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PRICELESS

www.affinitymag.co.uk AFFINITY LUXURY LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

ISSUE 102

Fabulous Food Gifts Galore We help you find the

Time to impress your family & friends

perfect present

WWW.AFFINITYMAGAZINE.CO.UK

PEACE, JOY & SPARKLE

Everything to make your house perfect this Christmastime

'TIS THE SEASON TO GIVEAWAY

Your Inner Superhero

It's time to connect

Festive Party Fashion

Styles everyone will love

HAPPY CHRISTMAS We Have Not One but Two fabulous Competitions

ISSUE 102


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w

Affinity’s

Wedding Showcase WOODLAND MANOR HOTEL Green Lane, Clapham, Bedford MK41 6EP

Sunday 12th January 2020 11am - 3pm / FREE ENTRY

Bubbles - Canapès - Live Entertainment - Fashion Shows Goodie Bags - Fabulous Suppliers

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO PLAN YOUR PERFECT WEDDING

jane@afinitymag.co.uk

07507 602401

afinityweddingsmagazine.co.uk


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Welcome...

1

I’m loving...

2

3 Christmas, my favourite time of year, I get so excited seeing all the beautiful, inspiring décor ideas,, from trees to garlands, stockings to wreaths it’s amazing how we can turn our homes into something so magical. You’ll find lots of ideas to inspire you in this issue including some of our favourite Christmas wreaths (page 48) and crackers (page 50).

4 5

The lead up to Christmas is my favourite time of year. Getting the decorations up, planning the presents and of course festive food and precious time with family and friends. We’ve got some delicious, easy recipes that you can throw together in a matter of minutes, turn to page 38 to give Nigella a run for her money! Our gift inspiration is a plenty, but don’t forget about yourself in all the madness of the season, we want you to feel glam and gorgeous this month which is why we’ve chosen some of our favourite party outfits that’ll have you feeling a million dollars this Christmastime.

Christmastime is all about giving, and we’ve got not one, but two great giveaways for you. One is a family ticket for Aladdin, this year’s panto at Milton Keynes Theatre (page 64). And the other is a pair of tickets for an immersive dining experience on ‘The Murder Express” (page 52), Good-Luck and remember ‘you’ve got to be in it, to win it!’

1. Laura Fantacci X Tilly Sveaas Heart Bracelet, £350, tillysveaas.co.uk 2. TOO FACED Better Not Pout Lip Gloss Set, £22, Selfridges 3. Lips with Pen Notebook, £15, John Lewis 4. Skirt, £55, Marks & Spencer 5 . Jimmy Choo Heeled Ankle Boots, £895, Selfridges

Finally, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and see you in 2020! Love & Hugs

Jane x Don’t forget to join us on social media, we love getting to know you!

www.affinitymag.co.uk

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facebook.com/AffinityMag

Editor: Jane Fry jane@affinitymag.co.uk 01234 962106 - 07507 602401 Advertising: Jane Fry jane@affinitymag.co.uk 01234 962106 - 07507 602401 Graphic Design and Photography: David Zita dave@affinitymag.co.uk

@affinitymagz

All adverts are printed in good faith. Affinity cannot take responsibility for the content of adverts. Advertisements are accepted on the understanding that descriptions of goods and services are accurate. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.


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CONTENTS 14

8 14 16 20 23 25 36 41 46 55 58 68

Beauty Updates Hot Picks Feed your Face Black Beauty Jingle all the Way Christmas Gift Guide Foodie News Serve it up Winter RosÄ— Festive Fun Ampersand at Xmas Weekend Starts Here

47

44

60

64

23


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Aromatherapy for the Eyes

In a busy world, we all know we need to find time for ourselves. To take a moment to close the eyes, get away from the hustle and simply breathe. But we struggle to do what we know is good for us. Launched this year, Sanda aromatherapy eye pillows (£22) provide a physical reminder to take five minutes to get back to yourself. The pillows are filled with flax seeds, dried herbs and flowers which shape around the contours of the eye, while the gentle pressure relieves tension and triggers the mind to feel reassured and relaxed. Handmade from organic linen, the pillows come in seven different scents, including Eucalyptus & Peppermint to awaken the senses in the morning, Cinnamon & Orange to uplift and improve concentration and focus, Rose & Cardamom for that zen calm and balance, and Lavender & Chamomile for deep relaxation and peaceful sleep, they are available from www.sandafeelgood.com

Murad Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel

Murads new replenishing multiacid peel (£48) is a dual-phase, daily peel that combines gentle resurfacing with intense nourishment to give skin a vibrant glow. It speeds up cell renewal by 33% in just 7 days!

Phase 1 – 5 keys acids, including new Tranexamic Acid work to exfoliate and smooth the skin while targeting those spots of pigmentation left over from sun exposure in the warmer months!

Counting Down the Days

Introducing ….jane iredale’s first ever Christmas advent calendar! Counting you down for 12 days of festivities (£69.95). With 12 draws, each day you will receive one of jane iredale’s signature products ranging from a mini Hydration Spray POMMISST™, Mini Lip Fixation® Lip Stain Craving, FULL-SIZE Eye Pencil Basic Black and FULLSIZE24 Karat Gold Dust eye shadow, giving you the opportunity to try a variety of products each day, available from www.hazelkaye.com

BEAUTY UPDATES

Phase 2 – A mix of Holy Basil and soothing lipids replenish and strengthen the skin to accelerate recovery. Available now from www.murad.co.uk

Ritzy Spritzy

Skip make-up and let skin do the hard work with VOYA. Since celebrity makeup artist Sara Hill coined the term ‘yoga skin’, this natural-looking beauty trend has been dominating 2019 and is set to pick up speed as we approach the new year. Aiming to create the look of stepping out of a yoga session, ‘yoga skin’ is intended to look natural, dewy and glowing with health while looking radiant and luscious without covering imperfections.

For skin that’s glistening with wellness, VOYA’s Ritzy Spritzy (£24.50, www.voya.ie) is formulated to tone, cool, soothe and hydrate your skin with a single spray.

Sheer Blush

ICONIC London have launched their new blush range. Known for its cult highlighting products the brand's Sheer Blush is a unique gel-to-watercolour formula, designed to mesh effortlessly with other make-up products. The new blush has been created with plant extract known for anti-pollution benefits. Available in six shades from iconiclondoninc.com, priced at £18.


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learning to

Connect with your Inner Superhero


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A hero is someone defined by google as a person who ‘is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities’. We have probably all seen some superhero movies, there are a vast number to choose from and many of us will have our own personal favourite, whether that is Batman or Wonder Woman or any of the other caped, or otherwise crusaders. They are folk who would generally be regarded as doing good and are usually able to tap into to some pretty special abilities, being invisible, flying, being super strong or telepathic. The other thing we’d probably all know about superheroes is that their identity is often a bit of a secret.

We also know that even ordinary people can behave like superheroes at times. Sadly, often at times of crisis when the chips are down, there are loads of examples of people exhibiting superhuman strength to survive in extreme conditions, or rescue others, enduring hardship or putting themselves in danger for the greater good. Given certain circumstances it seems maybe any of us could be a superhero. While it might feel tempting sometimes to want to summon a superhero the fact is they are unlikely to pop into our lives to sort things out, generally speaking that is down to us, tempting as it might be to wish for a fairly godmother or genie.

So, let’s shift the focus a little and think about ourselves. We all have days (however rarely) when somehow everything feels within our grasp, no challenge too great, no obstacle that can’t be overcome.

