Christmas Comes To Cotehele This Weekend
Cotehele is my go to National Trust estate, because its right on my door step and there’s something for everyone, from the historic quay and river, miles of doggy walks, the water mill, vast well-kept grounds and the treasures of the house itself.
For those of you who haven’t been to Cotehele before or haven’t visited for a while, there’s a lovely barn restaurant for lunch at the top of the grounds (best for adults or well-behaved kids), a relaxed tea room on the quay and a shop and gallery.
Somehow I didn’t manage to make it up there this summer, such was the lure of the beach and a collection of other lame excuses I have to hand. Now I’m kind of kicking myself for leaving it so long, because I went up yesterday had the most amazing time taking a sneak peek at this years Christmas garland in construction. It’s open to the public from tomorrow (12 November) and you MUST go and see it – I guarantee you’ll leave feeling more Christmassy than a gingerbread latte.
When the residents of Cotehele first hung a modest, floral, Christmas display in the Tudor Hall six decades ago, little did they know how their simple decoration would turn into the magnificent garland it is today.
For its this years 60th birthday, the theme is diamonds – but don’t expect any bling in the 60ft garland – there will be around 31,200 flowers plus a 40ft extension around the east doorway with another 7,920 flowers (39,120 in total). All of the flowers are picked and dried in the garden at Cotehele; seeds were sown in early spring, flower picking began in May and their all added by hand: gorgeous ornamental grasses, Winged Everlasting, Straw Flower, Paper Daisy, Paper Rose and Statice are all included this year.
Elsewhere in the Great Hall, traditional decorations include conifer and Mahonia around the doorways highlighted with some native berries from the garden and mistletoe in case anyone wanted to steal a smooch.
This years garland is still under wraps (Dave’s team of 12 volunteers are prob still beavering away to get it finished for tomorrow), but here’s a few sneaky pics I took, and a vid showing last year’s garland.
Each flower is added individually by hand. Here’s me adding my 12 – only 39,102 to go chaps!
Don’t take my word for it. The garland will be completed and on display from tomorrow (12 November) until new years eve (except 25 – 26 December). Early flag wave: The Cotehele Christmas food fair is on the following weekend – Sat 19 – Sunday 20 Nov, an even better excuse to fill your boots with Christmas cheer.
The garden and estate are open every day dawn-dusk.The Edgcumbe tea-room, Barn Restaurant, shop and gallery are open daily until 31 December (closed 25 -26 December) from 11am-4pm.
Cotehele House, St Dominick, Saltash, PL12 6TA