The Chillvester House Story

GillA Victorian country house with high ceilings and large, airy rooms, set in 7 1 /2 acres, built in 1888 for the land Agent of Lord Lansdowne, owner of the Bowood estate which the house overlooks. Gill posing for the BBC in her kitchen.

John is a consultant occupational physician and, with considerable knowledge of the area, is happy to help visitors plan their days. Gill, a keen horsewoman and cattle breeder, likes to maintain her culinary skills and reputation for good food – broadcaster Derek Cooper gave her 11 out of 10 for the ‘Best British Breakfast’ !

We have three large double bedrooms (double or twin beds) each with en-suite bathroom (with a hand-held shower, but a large shower room is available, and bathrobes are provided); colour, remote controlled television; tea/coffee tray; clock/radio; books, guide books and maps.

The dining room Almost all the vegetables and salads are home or locally grown and we take a great pride in the cooking. As we prepare freshly every day we need to know in advance if you want dinner on your first night here. Not having a restaurant there is no choice of menu, but I always ask visitors if they have any likes or dislikes and work round that. We can cater for most diets given a little notice. The house is licensed although we do not have a bar, preferring to serve drinks when and where they are ordered. We have a short but comprehensive wine list.

The house itself is Victorian, built of Bath stone and has large, airy rooms; it is centrally heated and there is constant hot water! There is a drawing room, sitting room (with television, newspapers and magazines) and, of course, the dining room. Visitors dine together at one table and there is almost always a dinner party atmosphere. Sometimes we join guests for dinner but, as I do almost all the cooking, we usually join them for drinks before or coffee after dinner so that I am not always leaping up and down and disturbing everybody. The drawing room

The hall Breakfast is `what you like when you like it’ although I find that most guests settle for something between 8.00 and 9.00 depending on their plans. If at all possible I `stagger’ the timing to save a mad rush – and breakfast is not always the time for lively conversation! There is always a wide choice of cereals, fresh fruit and cooked dishes; various teas and `real’ or de-caffeinated coffee; jams, jellies and marmalade – usually home made.

All these things are rather a non sequitur as we are still really the private country house of a professional family. However, having travelled widely ourselves, we believe we know the sort of things that may help and interest our visitors.

Why We Upgraded to a Modern Wooden Stove

Kitchen and home design have come a long way in the last few centuries. Once upon a time, home design was done purely around the function of a piece of furniture or an appliance. Today people choose their furniture, appliances and even their modern style kitchen utensils around their favorite design styles. Some people will choose to decorate their house too look like something out of a modern art catalogue, while others prefer the look of a western ranch house and still others love a classic and old fashioned Victorian look. The good news is that, whatever your design style, you will be able to find a modern wood stove that matches your taste.

There are two major benefits of using a modern wood stove over other heating elements in your home:


Modern wood burning stoves are better for the environment. Wood smoke is far better for the air than the smoke and pollution that comes from burning coal. It might not be as clean as natural gas, but it is cheaper than many of the alternatives! Wood is a renewable resource. Trees can always be replanted. In fact, many states have a law that states that every tree that gets chopped down must be replanted within specific periods of time.

Financial Savings

The modern wood stove saves money. Thanks to things like under floor heating and central air, the modern wood stove (when used with modern utensils that can help it along) can heat an entire home from one small location. This saves the home owner from having to use electric heating devices or natural gas powered heating devices to keep his home warm in the winter time. It is far cheaper to buy a few cords of wood at the beginning of the cold season than to pay for an increased electric bill.

When you go shopping for your modern wood stove or modern kitchen sets and its accompanying modern utensils, it is a good idea to shop around. Choose a modern wood stove that is made from durable material and make sure that you hire a professional to install the stove inside of your home. Do not fall for clearance sale prices or fancy sales pitches. Do your research and learn about which kind of modern wood stoves (and modern utensils) work best in your style of home before you head to the store. It might feel like a waste of time when you start out, but you will be grateful for taking the time to learn about stoves in the future!


The History of the Venerable English Rose Garden

The British are a nation of gardeners. And one of their many great gifts to world is the English rose garden. From tiny, urban plots to massive, manicured showcases, the British adore their roses. A summer’s night stroll among the heady and seductive setting of an English rose can be the experience of a lifetime.  It is also like moving through a living time machine. History of Rose Gardens Judging by fossils roses are over 35 million year old.

They have been grown by every ancient culture in the Northern Hemisphere. From the Babylonians to the Cretans; from Egyptians and Greeks the fall of the Roman Empire, most ancient civilizations cultivated this wondrous bloom in some form or another.  Roses have a colorful history. There are beautiful stories like the ancient Hindu legend that says Lakshmi; the bride of Vishnu (great protector of the universe) was created from 108 large and 1008 small rose petals.

There are also stories of self-indulgent Roman nobles forcing starving farmers to grow roses instead of food crops because of the desire to bath in pure rose-water. The rose culture was so strong in Rome, that they also imported flowers from Egypt and created hot houses to force them into bloom. From the Romans British gardeners have been digging and laboring in their rose beds more or less continuously since invading Romans (who loved a good feast or orgy while seated on rose petals) showed them how to grow them. During the Middle Ages, many English castles and countryside estates laid out rose gardens not only for holy festivals but also for their purported medicinal purposes.

garden rose walk

Roses were so admired in England that when a 32 year long conflict erupted between the Houses of Lancaster (which was symbolized by a red rose) and York (which was represented by a white rose), the civil war was called “War of the Roses.”  To Queen Victoria.But it wasn’t until the Victorian era that gardening and rose gardening especially became popular for the majority of the English people. Today we follow that same tradition with our own rose garden, but this one is a bit less stuffy and guests can enjoy it on foot or with their children on a wide variety of boards and bikes.

With the development of the first Industrial Age middle-class, for the first time, a large number of people found they had leisure time to devote to gardening along with the trend of living in the suburbs.It was the Victorians who invented the formal English rose garden so they could showcase their horticultural skill to their follow suburbanites. Many of these gardens are still in existence today in municipal parks, country estates and in private gardens of across the nation. Of course, you don’t have to take a special trip to Great Britain, to tour a formal English rose garden. Many rose enthusiasts have “imported” this popular style and it can be seen in parks and gardens across the world.