LOCUST GROVE KENTUCKY

Locust Grove is advertised as “where Louisville  began.” The mansion was built in the 1790’s by William and Lucy Croghan. They raised their family here and a frequent resident was Lucy’s brother, General George Rogers Clark, a hero of the Revolutionary War.

The lovely bright sunshine prevented me from photographing this side of the mansion.
This view is from their website, here.
Also from the  website: “This c.1792 Georgian mansion tells the story of its builders, William and Lucy Clark Croghan, and the story of American beginnings.  William and Lucy Clark Croghan, along with Lucy’s brother, General George Rogers Clark, welcomed a generation of American luminaries to their home to rest, dialogue, campaign, and duel.  Presidents James Monroe and Andrew Jackson, John James Audubon, Cassius Marcellus Clay, and Lewis and Clark—among others—all passed through Locust Grove. Now a National Historic Landmark, Locust Grove is a unique example of early Kentucky architecture, craftsmanship, and history.”

The rest of the pictures are mine.  And a perfect day for the camera it was.

The garden was moving into its post-harvest phase.

Below are portraits of Lucy Clark (1765-1838) and William Croghan (1752-1822)  in the Dining Room.

Note the the hand-blocked wallpaper design.

The silver coffee and tea service was made in Philadelphia with the family crest.

Dining Room, as it was in 1811

Small parlor, as of 1815

Again, the drawing room wallpaper is worthy of note.

The imported Brussels carpet is particularly fine.
Bedroom of George Rogers Clark from 1809 until his death in 1818

More fascinating wallpaper, with an American Revolutionary theme

These walls of the Farm Office are painted in verdigris, which was explained as an odiferous compound in which one part was urine or excrement.  Rarely used in bedroom I presume.
Central Hall on the Ground Floor
Family Guest Room: I found the striped carpeting interesting.

Great Parlour on the second floor, as of 1811, used for family gatherings, as a ballroom, for playing games and many other activities.

According to the website, ” The fortepiano was made by Broadwood in London in 1806
 and is still used for concerts.”

The wallpaper is a reproduction of the original Arabesque pattern. 
The Rose Room, with cradle, below

The Croghan bedroom

Above and below,  the third floor girl’s bedroom

Above and below third floor boy’s bedroom
From the website: “In this room, out of our usual time frame, it’s the 1840s. This represents the history of the house after William Croghan’s death in 1822, when the next generations moved in and out of the shared house. This room focuses on John Croghan (the eldest son), and his work as a doctor and as the owner of Mammoth Cave.”
Third floor Storage Room (wish I had one of these)
In the Museum, a portrait of General George Rogers Clark by Matthew Jouett, ca. 1825
Also in the Museum, a dollhouse model of the house
Text Panels n the Museum tell the story of the farm, the family, and early life in 18th century Kentucky, as well as the story of General Clark and William Clark, a cousin who explored to the Pacific with Meriwether Lewis in 1804-06.
Family Quilt made for the museum
18th C. Pistol
Approximation of an 18th C. Surveyor’s Cabin, such as William Groghan would have built on his property; remnants of such a building were discovered in the garden a few years ago.
The kitchen is in a nearby outbuilding, as would have been usual in the 18th C.

Above and below, other views of the kitchen

Adjacent to the kitchen is a room set up for a servant or a slave, above and below.

Wood storage 
showing the outbuildings (right) and cellar door

Ice House
above and below, cabin built in 1815

Take a virtual tour of Locust Grove here.
To read about slave life at Locust Grove, click here.
Locust Grove is a National Historic Landmark, operated by a foundation for the City of Louisville.
If you can make it to Louisville, be sure to consult the on-line schedule of events, and visit when the place is teeming with reenactors, antique dealers and/or more tourists! 

LOOSE IN LONDON: PUB SIGNS WE SAW ALONG THE WAY

Another Wellington pub, this one near Savile Row.

14 King Street, just doors away from Almack’s.

Another Bag O’ Nails, not to be confused with our local near the Palace.

The Duke of Wellington, near our hotel in Kensington Square

The Hatchet

Leicester Arms
Red Lion
Great Expectations in Reading
Duchess of Cambridge, Eton
The Henry VI, Eton
The Two Brewers, Windsor
The Ship and Shovel
The Sherlock Holmes, London
The Wells, Hampstead, where Victoria had lunch and Kristine managed to choke down some bread and butter. But that’s another story . . . . . 

LOOSE IN LONDON – A DELICIOUS TREAT IN SOHO: RANDALL AND AUBIN

16 Brewer Street, Soho, London
After leaving Mr. Foggs, we cabbed it over to Randall and Aubin in Soho. Known for their fresh seafood, Randall and Aubin has been a favourite since opening in 1996 and it has a contemporary Manhattan vibe with it’s Subway tile walls, wood floors and marble topped tables. The dining room is a buzz with voices, laughter and music, while the prep kitchen, open to the dining room, affords a view of fresh oysters being shucked and a variety of fresh fish being readied for the table.

