A La Ronde, National Trust, Exmouth, Devon
Take yourself back to the 18th Century when ladies took the Grand Tour of Europe and opened their eyes to another world. This unique circular house, now run by the National Trust, offers ‘A Room with a View’ of the Exe estuary.
Visit A La Ronde With a National Trust Day Out and Cream Tea Experience
- Over 300 National Trust properties to visit
- Cream Tea for two voucher
Meet the Ladies of the Grand Tour
Visit the former home of Jane and Mary Parminter, two adventurous and wealthy second cousins who travelled together on the Grand Tour. Their extraordinary sixteen-sided house was decorated with feathers, seashells, seaweed and sand and filled with curiosities brought back from their travels.
Take Tea With a View
The house is located in the fashionable and elegant sea-bathing resort of Exmouth where well-known residents included Viscountess Nelson. There’s a rumour that it was built on the site with its magnificent view overlooking the Exe Estuary, because the residents would see if Napoleonic soldiers invaded, something they were very afraid of. You, however, can simply relax and enjoy the view while having a Devon cream tea on the lawn.
Eating on the Grand Tour
As you walk through its rooms, discover how travelling to Europe for the first time, the cousins would have been introduced to new tastes such as broccoli, ravioli and radish, foods that were completely unknown at home. Travellers were given a fork, spoon and glass but they took their own knife.
Dining in the 18th Century
On the dining table, you’ll notice that unlike modern day forks, those laid out only have 3 prongs. Drinking tea was a luxury enjoyed by the Parminters. It was a very expensive commodity which is why on the side table, you’ll see the mahogany tea caddy has a lock on it.
- Visit on Trafalgar Day (21st October), to see the red, white and blue decorations festooned around the house
- Pick up local ales, cider and fruit wine from the Lyme Bay Winery in the National Trust shop
Fleet Broadside – Beef Wellington with Port wine and shallots is recommended by the National Museum as a main course for a Trafalgar Night dinner.
WHERE TO STAY IN DEVON
One of Devon’s best boutique hotels with superb seaside gastro dining and spa.
Rooms from £195 a night.