Haddon Hall has always been a favourite place to visit. Last year's Tudor Christmas was so perfect, entrancing and enjoyable that I made the trip from Manchester to visit again. What a disappointment! Everything felt soulless and lifeless. It felt as though the decorations had been left half-finished, the kitchens were dead and drear and turned into a shop -and not a very exciting one at that. Gone was the winter wonderland of last year in the Long Gallery, replaced by a somewhat horrific Victorian-looking peacock- themed, half-empty room. Some of the Christmas trees weren't lit and some of the rooms were closed. By contrast, the Great Hall was over-filled leaving little space for visitors to witness the Tudor revels. Whilst it was a nice idea to open the boot room to take refreshments into, the marquee had been replaced by an appalling looking burger-type van, open to the elements and queuing on a blustery freezing day. I think we stayed for about 20 minutes in total. So disappointing after I've been telling friends and family all year that it's much more authentic and less brash than its bigger neighbour, Chatsworth.
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