Think about yourself on your strongest day – the ‘you’ that you feel proud to be. Then take a moment to flesh out his image. What are the characteristics about that ‘you’ that you admire, get in touch with how that version of yourself would react in different situations, the choices they would make, the way they would conduct themselves and treat others? Sometimes it can help to give your inner superhero a name and spend time noticing how it feels when you are that person and consider why it is you can behave or respond differently. If you can do that some days, in some situations then you know you have the capacity within yourself to ‘be’ that person. Part of you already is that person.

Then think about another version of you perhaps the one that can be snappy and irritable, or the you who lacks confidence, puts things off, perhaps is always trying to please others. The fact is even if we only see glimpses of that version occasionally it shows once again that we can BE that person.

There are different ways you can approach finding your own superhero. One way is to wait until you are faced with a challenge, even a small one, a traffic jam, a rude comment, feeling undervalued or feeling too busy, then decide to BE that admirable version of you. Or another approach is to make a conscious decision each morning to get in touch with that version of you.

Most of us have some kind of morning routine where we get ourselves ready for the day, possibly in a rushed fashion gulping down coffee on the run, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We can decide to prepare our mind for the day ahead just like we might prepare our body with a shower or breakfast. Like many things when we are starting something new it takes time for it to become a habit, we must get used to doing it and it might feel strange at first, it might require some effort, lots of things of value do require effort. Think about another change you have made successfully, and the effort it required at first. As with all change the first step is the desire to change.

How would it feel to be your own superhero most days, to ‘put on’ the metaphorical cape and be ready for anything? I imagine for many people it would feel good, like they were more in control of their own life, like they were able to meet challenges and know they could handle them. Which is exactly what ordinary people do when faced with those really tough times. Let’s be honest you have probably done it too. To date you have got through all the tough times you’ve had so far, so there is every chance you can keep doing this. But that, in many ways is reactive, you could alternatively decide to be purposeful and make a conscious decision to get to know your inner superhero and like those who put on their cape you can clothe yourself with those characteristics each morning as you begin your day. For a bit of inspiration each day follow us on Instagram, twitter or facebook and visit the website www.attunededcuation


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Midlife Madness If you are like me and enjoy a bargain or discount and, let’s be honest who doesn’t, then you will probably have bought ‘deals’ or products from some well-known discount sites. I must confess I love them and regularly buy deals, or packages for myself and for others as gifts. It is probably worth someone doing some research about how many are actually used, but from my point of view it is one hundred percent! If it is a product, new towels, a gym mat, crockery, cutlery or any one of vast range of things then the package is literally the goods so nothing too complicated. If, however it is a deal then it may include more than one element. That is where I have found the problem can lie. To me it seems obvious, that to get the best possible value from the ‘deal’ you simply must use all elements. I’m sure you’ll agree is you are using a discount site and you want a bargain then it ceases to be a bargain if it isn’t used, in which case it is an absolute waste of money and you should steer clear of such things in the future, or if not all of the package is used.

Recently we bought an overnight spa package, which was I must be honest a real steal of a deal (yes their words not mine). It included the room, access to the spa, and breakfast but also dinner and wine on the first night. So, imagine my puzzlement when nearest, jury is out at the moment on dearest status, announced he didn’t really want to use the spa!

But, ….but….., I stammered its part of the package! Apparently, he didn’t feel like a swim before dinner. I understood but of course the value of the deal is

dependent on using all parts of the package. However, I was understanding and suggested that he relax while I swim and we might have time the next morning for a quick dip, though I am not sure that a quick dip is in keeping with the relaxing, zen nature of a spa break.

Anyway, I enjoyed my relaxing swim and sit in the jacuzzi though I must confess I gave the gym a rather wide berth, then we got ready to go for dinner. It was very lovely food, three courses which I must confess is getting to be quite a bit for me these days. But I relished the soup and main course washed down with the ‘part of the package’ wine. I was heading for the buffet dessert ‘counter’ when the other half announced he didn’t really fancy anything sweet. Yes, you’ve guessed my protestation went along the lines of ‘but it’s part of the package’. To add insult to injury he did mention he fancied a cheese board instead but I was very quick to remind him that a cheeseboard was not a part of the package and so would have to be paid for on top which of course means the magnificent value the deal represented is reduced. He quickly saw the error of his ways so further disaster was averted, temporarily. Quite apart from not really fancying a swim the next morning he said really he’d rather have a long lie in than breakfast, but after the discussion over the swim I think he could see this was not going to be something that could be endorsed in the spirit of getting the best possible value from the deal. And in his defence after his initial breakfast reluctance I can hand on heart say we got really good value from the hotel breakfast, I confess to considering myself a bit of a professional when it comes to hotel breakfasts, especially when they are part of a package!


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Black Leopard Diamante Bag, £22, River Island

Bomb Cosmetics Santas Relax Sack, £22.99. www.bombcosmetics.co.uk

AFFINITY HOT PICKS

Bobble Star Jumper, £59.95, White Stuff

Grey Snowflake Stocking, £15, John Lewis

Embellished Headband, £26, www.johnny-loves-rosie.com

Luna Moon & Stars Earrings, £260, www.sorujewellery.com

This month’s must have gifts and accessories

Set 2 Glasses, £7.99, Homesense

Nutcracker Music Box, £30, www.nationalgallery.co.uk

Overbody Bag, £40, Dune London

Rose Gold Gem Hairbrush, £5.99, New Look

Ted Baker Rialy Lace Up Trainers, £99, John Lewis

The Regina Suede Boot, £325, www.fairfaxandfavor.com

Ted Baker Mini Candle Set, £30, John Lewis

Satin Floral Dressing Gown, £30, Marks & Spencer


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Feed your Face Did you know that being thirsty and having thirsty skin are two very different things? When your body is thirsty, you hydrate by drinking water, but when your skin is thirsty, this cannot simply be fixed by drinking water. This is because the water we drink is first absorbed into the bloodstream and then hydrates your cells—the main focus not being hydrating your skin. Similarly, while eating a balanced diet of foods rich in omega 3’s such as fish and nuts is beneficial, it’s also important to apply nutrients topically. So how do you start hydrating and nourishing your skin from the outside in? You should feed your face with the same foods you feed your body. Most of time we do not think of food, as something to use for beauty, but many foods are actually fantastic topical products for your skin and will give you that natural, young and glowing look. Here are six foods to keep your face choose another word for glowing as you just used it in the sentence before and radiant.

Red wine Do you enjoy having a relaxing evening with your friends, drinking wine and doing DYI facemasks? Well what if I told you that red wine not only has certain health benefits for your body, but also for your skin? Red wine is known for being the healthiest alcoholic beverage and it contains rich antioxidants, like flavonoids, to fight skin ageing by restoring collagen and elastic fibres. Red wine also has antiseptic anti-bacterial properties that can help fight acne breakouts. One of the best recipes for a wine facemask is two tablespoons each of red wine, yogurt and honey. The most important thing to remember is to spend a little extra on nice wine in order to benefit your skin.

Marshmallow While marshmallow is normally something you think of as a yummy addition to your hot cocoa, marshmallow root is actually a skincare wonder. This root contains a high percentage of mucilage, a sap-like substance that the plant produces, which has intensive hydrating, softening and balancing properties. Lyonsleaf Calendula & Marshmallow Balm (Lovelula, £26.99) safely soothes, repairs and improves skin elasticity. Use on any dry, cracked, hard, rough or irritated skin. Perfect for facial use, it will


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intensively hydrate and soften the face, neck and eye area and repair chapped lips.

Adzuki Beans The adzuki bean, a vine grown in East Asia and the Himalayas, has been used in Japanese beauty treatments since the 18th century. The powder made from the bean has deep cleansing properties that remove dead skin cells, cleanse pores and remove grime that causes blemishes as well as tightening and softening the skin, giving it a natural, healthy glow.

