Huntingdon

Waddesdon Manor and Christmas Fair

After days of wind and rain the day of our trip to Waddesdon Manor was cold, bright and dry. We arrived at the Five Arrows Public House at the entrance to Waddesdon Park for coffee, mince pie and brandy butter, a lovely start to our day.

After driving through the extensive park the coach dropped us off at the North Fountain. It was then a short walk to the Manor House. Waddesdon Manor was built in the 1870s for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to house his collection of 18 century art treasures and to entertain the fashionable world. A French Renaissance style château it has one of the finest Victorian gardens in Britain.

The Christmas craft market was housed in small wooden chalets to the right of the house, with all kind of gifts and foods to browse and taste. In the stables was a biscuit lovers delight! Waddesdon Manor and its interior created out of shaped and iced biscuit, all done down to the smallest detail of furnishings, painting and decorations. In the afternoon we went into the Manor to view the Christmas decorations on the theme of Magical Materials from earth and sea. 13 trees decorated in different materials, including wood, lace and biscuits. One tree made of paper flowers, all these were in with the paintings and other art works of the house, including a wonderful modern chandelier made of broken crockery.

We just had time to walk round the grounds to the aviary and Bruce Munro's Field of Light, 9000 stems of light 'bloom' which, because it was such a bright day, the lights were only just starting to illuminate. As we walked back to the coach we just managed to see the start of the rainbow colours of the Son et Lumière on the facade of the house.

Here are some pictures taken by Seonaid on the visit.