Braxted Park hosts its inaugural Braxted Park Christmas Market as a celebration of festive food and fun for all the family, and its all free! Essex Life shares a taste of what to expect
The inaugural Braxted Park Christmas Market
The inaugural Braxted Park Christmas Market is being held on December 1 and 2, and is the ideal destination for those looking for a Christmas shopping experience with a bit of added luxury. This free to attend, two-day event is being organised in conjunction with Maldon District Council’s Sense of Place Campaign and will champion amazing local businesses and artisan producers from across the region, all from within the grand surroundings of this beautiful Queen Anne house.
Braxted Park, located near to Witham and Maldon, is usually closed to the public, so this event is a fantastic and rare opportunity to explore the stunning parklands, woodland, lakes and gardens that hide behind the four-and-a-half mile long Braxted Wall.
The Christmas Market has been carefully curated over the past 12 months and will host some of the county’s very best small businesses and producers. Items on sale throughout the two-day event include hand-crafted jewellery, toys and soaps, locally produced clothing and accessories, plus food to take away and enjoy at home, including breads, chocolates and sausages.
Jennifer English who produces beautiful watercolour artworks under the name Puddle Paints is one of these stallholders. Speaking of her involvement with the Christmas Market, Jennifer says: ‘I’m delighted to be part of this Christmas event at Braxted Park. It’s set to be a great event for local businesses like mine, and the atmosphere is going to be amazing! I’ve been busy for weeks painting new designs and making up new products, including some fine art prints, bowls and all sorts of gorgeous gifts all featuring my watercolour designs.’
Another artisan producer attending the market is Laura Brown from home furnishing brand LaudyMcB Designs.
Laura says: ‘Braxted Park is a beautiful setting and a perfect venue for a Christmas shopping event. We are looking forward to meeting lots of new people and showcasing our products to a local audience, enjoying the entertainment on offer over the weekend.’
And it’s not just gifts up for grabs as the Braxted Park Christmas Market is a great opportunity to taste some of the delicious food and drink we have available here in Essex. For those who enjoy a tipple, the team behind Maldon District Council’s Grape & Grain Trail will be on hand with wine and spirit tastings, while The Tipsy Grey will be there with their converted horse box, selling gin, fizz and craft beer.
The Braxted Park Christmas Market has plenty for children too. Younger guests are being invited to visit Mrs Christmas’s Kitchen to decorate an edible treat to take home. While this is free to participate in, just make sure you pop along to her kitchen on arrival to the market and put your child’s name down, as it is sure to be very popular.
In keeping with the festivities, Father Christmas’s reindeer will be staying at Braxted Park for the duration of the market, and there will even be horse and cart rides around the estate. If that wasn’t enough, the weekend will be filled with musical entertainment, including performances from some of the best local singers such as The Rockabellas, the Big Sing, the Funky Voices Choir and a number of local school choirs.
Braxted Park’s resident florist will also be there, helping visitors create their own festive table centrepieces to take home.
Situated within the grounds of Braxted Park, The Cookery at Braxted Park will also be opening its doors over the weekend for exclusive hands on workshops with a focus on cooking with game. On Saturday visitors will be able to join celebrated River Cottage chef Tim Maddams in the kitchen, while on Sunday chef Steve Walpole will be sharing his expertise. Tickets for these workshops are £10 and must be purchased in advance from christmasatbraxtedpark.com
Alex Rayner, CEO of Braxted Park, added: ‘We are incredibly excited to be hosting our first Christmas Market here at Braxted Park and to join forces with the team at Maldon District Council to champion local businesses and artisan producers from across the area. There will be something for everyone, so whether you are looking to buy some handmade Christmas presents from local businesses, enjoy some locally produced food and drink or even just want to meet some of Santa’s reindeer, come along and visit this brilliant festive celebration.’
ALL IN A GOOD CAUSE
The Braxted Park Christmas Market is free to attend but discretionary collection buckets will be situated around the event for donations to The Country Food Trust. This charity was set up to produce and distribute delicious, nutritious and balanced meals from countryside produce, and these are given out free of charge to those people living in poverty or sold to those people who appreciate country food, with the proceeds going back into the charity to help it feed more people in need.
NGet your ticket! Although this event is completely free, tickets must be reserved before the event by visiting christmasatbraxtedpark.com. Children don’t need to register for a ticket. The market has already proved to be very popular, selling out within just a few days. However, extra tickets have been added by the organisers to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy the event. All guests will receive a complimentary glass of mulled wine on arrival to Braxted Park on production of a valid ticket. Free parking is available on-site, although parking will be on grass, so visitors are advised to wear appropriate footwear.