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29-30 April


England’s greatest invention

“Of all the great things that the English have invented and made part of the credit of the national character,” said the American novelist Henry James, “the most perfect, the most characteristic, the only one they have mastered completely in all its details, so that it becomes a compendious illustration of their social genius and their manners, is the well-appointed, well-administered, well-filled country house”. How right he was, says Lara Brown in The Critic. The French have their monasteries; we have our “great estates”. They are preserved in “literature as well as stone”, dominating novels like Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. And they serve as a “physical reminder” of continuity and “our duty to the generations that follow us”. Those who created and preserved these historic estates planted trees, to adapt the Greek proverb, in whose shade they knew they would never sit.


Quoted Munger 29.4.23

“The world is not driven by greed. It’s driven by envy.”

Investor Charlie Munger

The great escape

Japan may be best known for its gargantuan, hyper-modern cities, says The Travel, but the country’s feudal castles reveal a different side of its culture. Himeji Castle is perhaps the “most magnificent” – begun in 1333 and completed in 1609, it was once the stronghold of powerful regional lords, and has played a pivotal role in centuries of internal politics and military campaigns. Matsumoto Castle, started in 1592, is known as “Crow Castle” thanks to its distinctive black exterior. Inside, its role as a military retreat is revealed by hidden doors, steep staircases and strategic windows for archers. Nijo Castle, built a decade later, shows distinct “Chinese and European influences”, and is famous for its “nightingale floors” designed to squeak loudly to warn of intruders. See more here.

The pied-a-terre

This two-bedroom apartment is on the second floor of a historic building on one of Bath’s grandest streets. It has an airy kitchen, oak flooring throughout, and large windows providing stunning views of the city. Henrietta Park and Sydney Gardens are both nearby; Bath Spa station, with direct trains to London Paddington, is a 10-minute walk. £595,000.

The apartment

This quirky two-bedroom flat is in a Grade II listed building in the City of London. Built in a distinctive Moroccan style, it has chromotherapy lighting, intricate woodwork and decorate arches, and a vibrant, light-filled living space. Nearby Spitalfields Market has a variety of bustling stores and trendy restaurants; Aldgate East, Bank and Tower Hill Tube stations are all within a 10-minute walk. £595,000.


quoted Rousseau 29.4.23

“Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook, and good digestion.”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau