If you weren’t aware that the pre-Christmas season is upon us a trip to Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, will set you right. A magical show of light and sound has transformed the neo-Renaissance château with an ethereal opulence that would have satisfied the whim of any of the beauty-loving Rothschilds that lived there.

Field of Light, by renowned installation artist Bruce Munro, covers the Aviary Glade with 9,000 illuminated spheres, encouraging ‘a sensory journey through the gardens’ under cover of darkness.

The ornate façade of the house itself is animated by Dazzle@Waddesdon, a rainbow-coloured display by Woodroffe Bassett Design that runs from dusk, and two giant candlestick sculptures, Lafite, by artist Joana Vasconcelos, will also shed light on the night.

Further awe is inspired by an impressive 6ft 6in gingerbread model of Waddesdon crafted by Biscuiteers— the rich details of the rooms, including paintings, furniture, ceramics and carpets, are depicted in edible glory.

A Christmas-shopping and food fair, featuring more than 60 artisan and independent traders, runs until December 11; the theme for the decorations in the house this year is magical materials from the earth and sea, and has been inspired by the rare, exotic and beautiful items in the Waddesdon collections; and the light show will be in situ until January 2, 2017 (Wednesday to Sunday, 11am–6pm). Visit www.waddesdon.org.uk for further information.

Competition

Country Life readers have the chance to win a jampacked Biscuiteers Christmas hamper (above). Simply quote ‘CL1’ in the subject line of an email to competition@waddesdon.org.uk, with the answer to the following question: Which Rothschild built Waddesdon Manor?

The closing date for entries is November 30.

Biscuiteers Christmas hamper