Now THAT’S a Christmas tree! It takes an army to hoist Highclere’s 20ft centrepiece into place

Few sights are more welcoming on a dark evening than the twinkling lights of a decorated tree; this, above all else, says Christmas. The grand tree in the Saloon at Highclere is a real feature for our visitors, something they look out for – because of its spectacular scale, and the thought we put into its decoration. We look forward with nostalgia to putting our tree up every year. There is something reassuring about digging out scuffed family decorations. The arrival of the tree, on the first day of December, is a big event at the Castle. Ours is a Norway spruce, the same as the traditional tree in Trafalgar Square, from a local supplier; it’s cut down just two days earlier then left in one of our barns to dry off. I stand outside the heavy doors of the Castle and watch as the tractor pulling the tree, still furled in its netting, noses its way past Castle Lodge, before stopping near the front door. Great care is taken that none of the stonework is damaged, let alone the leather wall hangings and candelabra lamps.  We try to keep the trail of needles to a minimum, out of respect for Diana, our head housekeeper. The only way to do this is with enormous manpower… Joh...

63 Weird Things On Amazon That Are Wildly Popular With Millennials

Millennials are a lot of things: hard-working, intent on changing the world, maybe a little too into avocado toast, and plenty of other traits that might come to mind. But they’re also savvy shoppers — and really, really good at finding oddball products that are actually pretty genius when you think about it. And these weird Amazon products with four- and five-star reviews could be plenty of millennial’s cup of tea, but you don’t have to be of that generation to really enjoy them. Because no matter your age, who doesn’t appreciate a brilliant product? You can always tell when a product is quality because it has hundreds of positive reviews — or it’s simply an incredible idea that solves a problem you didn’t know could be solved. But when it has the extra bonus of being backed by a generation that is one of the smartest when it comes to doing its due diligence researching products? Then how could you ever pass on the stuff? Luckily for you, not only are the items I’ve chosen to feature top-tier quality, but these weird and unique Amazon products also happen to be genius — perfect for the millennial in all of us. With 16 different colors t...