Celebrations at the birthplace of the Christmas Card

Orestone Manor in South Devon was the birthplace of the Christmas card and guests at the luxury country house hotel  can, on request, get luxury packs of cards free in the run up to Christmas.

In 1843 a batch of 1,000 Christmas cards were designed by Sir John Callcott Horsley, founder of the Manor and brother-in-Law of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Fewer than 20 of Sir Horsley’s precious Christmas cards remain in existence and one sold at auction in 2001 for £22,500, while the V&A’s mint condition version is worth £25k.

To celebrate the world’s first-ever Christmas card, the family-owners have designed a modern day Christmas card based closely on Mr Horsley’s original design, which carries interesting information about the story of the first Christmas card inside.

Orestone Manor is a family-run hotel, set in landscaped gardens overlooking Lyme bay and offers some of the most sumptuous accommodation and fine dining in South Devon.

The magnificent Georgian manor house hotel, an award-winning hidden gem, run by husband and wife chefs, Neil and Catherine D’Allen, son Craig and his wife Laura, is nestled above the pretty South Devon coastal village of Maidencombe, just off the coast road between Teignmouth and Torquay.

With spectacular sea views over Lyme Bay and beyond, this luxury hotel has an incredible history that fascinates and enthrals its guests.

Orestone Manor has won accolades from Condé Nast Johansens, double AA Rosettes for fine dining, as well as continual double gold-wins in the renowned Taste of the West hotel and restaurant awards, and is also a constant winner of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence, listed in their Hall of Fame.

Each of Orestone Manor’s 14 bedrooms are unique in character and ambience, varying in size, shape and style to suit all tastes. The rooms benefit from complimentary fluffy robes & slippers, Sky TV including Sky Sports, telephone, en-suite bathrooms and hospitality trays. All apart from two classic rooms have stunning sea views.

The delightful rooms match the food in excellence and three have simmering private hot-tubs, a delight for autumn evenings while sipping bubbly and resting-up.

The swanky Brunel Bar & Lounge is an excellent place to enjoy a tipple, top tip: try the champagne cocktail of the week and as you do, cast your eye over the Bar & Lounge addition to see if the custom features modelled on Brunel’s famous Royal Albert Bridge, an impeccable landmark bridging Devon and Cornwall measure up to the renowned engineer’s exacting standards.

For more information, go to www.orestonemanor.com

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