Sunday, February 14, 2010

Up and running!

And so we are now open and visitors are returning to see the Palace and to see the stunning photographic exhibition (depicting the winning gardens from the Historic Houses Association/Christie's Garden of the Year Award from the last 25 years) in the Long Library - always good to get re-open and to see everyone slightly relax and go back into the normal mode of daily business.

Visitors yesterday seemed in good spirits (although it was very very cold!) and hopefully the warm glow from Valentine's Day will produce another good crowd today.

Despite it's size and scale and despite it's battle victory connections - Blenheim Palace exudes a romantic air - perhaps best typified by Sir Winston proposing to Clementine Hozier here in the Temple of Diana. The Saloon table is laid for a romantic dinner for two and hopefully many visitors will enjoy either lunch in The Orangery or a Champagne Tea in the Water Terraces - both memorable ways to connect with Blenheim Palace.

Today is an interesting day as it is the first day when annual passes from 2009 could be out of date - we launched the "Buy One Day - Get 12 Months Free!" offer on 14 February 2009 and our desire into 2010 is to get as many of the 98,000 annual pass holders to come back and re-join as well as continuing to spread the word and to find new members to experience and enjoy everything that Blenheim Palace has to offer. We still believe that it is a powerful offer - especially for those who live within an hour of Blenheim Palace - and hopefully this offer (and it's focused promotion through press, radio - and even maybe regional television) will drive good results for us this year.

The plans for the season are exciting and we have a full calendar of events - hopefully something for everyone and for every taste - and we are looking forward to lots of sunshine - yes, I am an optimist!

Most children are now on half-term and thus work pressures need to be balanced with entertaining the family at home - Tracy has a busy week with the girls - various trips out and sleepovers/play dates, etc - and on Wednesday we are taking them to see "Les Miserables" - one of the best ever London shows and one which we hope they will enjoy. Annabelle sang "Castle in the Cloud" on a couple of occasions at school last term and thus seeing it sung as part of this musical on the London stage should be especially powerful for her.

Enjoy half-term and don't foget to enjoy Blenheim Palace - now "up and running" for the 2010 season!

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