The Christmas Tree
The tall, iron studded walnut front door of the Castle opens with ease and, at this time of year, every visitor is grateful to be out of the rain and the December weather. The front hall creates the welcome story, the slim marble cladding of pillars supporting the delicate Gothic arched ceiling, the architecture providing the frame within which you pause, before being drawn irresistibly towards the heart of the Castle: the huge glass doors that mark the entrance to the Saloon. At the far side, the Christmas tree stretches up towards the ceiling, sparking with gold and red baubles, little figures of Father Christmas, tiny sledges, stars and cascading white Christmas lights.
It is a welcoming sight to make you smile and look forward in anticipation to the traditions, rituals and family time which, at their best, offer peace and relaxation at this time of year.
Christmas trees are, in a way, a Royal tradition, introduced into England by the Hanoverians in the 18th century. Queen Anne (you may have seen the film ‘The Favourite’) had no children so her second cousin once removed became King George II of England, bringing Christmas traditions and above all that of the Christmas tree with them. It was all however reinforced in the following century by all those charming engravings of Queen Victoria, her husband Prince Albert, and all their children, gathered around their Christmas tree.
Christmas Trees bring the beauty of the outside world into our homes, make us smile and, if they are real, they have a wonderful scent and perhaps they even improve the atmosphere. Whatever your style of decorating, whether it be over the top abundance or a more minimalist approach, they are a focal point around which to gather and centre the festivities.
During the rest of the year we look forward to when the deciduous trees first uncurl their leaves in spring and bring back colour into the world, to the spreading shade they give us in summer, the vivid colours of autumn and their sentinel watchfulness through the darker, colder times of the year.
Their value to us is incalculable from their practical support as a building material for joists, floorboards, roof beams, planks for ships and a myriad other items, to their role in recycling carbon dioxide in the great South American rain forests and their place in the life cycle of host of other animals and insects. Our ancestors wrote that the best gift we can give each other is to plant a tree – but more than half of the humans on this planet live a in a town and I suspect would not have anywhere to plant one. Perhaps all of our New Year’s resolutions this year should be to plant a tree. It does not have to be in our own back yard or even in our own country because we are all part of the same world.
I thought next autumn (October 2020) we would curate a History Weekend at Highclere. If we love and understand our history, we might start to realise a little bit better why and how things happen. Perhaps the weekend should start with the history of trees.
Your plan of planting a tree is superb! I will certainly join in that plan this year for next spring. Beautiful trees you have posted, thank you for sharing.
Bonsoir Quelle belles photos et descriptions l’arbre fait partie intégrante de la beauté des instants partagés à Noël et je regarde en ce moment les épisodes concernant la vie de la Reine Victoria et j’ai adoré la Salle que son époux a décoré avec les sapins pour chacun de ses Enfants.
J’ai bien aimé aussi le. Chant de Noël devant votre Arbre de Noël avec toute la famille et les domestiques À bientôt de pouvoir venir et me faire dédicacer votre Livre.
En attendant je vous souhaite de très belles fêtes de Noël avec beaucoup de Bonheur et merci encore de partager avec nous tout cela. Bien Amicalement Nadia de France
Merci beaucoup – vous êtès très gentil!
You have really made my day with your holiday post. Thank you so much for sharing
As always I always learn something new as well as be inspired! Thank you for reminding me and others what a gift creation and nature bring to us.
So beautiful! My fiancé and I are saving up for a special trip to Europe and Highclere is first on our list!!! I can’t wait to experience your beautiful home first hand! Christmas at Highclere looks absolutely magical!
How lovey to plant a tree in memory of a loved one: and watch how it grows year to year.
My son-in-law , who is Dutch, has photos of himself, as a child, and his father planting some trees somewhere in Europe in the middle of a mountain area. As it was many years go, he was wondering if he could actually find these trees. I encouraged hin and go and find out. These are the recalled childhood memories that bring us such joy.
So lovely! A very Happy Christmas to you!
And to you – thank you
Happy Christmas, Lady C.!
This was beautifully written with gorgeous pictures! Thank you for sharing your home! Sheila from Florida, US!
