Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas Gifts For Loved Ones Inspired by the Peak District

Have you made your Santa list? It’s Santa’s List Day so here to help is our top ten Christmas gifts for loved ones inspired by the Peak District. We have some wonderful #LoveLocal products to share with you!

Christmas Gifts for the Alcohol Lover 

1. Aldwark Artisan Ales – Local, Award-Winning Beer

Us Brits love our tipple at Christmas, so looking at what alcohol-related Christmas gifts the peak district has to offer seems like a good place to start! Set out in a converted milking parlour, the Aldwark Brewery is located just half a mile from Hoe Grange.

This project has taken vision, lots of hard work and the support from the local community but is well worth the wait. Aldwark Brewery beer is available in your local pubs including the Twenty Ten in Matlock and The Jug & Glass in Lea. Their Nostrum Gold is a classic session ale nicknames “The Moorish One” and we can see why; it’s light and surprisingly refreshing for its bitter notes.

craft ale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Gifts for the Foodie

2. Brock and Morten – Locally-Sourced Oils

Everyone has a family member that takes control of cooking on Christmas day. Getting the Turkey centrepiece perfect has become a right of passage for any Christmas day. Christmas gifts for the foodie in your life are always one of the most important. Brock and Morten supply the finest rapeseed oil found in all our welcome packs at Hoe Grange.

Containing the lowest saturated fat content of any oil, less than half that of olive oil and packed with over 10 times more Omega 3,6 and 9 than olive oil, Brock and Morten’s rapeseed oil is a cut above the rest. Ideal for cooking at high temperatures or drizzling on a fresh salad, Brock and Morten also sell locally produced honey and Christmas gift hampers.

Brock and Morten oils

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Bullion Craft Chocolates – Handmade, Ethically-Sourced Chocolates

We all end up eating far too much chocolate over the festive period, even those who stave off chocolate for the majority of the year can’t resist an advent calendar or a variety box at Christmas. Why not take your chocolate experience to the next level and visit one of the many shops in the peak district that stock Bullion Craft Chocolate.

Focused on ethical sourcing and superior flavour, Bullion use the finest cocoa beans from across the world to produce the most wonderfully intense and complex chocolate bars you can get this Christmas.

With beans from Haiti, Bolivia and Guatemala and produced in the Peak District their Christmas gift range is a must-have for any chocolatier this Christmas!

bullion craft chocolate

Christmas Gifts for the Homeowner

4. Lomas and Lomas – Nature-inspired Homeware

lomas and lomas

The Peak District’s natural beauty is undoubtedly its greatest asset. Inspiring countless books, paintings and poems, it’s vast limestone hills, flowing rivers and walking routes are famous all over the world.

A Christmas gift to celebrate this beauty makes a great present for anyone who loves to bring the outdoors in. At Lomas and Lomas they sell unique nature-inspired homewares and handmade gifts inspired by the natural landscape of the Peak District. From cushions to lampshade and kitchenware, they have a wide range of items any home interior enthusiast will love.

Christmas Gifts for your Pets

5. Coconut Blush – Eco-Friendly, Chemical-Free Products

dog-friendly productAnother entry from our Hoe Grange welcome pack! Coconut Blush make natural soaps and skin care products handmade in the Peak District.

Started in her home in 2005, Jane Malcolm wanted to solve the problem of eczema her two young children were having. The result – A range of eco-friendly, all natural soaps, hair-care and skin-care products and a thriving business that is now 11 years old. Everything they make is 100% Paraben & SLS free – with no artificial fragrance.

Don’t forget to get your pets a Christmas gift, Coconut Blush now sell a range of shampoos and paw salves for dogs.

Christmas Gifts for the Craftsman

6. Annie’s Eazi Candles – Personalised Candles

With so many Christmas Gifts available online now we can often get overwhelmed by choice ultimately forgetting to shop and #LoveLocal. One of our previous blogs covered candle makers On A Wick and A Prayer located in Tissington village close to Hoe Grange.

Owner Annie lights the way for unique and personal Christmas gifts. Producer of handmade candles inspired by the Peak District, over 18 years later Annie’s business is stronger than ever. With Christmas coming their build your own candle kits means you can completely personalise your own candle. From wicks to colours to scent your loved ones will love your thoughtful gift this Christmas.

make your own candle

 

Christmas Gifts for the Art-Lover

7. Juliet Forest – Hand-made Stained Glass

Glass dishes by Juliet ForrestCreating beauty from staining glass is one of the oldest and most traditional forms of art we have in England. Modern techniques might make it easier for many skills in the manufacturing industry but the skill of hand-staining glass remains a complex art.

Juliet Forest began making stained glass six years ago as a hobby and started her full-time business in 2014. Her artwork can be found throughout Hoe Grange including our glass flowers, welcome plates and the glass windows in all our pods.

