Every year we see a variety of different trends appear, passed down from the world of social media that we simply must get on board with – from the clothes we wear to the colour of the wall we paint our bedrooms, anything for the gram hey! And Christmas time is no different, we’re bombarded with images being snapped outside Annabel’s, Peggy Porschen’s and Cartier, searching high and low for the next festive hotspot. But there was one trend this year that has really taken off, so much so that most places in the capital had sold out, and that is of course was wreath making!
So I’d planned my final week in London down to perfection, taking out a client on Wednesday and Friday to leave Thursday completely free (probably as of September when I got the invite) for a wreath making class at Petersham Nurseries, Covent Garden, courtesy of Hamptons. I’ve always wanted to wreath make after one of my friends told me how much fun it was last year. Unfortunately my client then cancelled last minute leaving me frantically searching for any last minute bits of work for the week (the joys of being freelance!) Thankfully something came up but, you’ve guessed it, it was for Thursday! I was contemplating not taking any work at all that week just so I could go wreath making but after running this idea past my boyfriend (never a good idea!) he told me I was being ridiculous and that I must take the work and he’d pay for me to wreath make another day (which reminds me, I must collect that money!)
After finding that literally everywhere was booked or had already held their wreath making classes (including Petersham Nurseries in both Covent Garden and Richmond, Columbia Creative, Fortnum and Mason (which was in November!) I decided to search for one back home in Devon. Again, no such luck, most places either weren’t offering this festive activity or were fully booked! Then it struck me, where’s the most festive place in Devon? Who has the most wonderfully decked out interior complete with 25 1/2 ft Christmas tree? Where is my favourite place on earth? Bovey Castle!!! Within minutes of searching their website I’d found a wreath making class on Friday 21st December and had booked for the 3 of us, myself, Mum and Katie to attend. For those of you who haven’t heard of Bovey Castle, it is the most beautiful, grand hotel / manor house in the middle of Dartmoor National Park, complete with spa, swimming pool, restaurant and golf course set in the middle of nowhere! The best place for a weekend away in the main building itself or one of the guest lodges.
Wreath making at Bovey was everything I could have possibly imagined wreath making to be, it was absolute perfection, thanks to Hannah who looked after us. We were transported from reception via golf buggy down to the Long Barn which was lit by candlelight, a log fire and the winter sun which streamed through the barn doors. Hannah had already collected all of the foliage including bits of Christmas tree leftovers, evergreen, holly, berries, pine cones, dried fruit and ivy which was mostly sourced from the grounds of the estate.
We began with a single metal ring which we then attached bunched up bits of greenery to with metal wire to stay in place. We worked our way around the ring so that it was completely covered. We then added all of the decorative parts to make it extra festive including dried oranges, cinnamon sticks and even baubles and colourful ribbon. During the wreath making we were given hot chocolate by Hannah, complete with marshmellows! And as the barn is also used for the gin making classes we had a sneaky taste of the produce! Hannah had been busy with the wreath making workshops with hotel guests and members of the public alike and had made so many wreaths as part of a demonstration she had started putting them up around the castle, she gave one to the chickens, the fawns and even the ferrets got one! Bovey Castle is certainly an animal loving place, it’s dog friendly and Bali even got to come with us to lend a paw to the wreath making!
After all the hard work (and of course the little photo shoot with our finished festive wreaths) we headed to the lounge to indulge in a well deserved afternoon tea! And not just any afternoon tea, they had a festive themed one including mince pies, a Christmas sausage roll and a piece yule log. Accompanied by a glass of mulled wine! (of course!)
What a perfect way to start Christmas! Even out of the festive period Bovey Castle always has a great selection of workshops and events running for all the family including clay shooting, archery, gin making, falconry displays, feeding the fawns, 4 wheel driving and of course the golf course! Book your stay or day out here: https://www.boveycastle.com/