Christmas at Rhug – by Lady Newborough

Christmas is always an exciting time for us at Rhug and whilst this year will be different for all of us, we will do our absolute best to make it as special as we can for everyone.

We usually have family staying with us and they always help decorate the house which is such a magical part of Christmas.  We go out onto the estate in search of holly with berries, moss to put round all the plants that are dotted around the house and twigs to use in floral arrangements.   We have an eco-friendly Christmas tree in the hall which we assemble every year. Whilst it isn’t the real thing, we like to be sustainable wherever possible and it looks amazing, we put sheep’s wool from our flocks under it to look like snow!

My smaller grandchildren love painting paper which they use to wrap up presents.  I tend to keep things simple for my wrapping with some brown paper which I decorate with velvet ribbon and tie on dried herbs and forage that I have collected around the estate, which smells amazing and brings a natural touch that I love.

Christmas eve has a special kind of magic I find, we usually go to our local church as they have a lovely  children’s service there that is always packed with local friends and family.  Then it’s back home for hot drinks by the fire and any last-minute present wrapping.

On Christmas morning the house is full of activity and noise and in the kitchen it’s all systems go!  We are very lucky to have Rhug organic produce at our finger tips here so every year I cook a Rhug Organic Turkey slowly overnight covered in a muslin cloth and wrapped in foil, I find the warming drawer of the AGA perfect for this.   I like to enjoy a glass of bubbles on Christmas morning with the family so I prep the sausages and vegetables in advance so that we can heat them up at the last moment, it just takes the stress out of everything.  Pudding wise, it’s plum pudding all the way and my grandchildren love seeing who can find the most 20ps!

Decorating the Christmas table is one of my favourite things to do.  We always have a huge gold reindeer as the centre piece all lit up with fairy lights, it’s our tradition. I scatter the white table cloth with nightlights and use festive napkins tied with holly or mistletoe from the estate to add colour and of course crackers which I try and find sustainable versions of!  I find mine on notonthehighstreet.com who have lots of lovely options. 

We always have a different jigsaw puzzle on the go every year which everyone enjoys. It usually lasts all through the Christmas period and is finished just before new year!  We play lots of games like racing demon and charades at night with the grandchildren which is always a noisy affair and very competitive as everyone wants to win!!

I am looking forward to long walks with lots of dogs and my family around me, we might even get a sprinkling of snow this year which always adds that extra layer of magic to the season.

Wishing you a lovely festive season wherever you are,

Lady Newborough

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