Monday, 29 November 2010

A very Russian Christmas

With Christmas soon to be upon us, my other half was concerned with the sourcing of the pork (we've always had pork rather than turkey) for the main event (i.e. the Christmas dinner) by my Mother (she's the caterer for the occasion) so he had arranged a visit to the farmshop at Chatsworth. The farmshop, although part of the Chatsworth estate, is actually at Pilsley, a couple of miles away from the house.

With the snowy weather being about we were a little concerned that we wouldn't be able to get there (Buxton, which is on the way to Chatsworth, is very good at getting 'cut off by snow), but fortunately, the snow kept to the other side of the Pennines so the journey was easy.

Having taken refreshment (there's a great restaurant) and purchased all of the necessary items for a culinary delightful Christmas (if you've never been to Chatsworth's farmshop, do go if you have the opportunity to) we drove to Chatsworth House.

In the time running up to its closure on 23rd December, the house is decorated for Christmas. This year was the theme is 'A Russian Christmas'. There's too much to see for me to describe it all here, but here's some of the high-lights.

The first is decorated with sweets and cupcake glass decorations and a huge 'sugar plum fairy', with the netting of her skirt going all around the room.

The main hall was decorated with two huge Christmas trees and turrets representing the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow.

The dining table in the dining room had been beautifully set for dinner and was lit by candlelight.

The final room on the tour through the house is full of statues, and the room had been decorated with arches made of fir tree branches and baubles. The lighting was low with a projector playing snowflakes all around the room.

There's a really good gift shop at the end of the tour. This year you can buy Russian-style Christmas decorations and Russian dolls. There are further shops, including an interiors one, in the Stables, along with two restaurants. All well worth a visit.


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