A PERFECT DAY AT BARON ROTHSCHILDS’ WADDESDON MANOR
If you love the opulence of old world-glamour, serious interior envy ahead!
Dr C’s brother and his family live in London and we all agreed a catch-up was most certainly well overdue! It was then that I had the idea that we could make use of our National Trust membership and opt for a day out at one of their properties, especially as they always have something for everyone. There’s usually history, gardens and a lovely house to admire for the adults and well there are usually huge outdoor spaces and abundant adventure playgrounds and ice-cream for the kids! It seems Dr C’s brother also had the same idea and funnily enough we both somehow came up with the same venue suggestion, Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire.
When we arrived, it was obvious to see this was going to be a well-planned day out, on the part of The National Trust. After parking up, there is a bus that takes you to the entrance of the manor house and gardens or you can opt to walk as we did. This took us around 15 minutes and you end up at the back of the Manor house where the outrageously beautiful tulip display is really something else!
NOW FOR THE HISTORY BIT….
The Rothschilds were the most powerful banking family in the 18th Century. They were 5 brothers who originally came from the Jewish ghetto in Frankfurt and went on to set up a multinational bank in Europe’s financial capitals.
Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild came into his inheritance in 1874 and decided he wanted to build a summer retreat as a getaway from the London city life. The house was completed in 1883 and was just as Baron Ferdinand had envisaged – a 16th century French-style Renaissance Cháteaux from the Loire Valley.
During the second World War, the rooms were all emptied and 100 children were evacuated from London and bought to stay here to escape the conditions in the city.
Once the war was over, Baron de Rothschild was concerned for what the future had in store for Waddesdon and therefore bequeathed it to the National Trust. The Baron also left a large donation to guarantee the upkeep of the property and also as a specimen of the famous 19th century ‘Rothschild style’ which today draws in the crowds.
The house was open to the public in 1959 and was chaired by the Baron’s widow until she passed in 1988.
During the 1990s a wine cellar was created and today the Rothschild’s Foundation continues to provide financial backing as well as managing the property on behalf of the National Trust.
The gardens at Waddesdon can be enjoyed at your leisure however entry into the manor house is timed and must be pre-booked from the information desk or online
LETS GO THROUGH THE KEYHOLE….
Our tour was scheduled for 2pm, so without further a do, lets start.
As you walk through the huge brown front door, you can see 24 indoor staff were recorded to have worked to keep this magnificent opulent property in pristine condition. Feel free to peruse the floor plans in more depth.
The Red Drawing Room
My favorite of all, The Dining Room
The Musical Mechanical Elephant
Every girls dream…..a princess bed
A Classy toilet bowls!
The Bright blue china plates collection
A more modern dining setting
The Suitably polished silverware
I hope you enjoyed that quick photo-tour around Waddesdon Manor house…..just to add that there is the (obligatory) very upmarket gift shop and wine cellars also adjoining the house. As well as the usual gift souvenirs, you can purchase a variety of the Cabernet Rothschilds from the wine store.
HOUSE DONE, LETS MAKE A START ON THE GROUNDS
Towards the back of the manor house is The Parterre, which is overlooked by many of the principle and guest bedrooms and consists of over 100 different types of plants. This is known as the formal part of the garden. There are many components of the garden including a rockery, a rose garden, numerous Victorian French statues and the piece de resistance an Avery,
Amongst the acres of gardens there are The Stables, which house a cute burger café and outdoor courtyard for artisan drinks and snacks. Additionally there is a Treaterie serving all kinds of sweet treats! As if that’s not enough, dotted around the grounds are small ice-cream and snack stalls to keep you satisfied throughout your walk.
If you fancy something a bit more formal, the ground floor of the manor house, which used to be the old servants hall, has now been transformed into the Manor Restaurant which also serves the good old British classic afternoon tea!
So that’s it for Waddesdon Manor, the tour has come to an end! If you’ve had such an amazing time in this beautiful Cháteaux style residence with its luscious gardens, and can’t bear to leave so soon, you can always stay overnight at The Five Arrows Hotel, stadning at the gates of the manor.
Please do let me know if my tour of Waddesdon Manor has inspired you to take a trip. Also if any of you are tying the knot soon and are looking for wedding venues, I think the beautiful French inspired châteaux would make a stunning backdrop for those all-important wedding snaps. Certainly memories to treasure…..what do you think?
Tel: 01296 820414
You can find out more The National Trust Waddesdon Manor website