Hello, and Happy Monday to you! Did you get up to anything fun this weekend? As I mentioned on Friday, I had a Sunday picnic planned somewhere special, and although the weather didn’t quite co-operate (nothing more British than eating al fresco while wrapped up in coats and scarves, I’m telling you), the setting was a knockout.
Eltham Palace is one of my favourite historic homes in Britain, and I’ve been to plenty, let me tell you. Located in the southeastern borough of Greenwich, it was built by Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in the 1930′s on the site of one of the old royal palaces. Of the original Medieval buildings nothing but ruins remained, but the new owners restored the Grand Hall to its 1470s glory, and added a modern wing, designed in the Art Deco style.
The interiors of Eltham are beautiful, and quite unique among the (seemingly endless) parade of grand British houses from the Jacobean, Edwardian, Regency and Tudor (etc, etc) eras. I’m a huge fan of Art Deco as a rule, and this home, with its circular, domed entrance hall, chic furniture, decorative details (hello, gold-mosaic bathroom) is an excellent example of the style. The gardens, which are extensive and wonderfully maintained, are also a delight to wander on a warm (or, let’s be honest, chilly) summer’s day.