Tuesday 19 December 2017

Christmas at Goddards House - York

Hi there everyone

Back in November we had a cosy week away for my birthday, staying at Moat Hall Cottage in Little Ouseburn, just outside of York. It was our second booking through Gorgeous Cottages and, once again, we were not disappointed.
The cottage was exactly as described on the website, a warm and cosy bolt hole in the Yorkshire countryside, overlooking the village church.

Yet again, we were really lucky with the weather, with plenty of crisp Winter sunshine and plenty of nice dry days for getting out and about.

One of our first forays was to Goddards House, which the National Trust describe as being ...
"An intimate Arts and Crafts style family home and complementary gardens"

Goddards House was the family home of the famous York Terry family ... Yes, the Terry family of the All Gold and Chocolate Orange fame. It is situated within walking distance of the old chocolate works, which opened in 1926 and closed in 2005 and is currently being redeveloped as a mixed use residential/commercial real estate site, which you can find out more about in one of the exhibitions in the house.

The house itself is situated just outside of the city centre and there isn't any real parking, though we did manage to sneak in on the roadside by The Holiday Inn, about 5 minutes up the road.

We walked along the main road towards the property and we were just beginning to wonder where it was, and if we might have missed it, when it appeared with no warning whatsoever. It would be very easy to drive straight past if you didn't know it was here.
The first glimpse of the property, through the narrow arch in the gatehouses, looked very intriguing and we couldn't wait to explore on, what was a lovely bright and sunny, but chilly, Autumn day.
We were really lucky to have timed our visit with their Christmas event. At this time of year the house is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and the rooms are decked out as they would have been on Christmas Eves across the years.
We entered, just as the Terry family would have done, back in the day. Via the heavy wooden front door, to be greeted by friendly National Trust staff, who were very welcoming and more than happy to tell us about the history of the house and its famous local family.

When having Goddards House built, Noel Terry wanted to create a comfortable family home close to the chocolate works for Kathleen, his wife and his four children: Peter, Kenneth, Betty and Richard. I would say he certainly achieved his ambition. This gorgeous hand crafted house was finished in 1927. There are plenty of quotes and memories from the family threaded throughout the house to be discovered on your visit.

We started our visit in The Study...
... where we could see some of the letters that Noel had written to his family whilst away at war in 1916 ...
From the study we moved on to The Drawing Room, which was a real delight. It was just beautiful and very easy to imagine curling up in front of the fire with a Christmas sherry, enjoying the views over the garden. It is also possible to enjoy refreshments from the tea room in here too, which would be just lovely.
The Christmas decorations, as throughout the rest of the house, were very simple and tasteful, with real trees and presents wrapped in plain brown paper ...
The third room that is set out as it would have been back in the day is the children's games room, come music room ...

Beating Martin on the bagatelle was a bonus, as this left him paying for the tea and cake ...
Upstairs there were a good number of rooms to looks at, some decked out as bedrooms and some devoted to sharing the history or the factory, with pictures of how it looks now, as a pretty amazing care home.
It was then time to avail ourselves of the dining room where we felt it only right that we should check out the Terry's chocolate orange cake, which was a real treat. The dining room was just lovely, bright and warm with the Autumn sunshine streaming through the windows.

It was then time to explore outside, which gave the best views of the house, looking back across the terrace ... 

We did have a wander round the gardens, which are fairly small, but would probably be of more interest at a different time of year.

In National Trust terms, this is a fairly small property, but we loved it. You can really get the feel of how the house would have worked as a family home in the time that the Terry family lived there, it has been laid out really well and seeing it set up for Christmas was a real treat.

All in all, including our pit stop in the tea room, I would say our visit took us a couple of hours, which gave us plenty of time to head in to York for a look at Treasurer's House, another National Trust property right in the centre of the the City πŸ˜€

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