There’s nothing better for sparking off festive spirit than a visit to Waddesdon’s annual Christmas extravaganza.
Every year the National Trust Property near Aylesbury is transformed into a seasonal work of art.
This year’s theme is Christmas Carnival and the house is decked out with displays inspired by feasts, festivities, masked balls and fairy tales
The garden is as much of a draw as the house more than ever this year so if you fail to book a slot in the house, head to Waddesdon just for the garden art, light and sound show and the Christmas market. It’s well worthwhile .
OUR FAVOURITE ELEMENTS
IN THE HOUSE:
Fairy Tale corridor
The Cinderella corridor with gold heart shaped mirrors, stars, giant stop-watch style clocks and fairy lights. Total magic
The All White Feast
The imaginary Banquet table with stunning white paper sculptures from artichokes and jelly moulds to a multi -tiered cake and giant swan. The designs were inspired by the custom of using sculptural elements in table settings in18thcentury Versailles, typically then made out of linen, biscuit porcelain, sugar or fruit.
The carnival float
In reality a bath-turned gondola, decked with strings of beads and gold parcels. Clever and elegant.
The staircase leading to the shop
Walls are decorated from top to bottom with artwork made by from children of local schools, this year with a cat and mouse theme. Cheerful
The frosted vintage tree
…in soft tines of old rose tones an dusky blueinspired by the 18thcentury passion for fashion when clothes were richly adorned. Tree decs follow this trend and include flowers, feathers, handbags and butterflies
Innovative and stylish gifts immaculately displayed, many linked to the house displays and collections. Lovely to look at and tempting to buy. Go for inspiration for a show stopping Christmas tree and take your Christmas list and get some great presents . Not forgetting the Rothschild wine shop
80+ exhibitors sell gifts, decorations, crafts and festive foods in an avenue of cute wooden chalets. Has to be one of the best Christmas markets around. We especially loved Blacksmith Munro’s and Blacks Cheese – the Irish whiskey with stem ginger is to die for, and Sticky toffee just has to be experienced
So many lovely places to stop for drinks and very delicious eats around Waddesdon but the Wigwam café came top of our list with its cosy atmosphere, sheepskin rugs and the appealing smokey smell of the hot pots and vegan curry cooking. Only open in the daytime
Light and sound
Constantly changing lights beamed on the house façade highlight the French chateau-style architecture and makes it look even more impressive
The festoon-lit playground path, complete with sounds makes a fun route from aviary to the Stables
Interactive Light installation
Tap the big button to bathe the trees in light and change the colours
Created by students of Guildhall School of Music and Drama ( GSMD) LEDs form an arch-shaped tunnel with rapidly changing colours and a dramatic soundscape
Light and sound show created by GSMD students is projected onto the front walls of the Stables . Inspired by the architecture, gardens and history of Waddesdon, objects in the collections have been 3D scanned and transformed into detailed animations creating a fantastical visual story of Waddesdon. Runs constantly from dusk
Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, HP18 0JH
Grounds £12, House and grounds £27
Until Wed 2 January 2019, Wednesday-Sunday, Grounds open 11am-6pm. Closed 24- 26 December
House Weekend tickets sold out until Christmas, Weekday tickets limited availability and need to be pre-booked. Grounds available
Christmas Market runs until 16 December, Wed – Sun 11am – 6pm