Unexpected London Sight No. 4: Lemur Luxury

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Last weekend I paid a visit to Eltham Palace, an Art Deco mansion built by Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in 1936, on to the remains of a medieval royal palace. Stephen Courtauld was a member of the wealthy textile clan, but sensibly dodged going into the family business for a more agreeable existence of philanthropy, yachting and jetting around in little shiny planes. The interiors are pretty spectacular – Virginia Courtauld had the most enviable bedroom and bathroom I’ve seen:
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The Courtaulds were so fashionable that even their pet lemur, Mah-Jongg, slept in style, in centrally heated quarters decorated with a mural of bamboo forest scenes. Mah-Jongg was bought in Harrods, apparently, and was very keen on nipping guests on the ankles.
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Sadly they don’t let you take pictures inside the house so I can’t show any more, but it’s definitely worth a visit – even though you have to wear blue plastic bags over your shoes and dodge crowds of people listening to audio guides narrated by Hercule Poirot, which is not quite so glamorous.

3 thoughts on “Unexpected London Sight No. 4: Lemur Luxury

  1. Dave

    Oh, I’ve been there! Wonderful place – you can’t imagine anybody being given permission to build a modern house next to the remnants of a 16th century one(or was it earlier than that, even?)these days. Must be “in keeping”, don’t you know, “blend in” – we’d all be living in wattle ‘n’ daub still…and, another thing, one can’t get a lemur for love nor money, in Harrods or anywhere else…
    Seriously, though, Eltham is a lovely place.

  2. FlowersInHisHair

    You can take photos in Eltham Palace – I’ve been there and done it. You just have to demonstrate that it’s not for commercial purposes. Ask the nice gentleman or lady at the information desk the next time you visit.

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