3 sleeps to go….

The run-up to Christmas can be a hectic time.  There is so much preparation to be done – shopping, wrapping, baking, cleaning.  The list goes on and on.  As the days fly past me, I am determined that we will spend as much time enjoying Christmas as we do preparing for it.

To that end, for the next few days I have planned at least one festive activity to go alongside any last minute work that has to be done.  Today, the family headed out to Derbyshire for a fun, family day out at Chatsworth.

We started out by having a fabulous Christmas meal at a pub in Hognaston.  The pub in question is a very traditional, country pub called “The Red Lion”, complete with roaring fire and wooden beams.  Hognaston is a tiny pub in the middle of nowhere, but it is a firm favourite in our household and we have had many beautiful meals there.

We all had a very traditional turkey dinner, with all the trimmings, and I could easily have gone back for seconds.  But that would have been very greedy.  And I am (almost) never greedy.  Besides, we had further plans for festive food later in the day.

After dinner, we took a beautiful drive through the Derbyshire countryside to the beautiful Chatsworth House.  I have decided to dedicate an entire post to Chatsworth, as there is no way I could do it justice in this small space.  On a normal day, the house is beautiful and majestic.  At Christmas it takes on a whole new dimension and the staff are continually outdoing themselves with their Christmas designs.

We currently hold Friends Of Chatsworth cards, so we can visit the house as many times as we like, and we certainly take advantage of that fact.  I think we’ve been at least four times this month.  We took a final trip around the house (it gets very busy at this time of year) and then headed off to the Children’s farmyard and playground.

Freya had a fab time running around the playground and Poppy was mesmerized by the animals, especially the very large Shire horses.  Then we popped to Freya’s favourite restaurant for our usual afternoon tea, while I had a cheeky glass of mulled wine with a mince pie.  Yum!

It was a fabulous, relaxed day with no running around – a complete escape from the usual last minute stresses of Christmas. It almost served to make me completely forget the doom and gloom that is hanging over us at all times – almost.

Now I’m sat alone at home, catching up on some recorded telly, before I have to start that last-minute prepping I talked about.  There are more presents to be wrapped, cards to be written and cleaning to be done.

Guess I’d better stop chatting to you and get on with it.  Night night x

Three sleeps to go…

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