I've just got back from the glorious and spectacular Hopetoun House, outside Edinburgh, which was Wednesday's location for the Antiques Roadshow. Billed as 'Scotland's Finest Stately Home', it certainly didn't disappoint, although I've always been a sucker for anything with a long gravel drive, Classical columns and a garden with a ha-ha. Arguably even better than the house were the people.
Peering out through the window shortly before our 8.30am safety briefing, the queue had already begun to stretch from one side of the house to the other. And it remained like that for most of this beautifully sunny day - Edinburgh's antiques and collectables hunters and fans turned out in their droves. By the end of a challenging but highly enjoyable day, every single person had seen an expert, and many went home grinning broadly and clutching their bags just a little bit tighter.
Amongst the many items I saw, was a collection of 'The Broons' and 'Oor Wullie' comic books in truly mint condition, a nice early 19thC Sunderland Bridge glass, and a rare Royal Doulton 'Marietta' figurine from the 1930s. Values ranged from a couple of hundred pounds for the glass to a fair few thousand pounds for the comic books. But value doesn't always matter - I was perhaps most excited by a selection of mid-20thC whaling memorabilia carved by the owner's father that was nothing less than charming. With all of this in mind, I'm really looking forward to coming back on Thursday 2nd July for another Roadshow, just down the road at Abbotsford House in Melrose. Hope to see you there.