Gifts for Wish Lists
SPARKLE & SHINE
Tis the season to sparkle! Sequins are SO in right now and NEXT has an abundance of eye-catching pieces to help get you dressed up, for any festive occasion. From the prettiest puff-sleeve dresses, to stand out suiting...and not forgetting killer accessories, there’s the *perfect* piece for every party!
a simple way to elevate any outfit! Discover
Get your glam game on with NX makeup! Whether you’re wanting a touch of champagne shimmer or high impact ‘holly-berry’ lips; you are going to want to fill your makeup bag with these festive favourites this Christmas (and all year round).
GREEK CUISINE, IN THE HEART OF SOUTHGATE, NORTH LONDON.
Here at Close Up, we absolutely positively whole-heartedly LOVE Christmas. And we want to share this love of Christmas with you. You probably noticed this about us when you saw our Christmas tree reveal mid-November.
What do you love best about Christmas? The delicious smells wafting from the kitchen, fairy lights becoming our main source of illumination and that repeated rendition of “Jingle Bells” in every shop as Bublé and Mariah emerge from hibernation just in time for the festive season. It’s favourite smells, tastes, sounds and personal traditions that make the celebrations so very special. I even enjoy the frustration of sitting on my living room floor surrounded by awkwardly-cut wrapping paper, cello tape stuck on my clothes, and a light dusting of glitter on every conceivable surface as I attempt to ‘neatly’ wrap a present for the hundredth time. When was the last time you played a board game? Probably last Christmas. Whichever one your family traditionally opts for – charades, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, the million-pieced puzzle with the vital piece missing – games are a great way of getting everyone together for some good old fashioned fun and, most likely, a row. Bad feelings from the latter never last long though. Because as we're reminded at the time: it's only A GAME.
The build-up to the big day seems to start earlier every year. I begin thinking about our Christmas Edition as early as March! So much effort from everyone in the team goes into this fabulous festive edition, as well as the contributors. For me, it captures all that’s beautiful about the festivities sparkling on the horizon. In the spirit of working to this deadline we have created some gorgeous last minute decorating schemes to instantly fill your home with Christmas cheer. We’ll let you into a little secret: WE LOVE CHRISTMAS! From choosing the colour schemes for the tree decorations, secret Santa scandals and gift guides, to planning the feast and setting the table – which happens about a week before… You’ll find everything you need in this magazine to celebrate your best-ever Christmas with family and friends.
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year from me and the team at Close Up magazine.
Until next year,
YSL Crush Mono Eyeshadow £27
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place £37.50
Benefit Brow Microfilling Pen £23.50
Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base £48.50
MAC MACStack Mascara £26
Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer £35.50
Dior Addict Lipstick £34
MAC Fix + Stay Over £26
Harry Styles A GLOBAL ICON
The 28-year-old singer-songwriter (slash, these days, actor) released his album Harry’s House earlier this year, to mega-success (his single, ‘As It Was’, became the most-streamed track on Spotify within 24 hour of release). ‘As It Was’ won him a whole new fanbase.
At 28, Styles has unlocked a new level of stardom for himself. Years ago, he regularly filled stadiums as a member of One Direction, his former boy band. This year, he’s playing them on his own. “As It Was” has become his hugest song yet, setting streaming records and topping the charts in more than two dozen countries, including 10 weeks straight in the U.S. While Harry has long been the subject of teenage girl fantasies (being in one of the world’s most successful boybands, and having that tousled hair, will do that), many have refused to engage with him as much more than a pretty teen idol. But he can feel the tides change in curious ways. “’As It Was’ is definitely the highest volume of men that I would get stopping me to say something about it,” he notes. “That feels like a weird comment because it’s not like men was the goal. It’s just something I noticed.”
“This is my favourite album at the moment, and I love it so much,” he told Zane Lowe during an interview, adding that he didn’t expect it to be a full LP. “I was kind of like, ‘It’d be really fun to make an album called Harry’s
House, and thought about it being this smaller thing. And then it was back to that thing of, ‘Maybe that’s an album I’ll make in four years or five years or whatever.’”
“As I started making the album, I realized it wasn’t about the geographical location. It’s much more of an internal thing. When I took that title, put it to the songs we were making, it felt like it took on this whole new meaning and it was about - imagine it’s a day in my house. What do I go through? A day in my mind, what do I go through in my house? I’m playing fun music. I’m playing sad music. I’m playing this, I’m playing that. Feeling stuff. Kind of like a day in the life. I like all of that stuff.”
Calling the album “much more intimate,” and the creative process “so much more intimately made,” Harry echoes what he told Better Homes and Gardens back in April where he said, “It sounds like the biggest, and the most fun, but it’s by far the most intimate. Finally, it doesn’t feel like my life is over if this album isn’t a commercial success.”
Finally, IT DOESN’T FEEL like my life is over IF THIS ALBUM ISN’T A commercial success.”
Harry performed his first show for his latest album earlier this year in New York. At the end of the performance, fans noticed something different about the encore: Styles didn’t end with his usual closer, “Kiwi”; instead, he opted to finish the night with a second performance of his new single “As It Was,” his dance-through-the-tears pandemic reflection on isolation and change. When he played it, the crowd exploded in a way even Styles had never experienced. It left him a bit shaken.
“We came offstage, and I went into my dressing room and just wanted to sit by myself for a minute,” “After One Direction, I didn’t expect to ever experience anything new. I kind of felt like, ‘All right, I’ve seen how crazy it can get.’ And I think there was something about it where I was… not terrified, but I just needed a minute. Because I wasn’t sure what it was. Just that the energy felt insane.”
Now, besides the singles and the victory-lap world tour, there are other indicators of next-level stardom: his skin-care, nail-polish, and clothing line called Pleasing and a fashion collection with Gucci, not to mention his flourishing movie career. “Everything in my life has felt like a bonus since X-Factor,” he says, referring to the singing competition that led directly to One Direction. “Get on TV and sing. I never expected and never thought that would happen.”
Styles became a leading man when he was four years old, starring in a play called Barney the Church Man. Later, he transformed into Buzz Lightyear in a production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang “because Buzz Lightyear was in the toy shop for some reason.” His other early theatre credits include: Razamatazz in Bugsy Malone (“the band leader”) and the Elvis-inspired Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. (He would later audition for Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, but was deemed too iconic by the director.)
Other than that, acting wasn’t really part of his life plan. He liked it, but he found a new rush when he started performing with his band White Eskimo. When they debuted at — and won — a Battle of the Bands competition, it was the first time he felt “the switch”: his teachers looking up at him, instead of vice versa. “I think I was just a showoff,” he says, with a hint of cheekiness. “I say that like it’s past tense.”
But as Styles was preparing the release of his solo debut in 2017, he took his first venture back into acting, with a supporting role in Christopher Nolan’s war epic Dunkirk. (The director said he had no idea how famous Styles was when he cast him.) By the time Marvel recruited him to become Eros, director Chloé Zhao had no one else but Styles in mind for the role.
Styles’ role in Dunkirk grabbed Olivia Wilde’s attention as she was beginning to map out Don’t Worry Darling. He was an early contender for the role of Jack, a charming but secretive husband to Florence Pugh’s increasingly troubled Alice. And Styles had plenty of reasons to be interested in Don’t Worry Darling. “I’d wanted to act again,” Styles says.
He proved perfect for the role of Jack, who’s brought Alice to the remote, fictional American town of Victory to work on a secret project the men at the company won’t tell their wives about. Jack’s become a star employee and is desperate for his boss’s approval. “We were looking for someone with
innate warmth and palpable charm,” Wilde says. “The entire story depended on the audience believing in Jack.”
