If you come in through the door with ‘Never say no to a Medicinal’ written on its lintel, past the warning notice beside it which says
you find the convivial little club called The Cellar, which is down a flight of stairs from the inside porch.
The weather is getting warmer, but is not yet warm enough for sitting about outside even though there was that warm week a month or so ago; we are playing it safe and there is still a fireplace, with toasting-forks and a kist full of warm shawls near it so that any chilly tart can wrap herself warmly if need be; the Other Cupboard is near it, over the Chatelaine’s chaise. When summer comes (if it does) the succession pools and the croquet lawn outside will come into service, but at the moment huddling is mostly the order of the day. The gin-lake is already in place.
This cellar is painted in encouraging fire colours, oranges and reds and yellows, with occasional snatches of purple just because.
The aga, the other stove, the freezers and the food-cupboards are in the room which is behind the velvet curtain, off the corridor leading to the hot-tub and jacuzzi.
There are various pub-games: the shove-ha’penny board, the dominoes and the Nine Man Morris table are all present and correct, and there is a cupboard with cards and dice and board-games in it.
The On Sweet has a re-repaired metal mirror and has been re-feathered.
There is a glitter-ball as usual.
Darrington the butler, Ewbank, Honoré FitzMichael the pantler, The Page Three Pages, The Underfoot Men, and the re-upholstering lady Gwyneth with her team of seamstresses have moved here.
So have the Fancy Italian, Luigi to make us tea, Antonio the coffee-maker, and Fritz the chocolatier.
I am hoping that we may get a garland made for us, and a kissing-bough…