If your loved one enjoys the beauty of painted glass as artwork, Juliet Forest’s work is the perfect Christmas gift.

8. Lucy Palmer Jewellery

lucy palmer jewellerySpeaking of handmade gifts from talented artists in the Peak District, Lucy Palmer is the Derbyshire Dales foremost jewellery maker. Crafted in her workshop, all her beautiful jewellery is inspired by nature and folk tales.

Using a wide range of decorative techniques including the ancient Korean technique, ‘Keum Boo’ to fuse gold foil to silver, Lucy crafts truly unique Christmas gifts that you really can’t get anywhere else.

Christmas Gifts – An Experience

9. The Clayrooms – Pottery Workshops and Courses

Set up by ceramic specialist Sarah Heaton and experienced school leader Helen Cammiss The Clay Rooms boasts nearly 50 years worth of combined experience.

Capable of running workshops and courses from beginner level right through to advanced pottery abilities, this makes a great Christmas gift for anybody interested in enjoying a new experience or expanding their pottery skills.

If you have a friend or family member interested in joining a community of fellow artists and craftspeople then why not purchase a membership for The Clayrooms? Membership includes 18 hours of studio time per week, in-house materials and technical support – plus a chance to exhibit once a year!

10. Hoe Grange Holidays – Experience Voucher

Last but definitely not least, at Hoe Grange Holidays we love Christmas. We understand Christmas is all about spending time with people you care about. Therefore, this year instead of giving your father a pack of socks or your mum a new hairbrush, why not give your loved ones a Hoe Grange Holidays gift voucher.

An experience with Hoe Grange Holidays is a gift that they will long remember. Our vouchers can be gifted at any amount or can be bought specifically for one of our amazing experiences. Spend an summer’s evening in the beautiful peak district with your very own pizza oven, this can be a fun and creative evening, ideal for families – and who doesn’t love pizza?

If you’re after something more romantic why not buy a voucher for an winter’s night in our log-fired hot tub and sauna or gather around our fire pit and gaze up at the stars, the perfect couple’s getaway. Whatever your loved ones enjoy, we have the Christmas gift for them! Vouchers available fro £25 upwards.

Hoe Grange Gift Voucher

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re interested in purchasing from Hoe Grange or wish to book a stay with us, call us on 01629 540262 or email us at info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk. Simply fill out our contact form and we will get back to you right away!

For more ideas find out what was on last years Christmas list

Felicity 

Merry Christmas

Merry ChristmasRMD_1188LargeMerry Christmas to all our lovely guests, followers, family and friends! 🎄 Thank you for your support and love over the year.

We’re all set for Christmas and hope you have a magical time with your family and a prosperous New Year.

There’s lots of new things happening here and we’re looking forward to welcoming you back to Hoe Grange in 2018!

David and Felicity

12 gifts of Christmas inspired by The Peak District

Christmas is coming so we thought you might like some help with gift ideas for your loved ones. Here is our own handpicked selection of the 12 gifts of Christmas inspired by our unique Peak District landscape.

We #LoveLocal and are sure you will be inspired by this years Christmas selection. As tomorrow is Small Business Saturday it is an ideal opportunity to support small independent businesses and shop local.

12 gifts of Christmas Inspired by The Peak District.

1. Those boots are made for walking…

Guided walks with Cath LeeGet your walking boots on and enjoy all the Peak District countryside has to offer by taking a guided walk with Cath Lee of Peak Walking Adventures, whose local knowledge and fascinating facts will bring the experience to life. Don’t worry  you won’t get lost as Cath will do the navigation so you don’t have to!

An ideal way to make the most of your holiday while staying at Hoe Grange as Cath caters for couples, friends, families, and small groups.Cath is as passionate about caring for our special landscape as we are and also holds the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark.

2. Woollen Knits

Hand knitted hats, gloves and bagsOn your walks wrap up warm with Sally’s range of hats, gloves, scarves and accessories, which are hand knitted and felted using soft luxurious wool from her pedigree flock of Icelandic sheep. Another amazing Peak District Environmental Quality Mark member.

knitted cushions Or brighten up your home with vibrant cushions, and throws in a rich palette of seasonal colours which reflect the very special character of the Peak District; calming greys, brought to life by rich purple blues and zingy Spring green. If you are crafty and creative Dewsnaps Woollens also sell knitting kits so you can knit and natter yourself at home.

3. Capture the countryside in a click

Photographer Guy BadhamMake the most of your walk and take home some special memories captured on camera. Guy Badham offers personalised training days to de-mystify your camera, giving you the confidence to use it more creatively.

Whether you’re a complete beginner keen to learn the basics, or a more experienced photographer, Guy can help you capture our stunning Peak District landscape and wildlife as you walk and talk. At just £100 per day for a single adult or £150 for up to three adults, it makes the perfect Christmas gift.

