Last Tuesday we had a lovely day at Harewood House, we had a private tour of the Victoria exhibition, so we were looking round for an hour before the house opened to the public. As Harewood House was used in the filming of the TV programme ‘Victoria’ they now have an exhibition about Victoria, including many of the costumes used in the programme.
Our tour was fascinating, our guide told us all about the filming, which rooms were used, who wore what, Harewood was used as the inside of Buckingham Palace for the TV programme. She also tied it in to the changes that were made to the house during the Victorian period together with extra artifacts from Victoria such as her sketchbooks.
The costumes were stunning, they were made by a theatrical costumier down in London and they were beautifully made, I loved all the extra little details like decorative buttons and tucks.
I’d forgotten just how beautiful Harewood House is, the original interior was designed by Robert Adam and the ceilings are absolutely stunning, many would have had a carpet designed to match too. Much of the furniture is by Chippendale, one interesting point I learned was that the festooned pelmets in the gallery are actually carved from wood and painted to look like velvet! You can just see one at the bottom of the photo.
Our tour ended up in the kitchens (like all the best parties!) which I think is the most interesting bit, seeing the kitchens with all the ranges and the huge collection of copperpans and jelly moulds. We were glad not to have the job of polishing it all!
The grounds around the house were designed by Capability Brown, after a cup of coffee and a cake many of us took the opportunity to meander round, the Himalyan garden looked lovely, full of rhodedendrons, acers, magnolias, though the gardener we were chatting to said it will be stunning in about two weeks time when all the candelabra primulas come out…typical!
The red kites were circling round too and they were flying fairly low. They are magnificent birds and it was great to see them so close.
Of course a visit to Harewood wouldn’t be complete without seeing the penguins!
All in all it was a great day out, worth a visit