Places&Faces 145 - December 2022

Page 1 December 2022 | Issue No: 145 Norfolk & Suffolk 8Festive
Walpole Mannington
Gardening with Tom December FASHION Great Gift ideas FREE Chr tm M ry Recipes
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A Very Norfolk Christmas

br adle y ha tc h

www br adle yha tc h com je weller s

All the jingle ladies, like Kevin McCallister, it’s time to shout “Guys, I’m eating junk and watching rubbish! You better come out and stop me!”. Christmas is here... at last. The build up seems to get earlier and earlier each year, but why not? After all the doom and gloom in the world at the moment, maybe a fairy light on the horizon is exactly what we all need. It seems to me that there are too many ‘cotton-headed ninny muggins’ around at the moment. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love, actually, is all around.

We need to be a little less commercial this year. Quality not quantity. Experiences not expenses. Spending time with loved ones and remembering to be present. Maybe we should make sure we all put away our resting Grinch face and remember what the green fellow said, “Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.”

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Andrew Hirst, Jade Soanes, Mel Cook, Polly Coleman, Rachel Gilbert, Chantel Heath, Tom Strowlger, Adam Gunton, Emily Sparkes, Sarah Hardy, Francesca Armour-Chelu, Charlie Smith-Knight, Melissa Speakman and Atlas the Dog
Andrew Hirst EDITOR


ENJOYChristmas shopping
shops, cafés and restaurants
city centre parking and With over 90 fantastic
in the heart of Norwich, convenient
Thursday late night shopping until 8pm. Enjoy our majestic 8 metre Christmas tree and illuminated Santa sleigh, take a selfie in our twinkling trio of trees on Chantry Square and place your Christmas wish in our festive post box.
Destination Christmas Shopping!
CONTENTS 33 56 65 43 29 36 20 | 7 8 What's on Staying in Christmas 15 What’s on - Going out 20 Visit Norwich 25 Christmas customs 27 Pick of the paperbacks 29 Atlas the Dog 33 Gourmet gossip 36 Inspiring Women 38 Festive Sausage Wreath 41 Christmas cranberry stuffing 43 Roast duck 44 Duck stroganoff 46 Cocktails 47 Turkey & cranberry Wellington 49 Rocky road 51 Great gifts 52 Fashion 56 The Westleton Crown 61 Gardening with Tom 65 Fitness RECIPES ON PAGES 38, 41, 43, 44, 46, 47, 49 & 66

IN Staying


I was young, I used to take the bumper, two week TV magazine and plan what I was going to watch over the Christmas period. Now, with so much choice, it’s a struggle to work out what to choose.

So, I’ve taken the stress out of the schedule for you and picked some classic film and TV shows for you to watch, as well as some new favourites. Grab the tub of chocolates, pour yourself a drink and get comfy. It’s time to get Christmassy!

Chr tm Have yourself a classic

The Santa Clause

Work-obsessed and apathetic Scott Calvin accidently causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof. Scott puts on Santa’s coat and finds himself becoming the new Santa Claus. Tim Allen shines in this classic. The sequels are so-so but there’s a Disney+ series coming just in time for this Christmas which will hopefully recapture the magic of the original.

Oh. Oh. Oh. Merry Christmas.

Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special 2008

Although the bunch from Barry and Billericay returned to our screens for a special in 2019, for me, this is the quintessential BBC Christmas special. The chaos of Christmas is captured perfectly – travelling to family, a packed house, a big row, a troublesome turkey, disappointing presents, board games and too much booze. The whole cast is perfect, and it reminds us of a simpler time when James Corden wasn’t quite such an insufferable buffoon.

8 |

Paddington 1 & 2

The Paddington films are perfect examples of films that were built for Christmas but aren’t Christmas films. They’re heart-warming, inspiring, humorous, and full of joy. At their core, these films are about opening our hearts to someone with kindness, not judgement. Watching this marmaladeloving bear get himself into all sorts of trouble will never not be entertaining. It’s easy to be cynical but it’s better to be like Paddington and be sincere.


I know it’s the second version of A Christmas Carol on the list but it’s essential and for the adults. Bill Murray is on top form and the ghosts are genuinely creepy. The reason that this story keeps getting told is because it’s timeless and only becomes more relevant with each passing year.

The Snowman

The Snowman is more than just it’s song “Walking in the Air.” It’s an Oscar nominated piece of art. It’s funny, it’s emotional and none of the characters speak a word. The animation is like nothing else and the whole thing personifies the magic of Christmas.


Often forgotten as a Christmas film, Gremlins is a gruesome tale of miniature proportions. Cute little Gizmo seems like the perfect present until his new owner breaks the most dangerous of the three given rules – don’t feed them after midnight. What should be a calm night before Christmas turns into a town fighting for their lives after the chaotic, greedy and bloodthirsty gremlins turn the holidays into a horror show. Hopefully these aren’t on your wish-list.

Cracking good job, Gromit!

Wallace & Gromit

It’s hard to believe there hasn’t been an actual Wallace & Gromit Christmas story, but they are some of the most Christmassy films around! There’s something about plasticine animation that feels festive, maybe it’s because the stories usually leave you feeling fuzzy and warm? Or maybe it’s just because Wallace & Gromit love cheese crackers and Christmas comes with lots of cheese and crackers.

Out & About | 9
That’s the one good thing about regret: it’s never too late. You can always change tomorrow if you want to.
Everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in.
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SUNDAY 10.30-5PM BANK HOLIDAYS 9-5PM Earsham Hall, Earsham, Bungay, Suffolk, NR35 2AN · Tel 01986 893420 · Mobile 07876 395197 · G en P l a n t hS EARSHAM HOME FURNISHINGS Earsham Hall TEAROOMS FULLY BESPOKE HANDMADE KITCHENS, BEDROOMS, OFFICES, BATHROOMS & FREE STANDING FURNITURE Suppliers and installers of granite, quartz and solid timber worktops FROM DESIGN TO INSTALLATION Also at Earsham Hall OPEN MONDAYSATURDAY 9-5PM SUNDAY 10.30-5PM BANK HOLIDAYS 9-5PM Hall, Earsham, Bungay, Suffolk, NR35 2AN · Tel 01986 893420 · Mobile 07876 395197 · BUD & BOE Bridal Wear segroeG G o rgeous G arden P l a n t pohS • EARSHAM HOME FURNISHINGS Earsham Hall TEAROOMS

IN Staying

Strange, isn’t it?

Each man’s life touches so many other lives. And when he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?

It’s a Wonderful Life

Perhaps the ultimate Christmas classic –businessman George Bailey (played by the legendary James Stewart) becomes so hopeless that he feels suicide is the only answer. But an angel from heaven shows him what life would be like if George never existed. A life-affirming story to remind you what’s really important at Christmas.

Home Alone 1 & 2

For me, it’s not Christmas until I’ve seen Harry and Marv get hit in the head by swinging paint cans. There have been many sequels but nothing tops the original two Home Alone films. They’re the perfect cautionary tale for wishing away the chaos of a familyheavy Christmas. We’ve all wanted to do a Kevin and make our family disappear and while it might seem fun to eat nothing but junk food and ride a sledge down the stairs and out of the front door, there are consequences. Worse than incompetent burglars; a Christmas alone is a present noone wants to find under the tree.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

It’s not a Christmas film but the highly anticipated sequel to Rian Johnson’s excellent whodunnit Knives Out is out just in time for Christmas. Releasing on December 23rd, we’re planning on watching this on Christmas Eve with a pile of snacks and drinks. Daniel Craig returns as famed Detective Benoit Blanc investigating a murder at a party on a private Greek island.

Die Hard

The Christmas Chronicles

Kurt Russell as Santa Claus. That should be enough to get you adding this film to your watchlist. Two children try to capture Santa on camera during Christmas Eve night and this sweet little stakeout leads the children on adventure with old St. Nick to save Christmas. Sure, it’s a little clichéd but it’s fun and it’s got Santa singing in jail with a full band while wearing sunglasses.

The Holiday

Do you want to laugh? Do you want to cry? You can do those over another mince pie as you watch Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet swap lives in this beloved film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

It was only a matter of time before Marvel got the Christmas treatment. Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord is feeling pretty glum and fellow Guardians of the Galaxy Drax and Mantis, realise Earth is celebrating Christmas and decide to bring a bit of festive cheer his way. Apparently, the best way to do that is get him the gift of Kevin Bacon. By kidnapping Kevin Bacon.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

There have been countless adaptations of Charles Dickens’ classic festival novel, but this take on the tale by the Muppets, might be the best and the most accessible for the entire family. It’s heart-warming, timeless and full of fun.

Doc Martin Christmas Special

The hugely popular series may have just come to a close, but the Doc is making another house call this Christmas. We don’t know many details yet, but all our favourites are sure to be enjoying a Cornish Christmas in the beautiful Portwenn.

Father Christmas

The Raymond Briggs stories are brought to life in this animated short. This is all about Father Christmas in his downtime, doing his chores, living with his reindeer and his pets, and taking a little holiday before he gets ready for another Christmas.

| 11 Out & About
We’re not having the debate. It’s a Christmas film. And it’s brilliant.
Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back.
Who can eat millions of cookies in one night and not get fat? Well, I can.

IN Staying

Call the Midwife Christmas Special

Having a baby? Who you gonna call? THE MIDWIFE! A Call the Midwife Christmas special is a highlight for many when scheduling their festive viewing and it’s easy to see why. This special promises some new characters and a talent show. There are sure to be some tears so get the tissues ready.