Kiwi and Cucumber Love your fruit and vegetables? Next time you peel your favourite fruit to eat, cut a slice for your face too! Infused with anti-ageing ingredients including vitamins A, B3 and E along with nature’s organic fruits and veggies, Nature’s Kitchen Kiwi, Apple & Cucumber Skin Soothing Face Wash (Lovelula.com,

£10.99) is like a super healthy green smoothie for your skin. Kiwis are a good chemical exfoliant because they are high in enzymes and cucumbers have strong hydrating properties that help revitalise the skin.

Acai Berries Acai Berries are small reddish-purple berries that are found in the rainforests of South America. This small fruit has ample health benefits within the body because they provide crucial antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to promote better health; as for topical health, these berries eliminate scars, stretch marks, dry skin and repair damaged skin—which results in glowing and healthy appearance.

Carrot You might enjoy carrots as a lunchtime snack with hummus or in your favorite fruit juice, but try enjoying them as a topical product in your beauty routine. Carrots contain a high amount of betacarotene and iron, which help tone and clarify your skin. Gorgias Carrot & Sea Buckthorn Oil Moisturiser (gorgiaslondon.com, £39.95) is a combination that helps re-balance the skin’s natural PH and reduce the formation of spots. twitter www.twitter.com/sheilaattuned


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FASHION

Dune London


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Black Beauty

Black, a wardrobe staple that we all have at least one piece of, great for a cocktail party or casual date it suits any occasion, here’s some of our favourites.

Strap Frill Dress, £27.99, New Look

Embellished Neck Dress, £45, Wallis

Velvet Dress, POA, New Look

Lipsy Earrings, £12.50, Next

Black Shift Dress, POA. Next

Sequin Slip Dress, £38, Very

Jumpsuit, £80 , Next

Hairband, POA, Next

Organza Bow Blouse, £60, Monsoon

Sequin Sleeve Top, £33, Wallis

Pearl Heel Shoes, £110, Dune London


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Shimmer & Shine Metallics aren’t just for Christmas – they can be for any occasion, dressed up or down

Gold Dress, POA, River Island

Tuxedo Dress, £30, Tesco

Ted Baker Jumpsuit, £229, John Lewis Very

Drop Earrings, £8, ROMAN

Metallic Midi Skirt, POA. Wallis

Ring Handle Clutch, £8, Matalan

Ruched Shoulder Top, £25, Very

Heels, £120, Dune London Metallic Pleat Skirt, £69, John Lewis


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Stylish Sequins

Sequins are one of the top fashion items for this Festive season, whether it’s all over or just an accessory, you’ll certainly sparkle.

Gold Sequin Cami, £28, Lipsy

Black & Gold Sequin Dress, £30, F&F

Silver Sequin Dress, £48, Dorothy Perkins

Ombre Sequin Top, £45, Very

Very

Knot Twist Sequin Dress, £40, F&F

Midi Skirt, £28, Dotothy Perkins

Sequin Bag, £25, Marks & Spencer

Sequin Dress, £69, Marks & Spencer

Sequin Neck Jumper, £38, Lipsy

Sequin Skirt, £55, Marks & Spencer

Black Sequin Dress, POA, F&F


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Jingle all the Way We’re spoilt for choice with this year’s Christmas jumpers we can’t decide what one’s our favourite, we may just have to buy them all!

Mince Pies Christmas Jumper, £19.99, New Look

Dorothy Perkins

Avo Merry Christmas, £50, John Lewis

Snow What Jumper, POA, Primark Calories Don't Count Jumper, £26, Dorothy Perkins

Polar Bear Jumper, £20, F&F

Pug Jumper, £26, Next

Oh What Fun Jumper, £32, Next

Three Robins Jumper, £28, Lipsy


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Christmas with

LAURA ASHLEY

lauraashley.com


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Christmas Gift Guide We’ve rounded up some of our favourite gifts everyone will love

Next


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Charlotte Tilbury Bar of Gold Palette, £49, www.charlottetilbury.com

ESPA Ultimate Sleep Collection, £50, www.espaskincare.com

Illamasqua Lip Duo Set, £35, www.illamasqua.com

Bayliss & Harding Cocktail Hour Note Book Set, £15, Amazon

Illamasqua Prep & Glow Vault, £55, www.illamasqua.com Sanctuary Spa Signature Showstopper Set, £30, Superdrug

Elemis Cleanse and Glow Gift Set, £70, www.elemis.com

Zebra Velvet Eye Mask, £25, Elizabeth Scarlett


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Iconic HD Blend Complete Brush Set, £75, www.iconiclondoninc.com

ESPA The Luxury Spa Collection, £150, www.espaskincare.com

Beauty

lover

Skincare, body lotions and make-up, they all help us look good, so who wouldn’t want to find a beauty gift set under their tree this Christmas

Eyeko Black Magic Set, £15, www.eyeko.co.uk.

Jo Malone Ornament Fragrance Set, £24, www.jomalone.co.uk

Liz Earle The Daily Refresh, £28, John Lewis

The White Company Pomegranate Hand & Nail Gift Set, £26, www.thewhitecompany.com

Too Faced You're Like Berry Pretty, £24, www.toofaced.com


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Armand de Brignac Brut Cuvee Golfers Edition, £475, Harrods

Ealing Gin, £44.50, www.ealingdistillery.co.uk

The Bubble Sparkling Wine, £12.99, Selfridges

CIROC White Grape, £35.90, Amazon

Disaronno Wears Diesel Limited Edition, £18, Tesco

Freixenet Gift Set, £30, www.slurp.co.uk

Fevertree Hendrick's Gin and Elderflower Tonic Water Cracker, £8, John Lewis


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Whisky Bauble, £19.99, www.englishwhisky.co.uk

Game of Thrones Kingdoms &Mortlach 15 Year Whiky, £119.90, The Whisky World

Drink Connoisseur

Haig Club Clubman, £15, Tesco

Make sure this festive season is as merry as it should be

Laurent-Perrier Rose Safari Robe, £79.99, Selfridges

Manchester Gin Luxury G&T Gift Set, £56, www.manchestergin.co.uk

Freixenet Cordon Rosado, £30, www.slurp.co.uk


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Stacking Ring, £14.99, TK Maxx Beaded Coasters (set 4), £15, Amara

This Works Sleep on It Bauble, £13, John Lewis

Gin Playing Cards, £6.99, Ginger Ray

Santa Alphabet Mug, £4, Tesco

Brown Suedette Mittens, £15, River Island

Body Scrub, £7.99, Homesense


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Jasper Conran Rose Gold Bracelet, £12, Debenhams

Cable Knit Faux Fur Bobble Hat, £7.99, New Look

Stocking

fillers

Pom Pom Slippers, £15, Debenhams

We’ve found just the thing to pop in those stockings this Christmastime, and all for under £15

Christmas Gem Hair Slides (Set 4), £6.99, New Look

Santa's Fave Christmas Pyjama Set, £14.99, New Look

Clarins Face & Lip Cracker, £8.50, Debenhams


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Chocoholic treats Pop one of these chocolate treats in your stocking, all for under £15

Cartwright & Butler Chocolate Pecans, £8, Debenhams

Baileys Chocolate Truffles, £12, Debenhams

Personalised Toblerone, £12.99, www.prezzybox.com

Holdsworth Festive Truffles, £15, John Lewis

Hotel Chocolat Gift Bag, £12, www.hotelchocolat.com

Charbonnel et Walker Rhubarb Vodka Truffles, £13, Debenhams Venchi Chocolate Filled Baubles, £8.99, Selfridges

Hotel Chocolat Merry Christmas Box, £15, www.hotelchocolat.com

Green & Blacks Organic Milk Collection, £6.99, www.greenandblacks.co.uk


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9,


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food & drink


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Time Flies When You’re Having Rum!

