Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Accepting the Earl's Invitation

[I claim this title for a future historical romance novel - so hands off!]
Hopetoun House Edinburgh Scotland
         How did you celebrate the opening of the London 2012 Olympics on Friday, 27th July?
The Invitation
I did it in grand style!
Here, on my knee, you can see my very special invitation.
I have just arrived at the Earl’s country estate, Hopetoun House, Edinburgh, Scotland. Of course, I’ve removed the RSVP details for His Lordship’s privacy. How it makes me smile to declare such things.
For avid readers and writers of historical romances, using terms like ‘His Lordship’ and ‘the Earl’s country estate’ always resonates with history, adventure, trials, tribulations and happy ever afters.
My invitation delivered all of these things, but in a much more contemporary and unexpected way.

Eyes wide shut!
I began my special evening by having drinks with the delightful Earl and his wonderful Countess in their amazing ancestral home: Hopetoun House just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland. Hopetoun was built between the very end of the 15th Century into the beginning of the 16th, on the site of a much earlier manor house.

The little black cocktail dress was the order of the day.

I freely wandered at leisure through their stately residence considering life in past times, surrounded by the rich history of the many generations of Hopetouns that have owned this wonderful domain. I even posed for a cheeky picture next to one of the ‘ladies’ of the house. As you can see, I couldn’t bear to look too closely!
The Earl's desk in the small library (they have a large one too!)
Formal dining

Amazing staircase
Walk through rooms

The large library (and pool room!)

Don't you just hate it when people stand in front of the screen!

Later, as dusk fell, our select party removed to the gardens at the front of the house, where an enormous screen had been set up to project, live to us, the wonderful Olympic opening ceremony direct from London.

We wrapped in our warmest coats against the cool night breezes blowing off the Forth of Firth, ate, sipped our fizz, laughed and partied as we were royally entertained – you saw James Bond delivering the Queen (without her corgis) didn’t you?  The Earl was relieved. They are connected after all.
Queen safely delivered by 007
But this was just the beginning of a wonderful weekend at Hopetoun House for me.
The Hopetoun International Horse trials with dressage, show-jumping and cross-country eventing with 3* competitors (those that weren’t away representing their country in the London Olympics, that is) was just getting under way.
Dressage with the Forth Road Bridge in the background

But that’s a post for another day…

I'll certainly never forget the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics!

The London Olympic Flame