Loseley Park's Michael More-Molyneux on his perfect Surrey weekend
PUBLISHED: 17:34 07 January 2011 | UPDATED: 11:50 11 July 2014
Owner of Loseley Park, near Guildford, Michael More-Molyneux, 56, lives in the stately home with his family - which he says is "a little like living over a shop". As a result, his weekends often involve attending one of their events or pointing lost visitors in the right direction...
Originally published in Surrey Life April 2008
Before I start telling you about how I usually spend my weekend, I probably ought to tell you a bit about my background.
My family have lived at Loseley Park since 1508, meaning that this year we are celebrating our 500th anniversary (I am the 14th continuous generation to live there).
My parents reside in one wing of the house, while my wife Sarah and I, together with our children, Alexander (25), Katrina (24) and Tristram (21), live in the main part. Although the children have essentially flown the nest, they return on a regular basis.
In fact, Alexander has returned to work at Loseley full-time this year, which his family are thrilled at. He is responsible for the upkeep and presentation of the grounds, including parkland that stretches to 100 acres, and the maintenance of all the properties on the estate.
Katrina, meanwhile, was a national skater and got to be in the top five in the country, before moving on to the London College of Fashion, where she is doing a degree in fashion photography.
Tristram is in full-time ski race training and has just returned from the English Championships, having got a first and a second at senior level.
Tragically, in 1997, we lost our son Christopher in an accident on the farm when he was aged just 12. Hardly a week goes by without him being referred to or talked about, and he will never be forgotten by anyone who met him.
Never a dull moment...
Nowadays, living at Loseley is a little like living over a shop. There is always something going on. Our visitors often refer to it as a haven of peace and tranquillity, which is exactly what we want our guests to experience.
To those who live and work here, however, we often joke that it is a cross between a fire station - rushing from one situation to another - and a mad house!
Weekends can often be spent being present at one of our big shows. The Great Gardening Show in July can attract 15,000 people on a long weekend. And for the Richmond Dog Show in September, where we have 10,000 dogs and 15,000 people, all leave is cancelled! Plus, there are often couples to show round for potential weddings or introductions to family dinners in the house.
It is important that one is able to stress the significance of Loseley as a home as well as pointing out some of the very special aspects of Loseley that one's ancestors have collected over the years.
When we are not welcoming visitors, you will often find us out running. Sarah has been a founder patron of the Children's Hospice Association for the South East (CHASE) since 1996 - and, as a result, we became involved in fundraising and in 1998 took up, in our forties, marathon running. Together, Sarah and I between us have run 18 marathons. Therefore, weekends can mean long runs of anything between 10 to 20 miles. We are so lucky in Surrey in having beautiful countryside to exercise, relax and enjoy. Having four dogs, it is fortunate that we also enjoy walking!
Our day starts at 6.30am and one rarely gets home before 6.30pm, plus there's often meetings to attend in the evening.
Sarah and I would love to have a holiday at Loseley. However, this is impossible. So if we want a break we have to leave home. We still enjoy the buzz and excitement of getting on an aeroplane and discovering a new countryside.
Our favourite family restaurant is Rumwong in Guildford. We have been going for 28 years. The service is amazing and everybody is so friendly and the food, of course, is delicious.
We are all very lucky to live in a county, which is so beautiful and with so many oases. We are doubly fortunate to work and live in such a historic and idyllic location as Loseley, and to further the work of previous generations to keep Loseley developing to ensure it reaches its millennium.
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