In these days of the extended family how many of us have a house, or even a dining table to accommodate everyone at Christmas?
The dream of having all the family under one roof and all joining with the cooking and decorating and general festive fun can be tempting. There are of course, bound to be disputes and upsets as all the generations have their own ideas of how to celebrate but that can all be part of the experience. It would certainly help if the location was neutral and you were not treading on the toes of one particular host. If the kitchen belonging to no-one in the party it would make a communal cooking session far easier.
It is not too late to think about, and possibly book a venue where all the generations can stay this year. There are plenty of places available at the time of writing such as a country house set in Treowen, a huge, 17th century Grade I listed house, four miles from the historic town of Monmouth in south Wales.
The brochure promises panelled rooms, magnificent staircases, delightful gardens, breath-taking views, private woodland walks and a lofty position at the far end of a half-mile-long drive in one of the most beautiful corners of Wales. It can sleep up to 35 in bedrooms with names such as the Cherub Bedroom, the Otter Bedroom and the Passage Bedroom.
It’s a wonderful place for families to gather together for holidays or special occasions. There’s no need for anyone to feel forced into being sociable all the time, as you can easily escape to one of the unusually large bedrooms or drawing-rooms with the papers or a good book.
Children are unlikely to be seen or heard, as they can spend most of their time outside, playing table tennis and mini-snooker in the banqueting hall, or running up and down the 72 steps of the six-foot-wide solid oak staircase. It sleeps 35, and costs £5,560 for Christmas week.
On the beautiful Jurassic coast in Dorset a large manor house is a traditional country residence furnished with colour and imagination. An oak-panelled, open-fired, antique rug-draped, porcelain-plastered showstopper, it was recently featured in World of Interiors. If you don’t fancy cooking you could even hire a private chef.
Sleeps 14, £5,100 for five nights or £5,500 for seven over Christmas or New Year.
There are plenty of large properties out there in all parts of the country and even abroad, so if you are looking for a special place to share a big family Christmas it is worth looking on the internet.
With the costs being shared between all of the guests in can make for a reasonable holiday and is a viable alternative to booking a restaurant or hotel and could be much more fun.