Fit for a Ginking

Bubbly and delectably light, Ginking is a well-balanced pioneering recipe of wine and herbal juniper-led London Dry Gin. Available in four different styles, including the Ginking Original White (£12.99), Ginking Original Rosé (£12.99), Ginking Botanical Italia (£9.99) and Ginking Mediterranean (£9.99). Ginking is a harmonious blend of flavours, created to impress sparkling wine and G&T lovers alike, its versatile qualities mean it can be appreciated in a Champagne flute or over ice with rosemary or a citrus peel garnish. Served alongside an array of mouth-watering canapés, a delicious festive feast or to welcome in the New Year.

Banish boring Christmas gifts this year with a Rum Masterclass at Turtle Bay. Available as a gift card and running throughout 2020, the first masterclass on Thursday 16 January will see Turtle Bay’s expert Rum Maestros take you on a voyage of discovery – from the Cayman Islands, to Trinidad and Tobago. Upon arrival, guests will be treated to one of Turtle Bay’s signature Rum 'n' Tonics to get the tastebuds tingling. You'll then sample and learn about the incredible stories and flavours of six amazing Caribbean rums, with the session ending in a rum cocktail and a tasty sharing platter featuring some of Turtle Bay’s famous Caribbean cuisine. Turtle Bay’s Rum Masterclasses cost £35 per person; for more information about these, visit: www.turtlebay.co.uk/rum-masterclass

FOODIE NEWS

MONSIEUR Le Ducks Christmas Menu

MONSIEUR Le Duck, London’s only duck restaurant, has announced their sumptuous Christmas menu, serving an array of delicious Christmas roast dinners, including their signature duck Wellington and whole crown of roast duck. No roast would be considered acceptable without a cracking roast potato and wow does Monsieur Le Duck deliver with their triple cooked duck fat roasties. The menu will also see a rabbit and duck terrine, pan fried scallops with crispy duck skin on a chestnut purée and an array of duck fat finished trimmings, including brussels sprouts with lardons, red cabbage, quince, Yorkshire puddings and of course a delicious gravy. No French meal is complete without wine and Monsieur Le Duck will be offering carefully selected wines, focusing on South-West France; available by the glass, carafe or bottle. The wines will be complemented by signature Armagnac based aperitifs and French beers. To see the full menu, and to book visit, www.leduck.co.uk

Good Enough for Royalty

Supplier to the Royal Household and Scotland's Finest Butcher, Donald Russell has you covered this Christmas, with a range of delicious gifts and festive foods. Choose from a selection of award-winning products, including Free Range Bronze Turkey (£59), Scottish Smoked Salmon with Malt Whisky (£6.75), a hand prepared Beef Wellington (£30) and a selection of hampers fit for a King, including the Ultimate Christmas Box (£79) and the Christmas Simplicity Box (£69)! Donald Russell is one of the UK’s leading deliver-to-your-door craft butcheries. All produce is hand prepared, carefully packed, and will arrive at the door ahead of Christmas ready to cook a feast on the big day. Ideal for a fuss free festive period with next day delivery available until 23rd December 2019.


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Christmas Cooking Tips & Tricks With Christmas festivities in full swing, Christmas Day will soon be here. With an abundance of traditional and more creative food, it’s time for tips and tricks for each element of the traditional Christmas meal: from jazzing up old sprouts, to adding an overripe banana to your mince pie mix, to what to do with your leftovers. All from tip-top chefs, including Monica Galetti, Jason Atherton, Ben Tish and Tom Aiken.

CARROTS and PARSNIPS To make your carrots doubly tasty, boil them in carrot juice instead of water for extra flavour! Tom Booton - THE GRILL AT THE DORCHESTER Part of the problem with a big Christmas lunch is the space issue - it is very difficult to cook everything and get it all already at the same time! To battle this, you can roast your carrots and parsnips in frying pans on the stove instead of in the oven. Try adding little extras to your vegetables to give them a zing: chestnuts and bacon lardons to Brussel sprouts; lemon, thyme and tarragon to roast carrots; honey and thyme sprigs to roast parsnips. Tom Aikens – MUSE, TOM’S KITCHEN

BRUSSEL SPROUTS Pan fry Brussel sprouts with sliced kumquat. Use spices; roast carrots with Vadouvan (mix of curry and spice from the Pondicherry region in India, used to be French colony) and seasoned Bergamot juice. Gregory Marchand - FRENCHIE COVENT GARDEN Try dressing your sprouts in the cooking juices from your pigs in blankets (rendered sausage fat and trim from the pancetta) – you’ll change people’s lives forever! Scott Paton - BORINGDON HALL

ROAST POTATOES If you only have one oven, cook your roast potatoes the day before, then re-heat while the turkey is resting. Always blanch potatoes for 3-4 minutes before roasting to ensure your roasties are crispy outside and soft and creamy inside. Michael Caines - LYMPSTONE MANOR

GRAVY Make your gravy a week before and freeze it, then bring it out the night before to defrost. Paul Ainsworth - PAUL AINSWORTH AT NO.6 / THE MARINERS / MAHE / ROJANOS IN THE SQUARE


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YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS Make your Yorkshire pudding mix on Christmas eve. Allow the mix to rest in the fridge overnight and, on the day, pull it out about an hour before you’re ready to cook. Don’t forget to get your tins and oil nice and hot for the best results! Paul Ainsworth - PAUL AINSWORTH AT NO.6 / THE MARINERS / MAHE / ROJANOS IN THE SQUARE

BREAD SAUCE Bread sauce can be bought pre-prepared, but it is so simple to make from scratch and is guaranteed to taste better than the supermarket version. Use sourdough bread and infuse the milk with spices including cloves, cinnamon, mace and bay to add a depth of flavour. Jason Atherton – THE SOCIAL COMPANY

TURKEY Keep in mind that the turkey legs and breast are two totally different muscles, so to be at their absolute best they require two different cooking techniques. Ask your butcher to remove the crown, wishbone and the thigh bones from each leg, this will make carving easier after a few festive drinks! What I love to do with the de-boned turkey legs is stuff them with your favourite kind of sausage meat or sage and onion stuffing, add cranberries, apricots and classic Christmas spices. Roll this up, season with salt and pepper, brush with a little oil. Wrap in baking parchment and foil and its ready for the oven. This really packs in the flavour and is much quicker than cooking the whole bird on the bone. For the turkey crown, brining it ahead of time and basting throughout the cooking process results in the most beautifully moist and tender breast with golden skin. Paul Ainsworth - PAUL AINSWORTH AT NO.6 / THE MARINERS / MAHE / ROJANOS IN THE SQUARE HAM For Christmas I like to make food reminiscent to childhood and family gatherings, for example we always had a pineapple glazed ham. My Christmas tip would be to glaze your ham using tinned pineapple which I blitz it to puree, then add it to a simple caramel (heat caster sugar in a saucepan until golden). This makes a nice thick glaze ready to brush over your ham, which doesn’t run off the sides.

