Woburn Journals

Visits to the Treasure Houses of England

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A September 2001 trip to Woburn by zabelle

Burghley Photo, Woburn, England More Photos
Quote: When it comes to opulence the English are unsurpassed. A visit to their country homes is a real eye opener. Newport pales in the shadow of Blenheim, Waddesdon Manor and Woburn.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Richer

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Overview

Burghley Photo, Woburn, England
Quote:
Step aside upstart American millionaires and meet the men who set the bar for extravagant homes. These houses dot the English countryside like a chain of diamonds, each of a different size and cut but gems every one. Frankly, after the first couple it reminds me of when you go out to buy a car, you want to spent ,000. But if you want ABS brakes its ,000 and if you want leather seats its ,000 and when you find your perfect color at ,000 its doesn't seem too expensive. The Duke has 3 Reynolds, the Earl has 4 Gainsboroughs, the Marquess has 8 Canaletto's and pretty soon owning 2 Van Dykes and 4 Monets seems routine. Call it sensory overload of the most amazing sort. Quick Tips: Try t...Read More

The Orangery at Burghley

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Restaurant | "The Orangery Restaurant"

The Orangery at Burghley Photo, Lincolnshire, England
Quote:
This is a small cafe that overlooks the gardens. We were able to walk there after we had lunch. The soup of the day was "Broccoli and Brie", served in a small tureen with fresh baked rolls. We decided to try some sandwiches. We had mature cheddar with Suffolk chutney (a sweet, coursly cut relish made from fruit) and ham with English grain mustard. The rolls were hand-thrown and the ham was sliced off a cooked ham, not the deli sort. The sandwiches were dressed with sprouts and green and yellow peppers. They were very substancial and tasty too. I got brave and ordered traditional lemonade. I always hoped it will be like home but I was wrong again. It was weird tasting and ve...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 6, 2001

The Orangery at Burghley
Burghley House
Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 3JY

The Stewards Restaurant

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Restaurant

The Stewards Restaurant Photo, Woburn, England
Quote:
This restaurant is what you wish every Castle Restaurant was. The decor was very pretty, pink and floral. The waitress was prompt and very friendly. We were seated very quickly and our drinks were brough immediately. We were delighted to find that we were sharing the dining room with the cast of the murder mystery, their costumns were a dead (excuse the pun) giveaway. The specials of the day were vegetable or meat lasagna, steak , mushroom and ale pie and fish pie. But in our ususal fashion we didn't order the specials. I ordered a jacket potato with chicken mayo. Al had steak pie and Joe had pork pie. Al's steak pie was exactly what you would expect, tender, flaky pie crust over...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2001

The Stewards Restaurant
Belvoir
Woburn, England

The Manor Restaurant

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Restaurant

The Manor Restaurant Photo, Woburn, England
Quote:
The Manor Restaurant is one of two at Waddesdon Manor. It is the more formal of the two. It has monthly changing menu that incorporates both British and Rothchild family recipes. It offers a daily carvery, which was pork the day we were there. Our waitress was French and her name was Isabelle. All the waitstaff sounded French. Al & Joe had roast pork on a baguette with a small salad. It was cut fresh at the carvery table. They said it was very good. I had corn and sorrel soup with a baguette. It was made from Michel Roux's recipe. He used to cook for Mlle Cecile Rothchild. They offered traditional lemonade here and again I ordered it. And yes, it was real, tart and sweet at the same time. Truly w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2001

The Manor Restaurant
Waddesdon Manor
Woburn, England

Houghton Hall

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Attraction

Houghton Hall Photo, Woburn, England
Quote:
Houghton Hall was built by Robert Walpole in 1720. He was the first offical Prime Minister of England. Neither his personal fortune nor his salary were adequate to finance this house. In those days the lines were blurred between state money and personal money. There were many ways to get kick backs for promotions and favors etc. He was also able to give himself titles and jobs with amazing salaries. He was created the Marquess of Chumley. Houghton is probably the finest Paladian House in England. The present Marquess is trying to restore the rooms to their appearance in Walpole's time. So you get the impression of stepping back in time and feel like a guest in the 18th century. Many of the inte...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 7, 2001

Houghton Hall
A148
Woburn, England

Holkham

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Attraction | "Holkham Hall"

Holkham Photo, Woburn, England
Quote:
Holkham Hall is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Leicester. Seven generations of Cookes (pronounced Coke) have lived here. It is one of Britain's most majestic stately homes. When I asked if photography was allowed, the person smiled and said "We're not National Trust" I took that to mean yes. There is a headphone tour offered and we took it. On his grand tour Thomas Cooke developed a taste for the antique style in the manner of Palladio. This house is his answer. You enter into the Marble Hall where you get to view the acquisitions from his grand tour, a fine collection of ancient statuary. The most valuable piece in the collection is a statue of Diana said to have belonged to Cice...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 7, 2001

