Our Fair Lady

All good stories have a great leading lady.
Lady Meux is ours. There’s so much to tell you about her that it’s difficult to know where to begin or what tale to tell. However, as she’s the former owner of what’s now Birch, begin we must…

Who was Lady Meux?


Born in America in 1847, Valerie Susan Langdon (who later became Lady Meux) was either an actress or a banjo-playing sex worker (depending on who you believe).
One thing everyone agrees on is that, when she married Sir Henry Bruce Meux in 1878, she wasn’t accepted by society and their marriage caused a serious scandal.

Lady Meux was flamboyant, eccentric, and an incredibly forward-thinking woman. A true boundary-breaker, she challenged conventions, norms, and ideas.

After marrying Sir Henry, Lady Meux moved into Theobalds Park (what we now call Birch) and set about transforming the estate into a haven of frivolity, free spirits, and fun.

Can you see why we like her?

Theobalds became a playground for Londoners


Lady Meux installed an indoor roller skating rink (now the Wellness Space), a swimming pool, a museum of Egyptian antiquities, and a gun room (which we restored in the heart of Valeries).


When Sir Meux died in January 1900, Lady Meux became one of the wealthiest women in Britain.
She continued her quest for fun (zebras, not horses, would pull her carriage into London), and her spirit now lives on at Birch.

Inspired by Lady Meux

While Lady’s Meux ethos of fun and flamboyance is ever-present at Birch, we wanted to bring it to life visually. To do that, we invited the photographer Hollie Fernando and the stylist Lottie Warren to Birch.

What you see below is a collection of images that perfectly encapsulates our beliefs, attitudes, and actions…