Tuesday 21 November 2017

It's a Dickensian Christmas at Chatsworth House!

Hi Everyone and thanks for you visit today,

ALERT!  This is a mega photo heavy post and has only a passing connection to crafting AND there's lots of things Christmassy so, if you decide to stay for a browse I'd grab a drink and settle in, lol!

Last year Hubby and I visited Chatsworth Christmas Market for the first time and were quite impressed even though it was raining most of the time but we didn't go to look round the decorations in the house.  This year we decided to book a time slot online.......not a bad idea as it saves you a parking fee 😃f as well as guaranteeing you a place.  We decided to try and get there as early as we could, even though our house visit wasn't till 3.15 pm, so that we weren't parked too far away as we are not too agile these days and it does get a bit claggy underfoot when it's damp (which it was).  They do have some 'golf cart' type buggies driving around to ferry people though which is a big help if you're prepared to wait for them. 

The house this year, is decorated in a Dickensian theme and I have to say it is stunning.  Unfortunately we had a mishap with the camera.......I remembered to put the battery on charge the night before and thought Hubby had put it in the camera as he'd taken it from the socket.....WRONG! I had picked up a battery empty camera so I had to resort to my phone and whilst they are not the best pics in the world I was surprisingly pleased with them.  I haven't done any tweaking with the light or anything because I thought it would spoil the atmosphere in the house and market.  It was a very gloomy day and did rain several times so we got a bit damp and chilly waiting for our time slot after lunch.  The restaurants get mega busy so you have to be patient if you want to eat indoors but there are loads of fresh foods available outside....the hog roast aromas were driving my senses potty all day, lol! 

Now I'll move on to the photos which you can browse or skip as you will........

Straight away you are greeted with FOOD!


Loved the wicker animals on this stand but the magnificent stag below was my favourite.  Not surprising given the price tag of nearly £500!

And more food!  There were at least two hog roast stands, plus lots more eateries and the smells were driving me mad all day.  I love a proper hog roast!

Really pretty paper light decorations.

Lots of quality handcrafts of all kinds from decorations, clothing (sewn, knitted) some of it way out of my price bracket, lol, handmade soaps, pottery, woodwork and much, much more.  There was also some beautiful jewellery, toys, metal garden ornaments...I fell in love with some metal robins which I forgot to take a pic of but now I do wish I had bought one, lol!

Above is looking from about half way up the market to the top and below is looking back out over some of the park land and you can see the car park filling up in the bottom right corner.

This lovely organ grinder lent a very festive atmosphere if you stopped for a nice drink of .....whatever took your fancy.

Garlic anyone!

Or do you prefer a little tipple.......

The pic below gives a better idea of how busy it was but it wasn't that busy as to be uncomfortable.

My tipple of choice was a lovely hot chocolate with a measure of Baileys....delicious!  The chappy asked if I would like a spot of rum in it too but I was driving so thought I'd best not, lol, even though  I did have lunch and several hours before we were setting off for home.

On our way into the house now and the walkway was lined with these lovely character silhouettes.

Here's Hubby lighting Ebenezer Scrooge's candle for him.

The first beautiful tree in the marquee where we waited for staggered time slot.

The entrance hall (North Sub) is dedicated to Dickens use of words many of which he invented.  I like sassigassity .....  audacity with attitude!  Many of my crafting friends would have appreciated this as it was covered in books and book pages.......

.....including the tree!

Below is the Chapel Corridor dedicated to 'A Christmas Carol' 

Loved this beautiful wall decoration

After walking past the 'shops' and round the corner you find the door to Scrooge and Marley's business premises.

Then into the Chapel and the Ghost of Christmas Present...  Look at that ceiling!

Next is The Old Curiosity Shop and some weird and wonderful 'trees' including this fabulous upside down one.

Followed by A Tale of Two Cities.....

Now on towards Dickensian London but watch out for one or two scoundrels, especially this one who will charmingly kiss the ladies hands .....while 'lifting' their jewellery 😉

AND THIS WAS MY FAVOURITE BIT!  A London scene created from bookpages!  Absolutely wonderful although I think I would have scruffed it up a bit with some distressing, lol!

And into the Painted Hall where you can hear a blackbird singing

You can see why it's the Painted Hall with this stunning ceiling!  

