Enjoy the sparkling beauty and crisp scents of an English country landscape in London this Christmas, when Osterley Park and House throws open its doors for a season of festive entertainment.
© National Trust
Just four miles from Piccadilly Circus (and one of London’s rare surviving country estates), the stunning interiors of this 18th-century National Trust house are definitely worth viewing.
This year’s theme within the house focuses on the great contrast in the lives of Osterley’s owners, guests, and staff, and how the people who worked, lived and played in this great country home may have celebrated Christmas.
Witness festive entertaining on a truly opulent scale in some of Osterley’s grandest rooms, dressed as they may have been when the property was owned by wealthy banking families.
The 'below stairs' kitchens display wartime memories of Osterley, with ration items on display and recipes to take away and try at home. The imposing Entrance Hall is presented as for a magnificent ball, and in the Long Gallery preparations are underway for an evening of music and dancing.
Visitors can ‘meet’ Mrs Child, who lived at Osterley in the late 18th-century. They can also find out how servants prepared elaborate parties for another lady of the house, Sarah Sophia, known in the early 19th-century as ‘Queen Sarah’ because of her great influence on London society.
© National Trust
Christmas at Osterley Park
5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 December, from 12.30pm to 3.30pm
Gift Aid Admission (standard admission prices in brackets):
House & garden: £8.40 (£7.60), child £4.20 (£3.80), family £21 (£18.90)
Garden only: £3.70 (£3.35), child £1.85 (£1.65)
Car park (Standard Admission): £3.50 (park: free)
6, 13, 20 December, 2pm and 3pm. Car park charge only (£3.50)
The stableyard is alive with the sounds of the festive season when carol singers invite everyone to join them for some rousing renditions of traditional favourites, with song sheets provided.
Christmas craft fair
5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 December, from 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Car park charge only (£3.50)
A Christmas fair featuring crafts made by local artisans and craftsmen presents the perfect venue to shop for some unusual and unique gifts.
Winter Wonderland craft afternoons
6, 13, 20 December, 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Car park charge (£3.50) plus £1 per adult
There are plenty of opportunities for children to make their own decorative Christmas contributions at the Winter Wonderland art and craft activity afternoons.
Christmas lunches: 25 November to 18 December - Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 12pm
For a special culinary treat, pre-book for a delicious Christmas lunch in the tea rooms. The menu includes warming onion and cider soup, kiln-smoked Dartmouth salmon ‘moneybags’ stuffed with horseradish and cheese, and a traditional Georgian syllabub of lemon, wine, brandy and shortbread. Booking essential, at least one week in advance. Call 020 8232 5057.
On the first three weekends in December, the Osterley tea rooms are open for hot lunches, sandwiches, snacks and cakes. Work off some of the calories and let the children run off steam on the self-guided trails that wind through picturesque winter parkland and woods.
Osterley Park and House, Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB. Call 020 8232 5050 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk for more details.