Ian’s Pembrokeshire Pitstop
3rd June 2014
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Situated on the main artery between Haverfordwest and Eglwyswrw, Scolton Manor is not just well located but its facilities (Natural, Historic and Culinary) are definitely worth sampling.

It was this “X” on the map, leading to a new development, which drew me to renew my long association with this place. I mused over the memory of playing croquet on the sadly, now neglected lawn. The hours spent here as the children grew up, the shows and events that we attended and the continuous programme, of sympathetic improvements, undertaken by the staff.

The “X” on the map, in this case, was the discovery of the walled garden site at Scolton Manor, which has led to the Walled Garden restoration project, now reaching its completion.

What would you guess, as to the purpose of the dwarf house in the picture?

Potting shed?, Tool shed?, Home for pampered pets?

What about a Doghouse for the hubby? (Yes, its always us residing there).

The “X”planation is more intriguing.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, a hidden gem is the gentle “Walk in the woods”. Flora and Fauna, reveal themselves, varying, diversely throughout the changing seasons, in this sylvine, mystery perambulation.

It’s here that the slowing, calming process begins, and if you but drink in the sensory offerings, you will not be disappointed.

Being one of those who enjoys the journey, as well as the destination, and speaking from my own experience, the effect, you will discover, is not limited to the physical. Mentally, Emotionally and dare I say it, Spiritually uplifting, if you let it.

Or, if you are one for the swift paced, “get me there now” approach, that seems to be in the majority of this modern world, there is always the shortcut up the drive.

If it’s energy that you need to burn off, the playground and expansive grassland is just the ticket.

The “X”hibits found in the Main House Museum, along with the re-sited Museum of LOCAL rural trades and history, take you on a Time Travelling “X”perience of “X”citing “X”ploration, offering a glimpse into a lost world, rapidly fading from living memory.

The old Stables, now the location of “The Honey Kitchen”, entertains in a novel, juxtaposed mix of old and new.

The live feed view, of a hives interior, “X”posing the “X”ploits of the bees, mesmerises one into a meditative state, as you follow the “Busy as a Bee” antics of their hidden world. While next to them, another screen has Jack Hargreaves take us through the, age-old skill, of building hives from straw and bramble straps.

Hearing Jacks “X”planations, transported me back to my weekly, Sunday viewing of his “Out of Town” TV programme. For me, this, in itself, was worth the “X”cursion.

My appetite whetted, I had to nip along to see the Beekeepers hives in their reality.

So we have arrived at the gate to the walled garden. What is that seemingly,  dwarfed, house?

It’s a Pineapple house. Yes really, note the Plaque. In Victorian times, Pineapples were just too rare and “X”pensive to eat.

So why spend so much time and money cultivating them?

What would you do with them, if not eat them?

Victorians loved their Soirees and Grand Dining and while the Georgians had their silver, table centrepieces. The Victorians,  created culinary talking points, such as the “X”otic Pineapple fruit. A Pineapple commanded a substantial hire charge and would “do the rounds” until its appearance waned and its value “X”pired.

Well, it’s not Pineapples for me but a visit to the Café for homemade coffee and cake. No less appealing to the eyes, these goodies are definitely for savouring.

Once again, like so much else here, presentation is not skimped on. The atmosphere is bright, cosy and inviting and you find the slower pace of this place, continues to relax and slow one down. Far more conducive to the whole “X”perience.

Refreshed and raring to go, and in the words of my grandfather, “I took my time as quick as I could” back towards the car, only to find myself distracted by other interesting little asides. This is going to need further “X”ploration, at another visit.

A protracted pitstop, maybe, but sometimes you just need the “X”tra time out. One final thought. For such an “X”pansive venue, this is not “X”pensive or “X”orbitant. In fact, if you did everything, it is covered by pocket money. As so much is free to enjoy.

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