We have just got back from a lovely weekend in Glasgow, visiting Adam’s sister and her boyfriend. There was a lot of eating, drinking and antique hunting – for us, the perfect weekend!
On Saturday we visited the beautiful Victorian Gothic Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute. It is believed to be the first house to have an indoor heated swimming pool (which we sadly didn’t see) and the first in Scotland to have electric lighting as well central heating, a telephone system and lift.
The original house was built in 1719 and then rebuilt by the 3rd Marquess of Bute following a fire in 1877 (he was also responsible for the extensive renovation of Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch, neither of which, despite living so close, I’ve visited).
Due to the Marquess’s death and the First World War the house was never fully completed. None the less it is an incredible building, with beautiful detailing and features, from intricate nature inspired door furniture to silver and crystal studded hand painted ceilings.
All of the stewards were very friendly and knowledgeable, giving us a lot of information about the house and the family. Due to the weather we almost had the place to ourselves (upsides to everything!).
There are extensive grounds, including the 5 acre ‘wee’ garden (‘wee because it’s small compared to everything else’) but we didn’t go around the gardens as the weather was so miserable. The Japanese garden above is at the back of the house, complete with waterfall and a tiny island with acers.
The rooms were all stunning, with a library to die for. My favourite room was one of the bedrooms, filled with nature inspired decoration and Egyptian style furniture. Adjoined was an absolutely stunning wood and glass conservatory with views over the sea. Definitely not a bad place to have breakfast everyday!