Beautiful trees. Hope your holidays are beautiful and blessed as I’m sure they will be. Happy holidays from Grants Pass Oregon USA
Judy Engstrom, I, too, live in Grants Pass Oregon. We should be friends!
I work at The Kitchen Company on Sundays.
Cheers and Happy Christmas!
Please let me know if you two do indeed meet – that would make me so happy!
This is wonderful and aporeciated.
Many thanks for sharing your home with us. I have bought Christmas at Highclere for my sister it is a lovely book. Hope to visit next year.
Exquisite! Thank you for the pictures.
Your trees are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your holiday traditions with us. I love your idea of plant a tree. I plan to do so in my yard. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Well done, we all need to do this.
The trees are very lovely this year. I might be inspired to do a little decorating this week. A rosemary tree does nicely on my kitchen island. I even have miniature decorations. Happy Christmas to all ya’ll across the pond.
Rosemary is a wonderful evergreen herb which has many uses both medicinal and culinary. I think a decorated rosemary tree sounds delightful – and useful.
That’s fascinating about the Christmas trees being introduced by Hanoverians. I was just telling my husband about the German Christmas influence (he never heard of the Christmas pickle!!) but I never thought about the King George II connection. It’s a snow day today where I live just north of Boston MA so I have plenty of time to research this! Your Christmas tree is stunning. Have a wonderful Christmas season!
Thank you – and you too.
I love the symbol of the Cristmas tree. I look forward to this time of year. Thank you so much for sharing and for all you do! Lorrie Mahoney, Oregon, US.
You are very kind
As I began to read your cheery blog post this morning, I immediately looked for the fairy atop the majestic Highclere Christmas tree — and there she was! Red and gold and showing off “her” Yuletide grandeur in the Saloon. I showed your pictures to my husband who was with me when we stood at that entrance in 2013. He smiled and said, “We need to go again.”
Thank you for sharing the history of Christmas trees in England. The colors and traditions of Christmas stay with us through the years as we indeed note the colors of the seasons through the leaves – or not – of our trees.
Merry Christmas from the Glass house in North Carolina, once a part of merry ol’ England.
Thank you, yes the fairy is the first thing to be added to the tree while it is still on the floor as once the tree is up we can’t reach the top!
We arrive in London tomorrow morning from Pennsylvania, US. We are anxiously awaiting our trip to the castle this week . Thank you for sharing your home . See you soon
We look forward to receiving you. Hope you have packed a warm coat.
Thank you so much for this lovely description of trees and the castle. As I read, I was transported back to my Christmas visit to Highclere! Living in the desert it is not as easy to plant trees, however, planting a cactus is very doable! A history tour would be lovely. Please keep us posted on those plans. A happy Christmas to you and yours!
Las Vegas, NV
Thank you – I think a cactus qualifies!
Your pictures literally took my breath away, the castle is beautifully decorated, gives one such a sense of peace and serenity, thank you so much for sharing!!! Wishing you a very blessed holiday season from Troy, Michigan
Thank you, it does look very festive.
Wonderful photos. Do the Labradors attempt to demolish the decorations?
I cannot have a tree as my cat just destroys it.
They are quite well behaved inside the castle. Being Labradors, they are much more interested in the possibility of scraps from the Christmas table.
Thank you for the beautiful pictures of some of the holiday trees at Highclere. They are beautiful. We used to bring a cut tree into the house for Christmas every year, but a few years ago had to switch to an artificial tree. While it is perfectly fine and lovely to behold when it is decorated, I still miss the variability of shape, size and the scent, of course, of a cut tree.
I live in coastal South Carolina, so we have some amazing live oaks that are native to the area, as well as towering pine, cypress, and cedar trees. There is a famous specimen that is local to where I live called Angel Oak – estimated at around 400 years old, it stands 65 feet high, with a circumference of 25.5 feet, and shades an area of 17,000 square feet. When you’ve shown pictures and talked about some of the imposing specimens on the grounds of the Castle, it reminds me of this tree, as well as some others that I get to enjoy on local walking trails that wind through the woods.
