Eltham Palace – a pleasant change from your usual English stately home.
Bought by the Courtauld family in the 1920s and extensively renovated to a classic art deco style, the Carter family went to see it in the 2010s. We enjoyed it all, from the brand-new adventure playground to the modest gardens. But it was the house itself that we enjoyed most: all those sweeping art deco curves everywhere, beautiful light uncluttered rooms – even an air-raid shelter!
The girls could try on some of Virginia Courtauld’s clothes (none of Mr Courtauld’s clothes were available for me to try on unfortunately) and there was even a Rolls Royce parked out front, unlocked and unattended, which fascinated adults and children alike – until someone from the house came out to chase everyone out of it.
In fact, this was the only real downside of Eltham Palace – the organisation. It’s only been open for a few days, after being shut for renovations for a couple of years, and they’re obviously still finding their feet.
Signs were missing, crowds tended to meet head-on throughout the house and some of the rules could be better explained. But these were small little niggles that I’m sure they’ll soon fix.
If you love your 1920s chic and architecture then Eltham Palace is a gem hidden away in an otherwise unpromising district of SE London (although, it is where Kate Bush grew up).
However, it’s easy to reach by public transport and there’s a good mix of things to see and do. In fact, we found it the perfect amount of things to see and do – a relaxing day where we nevertheless managed to see and do just about everything on offer.