Page 1

HANGOVERS CURED!

175 Festive ideas

on dancing, divorce & dating again DECEMBER 2015

From

£1

IT’S TIME TO PARTY

Christmas MEN

0 ways t

EASY CLASSICS Make Xmas lunch look effortless!

Do you really know how to have fun?

STAY SLIM ALL SEASON

You’re looking

GOOD Creative ways to keep kids busy

DAZZLING party fashion SPEEDY hair & beauty fixes

COOL CANAPES Simple recipes from 10p per person GREAT GIFTS Delicious treats you’ll love to give

MERRY XMAS!

g some buzz into the bedroom this Christmas


HI THERE!

ED’SLetter

Gifts yo u can afford!

DECEMBER 2015

OMG! IS IT CHRISTMAS ALREADY? Well, not quite yet actually – but if you’re anything like me, you’ll already be busy planning for it. I love buying gifts and I’m finally learning that my kids always seem to prefer the silly bits that cost £1 rather than anything expensive. So this year will be all about stocking fillers in our house, some of which I spotted in our gift guide starting from page 65. Happy shopping!

Catherine

GROUP EDITOR ESSENTIALS & GOODTOKNOW.CO.UK GLITTER BUG Easy ways to look dazzling PERFECT PRESENTS Ideas for everyone and every budget

HOT RIGHT NOW

BEST-EVER BASICS Christmas menu essentials you can master in minutes

KIRSTY GALLACHER The TV star reveals all about Strictly and the challenges of being a single mum – from page 6

ESSENTIALS 3


Contents

DECEMBER 2015

Fashion 11 22

25 26

FAST FASHION What’s new THE BIG CHRISTMAS REFRESH Get readytopartywiththeseeasyupdates SHIMMER VS JEWELS Make a bold entrance to any event HIGH STREET HOT LIST Gorgeous looks to wow at every party

Features 29 32

Cover photography David Venni Stylist Natalie Read Hair & make-up Sarah Exley Kirsty wears Dress, goddiva.co.uk; earrings, piajewellery.com

43

I BET SANTA DOESN’T GET THIS STRESSED Viv Groskop on the annual anguish of present-buying THE CHRISTMAS THAT CHANGED ME Three women talk about nightmare Decembers – and why Christmas is now more important than ever BAH HUMBUG! Our readers confess to their lack of festive spirit

4 ESSENTIALS

44 46

‘HE STOLE OUR CHRISTMAS’ The devastation of a December burglary A GIRL LIKE YOU Kimberley Walsh on showbiz, marriage and motherhood

Beauty 51 57 61

149

EASY BEAUTY What’s new HEAVY METAL Shimmering metallics ALL THAT GLITTERS Add a touch of sparkle to your party face COME SPA WITH ESSENTIALS Take a pampering break at Ragdale Hall

Health 77 79

80 87

GOOD HEALTH What’s new ‘NO CHOCOLATE FOR ME THIS CHRISTMAS!’ The shock diagnosis that changed one woman for ever HOW TO SURVIVE CHRISTMAS Get fighting fit for the festive season WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE TO… HAVE BOTOX First-hand report

Food 89 96

On the cover

92 6

REAL FOOD What’s new LET’S PARTY! BUFFET Great recipes to feed the Christmas hordes 100 SANTA’S LITTLE HELPERS Get the kids baking these festive treats 102 ENJOY A HEALTHY CHRISTMAS Simple ‘free-from’ tasty dishes

’I’M A STRONG PERSON, I HAVE TO BE’ Kirsty Gallacher on dating again, Strictly and approaching 40 12 BACK TO BLACK You can’t beat it for sophisticated party glamour 37 YOU & HIM Ask Santa for these truly orgasmic gifts! 40 WHAT’S YOUR PARTY PERSONALITY? First on the dance floor – or happy at home in your PJs? 52 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Fab hair and beauty fixes 58 PARTY SEASON SOS! Emergency beauty fixes

60

25% OFF AT JD WILLIAMS Claim your exclusive offer 65 GIFTS YOU CAN AFFORD! Perfect presents from £1! 83 HANGOVERS – CURED! We share our remedies 84 ’TIS THE SEASON TO BE GREEDY Winning tips on how not to overindulge 92 LET’S PARTY! CANAPES Nibbles from just 10p 104 FROM ME TO YOU Homemade gifts 107 HOW TO MAKE THE BEST… Christmas dinner 118 HAPPY HOLIDAYS Fun crafts for the kids

12

57 22 26


IN THIS ISSUE

GROUP EDITOR CATHERINE WESTWOOD GROUP ART DIRECTOR Phil Attaway ASSISTANT EDITOR (Features & Entertainment) Carrie Mitchell ASSISTANT EDITOR (Lifestyle) Stephanie Lowe CONSULTANT EDITOR Terry Tavner DIGITAL EDITOR GOOD TO KNOW Holly Boultwood ASSOCIATE EDITOR GOOD TO KNOW/ESSENTIALS Sarah Allard

112

DESIGN ART EDITOR Becky Brannigan SENIOR DESIGNER Katie Archer PICTURE EDITOR Jo Crawford EDITORIAL PRODUCTION CHIEF SUB EDITOR Sue Linford DEPUTY CHIEF SUB EDITOR Toria Richards FOOD DEPUTY FOOD EDITOR Sophie Austen-Smith FASHION FASHION DIRECTOR Caroline Baxter FASHION EDITOR Paula Moore FASHION STYLISTS Rachel Bassett, Sharna Newton FASHION ASSISTANTS Cigdem Tanrioglu, Becky Joiner O’Riordan

Home 112

DECK THE HALLS Décor tips to help you welcome Santa in style

Essentialist 129

130 131 133 134 135 136 137

65

BOYS TO MEN The child stars who transformed into Hollywood’s hottest GO OUT Latest movie news and great nights out INSIDE THE MIND OF Johnny Depp ON THE BOX TV highlights ON THE SHELF Great new reads LET’S GET FESTIVE! Kid-friendly entertainment from panto to ballet IT’S ALL ABOUT CHRISTMAS MARKETS Best seasonal shopping spots countrywide ON THE RADAR What’s new… what’s in… what’s out

Travel

139 GREAT ESCAPES What’s new 140 SIX OF THE BEST EUROPEAN CITY BREAKS All reached within a few hours – we help you choose

CRAFT 117 124

BEAUTY BEAUTY DIRECTOR Jess Henley BEAUTY WRITER Annie Vischer BEAUTY ASSISTANT Meghann Thorp

MAKE IT EASY What’s new PAPER GETS CRAFTY Easy makes with award-winning Victoria Egg – and all in under 20 minutes

LIFESTYLE LIFESTYLE WRITER Eleanor Jones FEATURES WRITER Anna Matheson CONTRIBUTORS GOODTOKNOW Gemma Chandler PUBLISHING MANAGING DIRECTOR Fiona Dent PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Roger Cummings PUBLISHER Tom Smith

Regulars 3 62

153 154

EDITOR’S LETTER SUBSCRIBE TO ESSENTIALS for just £22.99 for 12 issues and receive a free gift worth £19 DECEMBER HOROSCOPES LISA’S LAST WORD Lisa Faulkner on festive bakes and gorgeous PJs

e 118 asy MAKE I T

ADVERTISING HEAD OF CLIENT PARTNERSHIPS Alex Russell HEAD OF AGENCY SALES Lindsay Dean BRAND MANAGER Victoria Vatistas TRADING DIRECTOR (Manchester) Russell Matthews CREATIVE MEDIA ACCOUNT DIRECTORS Hannah Biscombe, Holly Bishop, Emilie Morrissey ACTING ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Amanda Egbosimba TIME INC (UK) LTD GROUP CREATIVE MEDIA DIRECTOR Matt Downs CONTENT DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Joanna Rahim PROJECTS DIRECTOR Kathryn Cane CLASSIFIED CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING MANAGER Emma van der Veen CLASSIFIED SALES EXECUTIVES Lili Cavaliere, Christie Wilson INSERT SALES LOOSE INSERT SALES DIRECTOR Lindsay Martin BOUND-IN & TIP-ON INSERTS Victoria Vatistas SUBSCRIPTIONS SENIOR SUBSCRIPTIONS MARKETING EXECUTIVE Gemma Burnie PRODUCTION PRODUCTION MANAGER John Botten AD PRODUCTION Thomas Coelho DIGITAL PRODUCTION Dominic Evans SYNDICATION & CIRCULATION SYNDICATION SALES EXECUTIVE Cerie McGee ASSISTANT SYNDICATION MANAGER Efi Mandrides GROUP CIRCULATION MANAGER Paul Burden

ESSENTIALS 5


‘I’m a

STRONG PERSON I have to be’

Dancing, divorce and dating again, Kirsty Gallacher takes time out of her manic schedule to reflect on her most challenging year yet

K

INTERVIEW CARRIE MITCHELL | PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID VENNI

irsty has a knack for setting men’s pulses racing – whether she’s interviewing sports stars or shimmying her way across the dance floor. But while ‘sizzling’ and ‘sexy’ may be the words most often used to describe the presenter, ‘busy’ is the first word that springs to mind after meeting her. For the last few months, Kirsty, 39, has been getting up at the crack of dawn to drop her sons – Oscar, eight, and Jude, five – at school before racing into the Sky Sports News studio to anchor the main show, then speeding off to rehearsals for Strictly. It’s no wonder she’s in such good shape - how else would she keep up? She’s always been fit, but this year, Kirsty’s spent even more time in the gym because it’s helped her deal with a difficult divorce from partner of 15 years, Paul Sampson. After they split last year, she spent a few months licking her wounds before bravely getting back into the dating game. She may be turning 40 in January, but she has no intention of taking her foot off the gas anytime soon.

6 ESSENTIALS

I’m not worried about turning 40. We’re all ten years younger these days, so 40 is the new 30. I’m feeling better in myself – personally, mentally, physically – than I’ve ever felt. I think late 30s are a good time for women – if you can think positively, it’s the best time of your life. It’s not like, ‘Oh, you’re 40, you can’t do this and you can’t do that…’ To me it means nothing. I’d still like to have another child.

My ex-husband Paul and I share time with the boys 50/50. It can depend on schedules, but we make sure it’s even and do alternate weekends. When I’ve got them, I shelve everything else. They’re really sporty, so there are lots of days spent watching them play football and rugby. As a former rugby player, Paul’s obviously hugely supportive of their sport too – we’re both on the same page there.

Being a single mum now, life is nonstop. I have a very tight down-to-theminute schedule because structuring everything is the only way to do it. I’m no different to a lot of mums out there who work very hard, have no free time and hardly sleep! I know that this will be a short period of my life, where I’ve got to just chuck myself in, do my best and then come up for air later.

Doing the job I do, I think perhaps people don’t see my real personality. I love sport, yes, but that’s just one side of me and the other side is quite gentle, emotional and even a bit mischievous. I like to have a laugh, I can be a bit naughty at times and often lead people astray. Hopefully people have seen a bit more of the real me on Strictly now.

‘I’m no different to a lot of mums out there who work very hard, have no free time and hardly sleep!’


‘I’m single and not looking for anyone but I’m open to it. We’ll see what happens next year – hopefully good things!’ 8 ESSENTIALS


COVER STAR

challenging year, but there have also been fabulous highlights. Being in Strictly alongside my Sky Sports career has made it one of my best work years, so hopefully I can build on that and have an even better year in 2016.

goes. It’s partly a chemical thing: the release of serotonin and those important endorphins, but it’s also about feeling like you’re in touch with your body – you feel strong, fit and energised.

Hair & make-up Sarah Exley Stylist Natalie Read Kirsty wears Dress, Forever Unique. Cuff, Freedom at Topshop. Shoes, New Look

When I can squeeze it in, I like to have the odd massage and spa day as a treat for myself. Or I’ll go to the hairdressers and fall asleep… honestly that does happen. Then I might meet friends for dinner and a couple of glasses of wine. Gabby Logan is my best mate, so we spend a lot of time together. We’re actually godparents to each other’s children so I’ll often take the boys over and she’ll cook a big meal. It’s wonderful going round to the Logans’!

The most important thing to me is always the boys. They’re doing brilliantly, both within themselves and at school, which is such a relief. They seem to be completely unaffected by what’s happened with Paul and me. And as long as they’re okay and they’re happy, then I’m happy.

I was brought up knowing what to eat and what not to eat. With Mum being a dietician and dad a sportsman [former golf supremo Bernard Gallacher], they passed on good habits and I’m careful with my diet. Eating healthily just makes me feel better. When I eat rubbish or drink fizzy drinks, I don’t feel great inside. I like cooking, but often don’t have much time, so I make simple things like salads or grilled chicken. And I will have the occasional curry or go for a pizza with the boys because if you deny yourself something, you’ll only want more of it. There’ll be a lot of eating at Christmas time. I’m looking forward to taking time off work. I’m going to need a big break so we’ll hopefully have a chilled one with no pressure. It’s always a big family affair with my parents, my sister, my brother and his wife, and we’ll see the Logans, too. It’s all about the kids and making it lovely for them. Whatever Paul and I decide to do about the boys, it will be completely fair and they’ll have a great time.

The end of the year is always poignant for me. It’s quite a symbolic time. Whether you’ve had a good or bad year, you’re about to start afresh and that, to me, is very special. I like setting new targets and goals, and getting excited about what’s to come. There have been a lot of ups and downs this year. It’s been difficult with the divorce and it has been a sad time, but I also know it is the right choice. We lost our family dog in the summer, too, which was devastating for me, and a family friend passed away. So it has been a

I know I’m a strong person; I have to be. I have two children and I work. You just have to keep going. But I do have my meltdowns – those times when I think I can’t take any more or something upsets me. I’m lucky that I have lots of people to turn to when that happens. I’m always in Mum’s ear and Dad is great for giving advice, too. Or I’ll pick up the phone to Gabby or my sister Laura – we’re very close. I’m not someone who keeps it all in, I like to talk about my problems and how I’m feeling – and I’ll always be there for my friends, too. To be honest, I’m probably better at listening and giving out advice than I am at taking on board the advice that people give to me. I’m single and I’m not looking for anyone at the moment, but I’m open to it. I have dated this year and, after spending 15 years with just one person, it was interesting. It’s fun and exciting, but I tried not to put any pressure on myself and I learned that you should only do it if it’s right. We’ll see what happens next year – hopefully good things!

THE KIRSTY CONFESSES… REAL 4SHE’D eating a lot of sardines at ME NEVER TRY the moment. I don’t know

We had great Christmases when I was a kid. I believed in Santa until I was about 15, or at least I pretended I did. I thought it would ruin the fun or be offensive to my parents to admit that I knew he didn’t exist. They’d put all this effort into years of hiding gifts and making it so wonderful. I still think Christmas is a special time. Whatever you believe, whether you’re religious or not, whether you’re a family person or not, there’s just this magical feeling in the air.

TINDER Oh god no! I’ve nothing against it, but I wouldn’t want to put myself out there like that. No thanks! 4 SHE’S GOT A FISHY FETISH I do seem to be

why. Maybe I need the oil or omega or whatever it is, but I can’t get enough! 4SHE’S NO MOVIE BUFF I’m not a cinemagoer at all. I’m a bit of a fidget and I just can’t sit still and be quiet for

that amount of time. I don’t think I’ve watched a film for over a year! 4SHE DOESN’T LIKE CHOCOLATE I can’t even remember the last time I ate some. It’s just not really my thing. I’m more of a savoury person than a sweet-eater.

ESSENTIALS 9


WHAT’S NEW

FASTFash on goodtoknow_essentials

Feature Meghann Thorp & Paula Moore Photography Rex

BRING ON THE BLING A sparkly ear cuff is the easiest way to glam up any outfit. Ear cuff, £8, Accessorize Dress, £119, 6-22, Monsoon

SHINE ON Rita Ora rocks the red carpet in this Versace gown. Be inspired by her style and embrace bright sequins for your ultimate party look.

Star style

We love…

Make a sophisticated style statement with this luxe velvet platforms and clutch combo. Shoes, £35, clutch, £35, both Limited Edition at Marks & Spencer

LACED UP

This festive red lace dress with button detail, preppy collar and flattering sleeve length, is a party-season staple. Just pare back the rest of your look and you’re good to go. Dress, £50, 8-18, Wallis

See moreFASHION

Fancy extra wardrobe inspiration? Go to pinterest. com/GTK_essentials

ESSENTIALS 11


LUXE TUX

Ditch the LBD for once and ooze sex appeal with masculine tailoring Jacket, £49, 8-18, Wallis Trousers, £35, 8-18, Wallis Earrings, £2, Accessorize Mask, £14.99, bkfancydress.com Ring, £5, Allusions at BHS Bracelet, £18, Jon Richard

12 ESSENTIALS


FAST FASHION

BACKTO BLACK Get set for effortless style, lashings of sparkle and far-from-boring black… Christmas is coming! FASHION DIRECTOR CAROLINE BAXTER | PHOTOGRAPHY GRACE HUANG

ESSENTIALS 13


FLAPPER GIRL

A hit of glitz is the modern way to do ’20s glamour Dress, £95, 4-18, Asos Earrings, £5.99, New Look Ring, £7, Wallis Clutch, £15.99, New Look

14 ESSENTIALS


FAST FASHION

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL

Lace, corseting and eyelets will all add that touch of gothic glamour Dress, £44.99, 6-18, New Look Headband, £45, Coast Earrings, £14, Red Herring at Debenhams Bag, £59, Carvela

ESSENTIALS 15


ALL A FLUTTER

Add a feather cape to make a strong style statement Cape, £39, one size, Dorothy Perkins Dress, £95, 6-22, M&Co Earrings, £10, Jon Richard Cuff, £6.99, Chi Chi London Bag, £40, J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams Shoes, £25, Very

16 ESSENTIALS


FAST FASHION SPARKLY SEPARATES

Create interest with contrasting textures Blouse, £36, 6-18, Oasis Bra, £20, 30B-38DD, Debenhams Skirt, £45, 6-22, Dorothy Perkins Necklace, £19.99, New Look Earrings, £7.99, New Look Bag, £69, Dune

ESSENTIALS 17


SHEER ELEGANCE

Combine barely-there chiffon with satin for a killer look to wow right now Dress, £165, 6-18, Coast Ear cuff, £9.99, New Look Bag, £36, Miss Selfridge

18 ESSENTIALS


FAST FASHION

BLACK ON BLACK

Invest in a glamorous cover-up – faux fur is the perfect choice Coat, £44.99, 6-18, New Look Dress, £89, 8-22, M&Co Earrings, £10, Jon Richard Bag, £15.99, New Look Shoes, £79, Dune

ESSENTIALS 19


DARK ROMANCE

Show off the magic of a midi dress in feminine taffeta Dress, £100, 8-18,Wallis Earrings, £7.99, New Look Bag, £28, Star by Julien Macdonald at Debenhams Shoes, £28, Next

20 ESSENTIALS

Words Rachel Bassett Fashion Assistant Cigdem Tanrioglu Hair & make-up Luke Anthony using Bobbi Brown Model Janouk at Models1 With thanks to the Rivoli Ballroom

FAST FASHION


Shine on

Hip to be square

Update a daytime outfit in seconds with a sequin scarf £7.99, New Look

We love the new ‘it’ bag – and the boxier the better!

£30, Asos

£22, Next

DOLCE & GABBANA

£22.99, New Look

£15.99, New Look

£12, Asos

£29.99, Phase Eight

£19.50, Story of Lola

THE BIG

CHRISTMAS

Re resh

Get ready for party season with these easy wardrobe updates £135, Reiss

Stole, £39, Phase Eight

£10, Charnos at mytights.com

22 ESSENTIALS

£8.50, J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG

Take a tip from the catwalk and try a pair of spotted tights

Heirloom accessories

Get in the Downton Abbey spirit with faux fur, brooches and delicately embellished bags

Gloves, £45, Dune

Brooch, £8, Accessorize

GUCCI

Top of the dots

Bag, £65, Accessorize


SMART SHOPPER

Dazzling details

Go for gold

Add extra dazzle for instant glamour – it’s easy to wear and suits everyone

Don’t just save these for the evening, they’ll dress up a jeans and T-shirt combo, too Ear cuff, £6, Accessorize

£8.50, Topshop

Bag, £28, Principles at Debenhams

Dress, £35, 8-22, Very Ear cuff, £8, Accessorize

Top, £14, 6-24, George at Asda

£18, Johnny Loves Rosie

DONNA KARAN

Dress, £99,8-20, Monsoon

£8.50, Topshop

Modern classics Opt for a metallic court shoe to make your toes twinkle

£42, Asos

£69, Dune £22.99, New Look

£42, Very

Red alert

Earrings, £10, Mood by Jon Richard at Debenhams

Shoes, £50, Wallis

NINA RICCI

Feature Cigdem Tanrioglu Photography Rex; Press Association

Be inspired by Nina Ricci and say hello to your LRD (that’s Little Red Dress)

Bag, £22, Very

Trousers, £40, 6-32, Lookagain. co.uk

Dress, £79, 8-24, Very

ESSENTIALS 23


CATWALK TREND Necklace, £29.50, M&S Collection at M&S

Clutch, £45, Miss KG

Trousers, £95, 6-16, Coast

Trousers, £40, 6-16, Oasis

Shoes, £24, Very Top, £19.99, xs-l, Glamorous

Dress, £34.99, 6-18, New Look

Bag, £49.50, Oliver Bonas

MARCHESA Jacket, £89, 6-22, M&S Collection at Marks & Spencer

Earrings, £6, Paper Dolls at Asos

Feature Cigdem Tanrioglu Photography Barcroft; Rex

Skirt, £12, 6-20, Primark

RUNWAY

EDIT

Dress, £49, 4-16, Miss Selfridge

Bra and brief set, £45, 32B-34E/s-l, Stella McCartney at House of Fraser

Jewels

Shimmer

Will you dazzle in metallics and sequins or be bold in rich-coloured brights?

