You may have read in my previous posts that me and my two friends Chloe and Rosie have an annual ‘Christmas weekend’. I met Chloe and Rosie when studying at Swansea university and since graduating nearly 5 years ago we’ve made a tradition of the Gal’s Christmas Weekend.
Friday @ Whitehall
It’s become a tradition for us to visit Whitehall garden centre on this annual festive weekend of fun. Whitehall houses the most unbelievable Christmas shop, decked out in a vast amount of baubles spanning the colours of the rainbow with a truly exciting display to get you in the mood for Christmas. It’s located in Lacock in Chippenham and takes just over an hour to get there from Cardiff.
There is also a gift shop, cafe, garden shop, Christmas tree shop and ice rink at Christmas time.
I don’t think any photographs will ever do this fairytale wonderland justice, but here’s some pics I snapped along the way. We decided to go on a Friday this year which was such a good idea because usually the Christmas shop is choc-a-block, I’m sure we’ll be trying to go on a weekday again next year!
Every room is colour coded. There is a red room, pink room, blue, gold, silver , purple and green room. It really is magical.
We usually try and be brutal with our choices. We can’t not buy anything when we visit of course ! But it’s so easy to wrack up a large bill at this place because all of the decks are so beautiful. Well known brands like Gisela Graham are featured through the Christmas shop and prices can range from £1.99 to £23 or so.
This year and last year we decided we needed to ‘cull baubles’ at the end of our visit. So before hitting the other gift shop and the tills we deterred each other from spending a fortune and meticulously debated over the items we really needed … and our baskets went from full to sparse. It’s quite funny really.
So after spending hours at Whitehall and enjoying a good catch up over tea and cake we decided not to go ice skating there this year and do it another day. We went to a few more shops before heading ‘home’ to Chloe’s place and settled in for the night. The rest of the evening was spent opening (early) Christmas presents, cooking a roast dinner and watching A Christmas Prince 2 on Netflix.
On Saturday we had big plans to travel to Salisbury to a ‘Christmas House’. We all had a well deserved lie in and we’re woken up my Kali the very playful kitten (pics to follow). We drove from Swindon, passed stone henge and arrived in Salisbury town centre. The Christmas house was actually of the National Trust, called Mompesson House and was decorated for the festive season. The house is located just across from the marvellous cathedral and we had a stroll around that too.
As we took a stroll across to the vast cathedral we were impressed by its architecture and magnitude. This beautiful building seemed so astonishing that we had to invite ourselves in. As we walked the long corridors we hummed Harry Potter songs, took in the stunning architecture and just had to take photographs.
Following our trip around the cathedral we walked into the town centre to visit the Christmas markets (stopping to admire a very handsome man selling chocolate wine on the way) and then decided to head to our next destination. We were planning to go to Devizes …. but we got our dates and events mixed up so we took ourselves to the cinema to see The Fantastic Beasts sequel! Finally!
Then of course we travelled back to Chloe’s place, put on a crappy Netflix Christmas movie and played games!
The day to go home has arrived (but luckily for me there was no work the following day!). We spent the morning nattering over breakfast and playing with Chloe’s kitten Kali ..
And then we decorated some extremely grown up, very professional looking Christmas gingerbread cookies! We then spent the rest of our day in Swindon town centre, visiting an Etsy handmade market and doing some Christmas shopping. We stopped for lunch, ate far too much and decided there was only one cure .. back to Chloe’s for a cuppa!
We ended our day with cups of tea, biscuits and a bad Netflix Christmas movie as usual and I left Swindon in the evening. We had such a wonderful weekend, shared wonderful gifts and memories and this annual weekend of ours is becoming a truly special tradition. We try and mix it up every year and do a few different things but we always have a great time. Next year we’re hoping to do something different and go away for our Gals Christmas Weekend, we haven’t decided where but it will need to be somewhere full of festive cheer!
Do you have any Christmas traditions with your friends? Comment below !