THE SITWELL HOME: A RURAL HAVEN OF LITERATURE AND FOOD

Weston Hall, in rural Northamptonshire, plays a vital role in both the literary and culinary story of the United Kingdom. A family home of the famous literary Sitwells since 1714, today it plays hosts to food lovers with regular supper clubs featuring some of the country’s greatest chefs, as well as privately catered dinners and cookery courses. With close proximity to the Silverstone circuit the house can be rented in part or whole through Airbnb or private contract, and is also available as a marquee venue for weddings.

The house is also open to the public most weekends by appointment.

Located in a quiet Northamptonshire village, Weston Hall became a haunt for 20th century literary figures as the home of the writer Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, from 1923 until his death in 1988.

The youngest of a trio of literary siblings, ‘Sachie’ was given the house by his father as a wedding present and he lived there with his glamorous Canadian wife, Georgia. At a narrow writing desk overlooking the lawn, he wrote over 130 books of poetry and prose, including acclaimed works on music and baroque architecture.

He also entertained his many literary friends, including Evelyn Waugh, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Cecil Beaton and Noel Coward. Sachie’s sister, the poet Dame Edith Sitwell, was a frequent visitor. Little has changed since the 1930s, the house is full of photos and memorabilia of the Sitwells. There are also mementos of previous owners, including a handsome Colonel who fought at Waterloo who received numerous ‘billet doux’ from his female admirers.

Unusually, the house has mainly passed through female hands – and has a distinctly feminine feel. The current occupant of Weston is the food writer and MasterChef critic William Sitwell.  Sachie’s grandson who, with his immediate family, treats visitors to personal tours. Its attractions include an 18th century library, a Victorian orangery, topiary garden and kitchen garden, as well as a coach house complete with restored brougham.

Many visitors combine a tour of the house with a visit to the grave stones of the family, including Sir Sacheverell and Dame Edith Sitwell in the neighbouring village of Weedon Lois.

Set in idyllic countryside it’s a safe and perfect place for a break from the busy world.
While the village has the excellent Crown Inn, serving classic British food, nearby towns Brackley and Towcester offer a variety of bars and restaurants, from tapas and Chinese to Indian food and fish and chips.

Getting around

Transport links are excellent with both the M40 and M1 within easy reach (Junction 15a of the M1 and Juncton 10 or 11) of the M40. Milton Keynes, which offers fast 30 minute links to London can be reached in 30 minutes and Birmingham airport is just an hour’s drive away with London’s Heathrow being a 90 minute journey. A driver is on hand for anyone needing collecting from stations or airports.