TURKEY ALTERNATIVES For a turkey alternative, but staying traditional, try a slow roast pork belly. This is what I’ll be serving for my family this year with roasted spiced quince and seasonal cabbage steamed and finished with orange, chilli and marjoram and potatoes roast with thyme and garlic. Salt your pork overnight along with thyme and garlic and roast in a very hot oven (220c) to get the skin very crispy. After 25 mins turn the heat down to 160c and finish cooking for a couple of hours until tender. 30 mins before taking it out, throw a quarter quince studded with cloves into the roasting tray to soften and soak up the pork juices. Ben Tish – NORMA, THE GAME BIRD AT THE STAFFORD


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VEGETERIANS We have lots of vegetarians on my wife’s side of the family and I always find a vegetarian wellington goes down a treat. Using different types of vegetables in different preparations makes it an interesting eat – I make a mushroom duxelle, confit some carrots and beets, then slice parsnip thinly. You can ultimately put anything in. Build it like a traditional wellington with pancakes and a good puff pastry. It’s a showstopper when it comes out of the oven and can be made in advance and cooked on the day. Paul Leonard - FOREST SIDE

MINCE PIES My secret Christmas tip is one for unbeatable mince pies that I came across whilst working in Australia. Simply put an over ripe banana into your mince mix, and it makes them extra gooey and super sticky! Oli Martin - HIPPING HALL

CHEESE Serving temperature is key! Make sure your cheese is room temperature when serving. Take it out of the fridge at the beginning of your meal so it has all the time it needs to temper. When quince season is here, keep it Christmassy and add spices. Gregory Marchand - FRENCHIE COVENT GARDEN

LEFTOVERS A great way to use up a ham hock is to shred the ham from the bone and then fry in a little oil until crispy. Serve crumbled over blanched hispi cabbage for the best Boxing Day dish. Tom Booton - THE GRILL AT THE DORCHESTER My favourite thing to make with Christmas leftovers is bubble and squeak with the leftover vegetables and protein. Fry off some onions and smoked bacon until starting to colour, and then add leftover potatoes, vegetables and chopped meat. Transfer these to a tray and bake until golden and crispy on top. Serve with a fried duck egg with a runny yolk for a self-saucing feast. Scott Paton - BORINGDON HALL


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Christmas Hare Plate, £24.95, Annabel James

Christmas Star Plate, £7, John Lewis

Emma Bridgewater Bring in the Green Mince Pies Plate, £17.95, www.emmabridgewater.co.uk

Serve it Up Let the feast begin with festive tableware, what will you serve your mince pies on?

Emma Bridgewater Winterberry Serving Plate, £59.95, www.emmabridgewater.co.uk

Mince Pie Plate, £6, John Lewis I Spies Mince Pies Plate

Robin Plate, POA, Homesense

Sophie Allport Holly & Berry Side Plate, £12.50, www.sophieallport.com

Sophie Allport Home For Christmas Plate, £12.50, www.sophieallport.com

Silver reindeer Plate, £16.99, Homesense


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Turkey Carbonara with Rice A great Boxing Day supper using leftover turkey meat in a creamy white wine, pancetta and Parmigiano sauce.

Ingredients

450g Cooked Leftover Turkey Meat 80g pack Pancetta Strips 1 Chicken Stock Cube 300ml Double Cream 1 tsp Dijon Mustard 1 Large Onion, thinly sliced 35g Parmigiano, grated 1 tsp Paprika 120ml White Wine 20ml Lemon Juice 320g Long Grain Rice 150g Mangetout 25g Butter 15ml Olive Oil Black Pepper

Method

Slice the pancetta into small pieces. In a large frying pan or wok, melt the butter and olive oil and sautĂŠ the pancetta and onion until browned.

Add the white wine, cream, paprika, lemon juice, mustard, crumbled stock cube and season with some black pepper. Add the Parmigiano to the pan and gently melt.

Cook the rice as per the instructions on the pack. Cook the mangetout in some salted boiling water. Add the turkey meat to the sauce and gently heat through. Serve on a bed of rice alongside the mangetout. Recipe from www.aldi.co.uk


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Roasted Stuffed Butternut Squash Prepare this stunning centrepiece to impress your vegetarian guests on Christmas day.

Ingredients

All to be sourced organic where possible 1 large Butternut squash Caramelised onions 2 red onions, sliced fine 5 tbsp coconut sugar 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar 150g Basmati/Wild Rice, cooked 150g chestnuts. roughly chopped 75g dried apricots, chopped 150g mixed nuts, roughly chopped Pinch Cayenne pepper Pinch Paprika Juice half a lemon Pinch salt & pepper Pinch dried sage 160g mushrooms 1 tsp roasted garlic 6 sun-dried tomatoes, re-hydrated 4 peppers, roasted, skin removed 2 handfuls baby spinach 5 tbsp cranberry sauce

Method

Split the squash in half length ways, place into a baking tray & bake for 45 minutes or until just soft. Pre-heat a non-stick sauce pan, add the sliced onion & allow to sweat for 5 minutes. Add the balsamic & sugar then cook for a further 10 minutes over a low heat until nicely caramelised. Then remove from the heat.

Mix together the rice ingredients until fully incorporated & set aside. For the mushrooms, pre heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add a touch a water, followed by the mushrooms, seasoning & dried garlic. SautĂŠ for 4-5 minutes until cooked. When the squash has cooled slightly, scoop out the seeds then scoop a 2 cm channel of flesh out of the squash and add that to the rice bowl. To build the squash, first spoon in some cranberry sauce, followed by the rice mix. Top with the peppers, onions, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes & spinach. Carefully place the top half of the squash on. Tie the squash together then roast for a further 15 minutes. Carve & serve.


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Ginger Slice Whether it’s gingerbread men or German Lebkuchen, ginger is an essential flavour of Christmas.

Ingredients 75g unsalted butter 130g xylitol sugar alternative (available in supermarkets and health stores) 4 large eggs 1 tsp ground ginger 1.5 tsp mixed spice 170g ground almonds 1.5 tsp baking powder 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method Pre heat oven to 180C /160C Fan / Gas 4 and line an 8 inch square tin. Melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave and add the xylitol and whisk to combine. Spoon into a mixer and add the eggs one at a time whilst whisking slowly.

Add the almonds, baking powder, spices and vanilla, mix until smooth. Use a spatula to ensure all the mixture has been taken from the sides. Pour into the lined tin and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully cover with foil and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tinfor 20 minutes, remove and leave to cool on a wire rack. Slice into 9 pieces


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Perfect your Parfait this Christmas!

Whittlebury Park’s Head Pastry Chef, Ben Clark, is feeling festive and has a shared a tasty way of using up left-over Christmas pudding and transforming it into a decadent desert.

Ingredients:

250g Christmas pudding 625ml cream 188g caster sugar 30ml water 12 egg yolks 55ml brandy

Method:

Break up the Christmas pudding into small pieces and add to the cream, begin to whip until it forms soft peaks. In a machine bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Mix water and sugar together in a small pan and bring to the boil. With a thermometer, make sure the sugar is at 118c, and pour into the whisked egg yolks, this is called a pate bombe. Continue to whisk until cold. Mix the cream and egg yolk mixture together. Pour into a large Christmas pudding mould and freeze overnight. Demould and serve on a festive or decorative plate. When serving, for added theatre, pour brandy on top and flambĂŠ

Whittlebury, Towcester NN12 8QH www.whittlebury.com


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Winter Rose

Don’t confine the seductive pale pink hues of Vins de Provence Rosé to summer drinking they’re just as perfect for winter especially Christmastime

Every Week

Sunday lunch

Only £11.95 for a main course sunday roast.

