Tatton's the Natural Choice this Christmas | Knutsford Times

Tatton’s the Natural Choice this Christmas

By on November 19, 2009

There is a tinsel veto at Tatton Park. Instead, the grand staterooms are decorated with miles of garlands and wreaths, enhanced by Christmas trees and other foliage which come from the parkland and gardens.

And only the best will pass the Marian test!  Every year, from the beginning of November, whilst the house is closed, the floristry team take over the cellars in the servants’ quarters of the Neo Classical Mansion.  The heady scent of fir and western red cedar drifting up from the cellars announces the beginning of the Christmas season to all Mansion staff.
No room for Scrooges here!

The Christmas preparations are very much a team effort. Throughout November and December the rangers and gardeners work tirelessly to source the very best greenery from specially selected plantations. Western red cedar, variegated holly, ivy, laurel, pine cones and yew are cut, transported in trailers  and delivered directly to the cellar doors where the Mansion team work their magic.  Even the Christmas pot pourri is made from petals collected in the summer from the Rose Garden.

The floristry team dress the natural foliage with silk and real flowers and rich fabrics. All year round Marian collects the finest materials to enhance the natural foliage – her storage room is a sight to behold!  Marian commented “decorating the Mansion is very much a team effort.  The rangers and gardeners select only the best for us (standards are high!) but we have it down to a fine art now!”
 
One of the most exciting and nerve-wracking moments for all concerned is the arrival of the tree for the Cupola Hall.  An 18ft Norway Spruce will be hauled into place at the bottom of the Staircase Hall under the stunning cupola glass ceiling.  Notwithstanding the logistics of bringing in such a large, unwieldy tree from the parkland and through the historic house, it also has to look good from all angles and be decorated from top to toe.  Marian commented “The raising and decorating of the tree in the Cupola Hall really is the cherry on the cake (or the fairy on the tree!) for us and marks the end of all our hard work and the beginning of the Christmas season for our visitors”.

Come the opening of the Mansion on Wednesday 2nd December the work will have more than paid off as we celebrate another traditional, tinsel-less Christmas at Tatton Park.
 
The Mansion is also open weekdays for Visit the Christmas Mansion from Wednesday to Friday 2nd to 4th, 9th to 11th and 16th to 18th December (12pm-4pm, last entry 3pm) and weekends 5th/6th, 12th/13th and 17th/19th December from 12pm to 4pm (last entry 3pm). Please call 01625 374400 for more information.  Special group booking discounts and opening times are also available.

Visitors will be able to see the Mansion transformed into a Christmas wonderland during the Candlelight evenings on Wednesday 2nd to Friday 4th December between 6.30pm and 9pm (last entry 8.30pm) and Saturday 5th December from 5.30pm-8pm (last entry 7.30pm). Booking is strongly advised on 01625 374400 as numbers are strictly limited.

For further information on all events this Christmas (including Father Christmas at the Farm, Christmas Concerts and Stableyard Carols) call 01625 374400 or visit the website at www.tattonpark.org.uk

About Vicky Wilby

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