Mount Stuart cupola

We are having a McMarbleous time here at Dawdle Hall. Following a trip to the wilds of Scotland Lady Winifred is planning a veritable cavalcade of Carrara!

Starting with the master bedroom ‘en suite’ bathroom she seems intent on cladding most of the house in glistening white slabs of the stone from Tuscany in Italy.

What prompted this desire to dazzle, I hear you ask? Well you can blame magnificent Mount Stuart House on the Scottish Island of Bute for the forthcoming facelift.

Rising above the sedate coastal town of Rothesay, Britain’s most spectacular Victorian Gothic palace is eye-popping and positively dripping in the sumptuous stuff.

Lady Winifred and I were blown away by the Marble Hall at the heart of the red stone edifice, not to mention the interior of the stunning family chapel, clad all in white.

No lesser person than fashion queen Stella McCartney, daughter of Beatle Paul, was so entranced she chose the venue for her wedding to publisher Alasdhair Willis in 2003.

They got hitched under the gleaming pink spire that soars above the chapel, illuminated by the most glorious red and pink stained glass windows surrounding the lantern.

Mount Stuart House is the ancestral home of the Marquesses of Bute who can trace their noble lineage back to Robert II who reigned as King of the Scots from 1371 to 1390.

It was designed in the late 1870’s by the eminent architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson for the 3rd Marquess of Bute, who built a mini-town on the lawn to house the workers.

A technological marvel, it’s said to be the first home in the world to have a heated indoor swimming pool and the first in Scotland to be purpose built with electric light, central heating, a telephone system and lift, most of which still work.

So much high quality marble was used the Marquess also built a special quay below the house so the ships carrying it could get as close as possible. As well as tons of marble the colonnaded main hall also has some stunning stained glass dotted with crystals.

I am not sure if Dawdle Hall is ever going to rival Mount Stuart for its amazing interiors, but I for one would be happy if we can match their marvellous cream teas. The huge scones are to die for. Eat your hearts out Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, I say.


My reservations about Lady Winifred’s plans were heightened when, on our return, faithful hound Whimsy displayed an excessive amount of enthusiasm for the scheme. We found him pawing over her elaborate drawings before carrying them off into the garden for more detailed examination.

So impressed was he, I fear they have now been carefully consigned to one of his time capsules buried in the shrubbery for future generations to marvel at!