I love the idea of making a goal for the New Year to plant a tree – or if that isn’t possible, something native to your location, even if it has to be a container garden. I’d love to see people naturalize their yards to reduce grass and add in shrubs and perennials that foster and nurture wildlife, especially pollinators.
Thank you for being such a wonderful steward of the Castle and the grounds that surround it. I always enjoy your posts. All the best to you, your family, and staff as we make our way towards Christmas.
Thank you – you are very kind. We have ancient oaks and cedars on the Estate as well, the oldest being a yew tree which is 1,000 years old. If only trees could talk!
Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for sharing the magic of Highclere with us.
I love your idea of planting trees. This is an idea that needs to go “viral”. How could we make that happen? It should start with us.
You are absolutely right – baby steps . . .
Bottom picture : What kind of trees are those ? I LOVE their shape ! Your Christmas trees look simply marvellous !
The tree in the centre is a Cedar of Lebanon – a very architectural tree.
Thank You for all that you and your staff bring us throughout the year with stories and pictures of your beautiful home, and the hidden scenes of Downton Abbey lives once again.
I pass along my very best in seasons greeting to you and your family.
John L. Roberts
Thank you once again for a lovely and uplifting piece. I could not agree more in our need to know and understand history. Christmas is a most special time of year and the trees do indeed bring something precious with them. I have done some planting myself, my favourite being the seedling I rescued out of a clients garden several years ago. The offshoot of a mighty oak next door. My future mighty oak is already close to twenty feet tall.
Dear Lady Carnarvon
I sir here remembering my December visit to Highclere a few years back. One of my fondest memories was seeing your magnificent Christmas tree standing there ….so stately in your beautiful home. Thank you for sharing your treasure with the world.
Season’s Greetings to you and your family, and very best wishes for the New Year. Thank you for sharing your story.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
A sight to warm the heart. All of the trees are absolutely beautiful. The largest tree, in the Saloon, echos the sentiments of the Downton characters as they gathered around to mark the end of war, celebrate Christmas, and remember those lost. We, too, do much the same.
Advent has begun, and I wish you and your family a blessed season. Thank you for the wonderful photos and insights into the history of your magnificent home. All of boxes are put away, and you can all enjoy the beauty of your hard work. You, your family, and staff have done a marvelous job.
With many thanks,
Charlotte Merriam Cole
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I love to read your blog on Monday mornings! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I live in the center of the US and probably won’t have a chance to visit Highclere again. I would enjoy seeing the events via a CD. Perhaps sales of CD’s could help support your many causes. Thank you. Merry Christmas.
Beautiful, Happy Christmas
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Just beautiful!! Your decorations are that… just beautiful.
Christmas is just starting to arrive at my house with decorating. Bought my tree yesterday and it’s a tabletop tree. All the bins and boxes are sitting in the living room. By the end of the week all will be set.
Happy Christmas to you and your family.
Lisa Seng Cosgrove
Bolingbrook, IL USA
Your message is very timely. I had just ordered a small live evergreen tabletop tree decorated for Christmas, a few days ago. The plan is to plant it in my back yard (in Michigan)this spring. Hoping the birds and small animals will eventually appreciate it as much as I will. I do love the trees. Hoping we can each plant a tree in the coming year.
What a lovely idea!
Thank you for sharing the festive activities at Highclere! What wonderful Christmas trees you have throughout the castle, outside, too. Really put me in the holiday spirit…time to trim the tree tonight, light the lights, its Christmas time. I had just heard the other day about the UK planting a billion trees or so? The Woodland Trust is encouraging everyone to plant-a-tree, help improve the environment, fight climate change…yay! Your plans for next Fall with history and tree planting sound perfect, let’s do it! With the history of trees and then there is Joyce Kilmer’s poem to be read, too:
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree
What a beautiful poem – thank you
Wonderful post with such festive decorations filled up my heart today. Thank you so very much for sharing the year with us.
I’ll be sharing my festivities with my son’s wedding just before Christmas. Such a thrilling time to create a new marriage and enter the new year in love.
Again, thank you for the blog and anticipating my visit to Highclere in 2020.
What a lovely and special Christmas you will all be celebrating this year. Congratulations.
