Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Weddings at the Treasure Houses of England

For timeless glamour, fairytale romance and awe-inspiring grandeur at some of the country’s most stunning country estates and stately properties – make a statement with a wedding at the Treasure Houses of England.

Featuring ten of England’s most spectacular castles, palaces and houses, the magnificent venues present couples with a beautiful and beguiling backdrop for a brilliantly bespoke and memorable day.

The Marble Hall at Holkham
The Treasure Houses’ host of illustrious properties boasts a range of features from fine paintings, objects d’art and antiques to incredible architecture and gorgeous grounds - ensuring extravagant interiors and an atmosphere imbued with Royal heritage and a rich history.

Hollywood hits such as The Kings Speech, Harry Potter and Brideshead Revisited have been filmed on location at the likes of Burghley’s stunning Elizabethan House and at Castle Howard where you can utter your vows under the Great Hall’s glorious painted dome.

For couples considering a themed wedding, each venue exudes Downton Abbey style romance and nostalgia that are perfect for period costumes and an inspired sense of individual occasion.
Catering for all kinds of weddings, each venue is unique, carefully attending to every need and minutiae for a completely personalised affair.

With an array of options available - every scenario is possible - from lavish, exclusive-hire affairs, marquee weddings and small weddings to civil ceremonies, civil partnerships and elegant evening receptions.

Hatfield House
At Beaulieu, couples can enjoy seven thousand acres of enchanting estate and choose from the decadent setting of the Domus a 13th century building, the pristine Palace House or even the National Motor Museum and the Top Gear Enormodrome for something distinctly different. Beaulieu provides an enchanting and unique setting for your wedding day.

Oxfordshire’s Blenheim Palace offers the timeless elegance of The Orangery, whose private entrance, glass ceiling, and terrace over-looking the Italian Garden provides a stunning wedding venue. Alternatively, the striking Marlborough Room offers a double vaulted ceiling, chandeliers and fireplace for more intimate gatherings.

Already making waves throughout Leeds as the ultimate place to get married, Harewood House offers a dramatic and romantic venue courtesy of its Courtyard, elegant Pavilion or the Victorian Terrace with the beautifully restored Italiene Parterre.

Chatsworth makes an exceptional location for weddings, receptions and civil partnerships. Set in 1000 acres of stunning Derbyshire parkland, with spectacular gardens creating the most stunning backdrop for all wedding photographs.  This unique venue epitomizes quality and elegance.

Kent’s Leeds Castle offers civil marriage and partnership ceremonies in the Dining Room, Gatehouse or Maiden’s Tower followed by dining in the beautiful Henry VIII banqueting hall or 17th century Fairfax Hall.

The Sculpture Gallery at Woburn Abbey
Hatfield House is an incomparable choice, with its magnificent Grade 1 listed Old Palace and stylishly contemporary Riding School, while Holkham Hall’s tally of four stunning staterooms present impressive interiors flanked by enticing exteriors at the Walled Gardens and magical woodlands beyond.

Woburn Abbey offers three very distinct wedding venues. From the splendor of The Sculpture Gallery, or The Inn at Woburn for classic country weddings, to the fun and unusual Safari Lodge at Woburn Safari Park weddings held on the estate are truly unique. Weddings can be arranged for just 25 up to 250 guests and a dedicated wedding planner will ensure that every wedding is a day to remember.

2012 Wedding Fairs:

The Old Palace at Hatfield House

Hatfield Wedding Fair
Sunday 5th February 2012

Blenheim Palace Wedding Fair  
Sunday 19th February 2012
11.00 am – 4.00pm
Whether you are just beginning to make plans for your wedding or getting ready to finalise the last minute details, don’t miss the Blenheim Palace Wedding Fair.

Chatsworth Wedding Fair
Sunday 26th February 2012
10.00am – 4.00pm
Chatsworth wedding fair takes place in the majestic stables Sunday 26th February 2012 from 10.00 am until 4.00pm. Entry is free

We'll post more Wedding Fair dates soon.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Fairy-Tale Wedding at Blenheim Palace

Winter Wedding Limited Special Offer in 2012

Over 50% discount on normal package price for selected dates only in January and February 2012.

Blenheim Palace is offering a fabulous fairy-tale winter wedding package for up to 70 guests in a stunning location including a Civil Ceremony in the Marlborough Room and Wedding Breakfast in the Orangery.

Hold your special day at this world-famous venue, host of many high-profile celebrity weddings.
Contact sales@blenheimhospitality.com or call 01993 813874 for more details.

Win a pair of tickets to the Treasure Houses of England

Full details available here:

Closing date 25th November 2011

Monday, 21 November 2011

Traditional delights, historic markets and fairytale magic will transform Holkham Hall in North Norfolk into a charming winter wonderland for the very first time.

