Yesterday, we had a good day out.
We started off by driving to the market town of Banbury and doing a bit of shopping there. We then stopped off at Cafe Veneto to get some lunch. I wouldn't particularly recommend this place. The staff were friendly enough, but the service was very slow and our paninis, when they finally arrived, were tiny -- half the size of those offered by other cafes and one-and-a-half times the price. We left rather disappointed and somewhat hungry.
We then drove on to Farnborough Hall, which was the main purpose of our day out. This is a National Trust property which is rarely open to the public, as it still has a tenant in situ. The house is very beautiful -- eighteenth century, with stunning plaster-work ceilings and many interesting pieces of furniture. Only three ground floor rooms plus the staircase are open to visitors, but we felt that they were well worth the trip. The (very friendly) tenant was manning the front desk and encouraged our youngest daughter to play the piano in the library, which was lovely. We also enjoyed wandering in the grounds and poking out noses into the various Palladian structures there -- hunting lodge, game store, etc. The views from both the house and grounds are spectacular.
We then made our way to Farnborough village and enjoyed delicious homemade cakes and tea in the village hall. We also visited the church, which was very pretty and peaceful, and spent some time admiring the Cotswold stone cottages in the village.
All-in-all, a very enjoyable day out.