Dear Lady Carnavon,
Thank you. Happy Christmas. I so appreciate your latest Christmas tree story. I forever invite you and your family to visit my family here in sunny Fallbrook California. It’s the avocado capital of the world. My mother absolutely loves Highclere castle. She sends her “hello” to you and your family. Best of cheer be yours this season and in the new year.
Thank you and please send a ‘hello’ to your Mother.
Dear Mr. Granzella,
Our family is also from Fallbrook! My mother and I both love Highclere Castle and were so blessed to take a Special Tour in June of 2017. It included Tea and a special book-signing with Lady Carnarvon! Lady Carnarvon was so gracious and pleasant – we both feel that the entire experience was one of the highlights of our lives!
I am a free-lance writer and have written restaurant reviews, travel stories and profiles for the Village News, as well as for the Sourcebook Magazine and other publications.
Happy Christmas! Nathalie Taylor
DEAR LADY CARNARVON:
YOUR CHRISTMAS TREES ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOUR HOME LOOKS INVITING AND WARM. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
WHEN IS CHRISTMAS TEA TIME, I WILL BE RIGHT OVER. LOL.
THE HISTORY OF TREES SOUNDS LIKE A WONDERFUL IDEA. THEY ARE SO PEACEFUL. I LOVE TO HEAR THE WIND WHISPER THROUGH THE TREES.
Thank you. We have some wonderful Christmas afternoon teas with mince pies and orange spiced scones.
Thank you for the look into Christmas at the castle. I totally agree with you about the trees and their vast importance. We own an historic home here in Michigan in the US (Historic is relative term when compared to England) where the land was badly overgrown. We cleared it but kept all the trees for all the same reasons. We’ve had to take down a few for disease etc, but try to plant a replacement. It’s just good for the planet! Thanks again for your blog and Merry Christmas!
It is a labour of love and I congratulate you on your hard work.
For years I have had a living Christmas tree. Whilst small enough it lives in a pot and is brought indoors at Christmas. When the last one grew too big it was planted in the garden. For 6 years I have had two birch trees in pots in the garden that were self seeded. When they are big enough I will find a spot in the countryside where they can grow forever. This year we plan to dig up an old conifer hedge and replace it with native trees and shrubs like Rowan, Crab apple and Hawthorne. Trees are the breathing life of our planet.
You are right, native trees are so important. In our Wood of Goodwill which is a fairly new project, we have planted only native English hardwoods.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
When my husband and I visited Highclere in August and stayed in London Lodge, we strolled up the road to the folly “Temple of Diana” noticing all of the majestic trees along the way. A moderate breeze was blowing through the trees, which barely moved their sturdy branches, but the resulting sound was of ocean waves crashing against a beach; yet, no beach was nearby which could have created that amazing sound.
At that time I thought of you walking your dogs, or riding your magnificent horses through the Highclere Estate and how very blessed you are to be rewarded with this and other rhythmic sights and sounds conducted like a symphony by the hand of God and played by Nature’s instruments, the trees and wind among them.
When the movie “Downton Abbey” came out and The Grandmother and Mrs. Crowley were strolling along (what appeared to be that same road) with their parasols, the mere sight of that spot, just as the road curves, brought back the quiet excitement of the moment I had strolled there, and experienced that sound which has remained inside my head, such an impact it has made upon me.
Thus, I wanted to thank you for allowing my husband and I, and all those who are fortunate enough to have overnights on the Estate, the access to your Estate and Grounds that we, too, may be able to briefly enjoy that and other impressive moments you are blessed to have at your hand for the taking every single day.
In this very busiest Season of the year, I want to remind you to continue to spend a little of your time communing with nature so that by the very breathing in of the air outside you may be refreshed and recharged to continue all of the good work that you do.
With sincere thanks,
Thank you – those are wise words. I always enjoy a walk outside during the Christmas period, to get some fresh air and exercise of course, but also to pause and ponder in the beautiful surroundings.
Thank You for sharing your beautiful Christmas Trees with us. Happy Christmas, from Louisiana, USA.
