Sunday, February 19, 2017

Inside A Private Estate.....Not Open To The Public....

Not far from our present house sit location is the massive estate called, "Chequers." A mansion on 1,200 acres of land near the Chiltern hills, it is the private country house of the Prime Minister of England. It is here that present Prime Minister Theresa May can go to unwind from a hectic week in London.  She can also choose to entertain there, host heads of state for business meetings, engage her cabinet in formal sessions, or just hang out by the swimming pool with family.

The Main Entrance to the Estate

This is the front entrance of the Estate

This is a private home that is NOT open to the public ever.  But with a friendly husband like mine who friended an old acquaintance from Panama online, we soon found ourselves getting an invite. But before we could set foot into the home we had to undergo a background check from the local authorities that we apparently passed with flying colors.

To make a long story short, someone we  knew from Panama is now living here in England working as a Steward at the estate. She IS allowed to invite friends into the estate when the Prime Minister is not in residence.  We were thrilled when she offered to give us a tour and gladly took her up on the offer.

We made our way over to the guard gate following closely behind our friend and guide.  First we had to open the trunk of our rental car in order for the police to search it, making sure we weren't trying to smuggle in extra people. Finally we made our way into the back entrance used by the staff to get ready for our exciting tour.

Aerial View taken from Web

We were delighted to be offered a guided, private tour with her and one of her colleagues.  For TWO hours we were enlightened about the history of the home that included tales of past famous visitors that slept, worked and enjoyed the company of the present and Past Prime Ministers.

Picture Taken Driving in

Needless to say the inside of the estate is gorgeous with large rooms filled with grand furniture, valuable artwork and memoirs of the families that have lived there. Yet despite the size of the place it felt rather homey and comfortable.  I had the urge several times to plunge down onto a sofa and take in the ornate scenery that surrounded me while enjoying the crackle of a fire.

The lovely home seemed to go on forever as we toured great halls, libraries, dining halls, offices, ten or more guest bedrooms, a large indoor swimming pool, restaurant sized kitchen and so much more. Unfortunately due to the privacy of the estate we were NOT allowed to take photos inside.  We also had to sign confidentiality statements agreeing NOT to talk about anything that we learned while inside. But I DID ask and was told that YES we could tell people that we visited the home, since that was allowed.

This room had signed Photos
of all of the Past Prime Ministers
We were standing where The Queen Mother is
(Picture was found on the internet)

We left the home giddy with excitement and feeling so fortunate about being permitted into a world that so few Brits ever see let alone foreigners. This surely was the highlight of our three months in England and will be something that stays etched in our minds for years to come. For anyone seeking more information on the estate there is a link below.

This is the Library
We walked in the footsteps of the Queen
(Picture  was found on the internet)

Here's to another amazing experience, to having friends in the right places, thankful for a husband who has never met a stranger, and for more wonderful adventures.......along the gringo trail.

Terry and Clyde are able to "Travel The World House Sitting"  and so can you!  We have created a website to help people who want to learn about house sitting.    Information for both the prospective house sitter and for someone who needs a house sitter.

the New Website                          -->  CLICK HERE

How to Get Your First House Sit -->  CLICK HERE

How to find a house sitter          ---->  CLICK HERE


Life In Portugal....At A Snails Pace....

Yesterday was just another day in Portugal when my dear husband Clyde said he was going to run to the pharmacy for a few things. Time passed...