Autumn comes stealthily. A touch of orange on a leaf. A few berries on a tree or bush. Late summer flowers starting to dominate our gardens. Conkers falling and squirrels out foraging in our local parks. It's my favourite season, although I'd like it even more if it weren't followed by winter, my least favourite!
When the architect Sir John Soane built his weekend retreat, Pitzhanger Manor, in what was then rural Ealing, his aim was to design a showcase for his own idiosyncratic architectural style with its stripped classical detail, radical colour schemes and inventive use of space and light. Here he would entertain some of the most influential people of the day.