A recent entry to the Christmas film catalogue and very under-rated. Klaus is a traditionally animated film that shares an alternate origin story of Santa Claus. It’s all about a postman working in the far north who befriends a toy maker called Klaus. It received critical acclaim for its story and animation and deserves to be seen by more.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear


In the war of the Christmas adverts, a certain supermarket has co-opted Buddy the Elf for their own commercial purposes. Don’t let them take away his chaotic charm and make it their own. Elf is a classic fish-out-of-water story when Buddy finds himself away from the North Pole and in New York, full of bah-humbuggers. Elf is a reminder of the innocence of Christmas, how at any age we can forget our worries and give into the spirit of the holidays.

Arthur Christmas

Arthur Claus, the son of Santa, discovers that a little girl’s Christmas present hasn’t been delivered and decides to deliver the gift himself before it’s too late. A modern animated that’s becoming a Christmas classic in its own right.

Love Actually

This star-studded selection of Christmas stories is a firm favourite among many at Christmas. With current hardships it’s hard to imagine a Prime Minister like Hugh Grant’s – standing up for what’s right and moral, as well as dancing round Number 10 to the Pointer Sisters. There’s so much to relate to in this festive film but what it affirms most is that at Christmas, love is actually the most important gift of all.

Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly dominates a quarter of the year and just when you think it’s over, it’s back for Christmas. It’s glitzy, it’s glamorous and it feels like what a Christmas party should be.

The Grinch


Max, he plans to steal Christmas from the nearby town once and for all.

12 |
Out & About
I realised that Christmas is the time to be with the people you love.
Carrey might be hidden behind a clever costume and make-up but he shines through with a hilarious performance as the Grinch, a creature that detests Christmas. Along with the help of his dog

Chris as

Going out What's on?

The Apex

Bury St Edmunds

Turin Brakes

Wed 14 December, 8pm

Steemy Dan

3 December, 7.30pm

Southwold Arts Centre

The ten-piece band are well renowned for their mastery of the music of Donald and Walter. If you haven’t seen them play live yet then you are missing a treat. With plenty of dates lined up for 2023 and if you’re a fan of the Dan or simply enjoy great music get out to one their gigs... not to be missed.

The Room

4 February

Ocean Room, Gorleston

The Room is back in February with another stunning line-up of live music acts, now in its 15th year. The Room is a big show, with five acts appearing on five different stages in the style of the BBC TV program Later with Jools Holland and is, in the main, a showcase for original bands to play live in a good size venue.

On the bill as usual is a cross section of music genres covering Blues, Country, Indie and of course a mixture of styles from the Rooms resident band The H-Gang. Providing the music on the night are The Hard Working Blues Band, Swamptruck Goodtime Band, Robin Evens and local band Jehenna.

This unique event is unlike anything else and sees each act playing on their own stages in each of the three

The band are set to mark the release of their ninth studio album Wide-Eyed Nowhere. Turin Brakes released Mercury Prize shortlisted LP The Optimist in 2001. The band has since moved on to rack up seven top 40 singles, seven top 40 albums and over a million record sales worldwide.

Cara Dillon

Sun 18 December, 7.30pm

Upon A Winter’s Night: Cara and her band capture the mystery of Christmas with a collection of ancient and modern songs, providing a welcome reminder that the festive season can be about more than just commercialism.

Matt Cardle

Mon 19 December, 7.30pm

Matt is a multi-platinum selling artist, having clocked up over 21 million streams and over 2.2 million record sales. He will celebrate the 10th anniversary of his 2011 debut album ‘Letters’ (a year late due to the pandemic!), by performing it in full for the very first time with a live band. There will also be songs from Matt’s three other studio albums.

sets starting at 8.02pm. The H-Gang will close up the night with a finale of upbeat tracks which is sure to get everyone up dancing.

Book your tickets early for this hugely popular event. Doors open at 7.02pm show starts at 8.02 prompt!

& About
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BOOK NOW @norwichpuppettheatre t:01603629921| NorwichPuppetTheatre, StJames,Whitefriars,NR31TN| Reg.Charity271041 @NorwichPuppetTheatre Tel:01603629921 |NorwichPuppetTheatre, Whitefriars,Norwich,NR31TN| Reg.Charity271041 Tickets £10, 01953 488731 Thompson Hall Retreat, Hall Lane, Thompson Thetford, IP24 1QA Luxury Retreats in the Heart of Norfolk Looking for a special Christmas gift? We have the perfect stocking fillers! Hampers, accomodation and spa vouchers also available 01328 710885 Staithe Street Wells-Next-The-Sea ARTS, HERITAGE & COMMUNITY WHAT’S ON THIS MONTH... SAT 3 DEC LIVE JAZZ - A SWINGING CHRISTMAS SUN 4 DEC WORKSHOP - SILVER JEWELLERY TUE 6 DEC FREE LIVE MUSIC - CHRISTMAS OPEN MIC THU 8 DEC ROYAL BALLET LIVE - THE NUTCRACKER FRI 9 DEC FILM - THE LOST KING (12A) SAT 10 DEC MET OPERA LIVE – THE HOURS TUE 13 DEC DING DONG! THE FESTIVE TRIVIA QUIZ WED 14 DEC BIODIVERSITY SERIES – WILD KEN HILL THU 15 DEC HERITAGE SERIES – HOMES FOR WHOM? 16 - 28 DEC FAMILY SHOW - HANSEL AND GRETEL SUN 18 DEC CLASSICAL - ELIZABETH WATTS (SOPRANO) MON 19 DEC FILM - MRS HARRIS GOES TO PARIS (PG) WED 21 DEC FREE BINGO - CHRISTMAS BINGO Full programme including film listings available online THIS CHRISTMAS fEAST Theatre and Wells Maltings present... BOOK NOW 16 - 28 Dec & GRETEL A hilarious local twist on the classic fairytale! You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll never look at Gummy Bears the same way again. 31, GARDEN STREET, CROMER, NORFOLK, NR27 9HN “LET IT SNOW” EXHIBITION BY VARIOUS ARTISTS 28th NOVEMBER - 11th DECEMBER A VIBRANT GALLERY DISPLAYING A WIDE RANGE OF PAINTINGS, PRINTS, PHOTOGRAPHS, CRAFTS & JEWELLERY BY LOCAL ARTISTS. WE ALSO HAVE A WIDE RANGE OF GIFTS SOURCED MORE WIDELY AROUND THE UK AND BEYOND. THE GARDEN HOUSE GALLERY & SHOP

Going out

What's on? Pantomime

There is still time to... ...Oh yes there is Norfolk

A Christmas Carol Gorleston Pavillion Theatre, Gorleston, 17-19 Nov

Dusmagrik Young People’s Theatre Company bring the atmosphere of Victorian Christmas traditions to the stage in this vibrant and joyous musical.


Princess Theatre, Hunstanton, 3 Dec-1 Jan


17-31 December

Norwich Puppet Theatre Tickets £10/£34 family of four Enjoy spectacular puppet pantomime Cinderella at Norwich Puppet Theatre this Christmas, with original music and songs, stunning marionette puppets, and a heart-warming story of strength overcoming adversity. This sparkling new multi-media production is an ideal festive treat for all the family, not just the little ones! Expect glittering costumes, dynamic puppetry and mischievous storytelling.

Mischievous Mice: Children’s Workshop

21 December

Norwich Puppet Theatre

Create your own cheeky sock puppet character inspired by the narrators of their Christmas show. Participants will get to do some simple sewing skills as well as customising their creations with some fantastic creative materials. The workshop leaders will show you how to make the structure of your puppet, then the creativity and customisation is up to you!

This magical pantomime features great songs, dazzling dance routines, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and amazing special effects. It will be an unforgettable experience for children and adults alike.

The Wonderful Wizard of OZ Gorleston Pavillion Theatre, Gorleston, 7-31 Dec

Enjoy songs like Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Follow the Yellow Brick Road and also laugh at the pantomime scenes, the ghost gag, the song sheet and all the traditional panto gags.

Snow White

King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, King’s Lynn, 7-31 Dec

Journey to meet Dame Dotty, Herbie Vore the (vegetarian) Huntsman and the magnificent seven on a magical adventure for the whole family.



St. George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, 10-31 Dec

Join Peter Pan who will, with the help of Tinkerbell’s pixie dust, fly you across the sea to Neverland. A magical place, home to lost boys, mermaids and the most villainous pirate of them all; Captain Hook!

Jack & the Beanstalk Norwich Theatre Royal, Norwich, 10 Dec-7 Jan

The show will be jam-packed full of slapstick comedy, laugh-out-loud gags, outrageous costumes, dazzling song and dance numbers and plenty of chances to cheer, boo and hiss.

Sleeping Beauty

The Corn Hall, Diss, 17-31 Dec

Join Princess Aurora, Muddles, Dame Victoria Sponge, Fairy Lights, King Bumble and the evil Carabose for an actionpacked show, full of dazzling costumes, glittering scenery, special effects and traditional pantomime slapstick.


Cinderella The Regal Theatre, Stowmarket, 3-11 Dec

For their Centenary Year SODS are celebrating with everyone’s festive favourite, packed with toe tapping musical numbers, plenty of corny jokes and all the well known characters, it promises to be fun for all the ages!

Jack & The Beanstalk Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, 13 Dec-1 Jan

This classic story comes to life with fabulous costumes, stunning sets, brilliant song and dance numbers, and a giant’s handful of panto frivolity. Expect laughs, cheers and plenty of participation! Terry Gleed will return as Simon Trott.

Goldilocks & the Three Bears

New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, 15 Dec-2 Jan

Dame Belinda Bigtop’s circus troupe has fallen on hard times. But her ringmaster, Tommy Topper, Bobo the Clown and Ali the Aerialist have stuck by her and she is determined that the show must go on.

