Castle Grounds, Devizes, Wiltshire, UK
Sitting high above the market town of Devizes, this property occupies a principal section of Devizes Castle, with access to private terraces and beautiful landscaped gardens. It has all the ingredients for festive entertaining on a grand, historical scale. For formal occasions, the dining room provides a majestic setting that is fit for a banquet. The other reception rooms are substantial and beautifully detailed – perfect for parties or family get-togethers. The property is a celebration of classic features such as turrets, floor-to-ceiling fireplaces and stone archways. But there are relaxed, cosy corners too and the décor has a contemporary feel. For a traditional ambience, however, decorate using evergreens from the garden with spices, oranges, candles and ribbon.
Penthouse, Mayfair House, Mayfair, London
With contemporary interiors designed by Finchatton, an open-plan reception room and beautiful roof terrace, this elegant Mayfair penthouse is perfect for entertaining. With ceiling heights of up to four metres, the spacious reception has an easy flow for guests to mingle around a classic Nordmann fir tree. The architectural centerpiece, however, remains the spiral staircase that leads up to the mezzanine and terrace. Built in the 1920s, this stunning building offers easy access to the green spaces of Grosvenor Square and Berkeley Square and, should you need inspiration, some of London’s longest-established artisan food and wine suppliers.
Puerto Pollensa, Mallorca, Spain
Even at the best parties, there’s the occasional lull in conversation. It’s unlikely to happen here though: the sweeping view across the bay from the villa’s terraces is a party piece in its own right. Newly built, this light and spacious villa is arranged over three floors with a lift serving each level. On the top floor is the entrance, the covered parking area and also a large double bedroom with en suite bathroom and access to a huge terrace overlooking the bay. The next level features four double bedrooms, all with access to a large terrace. On the ground level, at the heart of the villa, there’s a spacious Bulthaup designer kitchen, a large lounge/dining area and a covered terrace. And, once the sun sets, take your seats in the cinema room for a festive favourite.
Chester Square, Belgravia, London
Situated in one of Belgravia’s most prestigious squares, this classic, stucco-fronted townhouse has been redesigned to the highest of standards. It features a range of unique amenities and beautiful proportions that will accommodate a sizeable guest list as effortlessly as an intimate dinner party. The grand portico entrance hallway on the ground floor leads to a formal dining room with a separate kitchen (with double-height ceiling) and breakfast room. On the first floor, the double drawing room has stunning views over the Square’s gardens at the front, while double doors open on to a roof terrace at the rear. The house is serviced by a seven-person lift – perfect for accessing the wine cellar and humidor in the basement, which is also home to a superbly equipped gym, jacuzzi and steam room/sauna.
Via della Paglia, Trastevere, Rome, Italy
Situated on the slopes of the Janiculum Hill, this extraordinary property is sure to delight guests. The neighbourhood of Trastevere is renowned for its charm and character – qualities reflected in the sweeping staircases, balcony and the large skylight that floods the reception area with light. The ground floor houses a large living room with a bar and fireplace, and an elegant staircase that leads to the first level, where the dining room and a spacious designer kitchen are situated. Another beautiful staircase leads to the second floor, which is composed of a charming double bedroom and a large terrace with views over the rooftops and churches of Trastevere.
Upper Wimpole Street, London
Formerly the home of world-renowned architect John Minshaw, this Grade II listed Georgian townhouse has been restored to its original glory. With exceptional proportions, high ceilings and an abundance of natural light throughout, it is an elegant canvas on which to create special occasions for friends and family. The panelling, architraves, windows and skirting have been custom made, while the Portland stone floors have been returned to their original state. Situated in the heart of Marylebone, the property has more than 7,000 sq ft of living space, including five receptions and two terraces. As the tradition of a Christmas tree was not adopted until the Victorian times, a yule log in the fireplace would perhaps be a more authentic choice.
Burgmanns Hill, Lympstone, Exmouth, Devon
Belvedere is a Grade II listed house standing in an elevated yet secluded position above the Exe Estuary, with outstanding views over the water. The oldest part of the house dates from the 17th century, with 18th and 19th-century additions. As such, it now stands as a beautiful family home with ample space for entertaining. The kitchen and breakfast room form the heart of the house, with a beautiful open archway between the two rooms. This leads to the drawing room, where large windows provide exceptional views of the gardens and to the estuary beyond. If it’s frosty outside, this is the perfect spot to watch the sun set before bringing out the board games.