The Brandywine Valley is blessed with a multitude of beautiful attractions during the Christmas season. Everyone knows of Longwood Gardens, of course. Other du Pont estates in our area include Hagley and Nemours Mansion and Gardens. The One of the most spectacular is Winterthur, a du Pont estate (Henry Frances du Pont) located just 20-25 minutes from Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast. Actually it is in northern Wilmington, Delaware but it is so close to us I sometimes forget to mention it isn’t Pennsylvania. Each year they decorate from a different decade when the du Ponts lived there so you can see exactly how they would have celebrated the holidays. This year in addition to the upstairs rooms to tour they’ve added a staff sitting room decorated so you can see how the folks downstairs celebrated and rested after tending to the needs of those upstairs.
You’ll enjoy activities such as the afternoon gift opening in the Marlboro Room, early evening caviar and cocktails, dinner in the glittering du Pont dining room, midnight card games, and dancing—all with magnificent decorations and floral displays. My favorite tree is always the one decorated in dried flowers saved year round from the gardens at Winterthur. On the evenings of December 3, 10, and 17 Winterthur will be open until 8:30 in the evening and you can enjoy wine, beer, cheese and crackers (for purchase) and live jazz in the galleries.
The Yuletide celebrations run through January 4. And if you haven’t visited the Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit you still have time as it also runs through January 4. Timed reservations are required so call 800-448-3883 or click here for more information.