Fauxfur stole, £36, Helen Moore

Jumpsuit, £39.99, 6-18, H&M

Skirt, £129, 6-16, Coast

Dress, £69, 6-20, Very Shoes, £25, Very

Necklace, £10, Bonmarché

Top, £110, 8-22, Vera Mont

MATTHEW WILLIAMSON

Scarf, £7.99, New Look

Dress, £58, 4-16, Topshop

Clutch, £16, M&Co

ESSENTIALS 25


High street

HOT LIST

PARTY SEASON ROUND UP

We’ve got your festive wardrobe sorted with these glam looks COAST

Best for wow factor

Dress, £139, 6-18

Earrings, £15

Bag, £45

Skirt, £139, 6-18

Dress, £129, 6-18

See more FASHION Top, £75, 6-18

26 ESSENTIALS

Find gorgeous inspiration and ideas at instagram.com/ goodtoknow_essentials


STYLE FIX Jumpsuit, £27.99, 6-18, stole, £14.99, earrings, £1.99, bag, £15.99, shoes, £34.99

Dress, £79, 8-22, earrings, £6

Top, £25, trousers, £42, both 6-18, earrings, £10, bag, £35, shoes, £65

M&CO

Best for red carpet style NEW LOOK

RIVER ISLAND

Best for ’70s look

Best for sparkle & shine Dress, £29.99, 6-18

Dress, £89, 6-22

Dress, £60, 6-18

Top, £26, 6-22 Top, £17.99, 6-18

Earrings, £12

Bag, £19.99 Jacket, £65, 6-22

Skirt, £32, 6-18

Feature Meghann Thorp

Shoes, £39.99 Necklace, £14.99

Shoes, £45 Bag, £25

Heels, £75

Jumpsuit, £42, 6-18

ESSENTIALS 27


OPINION

I BET SANTA DOESN’T

get this stressed!

Viv Groskop has had just about enough of trying to find the perfect present

MUM-OF-THREE VIV GROSKOP IS A COMEDIAN, BROADCASTER AND AUTHOR OF BESTSELLING MEMOIR I LAUGHED, I CRIED: HOW ONE WOMAN TOOK ON STAND-UP AND (ALMOST) RUINED HER LIFE (£11.99,ORION)

E

very year it’s the same old scenario. I start out by promising myself that I will just go for the bare minimum when it comes to buying Christmas presents. No over-buying. No stressing. No trying to order my sister a BNWT limitededition pair of Ugg boots on eBay (her heart’s desire!) and bursting into tears when I lose out by a miserly £1.99. And then every year I end up feeling yet again that, no, I cannot do Christmas gift-buying unless I make it into a competitive life challenge and find The Ultimate Gift for Everyone. Why on earth do I set myself to fall so far short of my own expectations? And why has something like gift-giving

– an activity that should fill us with utter joy – become some kind of blood sport? I blame myself. Because the more I think, ‘Let’s not go overboard this year…’ the wider I know my eyes will be when I eventually see my credit card bill. It’s like banning yourself from chocolate HobNobs. Then the only thing in the whole world you want to eat is a chocolate HobNob.

‘Why has something like gift-giving – an activity that should fill us with utter joy – become some kind of blood sport?’

And so it goes with my Christmas list. Instead of reining it in, I usually start adding even more names to the list of people to buy for: people whose Facebook posts I really like, but who I hardly ever see in real life; the neighbour I speak to once a year; and the nursery school assistant I really like even though my kids are grown up and in school and none of

ESSENTIALS 29


OPINION

WHAT YOU THINK RATHER GIVE THAN RECEIVE I actually find it way more stressful receiving gifts. I always worry that my reaction doesn’t seem genuine enough and they think I’m faking it! Lauren Masterton

STRESS TO IMPRESS

Buying presents nowadays feels like a competitive sport – all the mums at school try to outdo each other with presents for the teacher and even my friends want to one up each other when we exchange gifts. Natalie McCallum

Great lengths There are some people who are the beneficiaries of my lunacy, though. Or at least I hope they think they are getting good gifts from me. I have one friend who loves fireworks and chilli and every year I go to great lengths to find him the most extreme

30 ESSENTIALS

explosive items made for eyes and mouth in the universe. This did almost cause an international incident when he took my still wrapped gift (it was an indoor fireworks display) on holiday with him and had to go through customs – I think it got confiscated. But what a waste of a great gift. The worst thing though? It seems like the harder you work to find someone the most perfect present on earth, the more likely they are to give you a pair of purple tights (thanks, Auntie Iris). Or maybe you’ll get a box of chocolates where the sell-by date is coming up so fast that

it almost certainly indicates re-gifting. Which is code for: ‘Absolutely no thought has gone into this’. So, this year I promise – finally – that I will definitely get it under control and be casual and frugal and sensible. I will not behave like I am five years old and buying all these things for myself with imaginary magic money. But I do just need to buy this Kate Spade pussycat clutch for my sister first. And maybe the matching dress? Ooh, there are shoes that come with it, too? Not to buy the whole set would be a bit Scrooge-like, wouldn’t it? Oh dear.

‘The harder you work to find someone the most perfect present, the more likely they are to give you a pair of purple tights’

ALL PRESENT & CORRECT Giving, receiving… returning. It’s all part of Christmas. The key is to get a gift receipt, so they’ll end up with something they like. Stephanie Wood

‘I WANT’ DOESN’T GET

I’ll put time and effort into buying gifts, but I hate being told what someone wants. It takes all the magic away. Rebecca Mitchell

THE BEST THINGS I love buying gifts and spend the whole year listening to what people say they’d really like. Georgina Morrison

GetInTOUCH Is there a burning issue you want to talk about? Join the conversation at facebook.com/goodtoknow.co.uk

Photography Getty Images

them have been in nursery for three years… It’s pathetic. I realised it was getting out of hand when I saw a brooch in a vintage shop and thought, ‘That would be perfect for my daughter’s teacher.’ I have spoken to this woman maybe once in my life and I doubt she knows my name. Worse still, I bought it and then felt too embarrassed to give it to her because it was way too personal a gift and she might have thought I was going to stalk her.


Christmas changed me’

‘The that

The festive season is full of miracles of all sizes – as these readers found out ‘I’ll never worry about missing my daughter’s Christmas again’ KIM FAIRMAN, 35, LIVES IN CRAWLEY WITH HER HUSBAND NICK, 49, AND DAUGHTER MADDI, 10 Three years ago, I was so ill that I didn’t think I would see Christmas Day. I’d even recorded myself reading The Night Before Christmas for my seven-year-old daughter in case I wasn’t there to do it in person. I’d suffered from liver problems for many years, having been misdiagnosed with PSC liver disease at the age of 16. It wasn’t until my younger brother passed away in 2010 that I discovered we both suffered from the genetic liver condition MDF3. By December 2012 I was sent to the top of the organ donation list – my liver function was deteriorating rapidly and my kidneys were slowing down, too. On Christmas Day, I mostly slept, barely managing to stay awake long enough to watch Maddi open her presents and eat our meal. Then, two days later, I had a call to say there was a liver waiting for me. Unfortunately, the liver wasn’t a match and I was sent home. New Year’s Eve came and went, and everyone feared it

would be my last. Then, finally, there was another call: they had another liver and it was a match. I went straight into hospital, but there were complications during the surgery. The liver didn’t take to my body and I was induced into a coma. Maddi wasn’t allowed to see me while I was in intensive care and my family were all petrified. But after a week, the new liver started to work and I was woken up and taken off life support. My skin colour went back to normal and my hair and nails started growing. I did have to stay in hospital for another three weeks, but already life was so different. The transplant has changed my life. I can look after Maddi properly instead of relying on my mum to help me and we can do normal things, like swimming and baking cakes. Last year, we went to Euro Disney to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the transplant – this year we’ll be celebrating again with a big family Christmas at home.

‘The transplant changed my life… I can now look after Maddi and do normal things’

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A AZING WOM N

ESSENTIALS 33


‘I fell over… and found love on a Christmas night out’ CAROLINE BREALEY, 31, A MATCHMAKER, LIVES IN LONDON WITH HER FIANCÉ CHRISTIAN, 36 I’ve had my share of being unlucky in love. In 2009, I moved to Hong Kong with a man, only to fly back on my own after I found out he was cheating on me. Then, two years later, I broke up with another boyfriend and found myself with nowhere to live. My search for a new home happened to coincide with leaving my job, and my head was all over the place. But the week before Christmas, I went on a girls’ night out. We’d had a few glasses of prosecco, so I felt quite tipsy when I saw a tall, dark handsome man walk in. After our eyes met a few times, I built up the courage to walk past him. With nowhere else to go, I walked into the loo, freshened up, then walked back out again. Then, to my horror, I fell up the steps just as I was getting back to where he was standing. I was mortified, but he came over to help me up and introduced himself as Christian. At first it was a bit awkward – the bar was loud and Christian had only moved over from Madrid three weeks before, so we struggled to understand each other, but we chatted away until my ankle got so painful from my fall that I decided to go home. Instead of letting me go alone, Christian booked us a taxi to A&E to get my ankle looked at. We sat in the waiting room for hours talking and getting to know one another, and once I was told my ankle was sprained,

Christian took me home, then asked for my email address. He got in touch the next day and we squeezed in a couple of dates before he flew back to Madrid for Christmas. We emailed every day and when he finally returned, we spent New Year’s Eve together. Looking back, we’ve barely spent a night apart since – six months later, we moved in together and last January he proposed. We’re getting married on my birthday in

*www.mutualattraction.co.uk

‘I couldn’t be happier that I’d had the courage to walk over to Christian in the bar’

32 34 ESSENTIALS

January and we can’t wait. Since meeting Christian, I’ve started up my own matchmaking company*. I tell my clients that Christmas is a prime time for meeting people. I couldn’t be happier that I’d had the courage to walk over to Christian in the bar that night – and maybe that’s a tip for any single women out there; fall over this Christmas and see who comes to the rescue!


AMAZING WOMEN

‘My girls helped me fight cancer after I found a lump days before Christmas’ HELEN GILCHREST, 33, IS AN RAF NURSE; SHE LIVES IN MARLOW WITH HER FIANCÉ PHIL, 34, AND THEIR DAUGHTERS LILY, 20 MONTHS, AND TWINS ROBYN AND SCARLETT, 8 MONTHS a toddler would be tough Last December, we were enough without throwing gearing up for our daughter courses of chemotherapy and Lily’s first Christmas when radiotherapy into the mix. But I discovered a lump in my with help from family and breast. The timing couldn’t friends, we somehow have been worse. I was managed to juggle the expecting the twins at the girls and weekly trips time and, as I’d already been to the hospital. It was treated for thyroid cancer exhausting, but the girls kept earlier in my pregnancy, me positive – I knew I had to while some chemo get it checked patients would out immediately. want to sleep all My doctor was the time, I had no brilliant and gave choice but to stay me an urgent awake and focus two-week referral on the precious to the hospital for time I had with a biopsy on the my babies. I never 30th December. let myself think about what We had to cancel our annual could happen and when I did trip to Scotland to spend have down days, the girls were Christmas with my parents, there to give me a big smile but despite the worry, we and a cuddle. somehow managed to have a I finally finished my chemo nice time at home. We weren’t and radiotherapy this August prepared for what was to come and I’m now taking a drug in the New Year though. called tamoxifen. For now, On the 5th of January I was I have been given the all clear, back in hospital because so we’re going full steam ahead of concerns over the twins’ with the festive celebrations growth rate and on the 8th my this year and we’ll be heading results came back and I was up to Scotland to spend the told I had breast cancer and Christmas with my parents. needed surgery straight away. Plus we’re getting married in a We were in complete shock Scottish castle and christening – it meant being induced a the twins – all on the same month before my due date, day! We’re treating it all as then returning to hospital a massive celebration to say weeks later to have the tumour ‘thank you’ to all of our friends in my breast removed. and family for the help, love As the girls were neonatal, and support they’ve given us they both needed feeding over the last year. We really tubes and Scarlett had some wouldn’t have been able to breathing issues and gut problems, so most of the period cope without them. ✱ Helen and her family are between the two procedures supporting Cancer Research was spent in intensive care. UK’s campaign to beat cancer When we finally returned sooner. Visit cruk.org to find home, I had a lot to deal with: out more details. looking after baby twins and

Feature Anna Matheson Photography Angela Spain Hair & make-up Liz Kitchiner & Carl Stanley Stylist Lindsey Baker Kim wears Jumpsuit, Wallis. Necklace, Next. Shoes, Dune Maddi wears Dress & pumps, Next Caroline wears Dress, Next Christian wears Shirt, Marks & Spencer Helen wears Top & trousers, Coast. Earrings, Diva at Miss Selfridge. Shoes, Ravel Twins wear Dresses, Marks & Spencer. Tights, BHS

‘When I had down days, the girls were there to give me a smile and a cuddle’

ESSENTIALS 35


RELATIONSHIPS

& HIM Why the latest sex toys should be on your letter to Santa

All I want for Christmas is... an orgasm

Feature Abbie Pethullis Photography Getty Images. Source *A survey by Sex Shop SH!, 2012 **According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine

C

hristmas is a time for giving, and that includes giving yourself a little something, too. Making time to discover what turns you on is a gift that you’ll benefit from all year round – and your man won’t be complaining either. So, if you’ve ever been curious or you’re looking to broaden your sexual horizons, now is the time to indulge. Sixty one per cent of women admit that just the idea of buying a sex toy is a turnon*, so why not treat yourself to the real thing this Christmas and invest in the gift that keeps on giving. After all, orgasms are for life, not just for Christmas…

Happiness is… The rise and rise of the Mr Grey phenomenon has shifted our attitudes towards sex, meaning more and more women are not only buying toys, but they’re admitting to using them, too. ‘Fifty Shades has well and truly lifted the taboo on sexual exploration and, as a result, people are much more willing to try using toys,’ explains Sally Fish from lovehoney.co.uk. ‘Something that might have once seemed unusual is now commonplace in many British bedrooms and we’re a much more sexually happy nation because of it.’

Sally. You could have the most intense orgasm of your life. ‘And even if you try something and it’s not for you, at least you gave it a go and probably had some fun in the process.’

Something for him

Two can play that game Don’t assume sex toys are just for single ladies. Lovehoney. co.uk report that around 75% of their customers are in relationships and all of their toys can be used solo or with a man. Our partners want to please us and if we’re able to show them what turns us on, it’s a win-win situation. ‘Since embracing sex toys a few years back, I’ve found it easier to climax when I’m with my husband,’ shares reader Charlotte Hartley, 36, from Bristol. ‘If you’re training for a marathon, you go for a run as often as you can. Using a sex toy’s sort of the same thing. I’m prepping my body, making sure it’s in tip-top condition for the main event.’

The big O Orgasms are good for us. They boost our immune systems, keep our hearts healthy, relieve pain and even help us sleep better – but we shouldn’t just rely on our other halves to give them to

us. Solo sex is something that should be embraced and it’s time we took responsibility for our own pleasure. ‘Using a sex toy might open you up to new sensations and feelings you might not otherwise be able to achieve,’ explains

It’s not just women who stand to benefit from introducing sex toys to the bedroom. Not only will your man get his kicks from seeing you get your rocks off, he could enhance his own pleasure – and performance – by trying a male sex toy, too. You might think he’d balk at the suggestion, but that’s largely down to the stigma around men using sexual aids. Admittedly, you might not catch him cackling with his mates about his new penis pump down the pub (the way you might about your vibrator), but that’s not to say he wouldn’t be up for experimenting behind closed doors. In fact, a recent survey found that 69% of men would be happy for their partner to use a male sex toy on them. And if he does seem reluctant, just reassure him he’s not the only man at it – according to lovehoney.co.uk, the male sex toy industry is currently worth a staggering £10million a year! NOW DISCOVER THE BEST TOYS TO TRY

ESSENTIALS 37


RELATIONSHIPS

DELUXE MAGIC WAND VIBRATOR, £54.99, LOVEHONEY.CO.UK

LAID K1, SILICONE MAGNETIC BALLS, £45, LABELLE.CO.UK WE SAY Enhance your love life with these best-selling silicone balls, which are designed to strengthen your muscles down below and give you greater sensations during sex. YOU SAY ‘They’re really easy to use. Insert, squeeze and try to hold them in. I swear since I’ve been using these my orgasms have been more intense.’ Elizabeth Crane, 37, Liverpool

HAPPY RABBIT EARS CLITORAL VIBRATOR, £29.99, LOVEHONEY.CO.UK WE SAY Newonthescene,the cute clitoral vibrator is causing quite a buzz thanks to its 12 speeds and perfectly shaped ears. Rechargeable and reliable, it won’t let you down. YOU SAY ‘Bunnies aren’t just for Easter – and you’ll feel like all your Christmas’s have come at once when you try this guy.’ Becky Ward, 32, Edinburgh

WE SAY It doesn’t look particularly sexy, but then again looks aren’t everything, right? This classic vibe is one of the site’s top Christmas sellers and we can see why. You can go from intense power to a gentle flutter at the flick of a finger. YOU SAY ‘If you don’t want anything penis shaped, but you want a guaranteed orgasm this vibrator is a must-buy.’ Tina Ward, 35, Leeds

THE HOTTEST

sex toys

MOREGASM G-SPOT VIBRATOR, £55, ANNSUMMERS.COM WE SAY With a curve that’s perfectly shaped to hit your G-spot, this clever little toy promises to produce intense vibrations you’ll feel deep inside your body. YOU SAY ‘I couldn’t believe the power of the vibrations – I could feel them in my toes!’ Debra McCann, 36, South London

38 ESSENTIALS

DUREX’S CHRISTMAS SEXLECTION BOX, 19.99, DUREX.CO.UK WE SAY With a special lubricating gel to intensify your orgasms, a vibrating cock ring and thin-feel condoms, this is the only selection box you’ll want to be cracking open on Boxing Day – and you don’t have to worry about the calories! YOU SAY ‘Everything you need for a fab session withyourman,itdefinitelygotusbothin the mood!’ Rachael Trent, 34, Southampton

LELO NEA, £59, LABELLE.CO.UK WE SAY Pricey, but worth it. This small, but perfectly formed clitoral massager has five different levels of stimulation and will mould perfectly into your body. YOU SAY ‘Discreet and very sexy. It fits in my handbag and I can recharge it – like an iPhone, but with orgasms!’ Karen Fountain, 38, Maidenhead

RAMPANT RABBIT, THE PEARL ONE, £40, ANNSUMMERS.COM WE SAY To celebrate being the most famoussextoyon earth,AnnSummershas released this super-luxe version. Pearl beads create waves of pleasure, while the ears push you over the edge. YOU SAY ‘This is my favourite rabbit yet, it looks so stylish. The Sex and The City girls would have loved it!’ Sarah Brooks, 33, Bath


WHAT’S YOUR

PARTY

PERSONALITY? Are you first on the dance floor or secretly slipping out the back door? Take our quiz to discover your social style and how to improve it

T

he time has come to dust off your sparkly dress and locate that lost clutch bag. Christmas party season is upon us, whether it’s work parties, boozy lunches with friends or you’re on dinner-party duty, your social calendar is filling up quicker than your wine glass. But do you love a lastminute night on the town or would you always rather slip on some slippers and let everyone else do the dancing?

1

AT THE END OF THE OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY, WHERE CAN YOU USUALLY BE FOUND? A Leading a conga around the dance floor and begging the DJ to play just one more number. B In a nightclub with your team, buying shots on the company credit card. C In a bar with your friends – you made a swift exit when your boss started to shimmy along to the Macarena. D At home, your comfiest PJs on, laughing at the photographs everyone’s uploading onto Facebook.

2

IT’S THE MORNING AFTER THE BIG OFFICE SHINDIG, YOU’RE… A In M&S buying croissants and Bucks Fizz for everyone.

40 ESSENTIALS

B Late, hungover and trying to piece together the previous night’s events. C Feigning interest, hoping no one demands to know where you were. D Making tea for everyone and catching up on all the gossip you missed.

3

IT’S 7PM. IN AN HOUR YOU HAVE FRIENDS COMING ROUND FOR CHRISTMAS DRINKS, YOU’RE… A Already tipsy. You’ve been road testing some fab new cocktails. B Panicking. Do you have enough booze? Will anyone turn up? C In your element. The food is prepped, table set, the wine is chilling. D Totally relaxed. You’ve already put out all the nibbles, and everyone’s bringing a bottle.

4

HOW DO YOU RESPOND WHEN YOUR OTHER HALF INVITES YOU TO HIS WORK’S CHRISTMAS DRINKS? A Tell him you’ll be there and start planning the perfect party outfit. B Say you’ll go, then panic about what to wear and who’s going to be there. C Agree to go for a few hours and arrange to slip off for dinner with your friends afterwards. D Assure him he’d have more fun if he

goes without you and you absolutely don’t mind missing out (you can’t wait to get the remote to yourself for once!).

5

IT’S 3PM ON CHRISTMAS DAY, YOU’RE… A Dancing in your kitchen with your 90-year-old Nan and five-year-old niece. B On your third family visit of the day and have drank way too many Baileys. C Washing up and getting ready to start cooking, again… D Winning a game of Monopoly.

6

HOW DO YOU USUALLY SPEND BOXING DAY? A Recovering from the night before with a ‘hair of the dog’, then it’s time to start the celebrations all over again. B In your local pub. You always intend to go for one, but you usually get talked into staying all night. C A courtesy trip to your in-laws, then home to prepare a family buffet. D Sofa, onesie, Christmas TV, giant tin of Quality Street. Standard.

Party WITH CONFIDENCE Nervous about the Christmas party? Find out how to up your social game at goodtoknow.co.uk/partytips


ASK YOURSELF

THE RESULTS MOSTLY A’S… THE PARTY-STARTER

Everyone relies on you to get the party started. You’re spontaneous, sociable and talk to anyone. Your ‘quiet drinks’ easily turn into an all-nighter. But you don’t want to become the person people only turn to for a good time, so spend time on your ‘real’ friendships as well as party mates.