Traditional delights, historic markets and fairytale magic will transform Holkham Hall in North Norfolk into a charming winter wonderland for the very first time.

From late November, Holkham will host its first series of exciting Christmas events, including visits from the Holly King, Queen Victoria and the Snow Queen, which promise to make it the most regal of festive destinations.

Holkham’s Christmas calendar opens with a Victorian Christmas Fayre on November 26 and 27, which sees the Bygones Museum turn back the clocks to the time of Charles Dickens for a wonderful period market, created by the Black Knight Historical team.

Visitors will be able to buy unique gifts from costumed traders and enjoy Christmas carols performed by minstrels, as well as storytelling. There will also be the opportunity to make traditional decorations, relax with mulled wine and walk around the garland-decorated hall, where children will be able to meet the Holly King himself.

Period entertainment continues with a Victorian Christmas Celebration on December 3 and 4. Queen Victoria arrives at the decorated hall to music, dancing, carols, games and stories by the fireside. During the festivities, kitchen staff will prepare a seasonal feast, the Holly King will be giving gifts to children beneath his Christmas tree, and all is captured for posterity using photographic techniques from the era.

Holkham Hall’s Christmas experience concludes with an atmospheric performance of The Snow Queen in the magnificent Marble Hall on December 17. This retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale by Quantum Theatre follows a young girl travelling across the North Pole to free her friend from the spell of the wicked Snow Queen.

The Christmas Fayre and Christmas Celebration events take place 10am to 5pm, with last admission at 4pm for the Hall and 4.30pm for Bygones Museum. Tickets for each event are £11 for adults, £7 for children.
The Antiques Fair is held from 10.30am to 5pm. Tickets are £5 for adults, free for under-16s.
Tickets for The Snow Queen are £16 for adults, £12 for children, with performances at 2pm and 6.30pm.

Further details can be found by visiting www.holkham.co.uk, or telephoning 01328 713111.


Friday, 18 November 2011

Christmas Festivities at the Treasure Houses of England

Spend the festive season at some of England’s most magnificent castles, palaces and houses.  Boasting ten of the most grand, historic and breathtaking buildings in the country, the Treasure Houses will all be hosting a variety of Christmas events and entertainment amidst spectacular scenery and stunning surrounds.

Blenheim Palace
Join Beaulieu’s exciting itinerary of Christmas celebrations (17th December-3rd January), including Victorian games and carol singing while Blenheim Palace creates ‘A White Christmas’ with snowflakes, silver white birches and icicles for an atmospheric and magical experience (12th November-16th December). Enjoy a performing snow queen statue, Santa’s grotto in the stables and choir concerts.

Fine Food Market at Burghley
Stock up on festive fayre at Burghley’s Fine Food Market (3rd-4th December) and at Castle Howard’s Christmas Craft and Produce Market (5th-6th December). Open for Christmas, see Castle Howard by candlelight and beautifully dressed for the holiday (26th November-18th December).  Father Christmas and The Festive Wizard will be entertaining the crowds (26th & 27th November and 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th & 18th December) while adults can indulge in canapés, candlelight and a sumptuous three-course meal at Castle Howard’s glamorous Christmas Party Nights (9th and 16th December).

Christmas at Chatsworth
From 5th November to 23rd explore Chatsworth’s Christmas displays inspired by timeless Christmas carols. The lower floors of the house are decorated with beautiful trees, garlands and candles to bring to life Christmas classics such as The Holly and the Ivy, Silent Night and Jingle Bells in a sparkling and surprising journey for all the family.
Presenting over 100 stalls, Chatsworth’s Christmas Markets are a must-see (11th-13th and 18th-20th November), as are their ambient Twilight evenings presenting shopping and entertainment with the option of a gourmet three-course meal (24th & 25th November and 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th 15th & 16th December).
Starring real farmyard animals, Chatsworth’s popular Nativity performances will ensure a jovial mood for all the family, with daytime performances held twice daily on 3rd 4th 10th, 11th, 17th & 18th December and special evening performances on 3rd, 10th and 17th December.

Find some gorgeous gifts at Hatfield House’s Christmas Frost Fair (25th-27th November.  There’s also a Christmas Music Concert on Sunday 11th December  and families can have fun on the synthetic skating rink in the Stable Yard from 1st to 23rd December.

Harewood is open every weekend 10am to 4pm from 25 November - 18 December and all week leading up to Christmas (19 - 23 December) with a glittering array of festive events, perfect for a full day’s family entertainment whatever the weather.  If you’re planning a party to remember, or just looking for somewhere to get into the festive spirit - Harewood has it all this winter.  

The Marble Hall at Holkham
Spellbinding Chamber Music in Holkham’s Marble Hall includes a champagne reception (12th December) and their production of The Snow Queen looks set to entertain and enchant in equal measure (2pm & 6.30pm 17th December).

