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It’s beginning to look a lot like….

21 November 2019

It’s beginning to look a lot like….

Our elves have been hard at work bringing a sprinkling of Christmas magic to the Dockyard ready for Christmas party season. As the festive period draws closer, we wanted to take you behind the scenes to show you what goes into hosting a Dockyard Christmas.

New Year planning …

Whilst most people spent January recovering from Christmas 2018, our staff were already planning ahead to Christmas 2019.

Creative ideas and sales packages were firmed up early in the New Year and by June the team started hand making the decorations and displays which transform our Mess Deck Restaurant into a Winter Wonderland.

Rope, rope and more rope …

Rope made in our Victorian Ropery is the key material in the majority of our decorations. Each year our Master Ropemakers make festive rope wreaths that are used for both our own decorations and for visitors to purchase, giving everyone the chance to take a piece of history home for Christmas.

So far, the team have created 600 rope wreaths, handmade 600 bows and used over 1,000 baubles!

If you’d like a festive wreath for your home (or for a gift), you can purchase them online ( and in the Ropery Shop.


Go big, or go home …

If you’ve visited recently, you may have noticed a large sparkling wreath hanging in our entrance hall.

Whilst it looks like it’s effortlessly hanging in the window, it posed our team a huge challenge – due to the weight of the rope. With standard rope being too heavy, the Master Ropemakers made it their mission to devise a clever technique. In the end they invented a way using polystyrene, wrapped in fabric, wrapped in Coir Bean rope (made in the Ropery). It was then decorated with greenery and 50 metres of twinkling lights were added.

To add more of a special ‘Dockyard’ touch, our resident sign makers, Anchor Signs, made an Anchor to sit perfectly in the centre.

Extra Christmas magic has been added to the Mess Deck Restaurant including 4 x 12ft trees dressed with unique ropery ornaments.

The team are now busily working on lots of additional Christmas decorations for our parties.

Your hosts …

Our in-house hospitality team have been working tirelessly to create the perfect Christmas Party package.

Hospitality Sales Executive, Chloe Wilson, says her favourite thing is “seeing all of the party come together after 12 months of planning – the venue and decorations all together and the people enjoying it!”

With 20 tables per night, there’s plenty to prepare for, including collating those all-important menu choices. Our guests have the choice of 4 options per course. The top choices this year are – traditional turkey and chocolate mousse pudding!

What would you choose?


Lights, camera, action …

Entertainment at our parties is provided by Keep Calm and Book Us. Salute to the 40s veterans will recognise the company founder, Adam Hoffman, who has been a popular performer at our annual vintage festival for many years. As soon as we discovered he offered Christmas entertainment we had to know more.

We brought Adam in for a trial and everyone loved it! Keep Calm and Book Us provide a variety of entertainment such as music, magic and DJ-iing, all of which will take centre stage at our Christmas parties.

Step into our Winter Wonderland…

There are still a few dates available for you to book a perfect Christmas party.

Find out more info here

Related News

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Notice to Visitors

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust welcomes the news that museums and visitor attractions are able to reopen to visitors from 4 July.

We are actively planning to welcome visitors back to the Dockyard as soon as we are safely able to do so but this will be some time after 4 July.

We will make a further announcement to confirm the exact date as soon as we can.

In the meantime, much of Dockyard life has never stopped. Master Ropemakers has started operating again and we are taking forward bookings for filming, group travel and hospitality, including weddings. Call the Midwife Official Location Tours will resume shortly.

We would like to thank all our visitors for their understanding during this challenging period.

Last updated: 25 June 2020