MOSTLY B’S… THE PEOPLE-PLEASER

You love a night out and enjoy socialising, but often end up being persuaded to have ‘just one more’ when you’d rather go home. You always insist you’re happy to do whatever, but make sure you don’t find yourself doing things you don’t really want to because you can’t say no!

MOSTLY C’S… THE FACE-SHOW-ER

You enjoy work parties, but like to have ‘a prior engagement’ just in case it’s dull and you need to escape. Even if you’re having fun, if someone offers you a lift home, you’re out of there. Be careful that you don’t seem rude if people think you’re leaving their bash for a better offer.

MOSTLY D’S… THE PJ-PARTIER

You’re perfect party involves your sofa, PJs and a glass of wine. Work nights out are a chore, so you always slip out as soon as you get a chance. It’s great you have a close-knit group of friends, but be careful you don’t miss out on potential new friends and experiences for no good reason.

Body language expert Judi James explains how to up your social game: ✱ When mingling, join the biggest group. Don’t interrupt, instead subtly mirror the others’ body language to integrate. ✱ Eye contact, nodding, a slight head tilt and facing the speaker make you look

like a good listener. Never glance at your phone! ✱ ‘That sounds interesting’ always sounds fake. Repeat one or two of their words, to show you’re listening. And if you know nothing about a subject, just ask questions. ✱ Hold your glass at waist height between sips. Any higher looks like you’re

hiding behind a barrier. ✱ If the drink is going to your head, splay your feet slightly to keep your balance and stick to nodding and smiling. ✱ Always pick food from the buffet that looks easy to eat while talking and holding a drink. Steer clear of messy chicken legs!

Feature Abbie Pethullis Photography Getty Images

HOW TO... BE THE BEST PARTY GUEST EVER

ESSENTIALS 41


CONFESSIONS

Bah HUMBUG! Christmas is supposed to be full of fun and joy, but that’s not always the case – our readers confess their most miserly moments…

Bad Santa

! MEAN ing

Last year, my brother dressed up as Santa and knocked on our door to surprise my little boy, but he was so scared he screamed his head off and went to kick his poor uncle… the costume soon went in the bin! Linda Small, via email

ell ick of t o I was s r she was to S o, hte . g s u t a n d e my t pres e g o s t , g he ty naugh tmas mornin mps s lu i on Chr ree separate ed. h v t a d h opene until she be l , a e o p r c of intho Nic Sta ebook c a F via

HO HO, NANDO’S

Last Christmas, we decided to duck out of the annual family festivities and take the kids on holiday. However, my 11-year-old daughter wasn’t at all impressed when we had Christmas dinner at Nando’s in the airport. Stephanie Harper, via email

Years ago, before we had kids, my husband and I got so drunk one Christmas Eve, we slept through Christmas Day and woke up, rather confused, on Christmas night. Sarah Richards, via email

TURKEY TUG OF WAR

One year I decided to chance buying a turkey just before Christmas. But when I saw the bunfight to get to the shelves, I decided to sidestep the sharp elbows and get a leg of lamb instead. A glare from their dad soon stopped the kids whinging on Christmas Day. Chrissie McLelland, via email

Hide ’n’ seek

Every year, my sister would turn up uninvited with her husband and kids just as we were settling down to watch the best Christmas telly. Last year, before their usual arrival time, we switched off all the lights and hid in the back room. When the doorbell rang, we turned the TV down and stifled our giggles. Anonymous, via email

Now you CONFESS

Next month, we reveal your Christmas party confessions. Share yours on facebook.com/goodtoknow.co.uk

Compiled by Anna Matheson Photography Getty Images

A tipple too many

ESSENTIALS 43


‘He stole our CHRISTMAS’ Mum-of-two Sam Redman was devastated to find her house had been burgled and all the kids’ presents were gone pleased with himself. But as we walked into our flat, I noticed through the open door of my bedroom that my quilt was on the floor. I knew I’d made the bed that morning, so it seemed odd, but I assumed Neil had come home early from work and I rushed in to see him. Instead of being met by my husband, I was greeted with chaos – the drawers had been pulled out and there was stuff everywhere; even my make-up bag had been emptied. I checked round the rest of the flat and found that Oliver’s room had been raided as well – the wardrobe had been knocked over and all the gifts I’d hidden inside were gone. In the living room the presents under the tree were all missing, too. I couldn’t believe it, I burst into tears and Leon soon realised what had happened and starting screaming, too. I rang the police straight away, then called Neil to tell him what had happened. His work was an hour away, so my nan and grandad came over to sit with us while we waited for the police. Leon was convinced there was still someone in the flat and wouldn’t leave my side, so I took him round to each room to prove we were alone. When the police arrived, they made a list of everything that was missing and looked around for signs of entry. The weirdest thing was that the front door had been locked, as I’d had to unlock it to get

‘Everything was gone and we had no savings to replace any of it. We were devastated’

All locked up It was a Saturday, but my partner Neil, an industrial cleaner, had left the house early as he’d volunteered to do extra shifts to help bring in a bit of extra cash. So, when Leon and I left the flat at eleven am, we locked everything up and set off. A few hours later, we returned with bags full of chocolate for Leon’s grannies and a teddy rattle for Oliver. Leon was so

44 ESSENTIALS

in, yet there were no signs of a break-in – we couldn’t work out how the burglars had got in. To this day, there is still no explanation. The police insisted I must have left the door open and even tried to say that as a new mum I must have been confused – but I knew I was right, plus Leon had remembered me locking the door. We waited for the forensics team to come and sweep for fingerprints, but they didn’t find anything.

Watching & waiting After the police left, Neil and I tidied the place up. It was then that it sunk in that we had no house insurance – it sounds silly, but it’s something we never realised we would need. But now everything was gone and we had no savings to replace any of it. We were devastated. I was so scared to sleep that night that we left all the lights on in the flat. Leon was terrified and slept in our room for a week, and wouldn’t be left on his own in a room. Over the next few days, my mum’s partner, who had grown up in the area, rang round everyone he knew to see if anyone had heard anything, but no one had. A neighbour said she’d seen a man knock fiercely on our door just after the kids and I had left for the shops that morning – so we think someone was watching and waiting for us to go out. That scared me even more, to think I’d been at home with my new baby and a stranger had been watching us. In the end, the police investigation was

Feature Anna Matheson Photography Getty Images

L

ast year, I was due to give birth just before Christmas, so for once I was organised and bought all of the presents in August. It felt funny doing it so early, but I was so grateful in the weeks after Oliver’s birth that I could just settle in with my new baby and not have to rush around. The iPad and Nintendo DS my sevenyear-old son Leon desperately wanted were all wrapped and hidden in Oliver’s wardrobe, along with designer clothes I’d bought for him. By November, our Christmas tree was up in the living room with the rest of the family’s presents all beautifully wrapped underneath. The only presents left to buy were the ones that Leon wanted to get for his grannies and his little brother. He had been saving up for months and two weeks before Christmas, we headed into town on one final shopping trip.


IT HAPPENED TO ME closed because of lack of evidence. We’d heard there were a few shed burglaries in the area that might have been connected and someone was arrested, but they were released. We never got any of our stuff back and we’ve never found out who was responsible – it seems so unfair.

Time to move on

Things were quite tight for a while, but we decided straight away that we wanted to move – neither me or Leon felt comfortable in the flat. I would stay away as much as possible; going to my nan’s after I’d dropped Leon at school and staying there until I went to pick him up. He got nervous every time we walked up the stairs to the flat. We’d never felt unsafe in the neighbourhood before, but now everything had changed. It didn’t help that the nights leading up to Christmas were dark and dreary and Neil was working late – the flat just seemed so scary.

awful it is to be robbed just before your newborn’s first Christmas. I was overwhelmed by the kindness and the amount of people who donated. I then went back to all the shops and re-bought the presents I’d bought months before and on Christmas Day, we went to my mum’s and they made an extra special fuss of Leon. However, none of us felt like going back to our flat that night as we didn’t know what to expect when we got home. In the New Year, we started looking for a new home and finally moved in March. Leon is much happier now – he doesn’t hide all of his stuff every time we leave the house any more, and he’s happy to be on his own in his bedroom. We’re all looking forward to having Christmas the way it should be this year. We’ve taken out home insurance and I’ve hidden all the presents in bin bags in the loft – I’m not taking any chances!

‘I’m looking forward to having Christmas the way it should be… and I’ve hidden all the presents’

Act of kindness

Our wonderful family lent us the money to replace our Christmas presents. I felt so guilty that they’d had to do that, but we had no other choice and had to accept their offer. Amazingly, someone also set up a Facebook group to raise money for us. We still don’t know who it was, but I’ve a sneaky suspicion it was one of Neil’s friends who had a baby due on the same day as Oliver – he must have known how

4If you’ve been burgled or affected by crime, Victim Support can help by providing free and confidential support. Visit victimsupport.org.uk

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOME SAFE AT XMAS ✱ LOCK UP Burglars will always look for an easy entry with good escape routes. Make it harder for them by keeping your doors locked even when you’re at home and make sure you close and lock all windows if you’re going out. ✱ BEWARE TEMPTATION Don’t openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in the front window so they are easily visible from the street. It can be too tempting for burglars to smash the window and grab the wrapped packages inside. ✱ TAKE PRECAUTIONS If you’re going away during the festive season, leave lights on a timer so the house looks occupied and ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your home, but NEVER leave a key hidden outside for them. It’s the first place burglars will look. ✱ HIDE THE EVIDENCE After Christmas, don’t pile up empty gift boxes from your new iPads, laptops and designer goods outside by your bin. You’re only advertising the treats inside the house. Break up boxes and put the rubbish in bin bags instead.

ESSENTIALS 45


K

imberley has always seemed like the one member of Girls Aloud who had things sorted. She managed to stay totally grounded as they went from reality show winners to the UK’s biggest girl band, and when the group split, she changed career with ease, taking to the West End stage in Shrek the Musical and moving into the world of TV, most recently bagging a regular presenting slot on This Morning. A year ago, she became both a mum and engaged when her boyfriend – popstar turned property developer Justin Scott – proposed on the day she made him a father. The couple, who live in London with son Bobby, 14 months, have been together 11 years and, against all the odds, they have managed to keep their private lives away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi. As the hard-working 33-year-old heads back to a full-time role in new West End musical Elf, she reveals the secrets of her success...

People call me the stable one from Girls Aloud. I have always done my best to try and keep things normal. I think it helped that both my sisters and brother followed me down to London from our village near Bradford, so life went on as normal. Even my mum is here now. And, because I have been with Justin since the beginning, if there was ever a time when I came close to losing myself, he’s right there to bring me back down to reality. I have had quite an easy ride when it comes to stories about my private life, considering what people I know have had to go through. It was a choice I made to keep things private. I don’t put myself out there too much, I keep control over stuff.

A GIRL like you

The hardest thing about fame is the way some people change around you. I found that when Girls Aloud first took off I would run into somebody I hadn’t seen for a while and they would act differently. I used to think, ‘how can I get across to

46 ESSENTIALS

From mega-stardom to motherhood to Christmas musicals, Kimberley Walsh reveals how she keeps it real


CELEBRITY LIFE

be pretty noisy – a bit like a zoo! The last time Nicola came over they were all there and she said, ‘Why are they so loud?’ She didn’t stay long.

them that nothing has changed, that they can just be themselves?’ I struggle with that. But most of the time people are very friendly. I think I’m quite approachable. Doing prime-time telly like Cheryl does with The X Factor is something I would consider, but I think it would worry both myself and Justin. We like the fact that we can still do normal things, like go for a roast at our local pub or take Bobby to the park. I don’t think we’d like to lose what we’ve got.

Cheryl and Nicola

I went back to work a month after Bobby was born. But one of the privileges of being in this job is that I can just do one day every so often to keep my hand in. Since he has been born, I have spent the majority of my time with him. Even with Elf, I’m with him until about 5.30pm, so I only miss a couple of hours. I’m hoping he’ll be a good sleeper; if he isn’t then I’ll be sleeping on my way to the theatre every night.

Justin proposed support Kimberley’s to me a few hours new career on stage after Bobby was born. We were just Kimberley went back chilling, getting over the euphoria, when to work a month after son Bobby was born all of a sudden, he dropped to his knees and asked me to marry him. It felt like, kind of pushes you away, but he would ‘whoa, there is a lot going on today’. After never act like that with me. He would being together for 11 years I didn’t think he would be able to surprise rather walk away than act needy. We’re a team: he allows me the freedom to be me still, but he really did. out every night on tour or work 12 hours a day. And now I’m doing Elf, he’s taken We are getting married the reins and runs things. He would never early next year. When you stop me doing anything. have a baby it feels more important to officially be a family. We are a unit, we are My Christmas started in September when we started rehearsing for Elf. solid, so it won’t make any I even have a tree in my dressing room difference in that respect, to get me in the mood. I play Jovie, the but I think being married girlfriend of the elf Buddy. It’s an amazing will be a bonus. I will feel-good show, but I wouldn’t go if you change my surname; I want to have the really don’t like Christmas! same name as my husband and my son.

Feature Nicole Lampert Photography Lickerish/Kimberley Walsh; Matt Crockett; Rex Features, Xposure

‘The hardest thing about fame is the way some people change around you. Istrugglewiththat’

Justin and I do have a back-up plan outside the world of showbiz. We’ve got a property company and it’s a sideline that gives us quite a lot of security. It was important for me that we had it up and running before I got pregnant, so that I could take time off and not be thinking that I needed to take a job because we needed the money. We’re on our third house renovation and we also have three rental properties. A property empire one day would be nice. I found parenthood really difficult at first. The first few weeks completely knock you for six when you are up every two hours. It’s the unknown and the fact that your baby needs you almost every waking minute. I don’t think you realise how hard it is until you experience it first hand. Of course, it’s amazing and that outweighs the difficulty. I might have put Cheryl and Nicola off having children for a while! They are probably content with just having a cuddle with Bobby, then going back to their nice chilled lives. My sister has two boys and when they’re at my house it can

Justin has always been a cool character. I never know what he’s thinking. If people nag or act jealous or needy in any way it

MY BIG LOVES

♥ THE SMELL OF FRESHLY WASHED LINEN I recently teamed up with Comfort to launch its new range of Intense fabric conditioners – it just seemed quite appropriate given the amount of washing I do! ♥ WORKING I’m pretty fatalistic about the future. I’ve been lucky so far, things always do appear and so I think that if I go for something and don’t

4 Kimberley is starring in Elf at the Dominion Theatre in London until 2 January.

get it, then that’s what was meant to happen. ♥ INTERIOR DESIGN I just seem to have an eye for it. When my mum bought a place in London recently my family thought I was mad when I said, ‘this wall has to go and we need to do this and this and this’. But now it looks amazing. ♥ SHOPPING Luckily Justin stops me buying silly things and being flippant about money. He gives me a lot of reality checks.


Hats cool

A deep berry shade is flattering and on-trend this season, which makes this shirt perfect for your winter wardrobe. Keep the rest of your outfit simple as, face-of-Elvi winner, Sara has done here. Wear the shirt tucked in to emphasise your waist and finish by shoulder robing a pale blazer. Pink blazer, £69 Burgundy shirt, £49

MODEL

behaviour Meet the new face of plus-size fashion label Elvi, Sara Skidmore – curvy and proud!

A

fter launching a competition to find the face of Elvi – one of the UK’s leading plus-size fashion brands – they are happy to announce their fabulous winner… Birmingham beauty, Sara Skidmore, 29, who entered the competition after reading about it in the April issue of Essentials, was not expecting to win: ‘I was at work when they called to tell me I was the winner. I just couldn’t believe it – I was going to be the new face of Elvi.’ Sara also admitted, ‘I even started

48 ESSENTIALS

to shake – I was so excited. And I skipped off to lunch that day!’ Elvi specialises in sizes 14-26, from core staples to on-trend styles, which is perfect for Sara as she loves to get dressed up.

Myfirstfashionshoot ‘I loved every minute of the photo shoot. I had my hair and make-up done – it felt really fantastic being pampered,’ says Sara. Then added: ‘I was nervous to start with, but everyone there made me feel comfortable and I now can’t wait for my next shoot.’ Sara has also won a year’s contract with MiLK model agency.


PROMOTION

Jacket, £69 Black jumpsuit, £65

Print-tastic

Perfect at the office or ordering at the bar, this midi skirt looks great with a snake-print top. Fellow Elvi runner up, Louise Delahaye, 21, keeps it simple with nude heels as a subtle finishing touch to her wow outfit.

Snake-print top, £55 Reptile-print skirt, £59

Jump for joy Forget your LBD, this LBJ, that’s Little Black Jumpsuit, makes the perfect partywear staple. Runner up, Shakeera Price, 25, wears a deep V-neck to show off her décolletage, while the belted middle creates a slimming silhouette. Finish your outfit with T-bar strappy sandals and a leather jacket.

Fashion forward

Elvi is one the UK’s leading plus-size fashion brands, retailing exclusively online, they specialise in creating stylish, premium clothing for women of all shapes, from sizes 14-26

4 Visit www.elvi.co.uk to see the full collection

ESSENTIALS 49


Say goodbye to unsightly spider veins

With Skin Doctors Vein Away Plus

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EASYBe GoodtoKnow.co.uk HI THERE!

WHAT’S NEW

y

SARAH ALLARD REVEALS ALL THE BEST TRICKS TO LOOKING GORGEOUS IN NO TIME AT ALL…

PARTY HAIR LIKE A PRO ’Tis the season to get hair happy! Updating your look doesn’t have to be tricky, says stylist Nicky Lazou. For luscious looking locks like Sienna Miller, right, spritz Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texturising Spray, £6.99, for oomph in an instant and finish off with Umberto Giannini Dazzle Shine, £5.40 for perfect on-trend tousled hair in no time! For easy party hairstyles to try at home, visit goodtoknow.co.uk/partyhair

3

Pretty OF THE stocking BEST... fillers

TH WOME E AMOUNT N OF PRESS WHO FEEL UR E T O L OTHE YO K GREATUNGER . ITO ’S ER TH A N EVER BEEN! IT’S

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UNDER £5 Lush Snow Fairy shower gel, £3.75

93%

UNDER £15 Easy on the Eyes by Lisa Potter-Dixon, £14.99

For more fab stocking fillers under £5, go to goodtoknow.co.uk/stockingfillers

NAILED IT! If you fancy subtle festive glamour, dress your nails with this on-trend shade from OPI Starlight Collection in Cosmo with a Twist. And if, like me, you don’t wait for polish to dry and smudge it every time you paint them, try this clever tip: simply smooth a dab of nail varnish remover over the scuff with your finger before reapplying.

THIS MONTH I’M LOVING…

Benefit’s limited edition They’re Real! mascara, £21.50, with Swarovski crystals – what could be more Christmassy? Bring the wow factor to your make-up bag with this fabulous ‘to me, from me’ gift.

ESSENTIALS 51


1 Chri

s of

as

Enjoy you ’tis the season to feel gorgeous fa-la-la-la...

1 2

WORDS & STYLING JESS HENLEY | PHOTOGRAPHY BILLIE SCHEEPERS

Pedi perfect The party season is underway, so make sure you’re feet are peep-toe ready with Orly Epix Flexible Color, £15.90, which lasts, chip-free, for at least three weeks on your toes. Choose a bright colour and really embrace the party vibe.

TIME-SAVING TRICK Use Eyelure Pro-Brow Dybrow, £7.50, and Eyelure Pro Lash Dylash, £9.49, so you’ll be party prepped all the time!

52 ESSENTIALS

3 4

DIY toning

If heading to the gym is never going to happen, go retro and tone up at home with two tins. Twenty bicep curls on each arm every day will make the difference to your new-dress confidence!

Sparkly smile

Make sure you’ve got photo-perfect teeth with Rapid White 2 Week Tooth Whitening System, £20.99 – trust us, it really works.


FESTIVE COUNTDOWN

5

Wide awake

Puffy, tired eyes? Leave two teaspoons in the freezer overnight. In the morning place the backs of the spoons under your eyes, as close to the inside corner as possible, then apply a little pressure and glide out to the edges – this will drain any fluid.

ALL THAT GLITTERS... Add a sparkle to your polish with Avon Magic Effects Fringe Effect Nail Colour, £6. It looks great over any colour and is genius at hiding chips, too.

ESSENTIALS 53


BOOK AHEAD Before your schedule gets too manic with visitors, presents to wrap and turkey to cook, book in for a haircut or restyle –that’s one less thing for you to worry about in the New Year! 54 ESSENTIALS


8

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Avoid lipstick marks on the rim of your glass (or his collar!) by using Mary Kay At Play Lip & Cheek Stick, £8. It stays put for hours and won’t fade either.

10 Make-up Rachel Jones using Mac Hair James McMahon using Redken Nails Chisato Yamamoto Model Alex Evans at Nevs

Must moisturise

Try to use Osmo Colour Radiance Mask, £7.95, at least twice a week through the lengths and ends of colour-treated hair to give an extra moisture boost. And remember, don’t ramp up your electricals to over 185° or you’re just cooking your hair.

FESTIVE COUNTDOWN

9

Update your look

Switch up your party style by adding a flick of eyeliner in teal. We love Kiko Colour Definition Eyeliner and Kajal in 05, £5.90. Remember to smudge it slightly with a cotton bud for an effortless edge.

11

FAB FREEBIE Arms aching from all those heavy bags? Head to a L’Occitane, Liz Earle or Jo Malone counter for a free hand/arm massage.

12

Fancy feet

You’ve been on them constantly for the past two weeks, whether shopping or throwing some serious shapes on the dance floor. Your feet need some TLC, so massage hem with your body cream then wrap them in warm flannels – it helps all the ngredients work deeply for extra soft skin.

