Christmas

Travel -Polesden Lacey- Christmas as in the 1930’s

This is one of those places that you should make a point of visiting, it is both enjoyable and gives a fascinating insight into another era, the 1930’s.   To make it easier its also worth joining the National Trust as they run many places which are individual and different.  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/

Polesden Lacey was the home to Maggie Greville and who became one of the notable socialites of her day.  The story is given by the National Trust at

 https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/polesden-lacey/features/maggie-greville-the-last-owner-of-polesden-lacey

When one considers that George 6th spent a week of his honeymoon at the estate then the Royal connections clear 

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/polesden-lacey/features/polesden-laceys-royal-honeymoon

Before you get to  the estate the scale of the Christmas celebrations in the 1930’s are clear for all.  Not only is there a large arch but also there is also a very large Christmas wreath 

On the way to the house there are 2 sculptures which makes conjures up 2 playful toddlers who would be running around and generally enjoying themselves

Inside the hall there is a magnificent Christmas tree which goes the full height to the first floor landing.  If your tree is within your lounge then be prepared for serious Christmas tree envy.   
 The next room is laid out for a meal.   At each place setting was a napkin with a brief history of the person who had sat there on that particular day.  Nearby was a lovely pair of crystal decanters filled with relevant seasonal spirits.
In the next door servants quarters was a magnificent selection of dishes.  A wonderful way to appreciate how things were then.  The period nature of the fixtures included an early vacuum cleaner- still recognisable if rather dated.   

There were other insights to how the house was run with the servants call board visible.  Amongst this were the calls for the Kings suite of rooms

Beyond the dining room was the smoking room and billiard table room.  All were wonderfully furnished with a whole range of items exactly as they were originally.  Although the grand piano was a replacement the fact that a National Trust volunteer was there playing it did add to the atmosphere.  And yes the game was Monopoly and it is almost identical to the one we can all recall playing

Beyond these rooms were special rooms set aside for the ladies and here again they were very well equipped

As a final part of the tour we visited the gardens which had a very special view down to the valley beyond

Finally there is a very good National Trust tea room.  There was hot food to enjoy.  The cakes were definitely of a high standard and looked as if something similar could have been  served at the 1930 Christmas event.

The gift shop also was very high quality with many locally produced items included high class pottery.  There was also National Trust food including Orange and Ginger Christmas Marmalade and other seasonal  flavours.  Also available was bottled Mulled Wine and other drinks including an award winning “Champagne” from the Denbies Vineyard at Dorking.   

The whole estate is heavily dependent on volunteers who help in the house, gardens, shop and cafe.  There are said to be 800 of them.  If you have time to spare then speak to the National Trust.  Certainly this Christmas House party seemed to be a fun event.  As I understand it the guides in each room  were volunteers and they got to wear costumes from the 1930’s.   

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