4. Add a little sparkle

Horse pendentAs you trek through the countryside you might see a hare or a deer? Lucy creates unique and beautiful jewellery inspired by the Peak District landscape and wildlife, myths and folktales.  In her  Lucy Palmer Jewellery collection you will find a magical world of enchanted forests, mysterious creatures, and far away places.

Her beautifully intricate designs are cut in precious metals and often layered to give a three dimensional, miniature stage set effect. Decorative techniques embellish the surface, including ‘Keum Boo’, an ancient Korean technique of fusing 24ct (pure) gold foil to silver. My favourite is of course the beautiful horse pendent. If you’re looking for that extra special sparkle Lucy also takes on commission work.

5. Wonderful in wood

wooden bowlWhilst out in the woods you’ll see many a tree – the raw material for local wood turner Matthew, who creates beautiful bowls, plates, and objets d’art. It’s great to know that Matthew at Woodturning at Christmas Cottage uses mainly local woods from sustainable Peak District sources, and doesn’t waste a thing as he uses the off cuts to create smaller items such as light pulls, tops, wedges, and pendants.

Wood is so wonderfully tactile and we particularly love the new kitchen graters with a wooden bowl, which are both practical and pleasing to the eye. A perfect gift for any masterchefs in the making!

6. Tasty treats

After your wonderful walks why not give your dog a tasty treat and pamper your pooch with Marge and Mabel’s homemade dog treats? These healthy treats are created using fine human-grade ingredients (no added salt, sugar, preservatives, colourings or flavourings) and are a firm favourite with our chocolate Labradors Twix and Crunchy!

Dog treatsThe range of delicious doggy treats include a selection of sweet and savory muffins, biscuits and cakes and all of which come presented in beautiful packaging, an ideal Christmas present for your four-legged best friend! We love the fact that wherever possible ingredients are sourced locally, eg meat from the local butcher, flour from Caldwell’s Mill and organic fruit and vegetables from the local grocer.Treats can also be baked to order depending on any specific nutritional or health needs your dog may have.

7. More cheese Gromit

Once your dog is happily tucking into his treats you can tickle your taste buds with some delicious local Cow Close Farm Cheese. Farmers Sophie and James Summerlin, a husband and wife team, are passionate about cheese. All their artisan cheeses are produced by hand, from milk sourced from a single herd of local cows near Hathersage.

Cow Close Farm cheese

The cheese’s distinctive shape is definitely inspired by the Peak District and echos the many millstones found throughout the area . It is kept as simple and as natural as possible, and has the most delicious creamy taste. It can be purchased locally or online from The Old Cheese Shop in Hartington, (another Peak District EQM business) along with other local Derbyshire cheeses such as Dovedale Blue and Peakland White, or can be ordered in your holiday grocery pack from Sauced Here.

8. The perfect cuppa

grinding coffeeAfter romping through the Derbyshire hills you can then put your feet up with a cup of Full Moon Coffee. Coffee brings happiness and there’s nothing better than enjoying a mug whilst catching up with good friends, not to mention how it can round off that great meal perfectly.

Full Moon Coffee is carefully blended and roasted to perfection locally in Wirksworth, using 100% Fairtrade, Arabica goodness. The guys at Full Moon Coffee are passionate about getting your brew just right. They realise that the ritual of preparing your cup is an important part of getting everything spot on, and so have created tasting notes to help you select the right roast.

9. Do you crave chocolate?

What goes better with coffee than chocolate? David certainly wouldn’t let me create a Christmas gift list without including chocolate !

Holdsworths ChocolatesHoldsworth Chocolates made in Bakewell are a delicious treat. In 1988 Barbara Holdsworth started making chocolates to her own unique recipes, and expanded by training her own chocolatiers how to make her tempting treats. Truly scrumptious is the only way to describe these chocolates, which are created using sweet cream butter and Belgium couverture, before liqueurs, spirits, fruit purees or praline pastes are added to create a delicious flavoured centre. (not that I ever get a taste if there is a box around as David is a chocoholic!)

Now run by Barbara’s daughter Genevieve, Holdsworth Chocolates have become Britain’s best-selling entirely handmade chocolates, and are stocked at fine food halls throughout the country.

10. Vintage tours
Vintage Car Tours of the Peak District
Vintage Car Tours from the door

If walking is not your thing, then take a tour with a difference. Steve White offers tours of the Peak District in a vintage 1929 Ford model A. The only vintage car registered as a taxi in the UK.

Steve (dressed up not unlike Mr Toad) is geared up to guide you through the landscape in style. You can take in the scenery when stopping off for a picnic or a cream tea, or even a local ale or two if that is what you fancy. Our suggested tour is Train Tracks and Troglodytes as it covers our very local area and you could even pick up your cheese on route!

