Today I have launched ‘Christmas at Highclere: Recipes and Traditions from the Real Downton Abbey‘. I have absolutely loved writing this book and am delighted to be able to finally share it with you. It has been a challenge and, as with every book I write, took two years to research and compose. Yet, when I sent it off, I felt it was complete. It comes from my heart, from my memories and is for all of us to enjoy as we celebrate together. I will take you behind the scenes and share the history and the rituals that make my home – Highclere Castle – the most magical place to be throughout the festive season.
Join me on a tour through Advent with all of its delightful preparations right up to Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and beyond into the New Year. You will learn how the Castle and grounds are transformed by decorations, including raising our enormous tree in the Saloon and the gathering of holly and mistletoe from the grounds. All the intricacies of the perfect traditional Christmas are here: from crackers and carol singers to turkey and trimmings.
This book also tells the story of historic Christmases at Highclere – of distinguished guests warming themselves by the fire after long journeys home through the snow, unexpected knocks on the door and, always, the joy of bringing family, friends, staff and animals together after a busy year.
As well as telling the stories of Christmas at Highclere past and present, I have also included recipes, tips and inspiration from the Castle kitchen and my own family kitchen so that each reader can bring a quintessentially British festive spirit to their own home. I hope that you enjoy learning the secret to perfectly flaky mince pies, the best way to wrap presents and how to prepare ahead of time so that you and your guests are guaranteed a Christmas to remember.
To purchase, please go to Amazon.co.uk or visit any good book store.
In the US it will be released on October 25th but you can pre-order copies now on Amazon.com.
The German language version ‘Weihnachten auf Highclere Castle: Rezepte und Traditionen aus dem echten Downton Abbey‘ will be released on 4th October from Kenesebeck.
Additionally, special signed copies are available at the Highclere Castle gift shop.
I hope you will adore reading this as much as I did writing it, it is dedicated to my and Geordie’s parents who in their lifetime created the most wonderful Christmases for their families. As Winnie the Pooh put it so beautifully: ‘We didn’t know we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun’.