ESSENTIALS 55


CATWALK TREND MARINE MANI

OPI Nail Lacquer in Venice The Party, £13

BRUSH AND CONTOUR

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

Rimmel Wonder’full Waterproof Mascara, £7.99

Heavy METAL

YSL Black Opium, £39 for 30ml

Kiko Rebel Romantic Face Brush, £13.90

From gold lips to shimmering nails, it’s time to shine in glamorous metallics

SUBTLE SHINE

GLOW ’N’ GO

Fake Bake Tinted Body Glow, £7.50

GLOSSY LOCKS

TRESemmé Oleo Radiance Bi-Phase Conditioning Mist, £6.99

MONIQUE LHUILLIER

Feature Meghann Thorp Photography Rex; Getty Images; Full Stop

Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Peach Lights, £3

HIGH SHINE

Elizabeth Arden Lipgloss in Imperial Shimmer, £18

TEMPERLEY

ERDEM

FULLER FLUTTER

PARTY POUT

Freedom Far Away Lipstick in Space Luxe, £1

ESSENTIALS 57


Party season

SOS!

DON’T

Double trouble We know how tempting it is to just add another layer to your daytime make-up when you’ve got a night out, but avoid this as your finished look will appear cakey. Instead, refresh with Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil, £22. You’ll be make-up free in seconds, leaving you time for a primer or firming lotion before your foundation.

Top tip

Drink up! The festive bubbles are flowing and while you enjoy a glass (or three), make sure you also drink two litres of water every day – it brightens skin and adds moisture to lips

Stay fresh and glam on the run-up to Christmas – shhh, no one needs to know you’re all partied out…

DO

Fake that glow A dewy sheen screams healthy skin. No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter, £9.95, swept across the centre of your forehead, on your brow and cheekbones, down the centre of your nose and in your Cupid’s bow is a speedy way to give your complexion a serious boost.

DON’T

Overload hair

DO

Hydrate on the go For an easy and refreshed look, boost your moisture levels with a spritz of The Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist, £9.50. The rosewater in it soothes winterworn skin, keeping it radiant all day long.

Keep products to a minimum – using too many will weigh your hair down and it’ll need washing more frequently. Try and stick to shine sprays, they’re light and brush out easily, so use them to add an extra dose of glamour without changing the texture. We love Redken Shine Flash 02 Glistening Mist, £14.40, which boosts your hair’s natural lustre with vitamin B5 and camelina oil, as well as adding a layer of gloss to vamp up your glam factor.


BEAUTY RULES

DON’T

Neglect your legs When they’re hidden away under jeans or tights, it’s easy to forget that your legs need a bit of TLC during the winter, too. So, when it comes to getting them out for a party, use Rimmel’s Sun Shimmer Instant Tan BB Perfector, £6.99, to give them colour – one application will even out any skin imperfections, too.

DON’T

Forget your eyes

DO

Go nude Get more from your mani and stick to nude shades like Nails Inc Nailkale Nailbright in Knightsbridge Mews, £14, to keep the colour for days. You’ll need just one coat to cover imperfections. And, this polish contains bee pollen to lock in moisture and keep your nails healthy, so really you’re pampering them as you wear it.

DO

Get a quick fix Instead of wasting time agonising over those tiny imperfections in the mirror, tackle them head on. Mix Stop & Wow! Instant Skin Perfector, £27.50, qvc.com, into your foundation for silky, lightweight coverage. Or, you can apply it as a separate layer and wave bye-bye to those fine lines and pesky pores for the next few hours. It’s a one-stopshop for flawless skin, no extra time required.

Feature Annie Vischer Photography Full Stop

Tiredness is a given throughout the party period, so try Healgel Eye, £32, healgel.co.uk. With ingredients such as arnica and super powerful peptides it reduces the look of dark circles, any puffiness and sneaky wrinkles instantly. Simply dab a little on to cheat your way to wide awake.

ESSENTIALS 59


EXCLUSIVE OFFER

25% OFF

*

at JD Williams Shop ‘til you drop, get your party wardrobe sorted and save money, too!

W

hether you’ve got lots of Christmas parties coming up, a special occasion or you just want to update your winter wardrobe, do it in style at JD Williams. Just go online and you’ll find the fabulous new autumn/winter collection, which includes statement coats, on-trend dresses, sassy separates and a whole lot more. And the good news is, the new collection is now available in sizes 10-32, so there really is something to suit everyone. But don’t just take our word for it, take a peek at jdwilliams.co.uk and start shopping and saving money right now!

Just go online at jdwilliams.co.uk to see the new winter collection

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR 25%* DISCOUNT Simply go to jdwilliams.co.uk and enter the promotion code HCWR1 at the checkout. The offer is valid from 5 to 30 November 2015.

TERMS & CONDITIONS *The discount is valid on fashion, footwear and lingerie. It does not include home and electrical products. It also excludes any cover taken out to protect your product. Discount can only be claimed once and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. The discount is valid from 5 to 30 November 2015. Registered address: Griffin House, 40 Lever Street, Manchester M60 6ES. Company Reg No: 178367

60 ESSENTIALS


BEAUTY WISH LIST

All thatglitters… Make sparkle your must-have make-up accessory this party season

Fancy a more subtle look? Rock daytime nails with OPI Nail Lacquer in Let Your Love Shine, £12.50.

Ciaté Precious metal Eyeshadow in Ocean Drive, £18, might be for eyes, but its light glittery sheen is perfect for giving cheeks a gorgeous party glow, too.

Get the look

✱ Prepare eyes with a primer so your glitter holds. ✱ Add a layer of MAC Glitter in Reflects Pearl, £16, all over your eyelid. ✱ Not just for nails, use Star Gazer Nail Décor in Gold, £3, on top for maximum impact. ✱ Add lashings of mascara.

Jazz up your nail colour by sweeping Rimmel Love Glitter Top Coat in Mistletoe Mischief or Queen of Bling on top, £3.99.

Feature & styling Jess Henley Photography Billie Scheepers Make-up Yasmin Heinz using MAC Hair Jason Crozier Nails Georgia Hart Model Marine at M&P

Haven’t got time for a mani? Add a party shimmer with Kiss Gel Fantasy Glitter Nails, £6.98.

For the ultimate molten look, go for Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow in Comex Gold, £33.50.

Top tip

Wear glitter in your lipstick to plump your pout. Our fave festive offering is Lipstick Queen All that Jazz Lipstick in Hot Piano, Paint the Town and Cool Gin, £25 each.

This look can get messy, so do your base AFTER your eyes – that way you can easily wipe away any glitter on your cheeks without ruining the rest of your make-up

ESSENTIALS 61


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62 ESSENTIALS

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ESSENTIALS 63


BE INSPIRED

you Gifts can

afford!

Make it a December to remember with our ideas to suit every budget – there’s a pressie here for all your family and friends!

From

£1 ESSENTIALS 65


u Gifts yo can afford! Festive gingerbread lip balm, £3, Tesco

Letter to Santa, £5.95, Mamas & Papas Reindeer bobble hat, £5, Matalan

Copper cookie cutter, £3, Habitat

Frozen Olaf tote bag, £1, Poundland

£10 & under With Love Nail Gift set, £6.50, Marks & Spencer

Radio biscuit tin, £10, Waitrose His and hers mugs, £5 each, John Lewis

Dipsticks game, £9, Talking Tables

66 ESSENTIALS


BE INSPIRED Avengers mobile phone clip case, £9.95, Disney Store

Man’s Best Friend Duo Set, £10, Bulldog

Christmas hessian sack, £2.99, Getting Personal

Christmas drinking jar, £5, The Contemporary Home

Brisk beard range, from £4.99, Boots

Embroidered coin purse, £5.99, Oxfam

Man Cave keyring, £5, Betty & Dodge

Reindeer jumper for your pooch, £5, Morrisons

The Tale of Peter Rabbit: The Christmas Edition, £9.99, Penguin Random House

Luxury hot chocolate kilner, £8, Whittard

Gentleman’s Hardware spork, £9.95, Wild & Wolf

ESSENTIALS 67


u Gifts yo can afford! Ted Baker Cyclist’s Repair Kit, £19.95, Wild & Wolf

Vintage 2015 bauble, £11, Molton Brown

Scarlet check scarf, £19, Accessorize

Russian doll measuring cups, £16.95 each, House of Bath

Fairtrade brass ribbon bangle, £18.50, Decorator’s Notebook

£20 & under Brown slim belt, £18, Burton

68 ESSENTIALS

Pie Face Game, £19.99, Hasbro

Embossed tumblers, £16.50, Starbucks


BE INSPIRED

Large chocolate festive wreath, £20, Hotel Chocolat

Deer beanie, £15, Animal

Holidays are coming T-shirt, £19.99, Truffle Shuffle

‘Blooming Lovely’ gardening gloves, £14.50, Caroline Gardner

No7 Eye Palette, £20, Boots

Remote control Mini Cooper, £20, Halfords

Purple kimono, £16, F+F

Scaramouche & Fandango Christmas cracker, £15, Asos

Gold personal organiser, £18, Paperchase Whale hot water bottles, £20 each, Berry Red

Majestic Stag cushion, £14.99, Dobbies

Make your own smartphone projector, £20, Habitat

ESSENTIALS 69


u Gifts yo can afford!

Reindeer ski helmet cover, £35.99, headztrong.com

Illy & Alessi Pulcina Moka Pot, from £43, espressocrazy.com

Ted Baker New York Reed Diffuser, £35, John Lewis

Kirstie Allsopp Flower Press Kit, £25, Hobbycraft

Cheese knives feather gold, £24, Oliver Bonas

£50 & under Love letter necklace, £49, Maria Allen Boutique

Three-month beauty box subscription, £38.85, Birchbox

Kancha Bill Dyz Wallet, £40, Wax & Hide

Playmobil Fire-Fighting Helicopter, £24.99, playmobil. co.uk Cable knit fur booties, £27.50, White Stuff

70 ESSENTIALS

Christmas embossing rolling pin, £24, notonthehighstreet.com


BE INSPIRED Homemade gin kit, £39.99, The Fowndry

Motorised Ferris Wheel, £24.99, K’nex

Rookie Retro rollerskates, £49.95, skatehut.co.uk

Three-wick Limited Edition Christmas Wish candle, £49.95, Neom Organics

Annual subscription to Essentials magazine, £22.99, plus a welcome gift worth £19 – see page 62 for details

Fairisle cardigan, 0-8 years, from £40, Tootsa MacGinty

Indi Adapt Balance Bike, £39.99, Halfords

Look Good Feel Better Makeover Brush Set, £24.99 for four, lookfantastic.co.uk

ESSENTIALS 71


BE INSPIRED

Gifts yo u can afford! Saddle bag, £54, Next

Nicholas King for Retro sunglasses, £90, Sunglasses Shop

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera, £53, Amazon

Chloe Love Story gift set, £89, Debenhams

Candy stripe pyjama set, £50, Cath Kidston

Lacoste men’s Montreal watch, £99, watchshop.com

£100 & under Maxi micro scooter, from £99.95, Micro Scooters Dixie bookends, £59.95, mazzarohome.com Quad decanter, £65, Annabel James

Decadence perfume 50ml, £69, Marc Jacobs

FITBIT Charge Fitness Band in plum, £79.99, Currys

72 ESSENTIALS

BoomBass speaker, £79.99, HTC

Champagne Charles Heidsieck Rosé Millésime 2006, £93.95, Harrods


BECAUSE IT WOULDN’T BE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT SOME CHAOS. #MyLittleBigVictory

Find a great deal on toys at a price that’s right for you. Visit eBay.co.uk/christmas

Mega Bloks selling for

Rocking toy selling for

Sky Hunter drone selling for

Peppa Pig soft toy selling for

£10.40

£39.83

£56.28

£9.89

Prices and items shown are indicative of the corresponding category and are subject to change. Inventory is managed by third parties. Prices shown have been calculated by taking the mean average selling price of all items sold within the corresponding category during the period of 1 January 2015 to 23 September 2015, including all used, new and refurbished items and all selling formats. This does not include postage and packing fees.


BE INSPIRED Frozen Elsa Ice Castle Playset, £49.95, Disney Store

Gifts yo u can afford!

£100 & under

Michael Kors Pink Purse, £95, House of Fraser

12in portable DVD player, £99.99, Argos

Howick Swiss cable-knit jumper, £60, House of Fraser

Go Pro Hero camcorder, £94.95, Amazon

Showstoppers gift set, £60, Philip Kingsley

Heather Check lambswool throw in Aqua Blue, £89.95, Bronte by Moon

Nescafé Dolce Gusto Oblo coffee machine, £89, Tesco

Winter Warmer Hamper, £59.99, Lakeland

GPO Attache retro record player, £75, Cuckooland

74 ESSENTIALS

For moreGIFT IDEAS Present buying is hard work, for more inspiration go to goodtoknow.co.uk/gifts

Compiled by Eleanor Jones Lifestyle images Sainsbury’s; BHS; timeincukcontent.com

Feasting platter, £59.99, Emma Bridgewater


WHEN I SAW A COAT, AND HE SAW A CAPE. #MyLittleBigVictory

Find a great selection of kids’ winter fashion at a price that’s right for you. Visit eBay.co.uk/christmas

Boys‘ coats

Boys‘ pyjamas

Items shown are indicative of the corresponding category and are subject to change. Inventory is managed by third parties.

Girls‘ pyjamas


5 ( 6 & 8 , 1 * X LI % / $ 1 '


GOODH GoodtoKnow.co.uk HI THERE!

WHAT’S NEW

lth

HEALTH WRITER ANNA MATHESON BRINGS YOU THE LATEST FROM THE WORLD OF WELL-BEING

Photography Getty Images, Alamy, iStock *Consumer survey of 2,000 UK residents by Gaviscon. One Poll, November 2014

#TRENDING NOW...

Get your best prima ballerina moves at the ready, because we’re pirouetting our way to fitness with a new ballet-inspired workout. Barre classes combine classic dance moves with yoga and Pilates to give you an all-over workout that tones and improves flexibility and balance. No wonder Gisele Bündchen and Miranda Kerr are fans. Classes are available at Virgin Active gyms nationwide. Share your en pointe pics with us at instagram@ goodtoknow_essentials – Tutu optional (phew!)

55%

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH…

Searching for a great gift for a health fiend? Head to Noel Road. Mother and daughter duo Amanda and Georg ealthy food hampers and deliver them straight to your door. My favourite is the Raw Chocolate. £39 each, noelroaduk.com.

TRIED! PILLOW TALK TESTED! When I heard that 10% of the weight LOVED! of a two-year-old pillow can be made

up of dead mites and their droppings, I knew it was time to buy new ones. This time, I’ve planned ahead and chosen the Truly Washable Slumberdown Pillows (£12 a pair, Argos), which can be thrown in the washing machine every few months and emerge without losing their shape. Find out how often you should be washing your bedding at goodtoknow.co.uk/householditems

OF BRITS RICH FOO BELIEVE THEIR HE D TRIGGERS ARTB INDIGEST URN AND CHRISTM ION AT A KEEP EAT S… BUT ING IT!*

SUGAR SHOCK!

Guidelines suggest we eat no more than 30g (7.5 teaspoons) of sugar a day. But Christmas treats are laden with the stuff…

CRANBERRY SAUCE CHRISTMAS CAKE MULLED WINE Just one slice (63g) can The average 105ml glass Tastes great with turkey, but one spoonful has have up to ten contains a whopping 14g, up to 7g of sugar. teaspoons of sugar! or 3.5 teaspoons. Find out more about the hidden sugar in your everyday food at goodtoknow.co.uk/sugar-shockers

ESSENTIALS 77


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MY HEALTH

‘No chocolate

FOR ME THIS CHRISTMAS!’ Why Tamsin Williams has finally learned to be a better diabetic and stop giving in to her cravings

B

efore I was actually diagnosed with diabetes, I never felt 100% healthy, but I put it down to the stress of being a single mum and juggling work with two kids. It was only when I started to develop terrible migraines, I decided to go to the doctor. After trying several treatments, I was sent to a neurologist who put me on medication for epilepsy. It totally knocked me out and I could barely string a sentence together, so I decided to stop taking it and give myself some time out from my job as a nursery nurse instead.

Feature Anna Matheson Photography Getty Images

Worrying symptoms

Not long afterwards, I started to suffer from dizziness, thirst and a constant need to wee. My vision was blurred and, without noticing, I’d lost a lot of weight. The doctor told me I’d probably just flushed out my system with all the water I’d been drinking, so I was sent home with instructions to have some salt and sugar with my evening meal. That evening, I drank a whole litre of orange juice for the sugar and added lots of salt to my dinner, but by the time I’d finished eating, the room

was spinning. My mum came over and went with me to see a different doctor who took one look at me and said, ‘You’re diabetic!’ I couldn’t believe it – all along the answer had been that simple. I had type 1 diabetes and needed insulin injections straight away. Injecting myself was daunting at first and I phoned the nurse a few times to double-check I was doing it properly. I also sat down with my sons, Tom and Harry, and explained what they needed to do with the insulin. I was terrified they would come home one day and find me unresponsive, so for the first six months or so I was really good, cut out all sugar and tested my levels regularly. Eventually, though, I became a bad diabetic. A nurse had said I could have the odd square of chocolate and I got carried away. I’d eat the wrong things, take more insulin and rarely tested my levels. It was around this time that I met my husband, Simon. We got married in 2009 and wanted to try for a baby, but

I was in my late thirties and my diabetes, combined with other fertility problems, meant that I only had a 50% chance of conceiving. Then, last February, when I was filling in a medical form, I realised I hadn’t had a period for six weeks. I didn’t believe I could actually be pregnant at 43, but Simon and I decided to do a pregnancy test anyway, and it came back positive! The result woke me up overnight. A healthy blood sugar level is between 4 and 7millimoles per litre and I’d been letting it rise to 16. I knew I had to start looking after myself properly, so I started eating well and stuck

‘A nursesaidI couldhavethe oddsquareof chocolate–Igot carried away’

religiously to the consultant’s guidelines. This was the one chance Simon had to be a dad and there was no way I was going to let him down.

For my baby’s sake

Diabetes is known to cause complications with the birth, so I had to have a C-section before I got to 38 weeks. Daisy arrived on 23 September, and although she was slightly jaundiced, she’s perfectly healthy and totally adorable. Having a baby has been the wake-up call I needed to sort my health out and start being a better diabetic. Without Daisy, I’d be spending this Christmas gorging on treats in front of the TV, then loading up on insulin. But this year, there’ll be a baby on my knee instead of a box of chocolates – and I couldn’t be happier.

WHAT IS DIABETES? 4 Diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. 4 Type 1 diabetes usually appears before the age of 40, most commonly in childhood, where the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin and can be treated with regular injections.

4 Type 2 diabetes tends to develop later in life. It is treated with lifestyle changes and medication. 4 Symptoms include excessive thirst, passing urine more often, tiredness and weight loss. 4 If you are concerned, see a GP and go to diabetes.org.uk.

ESSENTIALS 79


H o w to su r viv e

Christmas

Don’t let stress, colds and bugs ruin the season for you… follow our tips to boost your immunity TAKE A CALMING DEEP BREATH In fact, take a few. Research has found that taking not just one, but six deep breaths in the space of 30 seconds can calm you sufficiently to lower your blood pressure by ten points. It may not take care of all that extra shopping, cooking and cleaning for you – but it might just save you from having a meltdown while you’re getting it all done.

Now wash your hands Every year up to a million of us catch the winter vomiting bug Norovirus. Immune boosters make no difference at all to your susceptibility, but washing your hands with soap and water (not alcohol hand gels) does. Do it frequently and thoroughly – and avoid touching your face when you’re out on the high street – door handles and escalators can be loaded with germs left behind by fellow frazzled shoppers.

80 ESSENTIALS

Bring on the choccy oranges There are good reasons why this magic combo brings a smile to your face. The scent of oranges is proven to calm your mind, while the phenylethylamine in chocolate is known to boost your mood. For a healthier alternative to Terry’s, dip fresh orange segments in melted dark chocolate.

A BERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS Feeling rushed and busy can reduce your immunity and prime you for the season’s colds – so fight back with a blast of immune-boosting echinacea and elderberry. Try Vogel Echinaforce Hot Drink with added elderberry, £9.99. The echinacea is proven to disarm 65% of infections that can lead to pneumonia, while elderberry neutralises ten strains of flu. And it tastes far more festive than Lemsip!


GOOD HEALTH

Headaches render us incapable of making clear decisions, yet 63% of us wait 20 minutes before reaching for pain relief – that’s a dangerous amount of time if you’re mulling over a pricey gift purchase. Save yourself the agony (and a trip to return the item) by taking paracetamol the minute the throbbing starts. Just try not to take them more than one day in any three.

TAME YOUR DEMONS We all love a mid-shopping trip to Starbucks to take the weight off our feet and consider our purchases, but mainlining Gingerbread Lattes won’t do your health any good in the long run. Learn to love your caffeine and sugar hit a little bit less. ‘They may be what you crave to keep you going through the mega Christmas shopping ordeal, but they’ll do your immune system no favours,’ says nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville. ‘Caffeine depletes immune-strengthening zinc, while sugar messes with gut health and causes mood swings and energy slumps.’ Better make ours a peppermint tea, then!

BRA THE WE VE AND GE ATHER THE FRE T OUT IN SH BLOW THAIR TO COBWEB OSE S – IT’S GOAWAY FOR THE OD SOUL!

HOW TO NIP INDIGESTION IN THE BUD Stress and eating on the hoof are the perfect precursors to indigestion – just what we all want for Christmas – not! Get ahead of the problem with Silicol Gel (£8.29 for 200ml). ‘It acts as a magnet for irritants and toxins, rendering them harmless. It also binds excess acidity and gases, reducing heartburn and bloating,’ says nutritional therapist Alison Cullen.

