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Get patriotic at Castle Drogo with a St Georges Day Lunch

April 23rd is St George's Day, a day celebrating the dragon-slaying patron saint of England & Castle Drogo is hosting a special St Georges Day Lunch.
It’s hard to find a more typically English place to visit than in Drewsteignton. After all, “An Englishman’s home is his castle,” and history is littered with references to this well-known saying. The chance to enjoy a St Georges Day Lunch at Castle Drogo on April 23rd is the perfect way to enter into the spirit of the property!

Drogo – a 20th Century Mediaeval Castle!

Drogo was the last castle to be built in England, completed for businessman in 1930. Designed by in the style of a mediaeval fortress, this Grade 1 listed building will satisfy anyone’s desire to visit a “proper” castle! It has an imposing keep-like entrance with a motto carved in relief above the small doorway (but alas no portcullis!).

There are towers, cellars, tall granite walls, a crenellated roofline and other defensive characteristics which are essentially decorative, along with a chapel and formal gardens. Inside there are exposed beams and heavy tapestries hung on the wall to give it the air of a much older property.

Celebrate with St George’s Day Lunch at Castle Drogo

St George’s Day is the feast day of St George, the patron saint of England. It is celebrated on 23 April each year, the generally accepted date of his death in AD303. Legend has it that St George rescued a maiden by slaying a fire-breathing dragon. His name was later adopted as a battle cry by English knights who flew his flag (a red cross on a white background) in the 14th century during the Hundred Years War.

invites visitors to celebrate in style with a specially prepared lunch menu on a traditional English theme. Prices for a hearty St Georges Day Lunch in the Castle Drogo café start from £7.95, plus the usual National Trust admission fee which includes a tour of the house and a stroll in the beautiful grounds. The café has a very good reputation and when I have visited for the seasonal Christmas lunch, the tables were beautifully laid, the food perfectly cooked and the waitress service exceptional, so you’re in for a memorable lunch on St George’s Day.

If you plan to attend, here’s a tip. It is traditional for true Englishmen to wear a red rose in their buttonhole on St Georges Day, so you might want to get into the spirit of the event by sporting a red rosebud!

Tours of Castle Drogo House and Gardens

Once you’re fat and full, a stroll around the formal gardens may help stave off the sleepiness that always follows a satisfying meal. The azaleas and rhododendrons should be beginning to show their colour. There is a large croquet lawn and longer walks down the wooded gorge of the River Teign. Needless to say, the views of the Devon countryside are gorgeous and it is a great way to appreciate England’s natural beauty on this national day.

The castle is undergoing major repairs in 2013 but, to the credit of the staff, the castle will remain open throughout. The are actually viewing this as an opportunity for visitors to learn more about how the castle was built, and the problems of maintaining such a huge property which is currently under threat from water damage. As well as seeing the huge hall-like rooms and elegantly furnished interiors you will see just how up-to-date the castle is when you get to the plush bathrooms!

The highlights of a tour for me were the drawing room, furnished in Georgian style with beautiful Venetian chandeliers, and the detailed Wendy House. This oversized doll’s house has 10 furnished rooms, various figures and even its own garden in miniature.

Have you enjoyed lunch or afternoon tea at Castle Drogo? Would you recommend it, or do you know of other good places to eat in the area? We’d love you to share your tips with us by commenting below.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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