Cinderella Beccles Public Hall & Theatre, Beccles, 17 Dec-2 Jan

Packed with all of the traditional pantomime ingredients. Cinderella features laugh out loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses.

| 17
& About

Going out

John Lewis Norwich

Children’s Christmas

Bauble Craft Sessions 20 & 21 December, 10am-11.30am In the Place to Eat restaurant at John Lewis, Norwich Come and join in the crafting fun this December. Create your own festive bauble character using ruffled fabric, felt, pipe cleaners and polystyrene balls. Suitable for children age 3-10. Tickets are £10 per child, places are limited and must be booked in advance by emailing:


My John Lewis Christmas evening

8 December, 6pm -9pm

Head along to the store for the My John Lewis Christmas evening for gift inspiration, live music and a glass of fizz whilst you shop. Available exclusively for new and existing My John Lewis members. Join My John Lewis for free and enjoy exclusive rewards and benefits by visiting: my-john-lewis

Family friendly Christmas event 10 December, 9am -6pm They’ll be something for all the family to enjoy from Christmas fashion style talks and table dressing inspiration to face painting, storytelling and craft activities for the children.

Norfolk Lights Express

Norfolk Lights Express trains run from Sheringham on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in November and on most evenings in December. Lights mounted to the outside of the train illuminate the passing countryside to create an enchanting and constantly changing vista for passengers while 10 additional illuminated dioramas, at selected points along the lineside, add to the spectacle and help tell an intriguing story, brought to life by on-board narration and music. Advance booking is essential for the illuminated train; tickets include reserved seats and are priced from £20. Full details including dates, times and availability can be found at

Santa’s Christmas Show

22-24 December

Southwold Arts Centre

Gavin Dean and friends will take you to the North Pole to meet Santa, his elves Jingle and Jangle and head of maintenance Sparky, and the Mischievous Mrs Tinsel, plus a special guest appearance by Rudolf! Tickets £12, free gift for each child ticket purchased.

Holkham Hall by Candlelight

Self-led tour dates: 4, 17, 18, 23, 27, 28, 29 December Guided tour dates: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20 December

A truly magical time, perfect for friends and family to enjoy the magnificent state rooms in all their festive finery, plus a glass of fizz and a mince pie too. Relish the magnificent state rooms adorned with opulent Christmas decorations and beautiful flickering candlelight. Lady Leicester, together

with Christmas-connoisseur Catherine Zoll, spend the entire year designing the sets and themes for your enjoyment. Either take a guided tour or visit the rooms at your own pace. Whichever way you choose, the expert tour guides and room stewards will share how the installations and unique decorations were created and divulge the inspiration behind each room setting.

Out & About 18 |

See the city’s historic landmarks adorned with pretty lights, and shops dressed in their finest, filled with enticing things to buy.

20 |

Christmas It ’ s

Izzi Johnson, Head of Marketing at VisitNorwich said: “This year our festive map is designed to paint a picture of Norwich as a unique, atmospheric festive destination: a place to eat, shop and play in one of the most historic cities in the UK. A city of past and presents!

Christmas markets offering festive food,

“The map contains a breadth of information – from some of the city’s most historic landmarks, to unmissable shopping destinations across Norwich. It’s also packed full of ideas for things to do during the festive season – including free events and that all-important list of pantos to see!’

The ‘Christmas in Norwich’ map is also a celebration of shopping in Norwich. From retailers who have permanent shops, to undercover shopping centres, to pop-up Christmas markets which take place most weekends. Christmas markets are a must for unique stocking fillers and gifts for ‘the person who has everything’, with many markets specialising in products made locally whilst also offering jovial music, warming winter food and delicious drinks.

friendly City Hosts also have plenty to give away.

In Magdalen Street, Norwich Lanes, the Cathedral Quarter and Elm Hill, The Royal Arcade and Norwich Market, discover a myriad of independent shops along pretty streets and winding lanes. Vintage fashion and collectables are more popular than ever, and sourcing one-off presents including second-hand books, antiques, homewares and jewellery. These shopping areas are also bursting with specialist retailers and people selling locally made and handcrafted items. They are also full of independent cafes and restaurants if you need sustenance along

Out & About
cobbled streets lead to a Norman
| 21
The most magical month of the year is upon us and there are some wonderful new things to do in Norwich this season
in Norwich, the City of Past and Presents… continued on page 23 ➤

Main Course

All served with crispy roast potatoes, glazed parsnips, Yorkshire pudding, pigs in blankets, festive stuffing and our almost famous gravy. To accompany your roast you will each receive a side portion of vegetables:red cabbage, sprouts with chestnuts and bacon lardons, carrots and peas. Then choose your meat... Roast turkey with cranberry sauce British roast pork leg with apple sauce Roast topside of beef with horseradish sauce Half roast chicken Or if you would like a little extra sparkle added to your Christmas dinner upgrade to a trio of meats for an extra £3.00


Vegetarian Options

Served with crispy roast potatoes, glazed parsnips, Yorkshire pudding, and homemade vegetarian gravy. To accompany your vegetarian meal you will each receive a side portion of vegetables:red cabbage, sprouts with chestnuts and bacon lardons, carrots and peas.

A choice of… Nut roast

Chestnut wellington • 01362 350053 • 07784 406 829 4th December Lincoln Christmas Market £26 8th December Thursford Christmas Spectacular (evening performance) £60 (SELLING FAST) 11th December Stratford Victorian Christmas Market & Gin Tasting (Shakespeare Distillery) £32 19th December Thursford Christmas Spectacular (matinee) £60
Open 7 Days a Week - Full Menu available all day - Fully Licensed Booking required for parties of 2 or more. A deposit of £10 a person will be taken during booking. Booking is recommended for parties who would all like a Christmas set menu and table set up.
Christmas Menu (Available
Two Course Lunch followed by a Regular Tea or Coffee
per person Single
per person CONTAINS NUTS GLUTEN FREE Takeaway Christmas Lunch for £12.95 or with Dessert £16.95 Collection on Christmas Eve to enjoy Christmas Day Please ask for allergen advice
of… Christmas pudding served with custard Festive apple pie served with custard or fresh cream Sticky toffee pudding served with custard or fresh cream
or Coffee served with a Mince Pie & After Eights
Bridge Road, Potter Heigham, Norfolk, NR29 5JD Tel: 01692 671923
from 1st December)
- £19.95
- £14.95

the way - which I highly recommend stopping for!

At Chantry Place and Castle Quarter, you can spend the day dipping in and out of all your favourite high street shops – plus they have their own car parks and Thursday late night opening until 8pm (as well as on other selected dates). Not forgetting regional flagship stores for John Lewis and Marks and Spencer and our independent department store Jarrold.

Chantry Place has welcomed some fantastic new stores this year - look out for Rituals, Hobbs, Whistles and Phase Eight as well as a move for Lisa Angel to larger premises - next door to Oliver Bonas. There’s also a new Hotel Chocolat cafe for those with a sweet tooth (spoil yourself with a velvety hot chocolate and whipped cream - I can highly recommend it). In addition, Chantry Place is glowing with new Christmas decorations for 2022 including a glittering sleigh you can sit in for selfies and a ‘trio of twinkling trees’ on Chantry Square. Their food hall is perfect for grabbing a bite to eat, alternatively enjoy some lovely restaurants located around their festive twinkling trees.

Castle Quarter has also continued to grow with a host of fantastic leisure activities (as well as shopping) if you want to play with – or maybe challenge - your friends and family! Enjoy Boom Battle Bar, Escape Hunt, Putt Putt Noodle – a concept where epic oriental-themed crazy golf meets Asian street food (it’s fantastic), or Retro Replay, Si5 Spy Missions and Superbowl UK.

In November, Castle Quarter also launched Castle Social: an exciting new independent-led, street food hall and entertainment venue, taking over the top fl oor of Castle Quarter. Centred around a stunning bar, called Pinker and Green, it’s been designed to evoke memories of traditional gin palaces. See plate glass windows, metalwork and greenery transforming the former food court, with its stunning domed glass roof, into an urban oasis. Here you

will fi nd a fantastic range of drinks and food, with a focus on local suppliers, growers, brewers and distillers from lunchtime until late, seven days a week. There’s also a full programme of live entertainment including music, quizzes and family events.

Norwich’s Victorian/art nouveau Royal Arcade linking Gentleman’s Walk and Back of the Inns is another example of huge change and is looking resplendent and inviting whichever way you turn. So, I recommend heading here for a good look around. Filled with independent shops and eateries there’s retro fashion from Lady B Loves, fine jewellery at Sonkai, interiors and homeware from Lauren Rose, Artisan Chocolate from Saffire, macarons at Macarons & More, a gin academy and bottle shop from Gyre & Gimble, and two new shops: Juni & Co dedicated to skincare and beauty, and Izola for skincare, fine fragrance and grooming.

Finally, located in the old Jamie Oliver building, is a fabulous new food hall called Yalm. Spanning over 10,000 sq ft over two floors, find six kitchens and three bars, all local independent businesses, showcasing the best food in the region. This eating and drinking experience is about “communal dining and celebrating good food with good people in a progressive environment”, states Dan Searle, the man behind Yalm, who previously brought us Mysabar when we were socialising outdoors, coming out of various lockdowns.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without exciting things to do and shows to see. Days and nights out across Norfolk are calling us. At Cromer Pier get well and truly in the Christmas spirit with their annual Christmas Show running until 30 December. Whilst over at The Bure Valley Railway, there’s the Festive Express (3 – 24 December). On the Broads you can enjoy a Santa Cruise River Trip with Broads Tours (various dates in December, £22 per person, under 3’s £5) enjoy festive music

and activities as well as a visit to Santa’s new grotto for the children.

