Relaxing amid the sweet scent of the roses and lavender and admiring the trickling fountain that is a copy of one from Eton College, I sigh deeply and say, that really is close to heaven! I am sitting on the bench at the lower terrace of Titsey Place, a manor house that can be found close to Oxted. Beautifully restored in 1992, the house and the gardens can be viewed only in the summer; as August is over, I have dropped boring photo processing and decided to visit the place. The whole estate is massive three thousand acres and is arguably one of the most picturesque estates I have ever seen! So quintessentially English, the rolling hills, woods in the background and a perfect park, it simply takes your breath away! What I also find nice is that it is not overrun with people; one can really enjoy it without too much interruptions of mass tourism. The historic house contains paintings, fine furniture, and porcelain but the gardens, that’s what I have enjoyed so much! First what hit me was the immaculate lawn, “that’s how I want my lawn to look like” I said to my husband and pointed ahead. My husband only rolled his eyes. I think I can understand his reaction, the grass looks so even, so perfect, not a single weed – the gardener must have a patience of an angel and I am definitely no angel in the garden! My lawn has more moss than grass, my vegetables are half eaten by the army of slugs and my roses look rather tired after I have accidently sprayed them with weedol instead of green fly killer. The manor, I believe goes back to the beginning of the 16th century when Sir John Gresham (once Lord Mayor of London about whom I wrote in my book about the Square Mile) ruled here. A Tudor house on the site was demolished and rebuilt by the last Gresham baronet in the 18th century; the new fronts were added later, in 1826. The Titsey landscaping is the work of William and Granville Leveson Gower in the 19th century, but it so reminds me of the work of Capability Brown! The extensive lawns lead to the charming lakes, bridges and little islands add finesse and a temple – charm and mystery to the place. There is also a walled kitchen garden to the side of the house, with all kind of vegetables and fruit. Two rose gardens with nice statues complete that idyllic look. What is also amazing – all that is just barely twenty miles from the centre of London!