New look cafés are open in the South East

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Latest update 02.04.2014 16:20

Five of our cafés in the South East have just reopened after a complete makeover –the new interiors take their design direction from the use of the buildings themselves or from the wider property. We hope this will provide a more enjoyable experience for all our visitors. They are family-friendly and a great place to eat, drink and relax.

These five new look cafés for 2014, are in addition to four of our London cafes given a makeover and remodel in 2013 at Ham House, Osterley Park and House, Claremont Landscape Garden and Sutton House. Each café will be serving delicious, seasonal menu items introduced throughout the year.

Our five new cafes are at:

Find out more about each one…

Polesden Lacey, near Dorking, Surrey…Take time for tea where the Queen Mother honeymooned

Polesden Lacey is the house where the Queen Mother and King George VI honeymooned. We hope its new café will now make it famous as a great place to eat with friends and family.

The Granary Cafe opens out onto the stable courtyard in the beautiful surroundings of the country estate in Great Bookham, Surrey. The new café has an open and spacious feel with a new counter area and lime-washed furniture inspired by the building’s original use as a simple, working store room for hay and corn to feed the horses.

Sissinghurst Castle, Kent

Inspired by the building’s original use as a cow shed and dairy, Sissinghurst Castle’s new coffee shop, the Old Dairy, is a light, airy space with a rural feel. With an interior led by the history of the building, which once housed a herd of Shorthorn cows, there are areas of exposed brickwork, a tiled floor and a cosy log burner in the spacious new area. The Old Dairy will be open all year round and milkshakes are naturally on the menu.

Red House, Bexleyheath, London  …Come for tea in William Morris’ kitchen

The café has moved into the heart of the house, which was designed by Philip Webb for the designer William Morris in 1859-60. Formerly housed in a Coach House in the garden; the café is now in the kitchen, larder and pantry of Morris’ home.

Much of Red House today is painted white, but Morris and Webb originally decorated the house in really, strong vibrant colours, both above and below stairs, and we’ve used this as ispiration for the colour-scheme of the new café.

Chartwell, Kent …Come for a cuppa at Sir Winton Churchill’s family home

Chartwell was a much loved family home and the place from which Sir Winston Churchill drew inspiration from 1924 until the end of his life. The new café has a 1930s feel café and is a light, family friendly space. Churchill’s love of painting is represented in a display of copies of his own works of art on the café walls, mostly of the house itself and its beautiful landscape.

Basildon Park, Berkshire …Dine Downton Abbey style

Well not quite, but if you visit Basildon Park, you get to dine where the cast from Downton Abbey filmed the 2013 Christmas special. Whilst no longer a film set, you can take a look at the behind the scenes story and enjoy some refreshments at the re-styled café and new dining areas; which are located in the old Servant’s Hall, the Lower Hall and the Vestibule of the building.

In the Servant’s Hall you’ll find evocative paintings and simple pine furniture.The Lower Hall and the Vestibule provide a tranquil area where the walls have been repainted in pale grey to reflect the stone colour of 18th century entrance halls and we’ve revealed a previously hidden fireplace.

Treat yourself and take a tour of all five of our cafes, we’d love to know what you think - post on our Facebook page or send us a tweet.