France August 2015 – Fontainebleau

Our trip kicked off with a night in this fancy hotel…

…the Black Eagle.

Instead of wallpaper, the walls were covered with this rather busy fabric.

We skipped the 18 Euro breakfast, and went to a place down the road (the menu has changed a bit).

We were very impressed with the bottle lift…

…and the post office.

The Boy headed of the golf course, while I headed off to the chateau.

It’s absolutely beautiful, especially the horseshoe stairs.

It’s home to all sorts of things that belonged to Napoleon, including his coat and hat…

…tent…

…and all sorts of travel sets.

It was very sad to see his son’s toys, including this little tea set.

The rooms themselves are lovely too, including this fabulous library.

This fetching little chap…

…invites you out into the gardens.

The carp pond…

…the English garden…

…and the formal French garden.

A lovely way to spend a morning.

Number One, London

Today Lovely Lindsay, Prof. Peter and I toddled of for a day of culture in London. First stop was Apsley House, home of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington.

It was known as Number One, London because it was the first house encountered from the countryside after passing the tollgates at the top of Knightsbridge.

As well as various Wellington artefacts (no boots, you have to go to Walmer Castle for that), there’s a fantastic art collection, including Velázquez portrait of Pope Innocent I (as found in Joseph Bonaparte’s baggage when he was fleeing after Waterloo).

The most impressive is this Canova sculpture of Napoleon.

Interestingly, Napoleon didn’t want the statue when it was finished. One wonders if Wellington was chuffed when he had it presented to him. Apart from anything else, he had to have the hall floor reinforced!

As, this is the closest weekend to Waterloo Day (June 18th) – there were various ‘special events’. Will we regret avoiding:

The Battle of Waterloo with Vegetables – every move of the battle with nothing but as basket of whatever comes to hand.

It was all a bit too much for some!