Within weeks, Styles went from the set of Darling to shooting the more intimate My Policeman. He had read the script the year prior, moved by the story enough to have contacted director Michael Grandage and request a meeting. Styles showed up with every line memorized.
Styles plays Tom, a policeman who develops feelings for a museum curator named Patrick (David Dawson). Set in the Fifties, when it was still illegal to be in a same-sex relationship in the U.K., the pair move in secret while Tom pursues a marriage with a schoolteacher named Marion (Emma Corrin). The film shifts between the past and the present, when the three reunite under dire circumstances. “It’s obviously pretty unfathomable now to think, ‘Oh, you couldn’t be gay. That was illegal,’” Styles says. “I think everyone, including myself, has your own journey with figuring out sexuality and getting more comfortable with it.” To him, My Policeman is a very human story. “It’s not like ‘This is a gay story about these guys being gay.’ It’s about love and about wasted time to me.”
He doesn’t rule out taking on new roles. “I think there’ll be a time again when I’ll crave it,” he says. “But when you’re making music, something’s happening. It feels really creative, and it feeds stuff. A large part of acting is the doing-nothing, waiting thing. Which if that’s the worst part, then it’s a pretty good job. But I don’t find that section of it to be that fulfilling. I like doing it in the moment, but I don’t think I’ll do it a lot.”
“After One Direction, I DIDN’T EXPECT TO EVER experience anything new . ”
Stay snug this winter in your favourite pair of luxe pyjamas. We have rounded up the ultimate sleep saviours just in time for the toasty nights ahead as we get closer to Christmas.
With party season drawing near, you may be wondering how to find an after-dark look that truly stands out from the crowd. As old-world glamour and a ‘more-is-more’ approach continue to dominate the season, styles swathed in sparkle are the perfect way to make a showstopping entrance.
Festive Fashion & FunBY YASMIN DEVONPORT @yasmindevonport_
Feathers, Sequins & Sparkles!
It’s that time of year where anything goes; pjs as partywear wear; sparkles as sleepwear and most of all the brighter the better! But remember, you wear the outfit! The outfit doesn’t wear you!
Silver: will always be my go to colour at Christmas. A barely there metallic silver heel serves any outfit paired with a matching bag!
A tennis necklace will elevate every outfit for each Christmas occasion. Swarovski & Heavenly necklaces have some fabulous finds!
If you’re heading to your work do, remember: Black, red or a wide leg! Pair a red dress with a red coat for an elevated look or a black velvet trouser with a blazer for a subtle yet sexy look.
Also, remember that wearing last year’s Christmas dress is absolutely acceptable!
If you’re planning on wearing white, cream or anything nude; opt for a clear light-medium tan.
My advice is tan a few days before; the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour cream will serve as your non-orange elbow companion. Apply 30 minutes or so before tanning to stop any tan sticking to those drier points.
My tanning recommendations:
• St Topez Self Tan Purity
• Tan Luxe Hydra Mousse
• Bondi Sands Pure Foaming Water
Christmas Hair & Makeup
A classic black dress paired with a beautiful sleek do, is sure to turn heads. Whether you’re pairing a gentle gold eye, with a bold red lip or a dark smokey eye with a nude gloss. Here are my top favourite Christmas makeup picks that also double up as fabulous gifts!
• GHD Platinum Styler: Perfect for shaping around the face, or also a gentle curl. It’s an all-rounder!
• Urban Decay Naked Palettes: The Naked eye palettes will serve any look. The pigment is beautiful
• Iconic Drops: These are a holy grail of mine, shade Original or Glow will be your next go-to
• Colour Wow Dream Coat: This product, if you want sleek, non-frizz hair, really does do the job. Apply once every other wash for a lasting slick salon like finish
• By Terry Tea-2-Tan: The best instant glowy finish to the skin EVER. Dries instantly, minimal transfer and washes off instantly! It gives a beautiful finish that isn’t too heavy!
If in doubt on your ‘what to wear’ or ‘how to style your new Christmas outfit’, fall back to what you feel comfortable in. Don’t feel bad for sticking to the same black dress you feel comfortable in! However, jump out of your Christmas comfort zones and I can’t wait to see all of your outfits!
Close Up’s monthly guide to what you should be wishing for…
Get your glow on with this iridescent water-based gel that melts onto the skin in a whirlwind of fragrance, leaving it delicately fresh, sensual, and refined.
Coco Mademoiselle Pearly Body Gel, £85 www.chanel.com
Add a splash of festive colour to your tree this year with these happy and bright baubles. With a bold mix of hot pink and energetic red, these are sure to bring the warmth!
Holiday Baubles, £22 www2.hm.com
Add a cool girl edge to your OOTD with this noughtiesinspired biker bag in a faux croc fabrication with rhinestone detail and pleated exterior, finished with studs and metal appliqués.
Studded Rhinestone Shoulder Bag www.zara.com
LOST IN MUSIC
Get lost in music with the Apple AirPods Max Wireless Bluetooth NoiseCancelling Headphones. Designed to be comfortable for many different head shapes, they create an acoustic seal to fully immerse you in sound.
Apple Airpods Max, £549 www.apple.com
Keep warm and add a hint of sparkle to your look with this grey and silver sequin beanie hat. Complete in a knitted material, this hat has a fluffy brim for a fun finish.
Sequin Silver Knitted Beanie, £24 www.oliverbonas.com
Create voluminous, beachy waves with the Beauty Works Jumbo Waver. Suitable for all hair lengths, the extralarge, ceramic-coated barrels help to reduce frizz and enhance shine for silky-smooth waves.
Beauty Works Jumbo Waver, £70 www.lookfantastic.com
A millionaire at twenty-five yet feeling spiritually unfulfilled, Bartlett offers his advice for recalibrating ambition and seeking a new blueprint for success in this perceptive manual for personal happiness.
Steven Bartlett –Happy Sexy Millionaire, £16.99 www.waterstones.com
The Nutcracker is an iconic figure of Christmas. This timeless and joyful character provides a traditional touch to brighten up any space this Christmas.
Christmas Decoration, £7.99 www.tkmaxx.com
Make the air merry with the scent of Christmas morning with this limited-edition candle. Bursting with the festivity of aromatic pine and enlivening eucalyptus, it is beautifully finished with a snowball etched design.
Pine & Eucalyptus Home Candle, £58 www.jomalone.co.uk
Siren Cluster Cocktail Ring Monica Vinader £126
Wallflower Slippers Dune London £45
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Boots £79.99
Winter Kissed Pressed Blush Powder Kylie Cosmetics £19
Here come the GIRLS
Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for your Mum, Sister, Grandma or Girlfriend, find inspiration in our wonderful collection of Christmas Gifts for Her.
Textured Pillar Candle Primark Home £2
Joy Wellness Journal Papier £26
Christmas Robin Socks New Look £4.99
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover Amazon £4.50
Chance Eau De Tendre Eau De Parfum CHANEL £126
People in the Clouds is an aspiring jewellery brand centred around designing bespoke jewellery to improve the wearer’s mental health. Instead of mass-producing items as a ‘one size fits all’ basis, People in the Clouds’ work creates with each person’s specific happy place in mind. Allowing the wearer to hold a physical connection to said place with them in a subtle, private way – enhancing holistic practices such as mindfulness no matter where they are. www.peopleintheclouds.org
BUILDING YOUR immune system
As with most things in your body, a healthy diet is key to a strong immune system. This means making sure you eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.
