Andy was downloading an app for the National Trust when he saw that the grand Palladian house at Stourhead was decorated for the holidays and would I like to go see it? Ummm.. yeah!
It's a bit of a drive from our house, so we arrived at the estate at lunch time. That gave us the perfect excuse to have a bite to eat in the Spread Eagle Inn, a charming pub smack in the middle of the Stourhead Estate.
We settled into a corner near the open fire and enjoyed delicious fish pies and a huge pot of tea. Fortified against the cold, we trudged up the hill to the great mansion.
We were greeted at the door by two friendly National Trust volunteers who gave us a brief introduction to the house.
Now, I am not going to pretend to be able to tell you about all the furniture and art in this grand house. I'll let the photos speak for themselves. But if you visit Stourhead, you will find National Trust stewards who will bring the house to life with their knowledge.
Each room contained a Christmas tree and at least one mouse. Visiting children are encouraged to participate in a Mouse Hunt. I was too old to participate so I really don't know much about it but after a while I was searching for mice too!
This is Santa's room. He visits Stourhead before Christmas so children can have a chat with him. No doubt they tell him what they would like for Christmas.
Grand as these room are, you can find ideas for decorating your home for the holidays. I loved this arrangement of pine, holly and hydrangea flowers.
This mantel piece filled with ivy and fruit looked lovely and could be adapted to suit any home, large or small.
But this Renaissance Organ Case.... well, it's Stourhead through and through!
Click on this link for Stourhead's opening times and dates the Christmas rooms are open to the public: