Take the stress out of Christmas shopping this year, by swapping the high street bustle for the beautiful surroundings of The Stables at Hylands Estate

On Wednesday 1 December The Stables’ creative community of artists, makers, and designers will be giving visitors behind-the-scenes access to their studios, where some of their work will be on sale. The Stables will also play host to other local homegrown businesses selling delicious artisan food, drink, and original gifts.

Offering a one-stop shop for all your festive needs, simply wrap up warm and complete your Christmas shopping at the exclusive event, where you can also pick up some well-deserved treats for yourself.

Real trees and handmade gifts

In the mood for a real Christmas tree this year?  Pick one from Chelmsford Round Table.  Ready-made door wreaths from Chelmer Florist will also be available, along with make-your-own wreath kits if you’d rather add your own decorative flair.

Browse handmade art and gifts that include stylish bags and purses from Cosimas, laser-cut cards and decorations by Totally Engraved, and warm socks, gloves, and hats from The Alpaca Shop.  The Candle Maker, offering 100% biodegradable eco-soy wax vegan candles, will also be on hand to give your Christmas a glow.

Delicious festive fare

There will be plenty of local food and drink for your Christmas table.  Order your Kelly Bronze turkey and pick up some award-winning chutneys and sauces from Sticky Pickle.  Local and sparkling wines from Galleywood Vineyard, along with spirits from Essex Gin Distillery, will also be available.

Sample some festive treats at the event itself too, with The Stables Café offering mince pies, mulled wine, and Baileys hot chocolate.  For that true outdoors-in-winter feel, there will be roasted chestnuts from Beeline. 

Art and entertainment

Relax into the yuletide atmosphere, with musical entertainment provided by the Big Sing Choir, and Zak Barrett performing Christmas jazz.

The Stables’ creative community of artists, makers, and designers will be inviting you into their studios to share the stories behind their creations and sell unique gifts.  Mona Marnell Glass Studio will be making stained glass stars and ornaments all evening, while if you’re a dedicated knitter, Georgia Farrell will be selling her premium yarn packs and self-designed patterns.

You can also purchase bespoke handmade silver pieces from TLK Jewellery, along with Christmas cards, ornaments, and gift tags, all hand-decorated by the local calligrapher Emma’s Ink Pot.

When to visit

Held from 6pm until 10pm on Wednesday 1 December, Christmas at The Stables can be paired with a visit to the Enlightened light trail in the park. Entry to Christmas at The Stables is free, and tickets to Enlightened are £12 for children (under-4s go free) and £16 for adults, and can be purchased on the Enlightened website. There is free parking from 6pm and for any Enlightened ticketholders with an earlier time slot.

There’ll be plenty of places to sit down and enjoy purchased treats, and toilets are available on site.  All stallholders will be accepting cash or contactless payments.

Visit the Hylands Estate Facebook page to find out more and stay up to date with the latest news.

By Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at julie.weight@chelmsford.gov.uk or on 01245 606984.

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