Waddesdon Christmas Fair – It’s Magical
This week I managed to get the Grinch to accompany me to Waddesdon Manor Christmas Fair. Obviously it was with the promise of copious amounts of beer at the pub afterwards, but hey…whatever works.
After parking up we jumped on one of the free buses that are laid on to ferry visitors from the car park to the Manor. The walk isn’t actually that far, but it was chilly and the Grinch hadn’t been fed yet and was desperate to see if there was a German sausage stall.
After a short trip we all bundled out of the bus at the end of the driveway at the North front of the manor, and what a sight. The driveway was lined on either side with artisan Christmas stalls, each with twinkling lights decorating their frontage. The lights led the eyes down towards the Manor itself which was bathed in a magical myriad of illumination. (I desperately looked for another word beginning with ‘m’ to describe light there, because I’m THAT sad…anyway, you get the picture….it was gorgeous).
We made our way up and down the stalls, sampling sauces, chutney, cheese, and mulled wine….lots of mulled wine. It’s obviously not supermarket prices at the market, but all the products are beautifully made and the food is very tasty. I’ve been an artisan food maker myself and I understand the time and effort (and sweat and tears) that go into creating products like these, so they are definitely worth their price tags.
We had pre-booked tickets to visit the interior of the Manor while we were there as neither the Grinch nor myself had been inside before. It’s a beautiful house, and each Christmas they decorate the rooms with individual Christmas trees, which are floor to ceiling in height. On the way in we were asked politely to hold our bags in front of us at all times ‘just in case’. Fair play. Imagine the horror of a wayward handbag crashing into their very expensive decorations, causing a domino effect of Christmas trees!
Once we’d picked out which room we fancied holding our own Christmas dinner in, we plunged back into the frosty air to find that darkness had well and truly fallen and we had just enough time to wander around the gardens and look at the light show down by the Stables, and the light trail round by the Aviary. I personally loved the light trail as it incorporated some really magical effects with the trees. I won’t give too much away, but think ‘fireflies’.
We timed our trip pretty well, as we finished our stroll just as the event started packing up at 6pm. Now it was the choice of facing a long wait with the rest of the masses for the bus back to the carpark, or negotiating our way back by foot. Quite frankly neither of us fancied standing in a queue in the cold for half an hour so we headed off for a bit of cross country on our own. All I would say is bring a torch, and don’t just follow the person in front as otherwise you’ll end up lost in a wood, covered in mud, and climbing over a locked gate to find civilisation.
All’s well that ends well though…
Christmas Fair is on until 16th December 2018
Christmas Carnival is on until 2nd January 2019
See the Waddesdon Manor Website for details
Top Tips for Visiting Waddesdon Christmas Fair
If you want to visit the inside of the house you need to book in advance and pre-book a time slot.
Wrap up warm as it gets chilly wandering around outside.
Give yourself plenty of time. There are a plenty of stalls to see along with the grounds, the house and the light show. Personally, I think the best time to get there is around dusk, just in time for the lights to really start twinkling.
Bring a torch if you’re going to walk to and from the manor house
Bring some cash. Some of the vendors take cards, but not all.
For other ideas for things to do and places to visit check out Stay on the blog.
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