A luxury hotel in Cornwall has taken a very special delivery in time for the Christmas season.

The Headland brought an entirely new meaning to air mail when Father Christmas sailed into Newquay in a hot-air balloon to deliver the 12-foot tree, which is the centrepiece of the five-star hotel’s festive celebrations.

After gently touching down, he enlisted the help of staff to unhook the giant fir tree and transport it inside to take pride of place in the hotel’s reception area.

Veryan Palmer, hotel family director, said: “A flying visit from Father Christmas provided the perfect way to put our guests and staff in a festive mood. It was fortunate that he sailed in on such a calm day, because air balloons don’t perform well in windy conditions.

“He delivered the Christmas tree with all the skill and poise of an extremely experienced balloon pilot. It was an eye-catching way to mark the start of the Christmas season and caused quite a stir amongst guests and local walkers.”