Dickensian Christmas

It was time to round-up the Grandparents and take them on their surprise Christmas day. We managed to keep the destination a surprise right up until the last-minute as, luckily, both Grandmas can talk just a little bit. My Granddad seemed perfectly happy, in the peace and quiet, in the front of the car. Luke kept giggling at me sat in between two of our favourite ladies as they began their conversation began pre-WW2 and chatted all the way up to modern-day. Now that was a really fascinating, very condensed, history lesson for us. The historical theme continued as we pulled up to the gates of the beautiful Tatton Park, where the surprise was revealed. We were taking the grandparents to Tatton Park for a look around the Christmas Fair and the Dickensian themed mansion.
We managed to park and joined the crowds of people heading into the midst of the beautiful grounds. Well, we went at a bit of a slower pace as my grandmas, bless them, kept having to stop just to talk to each other. What ever happened to women being able to mulit-task! Although, I secretly congratulated myself on taking them all on the same day as they proved great companions for each other and they got on wonderfully.
We had almost made it to the Dickensian mansion as we stumble upon a gloriously beautiful Merry-Go-Round.photo photo
I had never been on a Merry-Go-Round, least of all one with the old-fashioned colourful horses and I think either a lama, or possibly an over sized chicken, but I couldn’t really tell. I just couldn’t resist. Luke and I joined the other, somewhat younger, Merry-Go-Rounders. Honestly, you would think we were children again as every time we passed our group of grandparents my Granddad was surprisingly nifty at using Luke’s phone to take pictures, although I don’t remember that sort of technology being used when I was younger! Although I did remember grandparents always being cautious as our grandmas were reminding us to keep both hands on the bars each time we passed them.
Once we had returned to acting our correct age, well almost, we led them through the packed courtyard full of people eating lunch and followed an enchanted looking, fairy-lit path towards the stunning mansion. photophoto
I scooted ahead to get the tickets in case my Granddad did his usually trick of disappearing and then turning up having already paid for whatever event we were at, you can’t trust him or let him out of your sights! you try taking him out anywhere and he has a habit of pretending to go to the toilet and secretly paying. Once it ended up my dad, myself and my Granddad all leaving the table separately, only to find ourselves all at the till cards at the ready. There wasn’t any way that would happen this time. I was then able to greet them at the entrance to the mansion with a little bit of a delusion of grandeur occurring, well it is best to aim high!photo
The mansion was just perfect. It was so beautifully decorated and each room provided a delightful surprise from Mrs Havisham‘s Wedding Feast , chirstmassy themed libraries, beautifully set tables photo
twinkling Christmas decorations which including a few surprise uses of forks and spoons! I am not sure if hanging knives and forks hung around my house would have the same impact!photophotophotophoto
and the Cratchit’s Christmas Dinner. There were even carol singers lining the main stair case although I was distracted by a strange figure on the landing and as I was worried at first that I was the only one who could see it until I asked Luke and we discovered it was Jacob Marley’s ghost! I got over my distraction by admiring the beautiful garlandsphoto and learning more from the extremely helpful staff. We also got to go underneath the house and explore the cellars and see where the coal was transported along,photo
where the beer was storedphoto and where the food was prepared. photophoto
We followed the tantalising smell of freshly baked minced pies and found the kitchen where we were able to listen to the very knowledgeable Housekeepers explain their jobs and roles within the house.
It was then off to the Christmas fair which was filled with beautiful crafts, presents and goodies.photophoto
There was also a stalls selling pies and fudge. However, we resisted and headed to the farm shop instead where we discovered jams, strawberry wine, scrumpy jack cider, chocolates and cheeses. All stocked up we headed back to the car park through the glorious gardens. We were going to have lunch in the restaurant but unfortunately it was just too popular so we discovered a cosy pub on the way home, still in keeping with the day though as it was called Egerton Arms.
I would highly recommend a trip to Tatton Park, especially at this time of year, to anyone who wants to enjoy a special day. It was a perfect present for  our Grandparents as they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the mansion was fascinating, you could tell how much effort had gone into making it look so beautiful. I think this is going to become a tradition every year now.


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