Friday 31 December 2021

Christmas at Standen

 Yesterday's family shindig with some of Mr GBT's siblings [he's one of six] sadly had to be postponed. We could have spent a day at home, but that would have ended up being spent doing jobs. I'd done a spot of research to see what was going on incase of such a scenario and it really didn't take any persuasion whatsoever to tempt Mr GBT out to visit Standen. It was either that or clear the u-bend on the kitchen sink😀

Even against a backdrop of much reduced income the National Trust knows how to "do" Christmas to perfection.  Taking the 1930s as their starting point a different Christmas scene had been set up within each room of Standen alongside snippets about how the Beale family celebrated.

Although entry is no longer timed on a busy day it's still necessary to queue so that the house doesn't become overcrowded. It's no hardship though when there's a beautiful Morris inspired tree [it's an Arts and Crafts property] to admire. The felted wild animals have been made by the talented volunteers.

The Beale children used to play a game called "shipwrecks". Behind the billiard table up some steps there's a sofa. You had to launch yourself from the sofa and see how far you could slide under the table. Grazed knees much have been the order of the day I would imagine!

This amazing paper cut tree was suspended from the bannister above and was an absolute devil to snap because it's constantly rotating. It's based on the Morris & Co "Forest" tapestry which is now in the V&A. The animals were designed by Philip Webb who was Standen's architect.

Normally one would expect the Trust to present an impeccably laid Christmas dinner. It had me scratching my head at first when I saw the apparent realism with the stains on the cloth. The children had a food fight one year😆 Just as well one had staff to clear up after one's little darlings eh! And if you're wondering what's on the tree it's all those teeny little coffee cups that were all the rage once, but ending up collecting dust in the back of everyone's cupboards. They had to be useful for something....certainly not for drinking coffee out of !

Finally as we "moo"ve into 2022 I'll leave you with these bovine decorations. Helen Beale took a great personal interest in their herd of Jersey cows and named them all. 

With that may I wish everyone a Happy New Year. TYM will be out celebrating with a few friends whilst his aged parents will do what they always do....stay in, go to bed early and then get woken up by the fireworks at midnight. Wine will feature at some point of the evening though before we retire!!



  1. Happy New year to you all over at GBT. Have a wonderful 2022 love.

  2. Standen's been on my list for ages! Lucky you!
    Beautiful tasteful Xmas decorations, just as you'd expect from the NT. Those cows and the handsome Monach of the Glen are fantastic!
    Happy New Year! xxx

  3. Happy New Year Aril, and wishing you and your family all the best for 2022. xx

  4. The ornaments were breathtaking.

  5. Happy New Year, may 2022 be kind, gentle, healthy and happy xx

  6. Fabulous - all of it, but particularly loved the coffee cup tree decorations. I shall store that idea away....

  7. Fabulous - all of it, but particularly loved the coffee cup tree decorations. I shall store that idea away....



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