Written by Ciprian Dobra, Guide and Counsellor, the Principia Museum (ITP 2019, Romania)

Saturday, 10th August was a day that I expected from the first day of my arrival in UK. Because I was designated to write a blog text about this visit but also because I love sweets and I was waiting to taste the famous and praised scones of Mrs. Frances Carey, Chair of the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust, that Claire spoke so highly about. And I was not disappointed. Au contraire, I might say!

The day began in a pleasant manner since we had the opportunity to sleep more. And, although windy, the weather was quite pleasant. Kenwood House was our first destination but the first actual stop was the park gate at the entrance and the short walk through the park. The smells of that particular piece of landscape put me in a better mood because it reminded me of the smells in the woods back home. We met Frances in front of the Kenwood House where she presented the context of the location and invited us to see the exhibition inside.

An introduction to Kenwood, led by Frances Carey (Chair of the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust)

Needless to say, I was amazed by the things that every inch of the UK presents to a man from Romania. The paintings are amazing and I really enjoyed the explanation of a Vermeer painting made by one of the employees. I am not that much into art because I find difficult to see all those details that an art lover sees but a whole new perspective opens when someone who knows a lot about the things they are explaining. I felt the same way when Mr. Ian Jenkins (Curator, Greece and Rome) gave us a tour through the British Museum. I would have never noticed and felt those things by myself. It was an enlightening experience.

The showers that followed were forgotten because of the long walk through Hampstead Heath and the happiness of some of the colleagues while tasting and eating blackberries. The place where Frances lives is amazing.  I think everyone of us was thinking about what it must be like to live in that area. The apartment is amazing since it is an apartment, a library and a museum in the same time, and we felt really welcome but shy and timid in the same time. Because we were visiting an impressive person and an impressive house, because some of us are supported by the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust and we thought that it was a good idea to behave in a very polite manner mostly because we had no idea what was the proper manner we should behave. But she was a great host, making us as comfortable as possible and feeding us the best scones. We were many but the food beat us all, Frances was left with a lot of leftovers and I hope she didn’t mind the mess.

Enjoying delicious cakes at the home of Frances Carey

Therefore, when you read this, you must know that when Claire says something is good for you, that means it’s good and don’t argue about it!

Ciprian