Thursford, Roarr! Dinosaur Park and Holkham all have full programmes of wonderful seasonal activities, shows, light trails and more.

Back in Norwich the choice is yours for Christmas entertainment at some of Norwich’s most iconic and wellknown venues. See (or individual websites) for details of everything happening at Norwich Puppet Theatre, The Garage, Norwich Theatre Royal, Norwich Playhouse, Norwich Cathedral, The Forum, St Peter Mancroft and Norwich’s charming museums – Norwich Castle, Stranger’s Hall and the Museum of Norwich.

Full details of everything mentioned here and loads more ideas can be found at

& About
| 23 ➤ continued from page 21
Lisa Angel

The Christmas C toms of our Continental


Canyou hear it? Much like the jungle drums signal the start of a game of Jumanji, the palpable opening beats of the Band Aid classic, do in fact, make sure we know it’s Christmas time. Back in 1995, I am frantically circling things I want in the Argos catalogue and getting ready to hang my pillowcase on the end of my bed because we didn’t have Christmas stockings or a fi replace- Santa had a key to our house. Up and down the country, families are partaking in their own holiday traditions; preparing to drag a tree into their living room, setting the table with Christmas crackers and keeping a silver penny by to bake into a Christmas pudding. Thanks to Queen Victoria, none of those things seem odd to us, having become quintessential staples of British Christmases since the glory days of her reign. But much like Eurovision, there are some things our Continental cousins can teach us about their own unique Christmas customs.

Krampus of Austria

Buckle up for this one, Krampus is essentially the anti-Santa of Alpine folklore. A horned creature, Krampus is the bad cop to Santa’s good cop, a partnership akin to Riggs and Murtaugh. Whilst kindly Saint Nick awards good children with fruit, chocolate and nuts, Krampus dishes out punishment to those on the naughty list by beating them with birch rods. Think Simon Cowell with a whip and cloven hooves. Thought to have origins either in the Bavarian ‘krampn’ meaning dead or rotten or the German ‘krampen’ meaning claw, this hairy beast can still be seen in traditional parades. In Tirol,

Austria, men dress up in real animal hide costumes and wooden masks for their annual procession through town. Krampus is known to rattle chains and carry a basket in order to abduct the worst behaved boys and girls. Not for the faint of heart but possibly a useful ally in the perpetual negotiation that is parenthood. Krampus is likely to get the kids to tidy their rooms faster than the promise of some V Bucks.

The Witches of Norway

Like many other European countries, Norway’s main Christmas celebrations occur on December 24th. Decorations are made for the tree, presents are exchanged and the big dinner is consumed. Then the superstitious hide all the brooms before bedtime. With roots in Paganism, some Norwegians still hide their brooms to stop witches and mischievous spirits from taking flight on Christmas Eve. Because in Norway witches aren’t just for Halloween, they’re also for Christmas.

The Yule Lads of Iceland

Coming in like the So Solid Crew of Icelandic Christmases, are the Yule Lads. Over the 13 nights in the run up to Christmas, 13 different ‘lads’ visit the children of Iceland. With names like Pot Licker, Doorway Sniffer and Window Peeper, you’re guaranteed they are some interesting characters. Each night the children leave a shoe on their windowsill and can expect to receive either sweets or rotten potatoes depending on their behaviour. Despite coming in more instalments than the Fast and Furious franchise and utilising various means of theft to

harass the population of Iceland, these mischievous fellows are actually less concerning than their folklore matriarch, Grýla, who, legend has it, comes to town to grab the naughtiest children and take them back to the mountains to boil in a stew. In comparison, Gully Gawk and his predilection for stealing milk, seems like a sleigh ride in the snow. You see what I did there.

The spiders of the Ukraine

Once upon a time a Ukrainian widow lived with her children beside a large tree. When a smaller tree started growing from a pinecone that fell from the larger one, the children wanted to cut it down for Christmas. Having brought it into the house, the widow was dismayed that she had no ornaments to decorate the tree for her children. The spiders of their little house heard the soft cries of the mother and set to work spinning beautiful silken webs around the tree. In the morning, the widow and her children were enchanted by the glittering silver mesh encompassing their humble tree. The widow no longer felt sad and instead appreciated the gifts she had in life. Modern day Ukrainians still dress their trees with cobwebs in faith that they will bring good luck. No matter your belief system, it’s hard to dispute that this bewitching bedtime tale of modest appreciation is a palette cleanser that serves to counterbalance the commercially driven nature of this time of year.

So, as the warm up vocal exercises of Michael Bublé herald the coming festivities across our rain-lashed island, it’s time to lean into this most magical season of all and embrace the celebrations. Whatever your beliefs, or not as the case may be, I hope you find the time for your own rituals this year. I shall be raising my Slade hymn book for an offkey singalong, whilst decorating my real fir tree, whose pine needles will stick in my carpet and my husband’s last nerve for the next 4 weeks. From the bottom of my 80’s born heart, I wish you and your loved ones a Womblin’ Merry Christmas.

| 25 Life & Living
But much like Eurovision, there are some things our Continental cousins can teach us about their own unique Christmas customs...
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of the Paperbacks Pick

Well, that was harder than I thought. Pick your top five books of all time. With the many I have left out I feel I have betrayed them. With the books that made the list, they may not be the greatest literary achievements in the world but they are the ones I seem to have the most emotional attachments to. Give this exercise a try, challenging yet enjoyable, a bit like listening to Mariah Carey at Christmas.

The Spy One: Forever & a day

The Big Magic one: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

The First One: The Hobbit

I know... this is on most lists, but this time it is on a list for a different reason. I remember as a child being forced to take books home from the school library and promptly ignoring them until I could return them, unread, without drawing too much attention to myself. Picture the scene... bored, school holidays, searching for something to do and I accidentally find The Hobbit gathering dust in the corner. Skip ahead a few days and I have made it half way through. Imagine the horror as a then reluctant reader being tricked into enjoying a book, what is this witchcraft? I couldn’t get enough of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, so much so I felt a sense of loss when I reached the end. I recommend you read this, even if you have seen the film; however, a word of caution... although I love this book I have tried and failed with the Lord of the Rings; give it a go, see what you think.

This is set as a prequel to the events of Casino Royale, Fleming’s first Bond novel, and is set in the French Riviera in 1950, Bond investigates the killing of the previous man designated 007. Here Horowitz was hot off the success of his previous outing between the covers of a Bond novel, Trigger Mortis. In both novels Horowitz has incorporate unused Fleming material in the new story and has treated it sensitively and successfully, akin to a great architect weaving a old building into a new. The pace of the book reads well and having loved the Fleming original novels I enjoyed how this felt like an original with updated prose. This is a pure indulgent piece of escapism and is thoroughly enjoyable. This easily consumed and the only criticism is that it is over too quickly.

The Gripping One: The Dinner Guest

Did you get an invite to dinner? No? This is probably for the best on this occasion. Served up is a big bowl of secrets and lies, followed by a smorgasbord of anger, hate and revenge (which is best served like Gazpacho). You might need to read this with a large glass of Cab-Sav with rich with complex flavours. Okay, enough of the culinary references.

Four people walked into the dining room that night. One would never leave. Agatha Christie meets Donna Tartt in this nerve-shredding domestic noir thriller that weaves a sprawling web of secrets around an opulent West London world and the dinner that ends in death. A gripping thriller you won’t want to put down.

This 800 page monster is an epic in all proportions. The BBC adaptation was a great watch but the book is on a much grander scale. A story that sets out to prove that practical magicians are real and that magic, as once thought, isn’t lost to England. The pages fly by with ease and although there is a lot of moving parts to the plot, it all knits together in one spellbinding extravaganza. The period drama feel makes it all the more special. Many will be put off by the size of the book. I too, have many times picked up a whopper only to falter in the first stages. This is much more accessible than a monster classic, but feels it has the essence of one. If you are looking for a longer read to take you through the holidays and save you from falling out with the family, then this is most definitely for you.

The One that was... more than a book: Raw Shark Texts

Where do you start with this one? It has been described as the bastard love-child of The Matrix, Jaws and The Da Vinci Code this will take you on a roller coaster ride through ‘un-space’. I have tried to explain this book to many people without giving too much away. Part mystery, part thriller, part love-story and like nothing I have ever read before. The rights to this have been secured and rumour has it that Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) has completed a Raw Shark Texts screenplay for Blueprint Films, although no director or cast have been confirmed for this project. The sheer complexities of this plot will no doubt be a challenge to transfer over to the screen.

Is this my favourite book of all time?

Anything with a mysteroius figure called Mr. Nobody, an amnesiac re-discovering his past life through a surreal collection of clues, a really big shark and a cat called Ian. What is there not to love?

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The Adventures of Atlas is comin’ to town… S ta Paws

My name is Atlas, I’m a two year old, Fox Red Labrador and I love cuddles, training and… food, of course!


Hi Friends!

We’ve finally reached the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas (better known as Dogmas). Dedicated readers will remember that I took you through my gift guide last time, and this month, to get you all in the festive spirit, I’ve decided to walk you through our Christmas Day plans.

