We went to this National Trust property not knowing much about George Bernard Shaw - but found out a lot about him, and spent a very happy couple of hours both in his delightful house, and his absolutely delightful country garden.
As ever, the NT volunteers were gracious and charming to our motley family crew, spanning the generations, and including a wheelchair user. They could not have been more helpful. They also brought Shaw to life, encouraging us to look on the house as almost setting the stage to appreciating his life as a literary giant and political activist. You had the feeling that the great man had just left the building - there are even his shoes tucked under a chest of drawers!
But this is no dry and dusty museum - it still enjoys the warmth and vibrancy of the welcoming country retreat it had been for its owners. There is tea and home-baked cake thoughtfully served in the cosy kitchen, which you can take out and enjoy on the lawn, taking in the rolling countryside beyond the large garden. The flower beds echo the humanity of the house, and its inhabitants, with their informal, friendly country blooms and herbs.
All in all, this was a real treat to discover, so close to London.
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