11. Friends of Peak District

Friends of the Peak District logoHelping protect all the stunning sights Steve will show you on your vintage tour is the wonderful charity Friends of the Peak District. What better way to support our special Peak District landscape than buying a gift membership?

This organisation will inspire your loved one to help keep our special place special, as well as helping to pay for all the good work being done behind the scenes. You even get a Peak District Calendar as well as discounted entry to some of the top local attractions. Have a look here to see what benefits your membership will give.

12. Wrap it with style

Personalised gift wrapping Snowflake wreathOnce you’ve bought your Christmas presents why not make a little extra effort to wrap them beautifully too? Lyn at Caltonberry helps you celebrate the little things in life as well as the milestones with a beautiful range of porcelain gift tags, decorations and personalised ribbons with a contemporary look. As an alternative to the traditional Christmas wreath we love the willow wreath with porcelain snowflakes – simply stunning!

If you’re still stuck for ideas you could always buy your loved one a Hoe Grange Holidays Voucher to come and stay next year and share our special place. Available from £50 upwards – just e-mail us at info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk.

Hoe Grange Gift VoucherYou can relax in the hot tub, de-stress in the sauna. You could also visit all the fabulous businesses mentioned in this blog and perhaps get ahead by starting next years Christmas shopping early!

Derbyshire has a wealth of artisan producers, so for further inspiration you can read previous years Top 10 gifts inspired by The Peak District 2015 and Christmas Gifts 2016. For more interesting and unusual ideas visit Made in Derbyshire and Peak District Environmental Quality Mark businesses – happy shopping!

Felicity

Bah Humbug – Oh Dickens it’s Christmas at Chatsworth

Chatsworth chapel What the Dickens! It’s Christmas at Chatsworth House and once again there is the most spectacular display of Christmas cheer, with just a few bah humbugs thrown in. With book characters as your guide the spirit of Christmases past will be upon you!

The theme for this year’s Christmas celebrations at Chatsworth House is the famed Victorian author and social critic Charles Dickens.

His epic stories, vivid characters and detailed description of contemporary life are unforgettable.

His novels have become much loved classics including, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations.  He cleverly crafted some of the world’s best-known fictional characters, including Uriah Heep, the Artful Dodger, Fagin, Miss Havisham and of course Scrooge.Miss Haversham and FaginDickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812, the second of eight children. His father, John Dickens, was a naval clerk who dreamed of striking it rich, but instead fell into debt, so the whole family ended up in a debtor’s prison. His first novel, Oliver Twist, which follows the life of an orphan living in the streets, was inspired by how Dickens felt as a penniless child forced to get by on his wits and earn his own keep.

Charles also lived through the Industrial Revolution and through his many characters he was able to chart how life was changing, especially for the poor people.

8 fascinating facts about Charles Dickens

  1. He first won fame in 1836 with the antics of the cockney sportsmen portrayed in The Pickwick Papers. Like many of Dickens’ stories this came out in monthly instalments, chapter by chapter. Perhaps this is why Dickens’ books make good films and TV series!
  2. Dickens was an insomniac, often roaming the streets of London in the early hours of the morning; the people he met and things he saw were later brought to life in his stories.
  3. Dickens was interested in the paranormal and was a member of The Ghost Club. Inspiration perhaps for A Christmas Carol? After his death Marley is sent back to earth as a ghost in heavy chains, as punishment for being such a greedy, hard-hearted business man, and to warn his old partner Scrooge to mend his miserly ways.Scrooge
  4. Famous during later life, Charles Dickens was a house guest at Chatsworth House. I think he would have been delighted with the spectacular Christmas displays you will see!
  5. Famous in death, Dickens has appeared on the British £10 note.
  6. He was a prolific writer and throughout his stories he wrote over 4.6million words, and many of his novels are much loved classics.
  7. He invented many words we still use today such as, butterfingers and slowcoach. My favourite less well know is “trumpery”, meaning something of apparent value, but little real worth or use!
  8. Charles Dickens died in June 1870 and is buried in Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey.

On your tour around Chatsworth House you will discover the splendour and squalor of Dickensian London, with Victorian shop fronts, the London Docks, Scrooge’s bed and much more all magnificently dressed for Christmas.

Man made out of booksThe decorated rooms sparkle to life with hundreds of Christmas baubles and twinkling decorations. The displays are as imaginative as Charles Dickens stories.

My favourite is the character cleverly created out of actual books in the entrance hall.

There is also plenty of opportunity for interaction. Children will love trying to spot Bill Sykes’ dog, Bullseye, as they follow through the house, and can also have fun dressing up. You may also encounter Miss Haversham or the dastardly Bill Sykes. Be warned – definitely don’t turn your back on Fagin or you may find your watch is missing!Chatsworth4wEB Chatsworth5 Chatsworth6 500 Chatsworth9Web

“I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Oh Dickens it’s Christmas is on from now until 7th January (except 24th, 25th, 26th December 2017 and 1st January 2018). We hope you enjoy your visit as much as we did!

