You heard right. Listen to TS Editor Shubhra Krishan gush about the gardens…
What shall I call it? A garden within a mansion or a mansion within a garden? The structure does not matter, now that I am looking back and letting the memories jot themselves down here. I remember the flowers. Their scent is suddenly around me, sweet and delicate perfume in the cool spring air. And I remember the wide open lawns, the profusion of trees, herbs, shrubs, flowers and ponds…
The Mount Stewart gardens are no hidden beauty. All of Ireland loves and reveres them. When I visited in September 2014, the mansion was under restoration. And it was inspiring and amazing to see how dedicatedly the staff there were going about their painstaking job.
Mount Stewart has an elaborate website, where you will learn that the property belongs to the 7th Marchioness Edith, Lady Londonderry and her family in the early 20th century.
But details aside, what really matters is that the Gardens, very thoughtfully, house a second-hand bookshop and plenty of trees under which you can read those books. There is a restaurant, too, which sources its ingredients locally.
If you go in April 2015 or after, the mansion and gardens will have been restored to their full glory, and you will experience pleasure and peace of the kind one rarely gets to enjoy.
You have to believe me when I tell you this: my jetlag and sleep vanished—vazoom!—within seconds of entering Mount Stewart. A deep sense of serenity and joy took their place and stayed with me for the rest of my trip. In fact, each time I think back to that afternoon among the golden, orange leaves and the happy flowers, I feel the same joy bubble up in my heart.