It will be an early start for us on Christmas morning (as it is every morning), to get me out for a lovely walk in the (hopefully) crisp and cold countryside - need to make sure I get plenty of exercise ahead of a nice lazy continued on page 31 ➤

& About | 29
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day of being spoilt. I’m hoping I might also get to have my special Christmas Day treat from my Three Peaks advent calendar - yum! Last Christmas our family came to us, but this year we are doing the rounds, so mum and dad have got a list ready of all the things we need to take with us to keep me occupied! First, and possibly most importantly, is my Ivy and Duke bed. Having this with us really helps me to settle, as it’s a familiar place for me to sleep, not to mention oh so comfortable. I’ve heard rumour that I may also have another special Ivy and Duke item under the tree this year! Other things on the pawrents’ list include a blanket in case I get chilly, my antler chew, my teddy and plenty of bite size treats. If any of you are also heading out on Christmas Day, make sure your pawrents pack some of your favourite chews, toys and treats to help keep you occupied.

We are popping in to see dog mum’s parents first and knowing grandma she will sneak me some more treats - and I’ll get all the cuddles! Then it will be off to see dog dad’s family for the rest of the day. I’ve recently been allowed free roam of the whole of the downstairs so I’ve got lots of space to wander, however I’m told there will be a baby gate on the stairs as I’m not allowed to climb them - spoilsports! Nanny will be making a delicious lunch for all the non-dog guests, but I’m hoping I might get to have a little taste of the roast dinner. Remember though doggies, as nice as it is to have little treats at Christmas, there are some foods that are poisonous to us, such as onions, mince pies, grapes, chocolate and macadamia nuts, just to name a few. It’s also important to remember that even with things we can eat, like turkey (no skin or bones!), carrots, parsnips, peas etc we should only have them in moderation and should keep them as plain as possible without any seasoning. To be extra safe, you could always opt for festively flavoured dog treats instead, such as Denzel’s turkey, cranberry and stuffing bites or pork, apple and honey ‘pigs in blankets’.

Then it will be time for presents! I’ve told the pawrents that I’ve been a very good boy this year, so paws crossed I will be lucky enough to have a couple of presents under the Christmas tree!

I was also planning on being chief present opening helper, but dog mum said I could only do this if I didn’t eat the paper so I had to tender my resignation before I even started - who could meet those kind of expectations?!

I’m hoping for really chilly weather at Christmas so we can have nanny and grandad’s log burner on - I plan on stretching out in front of it and keeping toasty warm.

After all that excitement, we will be heading home for plenty of rest before doing it all again the next day with dog mum’s parents - what a lucky doggy I am! I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas, make sure you stay safe and I will catch you all in the New Year - until next time Friends!

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About | 31
@thereallife_ofatlas ➤ continued
from page 29
Atlas loving life in his Ivy &Duke bed. Photo: Melissa Speakman
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07920 180712 Valley Farm Vineyards, Rumburgh Road, Wissett, Suffolk, IP19 OJJ
A very pale copper salmon hue with a fine stream of tiny bubbles. The nose shows incredible delicate complexity. Aromas of raspberry, lemon zest and buttery almond biscuits. The palate is crisp, with fresh citrus and raspberry flavours that linger, providing a long finish.

The Ivy Norwich Brasserie

Celebrate the festive season at The Ivy Norwich Brasserie, where the brasserie will be serving an array of joyful treats, including a limited-edition festive cocktail menu created in collaboration with Monkey 47, delicious á la carte dishes, afternoon tea and lavish set menus designed for larger parties.

To finish, guests will be able to delight in a limited-edition Santa’s On His Way (£9.95) dessert, perfect for those with a sweet tooth. Featuring a red velvet sponge, cream cheese frosting and dark chocolate, this exclusive, playful dish is sure to be a firm Instagram favorite this Christmas.

Lindsey Clifton, General Manager of The Ivy Norwich Brasserie says “We are delighted to be adding these festive additions to our menu and look forward to welcoming guests into the brasserie at this most wonderful time of the year.”

Can’t choose just one? Why not make your own selection of 6 single serve cocktails...


Often, the simplest ideas are the best. Take Edmunds, for example. Their original concept was to expertly combine the finest spirits, juices, syrups and aromatics into truly exceptional cocktails that recreate a bar-quality experience without the fuss or access to dozens of specialist liqueurs.

John Hutton Butchers

This well known shop in Earl Soham, Suffolk, is a must visit, selling exceptional produce sourced from local farmers. Although meat is the core part of their business, they also keep an extensive deli counter with a selection of over 40 English and Continental cheeses.

Choose from a Pornstar Martini, Espresso Martini, Old Fashioned, Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Elderflower Collins, Amaretto Sour, Strawberry Daiquiri, Lychee Martini, Acai Berry Bramble, Manhattan or Negroni; or if you’re feeling indecisive, leave as random and they will surprise you with a selection. £29.95

The ethical, family-run business supplies cocktails direct to customers via a well-stocked web shop, as well as to prestigious bars and restaurants in Suffolk and beyond. With a great selection of cocktails available there is something for everyone; crowd pleasers like the ever-popular Pornstar Martini,

The cocktails are hand-blended, bottled and labelled with skill and care. They supply everything you need to produce a world-class cocktail in your own home... all you need is a glass, ice and maybe the odd splash of soda water. So for the perfect party with a show-stopping selection of cocktails, all you need is Edmunds.

| 33 Gourmet G o s s pi
uo r me
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Decadent Delights & Scrumptious Surprises


a Jarrold hamper full of delicious tipples and treats is a joyful experience; each gilded box or luxury bottle feels like another present as it is pulled from the wicker basket.

Discover the Jarrold Hamper Collection with beautifully presented food and drink for every occasion, including luxury, local produce and Jarrold’s own brand label. The perfect present, corporate gift or special treat for friends and family to celebrate food, drink and everything delicious. A Jarrold Hamper will ensure the food this Christmas is something you will never forget.

Do you know exactly what the lucky recipient would love? Well, don’t worry; the experts at Jarrold can help handpick your choices, pack it all with care and ensure it gets to Father Christmas in time for the big day.

notified soon after. Entrants must be aged 18 and over. Prize date subject

& Drink The

King’s Ginger

Hold your Liqueur

There are certain flavours which just seem to conjure the sound of jingle bells and the twinkle of Christmas lights, and ginger is definitely one of them. Shaped into little men, peeled and chopped into the chutney or as a secret ingredient in mulled wine, ginger is the warming touch to a number of amazing Christmas recipes.

The original winter warmer, The King’s Ginger Liqueur, is a beautiful golden-coloured liqueur with a delightfully robust flavour. A wonderful fresh, natural ginger with a faint aroma of zesty lemon which makes a great sipping liqueur when served over ice and garnished with a slice of lime.



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The King’s Ginger would also make a great addition to your Christmas cocktail bar; generously mixed with your sparkling wine of choice or you can even elevate your hot chocolate with this delicious winter delight. If you treat yourself (or someone special) to just one spirit this season, choose The King’s Ginger for all its sweet, spicy and zesty flavours and make sure your December beverages are merry and bright. et Walker Christmas Eggnog Truffles
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Insp ing women

Mannington Hall

must be one of Norfolk’s most stunning stately homes - all battlements, moat, rose gardens, lake, woodland and more.

It is the ancestral home of the Walpole family, with Lady Walpole, Laurel, continuing to live there after the death of her husband Robert, ‘Robin’, the 10th Lord Walpole, in 2021.

Lord Walpole, explains Grace, his youngest daughter, was passionate about the environment, conservation and heritage and was a leading fi gure

both locally and nationally for many years, always advocating a caring and considerate guardianship of both Mannington Hall and Wolterton Hall which were, until 2016, both owned by the family.

Now, as all those with terrifi c country estates will know, they require a considerable amount of upkeep, usually with a hefty price tag attached. And getting the balance between opening your family home to the public to amass funds to safeguard the future, and maintaining your privacy and the

inherent charm of the place, is a tricky path to negotiate.

Grace, now aged 36, returned to Mannington earlier this year. ‘I had been in Kent for about the last 10 years, working as a chef in different restaurants and pubs, and private dining operations,’ she says.

She came back to help run the estate, in particular taking over the hall’s very popular tearoom, and helping to plan appropriate events and activities for the public to enjoy.

‘It is very much our family home and you’ll see mum in the ticket offi ce,

Grace Walpole wants to share the romantic Mannington Hall, near Aylsham, with us all in 2023. Sarah Hardy finds out more... Am
It is very much our family home and you’ll see mum in the ticket office, selling the tickets and answering the phone, and my brother washing up in the tea room. There isn’t a mass of staffno butlers, chauffeurs or anything

selling the tickets and answering the phone, and my brother washing up in the tea room. There isn’t a mass of staff - no butlers, chauffeurs or anything,’ Grace laughs, dispelling any thoughts of a Downton Abbey existence.

The hall, built in the mid 15th century, already takes part in An Invitation to View , run by the Historic Houses organisation, which offers an exclusive look around the hall, to unseen places, and with a dedicated guide, usually Lady Walpole herself. It is also a popular wedding venue, with up to 100 guests catered for on Saturdays.

New plans include a series of ‘taster’ sessions in the spring, with themes including food, wellbeing and gardening, and Grace providing refreshments.

Grace also says she would like to see more one-off events such as an art evening as her mother is very knowledgeable about the hall’s extensive art collection. ‘She has lived at the hall for more than 40 years and knows so much - and people love to hear her talk as she is so passionate.’

Other possibilities include a poetry evening, a music evening, possibly starting up community runs, offering it as a fi lm location, and more, with Grace explaining: ‘Dad loved to share Mannington; he loved a house full of people, he was always telling us to bring our friends home, and he loved showing people around the house - just as my mum does, too. So we are really just continuing that.’