Check here for our December availability in our cosy log cabins and gorgeous glamping pods.

Felicity

 

A day out at Ashbourne Artisan Market

A bustling, vibrant market is nothing new in Ashbourne; the town was originally granted a market charter way back in in 1257. Today the tradition continues with a thriving Artisan Market held on the second Sunday of the month.Ashbourne artisan marketAshbourne became a prosperous and fashionable social centre for the wealthy during the Georgian period, with six coaching roads meeting here, including the route from London to Carlisle. The market place was originally much larger than the cobbled square where the current market is held, but there is still space for lots of fabulous stalls.

Brock and Morten oils

Today at Ashbourne’s Artisan Market or Malt Market the emphasis is very much in line with our #LoveLocal ethos and traders are carefully selected for producing high quality authentic goods.

The atmosphere is vibrant and there is a wide variety of goods on sale, whether it is something to tickle your taste buds, a gorgeous gift, a treat for someone special, or simply stocking up on essentials that you can’t find elsewhere, you’re bound to come home with some must have goodies. It’s also a great source of inspiration if you’re looking for Christmas presents!

Silver jewellry

As well as tasty treats, you can sip the #LoveLocal Kniveton cider, chat to the passionate artists, knowledgeable vintage dealers and creative designer-makers, whilst being entertained by local musicians.

It’s a true celebration of all things local and our fabulous Peak District artisan traders will have been busy, baking, brewing, preparing, making, designing, distilling, sewing, stitching, stirring, cooking, sourcing, painting, growing and constructing for your delight!

There is a special festive market on Sunday 25th November, from 10am to 4pm to coincide with the switching on of the Christmas lights!

A family day out with something for everyone, including the dog! Why not come and stay in one of our cosy log cabins or glamping pods and get your Christmas shopping sorted early?

Felicity

Dog treats

BBQ

kniveton Cider

Christmas Gifts inspired by The Peak District

Christmas is just round the corner so to help you get Christmas all wrapped up we have handpicked some gorgeous gift ideas inspired by our beautiful Peak District – things that are produced locally here in the Derbyshire hills, some of which are utterly unique!

We #LoveLocal and are sure you will be inspired by our Christmas selection

Top 10 Christmas gifts

1. Pet Pawtraits

Rural Pictures pet portraitOur pets hold a special place in our hearts. Why not capture your pet to perfection with a “pawtrait” from local photographer Ruth Downing? Ruth of Rural Pictures is used to working with animals, and has a wealth of experience in producing fabulous pet portraits and action shots. You can even arrange for Ruth to come to Hoe Grange during your holiday stay so you can take some special memories home with you.

2. Dovedale Ceramics

Beautiful handcrafted ceramics from On a Wick and a Prayer at Tissington uses clear water from the Dovedale River over the glaze. The minerals in the water react when the pottery is fired in the kiln giving each piece a unique distinctive pattern.

Dovedale ceramics
3. Upcycled lights and furniture

upcycled lampLet a little light brighten up your home! Upcycled Creative specialise in making funky, functional, upcycled lights and furniture. Upcycling is the art of transforming unwanted items into something better and more beautiful, it’s kinder to the environment than recycling, and the only limitation is imagination! These bright sparks don’t just recycle, and reuse, they go one step further and relove, renew, and repurpose.

 4. Landscape art
Peak District landscape in felt
Higger Tor from Stanage Edge

Carrie of English Tilly creates gorgeous felt art decorations and accessories, using naturally-dyed, rare-breed fleece from Whitefaced Woodland sheep. Much of her inspiration comes from the ever changing colours and textures of the Derbyshire Peak District. Living and working in the Peak District, Carrie is as passionate about caring for our special landscape as we are and also holds the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark.

 

5. Beautiful bespoke wooden pieces

wooden candle holder

If you are looking for something unusual Ingrained create beautiful bespoke wooden pieces for the home, from quirky, simple designs, such as their fun, frosty snowmen and Christmas decorations, to unusual candle holders, lamps, and stunning statement pieces. The starting point and inspiration for each piece is the natural shape of the tree.

wooden light
6. Natural handmade soaps and bath products

handmade soapGet all scrubbed up with some gorgeous soaps from Coconuct Blush, handmade with natural olive oil, and mositurising shea butter and scented with pure essential oils. Jane sources sustainable ingredients and particularly avoids using palm oil from felled rainforest. If you’ve stayed with us you will have received our Coconut Blush lavender gift pack. For the avid gardener why not give the Gardener’s Tea Tree exfoliating soap & hand balm set? There is free delivery on orders over £20 until 31st December.

