It's such an expense these days to visit London by car. Charges for this and taxes for that, Eltham Palace, Eltham bucks the trend (for the time being) and is a refreshing change. It sits just outside the emission zones that expand each year and is fairly easy to reach.
Eltham Palace is a juxtaposition of very old and relatively new; a medieval palace and magnificent art deco home. Multi-millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld leased the palace during the 1930s and spent a fortune building their ideal residence. It is full of state of the art technology and modern innovations – the central vacuum is just one.
For me, the rooms are too big and hotel like, there is too much wood panelling and overall, it looks like a set from Thunderbirds. But then I am a heathen. Saying that the Great Hall restoration is stunning.
Outside, there are 19 acres of grounds including a carp stuffed moat, formal gardens and London's oldest working bridge. In the moat by the bridge sits a tree. On the opposite path is a bench, a very pretty munch spot.
Smashing place full of history and great for a quiet meal even this close to central London – which you can see from the gardens. Free for English Heritage members.