I felt a sense of belonging when there before and knew I must return. Coleton Fishacre is larger than the average home but not vast like many National Trust properties. I’m fascinated by grand treasures and objects with historical value in greater establishments. However, when I revisited Coleton Fishacre, I still loved the homely and refreshing clutter-free Arts and Crafts home with its stylish Art Deco interior.

From the entrance hall, music instantly sets the mood from the jazz era. Notes of Cole Porter performed by a pianist in the saloon rang in the air, but the musical enchantment would have to be savoured later as we were guided upstairs.

The D’Oyly Carte family showed an impeccable taste for their 1920s country home, and yet Lady Dorothy’s bedroom has an eclectic mix of ornaments. Sadly, she and her husband Rupert became estranged after the death of their only son Michael, when he was killed aged 21 while driving his car, in what the newspapers’ described, a car and motorbike smash.

The information room, which was probably a spare bedroom in the day, shows how the house was built, with displays of where the stone was quarried from the land nearby. I had admired glittery turquoise tiles around the sinks, and it was explained that they were made using recycled glass.

I wondered why opera music was playing softly with the crackle of an old recording when I studied a display dedicated to the final performance of The Pirates of Penzance. Rupert was the proprietor of the D’Oyly Carte Opera company. And in 1875, his father Richard, produced a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera when he was the Royalty Theatre’s theatrical manager. He built two other theatres and his opera company toured the globe.

At the servants’ end, downstairs, we carried on catching a glimpse of bygone days. Their quarters looked comfortable, and the kitchen cosy and practical. The dining room has a loggia adjoining it, which I was rather taken with and could imagine enjoying outside socialising while sheltering from the elements. Ideal for the times we are living in now.

The sun was shining, the gardens beckoned, but not before we stopped at the saloon and soaked up the ambience while listening to the tones of the pianist playing and singing, A Policeman’s Lot Is Not a Happy One. A jovial song to send us happily on our way.

It’s not surprising that Rupert and Lady Dorothy decided to build their home in the valley meandering down to the sea. A small rocky island juts from the glinting ripples and makes the perfect backdrop for tropical shrubs, trees and ferns. Sounds of the stream and waterfalls tumbling and trickling through them seems to compose a natural symphony harmonising with the location’s musical element. Beautiful and dramatic, a place of dreams.

Until next time,
Sue. X