Be clear! I'm no fan of visiting Stately homes. This was a Christmas present from my daughter. It was a cold wet day and I was expecting a dreary day out. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The house is lovely with a real homely feel. The 'Castle' is impressive enough, smaller than I expected, but when you get inside it is truly magnificent. Each room is beautifully designed and decorated, with some beautiful pieces of furniture. The difference with other stately homes is that this feels really homely. Helped by family photos dotted about the place and , because this is the real 'Downton Abbey' there are pictures in most rooms showing scenes from the filming, with the characters from the series, giving it an extra dimension. I really enjoyed it. Sadly, it was abusy time and the Teashop was something of a bun fight, with not enough tables and chairs. The food on the Teashop menu looked as though it might be OK, but no chance of getting access to it. A passing visit to the 'Coach House' was not a lot better! The place was packed, no customers at the counter, and extra space upstairs was closed for the service of Afternoon Tea! The food on the hotplate looked good and quite tempting, but again no space to sit and eat. A loss from us of about £25 I suppose. We didn't get chance to see the Gardens, so that means another visit.
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