Christmas at home is always nice, being with loved ones, in a warm and familiar coziness…..But, I’ve always dreamed of spending Christmas day in a fantasy type, storybook setting. There are several places in the world that would be amazing places to be during the holidays, such as New York city or the little villages throughout Germany(the ones that the little ceramic villages are modeled after) or even a snowy mountain resort in Vermont, but the place for my holiday delight is a mere mile from my own home. I drive by its stately and elegant gates often, imagining how grand it would be to drive through those gates during the holiday season, and the treasured times that could be made there. What lies beyond those magical looking, snow capped gates? Oh, just Blantyre(http://blantyre.com/) , the place of my dreams. I have had the lucky pleasure of having an ‘all expenses paid’ stay there once before, so I already know how what an incredible experience it is to be there, how you get the ultimate in pampering and your every whim is immediately tended to. I have been to the spa in the Potting Shed(http://blantyre.com/spa/overview/) and spent time blissed out with their luxurious spa treatments(and the Dove ice cream bars they feed you don’t hurt either) and have walked all throughout their beautiful grounds. But, the things that I have experienced at Blantyre already, only add to the magical times that I have built in my mind for a Christmas spent there.
When you drive through the gates of this wonderous place, you first travel down a winding driveway in the woods, before pulling up in front of the prestigious, though welcoming, manor. Here you are greeted by a valet, who takes your car keys and along with them, all of the cares of the outside world. When you visit Blantyre, you feel as though you are indeed the lord of the manor, and will be indulged in the finest of everything.
When winter time comes to Blantyre, a whole new itinerary of wonderfulness opens up, making a Christmas visit extra spectacular. If I could plan it any way my heart desired, I would arrive at Blantyre a couple of days before Christmas, and would choose to make reservations for one of the suites in the manor house. There are other buildings on the property that have rooms, but I like the impressive feeling of the grand rooms, heavy antique furniture and ornate staircases in the manor. After checking into my room and enjoying my complimentary fruit and champagne basket, I would want to plan an afternoon of snowshoeing, to take in the secluded beauty of the Blantyre grounds. Later in the day, I might head into town to shop and pick up some gourmet goodies for my room. I might enjoy a dinner in town on the first night, and then retire back to Blantyre for the remainder of my stay. I would imagine the next couple of days to be spent relaxing and hiking , enjoying the fabulous breakfasts and gourmet dinners and lounging in my luxurious room. I would want to set aside a bit of time( or a lot of time)for some spa services in their indulgent Potting Shed spa. A facial, manicure and massage would fit the bill nicely. As the time grew closer to Christmas Eve, I would perhaps take in a ‘one-horse open sleigh’ ride, warm, woolen blanket on my lap, as another way to enjoy my surroundings. They also have an ice skating rink, so on a nicer day, I would want to try out some skating. To keep you warm while you’re skating, they offer a hot chocolate buffet, complete with homemade marshmallows, that they serve rink side. Another fun offering is the snowball barbeque, an outside barbeque where the foods are served atop snowballs. If the weather didn’t cooperate, I would also be extremely satisfied staying warm, inside by a toasty fire, indulging in fine wines and espressos. During the actual holiday, Blantyre plans special festivities, so I would definitely want to take part in any of their extravaganzas. A Christmas Eve dinner would be magical with several gourmet courses, made from the finest ingredients and wines from around the world, set in the main house, where they transform the rooms into dining areas, with elegant linens and fine china surrounding you, along with the myriad of gorgeous flowers that are so prevalent at Blantyre. I would linger at this meal, and retire early to my room, where I could enjoy some private time for gathering and gift opening with whoever I was with. I might even bring along a miniature decorated tree for my room, to add to the festiveness. A champagne toast would finish up my Christmas Eve, and I would then snuggle into the most exquisite bedding that I have ever encountered. When I awoke, it would be Christmas morning, and I would want to savor one last glorious day to treasure, so I would hope to enjoy a bit more of all of the glory that encompasses Blantyre: a grand breakfast, another spa visit, and one more sleigh ride to tuck into my memories of the most magical Christmas ever. Now that I have my visit complete in my head, I just have to figure out a way to make my dream come true….I wonder if Santa is taking wish list letters from adults this year?
Tags: berkshire, berkshire county, berkshiregirl, blantyre, breakfast, christmas, estates, extravaganza, guilded age mansions, ice skating, sleigh rides, Spa, winter