Saturday, 30 September 2017

ms-havachat visits Waddensdon Manor

Thanks Google Images and someone from trip advisor
for posting this amazing aerial shot.

Waddensdon Manor is half way between where I live and a friend, so it seemed the logical place to meet for a coffee'n'chat.

Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild wanted an escape from London, where he and his family could relax and unwind, entertain friends. Land was purchased in 1874 with money he inherited, and the foundation stones were laid in 1877.

The Manor was designed in the style of a French Chateua and competed in 1883. Six years later, electric and running water were added. (don't know about you but I often wonder at how electric and water, and indeed bathrooms were added to existing buildings without extensive re-work)

After the war, the Manor was bequeathed to the National Trust, and was opened to the public in 1959.

It is managed by The Rothschild Foundation on behalf of the National Trust.

You visit beings as you drive through these impressive gates,

continue past fields and follow the signs to the car park,

and as we did, think 'where's the manor house?"

Don't fret - it's there .... beyond the National Trust Welcome House (aka ticket office). There's a small courtesy bus that takes you up to the House past the Stables. You can walk. We were told it's 20 minutes to half an hour (there's a small/medium hill) and as we were short on time (school pick up beckoned) we opted for the bus.

The first time you see the house it takes your breath away. Just look at it! And the blue sky! Both were spectacular.

So pleased with how my photo turned out!
The house is open from noon, and as usual we were early which worked in our favour as we had time to stroll the gardens and have a coffee. We didn't do ALL the grounds - that would take hours, but the areas we did see we enjoyed very much.

It's a self guided tour and simply read the sheets of information available. There are National Trust volunteers in some rooms who are only too happy to answer questions and chat.

Around the corner and BAM! the largest, most elegant aviary I've ever seen. The birdlife was intriguing and the sounds delightful. The garden in the front of the building was being prepared for winter flowers. 

Sorry about the shadows, but you get the feel for how large and stunning it is.

The gardens and grounds at the back of the house are vast - this photo from Google images is one expample of the spring flowers (we went last week, so most of the garden is being prepared for winter or next spring)

This photo and the one below really captured our
imagination. Princesses and princes,
castles and romance.

The grand drive way leading up to the front door made us think of all the grand parties and balls that would have been held here, of the famous (and not so famous) guests and the staff who would have been there to greet them (ok, maybe too much Downton Abbey viewing)

Once inside WOW where does one look? 

The Rothschild Family own one of the world's largest and most impressive art collections. The furnishings, desks, ornaments and statues were incredible. 

The decor is a dream study for anyone with an interest in historical interior design. 

It would be a nightmare for any domestic goddess to look after and maintain.

Fascinated that most rooms had a desk, if not two.
There were drawing rooms and sitting rooms everywhere.

It might be easier for you to have a look at Google Images for high quality images of the interior. Mainly because my phone's camera didn't do justice, and I was too busy reading and looking to take more photos.  

The dining rooms were sumptuous! The place settings and serving crockery and silver ware was beautiful. Again, we closed our eyes and just imaged the dinner parties that were enjoyed here. 

Top: Dining table.
Left: Wine service table
Right: Food service table.
The other fascinating aspect of the house were the number (and location) of guest bedrooms and bathrooms. 

We had a lovely day, but sadly weren't able to spend too long exploring as we both had long drives home and had to be back for school pick up.

There's a cafe and restaurant on site (probably best to book), not sure about picnics (but it's worth asking as the grounds near the car park are lovely). The village of Aylesbury is very pretty and there's places to eat close by. 

I can't wait to go back and continue exploring, taking more time to enjoy all that's on offer. 

If you've been, I'd love to hear what you thought about it.

With friendship

For more information:

Address: Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JH
Waddensdon Estate

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