This time last year I was in England on a business trip - not the best time of year to be out of the country for 9 days, but the perfect time to be in England. Because what's more Christmassy than the home of Dickens? Fortunately I had a free day mid-week (due to an all-day holiday party to which I, as a contractor, was thankfully not invited) and was able to visit Blenheim Palace.
For a garden-loving, anglophile history buff few destinations compare to Blenheim.
It's the ancestral home of the Churchills, birthplace of Winston Churchill, with gardens designed by Capability Brown. The palace was festively attired inside and out. The trees below were very lovely - you would expect two small (well, when compared to the palace!) trees to just disappear, but these were very eye-catching.
There were also rows of tree nestled between columns on the wings, as seen below.
Very nicely done and quite cheery - don't you love the repetition and symmetry? Blenheim Palace is in the village of Woodstock which is a charming town with a variety of pubs, tea rooms, and shops. It was decked out in decorations that, while typical for English towns, were slightly nostalgic and exotic for me, like the over-the-door tree at this restaurant.
And the cosy streets leading to the town hall . . .
. . . where this tree was cheerily standing. (It's hard not to compare this with our town's fake perfect-triangle tree surrounded by tatty fake gifts . . . sigh.)
Wherever your travels take you this December, I hope you find a little holiday spirit!