Light Bites Lunch

Over 30 Dishes between £4 and £10, Served Monday to Saturday 12-5 pm

Two for Tuesday

Buy one get one Free on all Main Courses served 12-9

Thirsty Thursday

Half price drinks every Thursday 4pm-6.30 pm with free nibbles

Fish & Chips

Every Friday 12 - 9pm Beer Battered Fish & Chips

01234 781 678

info@millhouse-riverside.co.uk www.millhouse-riverside.co.uk millhouse_hotel

Millhouse Hotel and Riverside Restaurant Mill Road, Sharnbrook, Bedford MK44 1NP

Mascaronne Quat’Saisons, Côtes de Provence, 2018 Rosé will adapt seamlessly to whatever you’re serving this Christmas. Smoked salmon blinis match perfectly with drier styles, which cut through oily fish dishes perfectly. Or if you’re having gravy and heavier sides, a slightly fuller bodied Vins de Provence Rosé will stand up to the richness without complaint. Bursting with flavours of lemon and peach, this is a fantastic Rosé to pair with your centrepiece, be it turkey, fish, gammon or vegetarian! £41.99, www.ocado.com

Charmeur, Château Sainte Croix, Côtes de Provence, 2018 As its name suggests, this wine charms the palate with a gorgeous blend of creamy, leafy red fruits and a lovely backbone of freshness. Finely balanced and smooth, it’s a real party favourite. £13.68, Private Cellar

L’Excellence, Château SaintMaur, Côtes de Provence, 2018 Fine floral notes and hints of white stone fruits on the palate reach a satisfying crisp and minerally finish. Just the light relief you need after hectic family gatherings. £17.84, Premiers Grands Crus


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Deck the Halls We have it all, wreaths, crackers, garlands and more

Laura Ashley


Door Candy

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Ring in the Festive Season with one of these elegant, luxurious wreaths

Citrus & Spice Wreath, £85, The Real Flower Company

Red Antique & Plum Wreath, £115, The Real Flower Company

Frosted Eucalyptus Wreath, £32, Marquis & Dawe

Gisela Graham Shiny Berry Wreath, £45, Amara

Pheasant Feather Wreath, £175, Berries & Baubles

Twig Vegetable Wreath, £19.99, Waitrose

Pinecones and Spruce Wreath, £35, Clem & Co

Black Grevillia and Pussiwillow Wreath, £79, Berries & Baubles


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www.lights4fun.co.uk


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Gold Confetti Filled Crackers (Set 6), £9.99, Ginger Ray

Cracking Christmas

No Christmas dining table would be complete without a few crackers to pull, here’s some of our favourites

Luxury Gold Leopard Crackers (Set 6), £45, Cox & Cox

Garden Crackers (Set of 6), £29.95, Annabel James

Sophie Allport Home For Christmas Crackers (Pack 6), £16, www.sophieallport.com.

Sophie Allport Bubbles & Fizz Crackers (Set Of 6), £16, www.sophieallport.com

Nutcracker Crackers (Set 4), £23, Amara

Luxe-Crackers (Set 6), £88, Amara

Luxury Menagerie Crackers (Set 6), £45, Cox & Cox


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Garland of Joy

Drape across your fireplace, wrap around your Christmas tree or loop around your staircase, garlands are the only way to deck your halls this season

Snowscape Bauble Garland, £30, John Lewis

Eucalyptus Garland, £24.99, www.Lights4fun.co.uk

Bell Garland, £12, Amara

Gold Garland, £20, Amara

Pom Pom Garland, £15,

Pom Pom Tassel Garlands, £20, Cox & Cox

Mini Cone & Fir & Red Berry Garland, £21, Gisela Graham

Multi Colour Bauble & Tinsel Garland, £30, Gisela Graham


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WIN Two Tickets for an Immersive Dining Experience Onboard The Murder Express oard onto a 19th Century train carriage at Pedley Street Station, indulge in a four-course meal curated by MasterChef 2017 finalist, Louisa Ellis, and travel to Murdér, France. Despite the name, there’s never been a murder on this journey. That being said, there’s a first time for everything…

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Immersive dining experts Funicular are transporting passengers back to the glamour of the 19th century, with ‘The Murdér Express'. Guests will enjoy delectable cocktails at Pedley Street Station’s ‘Seven Sins’ bar before boarding a lavish train carriage destined for the fictional town of Murdér in France. Whilst on board, you’ll be treated to a brand new four-course meal created by MasterChef finalist Louisa Ellis. The indulgent four-course meal is suitable for all dietary requirements and will feature delicious Mushroom Duxelles Crostini, fragrant Parsnip and Maple Velouté, succulent 3 Bird Roast, Cauliflower, Truffle Pomme Puree, Chestnuts & Hispi Cabbage. Speculoos and Oat Crack Pie.

On the journey, guests will be joined by an East End costermonger, a music hall star, a widow in search of adventure and a local antique dealer. They’d better hope that The Murdér Express isn’t as ominous as it sounds, because if there is evil afoot, everyone is a suspect.

‘The Murdér Express' is departing from 15th November - 26th April 2020. Tickets are available from £57. For more information, please visit www.funicularproductions.com


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We’ve teamed up with Funicular Productions to offer one lucky reader a pair of tickets to enjoy this immersive experience. Tickets will include a welcome drink as you arrive at the station, before stepping onboard The Murder Express and indulging in a delicious four-course meal, whilst watching the plot unfold before your eyes. To be in with a chance of winning, tell us “What station do you board The Murder Express at?” A). Victoria Street B). Euston C). Pendley Street

Send your answers to jane@affinitymag.co.uk

The winner will be drawn at random from all entries received by midnight on 20th December 2019 - Good Luck!


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Fry’s Footie Corner England have qualified for next summer’s European Championships and I for one, believe they have an excellent chance of being successful. It has been decades since the national side failed to qualify for a major tournament and Gareth Southgate’s men once again breezed through the process with only a defeat against the Czech Republic on their CV. I believe this young, exciting crop of players can build on the semi-final defeat at the World Cup. Why? Because they will be stronger from that experience. Not only that, but we have players emerging in key areas. Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of the best young talents in the world, James Maddison will be at the top of his powers and Harry Kane is still the best finisher and has an unbelievably good record of goals per game both for his club and country. Not only that, but when you look at the competition, I don’t think there is anyone who should scare us. Germany are in transition, Spain are not the force they once was, Belgium haven’t kicked on from when they emerged as a powerhouse and Italy, whilst they breezed through qualifying, don’t have any individual players that would strike any fear into you.

The French still look the best equipped to cause problems, but they always seem to have in-fighting and they are definitely beatable. So this is the time to shine. Yes, there is a little way to the tournament and injuries could hamper our development, but if you are asking me now, right now, if I think England can win the Euros, then the answer is a resounding yes. Moving closer to home, the transfer window is about to open. That means a mad scramble for signings. This particular window is one of panic. Often teams buy and sell like a stockbroker. The best window is one that is considered, one that is planned. Nobody likes a panic buy. For us at Peterborough United, we don’t want to lose our best players. Equally though, there is plenty of interest. When you are one of the top scorers in the country, you expect that interest. We are used to it now though. There isn’t a window that goes by without a bid for one of our key players. We have plans. We have contingencies. We will wait and see what happens. Have a Footballtastic Festive Season

Barry Fry


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Christmas Jumper, £16, Primark

The Greatest Snowman Jumper, £25, Topman

Flamingo Light Jumper, £22, Tu, Sainsbury's

Christmas Fun Get into the swing of the festive season with our pick of Christmas jumpers just for him.

Fluffy Reindeer Jumper, £25, Burton

Misletoad & Wine Jumper, £25, Burton Home Alone Christmas Jumper, £36, Next

The Grinch Christmas Jumper, £36, Next

Next Reindeer Light Up Jumper, £36, Next


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TRAVEL

Switzerland


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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas at

The Ampersand Hotel hristmas is just 23 days away, but it’s not too late time to start planning your festive getaway and seasonal parties. Whether you are looking for a sumptuous suite a snowball’s throw from London’s finest Christmas attractions or a place to recharge after a day shopping, The Ampersand Hotel is the perfect place to celebrate.

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A Winter Wonderland Set in the heart of South Kensington, The Ampersand Hotel is ideally located to experience the best that London has to offer at Christmas. A short walk from Knightsbridge, guests can enjoy Harrods’ Christmas decorations and festive shopping in the abundance of luxury and boutique stores.

