The Waddesdon Hunt

The Waddesdon Hunt was an illustrated game inspired by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, his sister Alice, Mimi the Mynah bird and the exquisite collections housed at Waddesdon Manor, a National Trust property owned by the Rothschild Foundation.

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Players were encouraged to explore and learn a little about the history of the the manor and its occupants by taking part in a treasure hunt to find the Baron’s most prized possession, his Gold Book.

Participants were given a handwritten letter, a map and their first clue, ‘wax’-sealed inside a Waddesdon blue envelope. The rest of the clues were scattered at strategic locations around the grounds. The hunt included a close encounter with the puppet version of Mimi the Mynah bird and culminated inside the house with the Baron and his sister. As a final treat, each player’s drawings (created as part of the game) could be given to the Baron to keep for all time in the Gold Book, in exchange for one of the Baron’s own illustrations.


Waddesdon Manor has now kindly included the Gold Book, and its contents (the donated drawings from Hunt participants), as part of its official collection.

Mimi the Mynah bird was also commissioned by The Rothschild Foundation (for Waddesdon Manor) and made by Frolicked for the manor’s first ever Feast Festival. Mimi is based on the wonderful illustrations of Stu McLellan.


The Waddesdon Hunt was run as part of the manor’s annual Feast Festival.

Every poster, map, page, letter and clue was hand drawn and coloured by Beka, Frolicked’s director, and created especially for The Waddesdon Hunt. You can find all Beka’s illustrations for the piece here. Here’s a taster:

And here is some of the brilliant artwork collected from Hunt participants:

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