Christmas is always a magical time at Waddesdon and this year will include an ornate gingerbread model of the manor; a dazzling light and sound show; and an outdoor display of frosted glass spheres.
The manor opens today (Wednesday) until Monday January 2 for the Christmas season and the theme for the decorations in the house this year is magical materials from the earth and sea, inspired by the rare, exotic and beautiful materials that can be seen throughout the collections.
For the second year a light and sound show will animate the house from dusk each day every 15 minutes, bathing the ornate facade in a rainbow of colour. The two giant candlesticks at the entrance, which each feature 574 bottles, will also be illuminated.
Artist Bruce Munro’s residency has been extended as he returns with one of his most popular pieces. Munro is noted for his immersive site-specfic installations inspired by landscape that employ light to evoke an emotional response. Field of Light has appeared at Waddesdon before, and this time is in a new location. Munro has ‘planted’ 9,000 slender stems crowned with radiant frost-glass spheres to populate the Aviary Glade.
The spheres, illuminated by optical fibre, will ‘bloom’ as darkness falls, taking visitors on a sensory journey through the gardens.
Down at the Coach House gallery in the Stables, visitors of all ages can marvel at the work of extraordinary bakers, the Biscuiteers, who have made a dolls house model of Waddesdon constructed entirely from gingerbread.
Over two metres in size, it recreates the rich details of some of Waddesdon’s beautiful rooms, including paintings, furniture and ceramics modelled in icing.
Visitors will be able to watch a video to learn more about the design and making process of the extraordinary creation which took over 500 hours, 240 eggs and 216kg of icing.
Festive shopping will feature at the manor over Christmas. In addition to the Manor Shop, there will be pop up shops at the Stables.
Christmas opening hours at Waddesdon are from 11am-6pm Wednesdays to Sundays and additionally, Tuesday December 27. The manor will be closed December 24 - 26.
The Bachelor’s Wing of the house is decorated for Christmas and advance booking is strongly recommended.
Book online at www.wadesdon.org.uk or call 01296 820414.
The Christmas Fair overlooking the parterre, with the illuminated house as its backdrop, will this year feature 60 exhibitors across four weeks from 11am - 6pm Wednesdays to Sundays from Wednesday November 16 - Sunday December 11.
The fair will offer visitors a great selection of unusual Christmas gifts and festive foods from independent traders.