The downstairs of the upstairs

Saffron Walden, England Some stately homes put a real damper on their hospitality by restricting one’s ability to record their magnificence. Such was the case with Audley End, a Jacobean treasure outside Saffron Waldon in Essex, which is the family seat of the Barons Braybrooke. It is considered one of the finest houses of that era, and though it is a mere one-third of its original size, it is still quite immense. If only photography were allowed inside the house!

You will have to take it on faith that the interiors of Audley End are very beautiful and awe-inspiring, with some surprisingly comfortable features built in.

What we could photograph were the below-stairs areas, including the kitchen, dairy and laundry areas. It was clearly quite an operation running such a grand house.

We walked around the house and the grounds, met a dog, saw a Welsh Mountain pony being coifed, and toured the stable block. It was a gorgeous day to see a gorgeous part of English history.

We went into the village of Saffron Walden in search of lunch, and drooled over its charm and the period buildings still in use. Yes, we would live here, too.

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