Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Sense and Sensibility Ball - Chawton

On the Saturday morning after the ball, I met my new friends Jeanette and Aurora at their B&B, and they really kindly gave me a lift to Chawton. We all had tickets to the Sense and Sensibility Bi-Centenary Ball at Chawton House Library that was being held that evening. So off we set on our road trip to Chawton, in our Regency day wear, to the dance practice that was to be held at the house at 11am. We arrived to find that we were the only ones who were dressed in Regency costume, (slightly embarrassing, but it is so much more fun doing Regency dancing in Regency costume, than in modern clothes :) ).  The practice was great fun but the marquee where we did the actual dancing was way too small for the number of people who had turned up. So I was having flashbacks of the dance class I attended on the Sunday in Bath - Regency bumper-cars once again!!!

After the practice the three of us had a wonder round the beautiful garden - the perfect setting for a Regency photo shoot :).


The side of Chawton House

Aurora and Jeanette

Through the gates into the walled garden

Aurora and I posing on the steps - The perfect steps for elegant photos! :)

The front of the house

The long sweeping drive

Jeanette elegantly gliding down the drive. The perfect vision of Regencyness (well maybe not completely historically accurate - she is looking at photos on her camera!!)

For lunch we decided to go to a little tearoom in the village called Cassandra's Cup. 

I wonder why its called Cassandra's Cup... hmmm... :)!!!

And of course you can't go to Chawton and not visit this particular dwelling - The home of Miss Jane Austen. :)

Aurora in the garden of the cottage

Jeanette in the garden as well

In Jane's Drawing Room. Love this bookcase/desk (I can't remember the proper name)

Aurora playing Jane's piano!!!!!

I love the decoration on Georgian fireplaces. :)

Fanny Dashwood's purple bonnet from S&S 08

Worn by Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood in S&S 95. This is what she is wearing when Colonel Brandon's rescues her in the rainstorm at Cleveland. I took rather a lot of photos of this one. :)

The back

Miss Jane's writing table

This gown was worn by Charity Wakfield as Marianne in S&S 08

Detail on the shawl

I love this washbowl. There was also a matching jug.

Aurora in Jane's bedroom. The sign said no sitting! So she hovered instead!! :)

Jane obviously wasn't as tall as Jeanette!!

H.M.S Chawton, which I thought was so cool. Two of Jane's brothers were high ranking naval officers so the naming of this ship was connected to them. Sadly I think it has been decommissioned. 

Mrs Jenning's hilarious cake-like bonnet from S&S 08

the front...

...and the side

Bonnet worn by Emma Thompson as Elinor in S&S 08

The Kitchen

Jeanette relaxing in the kitchen

The Austen family donkey cart

We had such a good time at Chawton Cottage. It was so much fun going round in costume. We got some odd looks and a few photo requests from a few people. I think many of the other visitors thought that we worked there! :)

That evening we went to the hotel I was staying at with another friend, got changed into our ball gowns and headed back to Chawton House... Sadly we weren't allowed to take photos inside the house for legal reasons so all my photos are of the outside before we went in, but there was an official photographer and his photos are on flickr.

Walking up to the house for the ball

Before the ball started, we walked back down the drive to see the village church and where Mrs Austen and Cassandra Austen are buried in the churchyard.

Mrs Austen's grave stone


Chris - her and her husband run the 19th Century dancing club I am a member of. I love her outfit. I think she looks so elegant and very Regency hostess-ish! :)

There were so many people dancing in the small marquee so once again it was Regency dancing bumper cars and it was soooo hot. But overall it was a lovely ball. The next day I caught the train home - it was the end of my Regency adventure. :( (I can't wait for next years Festival!!! :) )

1 comment:

  1. The piano at Jane Austen's House was made after
    JA died, and is on loan! I have bequeathed my
    1796 Broadwood square piano to them, which I hope will remain there for all time.....