Top positive review
32 people found this helpful
Heart-warming, educational entertainment. A real treat
on 29 August 2010
The `Victorian Farm' series is one of those rare gems of British TV which is well worth enjoying time and again. This offshoot of three, hour-long programmes concentrates on capturing the essence of a Victorian Christmas as it would have been experienced in the mid-19ths century by folk living on a small Shropshire farm. If your cockles don't warm to this then they're probably permanently extinguished!
You don't need to have seen the original full length VF series to enjoy this one. It follows the same pattern, using authentic replica equipment and clothing, original recipes and techniques to demonstrate how Christmas was celebrated throughout the social scale. The original team of historians, Ruth, Alex and Peter, return to the farm buildings which they lived in for year, situated at Acton Scott, an old fashioned working farm on the English / Welsh border. They then get to grips with all the work that needs doing on the estate in the run up to the festive season, starting with making hay for winter animal feed, choosing a new ram for the flock, restoring the blacksmith's forge, finding a yule log (without breaking modern conservation rules!), give that handsome Shirehorse Thumper a new set of shoes, and locate a suitable Christmas tree/
But perhaps the most enjoyable segments of this mini-series are the domestic ones where Ruth Goodman tends to take over. If Christmas is all about food and decorations and gift-giving, then she's totally in her element. She demonstrates how mincemeat was originally made plus basics like bread and butter; tries out winter woollies including blankets made from paper; makes remedies for coughs and colds; investigates and creates Christmas crackers; makes an authentic pudding; dyes ribbons and generally tackles all tasks with an infectious air of enthusiasm.
(Although the dating info says this series was made in 2008, it was originally shown on the BBC over Christmas 09. No doubt it'll be preeated again, but certainly can be watched and enjoyed several times).
No hesitation about recommending this as festive viewing for all ages. It's entirely suitable to give as a gift to your grandparents, or for younger viewers or the whole family. We found it charming - and not a little sad when the team finally leave the Victorian Farm for good...
Also recommended in the same vein:
The Victorian Pharmacy [DVD]
Tales From The Green Valley [DVD]
Victorian Farm [DVD]