A Chilly Christmas at Kilworth (2022)

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We’re really getting into the Christmas Spirit now, helped along the way by browsing through this year’s TV Times and Radio Times; carol singing at last night’s Salvation Army Carol Concert – and now about to enjoy ‘That’s what Kilworth Calls Christmas’ at Kilworth House (where we spent our honeymoon night, back in 2011).

Kilworth has become a favourite haunt of ours and the last time we were here at Christmas, was in 2019 watching a Tribute Act to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

With a live cast of incredible vocalists, the show took us on a journey through the Christmas pop songs from the 1970s & 80s. Best of all, many of them were singalongs, recreating the festive classics of Mariah Carey, Wham, Jackson 5, Paul McCartney, Chris Rea and, of course, the iconic Slade.

Welcome to the 1880s!|

We assembled as we usually do in the Lounge, whilst the finishing touches were put to The Orangery. A free glass of mulled wine put us in the mood whilst we were reminded of the evils of modern technology! Based on how crowded it all felt, there were certainly far more people here for the food and entertainment than the last time we visited. At this time of year, in any social gathering, there’s always ONE group who has the volume turned up to 11 isn’t there?! In what felt like a repeat performance of my last encounter on my way to London back in May, 2022 – step forward The Annual Reunion of Macbeth Witches who were cackling away in the corner! Luckily, they were seated quite a way from us later, when it came to the meal. πŸ§™β€β™€οΈπŸ§™β€β™€οΈπŸ§™β€β™€οΈ

We’re on Table 14!

The Meal

On the stroke of 2pm, we began to file into The Orangery. It was more like a stampede actually, and I’ve never been quite sure why the entrance consists of only two SMALL doors. Anyway, we were soon reminding ourselves of what we’d ordered (although Kilworth had helpfully printed our choices on our name-plate). Our Table (No. 14) turned out to be right next to the Stage that suggested we’d have to move further away, once the entertainment began in a few hours’ time.

Me aka ‘Terrine Turkey Pave’

If that had been our only ‘challenge’ for the evening, it wouldn’t have been so bad, but it was then we noticed the blankets on all the chairs.

Yummy! But check out the price of the Prosecco!

Yes, BLANKETS! πŸ€”. OK, we all knew it had been cold this week, and we’ve been here before in December and never needed them – so why TODAY and why NOW? It was then that we spotted the electric heaters strategically placed around the windows sills.

And after around 15 minutes, it hit us… the place was already chilly and getting colder by the minute, even though the room had around 120-150 guests! πŸ₯Ά

Ann, Carol and Jo, the finalists for the ‘Red Riding Hood’ auditions, 2022

A word with one of the more proactive waiting staff brought temporary relief in the shape of an additional heater, but the supplied device had a lot of work to do! Too much, in fact! Still, maybe the hot meal would help?

It did! 😁

Who needs blankets, ehh?

The food was excellent – probably the tastiest we have there in many years! πŸ‘. However, The Orangery still wasn’t getting much warmer, and we decided on a swift exit, heading for the comfort of the Lounge – and the roaring open fire!

The Entertainment

From the warmth of the Lounge, we could hear the singers (even if we couldn’t see them) – and they were doing a great job! All the festive favourites, past and present were being sung with enthusiasm. From the safety of my occasional photo-vantage-point near the entrance, I could see that our noisy neighbours – The Macbeth Witches – were totally in the mood, and by the looks of things, totally p****** too! They were dancing with anything that moved (and occasionally with things that didn’t). Sorry about the chairs Kilworth, but it’ll wash out! πŸ˜‰

And the Lounge is where we stayed for the next hour, whilst polishing off the mince pies.

By 5pm, it was almost over and we beat the rush heading for the car-park but into the driving rain and mist too along the A14. Boy! That was a treacherous drive home! πŸ™

So, what of today? Overall, for us, the event had, on balance, been a real disappointment! In spite of the excellent food, the talented singers and sharing of quality time with friends, the totally unacceptable temperature in The Orangery left its mark. More irritatingly, when I reported it to the Hotel, it seemed that because they already knew there was a problem and they’d attempted (and failed) to fix it – that made it OK! Err, in my book, NO! 😑😑😑😑. Considering they’ve known about the issue for a while, why the heck didn’t they just email everyone who had booked and advise them to bring warm clothing???? Simples!

Merry Christmas!

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