Once Upon a time
Every year, at the beginning of November we try and book a day to go and see the opening of the Christmas display at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. Previous themes have included The Nutcracker and Alice In Wonderland, but the moment I heard that this year’s theme was Once Upon a Time, I knew it was going to be one of my favourite years ever.
From the moment you walk though the grand entrance and are greeted by Arthur the sleeping dragon, you know you’re in for a fantastical treat. I certainly don’t want to spoil all of the surprises for you, but I thought I would just share a few of my favourite highlights.
“The First Thing You’ll Need is a Pumpkin”
The Chapel in Chatsworth House is magnificent all year round, but there is something about seeing it decorated for Christmas which is truly magical. I’m pretty sure this is always my favourite room during the Christmas season.
At the centre of the room stands a stunning golden carriage, surrounding by beautiful foliage, pumpkins and other Cinderella themed decor. I’d have quite happily sat in the room for hours , day-dreaming of fairytale princes and royal elaborate balls.
“It Seems To Me We Have No Ordinary Spider”
One thing that I found very interesting about this years’ display was that the little elves behind Chatsworth’s Christmas display didn’t just choose the obvious, classic fairy stories. They also featured some more contemporary children’s favourites.
The Charlotte’s Web section was particularly eye-catching with strings of sparkling lights lining the corridor. I loved spotting all of Charlotte’s famous worlds weaved into the webs of light. Make sure you keep your eye out for Wilbur!
“Once Upon a Time There Were Four Little Rabbits…”
Although perhaps not the most Christmassy portion of the Chatsworth display, the Tales of Beatrix Potter themed section was certainly beautiful. Garlands of flowers filled the corridor and each window revealed another of Miss Potter’s beloved characters.
“Follow The Yellow Brick Road”
The Painted Hall is often one of the focal points of Chatsworth display. This year, the room was themed around L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The room seemed to hold fewer decorations than normal (there is usually a large exhibit in the centre of the room) but to be honest that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The extra space in the room gave guest the opportunity to linger and appreciate the finer details of the display, such as the little yellow bricks incorporated into the Christmas garlands.
“And from this slumber you shall wake, when true love’s kiss, the spell shall break.”
By far my favourite part of the 2018 Chatsworth Christmas display was the Sleeping Beauty room. The well-know story of the princess who picks her finger on a spinning wheel and sleeps for 100 years is depicted through a stunning piece of animation, which I would happily watch over and over again.
The rest of this house is decorated with all the care and attention that I have come to expect from Chatsworth House at Christmas time. There are so many more areas of the house that I could happily talk about, but i think it’s best if I leave a few things for you to discover for yourself.
Christmas at Chatsworth is open until 6th January 2019 although it does close for a break on the 24th, 25th, 26th December 2018 and 1st January 2019. Tickets can be purchased online and I would recommend you do book in advance. There are a limited number of tickets available each day and you wouldn’t want to have a wasted journey as some days do sell out!
For more information, and to book, check out the Chatsworth House website.