I didn't get round to, but the ladies said it was impressive but 'orrible. Which sounds about right for Damien. I'd love to see his diamond encrusted skull which is valued at £50million.

At lunchtime we ate in the main restaurant at the house, and all our meals were excellent. I spotted 'Farm Shop sausages' on the menu but, taking Jill's advice decided against them. We need 'blogs' these days to find out about these things. Y had the vegetarian and the rest of us had the 'Steak and Bakewell' pie. Don't ask me where they get the Bakewells from these days?

After our respective mooches we met in The Shop. Oh dear, the prices! And we didn't really like the system where every little extra exhibition for instance, was more money. The ticket to the house & garden was quite expensive but £2 to park before you even started, just seemed 'grasping'. It will be sometime before we visit again. In my early very left-wing days I used to say that the only way I wanted to visit Chatsworth was in the turret of a tank! I accept that I have mellowed considerably. But I wouldn't let the building be wasted; rather than pay the feckless their benefits I would turn the building into a 21st century workhouse where they would be fed and housed and in return for some work, they could earn pocket money for their fags ! I am nothing if not even-handed.

Perhaps I exaggerate. Slightly.

At around 4.00pm we drove round the mile and a half to the Farm Shop and had tea in the restaurant there. Then a browse in the Shop itself which is pleasantly upmarket and not too pricey, and finally home for a mug of tea and a sarny. A super, super day and we all really enjoyed ourselves.

Thanks for your comments. Pork hock Jill, finishes up, after pressing, more like tongue than paté. And the only film moment to add to Bungus's list is that Y was just settling down to watch Von Ryan's Express and I helpfully said "Oh, thats the one where Frank Sinatra gets killed right at the end". Not realising that she hadn't seen it before.

A quote from my homepage :-

"The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards."

- Arthur Koestler

Sleep tight everybody. Only 9.25pm and dark aready. Debra in Ireland by now, David off to Carsington at the weekend; I'm off 'Walking On Wednesday' and Y is meeting June C for lunch in Nottingham. It's all go isn't it?

n.b. Pictures enlarge when clicked, and anything in orange is a live-link. See ya!


Jill said...

Those sculptures look marvellous in their green setting, are children tempted to slide/climb on them?

We have a new sort of Oxfam shop opened locally, just books, part second hand and part new (gifted by publishers?). All new and light and airy, with chairs and tables. Do you have such a thing? I bought the first book Nigel Slater wrote, second hand paperback like new. His recipe books are the only ones (apart from the blessed Delia) that I buy, albeit seond-hand. His autobiography 'Toast' is well worth a read, not recipes, but food played a very large part in his childhood and it brough back such memories of what we ate in the 50's and 60's.

Do you know, I cannot remember a single memorable film ending, apart from 'Gone with the Wind'....Y must have loved you last nght.....

bungus said...

Hadid’s ‘Bemu’ and Chadwick’s 'Crouching Beast' will both do for me.

My impression (at least partially supported by the biographical link) has always been that Zaha Hadid spent a good number of years producing designs which were never built and could not easily have been built (How did she pay her large staff? And was she not known at one time as Zaha Hadidn’t?)
But she is not the only one about whom such comment can be made, and I would never deny a place for visionaries.
Dave Green, for instance, was a smashing lad at college but poor value for a firm of (visionary) architects needing to show some profit in order to survive. I don’t think the renowned and even revered 1960s British quartet Archigram, of which he was one, ever had anything get off the drawing board.
And Utzon’s winning design for Sydney Opera House would never have been buildable if Ove Arup had not changed the structural concept and ‘cheated’ in order to make it stand up. But it is now accepted as one of the wonders of the modern world because of its striking silhouette.
Hadid Architects now has a built oeuvre of great merit. I just could not get any idea, from the TV documentary about her, what her own real input was (other than being an inspiring and single minded leader) or how she managed to convey her visionary ideas for her team to translate.

Although much of his work does not appeal, I have respopect for Damien Hurst having discovered how unpretentious he is. But the diamond skull does nothing for me. I would rather look at a skull without the diamonds.

The shop prices at Chatsworth are horrendous (or certainly were just before Christmas) and when I saw the charge for entering the house I turned my back.
I am sorry that your left wing has been clipped but your Dickensian attitude to retirement homes for the less well off does you credit.
In the 1930s, the 101 bus from the centre of Mansfield passed 'The Institution' on Sutton Road (now the site of the Community Hospital but still with stigma for some of the elderly). As a small child on the upper deck, I was fascinated by my mother’s explanation that the tramps could stay for a night in return for a morning’s work in the fields. The sight and the story has haunted me ever since and I have an unshakeable dread of ending my life in such a place. So thanks RG for bringing it to the front of my brain once more!
My mother’s young brother was training there (at 'The Institution') as a Workhouse Master until the outbreak of WWII. Being a 19 year old territorial he was immediately called up and, as an infantry captain, later helped to storm Monte Cassino (where he won an American Bronze Star by knocking out a German machine gun post). After the war he became a Quantity Surveyor which led directly to my becoming an architect.

I wonder when you say Chatsworth Farm Shop, could you mean the Garden Centre? The only thing I thought a bit pricey and precious there was the sculptural stainless steel dibber. It looked like the sort of thing one would to present to a retiring Head Gardener (and there’s nowt wrong wi’ a bitta fork ‘andle). I had a pleasant and reasonably priced panini in the restaurant there.

The pressed pork hock looks to me rather like brawn (which my mother occasionally made form a pigs head and a rabbit).
Coincidentally, Sandra took me out for a meal tonight (at the Clumber Hotel’s Dukeries Tavern) where I had pork ribs coated with honey and sesame seeds (she ate the salad) followed by a ham hock braised in cider. Delicious but huge. I just couldn’t manage a Spotted Richard (their euphemism)..

"Oh, that's the one where Frank Sinatra gets killed right at the end" is an unforgivable crime.
It reminds me of the ‘Likely Lads’ trying to avoid being told the result of an England match which was to be shown on TV later; a storyline virtually echoing my own experience when behind the bar one night and five minutes before closing time when a regular came in and said,
“What d’you reckon to England then?”.
“Don’t tell me the score Brian, I’m going to watch the highlights on the box”.
“I shouldn’t bother,” he said, “there weren’t any goals”

bungus said...

Sorry Jill; I have never tried a Nigel Slater recipe that I thought worth the effort (but i still collect them from The Ocbserver Cokkery Mag!).

I thought 'GWTW' ended:
"Tomorrow is a nother day."?

The one I remember, apart from "Let's do it Sundance" is 'The Professionals'.
Lee Marvin (plus Burt Lancaster and a couple more) had been hired by awealthy Texan rancher (Lee J Cobb) to recover his wife 'kidnapped' by a Mexican bandit. It transpired that the bandit was a wealthy hacienda owner, the lover of Mrs Rancher, and they were on a ransom scam.
Marvin brought them back to Texas and claimed his fee but then told them to go back to Mexico.
"You bastard" says the rancher, to which Marvin replies:
"Well suh, in mah case that's an accident of birth. But you, suh, are a self made man."

bungus said...

For 'Ocbserver' please read 'Observer' and for 'Cokkery' read 'Cookery' !