Travel: Day Trip to Polesden Lacey in the Mist

January 2, 2017

polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, formal gardens gate angle, National Trust properties tourImage: Design Soda

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Happy New Year people, hope you all had good ones, I’m easing myself into 2017 with a gentle post today on our recent day trip to Polesden Lacey, near Dorking. This is exactly my kind of daytrip, a place with nature and a house that reminds me of the countless interwar novels I’ve read, with an interior I could feel at home in and all coinciding on one of those days we’ve had recently where the outdoors is engulfed in beautiful delicate clouds of ethereal mist. Winding down country roads, with trees above our heads forming arches and silver birches lining borders, all surrounded in enveloping mist, made for the very definition of other-worldliness in my eyes and just what I needed the week before Christmas. 

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polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, main house, National Trust properties tour

Image: Design Soda

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I love where we live now, one of the very best things about it is its proximity to countryside. I love still being a part of London (technically, just hanging in there as the last borough this side of the city) but equally having nature on our doorstep and a wealth of national trust properties and landscapes. 

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polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, garden gate, National Trust properties tour

Image: Design Soda

.polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, architectural detail front, National Trust properties tour

Image: Design Soda

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Polesden Lacey, on the North Downs, owned by society hostess Margaret Greville during the Edwardian era, is a true icon of pre-war opulence and glamour. Remodeled in 1906 from its Regency structure by the architects behind The Ritz in London, this is a house with both glamour and charm.

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polesden lacey, surrey, bells architectural detail

Image: Design Soda

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polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, architectural detail, National Trust properties tour

Image: Design Soda

Past the Faberge’s and gilt, I think the real treasures of these places are in the architectural detailing, look at the beauty of that telescopic rule (above), the servants quarters and the façade. I just love the colour and elegance of the façade (below), imagine sitting with book in hand and views for miles on a hot summers day against this backdrop.

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polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, main house from path, National Trust properties tour

Image: Design Soda

 

polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, house detail, National Trust properties tour

Image: Design Soda

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I’m always enchanted by these kinds of property, having read a great many British inter-war novels set in their quiet affluence, I can picture Sebastian on the roof in The Edwardians, or picnics and plundering the cellars for wine in Brideshead, Nettleby’s shooting party and as many Elizabeth Bowen, Rosamund Lehmann or Nancy Mitford references as you care to mention. 

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polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, formal gardens gate edge, National Trust properties tour

Image: Design Soda

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polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, fountain cherubs, National Trust properties tour

Image: Design Soda

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Its amazing how evocative these buildings can be, I often look around these kinds of places and have a line from Rupert Brooke, completely out of context, in my head, that these unchanging corners are ‘forever England’ in a rather beautiful and slightly alien but also very comforting way.  

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polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, formal gardens gate detail, National Trust properties tour

Image: Design Soda

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polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, view, National Trust properties tour

Image: Design Soda

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On a hot summers day, you can see views of the Surrey hills for miles, this was my overriding impression when we visited seven years ago, but who needs views when you can have a vista of mist like this (above)? So magical to see a real country houses wrapped in clouds of mist like this. It was a real treasure I don’t think I’ll forget for a while, it makes me want to find a comfy armchair, a cup of tea and a Persephone imprint of a novel from this period… it’s still the bank holiday, if I can get Dan to take out the little person maybe I will! What are you up to today?

polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, formal gardens gate detail, National Trust properties tour

Image: Design Soda

polesden lacey, surrey, in the mist, architectural detail back, National Trust properties tour

Image: Design Soda


polesden lacey, surrey, National Trust properties england

Image: Design Soda


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