It's that time of the year again... Everyone is out buying presents for friends and family as well as pre-ordering the food ready for Christmas Week…
I made a chestnut soup the other evening but someone (you might know) , ate it all before I got a chance.
In the curiosity of Christmas world foods to try to prepare I came across the following ; pumpkin and walnut pie from Albania, roast goat from Portugal ( which I’ve had in the hills there ), oyster stew from USA, German roast goose, or ptarmigan ( grouse family, also a delicacy in France) from Iceland.
Maybe , not surprisingly, the best and largest list would be U.K. and Ireland ! We are well catered for. Probably have Queen Victoria to thank for that.
But if you can’t be bothered, there are always Heston Blumental’s lovely Christmas puddings stuffed with all sorts indeed, at Waitrose.
After a spot of ice skating at Somerset House or the Natural History Museum , and before your Christmas blowout you could prepare the decorations.
I favour a tree with slightly hidden lights and singular coloured decorations, or clear glass decorations with fruit and cinnamon sticks. Never found a decent fairy
( in my life ! ) for the top, so don’t bother !
For wreaths I like singular mix of lemons or clementines , maybe with a few sticks of cinnamon or ‘bashed’ lemon grass sticks to infuse a seasonal scent.
I plan to create a moss wreath overstuffed with Ferrero Rocher chocolates and see how long it lasts intact.
And of course seasonal scented candles with cinnamon or cloves add a nice ambient.
I can’t get excited by poinsettias ( and they are red!) for Christmas. For your table have small white flowers, mistletoe and fresh rosemary bunched in a small glass for each place setting, alongside your guests drinking glasses.
On the decorations again, I also suggest that if you have a tired old lampshade ( and you’re getting a new one for Christmas hopefully ?) why not cover it with seasonal foliage, mistletoe, small balls (and anything else left off the heaving Christmas tree ) ?
If that is not bling enough, you could walk off your Christmas lunch , after the Queen’s message of course, with a march around the Christmas lights of London.
You have Oxford Street ( with a surgical mask) , Carnaby Street, Bond Street or Regent Street ( very La La land), Covent Garden, Seven Dials and Marylebone .
Of the many winter shopping festivals from the South Bank to Covent Garden, how about the Greenwich Wintertime Festival at the Old Royal Naval College?
However you celebrate your Christmas and New Year have a jolly good one , just don’t wear a ‘Christmas jumper’ !
Stephen Ryan, Interior Designer London