Ticking off another box on my list of things to do, Dave and I went to Kenwood yesterday. Kenwood is an historic house containing an art collection, and standing amid 74 acres of lawns and woods on the north side of Hampstead Heath.
Like the Pergola, it is a dog-free zone -- at least indoors, although leashed dogs can be walked on the grounds -- so I never go because I always have Olga when I'm on the Heath. Seeing Kenwood required a special trip.
The grounds, by landscape architect Humphry Repton, include ponds and a "sham bridge," which is exactly what it sounds like -- a false bridge over nothing.
We came across a woman feeding (and talking to) the ducks. I think this is some variety of mandarin duck. It looks like it rolled around on an artist's palette.
The house itself, primarily the work of Scottish architect Robert Adam, dates from the 1700s and belonged to the Earl of Mansfield and his family. It includes ceiling paintings by Italian artist Antonio Zucchi, like this portrait of Bacchus.
And photography was allowed, which was a pleasant surprise for me! This room (above) is the colorful library, with walls and ceiling painted according to historical evidence. The original furnishings in the house were sold long ago, but some have been bought back and are on display.
Finally, there's an impressive art collection with works by Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner, Reynolds, Franz Hals and others. This is "View of Dordrecht" by Aelbert Cuyp, from the 1600s.
Here are Dave and I, reflected in one of the ornate gilt mirrors made by the same craftsmen who furnished Versailles. (Grainy and underexposed, but you get the idea.)
We also had brunch at the adjacent cafe (soggy Eggs Florentine for me -- squeeze your spinach, people!) and Dave bought some plants at the garden shop. All in all, a fun outing, and we combined it with a trip to the bank, where -- despite a widespread computer failure (naturally!) -- we were able to set up our new account.
Yesterday was the solstice, and I must say, all this sunlight is a little crazy. The official sunrise was 4:44 a.m., and the sunset was 9:23 p.m., but of course it was twilight for an hour or so before and after those times. I woke up with daylight and went to bed with daylight. More than four hours of nighttime would not be a bad thing.