How to make Christmas Pudding like a Victorian

‘More fruit, less sugar’ and ‘well-floured moulds’ are some of the tips to be learnt from Belsay Hall’s Victorian cook in ‘Mrs Beeton’s Christmas’ event, just one of the highlights of a season of Christmas celebrations at Belsay Hall & Gardens.

Food historian Annie Gray, who has appeared regularly on television programmes such as Bake-Off and alongside chefs including James Martin and Heston Blumenthal, brings stories from a Victorian kitchen to life from both upstairs and downstairs during performances with her ‘kitchen maid’, as they prepare for this special time in the household.

Comments Debbie Charleton, Site Manager Belsay Hall & Gardens;

“We love this time of year at Belsay Hall, as Christmas Day was in fact the day the family first moved into the newly constructed hall back in 1817. With a packed calendar of festive events, we look forward to welcoming visitors to share in some of the Christmas spirit ever-present here.”

Victorian Christmas with Father Christmas

Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens

Sat 23 & Sun 24 November 11am-4pm

Christmas at Belsay has always been a special occasion, the Middleton Family first moved into the then brand new Hall at Belsay on Christmas Day in 1817. This weekend offers visitors the opportunity to learn about Prince Albert’s influence in popularising the Christmas tree and discover the origins of crackers, mince pies and pantomimes

£8 / £7.20 / £4.80 / £20.80 EH Members free

A Christmas Carol

Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens

Sat 29 Nov & Sun 30 Nov Performances 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm

Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic is brought to life in the heart of the atmospheric hall. The performance takes the audience through this traditional tale, making it accessible for young and old alike. Wrap up warm and enjoy a different Christmas experience.

£8 / £7.20 / £4.80 / £20.80 EH Members free

BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time Doors open 5.45pm

Come and be part of the audience for a special Christmas recording of the BBC Radio 4 popular gardening programme with an expert panel led by Eric Robson.

Tickets cost £4.50 and include a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine.

Tickets are limited. Book through English Heritage Customer Services on 0370 333 1183.

Mrs Beeton’s Victorian Christmas

Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens

Sat 6 Dec & Sun 7 Dec Performances 11am, 1pm and 3pm

Belsay’s own Mrs Beeton will show you the ropes in the kitchen, giving you hints and tips for a ‘proper’ Victorian Christmas. Our costumed performers will delight in the library with Victorian recipes and food you can try yourself.

£8 / £7.20 / £4.80 / £20.80 EH Members free

Christmas Carols

Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens

Sat 13 Dec & Sun 14 Dec Performances 2pm and 3pm

Choirs singing festive carols and popular tunes travel from across the region to fill the hall with song this weekend and truly get visitors in the Christmas spirit. Seasonal gifts on sale in the shop. Dress warmly the hall is unheated.

£8 / £7.20 / £4.80 / £20.80 EH Members free

Ghost Stories for Christmas: Dickens’ Feast of Festive Frighteners

Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens

Sat 20th Dec – Evening event Performances 7pm and 9.30pm

The ghost stories of Charles Dickens are further enhanced in the dark and atmospheric rooms of Belsay Hall. Gather in the Library for a series of Victorian inspired ghost stories told by the Lady & Gentleman of the house.

In advance £8 / £6. On the night £12 / £10

EH Members in advance £8 / £6. On the night £10 / £8

Pre-booking recommended, places are limited. 0870 333 1183

A Christmas Carol and Father Christmas Send-Off

Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens

Sat 20 & Sun 21 Dec Performances 12pm & 2pm. Send-off 3pm

Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic is brought to life in the heart of the atmospheric hall. The performance takes the audience through this traditional tale, making it accessible for young and old alike. Plus chidlren gather in the hall to give Father Christmas the send off he deserves! Wrap up warm and enjoy a special Christmas experience.

£8 / £7.20 / £4.80 / £20.80 EH Members free

Victorian Christmas Songs

Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens

Sat 28 & Sun 29 Dec 11am – 4pm

Join the team at Belsay for a jolly Christmas singalong in the library. Musicians will perform at various intervals throughout the day, whilst you take in the elegant and festive surroundings of the Hall, Castle and Gardens. Enjoy tasty treats in the Victorian tearooms afterwards.

£8 / £7.20 / £4.80 / £20.80 EH Members free