But I didn't spend too long looking at the walls because I was eager to move through to the costume exhibition. It's very well laid out, with plenty of space between the costumes for people to mill about and take photos. Lizzy and Darcy's wedding outfits are on display, as well as their walking outfits. There are the Bingley sisters' ball gowns, one of Kitty's outfits (or possible Lydia's, I'll have to watch the DVD again to be sure :) ) and Mr Darcy's white shirt. Yes, THE shirt.
When I'd gazed longingly at the costumes - and, of course had some photos taken - I went through to the small wardrobe room where there are costumes for visitors to try on. There are children's outfits as well as outfits for men and women. I noticed a red coat for the men, but my eye was drawn to the gorgeous high-waisted dresses. I couldn't resist, I slipped one on and I loved it so much I wore it for the rest of the day! It had short sleeves and I thought I would freeze, but once I'd topped it with a cloak it was surprisingly warm. The cloak was velvet and it was lined, and it felt as warm as my usual outdoor coat.
Then I went through to the shop, where Paul and I chatted before customers started to arrive. I introduced myself and chatted about my books, and copies of Mr Darcy's Diary and Pride and Pyramids flew off the tables. People were buying Christmas presents or gifts for good friends and family members, or buying for themselves. I loved signing the books and I couldn't believe how busy I was. It was a fantastic day, and once I went home I had a chance to relive it all on facebook.
Best of all, I was going back again on Sunday to do it all again. This time, Paul had dressed up and looked fantastic in a high-collared shirt, waistcoat and cravat. He posed in a top hat, too. He has the most incredible eye for detail and real flair when it comes to display, as you can see from the photos. The suitcase, books, quill and top hat really set the scene on the display table and I love to see my books there.
But the real highlight is meeting people. I met one of my facebook friends, Jayne, and it was lovely to meet face to face after knowing each other online. She was there with her friend Carolyn and the three of us couldn't stop talking. And, last but not least, the giant Mr Darcy is walking out of the lake!
Amanda GrangePS One of my Regency romances, One Snowy Night (UK) or One Snowy Night (US) (originally published under the title Rebecca's Refusal) is in a Kindle countdown offer for 99p at the moment (Tuesday -but please check the price before buying as the offer ends soon)