Step this Way: the Red Drawing Room opened up, Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, until 23rd October 2016
This year visitors to Waddesdon retrace the footsteps of the 19th century guests of Baron Ferdinand. Entering through the main door they cross the Vestibule and enter directly into the Red Drawing Room which is the central room on the south side of the house. Here guests would congregate before going into dinner in the Dining Room on the left-hand side.
The Red Drawing Room has been brought back very much as it was in Baron Ferdinand’s time, including the tapestry covered chairs – a necessity since as many as forty guests may have been invited – and a screen decorated with monkeys.
In order to facilitate this year’s “change” the 17th century Savonnerie carpet which is one of the one’s ordered by Louis XIV for the Grande Galerie of the Louvre has been removed and replaced with an eyemat conservation floor that is an exact copy of the original carpet and this allows visitors to get closer to the paintings and furniture.
Looking through the windows, which now have special blinds which filter out damaging UV radiation to protect light-sensitive materials and textiles but allow light into the room, one sees the Terrace which the Baron’s guests would have been able to access through the central doorway.
Looking out across the terrace visitors will see the parterre which this year has specially been planted with an Apollo’s head motif which was inspired by the one on the Red Drawing Room’s carpet. Closer inspection of this attractive design can be made after you have toured the house.