Orchids add splash of colour to ‘perfect’ stately home

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A STATELY home will be awash with colour this weekend when it stages its annual orchid festival.

The event at Burton Agnes Hall has been organised by its owners the Cunliffe-Lister family in partnership with local orchid expert Ray Creek, and promises to reveal a stunning collection of orchids.

The Elizabethan Great Hall will be filled with displays and there will also be expert talks, slideshows and specialist advice offered about growing and caring for orchids.

Visitors can also buy plants from what is being billed as the widest selection in the area, and other orchid-related goods, from stalls on the ground floor of the hall.

Simon Cunliffe-Lister said: “We always look forward to the orchid festival at Burton Agnes. After the dark, cold days of winter it’s a treat to work with so many beautifully coloured orchids, creating fun and intriguing displays for our visitors.

“I love the contrast between the quintessentially English decor of the hall and the exotically flamboyant orchids.”

The courtyard cafe will be serving home-cooked meals, while home-grown plants and seasonal goods will be on display in the home and garden shop.

The hall has been described by Simon Jenkins, author of England’s Thousand Best Houses, as “the perfect English house”.

It was built between 1598 and 1610 by Sir Henry Griffith.

The next event it will host is an Easter egg hunt on April 8 and 9.

The hall will be open on tomorrow and on Sunday from 11am to 4pm each day. Admission costs £5 for adults, £4.50 for pensioners and £3 for children.