A great place to visit if you are in the Surrey area is Polesden Lacey. In the village of Great Bookham, Nr Dorking this National Trust property was once the lavish country retreat of Maggie Greville. Maggie was an eminent socialite with a quick wit and a sharp tongue who thrived at the heart of Edwardian Society.
My son and his family treated me to a day visit to Polesden Lacey for Mothers Day this year. Even from the outside you can see what a fabulous party house this would have been. The formal gardens are beautifully kept and beyond these is the Parkland area where you can take a leisurely stroll down Long Walk to the area for children called The Squirrels Play Area.
Inside the house the rooms were designed by Mewes and Davis (interior designers to the Ritz) and Maggie Grevilles brief was simple. They were to create rooms in which “to entertain maharajahs!” They certainly did but for all it’s splendour it also has a warm feel about it.
You can roam the servant’s hall and see the attic bedrooms where the male servants lived. These private spaces have only recently been opened to National Trust visitors. You can read what it was like to be a servant in Maggie Grevilles household. My grandson was especially amused to learn that when the family were away the servants would roller skate down the corridors! They also had a social club which is now the gift shop.
Polesden Lacey is a fascinating place and we spent all day exploring the house and grounds. I would strongly recommend it for a visit. There is a good Granary Cafe where you can get a meal (although unfortunately we left it so late there was only soup left!). There is also the Dairy Courtyard for ice creams and coffees or teas.