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Norfolk artists help transform Holkham Hall for magical Christmas

Holkham Hall is set for a magical transformation this Christmas with the help of local artists and craft-makers.

The varied programme at the north Norfolk stately home will start from November 30 and sees the return of the much-loved tours of Holkham Hall by Candlelight.

Expected too, but awaiting confirmation until the autumn, are events including the much-anticipated Audience with Father Christmas, bespoke craft workshops in beautiful settings across the estate, a Canine Carol Concert and an intimate audience with Lady Glenconner, best-selling author of ‘Lady in Waiting' and ‘Murder on Mustique', and timed perfectly to coincide with the launch of her third title, ‘A Haunting at Holkham'.

Festive Season at Holkham Hall The Annual Christmas Candlelight Tours.. (22790871)
Festive Season at Holkham Hall The Annual Christmas Candlelight Tours.. (22790871)

‘Holkham Hall by Candlelight' offers a unique opportunity to see the state rooms adorned with opulent decorations and lit by beautiful flickering candlelight and festive scents. Every year each room has a unique theme, brought to life by Holkham's passionate team of creatives with The Countess of Leicester at the helm.

This year, Holkham has worked with local artists and makers to inspire a more natural approach and create a handmade Christmas.

On arrival, visitors are invited to the Courtyard Café to enjoy a glass of fizz and a mince pie before meeting their guide in the Marble Hall, where pine-scented Christmas trees and twinkling lights will await them.

..Holkham Hall. (31340649)
..Holkham Hall. (31340649)

During the 45-minute tours, knowledgeable guides will enlighten visitors on the inspiration behind each enchanting scene along with the rich history of each room.

Stepping into the state rooms, blue and white scenes will inspire the North Dining Room tea party, where Claire Owen Cakes will create a centrepiece for the dining table and Alice King, stylist and crafter, sculptural paper flowers for the mantlepieces.

Visitors will delight in the ‘Frozen in Time' themed Statue Gallery, a dining experience in collaboration with FX Live.

Drawing on the exotic, The South Drawing Room will become ‘The Jewel Room', a Christmas scene inspired by an opulent jewel palette with bird cages, butterflies, silk fabrics and colourful swans all pulling a sleigh.

Festive Season at Holkham Hall. Pictured is Lady Leciester.. (43942853)
Festive Season at Holkham Hall. Pictured is Lady Leciester.. (43942853)

For the dog enthusiasts, ‘Santa Paws at Home' will be installed in the South Dining Room, where Emma Thorburn of Buns of Fun is creating a gingerbread kennel. Dog bone trees, portraits of the Holkham canine family, plus other doggy surprises are destined to deliver a woofing great Christmas.

In the Old Kitchen visitors will be inspired by an alternative Christmas with a handmade, festive scene, where the team will work with foliage and dried flowers from the Holkham estate, locally-made tableware and hand-crafted table linen.

Eco florist Natalie Boon is creating a gold and amber dried flower installation, drawing on the copper cookware for her colour inspiration. The Holkham team will be picking and drying flowers throughout the summer for use in her installation.

Eleanor Torbati hand-makes her wonderful ceramics which will be used on the dining table, beautifully set for 12, and stunning hand-dyed textiles by Libby at The Way of Tea will be custom-made using plants from the estate.

The Countess of Leicester said: "Christmas 2021 feels like the perfect time to celebrate life emerging from the restrictions of the last 18 months, and we are thrilled to be actually able to work and plan to create an extra special Christmas programme here at Holkham."

Catherine Zoll, Christmas coordinator at Holkham added: "We are working with some extremely talented individuals who are driven by their passions to create some really unique designs, and the musicians who play in the Marble Hall during our tours cannot wait to be back in front of a real audience, to make 2021 the best Christmas yet!"

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