You would think wouldn't you that being an Earl and having a popular blend of tea to your name would guarantee a lucrative income for you and future generations? Sadly a lack of business acumen and a failure to secure the rights to his tea blend proved otherwise for the Earl Grey of Earl Grey tea. I learned this when I recently visited Howick Hall, the home of the Earl Grey family since 1310 until the 1960's.
The Hall is not open to the public, other than the very nice tearoom, which naturally sells Earl Grey tea, but has lovely grounds where we saw some welcome signs of Spring.
If you have ever come across something useful when tidying up you will recognise the emotions experienced at the Bowes Museum in Durham, who discovered recently that a painting they had thought was a copy was in fact an original Van Dyck! Now you don't find too many of them just taking up space in a storeroom.
Although when your storeroom is in a building this size maybe it is easy to overlook what you have :)
The museum is famous for its' silver Swan automaton and having recently waited for the daily 2.00p.m. Silver Swan activation I shall just say don't blink or you will most definitely miss it!
The musuem has some fascinating exhibits both inside and out so is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. The tearoom is not too bad either!
Do you think there is a theme to my visits to stately homes and museums :)
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