Sunday, September 06, 2009

Dillington House Open Day

Good King Hal, in his luxury dressing room today, with what appears to be a box of matches exploding in his hands.
Dillington House is a delightful place. I have been wondering on how to best describe this gorgeous Elizabethan house, but thought it best to leave it to themselves. This is how Dillington House describes itself on it's own website:
"Dillington House is Somerset County Council’s residential centre for professional development, adult education and the arts. Founded in 1949, it has been offering lifelong learning opportunities for over fifty years. The arts play an important role in creating the unique ambience which is Dillington. Although Dillington House is wholly part of Somerset County Council it operates without public subsidy and is responsible for meeting all of its costs.The Main House dates back to the 16th century and is one of the most beautiful houses in Somerset and features in Simon Jenkins’ book England’s 1000 Best Houses.
The accommodation is in a range of bedrooms, most of which are en-suite, that are located in the House, the Mews or the Hyde. Dillington House is neither an hotel, college nor simple conference centre. It is uniquely something special at which everything and anything is possible. Standards of service and accommodation are very high and Dillington remains the only establishment to have been awarded 5-stars by the English Tourism Council under their “Campus” quality assessment scheme."
I really honestly could not have put that better myself! Well, today was their open day and for a second year running I was invited along to wander the house and grounds and chat to people. This year seemed a lot busier than last year, but the weather was pretty much the same, overcast and blowy, but not entirely cold. Three lovely old cars sat sentinel on the front gravel driveway. A massive 1936 Rolls Royce, an equally gargantuan 1929 Lanchester and a very cute 1935 Rover.
As you can sort of see from my picture above, my dressing room was a luxurious affair. It was one of the lovely en-suite rooms you can have at Dillington House and was sumptuously furnished and very comfortable. I bumped into lots of friends from Barrington Court, a lady I had done a BBC Somerset show with and even one of the couples from the Chard Historical Group meeting I spoke to. I had a lovely packed lunch, more wandering, but by 4pm my back was aching and I felt it was time to go. It was a fabulous day and Dillington House is definitely worth a visit.
Next Henry show is on Tuesday at Shillingstone in Dorset.

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