Highclere Castle, known as “the real Downton Abbey,” bustles with activity all year round, but it is never more alive than at Christmas. This book is a look behind the scenes at the routines and rituals that make the castle the most magical place to be throughout the festive season.
In her introduction, Lady Carnarvon says, “Christmas at Highclere is a book about the planning and parties which take place each December at one of the most spectacular houses in England. It is above all a Victorian home, the period in which the Christmas we know and love today was developed, largely through the influence of Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert. From the richness of the interiors, to the traditional meals and gatherings, through the challenge of decorating a 250-room house, I look at the way my predecessors celebrated and highlight our own traditions today.”
Lady Carnarvon will guide you through Advent, Christmas preparations and Christmas Eve, all the way through to the day itself, and beyond. Learn how the manor and grounds are transformed by decorations, including the raising of a 20-foot tree in the saloon and the gathering of holly and mistletoe from the grounds.
This book also tells the story of historic Christmases at Highclere—of distinguished guests warming themselves by the fire after a long journey home through the snow, unexpected knocks on the door, and, always, the joy of bringing family—and staff—together after a busy year.
As well as telling the stories of Highclere Christmases past and present, Lady Carnarvon provides recipes, tips and inspiration from her kitchen so that readers can bring a quintessentially British festive spirit to their own home. The festive feeling is carried through to Highclere’s Boxing Day traditions, the restorative middle days and the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Lavish, celebratory and utterly enchanting, Christmas at Highclere is the perfect gift for any Downton Abbey fan.
This book is available online.