The House Party was invented in these islands and all our country houses, stately homes and castles in the UK and Ireland were built to host house parties and celebrations and they have been doing so ever since. This makes them ideal places to host events for our guests in an appropriate fashion and we work with experienced owners and their staff who are excellent at throwing together the great British house party. The key ingredients are the right setting, a full team of staff and some lively guests.
Weather is often another important factor but with enough imagination it is never an impediment. Space is also very important as during the weekend it is unlikely that all the guests will wish to do the same activity or pastime that everyone else is doing, so libraries and ‘snugs’ are essential for some quiet time. Meals are generally taken in the dining room, except breakfast which is often served in a separate smaller dining room or the kitchen. This allows the staff a chance to clear up from the previous night’s dinner and prepare for lunch that day. Meals are a huge part of any house party, as they bring all the guests together, focus everyone’s minds on the activities of the day and allow the host or hostess to relay important messages about other matters.
Early house parties would often last several weeks with guests arriving from far afield by carriage or train and accompanied by a retinue of their personal staff or at the very least by their ladies maid and valet. The early part of each day would be spent in very leisurely pursuits like reading and writing letters, with more active pursuits being enjoyed between luncheon and afternoon tea. Dinner would always be in the dining room and the gentlemen would often retire to the billiard room, which is still very common in Scottish country houses and castles.
Nowadays house parties are usually restricted to 2 night stays and the level of activity is often a little more frenetic with the days filled and meals served with a little more haste. Dinner however is still usually a leisurely affair and a chance for guests to unwind and discuss any manner of topics. LTR understands the house party concept in the UK and we work hard to provide all these key ingredients, so that our guests can enjoy the country houses, mansions and castles as their own and as they were originally intended. Seamless organisation and careful preparation means the guests can truly relax and enjoy their house party.
The house party is a wonderful experience and although much emulated overseas, it is still a very British tradition. There are still so many grand stately homes and castles where these weekends can be and are laid on, with no shortage of willing guests anxious to either escape the city for a few days or simply to enjoy the experience of living in a bygone era. There have been countless movies made of all genres which explore the UK house party and they are a wonderful way to meet new people, catch up with old friends and to discover new parts of the countryside. As part of the LTR Collection, we work with England's, Scotland's and Ireland’s top private homes, all of which are suited to hosting your house party.