Saturday, 13 December 2014

Hughenden Revisited

It's the season of goodwill to all men AND to all National Trust properties that didn't have any scones the first time I visited them. 

So today I returned to Hughenden. I absolutely loved Hughenden on my first visit, despite the lack of scones. I wanted to go back at Christmas, as they deck the place out Victorian-style in honour of former resident Benjamin Disraeli, so back we went.

Ominously, our day began almost identically to our first visit: we got lost and we had a big row. Last time, my map reading was at fault and we ended up driving round High Wycombe three times. This time I failed to interpret the sat nav correctly and we ended up driving in the completely wrong direction for four miles. 

But I shouldn't have worried. This time the Hughenden cafe had scones galore, and what fine scones they were too. A cream tea consisted of two mighty specimens - only Sheffield Park has served bigger scones this year I think - with a choice of jam. They were delicious.

Hughenden scones

As promised, Hughenden was all decked out for Christmas. The very homely drawing room had greenery (and reddery) everywhere - note Mrs Disraeli's portrait over the fireplace:

Drawing Room Hughenden

And there were plenty of Christmas trees too, like the one in the dining toom (with Dizzy's portrait over the fire):


There was a brass band playing carols, mulled wine, marshmallows for toasting...it was all very festive. There weren't any horses pretending to be reindeer like there were at Polesden Lacey last year but you can't have everything. And to be honest, I was just so relieved to find some scones that I didn't mind at all.

My previous post about Hughenden and Disraeli covers the history of the place, so I won't repeat it all here. 

There was some new excitement to report, however: a couple of weeks ago Hughenden announced that they are the proud owner of the largest horse-chestnut tree in Britain! Imagine! I was very excited about this, rather overlooking the fact that a) the Hughenden estate covers more than 600 acres and b) you can fit an awful lot of trees into a 600 acre estate. We wandered around for five minutes saying "could that be it?" "what about that one?" until we realised we were never going to find it, so we gave up.

Hughenden trees
Scone sidekick: "Are you the oldest horse-chestnut tree in the UK?"
Tree: "I'm not even a horse-chestnut tree."


So Hughenden comes off the list of National Trust properties that don't do scones - hurrah!

Christmas at Hughenden: 4 out of 5 
Scones: 4.5 out of 5

1 comment:

  1. Curiously last time I went with Trish to Hughenden I had no problem finding it despite a lack of signs in High Wycombe - it always annoys Trish how I find places when she misses the turn off for the m40! Admittedly i managed to direct her into a super market car park coming back!

    I take it you're never going back or is it third time lucky!

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