We also were lucky to be visiting on a day when the breakfast room was open to the public. It has 8 portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds including a self-portrait. You will notice that I have no interior pictures as photography was not allowed (I did sneak a few in the vault) but I didn't want to jeapordize our visit to the private apartment.
This is a very large house but it retains the feeling of a family home with the inclusion of family pictures on tables and mantles.
The Canaletto Room is unbelievable. It is a magnificent blend of red, white and gold. The 21 pictures are spotlighted in a way that shows them to perfection. The long windows in this room overlook the private gardens on one side and the lake on the other.
There is a delightful portrait in the Hall of Lady Georgina (Byng) Russell. She was too lively to fit the mold of the ususal Duchess of Bedford and received critisism for her lack of decorum. It didn't seem to bother her a bit.
In the long Tudor gallery, you can get a history lesson in portraits of the Tudor dynasty. There is a famous painting of Queen Elizabeth I by George Gower where she has her hand on a globe, to her left is Jane Seymour and above Jane, Charles Brandon and Mary Tudor (his wife). Also above Elizabeth are Edward VI and a young Queen Mary.
In the vaults there are cases of Meissen, Japanese porcelein and a magnifient Sevres set with the Vincennes Blue color. There are also rooms of silver which are mind boggeling and gold plate dinner serving pieces.
By now a case of lovely minatures seems to be a lovely relief from all the oppulence. The minatures include a beatiful portrait of Lady Georgina as a child, Napoleon, Elizabeth Keppel and Rachel Wroithesy.
The tour takes you up and down stairs several times. If you are not able to do this then you will be unable to visit here.
There is a restaurant here as well as a very upscale Antique Center and 2 gift shops.
Cost of entry is 7 pounds and the headphone tour is an additional pound. It is covered on the Great British Heritage Pass. The house is open from April to Sept 30 everyday 11am-5pm. It is open on weekends from January 1-March 25 and October 6-28th.
September 29, 2001
From journal Travels in East Anglia