Ever since I first visited Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire a year ago, I've been trying to figure out a way to return at Christmas. You'll read much more about this neo-Renaissance French style chateau built in the late 1800's if you go to the highlighted link, but for our visit this month, our focus was on the Christmas holiday. This year, the National Trust manor house was decorated to honor its French heritage.
The cherubs pointed the way in
where we viewed enormous and spectacularly decorated Christmas trees with French themes from art, culture and music. Every room had at least one blue spruce tree, sometimes as many as three in one room.
The smoking room was warm and cozy
and the billards room honored the celebrated can-can from Le Moulin Rouge.
Garlands graced every doorway including this whimsical one festive with fleur de lis, ribbons and garlic.
Louis XVI oversaw the White Drawing Room where the table was set in a elegant style laid out for a Christmas dinner.
The half circle table was dressed with swags and boughs of blue spruce, accented with pine cones, chilies, cinnamon and cloves. Winterberries filled the vases with color, and the French silver made in Paris for the English King George III added to the sparkle.
Champagne was the theme of the Blue Dining Room
with its fascinating chandelier, made of broken modern porcelain, designed in 2003 by Ingo Maurer and called, "Porca Miseria" or "Oh my goodness" in Italian.
There are many ties to Marie Antoinette and this Rothschild home, and a dress worn by Kirsten Dunst in the recent movie about the French queen was on display for the holidays,
as well as a costume designed for Joely Richardson for The Affair of the Necklace. Located beside the gown was Marie Antoinette's actual personal writing desk.
It wouldn't be Christmas if there were not characters for the children to enjoy, so Babar the French elephant paid a visit,
and Cinderella sat by the fire with her little white mice dreaming of going to the ball. There are many versions of Cinderella that have been told through the years, but one of the earliest versions was written down by the French author, Charles Perrault in 1694. She was known as Cendrillon in that version.
While Cendrillon yearned for a pretty dress and a night out, her ugly stepsisters were taking their time primping for the party.
It was much later in the story that Cendrillon learned she had lost her slipper at the ball and commiserated that her mice would no longer be her footmen for her coach.
We trekked down to the stables to see if we saw any signs of the illusive coach that disappeared at midnight that fateful night, but all we found was a nice lunch,
and a sleigh for picture taking. Memories captured once again of friends on adventures. Stay tuned for more adventures to come.....