Greenway. From bbc.co.uk
¨On summer evenings family and guests would gather in the drawing room to hear the queen of crime read from her latest thriller and try to guess "whodunnit".
When the guests were out of earshot Agatha Christie, who was shy of her musical talent, would entertain herself by playing the grand piano in the same room beside the Dart estuary.
For the first time this week Christie enthusiasts will be able to visit - and even stay in - the writer's beloved Devon holiday home, Greenway, which she described as the "loveliest place in the world".
The £5.4m restoration by the National Trust aims to return Greenway to its 1950s heyday - as it would have been enjoyed by the crime writer and her family.
Along with the drawing room, visitors will be able to peek into the author's bedroom with its cream coloured walls and view of the water. And from April the dining room, the scene of large family gatherings, will be open to the public. A favourite meal for Christie when she was there was lobster followed by blackberry ice cream.
For the first few weeks, visitors will see staff in the last stages of recreating Greenway. The trust has decided to let the public see the process rather than making them wait until later in the year to gain access.
Picture from guardian.co.uk
The house, which Christie bought in 1938 and made her holiday home until 1959, was given to the National Trust in 2000 by her family. But until now only the 12-hectare (30-acre) garden, boathouse and footpaths through the 112-hectare estate had been open to the public, as the house remained the private home of Christie's daughter, Rosalind, and her husband, Anthony Hicks, until their deaths in 2004 and 2005.
Mathew Prichard, Christie's grandson, said: "What I wish most is that the people who visit it feel some of the magic and sense of place that I felt when my family and I spent so much time there in the 1950s and 1960s."
Robyn Brown, National Trust property manager for Greenway, said: "It has been an enormous and expensive task to restore the house and garden. But I hope that visitors will come and enjoy them in the way that many of the previous owners have done - as a family holiday home in which parties have congregated and celebrated a combined interest in gardens, a love for travel, literature and music as well as the beauty and inspiration of Devon."
In addition to the rooms open to visitors, part of the house is available as a holiday apartment accommodating up to 10 people.¨
Article by Steven Morris for the Guardian