Thursday, the 12th of May, is quickly told: It rained all day, and heavily enough for us not to want to go for a walk. Instead, we spent the first half of the day in St. Helier's Jersey Museum and Merchant's House, and then took a bus to La Mare Wine Estate for a guided tour.
I liked the Jersey Museum and Merchant's House well enough. A friendly volunteer welcomed us, showed us where we could leave our bags and told us what to find where in the complex of buildings making up the museum, art gallery and merchant's house.
We did not explore the gallery, as we wanted to catch a specific bus to La Mare, but the museum offered plenty of interesting information in well presented displays.
For me, the Merchant's House was what I had most wanted to see: On the museum's website (see link above), I had read that it was a "beautifully restored merchant's house" as you would have typically found in the second half of the 19th century. Visitors were allowed to wander around the dimly gas-lit rooms at will; in the nursery, you could even open boxes and drawers and (if you dared) ride the large rocking horse.
I did like it, I really did... and yet, I missed the glimpses behind the scenes I find so fascinating: There was not one servant's room, kitchen or store room to see, only the wealthy family members' rooms. Never mind, I should not complain, for it was all lovingly done with much attention to detail.
As planned, we took a bus to La Mare Wine Estate, where we only had to wait a short while until the guided tour began. Again, I had expected a little more... we did not see the actual production, although it had been advertised with these words: "La Mare Estate guided tours will take you around the beautiful
vineyards, orchards, the Cognac style distillery and the chocolate
Of course, the rain was nobody's fault but meant that we did not go around the vineyards and orchards. At the distillery, the explanations given were interesting enough, but no work was being done, so we couldn't actually see it happening. The chocolate kitchen - it won't surprise you to read that I was looking forward to that particularly, but we only stood in front of a glass panel between us and the - empty and tiny - kitchen.
The wine tasting was nice, and we visited the shop, buying a few souvenirs for ourselves and our loved ones at home, but altogether it was not quite what we expected for nearly a tenner per person.
Lunch at the estate was very good, and once we were back in St. Helier, the rain finally stopped so that we could walk round a little bit before taking another bus home to Bouley Bay.
Both the museums and wine estate were interesting, and good options for a rainy day such as this, but we would have much preferred having a little less water coming from above. Still, we made the most of it and consoled ourselves with very nice food and each other's company.
John, here is a picture I took especially for you:
O.K. is now used to me taking pictures and announcing "I want to take a picture of this for Kay, or for John, or..." - it's part of what makes blogland such a nice place for me, this dialogue between us via our blogs and commeting on each other's posts.