Sunday, July 17, 2011

Going west to see the East – 15 July 2011

Sezincote was the inspiration for George IV, when he built his Brighton Pavilion. We have enjoyed visiting his eastern fantasy palace in Brighton so decided to take Friday afternoon off work to visit Sezincote, which does not open on weekends.

The house was originally a standard country manor house and was purchased by someone who had worked for the East India Company and when it was inherited by his brother, just three years later, the brother – who also served with the East India Company – continued with the plans to convert the house into an Indian Palace. Having stayed at several Indian country palaces (one was ex British army officer's house), we could immediately see the similarities.

George IV heard about Sezincote, so when he was staying nearby he drove over to see it and was so impressed, that he instructed his architect to change the theme of the Brighton Pavilion from Chinese to Indian. As he was part way through the project, the end result at Brighton is a bit of an eastern mish-mash, unlike Sezincote

We loved the house, and can understand why the family of the current owners rescued it from demolition and restored it to its former glory. During WWII, it was so dilapidated it was nearly demolished but, unusually, buyers were available despite Britain being at war. They have done a wonderful job of restoring the house, and the gardens are delightful. A cascade of colourful bushes follows a stream down the hillside.

We spent the night at a quintessentially Cotswold hotel in Wroxton. Thatched roof and lovely old stone walls, excellent dinner in the low beamed ceiling restaurant – the perfect English weekend!

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