“Your stately home awaits, Ma’am”
“As Downton returns to our screens tonight, don’t just dream of the high life. Live it – in your own party palace. You look good in a bow tie or pearls and have a talent for being waited on: you’ve got all you need to lord it over your very own stately home … apart from a stately home. But you’re in luck: many of our landed gentry are now willing to hand over their manor houses, lock, stock and barrel, to paying guest for a day or three. Yes, it costs aristo cash, but split it between a big gang and you can have a house-party pad fit for the grandest occasion at a humble price: our medieval hall comes out at £112 each per night. Earls and countesses in the making, read on. STANFORD HALL, Lutterworth, Leicestershire This William and Mary house has been in the same family since the 1690s and was described by Simon Jenkins, former chairman of the National Trust, as floating ‘like a palace of romance across a distant meadow”. Downton’s snooty Carson would be quite satisfied with the ballrooms’ frescoed ceiling and wall-to-wall portraits of Stuart kings. There is plenty of elbow room for 14 in the main house, and you can stick those whose lineage isn’t quite up to scratch in the stable block (which costs extra). Stanford offers a butler service, too.
MEET THE FAMILY: Paul Cave-Browne-Cave, descended from the ninth baronet, was the singer Frankie Vaughan’s manager.
HIRE THE HOUSE: One night starts at £3,600 for up to 14 guests, including staff and breakfast; book through Loyd & Townsend Rose (01835 824642), https://ltrcastles.com).
KINROSS HOUSE, Perth and Kinross Sir William Bruce was Scotland’s answer to Sir Christopher Wren. He cut his teeth on the Palace of Holyroodhouse before turning his attention to his own home on Loch Leven, one of the loveliest spots in the Scottish lowlands. The result is an opulent house regarded as the most important neoclassical Paladian mansion north of the border. It is built for entertaining, with a grand salon, separate gentlemen’s and ladies’ drawing rooms, and a dangerously well-stocked whisky library. Stroll down to the loch, look back and see if you agree with Daniel Defoe, who throught it “the most beautiful piece of architecture, perhaps in all Britain”.
MEET THE FAMILY: Kinross was Bruce’s masterpiece, but also his swan song. He died in 1710, before the interiors were finished.
HIRE THE HOUSE: One night starts at £14,400 for up to 24 guests, including staff and breakfast; book through Loyd & Townsend Rose (01835 824642, https://ltrcastles.com).”
Article by Susan d’Arcy for The Sunday Times, 20th September 2015This entry was posted in Press & Media and tagged downton, grand, kinross house, mansions, party, stanford hall, stately home, susan d'arcy, The Sunday Times .