These micronutrients include:
• Vitamin B6, found in chicken, salmon, tuna, bananas, green vegetables and potatoes (with the skin)
• Vitamin C, found in citrus fruit, including oranges and strawberries, as well as tomatoes, broccoli and spinach
• Vitamin E, found in almonds, sunflower and safflower oil, sunflower seeds, peanut butter and spinach
• Zinc, found in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans and dairy products
• Magnesium, found in whole wheat products, nuts and seeds
Since experts believe that your body absorbs vitamins more efficiently from dietary sources, rather than supplements, the best way to support your immune system is to eat a well-balanced diet.
Regular physical activity helps you feel better, sleep better, and reduce anxiety. Combined with eating well, physical activity can help a person maintain a healthy weight. Physical activity isn’t just for building muscles — it’s also an important part of being healthy and supporting a healthy immune system.
Water plays many important roles in your body, including supporting your immune system. Even if you’re not exercising or sweating, you’re constantly losing water through your breath, as well as through your urine and bowel movements. To help support your immune system, be sure you’re replacing the water you lose with water you can use — which starts with knowing what your daily water intake should be.
Sleep certainly doesn’t feel like an active process, but there are plenty of important things happening in your body when you’re not awake. To give your immune system the best chance to fight off infection and illness, it’s important to know how much sleep you should be getting every night, as well as the steps to take if your sleep is suffering.
Whether it comes on quick or builds over time, it’s important to understand how chronic stress affects your health. Stress can potentially have a secondary impact on how well your immune system functions if it leads to sleep disturbances, a tendency to eat less healthy food, reduced water intake, less frequent exercise and more. Stress is different for everyone, and how we relieve it is, too. Given the effect it can have on your health, it’s important to know how to identify stress. And, whether it’s deep breathing, mediation, prayer or exercise, you should also get familiar with the activities that help you reduce stress.
Experience an “instant facial” with Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Masque, specially formulated to leave skin feeling energised and radiant. Targeting dull and fatigued skin, the mask is dedicated to helping restore a healthy-looking glow.
Discover the REN Clean Skincare Radiance Trio, a collection of everyday beauty treats that help to dress the skin in an illuminated glow.
Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask
Exfoliate, brighten and soften with this potent mask. The gel helps to remove dirt and impurities, aiming to leave the skin feeling refreshed.
Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream
Boasting softening properties, the formula seeks to minimise the appearance of dark spots, encouraging a more even skin tone.
Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic Ideal for dull or tired-looking skin, helps to exfoliate the complexion for brighter, more unified-looking skin
A lightweight cream developed to visibly transform tired, dull-looking skin, the Origins GinZing moisturiser is specially formulated with radiance-boosting panax ginseng and coffee bean, and instantly hydrates the skin to leave a vibrant glow.
FEEL GOOD Food
Spring vegetable broth with shredded chicken Serves: 2 Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large chicken breast, skin on 500ml chicken stock
1 slice sourdough bread, cut into cubes
2 tbsp grated parmesan
2 large handfuls spring greens, finely sliced
4 asparagus spears, trimmed, halved and cut into chunky pieces
40g fresh or frozen peas
400g can borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a pan, brown the chicken, then remove. Bring the stock to the boil in the same pan, add the chicken and cook for 5 mins. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and leave to stand for 30 mins.
Put the bread cubes on a baking tray. Drizzle with the remaining oil, some salt and the parmesan. Bake for 6 mins until crunchy and golden. Remove and scrape off the tray onto a plate.
Remove the chicken from the pan and slice it. Bring the stock to the boil again and add the greens, asparagus and peas. Cook for 1 min, then add the beans and chicken. Heat everything through, then pour into bowls and top with the parmesan toast to serve.
Nuffield Health Highgate Hospital
We offer a wide range of orthopaedic treatments and provide minimum waiting times with our rapid access clinics.
Treatments include: Hip and knee Hand/wrist, elbow and shoulder Back and spinal Foot and ankle.
Our Diagnostic Imaging, Physiotherapy and Private GP services are also available to help you get back to your best.
For more information call 020 3993 7965 or visit highgatehospital.co.uk
GIVES US ALL THE FESTIVE FEELS
Favourite Festive Hair Colour
It has to be anything rich and warm. Whether that’s brunette, blonde or copper hair. If it’s rich and warm, then that’s what pops for me in the festive period! Examples are warm golden blonde, tich chocolate brunette, and eye-catching copper tones.
Big & Bouncy or Straight & Sleek
Oh gosh, I love both but at the moment bouce is stunning in hair that’s down or up for this time of year.
Winter Style Tip
My favourite winter style tip is to play with some accessories to dress up your look, whether thats a headband, a ribbon or a ponytail cuff. Add a little something. I loved this style with the headband.
Who always gets it right head to toe
It has to be the beautiful Ariana Grande. She is so chic and always serves stunning looks head to toe.
Most Used Product This Year
My most used product this year has to be the Colorwow - Style on steroids. I use it all year round and it’s just perfect for adding that umph and amplifying a style.
NYE Hairstyle Tip
New Year’s Eve is for sparkle so definitely add some sass to your hair! Stick in gems, pearls, diamanté accessories are all gorgeous.
Hair: @carlbembridgehair • Makeup: @krystaldawn_mua
Best Hair Trend of 2022
I don’t have one in particular, but I love seeing lots of texture. Also natural texture and curly hair. People really are serving looks!
Favourite Red Carpet Look 2022
My favourite celebrity look of mine this year was my client Maura Higgins at this year’s National Television Awards.
She really lets me take the lead when it comes to ideas. Still has input but trusts my creative mind. We went for Bardot meets Breakfast at Tiffany’s meets 2022. It was timeless. Hope you like it too!
2023 Colour Predictions
I think people are still going to always look best with natural tones. I feel 2023 will be hair at its best colour. Hair colour that is natural neutral tones. Keeping with the balayage technique.
2023 Trend Predictions
Again, none in particular, but each year people aren’t scared to try new! Hair is there to be versatile so have fun with styles and let your hair live it’s best life!
Thank you to all our lovely patients who have supported us during the first year of the opening. To celebrate our anniversary, we are giving a full smile makeover (worth £4000) to a lucky winner, who will be announcing very soon. We have had an amazing year, with some very special smile transformations. Our cosmetic bonding treatment has been the most popular within the local community, and we have thoroughly enjoyed instilling confidence and happiness into hundreds of smiles. Thank you to all the amazing Dentozen team for making our retreat an unforgettable and beautiful experience.
Sustainable & Eco friendly, Vegan & Cruelty free, Female founded.
At NUVO Health, none of the formulations are off the shelf, they are bespoke and, with the help of a nutritionist, tailored to modern life but rooted in nature. Taking a holistic approach to health, at NUVO we pride ourselves on focusing on inner health, to be truly healthy and happy, looking after the mind and body.
Our Sleep & Restoration+ product – a formulation designed to support natural healthy sleep, perfect for rest and rejuvenation. It is made with a unique blend of Marine Magnesium, Chamomile and sources of Vitamin B6 and Zinc. The standout ingredient is the Marine Magnesium which, derived from seawater, contains lots of vitamins and minerals. Collagen Advanced, Youth & Glow+ is a collagen powder that can be used in water, sprinkled on cereal and yoghurt, or added to smoothies and nut milk. Supporting and protecting collagen is a key part of all skin and anti-ageing rituals.
Energy & Immunity+ product is formulated with wild harvested seaweed from the British Isles, Cacao and plantbased Vitamin D and B12. NUVO is turning seaweed into green gold, rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support your body’s energy and immunity.