It's a bit gloomy and smoky depicting dawn breaking in London

and here is the gentleman himself, Mr Charles Dickens.

Hubby making his way up the staircase to the stunning tree at the top.  I waited ages to try and get an unobstructed pic but there were too many visitors.

The pic below was taken from the little balcony you can just see to the left of the staircase.

And on into Fagin's lair and a Christmas tree made of beds for his little band of urchins.

Below is a layout of the house and gardens.

How about these for embellishments fellow crafters?

Cheeky Bullseye has found himself a cosy spot to keep an eye on his many offspring!

But I don't think Scrooge is so cosy with the Ghost of Christmas Past disturbing his slumbers.

Looking down on the Painted Hall from the other side.  It sure is spectacular!

This I think, was my favourite tree as it appealed to the crafter in me.  Little Dorrit has used threaded buttons and bobbins of cotton from her sewing box as decorations to give her family some Christmas cheer on a budget. 

And another exhibit to appeal to us crafters!

 Now we have my personal favourite Dickens story, Great Expectations and Miss Haversham's dining room (Chatsworth's Dome room and Great Dining Room).  This was the perfect setting .....without the mould, lol! 

Miss Haversham very kindly turned round for me to take her picture.  Can you see her little furry friends scuttling back under her table!

The cake was beautiful if a little cobwebby and I definitely loved the chair decorations.  How stunning would they look for a modern wedding.

And finally we're on the way out!  Looking back down a beautifully decorated corridor.....

....and turning to face this gorgeous final tree!


Outside a very small glimpse of the gardens.  We could have had a walk round them but the light was going fast and I didn't fancy a walk back to the car in total darkness, not to mention the fact that we were very tired by this point.

The exit to the grounds is round the side of this grotto

When we reached the other side this was the market spread out before us.  It looked beautiful and had I not had a tramp over muddy parkland in the dark I would have found the energy for another walk round as there was still about an hour to go I think. 

 Once again Chatsworth did not disappoint.  I haven't been a regular visitor over the years even though we live barely an hour away but it's always beautiful and their Christmas Market just gets better I think.  It's definitely bigger than last year I'm sure!  I haven't been inside the house for about 40 years I would think and it's the very first time at Christmas.  I'm so glad we made the effort to go and would thoroughly recommend it.

Well, if you even looked at all the pics let alone read the post you deserve a medal but I wanted to add some info as a reminder for myself (the memory's not what it used to be, lol).  Thanks for stopping by and normal services will be resumed on my next post, Ha! Ha!

Lesley  Xx


Lauren Hatwell said...

Of course this is EXACTLY what my house looks like at Christmas!? I do need a Lauren Perrier champagne bar in the garden. I think that's a must! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pics. I love Chatsworth and I've really enjoyed your photographs. Lx

Suzi B said...

Thanks so much for all the lovely photo's Lesley. I'll be there on Thursday at the Christmas Market, not booked to go in the house.... might have to now! Chatsworth is one of my favourite places. xx

Helen said...

I want to go to Chatsworth even more now! what fabulous decorations,. they have put on a great show and the market too looks fantastic. I am very jealous - and hope you had a much deserved rest today (although I know you had problems getting the blog done, so thanks for persevering)

Hazel Agnew said...

Wow Lesley. Really enjoyed my tour. What an amazing tour of the house. Love the upside down tree...great idea. We really should make the effort as we live next door.
Pleased that you both enjoyed your day out. A fitting outing for your special anniversary. Xx

Elaine said...

Thank you for taking the time to put this post together. I know they can take ages, but this is so worth it. I love Christmas as you know and I am allowing myself to indulge in Christmassyness much earlier and this post was smashing. The Christmas market and house decorations look amazing. I would also have lingered by the street scene made from book pages. All those trees must have taken a massive and patient team to design and decorate. It looks like you both had a lovely day out and it got you nicely in the mood for the big event. Elaine xxx

Sue's Crafty Corner said...

Fantastic photos Lesley, I've never been to Chatsworth House but it looks like a great place to visit especially at this time of year too.

Sue xx

Etsuko said...

What a stunning photos Lesley and wonderful your trip. I had a lot of fun watching your photos. Thank you so much. xx