What a wonderful and honorable subject! I hope you will share that history of trees with us in your fall 2020 newsletter. I live in Southern California where the non-deciduous coastal oak is a native. There were 14 ancient ones, over 60 feet tall, on our ten acres when we came to live here in 1984. Since then we have been blessed with, and cultivated through pruning, over 20 more volunteers that have grown to over twenty feet tall. When you sit under one of the ancients in the very hot weather, they provide a wonderful breeze due to the marked difference in temperature created by their enormous shade. I consider these trees to be one of my greatest blessings in life.
As always, your tree in the Saloon is gorgeous! All your trees are! It was always a treat to get to see the Crawley family decorating “their” tree and the celebrations surrounding it. Thank you for sharing with us. It brightened my day.
Hello Lady Carnarvon,
My husband and I have enjoyed all your books after watching “Downton Abby” all these years. You have added so much to our lives and we especially look forward to Mondays to read your post. Thank you!
I have three questions please. How many Christmas trees are decorated at Highclere? What is a sledge hanging on your big tree? Lastly, will you be posting your recipe for the dessert you light on fire?
Merry Christmas and God bless you everyone!
There are some cute decorations in the form of sledges – all the (79) trees have either lights of full decorations
Sherry–The British word sledge can apparently be either what we in the U.S. call a sled (for sliding downhill) or a sleigh. Which one(s) is (are) on the Highclere tree I don’t know. We have both on our tree.
Thank you, Lady Carnarvon, for giving us a peek into your home each week. My favorite Christmas post so far was the one on twelve days of Christmas, in which you had to do it twice to get enough presents in for all the staff. Couple of years ago, maybe. It was a reminder that Highclere is a very large operation, and makes me even more grateful for your taking the time to do a blog every week.
Ah yes sorry – divided by a common language…
Everything looks beautiful again. I can imagine that there is a very special mood just this Christmas, when the silence over the country prepares. Since I was allowed to be at your estate and in the castle this summer, I can imagine how beautiful Christmas must be at Highclere Castle. During my visit to London, Highclere Castle was the highlight on this trip. Thank you, that I was allowed to be a guest at your castle. I wish you and your family a merry christmas and a nice start to the new decade. With all the best regards from Hamburg. Peter
Thank you very much
Happy Christmas to all at Highclere!
Starting with the history of trees is a brilliant idea. Those Cedars of Lebanon have seen much, I am sure.
Thank you for opening your home to all of us so we could see the beautiful trees adorned with family treasures. The tree in the Salon is truly spectacular.
Happy Christmas to you and your family.
Thank you so much for your Christmas gift to me – and the rest of your followers: your weekly letter giving us some insight into your world and your home. Monday mornings have become a favorite part of my week when I enjoy another cup of tea and read your post.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Wow, those lovely photos of the ‘forest’ of Christmas trees in the castle!!! We were busy yesterday putting up decorations but you need a big team of helpers for that amazing tree in the Saloon. I love those decorations. So what happened to those wooden reindeer that you mentioned last year? I was thinking of them when I saw wooden sheep with a wooden shepherd in the centre of two roundabouts here in Switzerland!!
Thank you again for sharing those lovely photos.
TEh Reindeer are making their way down to Santa’s Grotto!
Dear Lady Carnavon,
Your Christmas trees are stunning!
Decorating the tree is my favourite part of the Christmas season! If I have nothing else, I must have a live tree. Taking each and every ornament out of it’s wrapping is like opening presents – each one tells a story of a place or a time or a person.
I hope that you sell Christmas ornaments in the gift shop at Highclere. It is what I collect wherever I go. (wink) I would love to have one from Highclere for my tree next year!
Happy Christmas to all at Highclere!
I forgot to mention that the Highclere bauble was the first to hang on our Christmas tree!
I enjoyed your blog.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for sharing all those moments with us. I really hope to visit Highclere Castle one day.
May you, your family and your staff have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year!
Greetings from Portugal!
Thank you for sharing. Just beautiful.
Looking forward to see Highclere next August 16 when we are in London and taking a day trip.
