I adore Regency Week! Alton and Chawton are two of my favourite places and it’s amazing getting to catch up with friends I only see this time of year. I had a bit more time this year as opposed to last, so I drove down on Friday so I could be there bright and early on Saturday for Regency Day. My oldest daughter accompanied me again because she missed the ball last year.
In the past, I’ve been committed to a stall for Regency Day, but this year, I had no commitments, so it left me free to wander about and honestly, I had no idea what to do with myself. Luckily, a friend staying at St. Mary’s Hall with me, asked if we wanted to go to Jane Austen House Museum and walk around with her, which was perfect.
We started in Alton and walked around the stalls and checked out everything before backtracking and walking to Chawton for Jane Austen House Museum. I never get tired of the museum. They always have some new theme or some new Jane Austen artefact to check out. This year, JAHM didn’t disappoint. We found a few new items to wonder over and just enjoyed a walk through before heading back to Alton.
We walked once more through the stalls for Regency Day and then headed back to St. Mary’s Hall to get ready for the ball. Joan, our host extraordinaire even had Prosecco and hors d’oeuvres for us before we were dropped by Cass Grafton’s lovely other half at the door of the Alton Assembly Rooms for the evening. Cass even joined us for a short while to chat and so she could see the gowns before she headed off to dinner and left us to our dancing.
It was awesome to catch up with a number of people I hadn’t seen in a year as well as meet some new Jane Austen acquaintances, including Caroline Jane Knight and her father Jeremy (JA’s 5th great-niece and her father). Caroline had a beautiful gown as she channelled Lady Catherine for the evening. I’m certain Jane would’ve had a giggle at the notion!
The ball, as usual, was definitely a wonderful time and went off without a hitch. My daughter danced a number of dances, and though I’m not a great Regency dancer, I stood up for one dance before the night was over.
The night may have come to a close, but the week was far from over! Next up . . . the Walk for Literacy with Caroline Jane Knight and her talk “Jane and Me.”