A masterpiece of 18th Century Baroque architecture set in more than 2000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped Parkland and award-winning Formal Gardens, Blenheim Palace is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough, and is home today to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and their family.
With spectacular views over the Water Terraces and ‘Capability’ Brown’s Parkland and Great Lake, the Long Library is the perfect place to enjoy your dining experience.
The Long Library was the last room to be decorated in the Palace and at 183 feet long, is the second largest room at a private house in the country. Originally this room was created as a picture Gallery, but it was later converted to a library. At present, the Library contains over 10,000 volumes, including many first editions. The magnificent organ at the end of the room was built in 1891 by Henry Willis (considered the finest organ builder of his age) for the 8th Duke and his second Duchess Lillian.
While enjoying drinks in the Great Hall, you can admire the 67 feet high ceiling, painted in 1716 by Sir James Thornhill, who also painted the Dome of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
The Great Hall is the main entrance to the Palace and the entrance door is the original, made in 1715, reputedly made of oak from the Park. The defensive lock was fitted by the 6th Duke in the 1840s and is said to be copied from a lock on the city gates of Warsaw.
Before dinner make sure to take a look around the Saloon. Originally designed to be a grand reception room and is now the State Room Dining room. The decoration was executed by Louis Laguerre (1834-1886) and is oil on plaster. It was painted in 1719, 6 years after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, and, in a house built as a monument to victory in warfare, is dedicated to the virtues of peace. Although the Saloon is not used often as a dining room, the Duke and his family traditionally have their Christmas dinner at the table.