On the doorstep of Hyde Park, why not merrily immerse yourself in a Bavarian-style Christmas market with a glass of mulled wine or a hot chocolate before enjoying the fairground rides at Winter Wonderland (21 November – 5 January). With the hotel just a three-minute walk away from the Natural History Museum, you can also get your skates on at the famous seasonal ice-rink (19 October – 12 January). If you’re looking for a more relaxed trip, The Ampersand Hotel neighbours the Royal Albert Hall where kid’s can join Father Christmas in his Sleigh (5 December – 22 December) before

enjoying carols by candlelight (21 - 24 December).

After a chilly day exploring London’s festive sights, why not warm-up in The Ampersand Hotel’s restaurant, Apero, with a cocktail menu featuring Seasonal Bellinis and Snowy Peaks (Chase vodka with Briottet Lychee, strawberry purée & rose sugar).

I’m Dreaming of an Ampersand Christmas The Ampersand Hotel’s luxury bedrooms range from intimate doubles to perfectly appointed suites with freestanding baths, king-size beds, and private balconies. Individually- styled taking inspiration from the surrounding area, all bedrooms boast sumptuous sheets, plush pillows and magnificent mattresses alongside LCD TVs with movies on demand, Nespresso coffee machines and L’Occitane toiletries. If you’re travelling with children, The Ampersand Hotel has considered your every need offering interconnecting rooms, children’s toiletries and child sized bathrobes and slippers on request. Superior rooms start from £268 including VAT per room per night. Balconied suites start from £454 including VAT. Both rates exclude breakfast.


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Good Tidings We Bring For those planning a festive get together, The Ampersand Hotel offers three private event spaces, available for hire separately or together and all decorated in eclectic Ampersand style, perfect for holding a work event or intimate dinner. . Guests who hire The Ampersand Hotel’s event spaces will be able to feast on a selection of festive favourites hand-picked to create a luxurious three-course Christmas menu, including beetroot tarte tatin, Roast Norfolk Black Turkey comes with all the trimmings and indulgent desserts including dark chocolate yule log with clementine sorbet. The event menu is available for £40pp or £65pp including prosecco on arrival, half bottle of house wine and Christmas crackers (minimum 8 guests).

A Christmas Gift For those looking to give a special gift to a loved one this Christmas, The Ampersand Hotel offers a variety of gift vouchers for its award-winning Science Afternoon Tea inspired by the neighbouring Natural History and Science Museum. Alongside a delicious selection of seasonal sandwiches, quiches and warm scones, guests can enjoy expertly-crafted pastries including white chocolate coconut sponge with vanilla buttercream, dust for mini dinosaur biscuit ‘fossils’ hidden beneath chocolate soil, and be transported with Milky Way macaroons and chocolate spacemen. Gift vouchers are available to buy via www.ampersandhotel.com/offers-gifts/ www.ampersandhotel.com


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Snow Without the Ski at

San Luis Retreat, Merano modern fairy-tale retreat, San Luis located in South Tyrol is a property like no other. The perfect winter destination for a snowy escape without the ski. Instead, ice skate on the frozen lake, snowshoe on the many enchanting trails or simply relax in indoor-outdoor spa.

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At San Luis, guests arrive through serpentine roads and dense forest to the peace of luxury treehouses and lakeside chalets built from local wood with a modern interior design – black slate, raw linen, glass walls, high beamed ceilings, open fires and handmade furniture. Breakfast is served in your room and lunch and dinner are served in the main clubhouse in front of a roaring fire.

Even the spa at San Luis blends perfectly into the landscape, with open fireplaces, an inside-outside pool, hot-tubs sunk into the lake and natural therapies using local herbs and oils. Located in Northern Italy, close to the Austrian border, this is Alpine

chic for those in search of tranquillity. You can lose yourself here, clear your mind and feed your soul.

For something a little different, visit the Knottnkino Natural Theatre, located between the villages of Avelengo and Verano, 30 cinema seats designed by artist Franz Messner are positioned for hikers to sit, reflect and enjoy the changing views of the valley below.

The beautiful area of South Tyrol has some wonderful activities year-round and a diverse food and wine culture, thanks to its unique proximity to the Austrian and German border. Boasting the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy and the small Alto Adige wine region which fosters over 20 grape varieties. Treehouses start from â‚Ź305 per person per night. For further information, visit sanluis-hotel.com.


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Find Your Sparkle With

Jumeirah Frankfurt This Festive Season umeirah Frankfurt, one of Frankfurt's most luxurious hotels located in the heart of the city, has unveiled the ultimate Christmas Market package to help guests get into the festive spirit. With special advent brunches and one of Europe's largest Christmas markets on the hotel's doorstep, head to Frankfurt for some fun this festive season.

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Located just a stone's throw from the hotel, the Frankfurt Christmas market is one of the largest and most beautiful markets in Europe, taking place from 25 November to 22 December 2019. With Yuletide treats, decorations and gifts, guests can spend the day in the never-ending stream of stalls dotted around the world renowned Römerberg and St Paul's squares. With so much to discover, the hotel's concierge team is at hand to ensure they make the most of their market visit; so whether mulled wine is on the mind underneath the huge illuminated Christmas tree or last minute present hunting is a priority, this market will undoubtedly leave guests feeling in the festive spirit.

At the hotel, there's a whole variety of festivities to enjoy as well... Guests can start the day off with an advent brunch which includes live cooking stations and a kid's corner. After a day exploring the

Christmas markets, guests will be able to relax in the Talise Spa's sauna and then tuck into a three-course dinner at the Max on One Grillroom where there will be a range of festive treats on the menu, with everything from succulent duck to the hotel's 'chocolate beacon' dessert. A special Christmas amenity, including a sweet surprise will also be gifted to those staying at the hotel who book the Christmas Market package.

For those looking for the ultimate winter wonderland escape, Jumeirah Frankfurt is the perfect option and is just a short flight from the UK. Book the Christmas Market package from just £258. The 'Christmas Market' package includes the following: • Accommodation in the respective room category • Christmas Amenity • Breakfast at the signature restaurant for two guests • 3-course dinner (excluding beverages) • Complimentary high-speed wi-fi access • Complimentary access for adults (above 18 years) to the adjacent Fitness First Frankfurt - MyZeil with swimming pool For more information or to book, Visit www.jumeirah.com


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The Merriest of Pantos


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Don’t miss the ultimate pantomime adventure onboard the flying carpet at Milton Keynes Theatre this December. Starring Joe Pasquale, the star of stage, screen, reality TV and blissfully funny comedy, will lead the cast in the role of Aladdin’s hapless brother, Wishee Washee. Joe is well-known and best-loved for being one of the hardest-working and top-selling live comedians in British comedy today. He’s been delighting audiences for more than 20 years with his live stand-up tours and infectious sense of fun. Along the way he’s voiced characters for Hollywood movies, toured in several major theatrical productions including Mel Brooks’ The Producers, starred in the West End production of Spamalot (and brought the show to Milton Keynes) and has been crowned King of the Jungle in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me out Of Here. Joe has appeared at five Royal Variety Performances and toured the UK in a live stage incarnation of the classic sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em in the iconic role of Frank Spencer. MKT panto audiences won’t know what’s hit them! Best-known for winning the BBC talent show Any Dream

Will Do, Lee Mead plays our hero, Aladdin. Lee won the title role in the West End revival of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to rave reviews. Since then he has had lead roles in Wicked and Legally Blonde in the West End, released several solo albums and toured extensively. No stranger to pantomime, Lee has starred in six Qdos Entertainment pantomimes, including his star turn as Prince Charming in their critically acclaimed production of Cinderella at the London Palladium. Lee starred as Ben “Lofty” Chiltern in Casualty, being nominated for various national Best Newcomer television awards, a role he now reprises in the popular BBC spin-off series, Holby City. Aladdin features all of the ingredients of a perfect pantomime; a fabulous cast and orchestra, laugh out loud comedy, bundles of audience participation, stunning scenery, and special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses for all the family to enjoy. Book your tickets now for a flying carpet adventure of your life! Aladdin runs at Milton Keynes Theatre from Saturday 7 December 2019 until Sunday 12 January 2020. Tickets are on sale now at www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes.

