Gorgeous rather than Georgian

It’s all about lighting up for Christmas. Somehow part of the hype and anticipation of the festive season includes an illuminated Christmas tree with presents underneath. We all have a sort of idyllic memory of this from our childhood – although the memory is usually a somewhat embellished form of the reality.

These days there is no escaping the magical trees and lights. They are everywhere – shops, town squares and even individual houses. The latest to climb on this particular band-waggon are the nationally owned stately homes. They of course do it properly and with great style.

Last week I visited Blickling Hall in Norfolk owned by the National Trust. The gardens, the terraces and even the front of the main hall were lit in a manner that might even have caused town councillors from Blackpool to gaze in admiration. Not just a few lights on trees, but hundreds of small lamps on each bush.

Inside the house it was explained to me by my guide that the interior was decorated in the style that it would have been during the Georgian period. In one of the rooms there were some splendid paper angels made from music manuscript paper. The steward informed me that after careful research, the volunteers had made them in the authentic Georgian style. They clearly were works of art although a shame really that some of the manuscript paper contained notes more typical of the music of Maurice Ravel.

The piece de resistance was of course the entrance hall with the grand staircase, beautiful arrangements of flowers and a very large decorated Christmas tree!? Definitely gorgeous – but debatably Georgian.