Festive Aesop’s Fables at Hinton Ampner in Winchester

A day date to Hinton Ampner was everything I needed to embrace all the festive feels this winter!

Classic childhood tales were brought to life through decorated Christmas scenes in each room of the elegant country manor house based in the heart of Hampshire.

Here’s a few snaps of the beautiful rooms and stories from the day…

National Trust

Hinton Ampner is a National Trust property set in the stunning Winchester countryside. This year the rooms of the house have been given a festive makeover and each one of them tells beautifully depicts an Aesop Fable.

The theme really brings the house alive, and there’s incredible attention to detail with the decorations and stories echoed in the cafe. There’s also an incredible pick ‘n’ mix shop in the courtyard that ties in with the theme.

Aesop’s Fables

The last private owner of the house, Ralph Dutton, once kept a copy of Aesop’s Fables classic tales in the library which you can see on display.

This year’s Christmas theme has been inspired by these stories, and each room displays the moral lessons passed on through the sharing of these stories.

It was funny because I cheekily said to Henry (my numerically minded other half) that I knew them all and I’d be surprised if I there was one I didn’t know.

Oh how I ate my words!

Turns out I only recognised three of the stories! I mean, I had the book, how did this happen? Can I really have forgotten them? Madness.

Thankfully at the entrance we’d been given leaflets which gave a shortened version of each story which Henry and I read to each other when we moved into the appropriate room. Yeah, we were being cute on our day out together!

Plus we genuinely needed a reminder of what the stories were, so I’m pretty glad we’d been handed the cheat sheet.

The Entrance

The entrance to Hinton Ampner is magnificent, there’s a huge tree and an area to put the special carpet protectors on your shoes which has all been decorated with elements that represent all the fables.

Everywhere you looked there was incredible detail and plenty of cute props to set the scene – it was totally magical.

Anyway I won’t mumble on about it, you really need to see it for yourself, because no amount of descriptive words are going to do this dreamy little experience justice!

The Monkey and the Cat

“The flatterer seeks some benefit at your expense.”

The Fox and the Grapes

“There are many who pretend to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach.”

The Peacock and the Crane

“The useful is of much more importance and value, than the ornamental.”

The Tortoise and the Hare

“Slow and steady wins the race.”

The Goose that laid the Golden Eggs

“Those who have plenty want more and so lose all they have.”

The Town Mouse and the County Mouse

“Poverty with security is better than plenty in the midst of fear and uncertainty.”

The Collier and the Fuller

“There can be little liking where there is no likeness.”

Pick & Mix

Oh hello mini old-fashioned sweet shop. Why yes, I would like 100g of your lovely sweeties for £1 – a bargain sugar high.

It had all the classics – white chocolate mice, chocolate raisins and rhubarb and custards. What a lovely addition to an already fantastic set up.

As you can see, the rooms are breathtaking and supremely Christmassy, we didn’t explore the grounds as it was freezing and we didn’t have a lot of time.

But I’m glad in a way as it’s a wonderful excuse to return really soon with my hiking boots on to go exploring.

I am really enjoying having this National Trust membership, I can’t wait to get out and use it some more.

Let me know what you think of the Aesop’s Fables at Hinton Ampner and if you’ve been yourself!

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