With hot wassail, caroling, six restored buildings and dinner by oil lantern, Historic Rugby celebrates Christmas with Victorian flair at its annual holiday weekend, Dec. 8 and 9 this year.
If you haven’t ever been to Rugby, prepare for something unlike anything else in Tennessee. Many visitors say they feel transported to England, but what you’re actually experiencing is Thomas Hughes’ vision of Utopia – circa 1880. Unfortunately, Hughes’ vision languished and the once-promising town gradually slipped into obscurity, only to be rescued in the past 30 years by dedicated preservationists.
For the holidays, the restored National Landmark opens six decorated-to-the-nines buildings, and you might just meet Margaret Hughes, the founder’s mother (as played by an actress) baking up a plum pudding.
The Harrow Road Café offers a four-course Christmas dinner each night ($28 per person, advance reservations required), and you can warm yourself with hot wassail and carols in the Schoolhouse Visitor Centre. The Rugby Commissary Museum Store and Spirit of Red Hill Art Shop will cheer Christmas shoppers with a variety of handmade items, from quilts to proper English preserves. For tickets and information, call 888-214-3400 or 423-628-2441, or visit historicrugby.org.