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Christmas at Whatley

It's a' coming! Yep, Christmas is around the corner but rest assured, we at Muddy have done the hard work and got it all nicely wrapped up, just for you

Ah, the festive season. Turkey and presents and champagne and lovely glittery things and family and too much cooking and stress and arguments and the big day is looming and you haven’t got half of the presents and the house is looking bare and….Woah, stop there! Get ahead of the game this year and perfect your Christmas wreath making, gift wrapping and of course all the presents you’ll ever need in one place, by spending the run up to Christmas at Whatley Manor.

Obviously it’ll be tough spending so much time in the utterly gorgeous surroundings of this luxury, 17th-century, Grade II-listed country manor house in a knockout Cotswold setting but, you know, we will be there holding your hand for you. And if you fancy a little stay, lunch, dinner, hang out in the spa or just a visit to the stunning gardens while you’re there, well, who would blame you?

EVENTS

Right, where do we start? Let’s plump with a Gift Wrapping Masterclass on 21 Nov with expert gift wrapper Jane Means. Her gift wrapping courses are a sell-out worldwide – she provides services for royalty no less – and has provided gift wrapping services for staff at Fortnums & Mason and Harrods, as well as many celebs. Make a day of it – start with coffee at 9am, followed by the gift wrapping masterclass, then Champagne and canapes, a two course lunch with wine, coffee and treats. Divine.

And now your gifts are, well, just perfect, why not get the house in tip top shape too? Join in a Christmas Wreath Making masterclass on 11 and 12 December and you can design and create the perfect Christmas wreath for your front door or table centrepiece. The day is from 10.30am-3pm and includes coffee on arrival, the wreath making masterclass, Champagne and canapes and a two course lunch with wine coffee and treats.

SHOPPING

Ah, the very best bit about Christmas! Take the stress away and make Christmas shopping an enjoyable experience in the luxurious surroundings of Whatley Manor. Discover a unique collection of independent shops and I bet you your Christmas turkey that you’ll find the perfect present for everyone, even your favourite four-legged friend. Christmas Shopping at Whatley runs 26-28 November, and you’ll get a complimentary glass of mulled wine if you behave yourselves!

Or what about a voucher for Mum for the best present ever – an Aquarias spa treatment or a day at the spa? You can also buy vouchers for everything from afternoon teas to overnight stays – book now at whatleymanor.com.

THE FUN STUFF

Snuggle back with a glass of fizz and enjoy Noctis on Sunday 9 December – an award-winning chamber choir founded and directed by Francis Faux. The group consists of musicians from around the South West who perform at a wide range of venues all over the country, and the evening will start with a champagne and canapés (obvs) in the drawing room followed by the carol recital and four-course set dinner with wine, coffee and treats. Dinner will be served in Grey’s Brasserie. I am sooooo there….

EATING

Don’t fancy doing the turkey this year? Treat your brood to everything from a festive dinner in Grey’s throughout December, right up to lunch on the big day itself. 26 Nov – 6 Jan sees a fantabulous spread in Grey’s Brasserie, with the restaurant decked in festive cheer and music, with grub including confit chicken terrine with crispy skin, pumpkin tagliatelle, sea bream and warm spiced apple pie.

Christmas Eve lunch and dinner can be catered for too, with 3- or 4-course festive menus that include coffee and sweet treats. And the big day? Well, it definitely won’t disappoint – begin with a Champagne and canape reception by the Christmas tree, then a five course lunch, coffee and treats, and they’ll be wheeling you home in time for the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special.

Made it through to New Year’s Eve? Whatley’s Gala Dinner is a fabulously indulgent way to see out the old year and ring in the new. Join them for a champagne and canape reception (you can see the theme here) before enjoying a sensational five course menu created by Niall Keating. After dinner you’ll be up on the dance floor/tables with a live band who will take you through to (more) champagne and fireworks at midnight. Oh, and they’ll even chuck in a free coffee the next morning when you come back to pick up the car.

Need to feed the hangover? Get your mitts on a sparkling brunch (with champagne) on New Year’s Day.

SLEEPING
Let Whatley take care of the whole she-bang and join them for a truly magical three day New Year’s Eve extravaganza. The house is beautifully dressed for the season (trust me, I’ve seen it), fine food and wine are delivered in abundance, the spa offers relaxation and the ambience is house party fun. Think all the champagne you can guzzle, fine dining extraordinaire, in-house movies with popcorn, gin tasting, a 5-course Black Tie Gala dinner, live jazz music, Blackjack and Roulette tables, spectacular fireworks display, a trip to Westonbirt Arboretum (with a hangover), and an evening of jazz. It might cost a bit but trust me, you’re worth it. And you can bring the dog too and they’ll chuck in a luxury dog basket, food and dog treats during your stay.

SPA

If all this Christmas talk is getting too much – take a break and head for the Spa. The stable block – home of the Aquarias Spa (and a pretty funky 40-seat cinema with huge, red-leather seats) – oozes calm and relaxation, with friendly staff, uber-smart changing rooms and the fluffiest robes I’ve ever sloughed into. Aquarias is one of my favourite spas in the whole country, and I can’t recommend it more. The Hydrotherapy Pool is the perfect place, with its bubbly jets and under-water loungers, to totally chillax, and even on a grey day you can float outside and take in the stunning gardens while staying cosy in bath-temperature water.

Pop back inside for the sauna, steam room and rainforest showers, as well as a Tepidarium with heated stone beds and salt scrub showers. Oh, and plenty of whale music of course. There is a VIP suite where couples can be massaged side-by-side (I’ll take that, please) and a smart gym with a weekly timetable that includes Boot Camp/Circuits, Kettlebell, HIT and Flexibility classes. They have recently bagged new Technogym equipment, including a Plurima Multi-station Wall with strength training equipment, Forma exercise bikes for cardio workouts and Forma Synchro cross-trainers which offer both cardio and lower-body workouts. No, don’t zone out…it’s good for you. Honest.

Want to try it for yourself? Whatley have a fantastic Social Club Membership, a club ‘where wellness and socialising meet’, based around the Aquarias Spa. Sign up and you’ll get unlimited access to the gym and spa (trust me, you’ll never want to leave) plus some pretty ritzy social events. Or you can just buy yourself (or your loved ones) a treatment or a day of unadulterated bliss…

Phew! Ready to book?

Whatley Manor, Easton Grey, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 0RB. Tel:01666 822888. whatleymanor.com

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