She adds: ‘We have run garden tours, especially in the rose garden, which are popular, and held art exhibitions in some of our garden buildings. It

is a case of working out what we can manage and what might be popular. I’d also like to hold some cookery demonstrations in the tea room, using estate produce, and maybe look to create, say, our own gin, with roses from the garden, and maybe a jam and something like cider vinegar as we have so many apples in the autumn!’

Grace, who went to school in Canterbury, and studied marketing and PR at Leeds university, has always been interested in food, saying; ‘It was very much our family’s thing. We all sat down for dinner together and dad was very much of the conviction that we should all eat the same things. It was always seasonal and always local - Cromer crab

comes to mind and lots of things from the garden. And I remember it was Weetabix, or bread if we didn’t like it!’

She enrolled in a cookery course at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London and this kick-started her culinary career. ‘I’d worked in various restaurants, waitressing and in the kitchen in London, and really enjoyed it so it seemed like the next step. And from there, I worked at a Jamie Oliver restaurant in Covent Garden which had 500 covers so it was really busy, then I worked in a seafood restaurant in Edinburgh, and spent three months travelling in India which was amazing - I learnt so much.’

At Mannington, she has reinvigorated the tearoom, which opens when the gardens do - Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, from May until the end of September. ‘The gardens open from 11am to 5pm, and we open the tearoom from 11am to 4pm,’ she says.

Cakes are always a popular option, with Grace offering homemade soups, quiches, sandwiches and a very tasty Ploughman’s, all featuring local produce.

She also runs her own catering company called Walpole’s Kitchen, offering private dining options, especially for dinner parties, and is enjoying developing links with local producers and suppliers.

Spring events at Mannington: Fitness Day, January 14 - 10am - 3pm

Gardening Day, February 11 - 10am -3pm

Wildlife Day, March 23 - 10am - 3pm

Easter Foodie Day, April 1 - 10am - 3pm

Inspiring Women


F tive

Sausage Wreath


• 1 medium sized onion

• 2 cloves of crushed garlic

• 650g of locally sourced sausage meat

• 1 free range egg (beaten)

• Herbs, fresh or dried. 1tsp each of sage and thyme plus a few fennel seeds

• 600g of puff pastry (plus extra if you want to do more elaborate decorations)

• Norfolk rapeseed oil

- Sweat the onion in a pan with a splash of oil and a pinch of salt over a low-medium heat for 10 minutes. (Don’t skip this step as the soft onions give a delicious sweetness to the sausage meat).

- Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the herbs and stir well. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool.

- Put the sausage meat into a bowl, add the sweated onions and garlic and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. You can taste the mix at this stage by frying off a small amount in a pan. Add more herbs or seasoning if required.

- Cut a small end off the pastry for the decorations.

- Roll the pastry out into one long piece, approximately 70cm long and 15cm wide, around the thickness of a £1 coin. Try to keep it as oblong as possible and don’t let your corners disappear!

- Lay the sausage meat mixture along the middle in a long mound, trying to keep it as even as possible.

- Brush some of the beaten egg along the edges beside the meat and fold the sides in, so you have one huge sausage roll.

- Keep rolling until you have a round shape and then join the ends, by pinching the pastry and smoothing it over.

- Using the leftover pastry, roll it out to the same thickness as before and cut a strip as a seal to go around the messy join. Then use cutters to create stars, or holly leaves to stick on top.

- Preheat a fan oven to 180°C. (200°C for a nonfan oven)

- Put the wreath into the fridge for half an hour to set the pastry.

- Brush with beaten egg and put onto the middle shelf of the oven for 35 minutes until browned and puffed up.

- Using a skewer or a knife, (or a thermometer if you have one) check that the meat inside is piping hot. If not, cook for a little longer.

- Leave to cool slightly before serving with a section of your favourite festive relishes and chutneys.

38 | Inspiring Women

Barry Jones is a highly-skilled Audiologist with over 15 years in the profession. At Broadland Hearing

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Cranberry Stuffing Christmas

- Pre-heat the oven to 220°C. - Combine everything in a bowl and make sure it is mixed well. - Place the mixture in a medium casserole dish covered with foil and place it in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes. - Remove from the oven and remove the foil. Return the dish for a further 5-10 minutes until the stuffing has browned and is cooked thoroughly. Serve on the day along-side your festive fair.

TIP: Roll into individual balls and adjust the cooking time for a different presentation style.

www. artscraftkitchen
co .uk
Alice Rebecca Talbot
| 41 Food & Drink
owner of ART’s – Craft Kitchen
METHOD: • 250g dried apricots • 250g dried apple rings • 100g breadcrumbs • 1 onion (chopped) • A 226g jar ART’s of Christmas Cranberry chutney • 125g pecans • 1½ tsp table salt • ½ tsp allspice • 1 tsp ginger INGREDIENTS: Serves 6-8
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Theaddition of truffle oil gives this dish a delightful air of indulgence. The jus can be made a day or two beforehand and gently re-heated when needed.


• 1 whole Gressingham duck (approx 2.2 kg)

• 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped

• 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped

• 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

• 1 garlic bulb, cut in half

• 2 sprigs rosemary

• 2 Tbsp light olive oil

• 4 large or 8 medium field mushrooms

Spiced red wine jus

• 1 Tbsp light olive oil

• 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

• 1 tsp ground allspice

• Pinch of ground nutmeg

• 175ml good red wine

• 175ml port

• 1 sprig rosemary

• 1 sprig thyme

• 800ml chicken stock

• 2 Tbsp butter

• 1/2 tsp sugar

Ro t Duck

with truffle mushrooms & spiced red wine jus


- Preheat the oven 200°C. Remove the giblets from the duck (if included) and weigh to calculate the roasting time. It will need 20 minutes per 500g plus an additional 20 minutes.

- Pat the skin dry with kitchen paper and prick with a fork. Season well and place one garlic clove in the cavity.

- Place all the vegetables and herbs, apart from the mushrooms, in a large deep sided roasting tray and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the oil over and put the duck on top. Place in the oven.

- Approx 30 minutes before the end of cooking time, carefully add the mushrooms to the roasting tray and use the juices to baste them. When the duck is cooked, remove from the oven and rest in a warm place for 30 minutes before carving. Drizzle the truffl e oil

over the mushrooms and the duck.

- While the duck is resting, put the oil in a pan on a low to medium heat and sweat off the onions until they soften and begin to caramelise.

- Add the allspice and nutmeg and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat adding a dash of water if drying out.

- Add the port, wine and hard herbs, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until liquid has reduced by half. Pour in the stock and reduce by half again. Carefully pass the liquid through a sieve into a new pan and once again bring to a boil. Take off heat. Check for seasoning , whisk in the sugar and butter.

- Carve the duck, share out the truffle mushrooms and serve with roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

| 43 Food & Drink



• 2 Gressingham duck breasts, skin removed and meat cut into 1 to 2 cm strips

• 1 Tbsp light olive oil

• 2 Tbsp salted butter

• 1 onion, peeled, finely chopped

• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

• 1 pepper, de-seeded and cut into 1cm strips

• 150g chestnut mushrooms

• 1 full tsp Dijon mustard

• 200 ml creme fraiche or sour cream

• 150 ml chicken stock


- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a frying pan on a high heat. As it starts to smoke, put in your duck fillets, season and stir for 30-45 seconds. Take off heat and remove the duck from the pan onto a plate.

- Add a touch more oil to the pan and return to the hob on a low to medium heat. Sweat off the onions until they soften then add the garlic and pepper. Fry off for 5 minutes and then remove all onto another plate.

- Add the butter to the empty pan on the same heat and put in the mushrooms. Generously

season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.

- Pour in the stock and add in the creme fraiche and mustard. Stir, bring up to the boil, add in the onions, peppers, reduce temperature and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken.

- To finish now add in the duck strips and stir for 1 minute as you bring the temperature up. Once it bubbles you are ready to serve your stroganoff with either rice or pasta.

44 | Food & Drink
www.gressinghamdu c k. c o . u k

Al Dente is an independent Italian restaurant specialised in fresh handmade pasta.

Conveniently located right next to St. Giles multi storey car park, Al Dente is the perfect place for any occasion. All our pasta is freshly handmade by our pasta artisans on site and paired with the freshest ingredients combining Authentic Italian products and the best of local produce. In Al Dente we also have a small deli shop where you can find a wide range of premium Italian products and of course our freshly handmade pasta to enjoy at home.

Served from 25th November until 24th December 25B St Giles St, Norwich NR2 1JN


- Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir for approximately 15 seconds until diluted. Pour into a Nick and Nora or Martini Glass (chilled) and serve with a cornichon on a cocktail stick.

The Maldini Salty Dog





strain over

with a slice


For slow cooked turkey:

• 600g turkey crown

• 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges

• 4 bay leaves

• 2 T bsp cider vinegar

• 60g butter

• 1 large bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked

For the Wellington:

• 1 x 225g jar Cottage Delight Classic Cranberry Sauce

• 1 free range egg yolk, beaten

• 3 Tbsp olive oil

• 640g pre-rolled puff pastry

• 170g stuffing mix - made to packet instructions

• Flour, for dusting

• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

• olive oil


- Slow cook the turkey by placing the onions on the bottom of slow cooker, then layer on thyme and bay leaves; placing the turkey on top. Rub butter on the top side of the turkey and, spoon over cider vinegar and a splash of water. Cook on high for 6 hours, or low for 8.

- Once cooked and slightly cooled, shred the turkey. Alternatively, use leftover pre-cooked and shredded turkey.

- Pre-heat oven to 200°C.

- To assemble the Wellington, place one sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly greased baking sheet and spoon on a layer of stuffing evenly in the centre. Ensure you leave 5cm from short edges and roughly 8cm at long edges.

