It doesn’t get any sweeter than s’mores and hot cocoa, and the night is never brighter than a bonfire. Or three. Blithewold’s new event, Christmas Sparkle, kicked off last Friday and as someone who is occasionally accused of being a humbug around the holidays (you might not know that about me…) I have to say it was just the sweetest, brightest, best thing. Maybe ever. And I didn’t even have a chance to hang out by the bonfires in the Enclosed Garden, roasting marshmallows and listening to carolers. Instead, I spent my evening with beaming visitors in the greenhouse, which we lit like a fairy house with tiny lights and tea candles.
Every year “the guys” (Fred – director of horticulture, Dan, and now Nick) create some kind of amazing light display on the grounds, and every year we say they outdid themselves. Well. They placed the bar pretty high this year. The magical icicles in the front lawn ginkgo, and handmade copper and jelly jar lanterns along the path from the mansion all the way to the greenhouse would have won the prize for best ever but there are more lights than that and at least one strand (or ten) in a very high place indeed. So you really should come by for a look. But not just a drive-by. This is the year to take a tour through the house if you haven’t yet — or even if you have — because everyone is saying it’s the prettiest ever. Then, either come back or stick around for a Friday night ramble down the path to the greenhouse for a cup of cocoa, stopping in the Enclosed Garden on the way to warm your fingers and marshmallows by the fire(s). If I love it, you will really love it. For more information about Christmas at Blithewold, click here (or here for concerts in the Living Room, and here for the Christmas Sparkle chorus lineup).