Exquisite Christmas room tour at Holkham Hall
There is nothing quite like this magical room tour at Holkham Hall this Christmas.
Available now for the public to book this is a festive treat with elegant attention to detail and a sprinkling of magic as visitors tour the grand home.
Holkham Hall's team of creatives, with help from volunteers, have really decked the hall, and designed spectacular room displays with the wow factor at every turn.
Entering the famous Marble Hall, with pianist Carrie O'Donnell tinkling the ivories with gentle festive tunes, there are a mere 22 real trees provided by Salle Farms, Reepham, adorning the entrance.
Leigh Hitchcock, general manager said: "It is a family and team effort.
"We had a dress rehearsal with the stewards to learn about the different rooms.
"It takes a month to set up and it is great to be welcoming visitors back and celebrating Christmas with them."
With flickering candlelight, each room has a unique theme, and Holkham has worked with local artists and craft makers to design a handmade Christmas.
Catherine Zoll who oversees the designs with Lady Leicester, the occupant of the hall with her husband Thomas Coke, the 8th Earl of Leicester, said: "The overall theme is inspired by ideas from theatre, trends, interior and family and personal touches.
"It is eclectic and guests are taken on a journey through the range of rooms experiencing colour, scent, humour and simplicity."
State rooms have been bejewelled in pinks, purples and crimsons, or decorated with a blue Delft theme, and a festive feast is frozen in time.
In the old kitchen below stairs, last used in the Second World War, the theme is sustainability and awareness of the planet.
The creators are using natural materials to decorate the wooden table that is full of copper ornaments and set for Christmas lunch.
Santa has got stuck up the old kitchen chimney and of course there is some soya milk and a carrot for the vegan reindeer.
There is a special room designated to the family spaniels and shows the families sense of humour with a tree made from dog bones and lightly snowy paw prints.
If visitors look very carefully at the portrait using the face of a dog they can spot Santa and his sleigh in the background.
Chandeliers that are 300 years old, as old as Holkham, reflect the sparkles of the fairy lights, candle sticks look like antlers, there are pink swans and goblets with decadent colourful flocking.
Fakenham District Flower group have also contributed to the designs with flowers and no oasis is used to sustain recycling.
Flowers have been used from the walled garden, dried during the summer and used for the Winter display.
Some of the objects seen in the displays can be purchased in the gift shop as tree decorations, such as the blue and white miniature cup and saucers or pugs for dog-lovers.
The jungle room tree is covered in parrots, as Lady Leicester has a pet parrot called Basil.
Throughout the tour there are the scents of Christmas, pine needles, white thyme candles and delicate citrus scents.
In the chapel is a traditional Nativity scene where there will be a service on Christmas Day open to the public.
Rooms have landscape displays with birds and owls nestled in birch and larch branches, traditional trees with partridges and pears and toadstools and fairies hide in their woodland home.
Linda Tree is a room steward who led the tour and she said: "Here at Holkham Hall we wish you all a very Merry Christmas."