When in England you should make sure to pay a visit to Waddesdon Manor, a Louis XIV style French renaissance château built in the late 19th Century by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild.
Located in the heart of the Buckinghamshire countryside, the Manor was designed by architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur and was bequeathed to England’s National Trust in 1957.
The first floor has eight bedroom suites and eight small bedrooms for visiting ladies’ maids used to be on this floor. Special exhibition rooms, with a large collection of drawings, books, board games and textiles are currently located on the mansion’s second floor.
There is a bachelor’s wing with eight bedrooms, and the Smoking and Billiard Rooms, it was designed to accommodate and entertain the male guests at Baron Ferdinand’s house parties. The wine cellars were created during Waddesdon’s Centenary restoration and opened in 1994 with a visit by Queen Elizabeth. More than 10, 000 bottles of wine are stored in the vaults, documenting over 150 years of the Rothschild family’s ownership of two of the most famous Bordeaux vineyards: Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Mouton Rothschild.
The estate’s massive gardens can be enjoyed all year round, with impressive bedding planting to reflect the seasons and iconic carpet bedding planting. In 1990, Lord Rothschild initiated an extensive restoration program to recreate the garden’s original splendor, including work on the beautiful carpet bedding on the Parterre and in the Aviary Garden, and renovation of the Water Garden at the Dairy. The collection of garden sculpture has also been enriched, with the addition of works by contemporary artists.
Today visitors to the Manor can see a collections of 18th century French furnishings and 18th and 19th century paintings by Flemish, Dutch and French artists. Portraits by Reynolds and Gainsborough hanging in the Red Drawing Room and work by Dutch masters Hooch, Ruisdael, Cuyp and Dou hanging in the west wing’s morning room. Upstairs, the Manor has been partly restored with half of the space fitted as bedrooms and half of the space converted for exhibitions.
Waddesdon Manor can be seen in hit movies such as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), The Queen (2006), as well as the popular British television series Downton Abbey.
Waddesdon Manor is open to visitors from Wednesday to Sunday from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Both the house and gardens are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.