I arrived at Coughton Court just after it had opened Sunday morning and already the car park was filling up. When ever I see a full car park anywhere other than at a National Trust property, I dread it to be honest as I am not one for busy places. Luckily, it does not matter how many cars you get at a National Trust property, there seems to always be room for everyone to have their own space when walking around the grounds or the house. I guess it's a little like Dr Who's Tardis, bigger than it always seems, you have to wonder where all the people go?
As soon as I arrived, I was given a ticket to enter the house, I didn't have to wait long, only 5 minutes before seeing the Christmas decorations :)
From the very moment you enter Coughton Court, you are transformed into the magical world of Christmas. Christmas tree number one is there right in front of you and you will see many more as your tour the house. As you wander up the staircase and through each room, you will see a touch of Christmas everywhere.
As for Christmas, we celebrate Christmas Eve as the Czechs do with a feast and just one present to open to keep the tradition going. On Christmas Day,we celebrate the English way with the main presents given then of course the big Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Best of both worlds like I said :)
In years gone by, St Nicolas and Christmas were made into one event as they were so close together. It is thought that the artist who invented the red and white Santa of today, based it on the St Nicolas figure he had known as a boy rather than that of Father Christmas himself.
I got to spend a little time listening to this lovely lady below playing Christmas Carols on the piano, it just added to the atmosphere of the day.
Back to Coughton as I got a little carried away with Santa :) I did actually get to see him today but Santa's Grotto was a little dark so my photo of him did not come out too well as no flash is allowed in these old properties. I might have to go back and do that room again but this time with a tripod. I will see when I go through all my photos.
My favourite room today had to be the dining room. It was so beautifully dressed, I have to admit I spent more time in this room than any other. Every room was beautifully dressed but the dining room, well that was really special. I could have happily sat down at that table and eaten a fine Christmas dinner, ringing my bell for service,well it was all dressed for the occasion :)
The beautifully dressed table set for Christmas
The tree in the diningroom
And of course the fireplace.There is something really nice about an open fire in the winter and especially at Christmas.
Now for Santa's Grotto, as I said it was a little dark in here so I did the best I could as far as taking photos.
Lots of photos today because there was lots to see.
Here are a few of the other things she made.
I bought some of these for my Christmas tree, they smell amazing!
Her knitted Christmas puddings
A few more Christmassy things on her stall. As you can tell I really liked a lot of what she had.
Look at the little knitted Santa :)
There were many other Christmas themed stalls too and for all you chocolate lovers and sweet-toothed people, something for you too!
I am sure these two were at Waddesdon Manor chilly festival, I will have to check through my photos. Lots of smiles today :)
I wonder what this man was saying at the time? how big?
This is sweet heaven for some.
The courtyard at Coughton Court.
Coughton Court's own National Trust shop was also full of lots of Christmas items, ideal for presents or to decorate your house or tree. You should be able to find the same items in most of the National Trust estates. I will cover them more when I do Christmas at Charlecote Park next week.
The garden was closed but I still got to see some of the Autumn colours.
Seeing a historical house all dressed up for Christmas is something quite special, it's all about traditions and this is the one time of the year I really enjoy. As I get older,I see things differently like I guess we all do. I have now gone back to the older way of celebrating the Christmas Season and enjoy making things to hang on my tree and to give as presents. To me it's the thought and effort gone into something and not how much someone can spend which is important. Spending time with loved ones and close friends is what I love about this time of year more than anything else. I wasn't feeling Christmassy at all until my visit to Coughton today but I have come home and now starting to get into the spirit of things and also looking forward to revisiting a few other properties to see Christmas in them too.
If you want to get lost in the magical Christmas feeling, Coughton Court will not disappoint you. I really enjoyed my visit today. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and looking at my pictures.
Here is a link to the Winter Festival and Coughton Court itself.