ChristmasNational TrustPhotography

A Christmas present to discover a Christmas past

Christmas is a time for traditions and for meeting friends and family. It’s also, traditionally, a time for eating and drinking more than you might normally consume at any other times of the year. Coupled with that, it’s a time for visiting, reacquainting and often learning (even if it is only a quiz or two whilst endulging!).

So, this Christmas season we found the ideal way of combining all of these things this Christmas with a visit to Lanhydrock, near Bodmin in Cornwall. Now owned and run by the National Trust, Lanhydrock is a magnificent late Victorian Country House and Estate formerly the home of the Agar-Robartes family. After a devastating fire in 1881 the Jacobean House was refurbished in high-Victorian style and designed to incorporate elegance, luxury and the latest “mod-cons” of the time. Lanhydrock also has extensive and carefully planned and landscaped gardens and a vast estate incorporating the family church, estate cottages, ancient woodland and riverside walkways.

Our visit had the added bonus of partaking in a Christmas lunch in the Servants Hall restaurant prepared by the National Trust staff. This was preceded by a walk around the house to see a number of the rooms opened and specially decorated, notably the sumptuous and festively decorated dining rooms and the servants areas and the kitchens where there would have been the bustle of activity preparing the extravagant feasts for the family and guests. Whilst our 2018 lunch might not have been quite so lavish and opulent, it was nonetheless very enjoyable and served by the friendly Lanhydrock NT staff.

This excursion combined a family outing, partaking of a Christmas lunch and the opportunity to gain knowledge about Victorian Christmas festivities (above and below stairs). All in all a grand day out, and one which we would wholeheartedly recommend.

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