At NUVO our pledge is to give 3% of profits to mental health charities, supporting both inner and outer health in our communities. We are female founded and British made using natural, sustainable ingredients in eco packaging.
@nuvo_supplements | www.nuvohealth.co.uk
Kat’s Beauty Rooms
I make terrible life choices sometimes, but I’m sure you all knew that based on the questionable people I date. My life has been an action/psychological thriller this year and it’s funny how the universe starts giving you things that you once wanted, but no longer serve you anymore… probably to show us just how far we’ve come. I will start this month’s column with my final hurrah for 2022 (hurrah or horror, I haven’t quite worked it out yet).
If you didn’t know already, I am a director of a tech company. *Cue shocked and bewildered faces* Each year we have an industry wide event; let’s liken it to the Oscars. Let me remind you that the average age of people in this industry (especially my peers) are around 50 (I’m far younger than that and in my prime thirties!) as you can imagine, these people are let off their leashes once a year to throw on a tux, an LBD and act like they’ve not left the house since 1999 for one night of debauchery. They leave their spouses and kids, they misbehave, until they’ve got their lips round the rim of a toilet or they’re slapping skin with someone else. It’s quite rancid, actually.
Me: Don’t do it. My brain: If you can’t beat them, join them. *sighs*
Please bear in mind that two weeks prior to this, I had to end it with ‘The boyfriend with the other girlfriend’ and I was still pretty sad about that, yes, he lied, but I really did feel something for that one (probably a story for another day, so hold onto that disappointment for me).
If you’re up-to-date with my columns, you should know this was an awkward event for me, as both my six-year ex and the CEO were both attending… in close proximity. Lesson learned, there’s really a whole pool of men outside of the tech industry who will do just fine. Shitting on your own doorstep is such hassle. Let’s start with the good stuff. As I tell you most months, I spent
a lot of time this year refocussing on my goals. One big goal was improving my confidence, and that started with how I looked. I’m two dress sizes smaller and I’m feeling like a little baddie. What better time to see my ex after he left me for another woman (well, actually, kept me around as the side piece for 5 months of their relationship but we won’t talk about that).
To my delight and glee, he saw me, mouth wide open, gasped and had to hide his disbelief with his hand and he turned and walked away. Legend says he’s still walking, in disbelief.
I wasn’t expecting redemption, by this point I was totally over it, but in that moment, whilst he’s looking like a homeless version of a hobbit with a ponytail, he may have won the battle, but I won the war. Even if his new girlfriend brings him peace not problems, I’ll go down in history as the hot ex. And boy, did people tell him that on the day. It’s even better that he used to constantly tell me how I wasn’t good enough and now people are telling him he was punching. REDEMPTION! (Ps, he always was but it’s so much worse for him now!)
Hey-ho, cheers for that one Universe. I can now throw that era of despair in the trash and set it on fire.
But before we move on, it also helped that Mr CEO was my guest at the event. Let me give you a quick reminder of what I was working with. 6ft 3, a unit, smart, great personality, commands a room as well as being extremely caring and attentive, basically a hot ticket. Don’t be sad that it didn’t work out, just wait for it…
We are very amicable, and we still have a bit of the old touch and feels; a waist grab here, a flick of hair out of the face there, a palm to chest/ throw my head back in laughter moment every so often, it would be cute to the gazing eye, but a car crash for Mr. Hobbit. I’m not one to throw anything in anyone’s face, but karma
is a beautiful thing and that, my friends, was a moment of one upmanship.
This is a nice little segue into my final segment on why I make terrible life choices.
So, the night is going well. I can’t handle too much alcohol and neither can Mr. CEO (he doesn’t get out much thanks to the parental situation). It’s a recipe for disaster.
For years, I have always been very reserved with regards to who I sleep with. I am caught in the middle of two generations. The one’s who date to have sex and the ones who have sex to date. I judge neither type of person; in fact, I wish I cared less about what others thought and just did what felt right in the moment.
Well, this was the night I planned to free myself from the shackles of society. So dramatic! I wanted to sleep with this man so I would do just that!! Surely it would be a wonderful experience, this man is EVERYTHING and the best part? I didn’t want to pursue anything after the deed was done!
We sipped champagne as I looked intently into his eyes, and he looked intently at my boobs. The gaze was saying... ‘let’s get out of here and carry on our night’. I didn’t have to blink, we left and got a taxi back to the hotel.
The build up in the taxi was intense, I was excited if I’m honest; not the intense sickness I usually feel when I’m about to get to it for the first time. It began as you’d imagine, a lot of clothes tossing, sock pulling in haste, a bit of wall stroking. It’s giving Basic Instinct.
Get your minds out the gutter, I’m not going into the details, mainly because it was pretty much over… 90 SECONDS later.
I could not believe it. I turned over, not before he caveated the performance and assured me ‘it’s usually so much better.’ I just wanted to sink into the pits of hell. Instead, he decided to spoon me. Thank you pal, for basically squashing me and falling asleep almost immediately, snoring into my left ear.
I lay wincing for about 30 minutes before I decided to make a run for it. I threw on my dress and made my escape. He didn’t even wake up. I got back to my room and stared at the ceiling for an eternity. How can someone like him, underperform like that?
To be honest, I called this from a few months before, I had a sneaky suspicion it wouldn’t be great. I saw him swivel his hips once and knew in that moment, it wouldn’t be a toe-curling experience.
This also made me miss the ‘boyfriend with a girlfriend’ even more. You know it’s been a terrible
experience when you start missing the cheating twat you just broke up with. But I still didn’t want Mr. Frodo so it was not a total loss.
So, what has this all taught me? Well, I ended 2021 saying I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be. Reaching the end of 2022 and I have exceeded every expectation of myself. Not only am I more confident in myself, I do what I want with no regret, I hardly say no to any new experiences and even if they’re bad ones, I’m proud that I saw them through.
I have not let traumatic experiences prevent me from loving and trusting again, but I call out bad behaviour and can smell out a rat almost immediately. I trust my gut more than my heart and my selfrespect will now always be bigger than my feelings, but now I can see the positive outcomes in any situation. I’ve become more adventurous and unapologetically myself. I thought my biggest fear was putting myself out there open to ridicule, criticism, and failure. Now my biggest fear is not trying at all. If I fail, it’s not failing, it’s redirection. And I’ll try again. I urge you all to do the same. See you on the other side for a bigger and better 2023!
“I THREW ON MY DRESS AND made my escape. HE DIDN’T EVEN WAKE UP. I GOT BACK TO MY ROOM AND stared at the ceiling FOR AN ETERNITY. HOW CAN SOMEONE LIKE HIM, underperform LIKE THAT?”
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is one of the jewels of London’s Christmas calendar, and an event everyone always looks forward to, getting you in the perfect Christmas spirit. Winter Wonderland will return for a triumphant fifteenth anniversary edition this year. Located in the heart of London’s Hyde Park, from 18 November 2022 to 2 January 2023 the festive fancy is back bigger and better than ever this Christmas, bringing gift-filled huts, fairground rides, and the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink to central London.
Based on the hit movie starring Will Ferrell, this spectacular heart-warming story follows the fortunes of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. www.elflondon.com
Nothing says ‘it’s Christmas time’ more than the classic, indisputable Christmas jumper! Whether you’re wearing them at the office Christmas party or lounging around at home, this vibrant festive fleece and seasonal Christmas woolly jumper will help you get in the Christmassy mood, pronto!
In a subtle play of shadow and light, LES 4 OMBRES –OMBRES DE LUNE features a combination of delicate, mesmerizing shades. Ranging from matte to pearlescent and from copper to ambery gold, satiny bronze and matte brown, the eyes are set aglow by a twinkling shimmer. Each eyeshadow in this exclusive creation is embossed with a symbol of the House, a detail that is quintessentially CHANEL.
