On Sunday afternoon we took the Podlings to Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire to enjoy a Tudor Christmas. The hall was bedecked with Tudor-style Christmas decorations and looked delightfully festive with its greenery. A complete (fake) Tudor Christmas banquet was laid out in the dining hall where Tudor music was being played by a small instrumental group on authentic instruments.
The girls made Tudor spice bags which were often given as Christmas gifts in Tudor times. Bad smells were believed to cause illness, so pleasant smelling bags containing lavender, cloves, cinnamon, orange peel and the like were made to ward off the less pleasant odours that would have been common at the time. Lily and Emma enjoyed grinding up their chosen ingredients with pestles and mortars and the room they were making them in smelt wonderful! I made little bags of lavender for Alex and Tom.
Afterwards, we had a little wander around the hall in the lessening winter light, with Emma pausing to try on some clothes in the dress-up area. We have been to the hall a couple of times before, but I never fail to be delighted by the quirkiness of the place. The long hall, precariously balanced on the top of the manor, is a wonder of uneven floors and leaning walls. How the building survived long enough to be restored and preserved is a wonder in itself! We had a lovely couple of hours at the manor and then came home and warmed up with some much-needed hot chocolate. It was a lovely way to start the Christmas holidays.