23 Dec 2017

Aynhoe Park's Cabinet of Curiosities

Oh, don't I love it when a blog visit sends me onto an unexpected journey with twists at every turn! Curiosity takes you places you hadn't heard or thought about!

Hui's wedding dress by Phillipa Lepley; wedding venue: Aynhoe Park.

It started off with The Londoner Rosie Thomas's customised wedding dress post, followed by her wedding designer Phillipa Lepley's portfolio, and then onto her client Hui's wedding venue: Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire, England. But what could have easily been mistaken as yet another palladian country house, revealed a full-scale treasure trove of eclectic antique pieces, eccentric objets d'art and modern pieces that have blent together well into a potent cocktail and lent the place a distinct mood halfway between antiques shop, Natural History Museum and a well-travelled, well-heeled collector's cabinet of curiosities! And when I come across those, time crashes to a standstill. Exploration is a must!

The Aynhoe Unicorn: bold, brash and larger than life!
The Aynhoe Unicorn (detail), painting by Rico White, via A Modern Grand Tour

If history, the statuary, and unique quirky heirloom pieces are your thing, then you have it in spades here, and the little kid in you will awaken to those treasures. I must say that I am no fan of taxidermy and animal trophies in all their forms but if I summon the little kid in me convincingly enough, I might be able to work miracles, Night at the Museum style...

Look up, look down, the folly is all around! Photography by Barker Evans.

This is certainly a magical place that has the power to turn into a magical land of its own accord, depending upon how wild your imagination is and/ or with Santa's little tipple helpers! You are nudged on your journey: Aynhoe Park is interlaced with elements of fantasy (unicorns of all creatures!) and Narnia-esque elements raring to come to life and play!

White Witch Awakening, by Miss Aniela, surreal fashion series photoshoot (2014), via ibid.

Thus all that is needed is to believe and to let your imagination loose and soon enough the creatures will come to life and whisk you away into their dreamlike world! Step into the wardrobe, enjoy the party, Christmas is only a twinkle away!

Pair of Brass Waterlilies, via A Modern Grand Tour
The Ostrich Feather Lamp in 'Ivy', via  ibid.
Wooden Cobra Carved Sculpture, via ibid.
1970s Shell Table by Antony Redmile, via ibid.

* Last updated: 06-Jan-2018

Source: Have cash? Purchase a piece of the action and take the magic home. Or just leave it where it belongs, at Aynhoe, providing an enchantment piece to guests and visitors. Yet if you are serious about parting with a little cash and take home an investment piece that is both unique and eccentric, Aynhoe is destination shopping delight!

Aynhoe Park hosts hospitality events and weddings, which is another way of getting up close and personal with its magical wonderland!

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