Posted on Tuesday 18th December, 2018
Christmas has landed at National Trust places across the South West. With enchanted houses, fairy tale stories, handmade garlands, seasonal food and gifts, here is what Christmas looks, feels, sounds, smells and tastes like in the South West.
Cotehele’s traditional 60ft long flower garland has a red, white and blue theme this year, in honour of the centenary of Armistice Day, and is complemented with a collage of thousands of cut paper flowers by Dominique Coiffait. Carols, a family trail, crafts, workshops and Mother and Father Christmas bring further festivity to Cotehele.
The Barn Restaurant has a tasty winter menu, including traditional roast turkey Christmas lunches. The Edgcumbe tea-room on Cotehele Quay offers warming, seasonal dishes as well as mulled cider and mulled apple juice.
At weekends, you can relax in the house, traditionally decorated both inside and out. With carol singing and warming fires, it’s perfect for sparkling that festive feeling. Christmas events include a theatre production for all the family, and Christmas high tea tours. For some fresh air, a walk to the top of Godolphin Hill enjoys one of the best views over West Cornwall, and the garden is open for exploring daily (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).
You can see the past come alive at Lanhydrock this Christmas. The halls, dining room and garden are decorated for a Victorian Christmas, with grand trees sparkling, the table laid for Christmas dinner, and fires roaring. The kitchens bustle with the excitement of the dinner ahead; you can help the servants prepare the festive food and decorations from studding oranges with cloves to stirring puddings and rolling gingerbread. Outdoors, enjoy a walk amongst the 1,000 acre estate and see baubles, wreaths and herds of wooden reindeer in the garden.
For festive food and shopping, the gift shop, plant centre and bookshop are filled with gift ideas and Stables Tea-Room and Park Café have tasty treats and even Christmas lunches (on selected dates, pre-booking essential).
After dusk, see the garden in a new light as it becomes an illuminated wonderland. The lights lead you through the garden and on into the house to warm up, where the halls are well and truly decked. Reds and golds adorn Christmas trees, which, along with a roaring fire, create warming glow. Little ones can gather round Father Christmas for festive storytelling, meet his reindeer or get crafty making their own wooden reindeer to take home. For last minute gifts, the shop has a range of seasonal options, and craft stalls in the stables are perfect for local gifts. Here you’ll also find the 'Tuck Room' selling warming soups and mulled wine. In the house, a little café tucked away in the old kitchen specialises in eggnog.
For a bit of magic this Christmas, why not head to Trerice, where the barn is filled with a sky of hundreds of handmade golden stars? You can even have a go at decorating your own to take home and pop on the tree at a Christmas craft workshop. As well as this, a Tudor Father Christmas shares traditional tales, local choirs perform carols and two Tudor banquets take place.