Swiss Cottage Highlights (4)
Before you enter Swiss Cottage by way of the hidden underground tunnel, which in olden days was the servants’ entrance, take note of the centuries-old stone carving of a cat with two tails above the door. This is the trademark of the Gobán Saor, a legendary Irish stonemason.
Take a seat in the garden and enjoy the sweet sound of birdsong as you admire the unique architecture of the cottage in its rustic setting. Inspired by nature, the rose and wisteria clad Swiss Cottage is a harmonious but seemingly random assembly of crooked walls, odd angles, doors and windows of varying shapes and sizes. The house is cleverly designed, however, to give the impression that it evolved over many years to merge with its surroundings.
Let your guide whisk you back in time, recounting the story of the aristocratic young couple whose wealth enabled them to indulge their fantasies by commissioning this most romantic of follies.
Be amazed at the skill of the artisans who crafted the intricate spider-web entrance-hall floor and the elegant spiral staircase, which appears to unfurl from the ceiling.
Appreciate the scenic wallpaper on the walls of the Tea Room, with its depiction of life on the shores of the Bosphorus in Constantinople as imagined over 200 years ago by the Dufour wallpaper factory in France.
Imagine you have just arrived as a guest at one of the many soirées hosted by Lady Emily in the stunning Music Room, with its French doors opening out into the garden. See her sense of fun echoed in the double portrait over the fireplace, where she is depicted in her fashionable muslin gown on the left and whimsical peasant garb on the right.