Up at 3am or 'silly time' as I call it. Feeling very tired but I can't sleep so I thought I would tell you about my little escape yesterday (Sunday). I popped the dinner onto slow cook in the oven leaving my hubbie at home to look after it and off I went to Packwood House. On my visit the previous weekend, they had said that the Christmas decorations would be going up for the following weekend and that there would be a Christmas fair with music and stalls to get people into the festive spirit. How could I resist that?
Some of the stalls at the Christmas Fair at Packwood House.
This lovely couple in the photo above I had met at Coughton Court.
The stall above and below sold lovely bird feeders.
Just a few of the edible delights available on the stalls.
I bought all three of the cheeses from the picture above and below, yummy :)
When I arrived at Packwood, I could not believe how many cars were there! To be honest it put me off a little as I don't like places too busy. It doesn't feel like an escape from the daily goings on of life if you're fighting with crowds. Strangely Packwood did not seem as crowded as I thought it would be judging from all the cars I saw.
As I approached the main reception I could hear the band playing and it is correct what people say...When you hear Christmas carols being played live by a band it does put you in the right frame of mind for the Christmas Season. I can't help myself and I just start humming to the music :)
Mulled wine anyone?
The Christmas Market was nice and festive, I had seen many of the same stalls at Coughton Court a couple of weeks before. I recognised them and they did me :) There were a few different stalls and yes I found a favourite one again. This time it was a stall run by a lovely lady who sells wool and patterns to make different things. I noticed it first because of a Christmas tree she had displayed with colourful pompoms.
I loved these teapot covers :)
It looked lovely, I would never have thought of doing that myself but it looked so effective and stood out. It took me back a few years too. I can remember making these as a child... attacking the cereal boxes to cut the doughnut shapes out and then wrapping around all the spare bits of wool you could find. I knew them as the balls that went on the bobble hat but I used to make them for my cat to play with. My old cat used to pull them apart quickly but loved playing with them. Years later I taught my own daughter how to make these too and a few other people. They were something my aunt had taught me how to make as a child and I had never forgotten even after all these years.The lady who owned the stall had a few other lovely items too. I took her card so will add her details in case anyone is interested in finding out more.
As I didn't have a lot of time I soon headed for the house to see the Christmas decorations. The house was dressed beautifully but what stood out to me the most were all the gorgeous fresh flower decorations. They really were stunning. Whomever prepared these flower displays had done a lovely job of them, they really were pretty. My photos won't do them justice but I will add some anyway.
I do like a warm open fire at Christmas to watch, it always makes you feel cosy and the place more homely. It just sets the scene beautifully but Packwood house did not have any open fires that I noticed but they did decorate them beautifully and were able to give the appearance of flickering light coming from them instead of a real fire. You have to see them to know what I mean.
All the downstairs rooms were dressed beautifully and made the house feel very Christmassy and made me feel a little guilty I had not decorated my own house yet. There I am nosing around some of the local National Trust houses to see them all dressed up for the season and I haven't even started on my own!
The dining room at Packwood House all beautifully dressed for Christmas.
I love seeing the dining rooms, they have all been dressed so really well.
No real fire but the effect of a cosy fire. It's a good trick on the eye when you first look at it.
Again the beautiful fresh flowers.
I don't like my decorations up too soon, maybe a week or two before Christmas is when I start. In past years, with three cats, I have often had to re-dress my tree like many cat-lovers I guess. How many of us have a cat up a Christmas tree photos? I have loads! They can't help themselves can they? :) I also learnt very early on not to put chocolates on the tree with cats around. They always seem to like to play with them. One of the cats we have now has a very sweet tooth so we have to keep things covered up and out of his reach. He will eat anything!
I really like this room and it is the first room you enter as you walk into the house. Beautiful.
I will leave you with a few more photos of Packwood House from Sunday. It is well worth checking out as it is their new Garden Kitchen Cafe.
For other National Trust places I have visited to see the Christmas decorations I will post the links below. More to follow hopefully in the coming weeks.
Christmas at Charlecote http://janaruzena.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/christmas-has-come-to-charlecote.html
Coughton Court http://janaruzena.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/coughton-courts-winter-festival.html