It’s time to party! Seize any excuse to sing and dance – both great ways to relieve stress, and studies show they’ll also boost immunity, lift depression, improve heart health and even prevent chronic pain and dementia. A New England Journal of Medicine study found that people who dance 11 times a month are 63% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, while Yale University researchers say that singing in a choir could add several years to your life expectancy. All together now… ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful…’

Feature Karen Evennett Photography Getty Images

Stock up on the painkillers

ESSENTIALS 81


TRIED & TESTED

offee... and more coffee!

TESTER Associate Editor Sarah Allard. THE CURE Drag yourself to the kettle. Make a mug of instant coffee and down it in one. Repeat. THE NIGHT BEFORE Two glasses of prosecco and countless gin and tonics.

THE MORNING AFTER What’s that thumping sound? Oh, it’s in my head. THE VERDICT Great for that initial burst of energy first thing, but the buzz wears off too quickly. Maybe if it was administered through an IV drip, I’d be OK… 5/10

Hangovers

CURED!

Feature Anna Matheson Photography Masterfile *Official advice is combining paracetamol & substantial amounts of alcohol can be dangerous, so check with your GP

PEAR JUICE

TESTER Deputy Food Ed Sophie Austen-Smith. THE CURE 220ml fresh pear juice, or eating a couple of pears, before a night out can apparently help stave off the effects of alcohol the next day. Really? THE NIGHT BEFORE Three glasses of prosecco and a large glass of red wine. THE MORNING AFTER Achy head and oh-so tired. THE VERDICT Pure, fresh pear juice is hard to find and it didn’t really help my hangover. I’ll stick to the Alka-Seltzer. 4/10

Feeling the pain after a few too many? We’ve tested the best remedies, so you know what works in times of need… Bottle of Irn Bru and a fry-up

TESTER Assistant Editor Carrie Mitchell. THE CURE Packed with sugar, caffeine and iron, the Scots’ national drink is best drunk from a glass bottle alongside a greasy brekkie. THE NIGHT BEFORE Half a bottle of prosecco, four large

Paracetamol and water BEFORE bed

TESTER Designer Christina Gubbins. THE CURE Two tablets washed down with a pint of water tackles the headache and the dehydration before they’ve even started*. THE NIGHT BEFORE Two mojitos and half a bottle of red wine. THE MORNING AFTER Slightly groggy, but not as bad as my hangovers usually are. THE VERDICT I’ve tried many so-called hangover ‘cures’ and nothing works as well as this. It’s my new failsafe solution when I’ve been out on the booze. 9/10

G&Ts, and one whisky… I was in Edinburgh on a hen do! THE MORNING AFTER Pounding head, trembles and a dose of hangover blues. THE VERDICT A full Scottish breakfast and a bottle of the fizzy stuff and I was back on the wine by 7pm! 8/10

A LATE NIGHT TRIP TO THE KEBAB SHOP

TESTER Features Writer Anna Matheson. THE CURE Experts suggest a chicken shish – the meat helps restore the liver’s amino acids and the salad provides vitamins. But, if I’m having a kebab at 2am, it’s got to be a doner. THE NIGHT BEFORE Cocktails, then wine with dinner and two (OK, four!) G&Ts. THE MORNING AFTER The room was still spinning when I got out of bed and I felt more than a little unsteady on my feet. THE VERDICT I was a little queasy and needed a shower to feel less greasy, but I’d have felt worse if I’d gone to bed on an empty stomach. 6/10

A BANANA BREAKFAST

TESTER Assistant Editor Steph Lowe. THE CURE Bananas are gentle on the stomach when you’re feeling delicate and they’ll help replace vital electrolytes and potassium lost while out on the lash. THE NIGHT BEFORE Two glasses of white wine, two G&Ts and a tequila shot. THE MORNING AFTER Banging headache, mouth like a sandy flip-flop and unsettled stomach. VERDICT Twenty minutes after eating the banana and downing a glass of water, I felt more human. Cheap, easy, effective. 8/10

GetInTOUCH To see the how the other testers fared, visit goodto know.co.uk/hangovercures

ESSENTIALS 83


Struggling to stick to your weight-loss goals over the party season? Here’s how to stand up to those dreaded diet saboteurs‌

84 ESSENTIALS


STEALTH HEALTH

W

e’ve all been there. You join your co-workers at the annual office party and have the best intentions to bodyswerve the buffet and get home early. But once you’ve accepted the third drink from your boss (it would be rude not to), gracefully accepted the giant-sized Dairy Milk in the Secret Santa, and stuffed your face with canapés (because everyone else is), your healthy lifestyle is as stuffed as the turkey. And that’s even before the helpful ‘oh go on, have another one – it’s Christmas,’ comments from friends and co-workers intent on letting their hair down. But this Christmas, put health back at the top of your wish list with our no-nonsense weight-loss weapons…

1 Plan ahead

Feature Alice Whitehead Photography Getty Images

Be the first to suggest a venue – this way you can opt for activities, such as bowling or a movie, that don’t revolve around eating or drinking. If you know you’re going to a restaurant, book your meal in advance, so you’re not influenced by other people. ‘Studies show the amount you eat depends on who you eat with,’ says Professor Jeff Brunstrom, from the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit at Bristol University. ‘We also tend to eat more food when more people are present.’

2

DRINK UP We often mistake thirst for hunger, so make sure you drink plenty of water before a night out to fill you up.

3

Keep count

When trays of festive canapés greet you at every turn, stay in control by keeping a mental tally of how many

4

Know your ‘no’

‘Rehearse beforehand what to say if someone offers you something to eat you don’t want,’ says professor of health psychology Jane Ogden. ‘No’ is surprisingly hard to say, and it’s easier

5

DISTRACT YOURSELF ‘Rather than lurk around the buffet, mingle more or dance your socks off! Recruit a health buddy in advance and keep each other accountable,’ suggests nutritionist Angelique Panagos.

6

Skip the extras

There’s always a tendency to eat more when we’re out than we would at home. Skip the bread basket and order a filter coffee while the others dig into dessert – it will be lower in calories and prevent you ordering another mulled wine.

7

Bring a dish

If you’re going to a friend’s house for a dinner party, take your own food. ‘Turn up armed with a delicious-as-it-is-nutritious sharing treat, such as sweet potato wedges or raw chocolate brownies, and you’ll fool the most indulgent of taste buds,’ says Angelique Panagos.

to be firm if you’ve practised. Don’t give explanations or let others make you feel bad for being disciplined. ‘It’s likely they’re finding it hard to stick to their goals and are trying to make themselves feel better,’ says registered nutritional therapist Daniel O’Shaughnessy.

8

Slow down

Chewing your food slowly will help your brain register you’ve eaten and make you less likely to go for seconds. ‘If you drink less alcohol, it’s more likely you’ll want to go home early, too!’ says John Prescott, professor of psychology and sensory science and author of Taste Matters.

9

GET CREATIVE Don’t want the hassle of explaining you’re watching your weight? Try using the smallest plate available, so it looks like there’s lots on it. ‘Also, choose proteinrich food,’ adds Daniel O’Shaughnessy. ‘You’ll feel fuller and it won’t be such a blood sugar rollercoaster.’

you’ve had – and the same goes for booze. It’s easy to get carried away when there’s a waiter offering endless top-ups, so space out each glass with a nonalcoholic drink in-between .

85


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HEALTH INSIDER

What it’s really like to…

I

HAVE BOTOX Terry Tavner decides it’s time to take action against her wrinkles

’m nervous, I don’t mind admitting it. I’ve just had a face to face with the king of needles, Dr Michael Prager and given him permission to inject poison into my face. Why? Well, even with my less-than-perfect sight, I can see the lines and crevices of the extensive motorway system that is my face are not exactly a pretty sight.

Are you sure? Michael, who is familiar from his appearances on 10 Years Younger, doesn’t make it easy. I’m given a comprehensive interrogation before he’ll agree to any form of treatment. What do I want from it? What state of mind am I in? Too many people believe Botox can solve all the other problems in their lives. It won’t and I applaud his approach.

What happens The session begins with a 3D analysis of my face from which Dr Prager is able to highlight

the areas that require attention – neck, cheeks and frown lines. Then, to the accompaniment of popping caps from freshly sterilised syringes, Michael explains what he’s going to do. I lie back as a terrifying gallery of waxen celeb faces comes to mind and I wonder what the hell I’m doing. Thankfully, I know Michael’s reputation is one of the best in the UK and this is largely attributed to his minimal approach. He believes that using Botox only on the forehead and around the eyes, and injecting fillers to pump up the lips and cheeks, is what results in frozen faces with pillow cheeks and trout pouts. Instead, he favours injecting small amounts into the whole face, especially around the upper neck and jaw to give a spring chicken – rather

than a stunned mullet – look. For session one, I have a few short painless pricks above and between my eyebrows, but the majority are around the jaw and upper neck. Michael asks me to clench my teeth together and lower my jaw, so that he can literally pinpoint the problem areas and in ten minutes, it’s all over without a mark or a blemish. He advises me to use the next 25 minutes raising and lowering my eyebrows and clenching my jaw to distribute the Botox evenly. Heaven knows what that must have looked like to my fellow passengers on the Tube but I wasn’t prepared to take any risks. Session two takes place a month later and is more of the same but with the addition of one or two needles around the extremities of my eyebrows

‘I can still register a frown, but that now includes the muscles in my nostrils as well!’

Photography Getty Images

THE INSIDE INFO ON BOTOX INJECTIONS 4 HOW DOES BOTOX WORK? Botox blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles, so that the injected muscle can no longer contract. 4 HOW OFTEN? Twice a year is usual – some areas may only need treating every three to four years. 4 HOW OLD SHOULD YOU BE? There is no minimum age, says Dr Prager, but he stresses you must take advice from a reputable practitioner.

4 HOW MUCH? From around £180 per area. The average treatment of twice-yearly sessions to face and neck costs around £795. 4 MORE INFO Dr Michael Prager, 25 Wimpole Street, London (020 7323 3660; drmichael prager.com).

and five or six around my lips (I admit, these did hurt a bit). But that’s me ‘done’ for now.

The result I deliberately didn’t tell anyone what I was doing to gauge any reaction. And when I look in the mirror, to be honest, I can’t see any difference. But I can feel a difference. I use my face a lot and I’m aware that my facial expressions now use a whole new set of muscles. I can still register a frown but that now includes the muscles in my nostrils as well! Michael tells me to expect visible results in 10-12 days so I sit it out. After three or four weeks, people start saying how well I look. Have I changed my hair? Lost weight? The effect is so subtle it’s almost undetectable. And that’s why Michael Prager can expect to see a lot more of my face!


WHAT’S NEW

REALFood GoodtoKnow.co.uk HI THERE!

DIGITAL FOOD EDITOR ANNA SBUTTONI SHARES HER BEST BUYS, CLEVER CHEATS AND EASY RECIPES

THIS MONTH… Mince puff parcels

My favourite thing about December is making mince pies, and this easy recipe has just four ingredients. You’ll need readymade puff pastry sheets and a jar of mincemeat, plus an egg for glazing and a little demerara sugar to get that crunch. The kids will love baking these on the run-up to Christmas, minimum fuss, maximum taste! You’ll find this deliciously easy recipe at goodtoknow.co.uk/easymincepies

#TRENDING NOW... Find the most popular recipes on our Pinterest board! Join the half a million followers and whip up a batch of chocolate star tarts and cute Christmas jumper cupcakes.

See them all at pinterest. com/GTK_essentials

In season Brussels sprouts are at their best in December. So, love ‘em or loath ‘em, M&S has transformed the little green veg into a dip. You can pick up your very own Brusselsmole – yes, really – for just £1.90. Simply spread on toast or serve with crisps. For more recipe ideas, go to good oknow.co.uk/sprouts

3

get the kids t o help make a batch, stick in the fr eezer, then he at from frozen when g uests come vis iting

OF THE BEST... Christmas party buys

MUST-HAVE TREATS TO SHARE AT YOUR GET-TOGETHER

CARVE UP This mini Serrano ham on a stand is the perfect DIY party centrepiece. £12.99 for 1.5kg, from Aldi.

FUN FIZZ POPS Classic Champagne Ice Popsicles make an indulgent party treat for grown-ups with half a glass of champers in each! £9.99 for three, from Ocado.

TRENDY BITES Mac and cheese gets a party makeover with the addition of sweet lobster and rich cheesy sauce in no-fuss mini pots. £10 for ten, from M&S.

ESSENTIALS 89


WHAT’S NEW

REALFOOD GoodtoKnow.co.uk

TO… ENTERTAIN 5WAYS KIDS IN THE KITCHEN Top tips from mummy blogger Anneliese Giggins

Make a gingerbread house and go all out on the decorating! Too daunting? Decorate gingerbread men instead.

2 Tree treats Make popcorn garlands or hang biscuits on the tree… Then scoff the lot!

3 Fine dining Laying the table won’t keep little hands busy

for long, so set them to work with felt tips and glitter to make place names and menus.

4 Colour up Occupy the kids with crayons and a big white sheet of paper as their place setting during the long Christmas dinner.

5 Cheers! Make a non-alcoholic version of mulled wine full of the same warm spices, using apple juice. The kids will love joining in with the grown-ups.

WE LOVE...

Taste the Difference Scottish Salmon and Scallop Filo Tartlets, made with proper chunks of fish in a cheesy sauce, are great value at £3.75 for two, from Sainsbury’s. Well, there’s enough cooking to do on Christmas Day, why not pick an easy starter you can just heat up. See the best Christmas food at goodtoknow.co.uk/tastetest

CHEATS CORNER Order a family recipe box from hellofresh.co.uk and get the ingredients for four meals delivered to your door for £4 a head. For 50% off your first box use the code ESSENTIALS50.

90 ESSENTIALS

TRIED! TESTED! LOVED!

CHEERS! Rich and syrupy, M Signature Pedro Ximénez sherry has the heady aromas and tastes of Christmas in a glass. For a twist, you could even try it drizzled over vanilla ice cream. It’s a steal at £6, from Morrisons.

Tech know-how

On a special diet, or hosting someone who is? Find lots of gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan recipes for entertaining (including this ‘free-from’ chocolate cake) on the Eating Smart app. Search for it in the App Store.

Photography Getty Images, Shutterstock; timeincukcontent.c

1 Get baking


                

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Let’s party!

CANAPES

MAKE YOUR OWN NIBBLES FROM JUST 10P

Don’t be a slave to the kitchen this Christmas – whip up these tasty bites with just 3 buys and a few storecupboard staples

Only 24p each

92 ESSENTIALS


EVERYDAY & EASY

INDIAN SPICED KING PRAWNS

SERVES 12 READY IN 10 MINS + MARINATING prawns for 2-3 mins on each side, Defrost 350g raw jumbo peeled king until crisp. Serve with 4tbsp mango prawns and coat well in 80g pouch chutney and scattered with some Rogan josh curry paste. Leave in the chopped coriander. fridge to marinade for at least 2 hrs. 58 CALS PER SERVING 2.5g FAT Heat 1tbsp sunflower oil in a large 0.5g SAT FAT 3g CARBS frying pan and fry the marinated

54p per person

COURGETTE FRITTI WITH LEMON MAYO

56p per person

SERVES 6 READY IN 10 MINS Thinly slice 2 courgettes and set aside. Meanwhile, gently heat 350ml sunflower oil in a deep pan until hot. Mix up a 150g pack tempura batter mix according to the pack instructions. Add the courgette and carefully dip into the hot oil. Fry for 2-3 mins until puffed and lightly golden. Serve drizzled with lemon mayonnaise mixed with shredded basil. 194 CALS PER SERVING 11g FAT 1.4g SAT FAT 20g CARBS

WATERMELON, CURED HAM & FETA

MAKES 28 READY IN 15 MINS Drain 2x175g packs fresh watermelon chunks well and set aside. Cut 14 slices Serrano ham in half, then cut a 200g block of feta into 28 cubes. To assemble, thread the watermelon, ham and feta onto mini cocktail skewers with fresh garden mint, then season with black pepper. You can make and chill these up to 3 hrs before serving. 33 CALS PER SERVING 2g FAT 1.5g SAT FAT 1g CARBS

ESSENTIALS 93


EVERYDAY & EASY

MEXICAN ROASTED SWEET POTATO BITES

Only 10p each!

MAKES 26 READY IN 20 MINS Heat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Slice 3 long thin sweet potatoes into 1cm circles. Toss the potato circles in a mix of 2tbsp olive oil and 2tbsp Mexican seasoning to coat thoroughly. Roast for 10-15 mins until cooked through. Once slightly cooled, top with spoonfuls of guacamole, soured cream with chives and tomato salsa. Scatter over coriander to serve. 49 CALS PER SERVING 3g FAT 1g SAT FAT 5g CARBS

BEETROOT & GOATS’ CHEESE HERBY CROSTINI

MAKES 20 READY IN 20 MINS Cook 2 mini frozen baguettes to the pack instructions, then allow to cool. Slice each one into 10, drizzle with a little oil and return to the oven for 5-6 mins until crisp. Spread over 200g soft goats’ cheese and top with 200g sweet cooked beetroot, cut into chunks. To serve, scatter with orange zest and fresh thyme. 110 CALS PER SERVING 4.5g FAT 2g SAT FAT 13g CARBS

CRACKLING, HAM HOCK & APPLE TOASTS

Only 34p each

MAKES 24 READY IN 10 MINS

Toast 6 pieces of granary bread and spread with butter while still warm. Using a serrated knife, cut each piece of toast into 4 squares. Top with 2x120g packs Marks & Spencer Shredded Ham Hock with Caramelized Apple. Break 8 Waitrose Party Pork Crackling

94 ESSENTIALS

sticks in half and put one piece on each canapé. Sprinkle over finely chopped parsley to serve. For the best results, serve these straight away while still warm. 47 CALS PER SERVING 1.5g FAT 0.5g SAT FAT 4g CARBS

Only 29p each


Let’s party!

BUFFET

Food to feed a hungry crowd – these delicious (and easy) sharing dishes make the perfect festive feast

One pot wonder

96 ESSENTIALS


EVERYDAY & EA Y

MEXICAN MEATBALL BAKE

SERVES 10 OR 5 AS A GENEROUS MAIN MEAL READY IN 1 HR 2 small onions, finely chopped 1tsp chilli powder 1kg beef mince 1tbsp oil 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1tbsp chopped dried ancho chillies (or use 1tsp sweet smoked paprika) 2½tsp coriander seeds, crushed 1¼tsp fennel seeds, crushed ½tsp allspice powder 1 cinnamon stick 300g tomato passata 500ml beef stock Good squeeze lime juice Large handful coriander leaves, chopped Soured cream, guacamole and tortilla chips, to serve

1

Mix half the onion and a pinch of the chilli powder with the mince, then season well. Shape into 25 meatballs and leave in the fridge to firm up for at least 20 mins. Heat the oil in a heavybased pan over a medium heat. Brown the meatballs in batches, then set aside. Add the leftover onion and cook for 3 mins or until golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further min, then add the spices and the leftover chilli powder. Mix well, then pour in the passata and stock, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins, then add the meatballs. Bring back to the boil and carefully mix. Cover and leave to simmer for 20-25 mins or until cooked through. Season well, add more chilli, if you like, and stir in the lime and coriander leaves. 254-508 CALS PER SERVING 18-36g FAT 7-14g SAT FAT 3-6g CARBS

Finger lickin’ good

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FRIED CHICKEN SALAD PLATTER

SERVES 8 OR 4 AS A MAIN MEAL READY IN 50 MINS + MARINATING 8 chicken pieces with skin on – we used thighs, drumsticks and part-boned breasts, halved 2x284ml cartons buttermilk 50g self-raising flour 50g rice flour 2tsp garlic salt 1¼tsp ground white pepper 1½tbsp sweet smoked paprika Good pinch chilli flakes 1½tsp Chinese 5 spice 1tsp dried oregano 1tsp dried thyme 500g baby vine tomatoes 1tbsp oil

½tbsp cider vinegar ¾tsp Dijon mustard ¾tsp runny honey 3 little gem lettuces, torn Handful watercress leaves

1

Mix the chicken with almost all the buttermilk – reserve 75ml for the dressing. Chill for 3 hrs or overnight. Heat the oven to 220C, gas 7. Remove the chicken from the fridge. Mix the flours, garlic salt, pepper, spices and dried herbs together. Remove the

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chicken from the buttermilk, pat dry and toss in the spice mix. Put on a baking tray and bake for 40-45 mins. Toss the tomatoes in oil and roast for the last 5 mins of cooking time. Mix the vinegar, mustard and honey with reserved buttermilk; season. Spread the salad leaves in a dish, top with chicken and tomatoes, and drizzle over the dressing. 330-660 CALS PER SERVING 8.5-17g FAT 2.5-5g SAT FAT 16-32g CARBS

3

ESSENTIALS 97


Great new combo

SERVES 8-10 READY IN 25 MINS

900g baby potatoes 5tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2tbsp red wine vinegar 1 garlic clove, crushed 1tbsp capers 2tsp Dijon mustard 2 fresh jalapeño chillies, sliced or 2tbsp of jarred jalapeños 1x25g bunch basil 1x25g bunch mint 1x25g bunch parsley 450g leftover roast pork, pulled or cut into chunks (you can also use cooked and sliced pork chops) 150g soft Agen prunes, halved 75g rocket or watercress

1 2

Bring the potatoes to the boil, then simmer until tender. Drain and set aside. To make the salsa verde: in a food processor, pulse the oil, vinegar, garlic, capers, mustard, half the jalapeños and the herbs to form a paste. Add a little water if it’s too thick. In a bowl, mix the potatoes with a few tbsps salsa verde. Warm the pork, then mix into the potatoes along with the prunes. Stir in the rocket, top with remaining jalapeños and drizzle over more dressing – serve the rest on the side. 281-225 CALS PER SERVING 11-9g FAT 2.5-2g SAT FAT 24-19g CARBS

