We spent the morning in Windsor and were anxious to get away – too many tourists; not enough non-high street clothing shops that were selling anything (ANYTHING!) other than food; a parking charge of £3 a hour. I’ve been to the castle at Windsor a couple of times, but it wasn’t on our agenda this time.
Dorney Court is only a 10 minute drive from Windsor town centre and that was our goal.
Next door to the house is a lovely garden centre within the walled garden. It is open year-round. The house, by contrast, has limited opening (just a couple of months during the year, Monday-Friday). During 2013 there were two Sunday openings and so we decided to make honey while the flowers were out.
As we walked up to the house we couldn’t help exclaiming “how lovely”.
Then, as we walked inside from the warm May day we felt the cold and I thought, “perhaps after all I wouldn’t want to live here – too cold and dark for me“. Coincidentally, our tour guide (as entry is by tour only) introduced the house by explaining that while you may arrive wishing you wished you lived somewhere like Dorney Court, he could be pretty sure most visitors will leave counting their good fortune that they actually don’t have the burden of such a house.
I thought we were looking at the real deal but it turns out that in the 18th century an ancestor tried to modernise the house but repainting it with Georgian colours and ripping out the panelling.
The current family have put the Tudor features back in so while much is real, other bits are replacements. For my pleasure, the Georgian dining room (created out of a Tudor store room) remains. Look out for it in period dramas as quite a bit of filming takes place at Dorney Court. For one film all the electricity in the house was taken out.
Certainly an interesting house if you can visit.
When visited: May 2013