- Layer shredded turkey then finish with Classic Cranberry Sauce on top. Do not press into turkey.

- Brush round the outside of pastry layer with egg. Lift the second piece of pastry and place on top of the turkey, pressing the pastry over the sides. Trim the pastry joins to about 4cm and seal the edges with the back of a fork. Brush all over with the remaining beaten egg. Use a sharp knife and carefully make diagonal slits into the pastry, ensuring not to cut through.

- Cook for 30-35 minutes. The pastry should be golden and crisp. Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

46 |
INGREDIENTS: Serves 1 • 50ml Hayman’s Exotic Citrus Gin • 40ml fresh grapefruit juice • 20ml fresh lime juice • 10ml sugar syrup
Salt the rim
your Rock’s Glass.
ice. Garnish
of grapefruit. INGREDIENTS: Serves 1 • 50ml Hayman’s London Dry Gin • 5ml Dry Vermouth • 7.5ml Maldon salt solution (100ml water, 4g Maldon salt dissolved)
| 47 We ingt Slow Cooked Turkey & Cranberry Food & Drink
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Recipe by Steve Burton from The Candy Shack 46 Queen’s Road, Lowestoft

If you want to create a home-made treat for the kids this Christmas why not get them involved with this easy recipe. Mix in, and even top, with their favourite sweets.


- Grease and line an 18cm square brownie tin with baking paper.

- Place the digestive biscuits in a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin, until broken but not too fine.

- In a large saucepan melt the butter or margarine, dark chocolate and 2-3 Tbsp golden syrup over a gentle heat, stirring constantly until there are no, or almost no, more lumps of chocolate visible, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

- Take the biscuits, mini marshmallows and up to 100g of additional ingredients (your favourite sweets), and stir into the chocolate mixture until everything is completely covered.

- Tip the mixture into the lined baking tin and spread it out to the corners. Chill for at least 2 hours then dust with icing sugar and cut into 12 fingers.

• Optional: up to 100g of you favourite soft sweets, Haribo work really well.

| 49
Food & Drink
digestive biscuits •
butter or margarine •
dark chocolate • 2-3 Tbsp golden syrup • 100g mini marshmallows • icing sugar, to dust
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William Morris at Home Festive Bullerswood Beauty Essentials Velvet Pouch, £16

Acqua di Parma Candle, available in Magia del Camino, Panettone and Bosco, 200g, £57.60

| 51
Have you left it to the last minute? Have you forgotten to buy for someone? Here we have some great gifts to avoid the panic-buy blues... The Ritual Of Mehr Energising Routine, foaming shower gel 200ml, body cream 100ml, body scrub 125g, parfum d’interieur 250ml, £37.50

Yule be sorry if you miss out on these gorgeous little fashionable pieces!

52 |
Ecru White Fox Christmas Jumper, £34, NEXT Polo Ralph Lauren Winter Bear Jumper, £395, House of Fraser The Cracking Navy Christmas Jumper, £44.95, Joules Yumi Avocado Navy Festive Jumper, £55, John Lewis Santa Claws Lobster Jumper, £22, TU at Sainsbury's Jacquard-Knit Jumper, £19.99, H&M
Recycled Blend Patterned Relaxed Jumper, £35, M&S
Mickey & Friends Christmas Tree Sweatshirt, £16, TU at Sainsbury's Coca-Cola Holidays Jumper, £22.99, The Range
| 53 Fashion Ciri Black Lace Top, £65, Monsoon at Chantry Place Sparkling Snowflake Stud Earrings, £35, Pandora Red/Silver Christmas Bow Earrings x2 Pack, £6.50, NEXT Burgundy Check Cotton Pyjamas in a bag, £30 & Stocking Fleece Pyjamas in a bag, £30, both Boux Avenue at Chantry Place
Burgundy & Mustard Check Winter Scarf, £28, Lisa Angel
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Fashion | 55
Metallic Spot Navy Midi Dress, £110. Aurelia Disc & Bead Charm Chain
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Mid Heel Sandals, £155, all Oliver Bonas at Chantry Place

And The Dog came, too

The mainly dogfriendly bedrooms are splendid, too. There are a couple of family suites while our first floor room, Grebe, had a little balcony where you could watch the sunset.

56 |

The W tl own

Is this the region’s most dog friendly hotel, asks Sarah Hardy as she visits The Westleton Crown in Suffolk

It’s a cosy coaching inn, just off the A12 and perfectly positioned for trips to the beach, heathlands, wildlife reserves and charming towns and villages of Suffolk’s Heritage Coast.

But The Westleton Crown is also a very welcoming place for your four-legged friends who are an important part of family life as Bella, our rather pampered border collie, discovered when she joined my husband and I on a much needed break.

The hotel, which dates back to the 12th century, is situated right in the centre of pretty Westleton, opposite the 14th century village church of St Peter’s, and close to the village green, general store and an amazing secondhand bookshop where you can easily pass an hour or so browsing the extensive shelves, crammed with all manner of goodies!

| 57 Life & Living
continued on page 58 ➤

It is ideally situated for walking, with good trails straight from the hotel, taking you around the surrounding Common or across the Heath to Dunwich which has a great beach for swimming or just paddling, and Dunwich Forest for those hounds who love a woodland adventure.

The hotel, which has 34 bedrooms in both the main hotel and buildings behind, is part of the growing Chestnut group of hotels which now boasts 16 properties in the eastern region including The Ship at Dunwich, The Globe in Wells and The Feathers in Holt.

They are all decorated with panache, with care taken to enhance original features and refl ect the area’s landscape. The Crown has a wonderful wood panelled bar, complete with large woodburner, a dog-friendly parlour with yet another large fi replace, a restful lounge with wing-backed armchairs and deep sofas, and The Garden Room restaurant, all fl oor to ceiling glass doors which open onto pretty gardens, a large roof window, and masses of healthy looking plants.

I love the bold botanically-inspired wallpapers - think William Morris - and the period photographs, many of the village and the hotel, which decorate the walls.

The mainly dog-friendly bedrooms are splendid, too. There are a couple of family suites, while our fi rst fl oor room, Grebe, had a little balcony where you could watch the sunset.

They are well stocked with ecofriendly vegan Bramley bath products from Wiltshire for us humans to enjoy, and lots for dogs too, including treats, a blanket, a bowl and even a comfy basket which Bella enjoyed after her various walks and coastal swims.

Food is an important part of The Crown’s offering. Breakfasts are elaborate affairs, with the eggs Benedict recommended, and evening meals have plenty for all, with a good selection of both vegetarian and vegan dishes on offer. Cauliflower shawarma

with cumin flatbread caught my eye along with celeriac schnitzel. We sampled roast Blythburgh pork loin with all trimmings and baked North Sea cod fillet, and mention must go to the desserts which were a real highlight; the apricot parfait, Essex raspberries and pumpkin seed praline being especially unctuous.

There’s even a dedicated doggy menu, with Bella’s favourite, a cooked sausage, at £2, plus other yummy treats like a pig’s ear to gnaw (also £2) or a selection of Denzel’s baked chews to chomp through!

The Crown is ideally placed for exploring. We walked around what’s known as the lost city of Dunwich, Suffolk’s answer to Atlantis! It was once a thriving medieval port but storm surges and coastal erosion saw its demise. The ruins of Greyfriars Friary remain and there’s a great little village museum where there’s a model of how the village looked at the height of its powers in the 13th century. Be sure to refuel at the beach’s tearoom where fi sh and chips are simply compulsory!

We also visited picture-postcard pretty Walberswick, beloved by generations of painters, including one of my favourites, British impressionist Philip Wilson Steer. You can walk over the iron footbridge or take the passenger ferry to Southwold

and indulge in this seaside town’s fabulous shops and eateries, but we simply enjoyed a three mile walk, taking in the long sand and shingle beach, heathlands and coming back along the River Blyth. The village boasts several refreshment stops, including Black Dog Deli, and the 600-year-old Bell Inn and I always enjoy a look in The Parish Lantern, a shop and tea room on the village green which has been going for decades and offers something a bit different.

Add in a trip to the RSPB’s Minsmere reserve (although you’d need to leave the hound at home), and maybe a drive to nearby Thorpeness, another quirky little seaside village which was designed as a holiday destination in the early 20th century although it has a real mixture of architectural styles. It’s a great place to just walk around, with a boating lake and yet another atmospheric pub, The Dolphin, for that vital R&R.

But after all this exercise and sightseeing, it’s great to simply return to The Crown for a G&T in the bar, a soak in the large bath tub, followed by a hearty supper, using ingredients from the area’s rich larder. And with the dog exhausted after her day’s activities, a peaceful evening is promised!

58 |
Life & Living ➤ continued from page 57
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with Tom Strowlger

garden will complete the view from our windows. We can use our downtime to plan garden projects and even plant a few more spring bulbs before it’s too late. The garden is currently a blank canvas allowing us to see any gaps that need to be filled with new plants in the coming seasons.

We need to keep the lawn grass clear of autumns fallen leaves by raking or leaf vacuuming them up. This helps to prevent a patchy lawn that would need reseeding in early spring. It’s important to keep the lawn grass exposed to as much winter daylight as possible and to prevent it from being suffocated underneath layers of rotting leaves.

There is no better sight than a layer of sparkling frost on a tidy lawn.

One of the most Christmassy sights is the wreath hanging proudly on the front door. We can, of course, buy a ready made real wreath to hang, however we could create our very own home-made wreath, using materials from the garden. We can create a wreath by collecting carefully cut ivy, holly and evergreen shrubs, and placing the fresh cuttings into a circular piece of floral foam.

