The Castle Kitchen had the theme of Old Hampshire thanks to Tamworth Distillery. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
November 20, 2018MOULTONBOROUGH — Holiday traditions from several different countries can be found under the same historical roof during the sixth annual Christmas at the Castle, during which the Castle in the Clouds property becomes its own holiday wonderland.
Visitors can tour Thomas Plant's remarkable home this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and do some dining and shopping in the Carriage House. The event opened this past Saturday and will go for one more weekend after Thanksgiving.
The theme this year was Holidays Around the World with decorations reflecting holiday traditions in a number of different countries and cultures.
"That kind of pays homage to Mr. and Mrs. Plant's love of travel," said Castle Preservation Committee Executive Director Charles Clark. "I think the decorations knocked it out of the park this year."
Curator and Museum Manager Robin Sherman said Thomas and Olive Plant met each other in France and traveled extensively through Europe.
"The architecture of the house was inspired by global architectural traditions," Sherman said.
She said she thinks the couple might appreciate the theme of this year's event and the way the rooms were decorated.
This is the second year that a number of businesses have decorated their own room based on the overall theme. Contributions came from businesses from Meredith, Center Harbor, Laconia, Gilford, Sanbornton, Tamworth, Tuftonboro, and Wolfeboro. A number of rooms were also decorated by the Castle staff. Clark thanked the staff and volunteers for their hard work.
The Castle had crafts and reading for kids as well as live music from George Parker.
The Carriage House was filled with festive activities during the event. Over 20 local artists sold their items in the Artisan Fair on the Carriage House's second floor. Kids could do crafts and visit with Santa as well. Complimentary hot chocolate and cookies were available for guests.
The Carriage House Restaurant was open for guests to have lunch.
The event kicked off with the Preview Party on Friday night, which Clark said drew around 75 people. Christmas at the Castle officially started on Saturday, and Clark said more than 300 people showed up throughout the day.
"It's been really good; we've had a great crowd," Sherman said. "Everyone seems to be enjoying it. The house is beautiful, these local businesses have done such a good job."
Proceeds from the event will go to the Castle's ongoing restoration efforts. With the Castle closed to visitors, Clark said renovations will continuing on the building. Clark said they did some exterior work this year, including on the library walls and some front dormers.
Because of these efforts the previously closed off basement was open for tours this season.
Clark said surveys indicated that 90 percent of the people who visited the Castle would recommend it to a friend.
The Castle itself is closed for the season, but other parts of the property are open through the winter with a schedule of events. The Carriage House will host Friday Dinner Music nights with a schedule of performers through March, The Carriage House will also be serving lunch on Saturdays and a Sunday Brunch from Dec. 2-March 21.
There will be a Winter Solstice Hike on Dec 21 and a Chili and Beer Tasting on Feb. 16, 2019. The Lakes Region Conservation Trust will be grooming the trails around the property and they will be accessible all winter.
Christmas at the castle will continue on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Nov. 23-25 and run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with the last tickets being sold at 3 p.m. The Artisan Fair will run from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Tickets and information are available at www.castleintheclouds.org or by calling 476-5900. Tickets can be purchased in the Carriage House during the event.