You’re probably wondering from the title why I have chosen the word “hygge” to describe a trip to a famous Rothschild chateau. The Danish word can be described as being cozy and nothing was cozier than today’s Scandinavian temperatures and the way in which many outdoor parts of this exquisite estate were covered in faux fur and wooly blankets for all the visitors to warm up in.
Our day started with a bus ride from the car park up to Waddesdon Manor and we first descended upon The Stables to check out the Gingerbread House in the shape of the manor. Naturally, little Yara loved it and it was very cleverly made as you can see below.
A quick coffee and some delicious scones and we made out way back up to the house as we had timed tickets (check website as you may need to book house entry online during busy periods). I was impressed that one of the staff members spoke to Yara upon entry, explaining to her how the Gingerbread Trail worked around the house; it’s not easy explaining something to a 3 year old but he seems to have got through to her because she was off and managed to do the whole trail by herself, enthusiastically collecting every sticker and announcing it, to the joy (?) of the other visitors.
I won’t ruin it for you but every room I went into, I kept saying “that’s my favorite room”…until I went to the next room. The art work, the design, the grandiose of the place was phenomenal and since it’s Christmas, each room had an astoundingly huge Christmas tree. The sheer thought and detail that has gone into this manor deserves a lot of respect and the history behind it sent me quickly to the gift shop to buy the companion book so I could learn more.
Here’s the “hygge” and fun bit for the kids: after the house tour, we went to have lunch at the WigWam Cafe. Literally a massive tent with a big BBQ inside where we had lunch such as char-grilled chicken and lamb as we sat on benches covered in faux fur and we wrapped up in blankets. You cannot get cozier (and yummier) than that! I highly recommend trying it out.
After a quick play in the beautiful yet muddy woodland play area, we headed up to the Aviary to learn more about some of the endangered birds that the manor tries to conserve through various projects. The birds were exotic and beautiful and Yara absolutely loved trying to spot them. We spotted Mimi the Mynah; Waddesdon’s mascot. It is a bird named after Walter Rothschild, the famous zoologist whose collection is at the Natural History Museum at Tring. You can see my previous blog post on that museum here.
There’s a final and important point I have to make about Waddesdon Manor. This place is extremely child-friendly and a fantastic day out anytime of year because they cater for it. I cannot wait to take Yara back there in spring and summer as I know there will be plenty of outdoor activities and probably plenty more to see inside. If you haven’t been yet, pack your cozy clothes and head out into some glamour in Buckinghamshire.
Have a very Happy New Year!