WIN! A Family Ticket to the Panto!

We have a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) to giveaway for this year’s fun filled panto on Friday 10th January. To be in with a chance of winning, tell us “what’s the name of Aladdin’s brother?” and send your answers to jane@affinitymag.co.uk - Winners will be drawn on Christmas Eve (24th December) – GOOD LUCK!


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STARS Manish Kumar Arora (K.P. Astrologer, Numerologist, Tarot Card Reader & Vastu Consultant) reveals what’s in store for you this month

Sagittarius (22 November - 21 December) You could find that you are pressured when it comes to how you go about achieving your goals on a business level, as well as on a personal level. You may feel confused, moody, and vulnerable. Your belief systems and personal philosophies are especially important to you, and you are more inclined to share them with those younger than you. Romance in general is more animated and spirited. Favourable Dates: December 4, 5, 13, 14, 22, 23 Favourable Colours: Red & Yellow


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Capricorn (22 December – 19 January) There is a beautiful synergy at work that leverages the right mix of talents, experiences, abilities and skills. You may meet new acquaintances who help you to further your goals, or you could join a new group or association that gives you considerable pleasure and satisfaction. Confidence is the key–faith in the universe and in your ability to do the right thing instinctually will get you everywhere now. Favourable Dates: December 4, 5, 13, 14, 22, 23 Favourable Colours: Red & Yellow

Aquarius (20 January – 18 February) You feel more connected with your natural instincts during this period, which boosts your confidence in your own already uncanny intuition. You may make little changes to your personal appearance or to your mannerisms that reflect the changes going on inside. For some, romance may be somewhat lacking or a romantic relationship could be more practical than fun. For others, a romantic relationship stabilizes and becomes more serious. Favourable Dates: December 1, 8, 10, 17, 19, 26 Favourable Colours: Red & Blue

Pisces (19 February – 20 March) You have the tools to improve your income at this time, and the problems that crop up only serve to push you in the right direction, towards financial independence. Some of you may be promoted or your career takes a new direction. People see your charm and appeal, and they value you for your sparkling personality. Inner strength and control is the name of the game, and this is an ideal time to develop these qualities. Favourable Dates: December 1, 7, 10, 16, 19, 25 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Blue

Aries (21 March – 19 April) This is a period in which your belief systems and personal philosophies are especially important to you, and you are more inclined to share them with those younger than you. It’s an excellent time for travel, higher education, communications, and higher learning. Expanding your social circle is bound to expand your happiness and satisfaction from more broad-ranging experiences and perspectives. Favourable Dates: December 2, 6, 11, 15, 20, 24 Favourable Colours: Blue & Green Taurus (20 April – 20 May) You are in the position to inspire others through what you create this month. You are bound to reach a broader audience if you do, and the feedback will feed the flames of your own inspiration. Your ideals are higher than usual, teaching may be part of the picture, and your cultural and spiritual awareness increases. Confidence is the key–faith in your ability to do the right thing instinctually will get you everywhere now. Favourable Dates: December 3, 7, 12, 16, 21, 25 Favourable Colours: Red & White Gemini (21 May – 20 June) You may expand your associations with others through new acquaintances or group activity and can derive much pleasure and satisfaction, even joy through these connections. On a personal level issues of trust and control

come into play, and they cause you to feel somewhat confused. This can affect your sexual expression as well. Favourable Dates: December 2, 9, 11, 18, 20, 29 Favourable Colours: Red & Blue

Cancer (21 June – 22 July) You are more determined to achieve your personal goals, and more strategic in the manner you go about doing so. Pouring your heart and soul into your efforts comes naturally now. You are drawn to people who are freespirited. Friends or group associations may be catalysts for this new self-expression. You have a strong ability to see each person for who they are as unique individuals, and this helps endear you to others. Favourable Dates: December 3, 4, 12, 13, 21, 22 Favourable Colours: White & Grey Leo (23 July – 22 August) Your overall perspective on life has been expanding, and you are more willing to embrace unusual, mystical, or spiritual philosophies. The direction your life is taking on a more philosophical level is what is on your mind these days, and you’re looking for something profound and deep. Adjustments need to be made in your intimate relationships in order to get to a “place” where you feel more free to relax and be yourself. Favourable Dates: December 5, 7, 14, 16, 23, 25 Favourable Colours: Green & Yellow

Virgo (23 August – 22 September) Your imagination is fertile, and you view your pastimes and the entertainment with open eyes. Your goals become more realistic, and you have a good sense of where you stand. Although personal relationships may have some restricting or tense moments, you learn more about how far you can go, and you come out stronger. If single, you might establish a serious romance or meet a more mature or older lover. Favourable Dates: December 1, 3, 10, 12, 19, 23 Favourable Colours: White & Red

Libra (23 September – 22 October) You have a greater desire to get away, expand your horizons, and broaden your life experiences. This influence often correlates with a time when you are more able to get away from the daily routine. You may have to make some critical decisions due to situations in your life that force you to make choices between career and family goals. This is a good month for attracting what you want and improving your relations with others. Favourable Dates: December 2, 3, 11, 12, 20, 21 Favourable Colours: White & Blue

Scorpio (23 October – 21 November) It’s a good time to simply work hard and get your life organized for better times to come. Your career dreams may be just in reach, and you are bound to be working hard, with new responsibilities and increased focus. Your powers of attraction are high. This is an opportune time to explore love. You have a strong ability to see each person for who they are as unique individuals, and this helps endear you to others. Favourable Dates: December 3, 5, 12, 14, 21, 23 Favourable Colours: Brown & Blue

manishastroconsultant manish@manishastrologer.com


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Weekend Starts Here....

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Celebrate Christmas with the ultimate Shopaholic! The brilliant laugh-out-loud festive novel from the Number One bestselling author. Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It's always the same - Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers. And now it's even easier with online bargain-shopping sites - if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted! But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky's parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she'll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong? With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper - surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear . . . Will chaos ensue, or will Becky manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas?

Jumanji: The Next Level In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape the world's most dangerous game. Release Date: 13th December

The Informer Pete Koslow (Joel Kinnaman) is a former special operations soldier and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. After serving time for killing a man in a bar fight, while trying to protect his wife Sofia (Ana de Armas), Pete now works as a drug courier for the Polish mafia in New York, a cartel run by The General (Eugene Lipinski). But Pete is also an informant for the FBI, providing information to Agent Erica Wilcox (Rosamund Pike), about The General for an off-the-books operation, aiming to lead to his arrest. But when the FBI’s operation goes wrong, resulting in the death of an undercover NYPD cop, Detective Edward Grens (Common) begins to investigate the murder, mistakenly believing Pete to be responsible. Pete is coerced by the FBI into returning to the prison where he previously served time, to take down the cartel from the inside. When the FBI cut him loose, the only way he can save himself and his family is to escape from prison. Release Date: 30th December


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Affinity Luxury Lifestyle Magazine December 2019  

Affinity is a premium quality luxury lifestyle monthly magazine. Targeting men and women who aspire to a luxury way of life.

Affinity Luxury Lifestyle Magazine December 2019  

Affinity is a premium quality luxury lifestyle monthly magazine. Targeting men and women who aspire to a luxury way of life.

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