Holkham
A 149
Woburn, England

Blenheim Palace

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Attraction

Blenheim Palace Photo, Woodstock, England
Quote:
Blenheim Palace was built for John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough in thanks for his victory against the French at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. It took 28 years to complete. The Duke never lived to see it finished, that was left to his wife Sarah, great friend of Queen Anne's for most of her life. But what people most remember Blenheim for is the birth here on November 30, 1874 of Winston Churchill. His mother attended a party and he made an early entrance into the world. His cousin was the Duke of Marlborough who married the American Consuelo Vanderbilt. The house is still owned by the Duke of Marlborough and he was in residence the day we visited. One thing I noticed that was new on this v...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2001

Blenheim Palace

Woodstock OX20 1PX
+44 (1993) 811091

Burghley House

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Attraction | "Burghley"

Burghley House Photo, Lincolnshire, England
Quote:
Burghley has been home to the Cecil family for four centuries. It is the largest and grandest of the Elizabethan homes. William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer (1565-1587) was the designer and builder of Burghley. Building began in 1555 and took 32 years to complete. Your tour of Burghley, and you must go on a tour, begins in the kitchens, our guide was Kathleen King. No interior photography was allowed and really I had no opportunity to even sneak a picture. There is a lot of original detail in the kitchen and the vaulted ceiling had a hole in the center to let out the smoke. One interesting item in the kitchen was the copper boots that were filled with hot water to warm or dry his lordships boots. There...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2001

Burghley House
Burghley Pk
Stamford, England PE9 3JY
01780 752451

Queens Lancers Museum

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Attraction

Queens Lancers Museum Photo, Woburn, England
Quote:
The Queens Lancers Museum tells the history of the Regiment and its connection to Belvoir (it goes back to the 18th century when the John Manners recrited many of the officers and soldiers from the family estate). It was first established here in 1962 and in 1992 with the amalgamation of the 16th/5th Lancers and the 17th/21st Lancers it was decided to merge the Museums. The museum reopened in 1995 after a major renovation. As an American it was interesting to read about the American Revolution as just another skirmish in the Dragoons History. Though, even they had to admit that we turned out to be a much more formidable foe than they had anticipated. Unfortunately, photography was not...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2001

Queens Lancers Museum
Belvoir Castle
Woburn, England

Belvoir Castle

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Attraction

Belvoir Castle Photo, Leicestershire, England
Quote:
Belvoir (pronounced Beaver) is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland and their family. And also their chocolate labrador who is the only member of the family who we actually met and pet. You enter Belvoir throught the Portico which was built so that the important visitors could drive their cars inside so they would not be subject to the weather. The exisiting castle was built in the 19th century to replace one that was destroyed by fire. You purchase your tickets for entrance in the parking lot. From there you have a long, uphill walk to the castle. In the pre-Guard Room you can purchase a photography pass for 2pds. The room is filled with 18th century muskets, some of which are ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2001

Belvoir Castle
Grantham
Leicestershire NG32 1PE
44 (0)1476 871002

Saint Martin Church

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Attraction | "St Martin Church"

Saint Martin Church Photo, Woburn, England
Quote:
Like many thousands before us, we made the pilgrimage to Blaydon to see the grave of Sir Winston Churchill. You would expect that a statesman of his caliber would be buried at Westminster Abbey or St. Pauls in London, or at least in some guarded and locked family vault in an ancient church. Not so. It is a churchyard like hundreds of others in England. Very like the ones where my own ancestors are buried. There is nothing pretentious or ostentatious about his grave, or, for that matter, anyone in his family. It is a simple marker that looks like granite to me. But there is something poignant about that very simplicity. Close by his grave are his wife Clementine, his parents Randolph Churchhill, the Am...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 7, 2001

Saint Martin Church
Blaydon
Woburn, England

Waddesdon Manor

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Attraction

Waddesdon Manor Photo, Aylesbury, England
Quote:
Waddesdon Manor was built by Baron Ferdinand Rothchild to house his collection of decorative arts. His collection is on a par with that of the Wallace Collection and the Royal Collection. We went on Thursday so that we could visit the Bachelor Wing which is only open on Thursdays. The tickets into Waddesdon are timed to avoid over crowding and it helped a lot. There is a headphone tour which also added greatly to our enjoyment. The house was built to entertain. The Baron planned to show off his wonderful collection and did, to a vast array of the who's who of Victorian and Edwardian England. The condition of all his treasures is phenomenal due to the extraordinary efforts at preservati...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2001

Waddesdon Manor
A41 to Village of Waddesdon
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP18 0JH
01296 653226

The Bachelors Wing

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Attraction

Quote:
This is where the unmarried visitors stayed when they visited Waddesdon Manor. This was not on the headphone tour since it usually isn't open, and it is not in the guidebook either. It is too bad really because it was very interesting, and I would have liked to have more details to pass on. One of the rooms was the Billiards Room. It looks exactly like what you would expect, all red and green with a huge billiard table covered with a Persian cloth and lots of leather chairs for the men to sit in. The paneling is 16th century and belonged to the Montmerancy family. The smoking room had the look of a real family room, well a family room loaded with priceless treasures, but Joe says he could picture...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2001

The Bachelors Wing
Waddesdon Manor
Woburn, England

About the Writer

zabelle

zabelle
Portland, Connecticut

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