Well, it's being a sunny and warm day, so, as Carol is on holiday from the Academy, we set out for a visit to a National Trust property on Saturday morning, and decided on Ickworth, which is near Bury St Edmunds. We set off really early, as we wanted to make the most of our day. As it turned out it was a really glorious sunny day. We left around 8 o'clock and got to Ickworth a little after 10. We stopped at a Little Chef on the A14 near Newmarket to have coffee as we needed a break (Carol was driving.) I was under the impression that Little Chef had closed down (another casualty of the recession.) but apparently not. I think they did get into financial difficulties (no doubt the darstardly banks are involved. Aren't they involved in most of the woes of industry and business?) but they have presumably been thrown a life-line by some private investor or other, such as one of The Dragons from "Dragon's Den."
This house was fascinating. As you can see from this photograph, it has a rotunda, a round central section, quite unlike any other National Trust property we've been to. Like a lot of these properties, they were built at a time when labour was cheap, and those that built them had the money to lavish on extravagant buildings. Here they built parts that were never lived in, and today part of this house has been converted for use as a hotel. We had an interesting guided tour of the servant's quarters, which made the visit more than usually interesting.