Victoria and I have eaten many a meal together and we know what we like – seafood. Especially moules, or as you may know them, mussels. And oysters. Lobster ain’t bad, either. The menu at Randall and Aubin is huge – what to choose?
We needn’t have worried because our server, Adriana, was the perfect hostess. R & A is that rare place where the entire staff – servers, line cooks, chefs and host – are not only consummate professionals, they believe in their product, i.e. fresh seafood. Nothing, really, could be better. 
Arianna, who was not only knowledgeable, but also gorgeous, served us some bread with anchovy butter and then led us through the menu,  suggesting that we try is the mixed rocks huites – in other words, the oyster sampler, served with challot vinegarette, horseradish and Tobasco. This is what’s so great about restaurants like R & A – even the most dedicated foodies will learn, and taste, something new as suggested by the staff, who are passionate about what they serve. 
Tastes of heaven!!
Victoria and I were served two of each type of oyster, so that we could taste them together and rate them as we went along.
Here’s our ranking: 
Native = 5 best!
English = eh, salty
French = salty sweet
Scotch = eh
Irish – excellent

All gone…too fast.
Then it was on to the great moules (mussels) with garlic, parsley and cream.
The sauce complimented the flavour of the meaty shell fish and we made quick work of them. I think it was at this point in the meal that Victoria and I swore we’d never had so much fun digging into fruits de mare. I can’t recall exactly which of us suggested that we eat here at least twice a week when we move to London, but I know I didn’t argue. 
For an entree, Victoria opted for the pan roasted Hake with spring onion. Cooked to perfection, the white fish was melt in your mouth perfect. 

I opted for the crab and lemon risotto, which tasted as good as
it looks. 

Amazingly, we found room at the end of the meal to try a combination of raspberry ice cream and salted caramel ice cream. Sorry, no photos of dessert as, by that time, Victoria and I were in a fabulous meal stupor. 

Don’t take our word for it – if you’re into real seafood, prepared and served by people who are passionate about seafood, Randall and Aubin should be on your “must do” list. 
Randall and Aubin, 16 Brewer Street, Soho, London

LOOSE IN LONDON: A NIGHT ON THE TOWN

Always looking for a new London adventure, one night Victoria and I took Diane and her sister, Marilyn, to Mr. Foggs in Mayfair for a drink. Hidden away on Bruton Lane, there’s no outward sign that an establishment of any sort is housed behind the Victorian facades that line the street. Up a few steps to the door, one has to knock in order to summon the door keep to slide the peep hole back. It’s at this point that one is tempted to say something suitably snarky, such as “Rick sent me” or “Let us in, we’e got a fresh body for ye” or even “The password is Brummell.” None of these are necessary as, unless one looks truly iffy, the door is typically opened to admit you into another world – the world of Victorian London and the townhouse of Around the World in 80 Days adventurer Phinneas Fog. 

Here a review of the place from The Nudge

Picture the scene.
You’ve instructed your date to meet you on Conduit Street in Mayfair.
They’re excited. And happy.
You stroll together through Mayfair, past restaurants and designer boutiques; past jewellers and art galleries. There’s a spring in their step, and a smile on their face…
….until you direct them down a dingy back alleyway – menacingly encased on every side by concrete, shadows and high-rise office buildings – which they intuitively believe can only lead in one direction: towards their brutal and untimely death. 
But just around the corner relief sets in, as they spot Victorian lanterns hanging outside the immaculate exterior of a truly glimmering beacon of peculiarity: the fictional home of Mr. Phileas Fogg… which you can call “Mr. Fogg’s”.
Because that’s its name.
After climbing the steps to Fogg’s abode – having possibly just manoeuvred yourself around a horse and carriage in the street, depending on which night you go – you’ll enter the madcap home of one of fiction’s most eccentric adventurers, which overflows with artifacts and trinkets collected from his travels. Stuffed Indian tiger heads, whole crocodiles and umbrella stands made from elephants’ feet; portraits of Fogg’s ancestors; wall-mounted busts of the man’s favourite pets; annotated maps and pictures from his travels; birdcages, bicycles and one large penny-farthing swinging from the ceiling, alongside the very hot air balloon in which he travelled the world for 80 days.

Expect to see staff clad in military uniforms – coloured according to their seniority within the household – serving up absinthe aperitifs, sazeracs and stirrup cups. Expect to enjoy live sing-alongs around the piano; expect monthly visits from Mr.Fogg himself, who will regale you with tales from his most recent travels…
…and expect your date to be excited.  And happy.

And happy we were, as you can see by the photo below – drinks in a Victorian parlor, served up by attractive men in period uniforms . . . . . . bliss.

Period details abounded and were arranged around the walls – and floors, and ceiling – as far as the eye could see. In fact, period details were also found in the ladies loo.

From here we took a cab to Soho for dinner – stay tuned for that adventure, coming soon!