Be beguiled in the Bygones Museum at Holkham’s Victorian Christmas Fayre (26th & 27th November). The Black Knight Historical team will ensure a festive event with Dickensian decor including costumed traders, storytelling and minstrels leading carol singing for a superb shopping trip and traditional entertainment.

A Victorian Christmas Celebration (3rd & 4th December) sees Holkham welcoming Queen Victoria for the weekend. Inside the dazzling hall, expect music, dances, carols, games and storytelling in scenic surrounds. With Florence Nightingale in attendance and the Holly King giving gifts to the children, join the festive bustle for a delightful day out.

Dreaming of a White Christmas
 at Leeds Castle
From 5th December to 3rd January 2012, traditional Christmas decorations will fill Leeds Castle in Kent and many of the rooms will be beautifully decorated with scenes inspired by classic children's stories for the whole family to enjoy. Meet Father Christmas (pre-booked slots 10th & 11th December and daily from 16th – 24th December) and book in advance for Theatrical Christmas Tours on the 15th, 19th, 20th and 22nd December. Timed entry from 5pm to 7.45pm (tours last approximately 45 minutes).  Blow away the New Year cobwebs with the Christmas Trail (26th December – 3rd January).

The Sculpture Gallery, located in the South Court of Woburn Abbey, provides a stylish and elegant setting for ‘The Woburn Classic Christmas Party’.   The shared party nights on the 9th and 16th December include traditional Scottish piper, three course festive dinner and dancing.
The Woburn Abbey Antiques Centre will be holding its annual Winter Art Sale 3rd December – 8th January (closed 24th – 26th December), a great opportunity to pick up a Christmas gift at an exceptional price

A full schedule of events is available on request.
For more information visit www.treasurehouses.co.uk

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Hatfield House Skating Rink Opens 1st December 2011

Come and enjoy our synthetic skating rink in Stable Yard, Hatfield House from 1st - 23rd December! 
 It's clean, dry and compared to real ice, much kinder to the environment.

Each session is 25 minutes and available from 10am with the last skating session at 5pm.

Tickets are available in advance but booking isn't essential - just come along!

Adult £5, Child £3 (3-15yrs) - 25min session
Time: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: Stable Yard, Hatfield House
Date: 01 December 2011 - 23 December 2011
To book online: Click here
Phone: 01707 357117

Hatfield House Christmas Frost Fair 25th to 27th November 2011

Held in the Riding School at Hatfield House and in heated marquees on Palace Green in front of the Old Palace, the childhood home of Elizabeth I.

The Christmas Frost Fair will feature wonderful gifts for family and home, original and unusual crafts, fine foods direct from the producers, exclusive ranges from the Hatfield Gift Shop, fresh ideas from the retailers in Stable Yard, drop in workshops and a festive atmosphere, sights and delicious scents. Morning coffee, lunches and afternoon teas will be available in the Old Palace.

To exhibit at this exciting event please call the organiser on: 01487 814800 / 07798 930070 or email Cliff on cliff.bloomfield@eventis.ltd.uk

Adults £3.50 

Under 15s FREE when accompanied by paying adult

Time: 10:00am - 5.00pm
Venue: Riding School & Palace Green
Date: 25 November 2011 - 27 November 2011

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Wishing you A Very Harewood Christmas!

Harewood announces extended winter opening times and special entry prices to spread the festive spirit.  Launching with a series of spectacular concerts from 17 November, Harewood is open every weekend 10am to 4pm from 25 November - 18 December and all week leading up to Christmas (19 - 23 December) with a glittering array of festive events, perfect for a full day’s family entertainment whatever the weather.  And if you’re planning a party to remember, or just looking for somewhere to get into the festive spirit - Harewood has it all this winter. 

White Rose Winter Music festival
The White Rose Winter Music Festival (17 - 19 Nov) is setting the tempo for winter 2011, providing a fitting combination of Yorkshire heritage, first class musical entertainment, a choice of hospitality and a special occasion to launch people into the festive spirit. Harewood House will provide a stunning backdrop to the shows this year which will be staged inside the Pavilion on the North Front. The programme is as follows: Thursday 17 - A Night at the Opera - Friday 18 - A Night in the West End - Saturday 19 - A Night at the Proms.

‘Essence of Christmas’ fair
This year Harewood is hosting the much acclaimed ‘Essence of Christmas’ seasonal shopping fair from 25 - 27 November (Fri & Sat 10-5pm, Sun 11-4pm). Offering a range of entertainment cleverly combined with heritage and culture, easy shopping to help you find that perfect gift for those hard-to-buy-for friends, gorgeous walks and views, and music to raise even Scrooge’s spirits.  The Essence of Christmas Fair is a cornucopia of all things Christmassy and we’ve weaved it throughout the House, Gardens and Grounds. 