3

Ditch old salad leaves from leftovers, chop up the potatoes and fry the whole thing for a tasty brunch – serve with fresh leaves 98 ESSENTIALS

Posh pizza

LEEK & BLUE CHEESE PIZZA

SERVES 10 OR 4 AS A MAIN MEAL READY IN 25 MINS 1tbsp oil 25g unsalted butter 8 baby shallots, finely sliced 3 small leeks, trimmed and sliced 2 garlic gloves, crushed 1x220g dough portion from a pack of Northern Dough Co Original Frozen Pizza Dough, defrosted 1tbsp polenta or semolina 150g dolcelatte cheese 10 sage leaves, roughly chopped Small handful walnuts, chopped

1

Heat the oven to 220C, gas 7. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, add the shallots and cook over a medium low heat for 5-7 mins until golden, then set aside. Using the same

pan turn the heat up slightly, add the leeks and cook for a few mins until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 min. Set aside to cool. Prepare the defrosted dough according to the pack instructions, then roll to make a pizza base 30x23cm. Sprinkle the polenta over a baking tray, then put the dough on top. Scatter with the leeks and shallots, dot over the cheese and sprinkle over the sage and walnuts. Bake for 8 to 10 mins, until the base is crisp and golden. 200-491 CALS PER SERVING 12-31g FAT 6-14g SAT FAT 13-33g CARBS

2

Recipes & food styling Sophie Austen-Smith & Katy McClelland Photography Toby Scott Prop stylist Victoria Eldridge Props From Meri Meri & Talking Tables

JALAPENO SALSA VERDE & PORK POTATO SALAD


EVERYDAY & EA Y

COCONUT RICE PILAF WITH BABY AUBERGINES

SERVES 12 OR 6 AS A MAIN MEAL READY IN 40 MINS 20g cashews 2tbsp vegetable oil 20g toasted flaked almonds 1 onion, finely sliced 35g fresh coconut, finely sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 50g pomegranate seeds 4 whole cloves Handful coriander leaves, chopped 6 cardamom pods, bruised 400g basmati rice, rinsed in cold water Heat half the oil in a pan over a 300ml vegetable stock medium heat. Cook the onion, 200ml coconut milk garlic, cloves and cardamom for 1tsp honey 4-5 mins. Add the rice and mix Pinch ground coriander well. Add the stock and coconut 400g baby aubergines, quartered milk, bring to the boil, then reduce lengthways to a gentle simmer and cover with Good squeeze lime juice a lid. Cook for 14 mins, remove

1

from the heat and keep the lid on. Heat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Mix the rest of the oil with the honey and ground coriander, and brush the inside of the aubergine. Roast for 15 mins or until lightly browned and cooked through. Stir the aubergines and lime juice into the rice, and season well. Sprinkle over the nuts, coconut, pomegranate seeds and coriander. 209-418 CALS PER SERVING 8-16g FAT 4-8g SAT FAT 29-59g CARBS

2

Festive veggie idea

ESSENTIALS 99


GINGERBREAD HOUSE READY IN 1 HR 30 MINS

90g clear honey 175g soft dark brown sugar 60g butter 350g plain flour 1tsp baking powder 1tsp ground ginger 1tsp ground mixed spice 1 medium egg 500g packet royal icing sugar Selection of sweets, to decorate

BAKE & BUILD

1

Heat the oven to 180C, gas 4. Melt the honey, sugar and butter in a pan over a gentle heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. Sift the flour, baking powder, ginger and spice into a bowl. Add the cooled honey and egg, and mix together to form a dough. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Stamp out the house using cutters (£5.25 a set, lakeland.co.uk). Take the front section of the house and cut out the door and windows. Put the pieces of dough onto a lined baking tray and bake for 12-15 mins or until slightly browned. Leave to cool, then turn onto a wire rack to cool. Make up the royal icing and fill a piping bag. Pipe around the door and windows, then pipe ‘tiles’ on the roof. Leave to set. Pipe down the sides of the house and roof to stick them together. Stick sweets on the house with icing to decorate – and don’t forget the chimney.

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SANTA’S KIDS Kitchen

100 ESSENTIALS

little helpers

Keep ’em busy baking over the Christmas holidays with these easy, fun-to-do festive treats


KIDS KITCHEN

BAKEWELL MINCE PIES READY IN 1 HR 30 MINS MAKES 22 90g butter, softened 90g caster sugar 90g ground almonds 30g plain flour 1 large egg, beaten 375g block shortcrust pastry 410g jar good mincemeat with a grated apple A few flaked almonds, optional Icing sugar, for dusting

1

Beat the butter and sugar until soft. Stir in the ground almonds, flour and egg, then set aside. Roll out the pastry to 3mm, then cut out rounds to line the patty tins. Collect all the trimmings and re-roll – continue

2 TWIST ON A CLASSIC

until all the pastry has been used. Leave to chill while the oven heats up to 180C, gas 4. Spoon 1tbsp of mincemeat and apple mixture into each pastry case. Top with 2tsp of the almond topping, then sprinkle with flaked almonds. Bake for 35 mins until golden, switching the trays around in the oven halfway through. Cool for 5 mins, then put the pies on a wire rack and leave them to cool. Dust icing sugar over a star-shaped stencil before serving. 220 CALS PER SERVING 12.5g FAT 4.5g SAT FAT 23g CARBS

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on Add a little cinnam biscuits to THE SHORTBREAD eer for extra Festive ch

CHRISTMAS SHORTBREAD

Feature Sophie Austen-Smith. Photography timeincukcontent.com

READY IN 1 HR MAKES 24 200g butter, chilled 325g plain flour 125g golden caster sugar 2tsp vanilla extract 2 large egg yolks 15 orange hardboiled sweets, crushed White writing icing Edible silver balls

1

Heat the oven to 180C, gas 4. Put the butter and flour into a large bowl and rub together until it forms breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, vanilla and egg yolks, and beat with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 mins.

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Roll the mixture out on a lightly floured work surface and cut out your favourite shapes. Next, stamp out smaller shapes from the centres, transfer to lined baking trays, and fill with the crushed sweets. Remember to make a little hole in the biscuit so you can hang it easily from the tree. Bake for 10-15 mins until just pale golden. Allow to cool for 10 mins on the baking trays, then cool completely. Decorate each one with writing icing and silver balls, then thread a ribbon through the hole. 154 CALS PER SERVING 7.5g FAT 4.5g SAT FAT 20g CARBS

4

PRETTY & TASTY

ESSENTIALS 101


Enjoy a low-cal

CHRISTMAS QUINOA & VEGETABLE STUFFING

You don’t have to be dodging dairy, giving up gluten or bored of nut roasts to enjoy these simple recipes – they’re all rich with flavour!

SERVES 8 READY IN 45 MINS

3 shallots, diced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2tbsp olive oil 1tsp each coriander seeds, fennel seeds and nigella seeds Handful each sage, parsley and chives 200g quinoa 1 vegetable stock cube 1 courgette, grated 2 raw beetroots, grated

1

Gently fry the shallots and garlic in 1tbsp oil for 5-6 mins. Stir in the spices and herbs until fragrant. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the pack instructions with the vegetable stock cube. Heat the oven to 180C, gas 4. Divide the shallot mixture and quinoa between two bowls. Add the courgette to one bowl and the beetroot to the other. Mix well, then shape into balls. Place on an oiled baking tray and bake the stuffing balls for 20-30 mins until cooked. 120 CALS PER SERVING 4g FAT 0.6g SAT FAT 15g CARBS

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102 ESSENTIALS

Dairy free


HEALTHY MEALS Gluten free

ROASTED SQUASH WITH RICOTTA & LEMON SERVES 4 READY IN 45 MINS 800g butternut squash, peeled 4tbsp olive oil 250g ricotta Zest and juice 1 lemon 75g toasted pine nuts 110g bag rocket Black olive tapenade

3

4

LEBANESE CAULIFLOWER WITH HERBY TAHINI

Heat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Rub the cauliflowers with 2tbsp olive oil, then sprinkle over the ras el hanout. Roast for 20 mins until

y g

2

p

1

the cauliflowers are just cooked through and lightly golden. Add the kale, tossed in the remaining oil, for the final 5 mins. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, mix together the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and herbs. To serve, put the cauliflower on the kale and pour over the sauce. 293 CALS PER SERVING 22g FAT 4g SAT FAT 10g CARBS

g

2 baby cauliflowers 3tbsp olive oil 1tbsp ras el hanout 75g kale 4tbsp Greek yogurt 2tsp tahini Juice 1 lemon Small handful each chopped parsley, coriander and mint

p

SERVES 2 READY IN 30 MINS

y

idge

Nut free

y

Heat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Slice the squash into thick rounds and put on a

2

remaining olive oil and a little water. To serve, divide the ricotta mix across the squash discs, top with remaining rocket, lemon zest, remaining pine nuts and drizzle over the dressing. 409 CALS PER SERVING 31g FAT 7g SAT FAT 18g CARBS

p

1

baking tray. Drizzle with 2tbsp oil and roast for 25-30 mins until cooked through and slightly crisp. In a bowl, mix the ricotta, lemon juice, most of the pine nuts and rocket, and season. Set aside. To make the dressing, loosen the black olive tapenade with the

ESSENTIALS 103


From me TO YOU

Give the ultimate Christmas gift this year for under £6 – you can even say, ‘here’s one I made earlier…’

FLUFFY MULLED WINE MARSHMALLOWS READY IN 30 MINS + SETTING MAKES AROUND 50

3tbsp icing sugar 3tbsp cornflour 125ml smooth orange juice 20g powdered gelatine 1tsp vanilla extract 1tsp mulled wine spiced syrup 400g caster sugar 50g liquid glucose 2 egg whites Zest 1 orange Edible glitter

Just £3

1 2

Sift 2tbsp of icing sugar and 2tbsp cornflour over a baking tray lined with baking paper. Pour the orange juice into a pan and sprinkle over the gelatine. Place over a very low heat and stir until dissolved. Turn off the heat and stir through the vanilla extract and mulled wine spiced syrup. Put the caster sugar and glucose in a clean pan over a low heat and add 225ml water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Put a sugar thermometer in the pan and turn up the heat to boil. Once it reaches 100C, whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak in a bowl and set aside. When the sugar reaches 118C, turn off the hob and

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4

104 ESSENTIALS

remove the thermometer. Pour the gelatine mix into the syrup and stir until combined. Start whisking the egg whites as you begin to pour over the syrup, avoiding the beaters. When the mix starts to thicken, carry on beating at a higher speed for 10-15 mins until it’s almost cooled.

5

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Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking tray. Sprinkle over orange zest and glitter and leave to set in a cool place. Turn the set marshmallow onto a board dusted with icing sugar and cornflour. Cool, cut into squares and serve, or pop into pretty gift bags.

7


FESTIVE & HANDMADE

CLEMENTINE VODKA

MAKES 1 LITRE READY IN 20 MINS + CHILLING

1

Dissolve the sugar in a pan with 100ml water, then bubble for 3 to 4 mins. Cool slightly, then add the clementine zest and juice, and stir well. Set aside for 24 hrs.

2

Strain the clementine mixture into a large jug and add the vodka. Pour into sterilised bottles and keep in a cool place ready for gifting. For a Christmas cocktail, pour 50ml clementine vodka into a Champagne flute, top with prosecco and redcurrant berries.

3

Just £5.99

Just £2 MINCE PIE FUDGE

MAKES 36 READY IN 15 MINS + SETTING 450g granulated sugar 85g butter 150ml milk 170g evaporated milk 150g mixed dried fruits Few drops vanilla extract A little vegetable oil

1

Tip the sugar, butter, milk and evaporated milk into a heavy-based pan and heat gently, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boil, without stirring, and continue boiling until a temperature of 114C is reached on a sugar thermometer. If you don’t have one, you can test if the fudge is at this temperature by spooning a small amount

2

of syrup into some iced water – it should form a soft ball. As the temperature rises, stir the fudge occasionally (be careful as the mixture will be very hot), so that the sugar doesn’t stick and burn. Remove the pan from the heat, add the mixed dried fruits and vanilla extract, and beat the mix with a wooden spoon until thickened. Pour the fudge mixture into an 18cm shallow square tin brushed with a little vegetable oil. Leave for about 10-15 mins or until almost set. It will set quicker in the fridge. Using a sharp knife, mark the fudge into 36 squares and leave to cool. Wrap in greaseproof paper for gifting.

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5

Recipes & food styling Sophie Austen-Smith Photography Adrian Lawrence Prop stylist Victoria Eldridge

00g caster sugar Zest and juice 1kg clementines 400ml vodka

ESSENTIALS 105


JUST GOT BACK AND REALLY CAN’T BE BOTHERED? WE’VE GOT A RICE FOR THAT.

After baggage reclaim, customs and the journey home, the last thing you want to do is cook. That’s where our Heat and Eat rice can help. Give yourself a break and rustle up something delicious in minutes. Perfeito!

For recipe ideas from Porto to Phuket visit www.wevegotariceforthat.com


CHRISTMAS CLASSICS

How to make

THE BEST... Master the basics and be more confident in the kitchen

TOP CHEFFY

TIPS

4 For a posh twist, push the boat out and swap the prawns and crayfish for cooked lobster tail. 4 Fancy a veggie starter instead? Just drizzle the sauce over sliced avocado and peppery salad leaves. 4 Why not spice it up and add an extra kick with a few dashes of Tabasco sauce in the Marie Rose mix. 4 Lighten up and swap the mayo for 3tbsp Greek yogurt and 3tbsp light mayo.

PRAWN & CRAYFISH COCKTAIL SERVES 6 READY IN 15 MINS

200ml mayonnaise 2tbsp tomato ketchup 1⁄4tsp cayenne pepper Dash Worcestershire sauce Juice 1 lemon 200g crayfish tails, drained 6 spring onions, finely sliced ½ head iceberg lettuce, shredded

2 heads red chicory, shredded 300g cooked king prawns, tails left on

1

To make the Marie Rose sauce: mix the mayo, ketchup and cayenne in a small bowl. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce

and half the lemon juice, mix well and pop in the fridge to chill. To serve, layer the crayfish in glasses, then top with spring onion, lettuce, chicory, prawns and Marie Rose sauce. Drizzle with remaining lemon juice, season and serve.

2

310 CALS PER SERVING 26g FAT 2g SAT FAT 2g CARBS

WatchANDLEARN See how simple it is to make the best prawn cocktail sauce – just go to goodtoknow.co.uk/marierose

ESSENTIALS 107


How to make

THE BEST...

TOP CHEFFY

TIPS

4 For garlicky gravy, roast a whole garlic bulb with your turkey – it will caramelise in its skin. At the end of cooking, squeeze the bulb and whisk the garlic into the cooking juices.

CHRISTMAS TURKEY WITH PEAR & SAUSAGE STUFFING SERVES 6 READY IN 4 HRS

50g butter, softened 2 onions, chopped 3 sausages, skins removed and meat chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 pears, roughly chopped 200ml chicken stock 200g breadcrumbs 1tbsp chopped fresh sage 3.5-4kg turkey 50g butter, softened 150ml white wine Juice 1⁄2 lemon 12 chipolatas Fresh herbs, to garnish

108 ESSENTIALS

1

Heat oven to 180C, gas 4. For the stuffing, melt the butter and cook the onions for 10 mins until soft. Next, add the sausage meat, garlic and pears, and cook for 3 mins. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 mins. Stir in the breadcrumbs and sage, and season. Spoon 1⁄3 of the stuffing into the turkey neck, then secure with a skewer. Put the remaining stuffing in a greased baking dish. Rub the turkey with butter, season and put it in a roasting tin, breast-side down. Pour the

2

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wine, lemon juice and 150ml water over the bird and roast for 2 hrs, basting occasionally. Turn the turkey over and cook for 30 mins or until the juices run clear. Put the chipolatas in a baking tin and cook with the separate stuffing for 30 mins. Transfer the turkey to a serving dish, wrap in foil and leave for 45 mins. Pour the juices from the roasting tin into a jug to make the gravy. Garnish the bird with herbs before serving. 750 CALS PER SERVING 37g FAT 17g SAT FAT 36g CARBS

4 5

4 Get ahead by making the stuffing the day before. Allow it to cool, then stuff the turkey ready for roasting on Christmas morning. 4 Don’t waste leftover turkey – just wrap any cold cooked meat in clingfilm and freeze for up to one month.

WatchANDLEARN We show you how to carve your turkey like a professional with no waste at goodtoknow.co.uk/turkeycarving


CHRISTMAS CLASSICS

CIDER GLAZED HAM

SERVES 10 READY IN 3 HRS + SOAKING 2kg boned smoked ham 1 leek, roughly chopped 2 carrots, roughly chopped 3 bay leaves 1tbsp peppercorns, lightly crushed 2x660ml bottles dry cider Cloves, to stud 3tbsp Dijon mustard 3tbsp orange and malt whisky marmalade

1

Soak the ham in cold water overnight in the fridge. Drain

and put in a large pan with the leek, carrots, bay leaves and peppercorns. Pour over the cider and top up with enough water to cover the ham. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2½ hrs, skimming off any scum as it cooks. Top up with boiling water as needed. Remove the ham from the liquid and place on a board. Remove the skin, leaving a layer of fat. With a sharp knife, score

2

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the fat in a criss-cross pattern and stud with cloves. Heat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Mix the mustard with the marmalade and brush over the ham. Put the ham in a roasting tin and cook for 15 to 20 mins until golden. Brush on some of the leftover glaze and let the meat rest for 30 mins before serving. 426 CALS PER SERVING 25g FAT 8g SAT FAT 3.5g CARBS

4

TOP CHEFFY

TIPS

5

4 Buy a ham with the bone out – or ask your butcher to do it for you – and it’ll be much easier to carve. 4 Don’t throw away the cooking liquid as this creates a delicious stock – use it to whip up a hearty pea and ham soup later. 4 For a deliciously sweet crunch, sprinkle 3tbsp demerara sugar over just before roasting the ham. 4 Fancy tasty leftovers? Simply shred the ham and add to a turkey pie for an extra festive twist.

WatchANDLEARN See our step-by-step video on the best way to cook and glaze a joint of ham at goodtoknow.co.uk/ham

ESSENTIALS 109


CHRISTMAS CLASSICS

How to make

THE BEST...

TOP CHEFFY

TIPS

4 Make the best breakfast hash and mash any leftover veg, then fry in a little oil for a festive bubble and squeak on Boxing Day morning.

4 For extra crispy spuds, toss them in a little plain our before putting them in the oil.

ROAST POTATOES & PARSNIPS SERVES 8 READY IN 1 HR 15 MINS 1.5kg even-sized potatoes, peeled and halved 500g parsnips, peeled and halved 175g goose fat 2tsp sea salt Several sprigs rosemary

1

Put the potatoes into one saucepan and the parsnips

110 ESSENTIALS

into another. Cover with cold salted water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, further cook the potatoes for 8 mins and the parsnips for 6 mins. Drain and roughly toss the potatoes and parsnips in a colander to uff up the edges. Heat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Spoon the goose fat

2 3

into a roasting tin and pop in for 4 mins, or until sizzling. Carefully, using tongs or a slotted spoon, add both the potatoes and parsnips, season well with salt and rosemary, and cook for 30 mins until crisp and golden, turning as needed. 400 CALS PER SERVING 22g FAT 6g SAT FAT 42g CARBS

4 Need a veggie version? Use 175ml olive oil to cook your roasties instead of goose fat.

WatchANDLEARN We show you exactly how to make the crispiest ever roast spuds at goodtoknow.co.uk/roastpotatoes

Feature Sophie Austen-Smith Photography timeincukcontent.co.uk

4 Par-boiled potatoes can be popped in freezer bags once cooled and frozen. To use straight from the freezer, just add an extra 30 mins to the cooking time.


DISCOVER KIDS KITCHEN

KIDS Kitchen

FUN RECIPES ✱ VIDEOS ✱ TIPS ✱ IDEAS


Deck

THE HALLS Show off your festive flair and welcome Santa in style with décor tips from interiors expert Kate James

Dark & dramatic

KATE SAYS This look is all about putting together statement pieces – think about accessories that will make a big impact. Fur rugs, an impressive centrepiece for the table and inventive, unusual decorations are all pieces that can create drama without you having to redecorate the whole house. Deep and dark colours teamed with light tones, like silver, work very well for creating a stunning contrast. WHERE TO BUY Scissors dining table, £599, Duran dining chairs, £200 for two, Castillo silver dining chairs, £250 for two, bell jar with white glitter house, £15, decorations, from £2.50 each, all BHS

112 ESSENTIALS


FESTIVE HOMES

Arctic chic

KATE SAYS Using white and silver are key to achieving this look. You don’t want it too cold though, so make your fireplace, or even a candle-adorned table, the focal point to keep the balance right. Flood the area with neutral accessories, reflecting the calm of snow, but mixing in a sense of warmth with fur, wool and different textures – like this feathered wreath. WHERE TO BUY Teddy bear Christmas stockings, £4.99 each, feather heart wreath, £12.99, large silver-effect luxury candlestick, £17.99, small silver-effect luxury candlestick, £14.99, Pure and White star pillar candle, £3.99, glossy white stag, £19.99, star tealight holder stand, £14.99, Pure and White wrapping paper, £1.99 for 5 metres, all Dunelm

ESSENTIALS 113


KATE SAYS This on-trend winter style focuses on embellishment. Go for oversized and shimmering, and don’t be afraid to decorate with baubles in places other than the tree. Why not use festive buys as a detail, like this Noel sign. A palette of greys, whites and sparkling silvers works well with chunky knits and will reflect the cosy winter feeling. And don’t forget to use thick textures, like wool, to create cosiness.