Light up the festive season with our fantastic range of stunning wax melts!
All our melts are vegan friendly, cruelty free, fully insured & CLP compliant.
We offer a range of fragrances, from your much loved laundry scents, to your favourite designer perfumes and much more!
With a tasteful eye for detail, Jill wanted to marry her curated collection of mugs with equally aesthetic spoons. Inspired by boutique hotels and contemporary art, she founded Lepelclub – home to the world’s most cheerful spoons and glassware.
Give the gift of scent this Christmas with one of our fabulous Christmas melts, guaranteed to be loved by all.
Think Pink Melts
By FKL, we aim to provide the best scents for your home. All our wax melts and tealights are made from 100% soy wax, which means it is eco-friendly and non-toxic. Available now in lavender, rose, vanilla and our festive favourite spiced orange.
Lots of new scents and candles to come in the new year so please give us a follow on @scentsbyfkl or simply find Scents by FKL on Etsy.www.lepelclub.com | @lepelclub
Cold AS ICE
Nothing says “Christmas” like the classic combination of rich, velvety reds and greens that effortlessly infuses your home with the warmth and comfort of the holiday season. For those who love these traditional Christmas colours, we’ve pulled together a collection of products to help you get in the festive spirit!
Lagom is a woman led business that produces unique handmade glassware out of high quality scientific glass. Designed in London, handmade in the Czech Republic by skilful craftsmen, their products are made to last a lifetime. www.lagomglassware.com
Christmas has arrived at Kaz & Cox!
The festive season has truly begun and we’ve got the gifts all wrapped up.
Browse our wonderful selection of gift sets perfect for that house proud friend or relative.
Not forgetting our exclusive Christmas fragrances; Christmas Tree & Festive Cranberry, which will surround you in holiday cheer.
How to DECORATE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE Like a ProfessionalBy Jennifer Derry, Balsam Hill’s Interior Expert and Chief Merchandising Officer
The number of baubles you need to cover your tree is dependent on both the size of your tree and the size of your decorations. First, look at the width and height of your tree. Taller, fuller trees will need more decorations. Some people prefer a maximalist look while others may want to opt for a paired-back look.
You next want to think about the size of your decorations. The larger the bauble, the less you’ll need, but mixing up different sizes is a wonderful way to create continued interest as your eye moves over the tree. Balsam Hill has its very own Decorations Calculator to help you accurately work out how many baubles you might need for your tree.
In order to decorate your tree like an expert, you first need to build a theme. Having an element – be that a colour palette, bauble collection, or interest (such as this year’s coinciding of the football with the festive period) – that ties everything together is a sure-fire way to make your tree look professionally decorated. This year, two of the big trends in decorations are the Roaring Twenties and quintessential Christmas Red & Gold.
The Roaring Twenties sees a dramatic mix of metallics, using gold with accents of silver set against the opulence of beads and feathers, as well as crystal garlands that hark back to the headiness of the era and eclectic finishes such as capiz shell which adds a pearl-like shimmer.
Within the Red & Gold trend, we see the return of vintage Christmas favourites such as nutcracker ornaments that provide warmth and nostalgia. This colour trend can be tailored to suit any style; maxed out like a Hollywood film, or given a modern twist with merry minimalism.
Once you’ve settled on your theme, you’ve secured your tree and strung your lights, it’s time to start decorating. Start by dividing your tree into three sections, starting from the top and working down to the middle and then bottom section. You’ll also want to divide your decorations accordingly to ensure there is enough of each type of decoration for each section, helping you to create a balanced and cohesive overall look. It’s a great idea to start with your largest decorations. A top tip to create more depth is to layer your decorations, placing these larger baubles deeper into the foliage and building up around them, filling the gaps with smaller decorations as you go. For a professional look, you’ll want an even spread of baubles with different textures and tones, so be sure not to place decorations that look very similar too close to one another.
Finally, add a tree topper to complete the look! Your topper might be a family favourite that you’ve used forever, but don’t be afraid to change up your topper to compliment your chosen theme. You can look beyond the classic angels and stars and try creating custom toppers for example by using paper or card.
Hacks that will make your Christmas tree branches on an ARTIFICIAL TREE LOOK BUSHIERBy Mac Harman, CEO of Balsam Hill
When first removed from the box, artificial trees can appear somewhat compressed, so little teasing may be needed for them to reach their full potential. We call this “fluffing” your tree and there really is an art to it!
It can be a good idea to wear gloves when fluffing your tree to protect your tree and your hands. You’ll want to start with the bottom section of your tree and work your way up in sections. I would recommend tying up the branches above that you’re not working on with a piece of ribbon so they don’t obscure your view as you fluff the lower branches. When it comes to the larger tree, it’s a good idea to fluff the top most section ahead of putting the tree up as it’s a lot easier to work on the ground than on a ladder!
To get your branches looking full and realistic, you need to work out the shape of each branch individually. Starting at the back of each branch, stagger each twig so that it is offset from the one before. Take the tip of the twig and move it up or to the side so that it points in a direction that is different to the ones immediately around it. Fanning the sprigs out in this way opens up the branch and mimics the way the tree would grow in nature. As you move towards the front of the branch you may also find some separate sprigs that shoot off from the main branch. Ensure that these are also fanned out. You’ll need to do this for every branch.
If your tree is prelit, it’s a good idea to turn the lights on whilst you fluff so you can check for any dead bulbs as you go.
The biggest hack I can share to help you get your artificial tree looking bushier is to spend a decent amount of time on it. Carve out an evening, put some Christmas tunes on and get the whole family involved! It really is worth the time and effort to get the Christmas tree that will be the envy of all your friends.
INVESTING IN AN ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE: Expert Tips on What to ConsiderBy Mac Harman, CEO of Balsam Hill
Christmas trees play a big part in our favourite holiday traditions. We decorate, open gifts, and celebrate with friends and family around the tree. It’s important to have a tree that not only suits a family’s style but also stands tall season after season. Mac Harman, founder and CEO of luxury artificial tree and decoration brand, Balsam Hill, offers this advice for shopping for the right artificial tree for any home.
Before buying a Christmas tree, decide where it will be displayed. Which room will it be displayed in? Will it be a centrepiece? Or will it fit into a corner, along a wall, in front of a window or next to a doorway? How much space can the tree fill? Look for a tree that is six inches lower than the ceiling height. A 7.5’ tree is best for a standard 8-9’ ceiling. This ensures that the tip of the Christmas tree does not hug the ceiling and allows space for a tree topper.
For the diameter, check the very widest point of the tree. The true space occupied by the tree will be about six inches less than the stated diameter. If you don’t have much space, a slim or narrow tree can still fit and maintain a natural shape. There also are pencil trees that have less of a traditional shape but fit in tight spaces. Or try a ¾ tree such as the Balsam Hill Chelsea Flatback against a wall if you are truly tight on floor space.
Among the things that make setting up a tree each year, untangling and stringing the lights is one of the more challenging. Pre-lit trees are a great solution with lights already strung and arranged to minimise the appearance of wires.
Lights bring your Christmas tree to life even without decorations. If you prefer to string your own lights, you need at least 100 lights per foot of the tree. Double or triple the amount if you love the look of brighter, more intense lights on your tree.
Colour Depending on the species, real trees come in different shades of green and the same is true for Balsam Hill trees. For instance, the Blue Spruce has blue-green needles while the Noble Fir has a grey tint. Some trees are also multi-toned like Fraser Fir, with its dark green tips and silver undersides.
COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE IN THE EARLY YEARS
Communication and language is a crucial part of children’s early development and has recently been argued to be the ‘most’ important area.
The early years statutory framework (used by all Ofsted registered early years providers in all settings) went through some reforms in September 2021 to move towards focusing on improving outcomes for children in early language and literacy. The framework states that ‘Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development’. The guidance suggests how early years settings need to focus more on interactions with children at this age and help support their understanding and vocabulary.
I recently went on an early year’s course which discussed the importance of early language and how we as practioners could support children. One fact read to us was that ‘Children who have poor language skills at the age of five are six times more likely to fail to reach the expected standard in English at age 11, three times more likely to experience mental health problems as adults, and twice as likely to be unemployed aged 34’. literacytrust.org.uk This really stood out to me and influenced and encouraged me to write this article.
Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, since the Covid lockdowns where children had less opportunities to socially interact and communicate, it has been highlighted that there has been a negative impact on those children who needed the most support such as children in the early years.
I think it is significant to highlight the importance of promoting communication, interaction and language with anyone who looks after young children. “When done well, high quality interactions often look effortless but they are not easy to do well.” EEF Guidance Report, Preparing for Literacy. For me, practising effective interactions and seeing the positive impact it has on children, especially when working together with their peers and problem solving, is utterly rewarding and telling of the adults they will grow to be.
Here are some ways to support language development
• Go down to the child’s level when talking and listening
• Give them good eye contact
• Listen carefully to what they say
• Show a genuine interest in what they are saying
• Respond and model the correct language
• Expand on what the children are saying
• Correct some language misconceptions such as when the child uses the wrong tenses
• Sit alongside children and think out loud - explain why you are doing something
• Encourage children to use different vocabulary such as joyful/ecstatic for very happy
Effective Communication and language is the key to unlocking future successful relationships.
Follow my Instagram for more ideas and fun education activities for younger children.
@the_magic_of_eyfs (Early Years Foundation Stage)By Anna Pericleous Teacher and Leader of Early Years and Primary Education
Finding the perfect gift for your children at Christmas can often feel like a daunting task, but we’ve made it easy for you to find a present for any kid. Whether you’re looking for toys for boys or girls, you can browse our selection of pressies by budget, the latest must-haves, and more!
Bloominteacups create high quality stunning and unique faux floral arrangements, that can be hired for any event and occasion!
Additionally, we have a collection of gorgeous and elegant vintage teacups that you can hire, adding a touch of something different to your event.
Looking for presents?...
We also design Bouquet Bags and baskets which make amazing gifts and beautiful home décor. Perfect for this festive time of the year!
Katerina talks all things motherhood, family life, relationships, work, and trying to do it all at once, with of course, #NoFilter @keepingupwithkaterina @keepingupwithmyclassroom
December… is that you?!
Possibly my most FAVOURITE month of the year is upon us guys, the month that gifts us CHRISTMAS!
As well as all of the lovely things that December brings, holidays, time with your family, lovely seasonal experiences, events and food, GLORIOUS food, December can also bear a heavy burden of spend, spend, spend. I’ve realised, especially since having Rico and also being blessed with many other children in our family and friendship group, that good gift buying doesn’t mean breaking the bank (or your back to afford it). Enjoying Christmas doesn’t mean having to always go to the most expensive places and spend more than you should on fitting in with the trends. Actually, Christmas is all about love. Family, friends and love. For my write-up this month I thought I’d share some of my favourite things to do around Christmas time and some of my favourite places to buy from! I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year, I look forward to writing to you all again soon!
What to watch
December is a great time to rewatch some classic Christmas movies and make a whole Christmas movie day or evening out of it with your children and families, large bag of sweet popcorn, a glass of baileys for me and cosy pyjamas… yes please!
What to read
As well as being very over the top with grotto trips, I make it a priority to remind Rico about the real reason for the season! Nativity books and lovely illustrated tales about the birth of Jesus is something I love to read to him so we don’t get too sidetracked with all the festivities and remember the important man upstairs’ birthday! You can find some great nativity books on Amazon and in local supermarkets around this time of year.
What to do
Where to buy
As well as the high street stores and online platforms that are great for generic buying, I’m definitely more of a thoughtful and personalised buyer myself.
My go to local and lovely family run business cards is Togs By Emma. There’s yet to be anything I’ve asked for Emma to customise or personalise that she hasn’t been able to do and to a high and beautiful standard. They do the best personalised gifts for any occasion - so even if you’re organised and sorted for Christmas, I’d still check Togs By Emma out for all year round buying!
Last year we were lucky enough to visit Lapland UK, which was genuinely amazing. However, you will need a mortgage payment for a family to visit, which with the cost of living this year isn’t always the first on the priority list. My friend recommended Willows Farm Santa Spectacular, which has very similar activities as Lapland. For 2 children and 2 adults we spent £166 which is a fraction of the cost of Lapland so I’m excited to visit and see what they have to offer! However, I am more excited for having Rico’s friends round for a Christmas themed baking and crafts day which will probably cost me around £50 from home bargains all with memories to last a life time!
ESSENTIAL ROAST TURKEY
with thyme & lemon
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 55 minutes
Serves: 8 Ingredients
1 medium Essential British Turkey (available from Waitrose Entertaining or in store from 19th December) • 3 sprig/s thyme •
1 Essential Lemon, scrubbed and halved • 50g Essential Unsalted Butter, softened • 10 rasher/s
Essential British Streaky Bacon • 125ml dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4. Calculate the cooking time of the turkey – it takes 35 minutes per kg. Remove the giblets from the cavity (set aside for stock and gravy) and replace with the thyme and halved lemon.
Lay a large sheet of extra-wide foil in a large roasting tin, then put the turkey on top. Smear the breast with the butter, season, then cover with the bacon rashers. Pour the wine over the turkey, cover with another piece of foil and seal well to make a parcel.
Roast for the calculated cooking time. About 30 minutes before the end of
cooking, open the foil and remove the bacon. (Crisp it up on a separate baking tray alongside the turkey, if you have space.) Baste the turkey with the juices and put back in the oven, uncovered, for the last 30 minutes, basting again after 15 minutes.
To test that the turkey is cooked, push a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should run clear. If they are still pink, return to the oven for another 15 minutes, then check again. Transfer the cooked turkey to a serving platter, cover with foil and a couple of clean tea towels and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.
ROAST POTATOES with rosemary salt
Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4. Put the fat or oil in the largest roasting tin you have; put in the oven to heat up. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cut the potatoes in half or thirds (so they are all roughly equal in size). The more flat surfaces there are, the more crispy edges you will have. Boil for 9 minutes, then drain and shake 4 times in the colander to create fluffy edges. Remove the tin from the oven; carefully add the potatoes, turning them in the fat or oil. Roast for 30 minutes, then turn again. Increase the temperature to 200oC, gas mark 6. Roast for 30 minutes more, turning over again after 15 minutes, or until deep gold and crisp. Transfer to a serving dish lined with kitchen paper. In a small bowl, rub together the rosemary with the salt for a minute. Remove the paper from the dish, then toss the potatoes with the rosemary salt.
Meringue, madeleine and winter berry
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes Serves: 6
175g Bonne Maman madeleines • 75g Bonne Maman berries and cherries conserve • 200ml double cream • 1 pinch ground mixed spice • 4 meringue nests, roughly chopped, plus extra to decorate • 1 tbsp roasted chopped hazelnuts • Cherries and blackberries, to serve (optional) • 450g frozen black forest fruits • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar • ½ tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tbsp cornflour, dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water • 35g custard powder • 250ml whole milk • 397g condensed milk • 150ml Advocaat (selected stores)
Recipes and images courtesy of Waitrose. Thousands of recipes can be found at www.waitrose.com
This will keep, covered, for 2 days in the fridge, without the cream layer. Add the cream and toppings up to 2 hours before serving.
