With last week’s train strikes behind us, adventure is once again on the horizon! And our top suggestion is only 2.15 hours outside of London, the glorious Chatsworth House, nestled within the rolling hills of the Peak District National Park.

This weekend marked the opening of ‘Mirror Mirror: Reflections on Design at Chatsworth’, where sixteen contemporary artists, designers and sculptors have thoughtfully responded to the architecture, garden and grotto at the historic Grade I location. The result is an array of exquisite works, each in dialogue with the deep histories and tangible presence of the house and the landscape around it.

If Keira Knightley tentatively wandering through Mr Darcy’s sculpture gallery rings any bells, then get yourself on the train to tiptoe amongst the sculptures yourself. Though this time, instead of being greeted by Mr Darcy’s collection of classical marble busts, which include Filippo Albacini’s ‘Achilles’ (1825) and Antonio Canova’s ‘Endymion’ (1819 – 22), you’ll stumble across Samuel Ross’ contemporary take on sculpture in the same material, through a modernist lens.

Growing up in housing estates in Brixton and the East Midlands, Samuel’s designs open new narratives surrounding traditional sculpture, holding up a mirror to the field dominated by white bodies. His marble structures sit upon steel legs, powder-coated in bright orange, to reflect the artist's interest in modernism – where the industrial is favoured over the antique and the abstract over the figurative. Traditionally at Chatsworth House, these priorities are flipped on their head, but Samuel successfully embraces both styles, creating hybrid pieces that jar in how symbiotic the result is.

Venture further inside, to the library where Michael Anastassiages’ light installation invites you to experience your own mini enlightenment as shadows are cast over traditional spaces, and a typically dark room is illuminated from within.

No doubt the 18th-century artist, Jan van der Vaardt, would smile smugly at the knowledge that 300 years after he expertly painted a violin on the door of the State Music Room, visitors still fall for the optical illusion. Mirror Mirror brings him into conversation with contemporary sculptor Jay Sae Jung and her throne created by tightly wrapping cords around found objects, in this case, broken musical instruments, that burst forth from the throne itself.

Before heading back to London, it goes without saying, that a walk through the park surrounded by mother nature will reset and refresh you. Especially as you notice works such as Wendell Castle’s benches around the historic Ring Pond, each echoing the yew trees it sits amongst.

To see such a diverse set of artists express their unique perspectives in one place is singular in itself. Witnessing their work dispersed amongst the Grade I listed estate, each responding in their own personal way, creates a once-in-a-lifetime experience that, I imagine, not even the curator could anticipate.

By Minna Coke