Sunday, a couple of weeks ago, we visited Waddeson Manor in Aylesbury - I had vague recollections that we'd visited once before and when we looked through our old photos, it was 6 years ago! Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild built this Manor in the 1870s to house his art collections and hosted many house parties for politicians, the social elite including Edward VII. Guests commented on the level of luxury service by his staff and Queen Victoria unusually requested to pay a visit!
A lot had changed in 6 years. You can no longer drive right up to the Manor - there is now a dedicated parking area which is adjacent to the ticketing office and a courtesy shuttle bus drops you off right here. What an impressive view!
Hubby had booked an "Afternoon Tea" - first sitting actually starts at 12:00 pm and is served until late afternoon. You have to book in advance and are given a time slot. Our booking was for 12:30 pm and it interrupted our tour of the house. We asked permission for a re-entry to finish the tour after we finished our meal.
It made a lovely change not to have finger sandwiches. Our first course was a selection of fresh out of the oven savouries.....
...followed by the sweet course which included scone and clotted cream.
The Blue Dining Room marked the end of the house tour - and this is the piece that I remembered from our last visit 6 years ago! Funny what sticks in your mind. A modern take on a chandelier made of modern broken porcelain - this "art" work was designed by Ingo Maurer and the piece is called "Porca Miseria" which translated from Italian means "Oh my goodness"!
The gardens were equally impressive.
On our last visit, the cast iron aviary erected in 1889 was clad with scaffolding, obviously they'd been carrying out extensive renovation works, but here it is in all its glory! Approximately a third of the species in the Aviary are at risk of extinction and Waddeson participates in captive breeding programmes with the aim of reintroducing birds into their native habitat.
The thing that caught our eyes was this 3-Dimensional bedding. A gigantic bird-like framework of iron filled with soil and moss, closely planted with a variety of plants to represent the colouring seen on tropical birds.
All good things come to an end, and we opted to walk off our afternoon tea with a brisk walk back to our car through the beautiful grounds.
Wherever you may be, whatever you're doing today, have a good one!