To make the compote, gently heat the fruit, sugar, cinnamon and 50ml water in a pan, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes – until the fruits have defrosted, released their juices and softened but still hold their shape. Add the dissolved cornflour and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. It will be quite thick and jammy. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the custard. Put the custard powder in a large jug. Stir in a little milk to make a paste, then put the remaining milk and condensed milk into a non-stick saucepan. Bring almost to the boil, stirring. Remove from the heat and gradually pour into the custard paste, stirring until combined. Return to the pan and gently heat, stirring constantly, until quite thick. Remove from the heat, stir in 100ml Advocaat, then cover the top
of the custard with baking parchment to prevent a skin from forming. Cool.
While everything is cooling, halve the madeleines lengthways and sandwich back together with a little of the conserve. Cut each sandwiched madeleine in half widthways. Arrange the halves in a small trifle bowl (about 1.2 litres) to cover the base, then drizzle with the remaining 50ml Advocaat.
When the custard is almost cold, spoon it over the madeleines and level with the back of a spoon. Top with the berry compote, level again, cover and chill for 3-4 hours or until ready to serve.
No more than 2 hours before serving, whisk the cream and mixed spice in a bowl to soft peaks, then fold in the chopped meringue. Spoon over the trifle, then top with the hazelnuts and the cherries, blackberries and extra meringue nests, if liked.
AVOCADO E GAMBERETTI
Avocado & prawns drizzled with cocktail sauce
MOZZARELLA FRITTA V
Deep fried mozzarella, baby spinach & chilli tomato chutney
PROSCIUTTO E MELONE
Parma ham & chilled melon ALETTE DI POLLO
Spicy & sticky chicken wings
CARPACCIO DI POMODORO
Tomato slices topped with marinated anchovies, capers, boiled eggs, rocket & olive oil dressing
Avocado, mozzarella, tomatoes, rocket, basil & olive oil FUNGHI ALL’AGLIO V
Mixed mushrooms pan fried with garlic & a hint of chilli PESCIOLINI FRITTI
Deep fried whitebait served with lemon & tartar sauce
PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE V
Layered aubergines baked with cheese, herbs & tomato BRUSCHETTA AL POMODORO V
Toasted bread, diced tomatoes, basil, garlic & olive oil topped with rocket MINESTRONE V
Traditional Italian mixed vegetable soup
All the mains are served with seasonal vegetables & potatoes of the day. Except milanese, pasta’s & pizza’s
Roast turkey dinner with all the traditional trimmings POLLO MILANESE
Chicken escalope served with spaghetti pomodoro SALMONE ALLA GRIGLIA
Grilled salmon on a base of rocket, cherry tomatoes & honey balsamic glaze
SPAGHETTI CON BROCCOLI V
With broccoli, garlic, chilli, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes & topped with herby crumbs RISOTTO PRIMAVERA V
With courgettes, beans, asparagus, spinach & peas MERLUZZO ASPARAGI
Cod llet, baby spinach in a light asparagus & mustard sauce TORTELLONI CON SPINACI V
Spinach & ricotta lled parcel in a light cherry tomato & basil sauce
VITELLO CON FUNGHI
Veal escalope in a cream & mushroom sauce
FEGATO BURRO E SALVIA
Pan fried calves’ liver in butter & sage POLLO SAN GIORGIO
Breast of chicken topped with spinach & mozzarella in a tomato sauce
PIZZA VEGETARIANA V
Pizza with a medley of vegetables, cherry tomatoes & topped with fresh green leaves
CHOICE OF DESSERT’S FROM MAIN MENU
Fried calamari served with tartar sauce & lemon
Smoked salmon, prawns, avocado, rocket & cocktail sauce
ASPARAGI ALL’UOVO V
Fresh asparagus topped with a fried egg & parmesan
SPIEDINI DI POLLO
Kebabs of chicken, chorizo, onions & peppers with chilli tomato chutney
BUFALA MOZZARELLA V
Bufala mozzarella, roast peppers, rocket leaves with anchovies, capers, olive oil
Selection of ham’s, salamis, mortadella, olives & sott’olio vegetables
CROSTONI SAN GIORGIO V
Toasted bread topped with diced tomatoes, avocado, mozzarella, rocket & olive oil
INSALATA DI MARE
Homemade marinated seafood & shell fish salad
GAMBERONI SAN GIORGIO
King prawns, garlic, ginger, a hint of chilli & lemon
CARCIOFI ALLA GRIGLIA V
A salad of grilled artichokes, sliced tomatoes, rocket, mixed seeds & parmesan shavings
BURRATA E ZUCCHINE V
Creamy burrata mozzarella with grilled courgettes, cherry tomatoes, rocket & red pesto
All the mains are served with seasonal vegetables & potatoes of the day. Except milanese, pasta’s & gamberoni
Roast turkey dinner with all traditional trimmings
SALMONE CON ASPARAGI
Salmon llet, baby spinach in a light asparagus & mustard sauce
Breaded veal escalope served with spaghetti bolognese STINCO D’AGNELLO
Lamb shank slow cooked with mixed beans, herbs & tomato sauce
FEGATO ALLA VENETA
Calve’s liver pan fried with onions & glazed with a balsamic vinegar reduction
SPAGHETTI ALLO SCOGLIO
With mixed seafood & shell fish, garlic, herbs & tomatoes
TONNO ALLA GRIGLIA
Grilled tuna steak served with rocket, cannellini beans & topped with a chopped herby tomato salsa
BISTECCA CON SALSA
Grilled sirloin steak cooked medium rare. Served with cream & mushroom or black peppercorn sauce
TORTELLI DI ZUCCA V
Filled with pumpkin & ricotta in a butter & sage & blueberry sauce topped with almonds & choc cookie crumbs
King prawns & scallops pan fried in garlic, ginger, hint of chilli & lemon with rice
Medley of seafood & shell fish deep fried until crispy & golden
One of the best ways to get in the mood for Christmas is to snuggle up in front of the fire with a trusty page turner. We have put together some fictional Christmassy stories, perfect to unwind this December.
The Christmas WishBy Lindsey Kelk
Inside the pages:
Ever wished it could be Christmas every day? Wish again...
Newly single lawyer Gwen Baker is hoping that a family Christmas – countryside, a mountain of food and festive films –will salve the sting of her career hanging by a thread and her heart being trampled on. Because everyone else has their life sorted: even Dev, her boynext-door crush, is now a tall, dark and handsome stranger with a fiancée. She can’t help wishing her future was clearer. Then Gwen wakes up to discover it’s Christmas day all over again. Like Groundhog Day, but with turkey.
The Christmas PostcardsBy Karen Swan
Inside the pages:
Set in a snowcovered Cotswolds village, The Christmas Postcards is the unmissable, spellbinding new book from the Sunday Times bestseller Karen Swan. The right words can change everything it had been a make-orbreak holiday for their marriage, but Natasha and Rob’s rekindled romance is short-lived when their daughter’s beloved soft toy disappears on the journey home. As Natasha comforts her distraught child, she turns to social media for help.
