A few weeks back on one of the hottest days of the year we were challenged by Brancott Estate wines to do something for the very first time for their #BrancottFirsts campaign. We choose to take a quintessentially English picnic in the grounds of beautiful Waddesdon Manor, located near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, only about a mostly very scenic hour and a half drive away from London.
Built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1874 as a country retreat in the style of a grand Loire chateau it’s now a National Trust property administered by a Rothschild charitable trust. The manor was built in the style of a Neo-Renaissance château of the Loire Valley between 1874 and 1889 to display the Baron’s outstanding collection of art treasures and to entertain the fashionable world.
The gardens offer fine well kept gardens, immaculate lawns and beautiful vistas opening up across the Chilterns. During the spring and the summer, the series of gardens are ablaze with colour and all year round they offer a very impressive collection of garden statuary. The formal gardens open up to rolling parkland with hidden glades, magnificent woodland and picturesque views and vistas of the vastly underrated Chilterns.
The house is both unusual – unlike anything other country house I’ve seen in England – and magnificent and unsurprisingly the house and grounds have provided the background to many a film and TV series including the 2006 production The Queen and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
On our picnic, complete with wicker basket, an ample supply of strawberries and sandwiches and hours of unbroken glorious sunshine, I felt enveloped in a bubble of an England time forgot…
This post was brought to you in partnership with Brancott Estates Wines. Photos by Gary Nunn.