I like scotch, architecture and motorcycles,
and not necessarily in that order.
So with the high price of petrol I leased a buzzy little Honda and headed about 2 hours north of London to Audley End.
Originally built as a monastery, the abbey buildings were converted to a Jacobean style house c1538 by Sir Thomas Audley.
Naturally it was raining but the gloomy overcast sky seemed fitting to the history. The mansion is just magnificent.
And the detail still remains; timber floors, slate roof, vaulted brick, Flemish tile.
This hammered stepflashing is framed by red brick, green lichen and grey slate and is typical of the simple, unselfconscious beauty.
Fancy iron work is everywhere as in this doorbell pull.
And notice the way the mason zig-zagged his horizontal stone banding around the leaded downspout, so the leader could run true.
Everywhere I looked there were gardens and lush, breathtaking lawn.
So I got two out of my three top favs on this bike trip,
and good scotch later that night.
I bought the first round with all that money I saved on gas.