Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Afternoon tea at Ardgowan

Afternoon tea at a stately home?  What more could someone like me who loves all things historic and vintage hope for.  Add in some great company celebrating a wonderful event (Golden Wedding) and you have my perfect day!

I was lucky enough to be invited to an afternoon tea at the gorgeous Ardgowan House near Inverkip to celebrate the Golden Wedding of two of my lovely friends.

This is a photo of an old print in the hallway of the house. Slightly different from how house looks now. Best view of house from River Clyde.
Driving up to the "big house" was like something out of the credits to Downtown Abbey.  I was so starstruck that I totally forgot to take photos!  Arriving at the house itself I was almost blown away - it is so gorgeous!  At one point my husband asked me why I was whispering!!!  I will admit to being a bit overcome.  I suppose it was a bit like meeting your favourite actor or singer - although in this case it was a bricks and mortar house.

Let me explain.  Ardgowan House is the home of the Shaw Stewart family.  The present house was built in 1790s.  The Stewarts have lived here since the land was given to a illegitimate son of King Robert III in 1406.  The Shaw Stewarts are synonymous with Greenock, and indeed most of Inverclyde.  Many streets in Greenock are named after various family members and the lands they once owned - Sir Michael Street, Shaw Street, West Stewart Street, Carnock Street, Ardgowan Street.  So as someone who loves local history this visit was a bit of a dream come true.  I've written some little bits and pieces about the family in my local history blog The Greenockian.

As I said, I was so excited that I forgot to take photos on arrival, and by the time I remembered it was already getting dark.  Ardgowan House has a fabulous website where you can read all about the history of the Shaw Stewart family as well as see lots of photographs of the house itself.  If you think that the house looks familiar then you might recognise it from the TV drama "Ordeal by Innocence" which was shown on British TV last Christmas.

The House has hosted many weddings.  I can't think of a more romantic setting! You can book and have afternoon tea and a tour of the house, which is well worth doing.  We actually got a tour by Sir Ludovic Shaw Stewart himself.  Unfortunately by then it was getting really dark so my photographs are not so good.

Can you tell - I had a fabulous afternoon celebrating my wonderful friends 50 years of marriage.  Great company and gorgeous surroundings.  What more could you ask for?

Love, Liz


Sheila said...

That's two of us been a bit starstruck this week then Liz.
I went to Weston Hall near Stafford for a Christmas meal with my daughter in Law and her of those places where you feel you're not quite posh enough to be there.

Ardgowan House looks beautiful. I'm glad you had a lovely time.

Crimson Kettle said...

That's absolutely fantastic, what a treat! I remember Ordeal by Innocence last year, I hope you managed to put it out of your mind while you were there. I love the round window by the red staircase.

Polyester Princess said...

Afternoon tea and a guided tour of a stately home sounds like heaven to me! xxx

Vix said...

Ardgowan House looks fabulous, I'm drooling over the oriental rug in the last photo.

Buttercup said...

What an extraordinary place to visit. So enjoyed your photos and knowing I walked on these streets when I was in Greenock in the spring. Will be stopping by your history blog.