If every year you rush around the festive markets frantically searching for a fantastic gift that will make your loved one’s Christmas morning only to end up with the same forgettable and uninspired present that doesn’t represent the thought or time you’ve spent, why not get your loved ones an unforgettable experience instead?

From stunning retreats in magnificent manor houses to foraging trips or cookery demonstrations at the country’s finest restaurants, Christmas gifts don’t have to be just gift vouchers, perfume, socks and chocolates, Christmas gifts can be idyllic stays in cosy country inns and three-course dining experiences.

 

“Behind the Scenes” Package at Chatsworth House and The Devonshire Arms at Beeley

Head to the picturesque Peak District in Derbyshire for a perfect two-person winter retreat this January or February. From £162.50 per night, you can treat your loved one to an experience they’ll treasure forever. Including two-nights’ accommodation in one of AA-rosette-awarded The Devonshire Arms at Beeley’s luxurious bedrooms, a three-course dinner in the restaurant, full Derbyshire breakfast on each morning of your stay, and entry for two to the exclusive “Behind the Scenes” tour of the magnificent Chatsworth House, start your 2019 the right way with a little bit of luxury.

The charming country inn that is The Devonshire Arms at Beeley makes for an unbeatably beautiful spot to relax after a day spent exploring one of the country’s most breathtaking national parks, the Peak District. With its traditional 18th-century features and babbling brook out front, as soon as you arrive you’ll never want to leave.

Read all about this captivating venue in our blog post here.

 

Demo & Dine Lunches at The Miller of Mansfield in Goring-on-Thames

An 18th-century coaching inn with a 21-st century twist, 2-AA-rosette-awarded The Miller of Mansfield in Goring-on-Thames makes the perfect destination for a fascinating cookery demonstration and delicious lunch any foodie would just love.

Award-winning Head Chef Nick Galer is hosting one of his popular seasonal Demo & Dine lunches in every month of 2019, so if you want to learn how to cook British fish in January, perfect potato dishes in March, learn how to cook Spring lamb in May, prepare and cook British peas in July, bake Miller bread in October, or make Mulled wine and cider in December, Nick Miller will show you all the tricks to perfecting these ingredients and have you cooking like a professional in no time. These hour-long demonstrations are then followed by a 2-course signature lunch with Nick where he’ll talk you through all things food and produce provenance and provide you with recipes to take home with you at the end of the day. All of this is available for just £40 per person.

For a chance to win two places on one of these Demo & Dine lunches in 2019, enter our competition on our blog here.

 

Hogmanay Celebrations at the Doubletree by Hilton SKYbar

What better way to bring in the New Year than at a stylish and truly celebratory end of the year shindig in a venue that boasts the best and most beautiful views of Edinburgh Castle and the capital’s annual Hogmanay fireworks display!? The SKYbar at DoubleTree Edinburgh City Centre is a truly spectacular and one-of-a-kind space. Like trekking up the Empire State Building on a trip to New York, you haven’t really seen Edinburgh until you’ve seen it from the SKYbar. For just £50 per person, you’ll get to dance the night away in the hotel’s glamorous penthouse and be the envy of all those outside in the cold.

If you and your partner usually have a low-key New Years and always regret not doing something more exciting, why not secretly surprise them with a stay at the DoubleTree Edinburgh City Centre and a Hogmanay celebration in the most enviable location in the UK!?

The venue can also be booked throughout the year for a small group with their VIP package. For just £300, you and all your friends can celebrate in a cordoned off area of the SKYbar with plush seating for 1-12 people including 10 bottles of beer or cider, 2 bottles of Prosecco, 2 jugs of mixers, and 1 bottle of spirit.

 

Wild Food UK Foraging Trips

Give your loved ones the beginnings of a lifelong hobby with a foraging trip from Wild Food UK. Like demonstrated in this year’s Elton John/ John Lewis advert, a simple but thoughtful gift could completely transform someone’s life forever. Encourage a loved one to get out in nature and make the most of this country’s fantastic, fresh seasonal produce.

Formed a few years ago due to Marlow Renton and Eric Biggane’s love of the great outdoors and their passion for seasonal produce, Wild Food UK aims to expand your experience of nature into a practical form of enjoyment. If you and your partner already enjoy countryside and seaside walks, why not also learn to identify, pick, and eat the many wild mushrooms, plants, fruits, roots and flowers you will pass on your scenic strolls.

With a number of foraging courses available throughout the country next year including spring foraging courses in Surrey, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Cardiff, and Edinburgh, no matter where in the UK you are and what time of year you’re free, there’ll be a foraging course for you.

 

Whatley Manor – Four-Day Christmas House Party/ New Year House Party

This festive season, celebrate Christmas with Whatley Manor and enjoy a truly magical four-day Christmas celebration in a charming and magnificent venue like something pulled from the pages of a fairytale. Dressed up for the occasion and with plenty of fine food and wine, this is how Christmas should be done every year.

Arriving on the 23rd December, you’ll be welcomed with a chilled bottle of champagne in your room before heading to the Drawing Room for afternoon tea and musical entertainment. Later that day, dinner will be served where you’ll get to enjoy a stunning 12-course dining experience followed by coffee and treats in the lounge. On Christmas Eve, you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast followed by a light lunch of sharing boards to be enjoyed at your leisure. Then join their Sommelier in the Green Room for wine tasting before heading to the cinema for a movie with popcorn and refreshments. Following this, you’ll enjoy canapés and a four-course candlelit dinner at Grey’s Brasserie before being transported to Malmesbury Abbey for Midnight Mass (if you wish).

On Christmas Day, you’ll enjoy a traditional four-course Christmas lunch with all the festive trimmings and an evening buffet. They’ll also be plenty of board games aftwerwards. On Boxing Day, you’ll head to Westonbirt Arboretum for a gentle and scenic stroll through the magical woodland. On your return, they’ll be hot soup, snacks and mulled wine waiting for you. Later, they’ll be a falconry demonstration of the Grand Lawn and a five-course Black Tie Gala dinner with wine pairings in The Dining Room with a live band that will keep you dancing until midnight.

Whatley Manor also offers a three-night New Year hotel break arriving on December 30th and departing on January 2nd 2019.

If these one-of-a-kind experiences are all booked, ask about next year or book a stay in Whatley Manor throughout the year.

 

 

 

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