Strictly speaking a stolen day is something spontaneous and unexpected where you end up not doing what you had planned to do (in a good way), preferably it includes no one knowing where you are or what you are doing, for example the time I got to explore the cow parade in Leicester Square when it turned out that the start time of a court case had moved to the afternoon and no one had thought to tell me before I got on the train.
So I guess our midweek trip to Northampton didn’t count as both Husband and I booked a day off for it – but it had the same sense of adventure.
We shared our anniversary celebration with Spider with a weekend in Bristol to see the SS Great Britain but the trip to Northampton was just for us, just we two indulging in our passion for Art Nouveau and Art Deco and Rennie Mackintosh.
78 Derngate is the only house in England designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The house is early 19th century but when purchased in 1916 by a Northamptonshire Model Maker Basset-Lowke it underwent a transformation – a total transformation from top to bottom. Even the garden received some Rennie Mackintosh magic.
Unfortunately we have no photographs as in the interests of preserving the recreated house flash photography isn’t permitted…I would urge you though to click on the link and take the virtual tour
The website gives the history of the house and how many years later a trust was set up to restore the house to its former CRM glory. It’s been open since about 2003 which is round about the time I met Husband and despite both being crackers about Rennie Macikntosh and living just down the road from Northampton we have spectacularly failed to visit until now.
It is not cheap to get in but this is a charitable trust, it’s not part of national trust or english heritage (but EH members get a discount – yay!) but it is well worth the entrance fee. We also combined our day out with an Orange Wednesday pizza at Pizza Express so it was very good value for us.
We came back glowing with happiness and full of ideas of how we could get some Rennie Mackintosh glamour into our house…which is why the bedroom is in the process of being painted purple…although we seem to have gone for “turkish brothel” interior design rather than art deco. But then I just want touches of CRM I don’t want a whole house like Derngate, that really would be too much of a good thing.