Christmas at Chatsworth16:13
Are you feeling festive yet?
I certainly am, and there’s MORE than enough to go around for everyone!
As soon as there’s a chill in the air and those Starbucks Red Cups make an appearance, I’m itching to Deck the Halls. And my somewhat premature Christmas spirit has only increased since my visit to the Chatsworth estate yesterday.
In case you don't know, the gorgeous stately home is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire – home to the Cavendish family since the 1500’s. Nestled on the east bank of the River Derwent, the house is set in hills and woodlands and truly is one of Derbyshire’s finest gem’s.
It looked so gorgeous as we approached, with the golden glow of the morning sun shining right down onto it/
It was one of my favourite types of mornings; the sky was blue and the air was crisp and cold, making our cheeks turn pink as we bundled up into our hats and scarves. A truly glorious Winter morning.
Every year, they decorate the house with a theme; this year, it’s Wind in the Willows.
I was absolutely desperate to get into the house to see the decorations, but being short for time meant we couldn't go this time around. The market was more than enough for us though.
Independent retailers of food, drink, gifts and crafts from all over the country flock to the courtyard to sell hungry wanderers festive treats. Mulled wine, mince pies and a LOT of cheese.
My first purchase of the day was obviously a slice of the good stuff.
The most wonderfully creamy white stilton with wild mushrooms and exactly the right amount of garlic. My plan is to save it until Christmas, but let's face it, who am I kidding?
Christmassy crafty bits lined the stalls; decorations, ornaments, quirky little critters...
We happily spent all morning dipping in between the stalls, spending a small fortune on yet more cheese, and then the rain began to pour.
We ducked under a canopy to save our paper bags...
Where we also met some of the gorgeous locals...
The brass band began to play "Singing in the Rain", which caused for an impromptu singalong. And as if by magic, the skies were clear once more. Time for some lunch and mulled wine.
My vegetarian sister opted for paella, which was apparently rather flavourless and disappointing.
The meat eaters among us chose a full pig roast in a soft white roll, which I can assure you, was every bit delicious as it looks.
And so it came to the end of our visit.
Feeling suitably full and festive, we hopped into the car and drove home through gorgeous golden trees and through the mossy green valleys. What a stunning little corner of the world we live in!
The Chatsworth Christmas Market is open until Sunday 29th November, so you still have a week to pop down and make the most of things.
Until next time, Chatsworth...