We are busy at work decorating for the upcoming Candlelight Christmas tour of homes using only greenery known to have existed in the Deep South at the time period of our homes and other buildings (church, academy, tavern)& we are lucky to have very old trees to call upon in the ventures. You could say the old trees are our natural centerpiece. A most blessed and Happy Christmas to all at Highclere…..I’m giving your cookbook to a family member!
Thank you – your trees sound as if they create a wonderful celebration!
Wishing you & your family the all the happiness the festive season brings from the Hunter Valley in Australia. I’m counting down the days until I visit your spectacular home next May. I’m excited beyond words. Merry Christmas
What a Beautiful Job with your fabulous Christmas Trees. I love your Blog.
Merry Christmasto your family and staff from Ontario Canada
I have always loved the smell of real Christmas trees, but unfortunately these days with the drought continuing here and fires breaking out in Australia we have bought a beautiful artificial one which we keep high on our mezzanine which looks wonderful this year.
I gave my husband your wonderful Christmas book early, as we will be away from home this Christmas. (We are off to Cambodia to see some friends we helped support.)
Malcolm loved your recipes, he especially loved your Boxing Day Beef stew. He has made it twice as it has become a favourite with our family. Malcolm just loves your book! Thank you. I might have to buy another so I can read it.
Merry Christmas to you and your family (staff included).
Ps: Please give a special warm hug from me to all your dogs and ponies.
Thank you so much!
Absolutely stunning, the history of the tree sounds a very good idea, we planted some acer’s in our garden in remembrance of my dad, who loved them, I love the colour changes, in Autumn.
what a beautiful idea …
Highclere really is the perfect setting for getting into the holiday spirit – thank you so much for sharing the beautiful photographs. We took my little three-year-old grandson to a tree farm to cut down a tree to take home yesterday and decorate. As we were leaving he saw the area where they were planting the new saplings and said “Wow! New baby trees.” Indeed, as you point out – participating in the renewal of the trees can be a wonderful way to celebrate the season!
MY DEAR LADY CARNARVON,
I HAVE FOUR TREES TO PLANT LATER IN THIS YEAR : AN APPLE TREE, A PEAR TREE AND TWO CHERRY TREES THAT GIVE ONLY FLOWERS.
AM I RIGHT TO PLANT THEM IN MY GARDEN ???
RIO CLARO – SP
Why not – sound lovely
What beautiful trees! Is Highclere open for house tours during the holidays? It would be truly special to see your home decorated for the holidays!
The Woodlands, Texas
79 trees. And also beautiful. Merry Christmas.
Absolutely breathtaking! What a beautiful place to be at the holidays!
Your piece on trees is lovely as well as informative. Each of your Christmas trees has its own personality – its own aura of beauty. My favorite is the tree in the Saloon, though. It reminds me of the lovely Christmas trees in Downton Abbey.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
It all looks just magical. What a treat to see ! I just love all of your blogs. Happy Christmas !
Sixteen years ago, when my father died, friends gifted us with a tree to plant in his memory. I left that lovely pink dogwood in South Carolina, when I moved, but I have another, here in Connecticut, to remember my father-in-law by. Nearby, are two lovely Japanese maples, grown from mere twigs, which an elderly woman was selling, beside the road, potted in old coffee cans. We barely notice that these small gems burst into lovely, large showpieces, but they are awfully determined! Joyce Kilmer’s poem, Trees, was a childhood favorite! Thank you for evoking such great memories with your beautiful post.
Your Christmas decorations are lovely. I have to say, my favorite tree is the one with pastel green ornaments in the Almina room. All the pretty lights make the Castle glow.
Absolutely beautiful trees! I love the idea of a History Weekend. So important to know our history and to share with future generations. Merry Christmas!
Your trees are spectacular, both inside and out! Thank you very much for the pictures and wonderful blog.
The Arbor Day Foundation has made tree planting a national holiday in America and could most likely help you in your endeavor as well! The American tree planting and appreciation national holiday is celebrated on the last Friday in April every year! It was started by J. Sterling Morton in my home state of Nebraska in 1872 and became recognized as a federal holiday in 1970. So on April 24, 2020, if tradition holds, more than one million trees will again be planted on that one single day!
