We heard back from Nymans last week saying that although they'd like to take Canterbury Tales another touring company had got in first and they wouldn't book a second version. So in search of another venue I drove down the M3 this morning to have a reckie of Mottisfont Abbey where Gary suggests we might have a favourable welcome.
The grounds are gorgeous and the layout makes a promenade performance really enticing. The river Test borders one side and large lawns lead up to the house itself. Underneath are the evocative remains of the 13th century Augustinian priory which would be a perfect place to end the pilgrimage.
The most exciting space though seemed to be the walled rose gardens - barren now - but they house the national collection of old-fashioned roses and in the Spring and early summer would no doubt prove to be a riot of colour and perfume. Certainly a space of romance and chivalry. The Knight's Tale here, perhaps?
So a follow up email needs to be sent to see if the house manager will be game - but I can see a fantastic tour beginning at Sutton House, before moving to Ham and then out into the countryside being a fantastic way to explore and celebrate Chaucer's stories.