A Very Harewood Christmas
Perfect whatever the weather, Harewood have put together ‘A Very Harewood Christmas’ which means something a little bit different and perfect to fill a day with festive family cheer; meet one of our huskies or even one of our Christmas ponies, enjoy great shopping, food and fun, all with a dash of something magical, plus as an extra special treat enter a daily draw to feed our penguins!  Children’s entertainers  make themselves at home in our Geopods and will provide 4 daily shows and a chance to follow a trail around the grounds during the day. There will be lots of seasonal activities to keep little ones entertained including Santa Claus who is coming to town.  Harewood look forward to ho-ho-hosting him as he sets up temporary residence in the ‘Snowflake Dome’ of the Geopods every weekend from 25 Nov and throughout the week leading up to Christmas (19 – 23 Dec). He’s spreading the cheer for all with a gift for every child who visits him (booking applies).  Harewood is providing a unique opportunity to enjoy a Christmas lunch in banqueting style in the Harewood Suite in the Courtyard, great for adults and children alike. Enjoy children’s entertainment with a festive pre-lunch show and meet Santa (12.30 start each day, one course, booking applies). This year, Santa has supplied us with his loyal friends, the Christmas ponies, perfect for mini-rides for mini-people.

The Grade I Listed Courtyard will be covered against the wintry elements by marquees so you can enjoy a veritable feast of stalls with a range of great gifts; all fortified with the scent of chestnuts and mulled wine served under the colonnade. The Courtyard Café is serving a festive menu using locally sourced ingredients, great for all the family, and live festive music can be heard in the Courtyard in December at 12pm and 2pm to add to the merry atmosphere.

Meanwhile, Harewood’s award winning gardens and grounds provide the perfect setting for wintry enchanted walks and visits to Santa’s penguin friends. Join us throughout December for some good old fashioned outdoor winter fun. Enjoy family trails, join in our many children’s craft activities with the learning team, and stroke one our huskies.

Much more than a stately home, Harewood House is very much a family home, and the team have been working hard to ensure they provide a complete experience for all the family this Christmas. This year the house will be dressed for the season and the team have pulled together a unique exhibition of Christmas family mementos and informal introductory talks to showcase the State Floor as a grand family home at Christmas. Not to be outdone by the State Floor, story telling and biscuit decorating will take place Below Stairs which will be decorated for Christmas with a twist.

Christmas Parties
Harewood has gone Tinseltown crazy with a series of parties to dazzle your friends, colleagues and clients.  The team of experienced event coordinators have created nights to fit with the Tinseltown Hollywood glamour.  Join us for a party fit for the stars this winter in the Pavilion, with red carpet and paparazzi, Frank Sinatra tribute, great food and DJ til late.  All against the stunning backdrop of Harewood House.

For more information about the flurry of festivities at Harewood this winter, visit www.harewood.org or call our box office on 0113 218 1000.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Alison Weir, Talk and Book Signing at Hatfield House

The historical novelist Alison Weir will be giving a talk, followed by a book signing on 17th November, in the Riding School at Hatfield House based on her most recent book, Mary Boleyn: "The Great and Infamous Whore"

Mary Boleyn is remembered by posterity as a 'great and infamous whore'. She was the mistress of two kings, Francois I of France and Henry VIII of England, and sister to Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife. She may secretly have borne Henry a child and it was because of his adultery with Mary that his marriage to Anne was annulled. It is not hard to see how this tangled web of relationships has given rise to rumours and misconceptions that have been embroidered over the centuries.

In her new book, the first full scale biography of Mary Boleyn, Alison Weir explodes much of the mythology that surrounds her subject and uncovers the facts about one of the most misunderstood figures of the Tudor age. Her extensive, forensic research has facilitated a new and detailed portrayal, in which she recounts that, contrary to popular belief, Mary was entirely undeserving of her posthumous notoriety as a great whore or the 'hackney' whom the King of France famously boasted of riding.

Alison Weir also presents compelling new evidence that almost conclusively determines the paternity of Mary's two oldest children. This astonishing and riveting book shows that Mary's story had a happy ending and that she was by far the luckiest of the Boleyns.

Alison Weir trained as a history teacher; her passion for history had been born when she read her first adult novel at the age of fourteen. Her first book, Britain's Royal Families, came out in 1989. She has since written fourteen other history books, including The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth the Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Katherine Swynford and The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn. Alison has also published three historical novels, Innocent Traitor, The Lady Elizabeth and The Captive Queen. Her latest history book, a biography of Mary Boleyn, is published in October 2011. She has recently completed a fourth novel and is now working on a history of England's medieval queens. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences, and is married with two adult children.

Please visit www.alisonweir.org.uk for further information on Alison and her work.

Tickets are £10 - to book http://bit.ly/uDyQZe