WHERE TO BUY Warm white Noel battery-operated sign, £25, pre-lit birch cluster trees, from £100, white and silver glitter baubles, £3.50 each, white shine baubles with snowflake emblem, £4.50 each, white segment stripe baubles, £4.50 each, glitter rope baubles, £3.50 each, white pearl baubles with top embellishment, £4 each, all John Lewis

114 ESSENTIALS

Feature Eleanor Jones Tips Kate James, Director of Buying, Homestyle at QVC

Modern monochrome


FESTIVE HOMES

Scandi style KATE SAYS This style is based on clean lines and simplicity with red and white working throughout as a key colour combo. Scale your accessories down and use nature-inspired materials, such as bleached wood and snow-trimmed trees. Light is very important, too; rooms should feel bright with warm and classic pieces that create a homely feel with a superstreamlined look. WHERE TO BUY Felt leaf stockings, £5.99 each, red knitted cable stockings, £11.99 each, 2.1-metre Keilder snowy spruce tree, £169.99, 20 mercury-look bulb lights, £19.99, fluffy boots decorations, £2.99 each, glass cloche church scene baubles, £6.99 each, assorted coloured glass orb droplets, £3.99 each, spinning top baubles, £3.99 each, turquoise shiny bauble with 3D Santa head, £4.99, Letter To Santa 3D bauble, £4.99, red glass glitter bauble, £3.99, 10cm red Christmas lantern, £2.99, white Christmas tree tealight holder, £12.99, white snowflake lantern with flickering candle, £19.99, red metal stag and tree lantern, £14.99, red knitted JOY cushion, £19.99, red felt Stags with Shades cushion, £19.99, all Dobbies

ESSENTIALS 115


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easy MAKE IT

HI THERE!

GoodtoKnow.co.uk

CRAFT QUEEN GEMMA CHANDLER REVEALS HER TOP WRAPPING BUYS FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON

WHAT’S NEW

5

WRAPPING HEROES

Gift wrap

1 SCOTCH POP-UP TAPE – a hands-

SPECIAL

Do it like a pro!

free dispenser that cuts tape, too… magic!

One of my favourite things about Christmas is wrapping presents, I love giving (and receiving) a pretty bow-topped parcel, and the more decorative flair, the better. Did you know that ‘professional wrapper’ is actually a job? Well, we give the pros a run for their money with our personalised wrapping ideas on page 127.

2 OLD

NEWSPAPERS

will save you money and, if you choose the front pages, will make a great talking point.

3 RIBBON

looks pretty and comes in handy for hiding tears in the paper!

Bring Christmas to life with extra magical gift-giving ideas from goodtoknow.co.uk/presents

4 POST-IT NOTES Useful

Over

reminder to avoid giving Gran boxer shorts – awkward!

4n 10 illio

5 ROTARY CUTTER – just

mMOUNT OF HOFTURS

like a pizza cutter, but for your wrapping paper… genius!

THE A TS SPEND GI Y ER BRI ING EV WRAPP ISTMAS CHR

For more amazing wrapping ideas, visit goodtoknow.co.uk/giftwrap

3

Photography timeinc.com *Jacqui Small Publishing

OF THE Trimmings It’s not just the turkey that has extra BEST frills, here are this year’s must-have wrapping buys

Open Me Tape, £6.95, Marby & Elm

Baker’s twine, £2.95, The Makery by Wild & Wolf

The Wrapping Room Chalkboard Wrapping Kit, £7.50, Talking Tables

THIS MONTH… Perfect presents Professional wrapper, Jane Means’ book (Giftwrapped £20*) will soon have you transforming the most ordinary of gifts into something spectacular. She even shows us how to get those trickier-shaped gifts – yes, I’m looking at you, football – all wrapped up in time for Christmas!

ESSENTIALS 117


easy MAKE IT

HAPPY holidays

7-9 YEAR OLDS

KIDS CRAFT

Get your little ones involved with these fun and festive boredom-busters ADULT HELP REQUIR ED

SNOW-CAN ALLEY

THIS IS QUICK TO MAKE AND GREAT FUN FOR ANY PARTY 4Masking tape 46 empty tin cans 4White

paint 4Paintbrush 4Black and red selfadhesive felt 4Orange felt 4Pencil 4Scissors 4Glue 485mm pom-pom maker 4White wool

1 2 3

Stick masking tape around the inside rim of the cans if they are sharp, then paint. Leave to dry, then apply a second coat. Draw and cut out black felt eyes, carrotshaped orange felt noses and red and black felt mouths. Stick a face onto each can. Use the pom-pom maker to make white wool ‘snowballs’ to knock the cans down.

7-9 YEAR OLDS

WHERE TO BUY Self-adhesive felt, 80p a sheet, orange felt, 50p a sheet, 85mm pom-pom maker, £6.50 for two, double knitting yarn, £1.80 a ball, all hobbycraft.co.uk. Vienna Sparkle tree, £50, tesco.com. Pom-pom garland, £14, talkingtables.co.uk

SWEET TREAT

ADD TO CHRISTMAS EVE EXCITEMENT WITH A BESPOKE PLATE FOR SANTA AND RUDOLPH 4Stencils at goodto

know.co.uk/craft templates 4Scissors 4White dinner plate 4Fine nib marker pens

Watch AND LEARN Follow our how-to video at goodtoknow.co.uk/ fatherchristmasplate

118 ESSENTIALS

1 2

First print and cut out the stencils. Put the stencils on the plate and draw around each one with a coloured marker pen. Remove the stencils,

then go around each shape again with a dashed black line. Write a greeting at the top and bottom of the plate, then add red and green dots around the sides.

3

WHERE TO BUY Coupe dinner plate, £2, metal mistletoe decoration, £1.50, both wilko.com. Sharpie assorted colour permanent markers, £12 for 12, hobbycraft. co.uk. Jingle bells garland, £11.95, dotcomgiftshop.com


KIDS CRAFT

7-9 YEAR OLDS

ALL WRAPPED UP

CREATE A FESTIVE TOWN WITH RECYCLED BOXES AND GIFT WRAP 4Small open boxes, in different sizes

4Brown, stripe and spotty gift wrap 4Ruler

4Pencil 4Scissors 4Sticky tape 4White, red, green and blue plain card 4Glue 4Ric rac and ribbon 4Craft tape 4White paper 4Coloured pens 4Buttons 4Bows

1 2

Cover the sides, bottom and top flaps of an open box with wrapping paper. Stand the box upright, with the top flaps open. With a ruler and pencil, draw triangles on two opposite flaps and cut around. Then lay the other two flaps onto the triangles and stick with tape, creating a base to lay the roof. Measure, cut and fold a piece of coloured card for the roof, stick in place. Trim with ric rac, craft tape or ribbon. For the windows, cut out squares of white paper and draw coloured panes with pens. Cut out a rectangular piece of card for a door. Stick to the house. Decorate the house with buttons for door handles and ribbon bows.

3 4 5

WHERE TO BUY Stripe gift wrap, £2 for 6m, wilko.com. Blue polka dot wrapping paper, £6.95 for five sheets, toadstools, £6.95 for six, all dotcomgiftshop.com. Christmas buttons, £3, large ribbon bows, £3, all docrafts.com. Brown paper, £2 for 8m, red and blue card, £1.50 for ten A4 sheets, color base lime green card, £4.79 for 20 A4 sheets, all hobbycraft.co.uk. Silver sparkle ribbon, £5.95 for 3m, themakery.co.uk. Red wooden sleigh, £4, tch.net. Snow scatter, £5, talkingtables.co.uk

ESSENTIALS 119


ODTO GO

TIALS EN

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ADULT HELP REQUIR ED

HANDS ON

3-5 YEAR OLDS

HELP YOUR TOTS PRINT A FAB PIC – PERFECT TO GIVE GRANNY! 4Stretched canvasses 4Dinner plate

4Pencil 4Light green, dark green and red

paint 4Letter stamps 4Ink 4Star template at goodtoknow.co.uk/craft 4Glitter paper 4Scissors 4Glue

1

For the Christmas Wreath canvas, first lightly draw round a dinner plate in the middle of a square canvas with a pencil. Make paint handprints around the circle, alternating light and dark green, to create a wreath shape. Add red finger-printed berries, then stamp a greeting in the middle of the wreath in black ink. For a Christmas Tree canvas, lightly draw 4 lines on a rectangular canvas, then print alternate light and dark green hands along each line to form a tree shape. Add red finger-printed berries, then use the template to cut out a silver glitter star and stick on the tree with glue.

2

120 ESSENTIALS

WHERE TO BUY 50cm-square stretched canvas, £8, 61x50.8cm stretched canvas, £9, green and red ready-mixed paint, £1 for 300ml, art acrylic paint in Sap Green, £2 for 75ml, A5 glitter pad in black and silver, £2.50 for ten sheets, all hobbycraft.co.uk. Musical snow globe, £15, tch. net. Stripe gift wrap, £2 for 6m, wilko.com. Silver sparkle ribbon, £5.95 for 3m, themakery.co.uk


easy MAKE IT

KIDS CRAFT

he pine cone why not use t ace setting? trees as a pl e person’s just write th the base name around

JUST FOR YOU

TURN PINE CONES INTO MINI CHRISTMAS TREES – IT’S SO EASY! 4Pine cones 4Green paint 4Paintbrush

4Green glitter 4Air drying clay 4Coloured

beads 4Gold and silver wooden stars 4Glue

1 2

Paint the pine cones with green paint and sprinkle some green glitter all over, then leave to dry completely. Roll a small ball of air drying clay and flatten slightly to form a base. Press a pine cone into the clay, then repeat with the other pine cones. Glue some coloured beads to the pine cone trees and add a star to the top of each. Leave to dry.

3

WHERE TO BUY DecoArt Americana acrylic paint in Festive Green, £2 for 59ml, green glitter shaker, £1.50 for 20g, Fimo Air basic clay, £4.49 for 500g, beads unlimited miracle mix beads, £2.50 for 25, gold and silver star toppers, £1 for 25, all hobbycraft.co.uk. Owl stocking, £18, tch.net

5-7 YEAR OLDS

ADULT HELP REQUIR ED

LET IT SNOW

TURN PAPER TOWEL AND TOILET ROLL TUBES INTO A PRETTY HANGING ORNAMENT 4Cardboard tubes 4Pencil 4Ruler

4Scissors 4Glue 4White spray paint 4Ribbon 4Mini baubles

1

Gently press the cardboard tubes flat. Measure out 4cm sections along each tube and mark. Cut the tubes into 4cm wide pieces. Take 5 sections of tube and arrange in a flower shape. Glue them together at the sides, then add a piece between each ‘petal’, and stick in place. Continue adding more

2

9-11 YEAR OLDS

sections, until you have built up a large ‘snowflake’ shape. In a ventilated room protected with dust sheets, spray the cardboard snowflake with white paint and leave to dry. Add more coats until all the grey is completely covered. When dry, hang the snowflake up using some ribbon, and decorate with mini baubles.

3

4

WHERE TO BUY Twist & Spray paint in Matt White, £7.49 for 400ml, plastikote.com. Mini baubles, £2.50 for 35, wilko.com

ESSENTIALS 121


easy MAKE IT

5-7 YEAR OLDS

eindeer attach your r he back to a wall or t h picture of a door wit s hanging strip

OH, DEER!

ADULT HELP REQUIR ED

CRAFT A CARDBOARD BOX INTO A STYLISH WALL FEATURE 4Templates at goodtoknow.co.uk/craft 4Glue 4Scissors 4Large cardboard box

4Pencil 4Craft knife 4Large red pom-pom 4Black marker pen

1

Enlarge the reindeer head template to A3, print out on 2 sheets of paper. Stick them together, then cut out. Enlarge the antlers and oval plaque to A4, print and cut out. Flatten the cardboard box and put the templates on top. Draw and cut out two heads, one large antler, four smaller antler pieces and one oval plaque. Cut slits in all pieces where shown, apply a little glue to the slits in the large antler and slot the smaller pieces in place. When dry, attach the antlers. Draw an eye on the head piece, then glue the heads together at the nose and add a pom-pom. When dry, apply glue to the slits in the oval plaque, and slot the head in place.

2 3

4

ADULT HELP REQUIR ED

SWEET AS CANDY

KIDS WILL LOVE THESE CHEEKY CHRISTMAS MICE MADE WITH FELT AND CANDY CANES – NO NIBBLING, MIND! 4Templates at goodtoknow.co.

uk/craft 4Felt 4Pencil 4Scissors 4Glue 4Wiggle eyes 4Small pom-poms 4Candy canes

1 2

Use the templates to make felt body and ear pieces. Stick contrasting colour felt inner ears to the larger ear pieces, then glue to the body.

122 ESSENTIALS

3 4

Now, add a pair of wiggle eyes and a pom-pom nose to each mouse. Cut 2 slits on the lower half of the mouse body, then carefully slide a candy cane ‘tail’ through the hole. WHERE TO BUY Felt, 50p a sheet, 7mm pom-poms, £1 for 50, wiggle eyes, £1 for 40, all hobbycraft.co.uk. Felt decorations, £6, sainsburys.co.uk. Geo table forest trees, £10.50 for three, talkingtables.co.uk

9-11 YEAR OLDS

Makes & Styling Suzie Attaway Assistant Daniel Linden Photography Graeme Ainscough

WHERE TO BUY Red pom-pom, £1 for six, hobbycraft.co.uk. Command picture hanging strips, £4 for three sets, 3mdirect.co.uk


KIDS CRAFT Watch AND LEARN

Follow our easy step-bystep guide at goodtoknow. co.uk/makeashelfelf

WHERE TO BUY 50mm polystyrene ball, £2 for three, cocoa brown felt, 50p a sheet, self-adhesive felt, 80p a sheet, red pipe cleaners, £1 a pack, cardboard tubes, £2 for ten, all hobbycraft.co.uk. Glass cloche decoration, £6.99, dobbies.com. Spotty bauble, £5.95 for six, dotcomgiftshop.com

YOUR OWN ELF ON A SHELF

5-7 YEAR OLDS

START A FUN CHRISTMAS TRADITION WITH OUR CHEEKY CARDBOARD SHELF ELF 450mm Polystyrene ball 4Skewer 4Pink and white paint 4Blue, black and red fine nib marker pens 4Brown felt 4Pencil 4Scissors 4Red and white self-adhesive felt 48cm cardboard tube 4Red pipe cleaners 4Ruler 4Stapler 4Glue

1

Place the polystyrene ball on a skewer and paint with a coat of pink paint. Leave to dry. Next, paint white eyes on the pink ball and leave to dry. Then draw in the eyes

with blue and black pens, add eyelashes and eyebrows, plus a red nose and mouth. Cut out some brown felt ‘hair’ and stick to the top of the head. For the hat, draw and cut out a semi-circle of red self-adhesive felt. Peel off the backing, then roll into a cone and stick on the head. Cut out a band of white self-adhesive felt and stick around the rim. Measure and cut the red pipe cleaners into two 10cm-long arms and two

2 3

20cm-long legs. Cut out some white felt ‘mittens’ and stick to the ends of each arm. Take the cardboard tube and staple the arms to the top and the legs to the bottom. Measure and cut a piece of red self-adhesive felt to stick around the tube, covering the staples. Draw and cut a zig-zag strip of white felt and stick around the collar. Glue the elf’s head to his body and leave to dry.

4 5

ESSENTIALS 123


easy MAKE IT

PAPER gets crafty

TAKES

10 MINS

Award-winning designer Victoria Eggs’ festive crafts can be made in just 20 mins

SAY IT WITH A CARD

PUT A LITTLE LOVE INTO YOUR CHRISTMAS CARD LIST THIS YEAR, WITH BESPOKE HANDMADE GEMS

TAKES

15

4Card 4Scissors 4Pencil 4Paper (gift wrap, magazine cuttings etc) 4Sticky fixers 4String or ribbon

MINS

1 2

Cut the card to your desired size – try 30x15cm, which will give you a 15cm-square card. Fold your card in half. Draw a circle on the back of your chosen paper (you can simply draw round a glass if you don’t have a compass). Cut out the circle and affix the sticky fixers to the back to create depth. Alternatively, glue the card directly to the paper. Add string/ribbon to create a bauble and personalise with text.

3

CHAIN OF JOY

GET THE WHOLE FAMILY JOINING IN WITH THESE FUN FESTIVE TOUCHES 4Christmas wrapping paper (I used Victoria Eggs Festive Fun Gift Wrap, £1.95, from victoriaeggs.co.uk 4Scissors 4Glue or sticky tape

1

Cut the wrapping paper into equalsized strips, the size depends on how large you want the loops

124 ESSENTIALS

of your paper chain to be. Try 2x15cm strips. Bend the first piece of paper into a circle, overlapping the ends slightly and fasten together using glue or tape. Repeat folding each piece of paper through the last loop to create a linked paper chain.

2 3


SPEEDY CRAFT

TAKES

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN

GET THE FAMILY EXCITED IN THE RUN-UP TO THE BIG DAY WITH THIS PERSONALISED CALENDAR 424 fun gifts for the family 4Gift wrap

and tissue paper (I used Victoria Eggs Festive Fun and Christmas Delights gift wrap, parcel wrap and white tissue) 4Scissors 4Sticky tape 4Ribbon/string

1

Wrap the 24 gifts (these could just be small inexpensive items, such as playing cards, sweets, travel

20 MINS

games, Christmas decorations and cards) in different wrapping paper and tissue, and number each gift with the date (from 1 to 24 December) when it should be opened. Tie each gift with string or ribbon, leaving a long piece on one side so that you can hang them from a coat hook, banister, door or branch.

2

ESSENTIALS 125


ODTO GO

TIALS EN

OW_ESS KN

TAKES

HANGING HEART

10 MINS

SO SIMPLE AND IDEAL FOR DECORATING YOUR TREE

4Magazine pages 4String 4Scissors 4Ruler 4Stapler

1 2 3

First cut the pages into strips measuring approximately 2cm wide and 25cm long. Stack the strips on top of one another, then fold them in half. Insert a loop of string where the crease is to create the hanging loop. Next, staple the centre fold and bend into a heart shape. Adjust the paper, using your fingers, so that you create different sizes of hearts in layers. When you’re happy with the shape, staple the end and cut off any excess paper.

4 5

126 ESSENTIALS

wrapping double-sided a paper is also hoice for really good c roject this pretty p


easy MAKE IT

SPEEDY CRAFT

TAKES

15

MINS

BEAUTIFUL BUNTING AN EASY AND FUN WAY TO ADD SOME DECORATIVE DETAIL TO WINDOWS AND DOORS 4Card (I used sheets of plain

brown recycled card) 4Pencil 4Scissors 4Hole punch 4Ribbon

1

Draw outlines of festive shapes (such as stars, trees and stockings) onto the card in pencil. These don’t have to be precise – they can be rough. Cut them out and punch a hole in the top. Thread the ribbon through, leaving an even gap between each, and hang.

2

TAKES

10

TAKES

10

Makes & Styling Victoria Eggs of victoriaeggs.com Photography Yeshen Venema

MINS

GIFT TAGS

DON’T BUY LABELS – THESE ARE UNIQUE AND PURSE-FRIENDLY! 4 Brown card 4 Scissors 4 Wrapping

paper (I used Victoria Eggs ‘Christmas Delights’ gift wrap) 4 Glue 4 Hole punch 4 String

1 2 3

Cut the card into the desired shape. Try a rectangle with the corners snipped off one end for a luggage tag. Cut out shapes from your selected gift wrap. Stick the shapes onto the gift tag. Punch a hole in the top to thread through the string, and tie.

MINS

KEEP IT UNDER WRAPS!

GET PERSONAL WITH THIS ORIGINAL WRAPPING IDEA 4Wrapping paper (I used Victoria Eggs Festive Fun Gift Wrap, £1.95) 4Pencil 4Scissors 4Hole punch 4Twine

1

Draw a letter on the gift wrap in pencil (if you choose to draw it on the back make sure the letter is reversed). Cut around the letter. Punch a hole in it and attach to the wrapped gift using colourful twine.

2

ESSENTIALS 127


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Essent ist FILM 4 TV 4 BOOKS 4 CULTURE

BOYS to men

HOT RIGHT NOW

From awkward child stars to Hollywood’s hottest hunks…

Thesp appeal

Funny man

WUNDER-KID JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Feature Anna Matheson Photography Rex; Splash

Before he became a leading man in 2009’s (500) Days of Summer, Joe cut his teeth as a goofy teen alien in US sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. As well as acting, the multi-talented indie-kid now plays guitar, sings, directs and produces. You can see him adding another skill to his CV this month as he takes to the tightrope in high-wire drama The Walk.

BRIT BOY NICHOLAS HOULT We still can’t quite believe that the odd-looking child who starred in AboutA Boy with Hugh Grant has turned into this sexy specimen. This month the 6ft-plus, 25-year-old is exploring his dark side in an adaptation of John Niven’s cult novel KillYourFriends.Hischaractermaybeapsychotic narcissist, but we’re sure Nick’s a gent in real life.

Model TEEN IDOL LEONARDO DICAPRIO looks He’s had our hearts since Romeo & Juliet, but before our Leo became Hollywood’s most eligible achelor, he was winning over TV udiences as a gawky teen in Growing Pains and bagged his first Oscar nom or What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. The boyish good looks he’s known for eem to have disappeared behind a ushy beard for now, but don’t worry, e’s just getting into character for The Revenant due out in January.

ESSENTIALS 129


GO OUT BROOKLYN

Essentialist FILM 4 TV 4 BOOKS 4 CULTURE

ON THE BIG SCREEN

Nick Hornby wrote the screenplay for this weepy about an Irish girl sent to the US to find work. Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) may be reluctant to leave home, but love soon changes her opinion and when fate pulls her back over the ocean, things get very complicated. An irresistible drama featuring Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent. Out 6 Nov.

THE DRESSMAKER

Brooklyn

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II Jennifer Lawrence is back as heroine Katniss Everdeen in the long-awaited conclusion to the franchise. It’s blood, sweat and war as Katniss leads the fight to free the rest of the poverty-stricken districts from the grips of the wealthy Capitol. Another action-packed epic. Out 20 Nov.

