Time to head back to Winnipeg as we had an invitation to dinner at the Macdonald/Dalnavert Mansion. Before eating we were treated to a tour by the current “residents:”
Yes, we were being transported back in time to the late Victorian era as our hosts took on their roles as the Macdonald household, from Sir Hugh, the former Premier of Manitoba, his wife Lady Agnes, their son, daughter and the household staff. Before we officially met our hosts, the head housekeeper gave us a quick tour of the grounds which contained a colorful garden and a sweet surprise:
Here is the little one who popped out to say hello:
Housekeeper made a quick note to speak to the gardener about the intruder and then we were escorted inside the Queen Anne Revival styled home which was built in 1895. We received a quick introduction to Sir Hugh and Lady Agnes, who, due to a previous engagement sadly could not join us for dinner, but they welcomed us warmly and asked us to please enjoy their home.
Each room was meticulously arranged to look as though someone had just been there – from the dolls in the daughter’s room, to the chess set in the parlor, to the evening clothiers laid out for Lady Agnes and Sir Hugh’s in their bedrooms and more. I loved all the furniture and bric-a-brac and even I recognized a few pieces similar to those my mother had arranged in my own home growing up:
The son’s room had a few mechanical toys, books, a set of dominoes, camera and stamp album. In a sad bit of reality, Lady Agnes had told us that they had some concerns about their son who was feeling poorly. The real son, Jack, passed away in 1905.
The kitchen area was astounding – I could imagine the cook staff busy at work making our dinner:
Time for dinner in a private dining room:
It was all quite resplendent!