7. Drive the Peak in a Porsche

Finding the right Christmas gift for the man in your life can be challenging – however if that certain person is a car enthusiast, and over the age of 25, why not consider hiring a Porsche Boxster from Peak Performance Hire? What could be better than fresh country air and the wind through your hair!

Porsche car hireEnjoy complete freedom of planning your own tour, or take a recommended route with historic towns, independent coffee shops and restaurants, picturesque roads and vantage point stops for photos. Daily hire starts from £210, including fully comprehensive insurance.

8. Silver jewellery

More imaginative upcycling and renewing from Dandelion Silver, just a couple of miles up the road in Brassington village. Gorgeous jewellery for the woman in your life; from pendents, earrings, rings and bracelets to bespoke commissions.

silver jewelleryDandelion Silver love nothing more than taking forgotten and neglected vintage and antique cutlery and giving them a new lease of life as stunning pieces of designer jewellery.

9. Fresh Roasted Coffee

There’s nothing like the fresh smell of coffee. Peak Bean was born out of a love for coffee. Coffee that brings a smile to someone’s face. Like first brew in the morning that helps start the day on the right foot. And enjoying a mug whilst catching up with good friends, not to mention how it can round off that great meal perfectly. Coffee brings happiness.

roasted coffee

Deidra and Andrew of Peak Bean are artisan producers, roasting small batches of ethically sourced coffee beans and creating blends that burst with freshness, flavour and really hit the spot. You can order direct from the Peak Bean, straight to your door, or sample our smooth Hoe Grange blend on your next stay with us!

10. Holiday Voucher

And last but by no means least, buy your loved one a Hoe Grange Holidays Voucher to come and stay next year and share our special place. Available from £50 upwards – just e-mail us at info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk.

Hoe Grange Gift VoucherYou can relax in the hot tub, de-stress in the sauna. You could also visit all the fabulous businesses mentioned in this blog and perhaps get ahead by starting next years Christmas shopping early!

Derbyshire has a wealth of artisan producers, so for further inspiration you can read last years Top 10 gifts inspired by The Peak District, or there are lots more interesting and unusual ideas from Made in Derbyshire and Peak District Environmental Quality Mark businesses – happy shopping!

Felicity

Christmas at Chatsworth

Here is a sneeky peek at the enchanting winter wonderland created for Christmas at Chatsworth House this year, inspired by the time-honoured classic, ‘The Nutcracker and the Mouse King’ by ETA Hoffmann.
Chatsworth great hall

The stunning, sparkling Christmas decorations are enhanced by the historic backdrop of Chatsworth House. I particularly loved the sparkling suspended snowflakes in the Chapel.

Chatsworth Chapel

Why not get into the festive spirit and join in Clara’s adventures as she is swept away by her Nutcracker Prince?

clockworksThe Nutcracker story

It all begins on Christmas eve with a special present. Clara and Fritz have a very special, skillful godfather who makes inventions out of clockwork parts (or perhaps they are magical) and his Christmas presents are always amazing and wonderful.

However this year he gives them something different, something rather small and simple  – a nutcracker-doll in the form of a soldier.

nutcracker toy

mice It’s somewhat ugly, and soon broken by her brother, but Clara loves the little soldier all the same. Clara falls asleep under the Christmas tree and dreams of adventures in candy-filled kingdoms.

Her wish comes true when the soldier-shaped nutcracker springs to life and becomes a true hero, taking her into a magical world to defeat the scary seven-headed Mouse King.

However I think the Chatsworth Christmas mice are more cute than scary!

sweetie train

 

The Nutcracker Ballet

The story also inspired Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker. For those of you who can’t get enough of the magic at Chatsworth, Buxton Opera House is showing The Nutcracker on January 7th 2017.

Christmas tree of ballet shoesA treat for you our guests

we thought you would like to know that when you buy tickets here for the ballet, you can also purchase discounted tickets to the Christmas at Chatsworth experience. Hope you all have fun!

Felicity 

nutcracker ballet

Top 10 Christmas gifts inspired by the Peak District

Christmas shopping is simple when you know what to buy, but it can be a nightmare when you are lacking ideas!

We #LoveLocal and are sure you will too, so to help you get creative I have put together some gorgeous gift ideas inspired by our beautiful Peak District – things that are produced locally here in the Derbyshire hills, some of which are utterly unique!

Top 10 Christmas gifts

Blue John necklace1. Surprise the love of your life with a real gem of a gift, a unique Blue John stone – a word exclusive semi precious mineral that can only be found within the Blue John Cavern located in Castleton, Derbyshire in the Peak District National Park. The stone itself features striking purple, blue and yellow banded fluorspar which was first mined during the Roman Times and has since become one of the world’s rarest minerals. Each piece of stone is unique and varies in colours and veins and local jewellery makers C.W. Sellors in Ashbourne create a huge range of jewellry for every budget, from simple designs to stunning statement pieces.

