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Christmas at Eastnor gives us a wonderful chance to decorate our rooms in the traditional way, even if on a grander scale, especially in the Great Hall.  Here is an image of the Christmas tree, which took most of our staff to bring in and fix in place.  I love seeing it there, occupying space that would normally only be used by bats or a visiting giraffe. 

We showed the house to visiting groups this year rather than to the public.  Although this was disappointing to a lot of local people, we do not have enough well-lit parking on hard standing, and we found that people did not appreciate having to leave their cars on wet or muddy fields.  Those who did come loved the atmosphere, the warm colours and open fires, and so I hope we will be able to have more visits next year.

Otherwise, we have been busy with a rush of weddings, which has also given the house a happy and party atmosphere.  I always enjoy meeting the bride and groom, but usually wait until after the ceremony when they are more relaxed.  We had great publicity for Eastnor Castle as a wedding venue this year when we were chosen as the prize venue for the GMTV wedding ‘Battle of the Brides’, so the bookings for 2009 are steadily coming in, let’s hope they continue.              J H-B