The Country House Awards

  • Best Guest List – Badminton

    It’s the finest invitation in the kingdom: dinner with the Beauforts in Gloucestershire. The duchess is the consummate hostess. Stay on afterwards for dancing in the library, when the duke’s brother Lord Johnson Somerset takes to the decks.

  • Peatiest Water – Balmoral

    The jewels come in every colour, but the water in just one: brown.

  • Best Croquet Lawn – Woodperry House

    Rory Fleming’s exquisitely well-kept croquet lawn in Oxfordshire is surrounded by beech and cedar of Lebanon trees (one of them fitted with a tree house). Orlando Rock, the Duke of Marlborough and Rupert Baring can be found on the lawn, ready to line up their balls and battle it out.

  • Latest Nights – Longleat

    The long halls of Longleat are ideal for parties – no wonder the Marquess and Marchioness of Bath are famed for throwing such epic ones. Catch Lady Kitty Spencer, Sabrina Elba and Liam Payne at long-table dinners (with foil balloon animals shining above the silver) for grown-ups. The parties Emma throws for her young sons are just as extravagant.

  • Best for Bright Young Things – Fairgreen House

    Annabel Brooks and James Dearden draw a dazzling collection of young guests to Chipping Norton: at Sunday lunch, expect to find Lara Dearden, Lady Lola Crichton-Stuart, Raff Law, Bella Broekman-Tilbury, Alexa Chung and Orson Fry.

  • Best Party Barn – Churchill Heath Farm

    Alice Temperley, Charlotte Tilbury, Keith Tyson and Elisabeth Murdoch descend on Alex and Claire James’s Cotswolds house for the ultimate barn parties: Alex’s son Geronimo DJs from the sound room, while the smell of sizzling steaks floats up from the kitchen.

  • Pleasure Island Award – The Mill House

    George and Amal Clooney’s 17th-century home is on an island in the Thames. The highlight of any stay is a trip in their motorboat, with George at the wheel.

  • Most Generous Host – David Ross at Westerdale & Nevill Holt

    Whether you’re at Westerdale in Yorkshire (supremely well-appointed bedrooms with views over the moors) or at Nevill Holt in Leicestershire (where the glorious garden opera takes place in summer), you’ll find both houses abuzz with young and old: Freddie and Petrina Hesketh, Hum Fleming, Ella Ross and the Marquess of Granby, Alan Duncan and James Dunseath all know that this is an invitation you don’t turn down.

  • Best Parties – Kiddington

    Jemima Khan’s soirées at her house in Oxfordshire are legendary. Cocktails flow as freely from the enormous bar as the guests (Jeremy Clarkson, Mick Jagger, Gillian Anderson) flow between rooms, burgers in hand.

  • Best State Dining Room – Chatsworth

    The red-silk state dining room is rarely used, but when the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire do dinner parties here, it’s quite the spectacle. Even the tablecloth is ironed on the table for dinners with guests such as Erdem, Lord and Lady Edward Manners, and the Devonshires’ daughter-in-law, Laura – the Countess of Burlington.

    Discover the full awards in the February issue of Tatler available via newsstands and digital download Monday 4 January. Subscribe now for a special Christmas offer – one year for just £19 plus a year of free delivery and instant access to digital editions.


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