It's a well-known fact that good things come in small packages. I, for example, am 5'3". Mompesson House in Salisbury is also proof of it.
I had very low expectations of Mompesson. I spent yesterday at the stupendous Hardwick Hall where you couldn't move for grandeur and historical connections with the great and the good of Elizabethan society, from Bess of Hardwick to Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I herself.
Mompesson is very different. It was built in 1701 by Charles Mompesson, an MP in Salisbury. It was passed down through various families over the years, before being handed over to the National Trust in 1952. It's also much smaller in size - you could probably fit the whole house into one of Hardwick's rooms.
But Mompesson is a fabulous little place. Its rooms are so neat and cosy, I could happily move in tomorrow if they'd let me.
I headed straight out into the garden to find the scones, and what a lovely little garden it was. The scones were fresh and delicious, the sun was out, the staff were very friendly - it was the perfect place to be on a Sunday morning.
Mompesson also has three other advantages:
1. Salisbury Cathedral
Mompesson House is located in Cathedral Close, snugly tucked away just in front of the gigantic and stunning Salisbury Cathedral. It is quite literally awe-inspiring and it went straight in at number three on the Scone Blogger's Top 10 Cathedrals of the World (Strasburg is number one. I've never met anyone else who has been to Strasburg though, so maybe I'm imagining how good it was. I'll have to go back and check.)
2. Magna Carta
I went to Runnymede once. Every single other person there was American. It's strange but the British don't really seem to care about Magna Carta as much as other nations. Maybe it's because we aren't taught about it at school (I wasn't, anyway. But if you want to know anything about Sino-Soviet relations during the Cold War, I'm your woman.) Anyway, there's a copy of Magna Carta at Salisbury - it was brought there by Elias of Dereham, who was present when it was signed and who was also involved in the construction of the Cathedral. Every single other person looking at it was non-British.
Salisbury is a lovely place. If you haven't been, GO.
Mompesson House: 4 out of 5
Scones: 4.5 out of 5
Salisbury/Cathedral/Magna Carta: 5 out of 5