Step inside Hertfordshire's festive wonderland
PUBLISHED: 15:47 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:08 15 November 2018
Danny Loo Photography 2017
The Magic of Christmas, near Stevenage, is more than just a shop. It's an Aladdin's Cave of seasonal goodies, with all the decorations, trees and other treats your heart desires
Christmas is a spellbinding time of year, when our villages, towns and cities are transformed into enchanted spaces, full of light, laugher and wonderful window displays.
But if you truly love the festive season, then there is only one place in Hertfordshire to visit this winter. The Magic of Christmas is a one-stop-shop for all your decorative needs, located in Walkern, just a few miles from Stevenage.
From humble beginnings 16 years ago, The Magic of Christmas has grown into one of the south east’s largest festive shops. The store sources its high quality fare – including baubles, garlands, table china, candles, wreaths, ornaments and trees – from the continent, so you don’t need to visit a market in Bavaria to find that special gift.
Here, owner Jeremy Dyson gives us the lowdown on some of the best items to adorn your home with this Christmas.
When it comes to baubles, there are so many options to choose between. From traditional woodland themed ones from Europe, to high-end crystal glass baubles made in the UK, The Magic of Christmas stocks the lot.
Decorate your tree in red, white, silver, green, blue or gold, and take inspiration from the themed trees prepared by The Magic of Christmas’ in-house experts. Plus, if you’d like a tree that stands out from the rest, why not opt for artistic decoupage baubles?
Next up is tinsel. Do you go for a slender, fine piece or bolder tinsel to make your tree twinkle? With scores of styles in-store, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Well whatever the weather brings, re-create the experience with LED icicle lights and snow projectors outside your house. For indoor and tree lighting, meanwhile, Jeremy recommends LED cluster lights – mix together different colours for an especially stunning effect.
“Visitors to the shop will also be able to pick from a huge range of ornaments to place around the house,” adds Jeremy. “We’ve got reindeers, unicorns, snow globes, Father Christmases, nutcrackers and loads more.
“Traditional decorations include tree-toppers in the shape of angels, elves and fairies, and if you want tips on making your own beautiful wreath or garland, come along and we’ll show you how to combine berries, apples, cinnamons, dried orange slices and mini-baubles and bells with evergreen leaves and foliage. Pre-made ones are also available.”
When it comes to giving your home that authentic Christmas feel, nothing beats a real Scandinavian fir tree.
Rather than stocking the Norway spruce commonly found on UK Christmas tree farms, however, The Magic of Christmas specialises in Nordmann firs, which have the best needle retention of any species, and better longevity than a spruce. Nordmann firs are also some of the best smelling trees, to give your whole home a wonderful festive scent.
“We drill all our trees,” explains Jeremy, “so you won’t have a problem trying to centre it or keeping it upright.”
The real trees sold by The Magic of Christmas are arriving between November 21 and 23, and all come from sustainable sources in Denmark. If you give the team notice they can order you a tree to your size requirements. The shop also stocks a whole range of stands, in cast iron and plastic, some of which have pegs to keep your tree in place.
For those who find a real tree too much of a hassle, or prefer a more contemporary style, pop into the Magic of Christmas to browse their huge range of artificial, pre-lit and slimline trees in varying sizes, including ultra-modern white trees.
A visit from Father Christmas
You don’t have to travel to Lapland to see the big man in red and white; he’ll be making a stop at the shop. The Magic of Christmas has one of the best Santa experiences in Hertfordshire, with a relaxed, fun atmosphere, with visitors free to take their own photos.
Each young visitor who completes the walk through the indoor mystery garden and meets Father Christmas gets a personalised letter and a quality present.
“I love seeing people leaving with smiles on their faces,” says Jeremy. “Everyone is in a good mood, and you really get to experience the festive feeling.”
Booking for Santa’s Grotto are available on 01438861100.
The Magic of Christmas also has a tea room inside a traditional Nordic chalet, where you can enjoy a break while you shop. On the menu is a range of cakes, pastries, soups, hot chocolates, teas and coffees, as well as Christmas tree waffles on a stick, topped with chocolate and other tasty treats.
The Magic of Christmas is open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 4pm on Sundays, until December 23.
But for those who can’t get off work in time to visit, The Magic of Christmas is holding a late night shopping event on November 22, from 6pm until 9pm. Visitors can enjoy complimentary mulled wine, mince pies, and 25 per cent off selected products.
To find out more about the enchanting world at The Magic of Christmas, call 01438861100 or visit The Magic of Christmas website.