Hugget jacket2. Give her a warm hug. A Hugget is so cosy – a hug and a jacket in one, designed and produced locally by Katie who wanted something to keep her warm and cosy on a long flight, but would also enable her to look smart and professional for business – you’ll love the rich dye colours of her Peak Collection inspired by our colourful landscape.

3. Full Grown chairMighty oaks from little acorns grow! Full Grown is a revolutionary concept is taking place just a few miles from Hoe Grange. Creative furniture designer Gavin Munro, is growing trees directly into useful shapes to create stunning tables, chairs, lampshades and mirrors.  Gavin likens the concept to 3D printing but which is organic and uses air, soil and sunshine as its source materials. By training and pruning young tree branches as they grow over specially made formers the designs take shape gradually over several years – a slow process but I think you’ll agree an amazing end product.

4. Cheers! Celebrate Christmas with a rich and warming mulled Ruby Port from Linday’s Still Room at Turnditch – again not far from Hoe Grange. A tasty tipple infused with freshly squeezed orange and it’s zest, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and mace.

5. Why not create a hamper, ideal for food lovers! Put together your mulled port with some Peakland Blue, a delicious creamy blue veined cheese made in the Parish of Hartington, some Miller’s Damsels biscuits baked in Ashbourne and some gorgeous cranberry and caramelised red onion chutney from Charlie’s Country Garden.

6. garden sculptureFor the garden perhaps a sculpture or a gate. Dave Turner is a traditionally trained artist/blacksmith and although he still works using centuries-old techniques the design doesn’t have to be! Sometimes a traditional design can look right … sometimes contemporary looks stunning.

7. Everybody loves to watch a good Disney film at Christmas. If Bambi is your favorite then why not have him round for dinner. Best venison is available from the Chatsworth farm shop, This is no Micky Mouse operation, with 1000’s of locally sourced products to make your mouth water.

Limestone landscape8. A little reminder of the Peak District landscape in your living room. Enjoy gazing over a sunny country scene even in the cold dark winter with one of Roger Allen‘s water colour landscape paintings. so detailed you can smell the grass!

Jaipur

9. Keep calm and drink more beer!! inspired by trips to India Thornbridge brewery’s Jaipur is an excellent option, and if your in a hurry to “Keep calm” try the frighteningly powerful Jaipur X, at a leg buckling 10% you will certainly get in the mood to party in double quick time!

10. And last but by no means least, buy your loved one a Hoe Grange Holidays voucher to come and stay next year and share are special place. You can relax in the hot tub, de-stress in the sauna. You could also visit all the fabulous businesses mentioned in this blog and perhaps get ahead by starting next years Christmas shopping early!

Hot tubDerbyshire has a wealth of artisan producers, so for further inspiration there are lots more interesting and unusual ideas from Made in Derbyshire and Peak District Environmental Quality Mark businesses – happy shopping!

Boma off-road wheelchair
Time for tea!  Octobers photo.

Don’t forget to order your 2016 calender featuring Hoe Grange’s menagerie of animals. Help support 12 fantastic charities, all helping the lives of disabled people across the country!  ORDER NOW!

Felicity

 

 

Our Calendar photo shoot

Never work with women and animals!!!!!!!!

We were approached by Chris Swift who designed and manufactures the Boma 7 off-road wheelchair that we offer our holiday guests for hire, to take part in their 2016 fundraising calendar.

Chris founded The Molten Rock Foundation as a not for profit company to promote access to the countryside for all persons with mobility impairments.

Order your calendar nowThe foundation aims to raise funds for charities who have either funded Boma chairs for individuals or assist those with ambulatory disabilities to access the outdoors. He had a vision to create an art calendar for 2016 showing the diverse uses of the Boma 7 and at the same time raise money for charity.

Each month on the calendar is dedicated to a particular client and the charity of their choice; with the nominated charities taking equal shares of any profits.

Assistance dog
Canine Partner dog Garfield helping Andrew by fetching the remote control

We were delighted to be asked to participate and chose Canine Partners as our charity, as quite a number of our guests bring working dogs with them on their holiday and we can see what a difference a fully trained assistance dog can make to someone’s quality of life.

Having a photo shoot for our off-road wheelchair proved to be an interesting and challenging experience, in many ways!

First of all the weather was stormy with grey skies and drizzling rain, not ideal conditions for taking pictures.

The photographic director (A WOMAN!!) and the photographer (we weren’t paying, or it would have been just me and an iPhone) wanted to show our animals on holiday.

Outdoor table on the decking set with china tea cups and saucers….. easy
Can we get some animals?
Yes.
Will the dog sit at the table in the Boma?
Have you got a tame sheep?
Surprisingly the answer to both was yes!

