Christmas – so, how was it for you?

Are you reading this, relaxing on the sofa? A warm glow from presents well-chosen and well-received? We are feeling remarkably rested, calm and organised. It’s a far cry from the chaos of last year (a reminder: the turkey was roasting, the pudding was bubbling away on the stove, and we, the hosts, plus 12 guests were locked out on the street outside).
Yes, this year Lucy and her husband were in charge of the celebrations so it all took place like a well-oiled machine. There were in-laws, there were little children, there were sprouts and there was fizz. It was the age old festive mix and it went like a dream.
Our surprise Christmas hit (maybe I shouldn’t be surprised) was the clementine vodka. Mulled wine always seems a bit  pointless, with the alcohol stewed out of existence. A dash of clementine vodka and that Christmas cheer is restored! We had a festive street party which was a lot more festive with a shot of that in the mulled wine. 
Now we’re in that strange limbo land, where Christmas is all but over and New Year’s Eve is the next big event. What do you eat when the leftovers have gone? We’ve had soup, soup and more soup. Plus cabbage. 
We are hosting New Year’s Eve this year, there’s 10 for dinner – we now know to include our kids (aged 6 and 8) in those numbers. Some parents are not sure whether their kids will stay up for the celebrations. They know their kids may feel tired and fractious. I know, from bitter experience, that my kids will be up for it. A couple of years ago I told my then 6 year old that he could stay up as late as he wanted (we were having a party and I knew there would be no persuading him to go to bed) – assuming he’d pass out at some stage. As it was I went to bed at 1am and suggested he do the same. He argued back that I’d promised he could stay up as late as he wanted, and he wanted to stay up later. I look forward to his teenage years. 
For dinner we will be serving celeriac soup with a Stilton crumble (a la the Ivy), slow roasted leg of lamb with mint and pomegranate (a la Nigella) and a Bailey’s cheese cake (a la us!). Just typing that has made me hungry. So, wish us luck. What are you planning?


  1. Claire, I’m so glad you’ve admitted to accidentally letting your kids stay up WAY past their bedtime… This year I thought it would be a good idea to stay at my brother’s on Christmas night. As i left my parents at around 11pm with kids in tow (more like 11.30pm probably) my brother flung his keys at me and told me to go ahead, without telling me that his front door is impossible to open… So I sat on his doorstep at around midnight with my two children, both weeping that they were really tired and just wanted to go to bed… While my brother meandered his way home. Anyway, I will be making Coronation Chicken for my daughter on New Year’s Day, because she absolutely loves eating it when my mum makes it for parties, and I’ve never tried making it before. Wish me luck, and a Happy New Year to you x

    • Poor you. I hope the Coronation Chicken made up for it. Happy new year. xxx


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