Grey day at Osborne House

306As forecast, the weather took a distinct turn for the worse today and, where yesterday we had been able to watch the cross-channel ferries from our bedroom window, this morning we could barely see the end of the garden through the grey drizzle. Consequently we decided to pick an indoor attraction: Osborne House. By now it had become clear to us that the Isle of Wight doesn’t really open for business until Easter and Osborne House was no exception. During the winter months you have to be booked in for a tour of the house and, although they scheduled a new tour for us, we still had an hour and a quarter to kill beforehand. This was more than enough to explore the grounds as the walled garden and Swiss cottage were also closed. (We were starting to wonder exactly what we were paying for at this point.)

The tour, when it came, was very good and I undoubtedly learnt more than if I had been left to wander the house in the summer months. It was, however, limited to just the first floor of the house but at at an hour long that was fine by us.

Having stopped off in Newport for some lunch, Christine was ready for an afternoon nap and we returned to the hotel. I went out for a long run, up to St Boniface Down, across to Stenbury Down and back to St Martin’s Down via the Donkey Sanctuary. I was left in no doubt as to why the Isle of Wight can host a fell race series in the summer, it’s just a shame that the clouds were still down and the views non-existent.

This evening we ate out at Pavarotti’s in Shanklin. As the name suggests, it’s an Italian restaurant and I had an excellent beef stock soup with tortellini and ham followed by pan fried pork glazed in honey with a very nice mint sauce. Just a shame I had no room left for dessert.

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