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January 06, 2009

Meet Me In The Grotto

We all know and love the pretty Grotto at Hef's Playboy Mansion. You can swim, drink and be merry in a dark (yet well illuminated) 'cave' like area. Wonderful, no?

An earlier Grotto could be found on the grounds of Marie Antoinette's beloved Petit Trianon. The design of the Grotto was exquisite and during the 18th century nothing could be more 'in.' The English Garden style demanded a look of natural forms, nothing premeditated, so it was pure genius to place large rock forms here and there and have some 'natural' areas where water could run. It was all an illusion of the ideal Arcadian landscape, the result rather stunning. As visitors wandered through this landscape they would come across the grotto; where nature was overgrown, a curious entrance almost suffocated by vine and branches welcomed them accompanied by the calming sound of flowing water.

Inside the Grotto was cool, an ideal escape from the summer sun. Were there always boys hanging around this cavern of delight? Maybe.... It was private, and big enough to have a side entrance, allowing airflow and light to creep in. Enough light to enhance the secret waterfall within and the mossy walls. Antoinette was at this tranquil escape when warning of the mob reached her in 1789. How bittersweet!

11 comments

  1. can i have one of those please???

    back on to tess...

    i love the fact that yes..alec is more dangerous then creepy so i like that. it makes it a bit better that she "lost her innocence" to someone who is more handsome and dangerous and not pervy and creepy.

    mr claire is a bit younger then i'd expect but as i think about it...i love his innocence and the protection that he gives to tess. he seems ignorant to the evils of ife and you know what they say...."ignorance is bliss"!

    i can hardly wait until next week...

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  2. "it makes it a bit better that she "lost her innocence" to someone who is more handsome and dangerous and not pervy and creepy."

    Ha so true! Sad either way for Tess but it reads well.

    Isn't the grotto fab? Madame Elizabeth had her own grotto too. These ladies were tres posh! Mine would also need a waterfall...

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  3. Love the grotto and loved Tess even more!

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  4. A tranquil escape indeed...who doesn't need one of these every so often??

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  5. Honestly! I could use a Grotto every day around 2pm! :o)

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  6. I've yearned for a grotto for ages. I even think Georgiana had one. (I didn't find it at Chatsworth but who has time to do it all?)

    As long as I want a grotto I may as well wish for a small Belvedere in which to have tea. And a maze. And some ruins. And....

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  7. hmm good point... I remember a tall rocky area - but it was to wet and slippery to explore (I think it was too buggy too) But I do not know if that was the official Grotto at Chatsworth. I'm calling in Heather on this one!

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  8. My husband wants a hot tub. Maybe I can convince him to build me a grotto. Of course we do not have money for either. Ahh...to live like a queen, except for all that danger and stuff.

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  9. I want one I want one!

    Were I queen, I would put my grotto a short distance away from my shoe and purse house.

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  10. Oh Lauren, with your wonderful post about Marie-antoinette's grotto, I was inspired today-
    I linked you in my post this morning:

    www.enchantedbyjosephine.blogspot.com

    Have a great day!

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