At Christmas time, Mr P and I bought a National Trust family membership instead of buying presents for each other. Well, actually, we said we’d do this, but we haven’t got around to actually buying it yet. We will, though! And I’m fully aware this makes me sound like an actual middle-aged person but there is something so NICE about National Trust properties. Beautiful scenery, impressive buildings, amazing history, and often fun activities for kids too. I get a strange sense of calm when I visit one.
Last week, Mr P and I took a cheeky couple of hours out of our day (I really should have been working…) to visit Morden Hall Park. Free to get in, it has a fab little cafe, a garden centre, an artist’s studio/gallery, a rose garden, a stable yard, a beautiful white bridge and loads more interesting little nooks and crannies.
We started off having lunch (soup and a sandwich) in the Potting Shed cafe and then wandered around, enjoying the sunshine.
I was wearing my Joules National Trust collection Windermere coat – part of a country-inspired range and PERFECT for a chilly spring day out in the park – waterproof, cosy and covers the bum so you can sit on cold logs or rocks, in comfort. The lining of the coat – as well as other items like the silk scarf, wellies and brolly – has a gorgeous floral design. Joanna, the designer behind the print, explains, “I was really inspired by the incredible English heritage behind the National Trust. History and nature are rich and vibrant aspects of the National Trust and the work they do, so I used this to influence my design. I began by referencing old botanical encyclopaedias I found in the British Library, where botanists would paint intricate detailed studies of plants and flowers. This subject inspired me when I studied Fashion Design at University, and I was eager to take this forward into the National Trust print.” Isn’t it gorgeous?
Bloomfield silk scarf, £34.95, Joules
Windermere coat, £129, Joules
Luckily, it was such a gorgeous sunny day, I didn’t need my wellies or brolly. And I looked totally normal popping my brolly up, in the glorious sunshine – no passers by thought I was weird at all (honest!). The bright green wellies with the floral print are just begging to be taken to a festival like Camp Bestival, this summer. A percentage of the sales of the Joules x National Trust collection goes to the National Trust, which is great because they look after, and preserve, so many historic houses, gardens, mills, coastline, forests and parks, like Morden Hall Park, looking after nature and wildlife, maintaining their land as an environment that supports a rich diversity of life.
Mid-height green wellies, £36.95, Joules
French navy garden umbrella, £19.95, Joules
The park was lovely and quiet on the day we went – just a handful of parents with toddlers and retired couples pottering around. It made me think we should do that more often – just take a couple of hours out of a random day and wander around a National Trust property.
After a while, we realised we were getting chilly and a bit hungry, so we headed back to the Potting Shed cafe for a cuppa and a cream tea. Perfect way to end the afternoon!
• Big thanks to Joules for sending me their National Trust products – we had such a fab day at Morden Hall Park!