We can give our gardens a festive feel by hanging some outdoor twinkly lights amongst the trees, shrubs and hedges; it will make the garden a magical place over the Christmas season. The sight of twinkling lights amongst wintry scenes will create an environment of relaxation and cosiness within your very own Christmas card garden setting.

The most festive month of the year is here and us gardeners turn our green fingers to decorating the indoor Christmas tree and hanging our wreath, thick with holly and ivy, on the front door. This time of year makes most of us feel warm and cosy enough to settle into a comfortable chair and hibernate the month away. However, us gardeners can be outside in the fresh air whilst achieving some garden jobs in readiness for the new year.

The garden will be dormant at this time of year and if we are lucky the Dickensian scene of a little snow in the

I love the Christmas season as it allows us much needed time to reflect on the gardening year. My favourite thing to do is to simply stand in the garden on Christmas Day to take a moment, often between Christmas lunch courses, and get excited about gardening in the new year. So on that thought I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Gardening Year.

Please do follow me on Instagram @garden_with_tom for more seasonal gardening advice and tips.

| 61 Out About
One of the most Christmassy sights is the wreath hanging proudly on the front door.
TOP TIPS December Continue digging and adding compost and mulch to beds and borders Keep birdfeeders topped up to support your garden birds Stop ponds, water features and bird baths from freezing over Snow might fall, so be sure to gently shake this off plants, shrubs and hedges Remember to celebrate your achievements in the garden this year &
Visit our expert team for professional advice on how we can improve your hearing Book your free hearing health assessment today by calling 01473 876 985 Whatever you’re listening out for this Christmas, we’re here to help provideWealsoauniquewaxENTnurseled serviceremoval

Justwhen we thought it couldn’t get any worse. The last few years have been quite a struggle for lots of us and the news is full of negative issues. Let’s face it the media of all descriptions do tend to focus on the worst-case scenario and then exaggerate the negative consequences and if you allow yourself to become absorbed and then buried in this doom scrolling it can wear even the most resilient of us down. 2023 is just coming into view over the chronological horizon so how can we make it a more positive experience?

Monitor your thoughts and feelings. Try to catch yourself when you are sliding into the negative thought pattern. A good practice is to become more mindful of your thoughts and feelings, as though you’re an observer, talk to yourself mindfully. Stop and consider and ask yourself “Do I need to think about that?”

Understand your negative thinking habits or patterns.

If you follow the news, try to edit it for yourself. The radio, TV and social media is frequently random in its content and its very often just the opinion of unqualified people. Be certain the person is delivering the information is knowledgeable and experienced enough so their opinion has some veracity. Try not to get sucked in by sensational headlines that are not reflected in the reality of the situation. Don’t wallow in the depressing detail,

look at the news early in the day so you can digest it and not as you’re slowing down ready for relaxation.

Try to understand and reframe your thoughts.

Try to understand your negative thinking and feeling habits that may intensify your psychological tension. Educating yourself about your individual negative thinking and feeling patterns is imperative to your becoming more positive.

Challenge your thoughts and feelings. Challenge your thoughts and feelings then decide your new positive path and eventually change your way of being by repeatedly and persistently saying a positive personalised mantra.

What is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Are the things I’m telling myself even true? Am I distorting these events? What is a fresh way of looking at what has just happened? Instead of perceiving things depressingly, challenge every unhelpful thought, and see if you can embrace thoughts and feelings that are truly realistic. Some of them will be positive.

Substitute your negative thoughts with realistic positive thoughts. Experience an anxious moment rather than a panic attack, be excited or apprehensive rather than anxious, feel discomfort rather than pain, say that’s tough rather than that’s impossible. Speak the positivity into existence and

speak the negativity into extinction. When you encounter something negative, see if you can teach yourself to think and talk more positively.

Without misrepresenting the truth, look for the ‘silver lining’ in each setting and try to find the positive authority of genuineness and disregard the façade that is distortion. Detect the authenticity that fits your setting and realise that your position is less negative and more hopeful and encouraging.

Shane Lutkin has a masters degree in the theory of personality and is Lead Psychotherapist, at

Call / text 07986 488690


| 63
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I'm a 41 year old mother of two & Personal Fitness coach. I work one to one, in person & online with clients aged 18-80. My specialisms include pre & postnatal training, cancer rehab, pilates, & GP exercise referrals. I run fitness classes online and in person in the Suffolk Coastal area. I am also a Mental Health First aider.

It’s begining to look a lot like Fit-mas

Come January do you find yourself feeling unfit, unhealthy and generally a bit grotty? Wishing you hadn’t eaten and drunk quite so much?

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can still enjoy all the festivities of the season and get through the Christmas period without too much impact on your health; both physical and mental, or your waistline. These are some of my top tips for staying healthy over the Christmas period.

In the run up to Christmas...

Is it just me or does it seem like people start getting in the Christmas spirit earlier every year? Although traditionally a time when we over indulge, this seems to have changed from just being Christmas Day and Boxing Day, to most of December! While a couple of days of over indulging probably won’t cause more than a hangover and a bit of indigestion, a few weeks is a different matter.

Don’t make it last all week. Just because you may be off work for an extended period, that doesn’t mean you have to treat every day like Christmas day. Pick a couple of days to eat, drink and be merry. The rest of the time try to stick with your normal life routine, whatever that may be.

Just have one Christmas dinner. With invites from work, friends and family you may find you have plenty of Christmas parties to attend in the run up to Christmas, it’s quite easy to find yourself feeling stuffed and sick of the sight of turkey by the 25th. While delicious and enjoyable a traditional Christmas dinner can have in excess of 3,000 calories; which is more than a whole day’s recommended calories for many people. So save the Christmas dinner for Christmas Day!

just a few weeks to go before Christmas, your diary is probably filling up with parties, drinks and various social events. When there is so much going on, it’s easy to throw in the towel when it comes to your health and fitness. Not only do we get out of our usual routines, but there seems to be something about this time of year that makes us seriously and actively over indulge. We drink far more than usual. Eat until we can barely move. Consume an enormous amount of snack foods, fail to leave the sofa for days on end… for no other reason than “You’ve got to at Christmas, haven’t you?” Sound familiar?

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Not only do we get out of our usual routines, but there seems to be something about this time of year that makes us seriously and actively over indulge
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Step away from the supermarket snack bargains!

You know what I mean! We typically buy a huge amount of snack food. Usually sweets, chocolates, cheese and crisps to eat over the festive period. Often, we then we feel guilty for having so much food in the house we try and eat it all to get it out of the way by January! A sure-fire way to over eat and generally feel rubbish!

Block sessions in your diary to keep on track.

If you are a regular exerciser, try to continue to your routine over the festive period. I find the best way to ensure this happens is to put the sessions in my diary. Make time for your fitness, even if it’s just 20 minutes here are there.

Stress less

The festive period must be the most stressful time of the year for a lot of people, what with going over budget, endless to do lists, spending hours wrapping the perfectly presented gifts, the mammoth task of getting Christmas dinner out on time, popping here there and everywhere to see various family members so no one is offended… Just take a deep breath and remind yourself, it’s just one day; chill out and enjoy it.

Turn off the TV and do something for your brain.

Yes, we all love an Only Fools and Horses special, but instead of zoning out staring at the screen, do something to engage your brain instead. This can also be a great way to get everyone involved and interacting... Monopoly anyone?

Eat something colourful.

Christmas Day and that weird period between Christmas and New Year.

You know that time, where you spend much of your time in a cheese induced daze and no one is really sure what day it is.

Back off the booze a little. It is so easy to drink out of boredom over this period... or just because you can. You don’t have to drink with every meal and every evening just because it’s Christmas. While it can obviously be very enjoyable, alcohol has a lot of negative effects on our bodies. It negatively impacts the quality of our sleep, weakens our immune systems, often leads us to make poor food choices, not to mention being very high in calories!

Get outside every day!

Boredom can easily set in during the Christmas break, so make some plans that involve leaving the house. Go for family walks, drop cards and presents off, or walk to the shop instead of jumping in the car. Even just 30 minutes out and about will do wonders for your wellbeing and mood.

And I don’t mean Quality Street. Do you find yourself constantly eating beige foods at Christmas? Potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, crisps, nuts, Bombay mix? While delicious, these foods can be high in salt, high in calories and can leave us feeling sluggish and bloated. Balance it out by making sure you are eating plenty of colourful fruit and veg.

Make plans with friends.

You’re not the only one bored at home, so make arrangements with friends to get yourselves out and about.

Donate the food you don’t need... and that’s most of it.

Remember all that snack food that you bought? If you find that you struggle with willpower and are likely to eat it all just to get it out of the way, STOP! Donate to your local foodbank, do something that will help others, and will also benefit you.

F tive b spro-ho-ho-ho-tein

INGREDIENTS: Makes 40-45 Balls

• 700ml cup rolled oats

• 250ml vanilla whey protein powder

• 1 tsp cinnamon

• 2 Tbsp chia seeds

• 250ml smooth peanut butter

• 6 Tbsp raw honey

• 2 tsp vanilla extract

• 170ml chopped dates and/or cranberries

• 6 Tbsp milk


- Add the oats, protein powder, cinnamon and chia seeds to a large bowl and stir to combine.

- Add in peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.

- Add in chopped dates and/or cranberries. Mixture should be slightly sticky but still crumbly.

- Slowly add in the liquid one tablespoon at a time. Use your hands to combine until it comes together in a large sticky ball. If mixture is too dry, add in more liquid, but be careful not to add too much.

- Roll into small balls and then place in a container to set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Store in fridge until ready to eat.

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