Saturday, 19 September 2015
It is Open House weekend. Forward planning not being my strong point, it was lunchtime before I looked at the brochure - so that's why I had to stay local and visit this suburban Versailles. It's six years old, built by a Polish millionaire as a tribute to his grandmother who was inconsolable after the loss of the family palace back home.
What can you say ... if you've got it, flaunt it. There's some pictures here. (Poky kitchen - but look at that fridge!) Somewhere underneath the bling there is what I imagine must have been a perfectly nice Arts and Crafts house in keeping with the rest of the street.
The owner is a balletomane and recently took up ballet in his 60s. He has danced excerpts from Swan Lake in his gilded salon, we were told on the tour - by a member of staff who has mastered the art of keeping a straight-ish face - clad in white tights, and partnered by a prima ballerina. (Cue: distressed looks from British visitors, especially the men, as it will take some time to expunge this image.)
It did make me think of Hyacinth Bucket's candlelit soirées.