Snowed inBy Sarah Morgan
Inside the pages:
When Lucy appears on the Miller family’s snow-covered Highland doorstep, she’s mistaken for Ross’s girlfriend. By the time the confusion is cleared up, they’re snowed in—she can’t leave, even if she wants to! Tensions bubble to the surface and suddenly Lucy finds herself facing a big family fallout with a family that isn’t hers… As secrets spill out like presents from an overstuffed stocking and the chemistry between her and Ross ignites, this is going to be either Lucy’s worst Christmas ever or the best mistake of her life.
The Christmas BookshopBy Jenny Colgan
Inside the pages:
The brand new feel-good Christmas novel from Sunday Times top ten bestselling author, Jenny Colgan. Carmen has always worked in her local department store. So, when the gorgeous old building closes its doors for good, she is more than a little lost. When her sister, Sofia, mentions an opportunity in Edinburgh – a cute little bookshop, the spare room in her house – Carmen is reluctant, she was never very good at accepting help. But, short on options, she soon finds herself pulling into the snowy city just a month before Christmas.
A Christmas CelebrationBy Heidi Swan
Inside the pages:
When Paige turns up unannounced at Wynthorpe Hall, she discovers the place she knew when she was growing up has changed beyond all recognition. She’s only planning to stay for a short time, but is quickly pulled into local life. One night while driving home after delivering library books and shopping to residents she stumbles across an isolated cottage and meets Albert, its elderly and rather grumpy owner. She quickly realises there’s more to Albert than meets the eye and the same can be said for the other man she can’t seem to help running into, handsome but brooding Brodie.
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The Land of MAGIC
Lapland is located in northernmost Finland, deep inside the Arctic Circle. Known as the homeland of Santa Claus, it’s incredible, year-round light phenomena and vast arctic nature. Lapland pulls out all the stops over the festive period dishing up the stuff of fairy tales – like snow-dusted forests, cosy log cabins, and a population that’s made up of more reindeer than people, so there’s nowhere better to embrace the Christmas spirit. From storytelling around crackling fires, and meet and greets with Mr Claus himself, there is something for everyone on the agenda in this magical winter wonderland.
Santa Claus Village
Here in the magical arctic circle, it’s Christmas every day, with grottos full of festive bling, elves baking gingerbread and reindeer rides, get ready for an enchanting trip to Santa Claus’ Villa in Rovaniemi. Embark on a full day of arctic experiences this Christmas with a range of activities including - a guided visit to a husky dog farm, a sleigh ride through the snow, and the opportunity to give Santa Claus your wishlist. Take a walk on the magical little paths and village roads that lead you to the central square surrounded by boutiques and festive cheer.
Husky sledging is one of the best things to do in Lapland and has been an integral part of the culture for centuries. Nothing compares to the exhilaration of being drawn through Arctic snowscapes by eager dogs. You’ll speed through the frozen snowscapes taking in the beautiful, natural surroundings of Lapland. Skate across ice-covered lakes, dodge snow-dusted branches through thick forests or track down the Northern Lights on this unique mode of transport. Not surprisingly, you’ll be spoilt for choice in the type of tours that are offered.
The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are a sight to behold, it is a transformative experience and a gift from the cosmos itself, especially on a clear day and when the solar flare is forecast to be high. It really is one of the best things to do in Lapland, especially as you’re so far north. As Lapland lies almost entirely above the arctic circle, the Northern Lights are familiar sights here. Utsjoki, being the northernmost region of Lapland, is the best place to see the wistful waltz of the Northern Lights.
Adding a little shot of culture is the crystalline Arktikum museum, zooming in on Lapland’s wildlife and Sami life. Arktikum is a science centre and museum that lets you experience northern nature, culture, and history up close. Housing the University of Lapland’s Arctic Centre and the Regional Museum of Lapland, this incredible museum provides a deeper understanding of the Arctic showcasing how the Arctic is changing and what life is like so far north.
The Lapland winter scenery looks straight out of a Christmas card, and one of the most fun ways to explore that landscape is by snowmobile. Snowmobiles are the best way to explore Finnish Lapland fast! Hop on and discover the frozen rivers and lakes, as well as the secluded untouched forests. Snowmobiling is a popular hobby in Finland – it’s also maybe the most traditional way of transportation on Lapland’s wilderness areas. Jump aboard to see untouched, remote areas of the Lappish wilderness. Led by an experienced guide, it’s one of the most thrilling things to do in Lapland. The variety of snowmobile services go from a short beginner’s rides to long distance safaris of many hours. There’s option for every level and taste.
Holiday packages include a reindeer ride, sledging with huskies, tobogganing, lots of snowy activities like snow hockey and mini skidoos, and a private visit with Santa.
Christmas 2022 & 2023 now on sale! www.santaslapland.com
We all know there are two types of people at Christmas. The first has just finished off their Sunday lunch and are ready for a family movie marathon to get in the holiday mood, especially now that they finally have permission to watch Christmas flicks. Then there’s the rebel type, who watches holiday movies whenever the mood strikes, no matter what time of year and have exhausted all their favourites by December, so you’re looking for something fresh to watch. Well, no matter what camp you find yourself in, look no further than this list of Christmas movies and our favourite streaming platform Netflix to deliver all the festive flicks to get you decking the halls in no time!
WHAT’S ON 1
SCROOGE: A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Charles Dickens’ ageless legend is reborn in this supernatural, time-travelling, musical adaptation of the definitive Christmas story. With his very soul on the line, Scrooge has but one Christmas Eve left to face his past and build a better future.
Featuring re-imagined songs from the legendary and two-time Academy Award® winner Leslie Bricusse OBE, Scrooge: A Christmas Carol is one for a new generation to sing.
FALLING FOR CHRISTMAS
A newly engaged, spoiled hotel heiress (Lindsay Lohan) gets into a skiing accident, suffers from total amnesia and finds herself in the care of a handsome, blue-collar lodge owner (Chord Overstreet) and his precocious daughter in the days leading up to Christmas.
CHRISTMAS WITH YOU
Feeling career burn out, pop star Angelina escapes to grant a young fan’s wish in small town New York, where she not only finds the inspiration to revitalize her career, but also a shot at true love.
THE NOEL DIARY
When best-selling author Jake Turner returns home at Christmas to settle his estranged mother’s estate, he discovers a diary that may hold secrets to his own past and that of Rachel – an intriguing young woman on a mission of her own. Together, they embark on a journey to confront their pasts and discover a future that’s totally unexpected.
A STORM FOR CHRISTMAS
A group of people arrive at Oslo airport. Some to welcome their loved ones, travel home to their families, and to fly away and escape Christmas. But in one way or another, their Christmas mission goes awry. They are all stranded at the airport with only 24 hours till Christmas – so what do they do?
WHO KILLED SANTA? A MURDERVILLE MURDER MYSTERY
Senior Detective Terry Seattle is back and this time, the case is critical. Along with his two celebrity guest stars, Jason Bateman and Maya Rudolph, he is on a mission to figure out who killed Santa. But here’s the catch: Jason Bateman and Maya Rudolph aren’t being given the script.
Four Bedroom House • Morton Way, N14 £1,250,000
Nicholas James is very proud to offer this superb 4 bedroom house that has been recently refurbished to a high specification throughout. The property benefits from an abundance of natural light with a grand dining room area leading on to a spacious 1st floor terrace overlooking a delightful garden. This modern design house consists of 4 bedrooms spread over 2 floors (one bedroom with an en-suite and another with a generous walk-in wardrobe), 3 bathrooms, a contemporary kitchen design, office area, utility room as well as a generous reception area.
With excellent transport links just a stone throw away and moments from the well-loved green spaces of Arnos Grove Park with stunning views available from the first floor and above, this property is a must see!