20 Dec Happy (Georgian) Christmas from all of us at Etons Bath
Bath at Christmas
Bath at Christmas is a most magical City. The streets are full of eager shoppers waiting to snap up the best of Somerset’s local produce from the festively decorated chalets at the famous Bath Christmas markets. Carol singers fill the air and echo around the surroundings of Bath Abbey in the centre of this Georgian City. Cinnamon and orange steam from vendors offering to warm the hands, hearts and souls of celebrating locals and tourists alike…
What was a Georgian Christmas like?
In the Georgian era, Bath would have been a popular destination for Christmas. Many of the high society ‘players’ from around the country would retreat to their country estates to host lavish parties mainly on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and on the Twelfth Night (6th January).
Their houses where traditionally decorated in holly and evergreen. But it wasn’t until Christmas Eve itself that houses were officially decorated. The main decorations consisted of dried fruits such as oranges and apples.
The Christmas tree was allegedly introduced to the UK by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort, who is credited with having introduced it to England in 1840. However, the honour of establishing this tradition in the United Kingdom rightfully belongs to ‘good Queen Charlotte’, the German wife of George III, who set up the first known English tree at Queen’s Lodge, Windsor, in December 1800.
That year Queen Charlotte planned to hold a large Christmas party for the children of all the principal families in Windsor. And casting about in her mind for a special treat to give the youngsters, she suddenly decided that instead of the customary yew bough, she would put up an entire yew tree. Then cover it with baubles and fruit, load it with presents and stand it in the middle of the drawing-room floor at Queen’s Lodge. Such a tree, she considered, would make an enchanting spectacle for the little ones to gaze upon. It certainly did. When the children arrived at the house on the evening of Christmas Day and beheld that magical tree, all aglitter with tinsel and glass, they believed themselves transported straight to fairyland and their happiness knew no bounds.
Christmas at Etons of Bath
At Etons of Bath, we like to keep to tradition: to decorate with as much greenery and topiary as possible. The star of the show of course is the Christmas tree which delicately lights up this grand drawing room. Glass ornaments and shaped baubles stylishly sit balanced on its flourishing branches.
As it was with the Georgians, our fireplace is also a main centrepiece which we love to decorate with garlands and carefully placed ornaments. Fresh flowers and dried fruit are also added to transform a standard garland to one that will be turn heads and raises smiles for all your guests over the festive period.
These days, there are a multitude of pretty faux trees with in-built LED lighting which can be used to great effect (cheating is fine!) when a contrasting room colour can act as the backdrop.
In our own homes at Christmas time, it is not just the drawing room we like to decorate. From the front door in, we love to add an element of Christmas to each level so that the festivities can run throughout the house. Garlands loop the bannisters whilst candles burn a winter scent to create a warm and seasonal atmosphere.
Tastefully, we like to combine an array of colours that will lift the key features within a household. Varieties of green, red, blue, silver and white sophisticatedly sit against the traditional characteristics of a period home as shown in the image below decorated by Etons of Bath.
Gentle down lighting is a must at this time of year as it creates the cosy atmosphere we all seek, especially alongside a roaring fire.
Texture is also really important when decorating your house for Christmas. We believe the combination of wools, velvets, silks and linens play a major part in creating the ultimate seasonal atmosphere. By adding textures to different parts of your house, whether it be velvet bows on your garland to woolly stockings hanging from the fire, your guaranteed to achieve the perfect look.
Finally, from all the team at Etons of Bath, a Merry Christmas to you and your families. We’re so thankful to all our clients, suppliers, craftsmen and women, wonderful team and our blog readers for all their help and support this year. We wish you a happy and healthy 2020!