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The Art Deco house of dreams

If there’s one overriding feature I noticed about Eltham Palace, it’s that you can feel the parties in the walls. Not just because of the whole Dry January nonsense currently being observed in this house or because English Heritage has set Champagne and glasses on one of the sideboards to fix the mood of a soiree and designed an audio tour to make you feel like a guest. The feeling is just strongly present.

The famous building earned its reputation as a party pad in the 1930s under its socialite and philanthropic owners Stephen and Virginia Courtauld who, when not travelling the world, had politicians, stars and royals over in their 100s at a time (450 not uncommon apparently). Virginia also kept a pet Lemur here called Jongy who she bought from Harrods. You get the picture.

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