Saturday, 11 February 2017

Polesden Lacey in February

We had intended to visit Polesden Lacey last Tuesday, but on checking the website for the opening time discovered that it was closed for the day for ‘staff training’.  On Friday morning Brian suggested we visit Polesden Lacey.  I can’t say I was overly keen; the weather outside looked awful.  Anyway, chores finished we set off, calling at a local garden centre on the way for a cup of coffee and hoping that the light drizzle would have stopped by the time we got to our destination.    Sadly the weather only got worse as the day wore on – the light drizzle became a steady drizzle with flurries of occasional sleet.   We took the winding walk to the House with hood up, cap on and heads down.   Not that we could see anything anyway – everything was shrouded in a heavy drizzly mist.

Polesden Lacey is the first National Trust property to be open every day  (apart from 'staff training' days which turned out to be an AGM at Dorking Halls!).   It seems they are now doing tours of the house and we had to wait until 11.30 for the first tour.  We were both a tad disappointed not to be able to see the whole house, and we particularly wanted to see Polesden Lacey’s first exhibition of Lady Greville artefacts that had not been seen by the public before.  It seems this would not be open until 12.30.  We actually enjoyed the tour. Our guide, Elizabeth, really set the scene on life at Polesden Lacey when Maggie Greville lived there.    After the tour we set off back to the entrance and a warming bowl of butternut squash and chilli soup.  We really needed it as the house is not overly warm and, of course, we had walked back through the heavy drizzle.   We set off again back to the house to see the exhibition.  Again, we were a bit disappointed, it was rather sparse and we seemed to whizz round it in no time.   We did think that the staff were not well organised.  There were no signs to the exhibition.  We were just told it was 'upstairs', so up we went only to find we should have gone up a different stairway which was off a small room we had not gone into.    

Polesden Lacey was the country retreat of Lady Greville who entertained lavishly both there and at her London House.  She became friends with King Edward VII and the late Queen Mother, who were often guests.  King George VI and Queen Elizabeth spent part of their honeymoon at Polesden Lacey.

Puddles and mist on our way to the house

Roller skates.  Apparently the staff used to roller skate in the long corridor when Lady Greville was away!

From a distance I wondered what these 'statues' were.  On closer inspection I am non the wiser - they are covered in some sort of  protective sheeting.

Some flowers braving the wet and cold