Merry Christmas to you and yours! Sincerely, Lana, from Nebraska
that is amazing – we need to plant in the autumn as that will give them the best chance of survival
Dear Lady Carnarvon
What a lovely time of the year and your main Christmas tree in particular is stunning. I love the fact that you put the fairy on while the tree is down that is a really good tip!! All your other trees are beautiful of course. It must take you all ages to decorate them I am shattered after only one 6′ tree!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your weekly blogs sharing your world with us and to wish you and all your family a truly Blessed Christmas and may the New Year bring you all that you desire but more importantly all that you need.
We are also quite tired – we are making notes to self to see how we can improve it next year
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I couldn’t wait to read you entry for this week as we just spent the most glorious Monday morning at your beautiful home yesterday. Words can not describe the joyful feeling I had as we drove up to the castle to step back in time. My heart raced as we walked the path to the castle and was greeted by the huge, regal Cedar of Lebanon that you mentioned…just one of many that stand guard on the grounds. As I read your post I was transported right back to each location we visited in your home. Your staff’s gracious hospitality made all of us feel as if we were a part of the family. And the photos of your family throughout the castle enhanced the experience of visiting a historic home that is still a residence. The afternoon tea was absolutely delightful and proved to be more than I had imagined. And to top it all off, your visit with us during the tea was “the icing in the cake”. I will treasure my time at Highclere and the brief moments I got to spend with you (and your graciousness to take additional pictures with me to get that perfect shot.). Thank you for sharing yourself each week and your home during this special time of the year! As I mentioned at the tea, you are always welcome in S.C. Have the Merriest Christmas!
Thank you for another lovely post. And a very Happy Christmas for Tijeras, NM USA
We are blessed in New York to have an vcd abundance of trees – deciduous & evergreen. New “England” even more so. They truly frame the beauty of the land we love. The fragrance of a pine brought indoors in the heart of winter is divine. We hold on to it for weeks from Thanksgiving through New Year until the needles fall enlessly to the floor. So sad to see it go until it comes back in summer as mulch. Love your decor inside and out. May the fragrance of your pines bring lingering joy through the New Year.
The pine needles are the bane of our housekeepers’ lives!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Your trees and home are simply exquisite! What a token of love to those who come share with you and your family, to not only have such a beautiful home, but to have the kind of festive beauty most of us wish we had the space and the ‘means’ to share with others.
Best is, you’ve also shared with all of us.
Thank you SO much, and Please have a Wonderful Holiday with your Family and Friends.
Sincerest Regards, Jane Hrabak
This christmas trees are wonderfull. I am from Hannover .
I’m from Hannover too,
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays besides Thanksgiving. People are in such a good mood; loving and giving. Celebrating the birth of the Christ child is special as well as spiritual.
I watch Downton Abbey over and over again. The Christmas scene is wonderful!
I pray that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New year!
Thank you – and to you too.
Such wonderful photos ! I love this Christmas atmosphere.
Looking forward to visiting Highclere Castle in August 2020.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Vera – Belgium
Xmas, the best time of the year… Family, decorations, food, Santa….
Celebrating the birth !
Thank you for your so beautiful trees.
I wish you the merriest Xmas
Like so many others, I first became familiar with your home through watching “Downton Abbey.” Your photographs & descriptions bring out its beauty even more. Thank you so much for sharing all of it with us. I was inspired to leave a comment by your exchange with Peg Parker above regarding Rosemary. Probably the best cookie recipe I’ve ever received from anyone is a recipe for “Rosemary Shortbread.” To me, it just tastes like Christmas.
I don’t see a way to attach a document here, and I don’t want to fill my comment with the recipe all written out, but if anyone wants it, please find me on Facebook & send me a PM – I’ll send it or tell you where to find it.
I wish I were not so afraid of flying, so that I could come to see Highclere one day. But this really is the next best thing. Thank you again, and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, from the only Henniker on earth, here in NH, USA.
Hello Lady Carnavon
It is a lovely Christmas tree
How do you celebrate Christmas at high Clere ?
The answer is in many parts and thus I wrote a book…