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Friday, 7 February 2014

Châteauesque and other fancy words

This was my view on leaving work today 


Not bad


As I looked up at Waddesdon, finally able to wander around outside in the blistering heat (I kid, I kid), I was reminded that I haven't yet written about the architecture of this crazy place I live and work in.

So here we go. Get ready for the fancy words.


Waddesdon Manor was commissioned by Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-1898) not long after the death of his wife Evelina (1839-1866). He had been intoxicated by the aesthetic of the châteaux of the Valois kings- buildings like this- and wanted something similar in England, but with all the comforts of modern day life. The architect for the job was Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur, who not only had an impressive name, but also had impressive credentials, having recently adapted the Château de Mouchy. 




Claire's back and she's wearing a snood
#moderndaycomfort


The style chosen was 'Châteauesque', or Châtaeu+, as I (and Google) like to call it. Wikipedia calls it 'eclectic' but I prefer to think of it as 'intelligently nuts'. Somewhere between a C19th American hotel and a C16th French castle, it is adorned with sweeping staircases, disney towers, grimacing gargoyles, and accessorised with many, many finials. 


For Ferdinand, comfort meant electricity, French and Italian chefs and central heating. I'm told that Queen Victoria asked for the lights to be turned on and off repeatedly when she visited. She also (apparently) asked for the menu to be sent back to the palace, so impressed was she with its design. There is no mention of her thoughts on the central heating. I imagine they were positive. 




Spot another royal
Hint: it's not me



The entire estate was erected over twenty years on the site of a farming property with a 600-foot malformed cone at its centre. Exotic, fully grown trees were brought in, and gave the impression of woodland. 


Too big for the camera



Both the interior and the exterior are patchworks of old and new. The ancient is uplifted and placed in a new arrangement, in many cases saving it from destruction. Perhaps this is a metaphor for life. But I think not. It does make one cool building though, even if the central heating is Victorian. I suppose if it was good enough for her madge....


It's chilly. Wot ya' gunna do. 


To see more, come and visit. The gardens are open to public at the weekend from now, and the house from 26th March. 

Alternatively, if you are feeling lazy and/or impatient, come back here this friday for some Waddesdon Valentines capers....


Byeeee

18 comments:

  1. What an amazing place to go to work in, I love visiting houses like this and learning about the history. I find it so interesting!!

    http://allaboutevesbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you that's so sweet. When we reopen in March you should definitely come and pay a visit!

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  2. I know you say it's nothing like Downton but that place looks like such an awesome place to work! To have so much beauty and history around you every day! I'd take that over my place any day!

    Sarah :)
    Saloca in Wonderland

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    Replies
    1. It's a completely awesome place to work. You could always come and visit.... What do you do?
      E x

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  3. LOVE your blog! So original! x

    If you have a minute to check out http://www.electricsoiree.com for amazing INSPIRATION that would be great :-)

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    1. Thank you that's so nice. I'm off to LFW on Friday, so will definitely bear that INSPIRATION in mind!
      Ex

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  4. Love your blog! It looks so beautiful where you work! :)

    theemeralddove21.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Emerald Dove *your name is incredible*. I'm so lucky to work at such an amazing place
      E x

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  5. awesome post, the manor looks amazing and I really want to visit it now and just stroll around the massive garden haha <3 I bet it looks lovelier come summer time :)

    http://amelodyofdiaries.blogspot.co.uk/
    http://www.youtube.com/marieljanina

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    1. And Spring! There are snowdrops all over the lawn at the moment. Come and visit when we reopen in March!

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  6. Awesome post! Loved hearing the history of the amazing place in which you get to work (I'm super jeali, by the way!).

    -Sam
    That Curious Cat

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  7. Such a stunning place! You look absolutely amazing!

    www.stylecastle.co.uk

    x

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  8. Replies
    1. Carmel I LOVE your blog! And yes, It is a bit of a dream. A very cold, crazily busy dream (the best kind in my books)
      E x

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  9. Wow, what an absolutely gorgeous place! You are so lucky to be able to work in such at such a unique venue :)

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    1. Thank you Indy! I love your blog too..
      x

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