Will the sheep sit at the table in a chair?
No – it’s friendly but not circus trained
Will the sheep wear wellies?
Possibly?
After several failed attempts – NO definitely not for more than a second!

Can you bring the horse up to the table,
No
Yes
No
Yes

I said NO it wasn’t practical, but Felicity, in her wisdom, said yes Oliver is calm and of course he can walk onto the decking and stand by the table, as though partaking in an afternoon tea party with his friends, Crunchie the dog and Molly the sheep.

You can imagine the scene, me holding the cade lamb in place by the French doors, the Boma wheelchair parked at the tea table, with Crunchie the Labrador sat in the seat, slobbering with the promise of more biscuits, all patiently waiting for Oliver to walk onto the decking to complete the tableau.

I don’t know who spooked who, but it all went “Tits up” as they say! The last straw for Oliver was the jangling rattle of the tea cups as his hooves rattled the decking – he spun round at great speed, knocking the table and tea cups flying. Not being very brave his flight mechanism kicked in and he decided the best way out of this frightening situation was over the railings, towards the field.

Felicity has taken him jumping, but the railings were a bit higher than his normal jumps, especially from a standing start, so 4 faults as he flattened two sections of railings on his way to freedom. He cantered down the driveway and back to his field companion Jessie for some reassurance.

Fortunately no one was hurt and Felicity managed to retrieve him without further incident.

We ended up resetting the scene, but sensibly leaving the horse outside on the lawn area looking in, which, as I may hasten to add, was my original suggestion!

Take my advice – never work with women and animals, you can get in a real tangle.

Boma off-road wheelchair
Time for tea!

Amazingly the finished photo looks stunning and I think the stormy clouds are in fact more dramatic than blue skies and sunshine. As we are on the October page, the image fits in beautifully. You wouldn’t think that Oliver was still shaking and would not stand still. Our little lamb was not too keen either, and certainly wouldn’t entertain wearing wellingtons, but Crucnhie the Labrador enjoyed the whole experience as not only did she get a comfy seat, she got a lot of extra treats!

Chris and his team wanted to make the calendar images visually striking, positive and memorable. We are all very proud of the finished calendar and the Hoe Grange Holidays final photograph will certainly stick in our minds!

Order your calendar nowHaving heard our tale of the trials and tribulations of our photo shoot and working with farm animals, make our effort worthwhile and please support our chosen charity, Canine Partners, and the other worthwhile charities, by buying a calendar for yourself and your friends – at just £15 they will make great Christmas presents!

Find out more and order your Boma All Terrain 2016 calendar now

David

Boma fundraising calendar
Christmas is coming – order your Boma calendar now

S”no”w time to sit inside!

Sunshine, blue skies and sparkling snow – the Peak District looks spectacular when covered in a delicate dusting of snow. This week Hoe Grange has been transformed into a winter wonderland.

Snow in the Peak DistrictThere’s s”no”w excuse for sitting inside by the fire. Why not wrap up warm, get your hat, gloves  and scarf on and head out with the family for some festive fun? There’s plenty of snow here in the Derbyshire hills, so here’s some fun ideas of things to do in the snow over the Christmas holidays.

10 Family fun things to do in the snow!
1. Build a snowman – find some twigs for arms and stones for eyes and a carrot for the nose, which the horses can then eat once the snowman has melted! A favourite with all ages.
2. Make snow angels – Caroline’s favourite – little bit chilly if you’re not properly wrapped up as snow gets up your sleeves, down your neck and fills your wellies!

making snow angels3. Sledging and snowball fights – good old fashioned – Michael and Elliot’s favourite.
4. Build an igloo – not as easy as you think – David’s sister’s favourite – Sheila even had a for sale sign sticking out the top, (her husband is an estate agent) but be warned you might get less than you bargained for!
5. Frolicking fun! It may be too slippy to go riding, but you can still exercise the horses by running with them in the snow – they love it!

snowhorses2
6. Follow the animal tracks – who made the footprints in the snow – who came along, and where did they go? Fudge’s favourite – she just follows her nose!

animal tracks in the snow
7. Feed the birds – when snow covers the ground the wild birds need a little extra help – don’t forget some water too – Felicity’s favourite

8. S”no”w excuse not to BBQ – treat yourself to a fire pit experience – toast marshmallows and warm up with some delicious homemade mulled wine or a mug of hot chocolate – our Norwegian friends do it all the time!
BBQ in the snow9. Roll in the snow! Be brave – take a roll in the snow after a dip in our authentic Swedish hot tub, brrrr… extremely exhilarating I believe!

10.Get the snowplough out to clear the drive for guests – David’s favourite – you know what men are like with their machines!

Peak District in snowHope you all have as much fun as we have!

Happy New Year to everyone

Felicity