Where have you been lately?

For 20 years I used to go to London and never got out to the countryside. Now every time I go I try to stay at two different historic manor houses. This time I went to see "The Tempest" with Sir Derek Jacobi. The next day I set off for Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire. They say it's fit for a king because it has all this historic legacy. The third Duke of Buckingham, Edward Stafford, started building it in 1510. The building stopped in 1521, when he was executed on trumped-up charges of treason because King Henry VIII liked the house. Much of the building remains as it was. There is a lot of historical detail: oriel windows and ornate carved ceilings. It's a lovely place.

Discovery: One of a Kind on Portobello Road in London is the size of a closet. But there are some real finds. I bought the most fantastic green velvet Elizabethan coat and a couple pairs of the hottest boots.

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