I seriously couldn't have visited on a better day; one filled with sunshine and double-digit weather. Hey, I'm grateful for small mercies when it comes to Britain's weather! Although the building of Basildon Park begun in 1772, my exploration of its interior would have to wait a little longer, as first a certain chocolate brownie called my name from the National Trust property's café. The photo above shows just one of the café's illustrated walls; tranquil and tropical scenes each combining nature and wildlife. There's a special place in my heart for colourful murals and never more so than those suggesting a warm climate. Mmm.
Basildon Park is now a 're-creation and restoration' of the 18th-century mansion, having been rescued in the mid 1950s by Lord and Lady Iliffe. Architectural fixtures and fittings were tracked down, along with fine paintings, fabrics and furniture. The result is spectacular, with each room exuding an elegance that resonates with its bygone era, in a way that feels as though the original occupants have only just left. In particular - like most historic houses - the high ornate ceilings had me swooning, with each room encouraging my camera to turn upwards. Check out the entrance hall's lavish ceiling below!
Helpful volunteer guides await visitors, eager to provide a background on each of the downstairs rooms - it's incredible how much information I came away with! A huge bonus for me was undoubtedly finding out photography was permitted throughout Basildon Park. Needless to say, some areas/portraits were off-bounds, however the majority was ready and waiting to be captured.
After spending a little while exploring the Bath-stone building's interior, daffodils marked the path to a beautiful walled garden space with scattered benches. I feel like a broken record on A Glass Of Ice by continuously mentioning my adoration for sunshine, but an idyllic moment at Basildon Park seriously encouraged that habit. As the sun beamed down on my suede jacket and forced me to remove my scarf, I looked up and saw the historic house in an even brighter light. Literally. Basildon Park seen as the sun is setting is very, very special!
I wish I could hurl samples of the café's brownies in your direction, or perhaps a gorgeous gilded picture frame or two, but I'm afraid this virtual tour will have to do! Though, fingers crossed I've persuaded you to check out this historic venue - and follow in the footsteps of many of those gone before!