We went to meet some friends for lunch and a wander at Waddesdon Manor, a National Trust property near Aylesbury, about halfway between us in St Albans and them in Birmingham. We're all NT members so it's completely free to park and get in!


It's a bit of a strange place in that it's one of the most opulent and well looked after NT houses I've been to. Perhaps there is some private money in play too – courtesy of the Rothschild's – that web link above is not a National Trust website, though they have their own page on the place as well. Strange.


We didn't explore that much of it this time (we've been there once before) since we had our friends' giggling young one in tow. But we did see the front garden (driveway, grass, trees, sadly dry fountain) and the back (mountainous flower-beds and pleasant water features overlooking distant countryside – see pictures) and the inside (no photos allowed) and the Stables for lunch.

Last time we visited, we ate in the fancy kitchen restaurant and I had the most wonderful duck ever, along with a cracking glass of red. This time we went for the family option in the Stables restaurant and though the service was a bit slipshod and the glasses dirty, the food was really surprisingly good.

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