It can be easy to forget the front door when it comes to festive décor but a boutique hotel in west Dorset is holding workshops to demonstrate the importance of the Christmas wreath. Joanna Davis finds out more.

THERE'S no better Yuletide welcome than greeting visitors at your door with a traditional Christmas festive wreath.

Finding the ideal festive wreath to suit your tastes, décor and Christmas colour scheme can be a challenge too far in the run-up to Christmas.

The Alexandra Hotel in Lyme Regis is holding special Christmas wreath-making workshops in its Old Chapel on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.

This atmospheric Georgian chapel, lit up by a giant twinkling Christmas tree, is the perfect place in which to create a special hand-made wreath.

Alongside skilled professionals, use fresh foliage, scented pine cones, beautiful organza, luscious berries and many more festive trimmings to decorate a specially-designed wreath - perfect to welcome in the season or to give as a glorious gift.

With sessions running on December 12 and 14, from 10am to 1pm, and priced at £55 per person, join one of the area’s top gardeners and florists for expert guidance on creating a stunning decoration, with all materials provided, as well as tea, coffee and mince pies.

The session on December 12 will be led by landscape gardener Rebecca Brook.

Christmas creatives have the chance to craft a wreath made out of blue pine, ivy and holly, decorated with whole dried oranges, orange and red apple slices, cinnamon sticks tied with red raffia pine cones, with a large red organza bow.

Or they can make a Winter Silver and White wreath.

They will be crafted out of fresh blue pine and ivy decorated with natural and sliver pine cones, silver brunia balls and silver asparagus fern, with a large silver organza bow.

On Friday, December 14, the wreath workshop will be led by Teresa Fowler from the House of Flowers florist in Lyme.

People will be able to choose from a number of wreaths. The first option is styling them red and gold - including mixed foliage, whole oranges sliced oranges and apples and gold and red lotus heads.

Another variation on the red and gold theme is wreathes made out of red ilex berries and Austriaca cones finished with a vintage bow, woodland purple and silver, and mixed foliage and willow cinnamon spice silver tin tin with purple Cotinus and purple Callicarpa berries and finished with a purple/silver and organza bow.

Hotel manager Sean Smith said Christmas is a special time at the Alexandra. Stylish decorations deck the halls, surroundings are sumptuously cosy and the hotel's award-winning food is suitably delicious.

“The Alexandra provides the perfect relaxing setting for celebrating this special holiday alongside family, friends and loved ones. Whether settling in for a stay over Christmas, afternoon tea in front of the fire in the sitting room following an invigorating walk along the Jurassic coast, or for a delicious festive meal, we welcome everyone to our cosy surroundings this Christmas-time.”

There's plenty going on at the boutique hotel over the festive season.

A special Christmas Afternoon Tea is on offer. This Christmas-time, the hotel will be offering daily festive-themed afternoon teas, featuring special Christmassy goodies such as spiced chocolate macaroons, mince-pie scented scones, mini Christmas puddings, mulled berry trifle, mini mince pies and cranberry and orange fudge, alongside finger sandwich selection and loose-leaf tea or Fair-Trade coffee. The festive afternoon tea is priced at £19.95 pp / £29.95 pp with a glass of house Champagne and is served daily throughout December in the Ammonite restaurant in the Orangery.

A special festive two course lunch is also on offer from £25.95 per person. Dishes include smoked duck breast with roasted fig, Chesil Beach Smokehouse Oak Smoked Salmon with cucumber vodka jelly and pickled cucumber, roasted Cornish monkfish wrapped in smoked pancetta, and roasted Devonshire bronze turkey. A three-course lunch is £29.95.

Wreath makers can choose to stay overnight at the 23-bedroom hotel from £180 per room per night/£90 pp (two sharing), including full English breakfast or a three night Christmas stay is on offer from £698 per person.

Arriving to a warming fire, settle into a relaxing festive stay on the Jurassic Coast. Step into the candlelit Georgian chapel for Christmas Eve carols, poems and prose, and wake to a Christmas Day morning of breakfasting on smoked salmon and Bucks Fizz in bed, before fireside boardgames or a coastal stroll and a traditional five-course Christmas lunch. On Boxing Day, explore Lyme Regis ahead of a five-course black-tie dinner. The three-night Christmas stay (arriving 24 Dec.) is priced from £698 pp (two sharing), including three nights’ accommodation with breakfast, Champagne and canapé reception, traditional five-course Christmas lunch & three dinners.

For more information, call the Alexandra on 01297 442 010 or visit Christmas Wreath Making Tips by Rebecca Brook You can buy a straw base wreath or a wire ring and cover with moss.

Cut pieces of different types of foliage; ie pine, ivy, eucalyptus, evergreen oak to about 15cm long.

Secure your reel of wire at the top of your wreath.

Attach your foliage going around the same way securing with reel wire as you go all the way round.

If you want to add more decoration to your wreath you can add practically anything, but I like dried fruits, cinnamon sticks tied with red ribbon, lots of pine cones or larch with little cones. These decorations you have to twist a stub wire around a pine cone or through an orange slice and push through your frame and twist at the back and bend over.

Finish off with a large bow. I normally use organza with a wired edge so you can bend it a bit, add one long piece of ribbon just by the bow and now you can secure it to your door with a couple of drawing pins at the top where it shuts so it doesn’t damage your paint work!