The Courts is one of my favourite National Trust gardens. It may not sprawl as much some of the properties, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in variety and interest. It has all the features of a grand garden - a lake, an arboretum, colourful borders, paths that disappear through gaps in close-clipped yew hedges - but on a smaller scale. There are hidden corners, statues, lawns, and a wonderful arbour clothed not in roses but cordon apple trees, a neat idea for any garden.
If you're not feeling energetic or you're accompanied by an elderly relative or a child just out of nappies, the proximity of both the loos and the cafe is a bonus. The cafe really is the icing on the cake. Housed in a beautiful barrel-ceilinged room with oak panelling it serves the most delicious food and the helpings are very generous. My companion had hommity pie, which came with a colourful salad and two triangles of thickly-cut bread. I had a cream tea: two warm blueberry scones, with lashings of what tasted like homemade jam and clotted cream. (The norm in NT cafes is a small pot of Tiptree jam and a sealed sachet of cream.)
If you're on a diet, avert your eyes from the cake cabinet - a dazzing array of everything from peach melba gateau to chocolate fudge sponge and trifle. I managed to resist (after my scones, I had no room anyway) but I saw the size of the slices and they were HUGE. The staff were lovely, too. I hate queueing, and finding the cafe full, we were about to leave when a very nice woman serving ice cream went to check the state of play. She emerged a minute later to tell us that someone had just paid their bill so a table would soon be free. It was. The perfect end to a perfect visit.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.