ON THE TOWN

SARAHMILLICAN:OUTSIDER The South Shields lass starts her UK tour this month, taking her through to September 2016. With 119 dates across the country, you’ve no excuse to miss it; sarahmillican.co.uk

130 ESSENTIALS

SLEEPING BEAUTY Matthew Bourne’s most popular production starts its UK-wide tour this month. This charming gothic romance is sure to captivate kids young and old; new-adventures.net

BRIDGE OF SPIES

Set in 1950s Australia, dressmaker Myrtle Dunnage (Kate Winslet) returns to her small hometown to exact revenge on those who wrongly accused her of murder when she was ten years old. It’s sassy and stylish… and has a semi-clad Liam Hemsworth! Out 20 Nov.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART II

The Dressmaker

Bridge of Spies Based on a true story, this atmospheric Cold War thriller focuses on the U-2 spy plane disaster that led to negotiations to swap a captured American pilot with a Russian spy. Starring big hitters Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance, with Stephen Spielberg on directing duties, the film is a sure-fire contender as awards season approaches. Out 20 Nov.

STEREOPHONICS The Welsh rockers head out this December in support of new album Keep The Village Alive. Get practising your air guitars and nab your tickets now at stereophonics.com/tour

HUSBANDS & SONS Shameless star Anne-Marie Duff returns to the stage in this mash up of three of DH Lawrence’s classic dramas set in 20th-century East Midlands; nationaltheatre.org.uk


SAY WHAT

Depp is almost unrecognisable as gangster Jimmy Bulger in Black Mass

e I’m pretty At my very cor pen to shy. I just hap ob have a weird j On his love of Europe… It’s a very old and beautiful culture, people know how to live. You know, here you have Sunday roast or the pub lunch… it’s comforting. We don’t have that in the States. Sunday is football day, so it’s chicken wings and pizza. On his passion for painting… I started painting people I admire, including my girl and my kids. I love to paint people’s faces – you want to find that emotion, see what’s going on behind their eyes.

Feature Anna Matheson Photography Rex; Pacific Coast News

INSIDE THE MIND OF...

On playing a crime lord in Black Mass… I thought it was important to look as much like Jimmy Bulger as possible. The blue contacts needed to be piercing – they needed to cut right through you. He was complicated… he’d take an old lady’s groceries into her house and ten minutes later he might be bashing someone’s skull in, but that was all he knew.

Johnny Depp

The legendary actor talks about painting, privacy and playing a gangster On learning NOT to talk about his loved ones… I remember one TV interview and they asked about my family life and kids. I talked about how I’m a proud father and how they’re great fun. Well, the show aired, and I get a phone call [from Marlon Brando]. ‘What the f&@k are you doing? That’s none of their business! That’s your world.’ And he was right.

On his loyal following… People are super-nice in the street. If they want me to sign something, I don’t mind at all. I’ve never liked the term fans, but I do consider those people essentially our employers. They’re the boss because they’re the ones who go to the cinema and spend their hard-earned money to escape for two hours to watch a film.

On his career high… A guy told me that he brought his wife to see Pirates of the Caribbean. She’d lost her motor skills and, when Captain Jack came on the screen, she started to laugh. He hadn’t heard that laugh in years, so he took her back to see the film repeatedly. That’s right up there. On longing for anonymity… I’m not the most extrovert person. At my very core I’m pretty shy. I just happen to have a weird job. Anonymity: I’m sure it will be a possibility someday again – maybe when I get old. They get tired of you: ‘Didn’t you used to be Johnny Depp?’ That’ll be the clincher. 4Black Mass is out on 27 November

ESSENTIALS 131


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Essentialist

CAPITAL SIMPLY NIGELLA

THE RETURNED

JESSICA JONES If you loved season one of Daredevil, clear your diary on 20 November when Netflix’s second Marvel series hits our screens. Follow ex-super hero Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) as she rebuilds her life as a detective in New York City.

CHILDREN IN NEED

ON DEMAND

I’M A CELEBRITY… GET ME OUT OF HERE!

FILM 4 TV 4 BOOKS 4 CULTURE

Feature Anna Matheson Photography BBC; ITV *The Charity is asking people across the UK to dress up as their childhood hero to support the Appeal. To get involved, visit bbc.co.uk/pudsey

THE MAN ON HIGH CASTLE What would have happened if the Nazis had won WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the US? Philip K. Dick’s alternative history novel is the basis of this Amazon Prime original story starring Rufus Sewell. Available from 20 Nov.

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Ant and Dec are heading back down under to host this year’s round of jungle madness, with Jake Wood, Gazza and Denise Van Outen all favourites to be making their beds with the creepy crawlies. Rather them than us! ITV

Capital

MASTER OF NONE Parks and Recreation’s Aziz Ansari stars in this new Netflix comedy following all the antics of an indecisive 30-year-old actor in New York. Join in on the laughs when it debuts on 6 Nov.

PEEP SHOW

ON THE BOX The Returned The French supernatural thriller is back for a second series of mystery with eight unmissable new episodes. Set six months after the first run, there’s more inexplicable resurrections on the horizon. Trust us, it’s totally worth the subtitles. C4

Scott & Bailey’s Lesley Sharp stars in this vivid three-part drama set on a well-to-do South London street. When the residents all receive postcards through their doors saying, ‘We want what you have,’ the whole community is suddenly on tenterhooks… what could they possibly mean? BBC1

Simply Nigella

Children in Need

Peep Show

Musicians, comedians and celebs aplenty join together for our annual night of pledges, pranks… and Pudsey. Terry Wogan, Fearne Cotton, Nick Grimshaw, Rochelle Humes and Tess Daly all host the fun on 13 Nov. BBC1*

Mitchell and Webb’s classic comedy draws to an end, sniff. But will Mark and Dobby get together? Will Jeremy ever move out? Find out how it all ends for our socially awkward pals in the last ever series this month.C4

The tastiest chef in the land is returning to the kitchen with a delectable new series of the back-to-basics cooking that helped make her a household name. Best get your husband a bib… BBC2

ESSENTIALS 133


READ IT

Essentialist FILM 4 TV 4 BOOKS 4 CULTURE

Carrying Albert Home

BY HOMER HICKAM (£12.99, HARPERCOLLINS) A story about an alligator might not sound like your usual cup of tea, but this charmingly quirky book is a must-read. Set in 1930s America, the tale follows a couple who set off from West Virginia to return their scaly pet home to sunny Florida… but there’s much more to this epic journey than that. Out 19 Nov.

The Marble Collector

BY CECELIA AHERN (£12.99, HARPERCOLLINS) The author of P.S. I Love You is back with another hit. Sabrina Boggs stumbles upon a marble collection belonging to her dad who has dementia. Bored with her life, she sets out to discover who he truly is – but he has far bigger secrets than she could have imagined… Out now.

Even Dogs In The Wild

BY IAN RANKIN (£9.99, ORION) He may be retired, but that doesn’t stop Rebus getting involved in a case when his old pal Siobhan asks for help. There’s a dead lawyer, a mysterious note and a posse of gangsters to contend with before the ex-cop gets to the bottom of things – as well as a stray dog that takes a liking to him. Out 5 Nov.

ESSENTIALS BOOK CLUB

READER BECKY JONES REVIEWS THE JAPANESE LOVER BY ISABEL ALLENDE (£16.99, SIMON & SCHUSTER) In 1939 Alma Belasco is sent from war-stricken Poland to live with her aunt in San Francisco, where she befriends the son of their Japanese gardener and their forbidden love flourishes for over 70 years. The vivid description of passion and loss that maps out Alma’s life is so heartwarming that I couldn’t hold back the tears.

CELEB NATALIE WISE PORTMAN REVEALS THE WORDS BOOK THAT CHANGED HER LIFE…

MoreGREATREADS Not sure which book to choose? Visit goodtoknow.co.uk/ontheshelf for full reviews of these books and more

134 ESSENTIALS

‘David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas was the present I gave everyone I knew for three years. It’s one of the most beautiful and entertaining books – and something that takes all your attention.’

Feature Katie Holloway & Anna Matheson Photography Rex

ON THE SHELF


SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW

KIDS DAYS OUT

EDINBURGH’S CHRISTMAS

SANTA’S GROTTO

CINDERELLA

GET OUT

Let’s get festive

Christmas is coming and there’s bundles of fun to be had Donkey. Santa arrives on 9 Nov Slava’s and leaves on 24 Dec (naturally); westfield.com/London/grotto Snowshow London’s Royal Festival Hall turns Cinderella into a magical blizzard for this award-winning show. Perfect for kids over 5, it’s a spellbinding theatre experience you won’t want to miss. From 16 Dec to 3 Jan; slavasnowshow.co.uk

Edinburgh’s Christmas Six weeks of family-friendly festivities are kicking off in the Scottish capital this month. Little ones can enjoy ice skating, live shows and giant carousels… and there’s a magical Christmas tree maze to get lost in, too! edinburghschristmas.com

THE SNOWMAN

Santa’s Grotto Take the kids to meet Father Christmas at Westfield London and they’ll receive a gift from the jolly man himself, plus they can take part in a magical adventure with Shrek and

Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena is home to the world’s biggest panto this December. Featuring a 50-foot high castle, 3D special effects and celebrity names like Bradley Walsh and Paul O’Grady, this production is guaranteed to take your breath away. It’s running for just five days from 20 December, so don’t miss out; barclaycardarena.co.uk/whats-on/cinderella

The Snowman What is Christmas without this classic tale? This year the whole family can watch the story brought to life through a beautiful ballet production at Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theatre from 25 Nov to 3 Jan; sadlerswells.com For more great ways to entertain your kids, visit goodtoknow. co.uk/days-out

ESSENTIALS 135


KEEP UP

Essentialist FILM 4 TV 4 BOOKS 4 CULTURE

EDINBURGH

DOWNLOAD

LEEDS

JUSTIN BIEBER The Biebs is back! Chart-topping single What Do You Mean? has been dominating the radio playlists for months and the Canadian heartthrob is tipped to be dropping a whole album this month, so keep your eyes peeled.

IT’S #TRENDING ALL ABOUT LITTLE MIX We’ve had catchy first single Black Magic on repeat in the Essentials office for months, so we can hardly contain our excitement for the glam girl band’s latest album Get Weird, out 6 Nov.

Christmas markets

The best spots for seasonal shopping and Yuletide fun, with carol singers, ice rinks and festive rides BIRMINGHAM The Frankfurt Christmas and Craft Market practically takes over the centre of the city. Mulled wine, live music and traditional German foods are on offer, while you roam the stalls selling artisan gifts and crafts. 12 Nov to 22 Dec; birmingham.gov.uk/frankfurtmarket NOTTINGHAM Get your skates on, Winter Wonderland is coming to town with ice rink, rides, Narnia-themed bars and food hall. 20 Nov to 4 Jan nottinghamwinterwonderland.co.uk

ADELE It’s nearly five years since Adele released 21 and launched herself into superstardom. Rumour has it she’s releasing the follow-up on 20th of this month, but it’s all a bit tight lipped… Come on Adele, spill!

136 ESSENTIALS

MANCHESTER Streets throughout the city will be transformed into a festive wonderland. Foodwise, there’s everything from Spanish paella to French profiteroles, so something for every taste. 14 Nov to 21 Dec; manchester.gov.uk/markets . EXETER This quaint market is held in the heart of Exeter on the Cathedral Green. It’s

more intimate than the rest, but there’s a great selection of local food and produce on offer alongside the usual Yuletide shopping. 19 Nov to 19 Dec; heartofdevon.com

EDINBURGH Shoppers will be spoilt for choice with traditional Scottish, European and special children’s markets – so even the wee ones will have something to be excited about. 21 Nov to 4 Jan; visitscotland.com

LEEDS Forty wooden chalets will take over the Millennium Square for the Christkindelmarkt offering heaps of atmosphere, a carousel and great gifts from traditional toys to handmade jewellery. 13 Nov to 20 Dec; leeds.gov.uk

SWANSEA Pop down to Oxford Street for your Christmas shopping fix and one heck of a festive feed – there’ll be hog roasts, turkey rolls,


KEEP UP v

NOTTINGHAM

THE IN/OUT LIST

XFM’s new line-up. We’re loving waking up to Chris Moyles again TFI Friday. Just another reason to stay home Friday night

BIRMINGHAM

LONDON YORK

MaryPoppins2. We’re not convinced a sequel is a good idea

Mary Berry –theUSwant her to host an American Bake Off

ON THE RADAR

TGI Fridays’ new chicken waffle sarnie – dinner and dessertinone?

Ice rinks… time to take a spin Knee-high boots – the chicest way to stay warm

The X Factor’s new line-up. Sorry Grimmy, we don’t care what you think!

Icy drinks. We’ll have a mulled wine, thanks Knee-baring ripped jeans – it’s officially too cold

crepes and mulled wine to keep you warm. 28 Nov to 21 Dec; swanseachristmas.com

Feature Anna Matheson & Carrie Mitchell Photography Getty; Rex; Alamy

CIRENCESTER Christmas in the Cotswolds couldn’t be more fun thanks to the annual Advent Festival featuring market stalls, music and live entertainment, plus the big Christmas lights switch-on. 28 Nov; cirencester.gov.uk

YORK It’s like stepping into a Dickens novel at St Nicholas Market. With local produce, arts and crafts, plus the sounds of carol singers, it will even get the family Scrooge in the festive mood. 19 Nov to 23 Dec; visityork.org

LONDON There’ll be festive themed stalls, rides and an ice rink at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. Go for a drink at the Ice Bar or book tickets to Zippos Circus. 20 Nov to 3 Jan; hydeparkwinterwonderland.com For more festive shopping inspiration, visit goodtoknow.co.uk/xmasmarkets

Top Blog Tweet Star She’s one half of our fave presenting double act with Olly Murs and has been killing it on X Factor. Get her snippets from behind the scenes @Caroline Flack1

Norfolk-based mum Kay writes about her life with three-year-old Darcie and baby Henry at mummy burgess.co.uk. With Darcie’s hilarious ‘one-liners’ and Kay’s sincere reviews of the latest mummy products, it’s a must read.

Insta-glam Take a peek into the glam world of actress, mum and fitness entrepreneur @katehudson who’s been sharing family snaps and celeb selfies on thesetofher latest movie Mother’s Day.

ESSENTIALS 137


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WHAT’S NEW

GREATEscapes goodtoknow_essentials

3

OF THE BEST…

THIS MONTH… Flying visit It is the season of giving, right? So, why not consider giving yourself a little present and nipping over to the Big Apple for some last-minute Christmas shopping? Icelandair has return flights from London Gatwick to JFK leaving 11 December, back 15 December from £489 (includes taxes). More info at icelandair.com.

Clever cameras

CANONEOSM3, £539.99 Perfectkitforvloggers andYouTubers,produces excellentqualitymovies andpictures.Itain’t cheap,butitispresent time… canon.co.uk

Feature Terry Tavner Photography Getty Images; Shutterstock *Source sunshine.co.uk

49%

In search of the BIG 5

For a holiday that wows and chills in equal measure, take a look at this 12-day African safari. Start out in a luxury tent in the Masai Mara, Kenya, for jaw-dropping game drives in search of the Big 5: elephants, rhino, lions, leopards and buffalo, plus crocs and giraffe. Then fly to the spice island of Zanzibar for some R&R (that’s romance & relaxation!). From £1,950pp (excluding international flights). See naturalworldsafaris.com.

OF PAR E THEY P NTS CONFESS LA THEIR C N TO TAKE ON HOL HILDREN IDAY TERM T DURING IME *

HAPPY FAMILIES!

After the snow drought at the start of last year, Esprit Ski is offering some great bargains in the French Alps. Seven nights’ half board in Chalet Aventine, Les Gets, for two adults and one child, departing 20 Dec, starts at £639pp Price includes flights and transfers. Visit espritski.com for info… but get your skates on!

SONY DSC-WX500, £279 Theworld’ssmallest compactzoom(236g), andforourmoney,top ofthe(Christmas)tree. Excellentpixworthyofa camerathreetimesthe size.Inred,white or black. sony.co.uk

PANASONIC LUMIX TZ70, £294 This one is perfect for travelling at a lightweight 243g, plus the Intelligent Auto setting allows even the rookiest user to take picture-perfect images every time. panasonic.com/uk

ESSENTIALS 139


Six of the best

EUROPEAN CITY BREAKS

Just look what you can see and do within a few hours of the UK this winter SALZBURG

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE... WITH THE SOUND OF TOURISTS For a tiny city, Salzburg has a helluva reputation. At one end of the cultural spectrum, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born here and at the other end, there’s the Sound of Music, the most-watched movie ever. To take in as much as you can, buy a Salzburg card, which covers entry to all the sights, free public transport, and reduced rates to concerts and tours.

140 ESSENTIALS

SEE The pedestrianised Old Town is overlooked by the magnificent 900-yearold Hohensalzburg fortress. Take the funicular and soak up the views of the city below before walking round the wooded trail to the Museum of Modern Art. Before heading down in the Mönchsberg lift, call in at M32 restaurant for more fab views. And whether or not you’re a fan of the film, you must do the Original Sound of Music Tour. Visit the movie locations and enjoy the most entertaining insight into the

facts (and the fiction) surrounding the von Trapp family. Book with panoramatours.com and ask for guides Peter and Fernando, who really do make those hills come alive. SHOP Check out the Christkindlmarkt in Cathedral Square for traditional crafts, cookies and mulled wine stops. And for Mozartkugeln (the famous marzipan and nougat chocolates) head for Josef Holzermayr in Alter Markt. EAT Café Tomaselli has been providing a caffeine hit for Salzburgers since 1705 and


TRAVEL

BRUGES

A SHORT HOP OVER THE CHANNEL AND YOU’LL FIND THIS MARVELLOUS MEDIEVAL WALLED CITY for art lovers. You’ll also find WHY & WHEN Every day museums in honour of two is a good day to visit this of the best Belgian traditions ancient walled Flemish city, – exquisite chocolates and where pretty cobbled streets and 13th-century buildings sit chips and mayo. And, while you’re about it, see how many alongside 21st-century chic, of the 300-plus Belgian beers but December and New Year you can sample – for the have a particular seasonal charm. Sip steaming glühwein purposes of research only! INFO Eurostar offers return as you browse the Christmas fares to Bruges from just market stalls dotted around £83 with their Any Belgian the skating rink in The Old Station ticket. It also offers Market Square. connecting fares from more WHAT TO DO For the best views of the city - a UNESCO, than 200 stations in the UK. Visit eurostar.com. World Heritage Site - climb the 366 steps to the top of The Belfry (if you saw In Bruges, you’ll recognise it), then after you’ve caught your breath, have a scoot round the fishmarket or pay a visit to one of the city’s brilliant museums – Kantcentrum tells the story of the local lace industry, while Groeninge Museum is the best spot Stroll along placid canals soaking up the atmosphere of this enchanting city

is the perfect place to stop for an afternoon Apfelstrudel. For a decadent evening out, book the Mozart Dinner Concert in the majestic surroundings of the Stiftskeller St Peter – it’s only €56pp for four courses. INFO A three-night Christmas Markets break at the Hotel NH Salzburg City costs from £595pp, including B&B, return flights, airport transfers plus a 72-hour Salzburg card, ‘Panorama City Tour’, city maps, Berlitz guide book and a voucher for glühwein at Stiftskeller St Peter bar; inghams.co.uk.


MALAGA

BIRTHPLACE OF PICASSO AND ANTONIO BANDERAS, THIS SPANISH SEASIDE CITY IS CRYING OUT TO BE EXPLORED We have Picasso’s quick-thinking uncle to thank for the artist’s impact on the city as he saved baby Pablo at birth by blowing cigar smoke into his face when the newborn stopped breathing. The artist went on to live to 91 so, while unorthodox, it was clearly an effective remedy. Today, the Picasso Museum (museopicasso malaga.org) houses many of the artist’s most famous works. From cubism to surrealism, ceramics to sculptures, each of the 12 rooms showcases the different stages of one man’s extraordinary career. Whatever else you do in Malaga, do this. SHOP The marbled Calle Marqués de Larios has many familiar high street names, but dart down any of the side streets running off it for some hidden gems. Leather is big business here and that means shoes and bags are a temptation on almost every corner. Foodies will find local olives (the choice is immense), sweet Malaga wines and local jamón Ibérico irresistible. Buy them at Atarazanas Market – a riot of colour where the local Malagueños shop alongside curious tourists. Ceramics are big here, but a little too heavy to schlep home. Settle instead for traditional hand-painted fans. EAT We have Spain’s King Alfonso X to thank for the brilliant invention that is tapas. Struck by a mystery illness way back in the 13th century, his maj was advised to eat

small portions and ay caramba! a whole new style of eating was born. There’s no shortage of bars offering a vast selection of tantalising titbits, but El Pimpi is Malaga’s top tapas. Locals and tourists flock here in their droves to share plates, wine and conversation. CHILL Playa de la Malagueta is a short walk or bike ride (rent from biketoursmalaga.com for €10 per day) from the city centre and popular at the weekends, while Playa de la Caleta is one of the cleanest beaches in the area and a big hit with the fit – volleyballers, cyclists, runners and gym bunnies working out on the free-for-all beachside equipment. But if a food workout is more your thing, pedal on to Pedregalejo, and the El Cabra beachside restaurant for a chilled rosado and freshly barbecued sardines. You may be in Spain, but the Hammam

al Ándalus is a must-do moreish Moorish experience. Five thermal baths ranging from hot to warm to icy cold will turbo-charge your senses before a body massage winds you down to an almost complete stop. Visit malaga.hammamalandalus.com. STAY The 4-star Petit Palace boutique hotel (en.petitpalaceplazamalaga.com) couldn’t be more central – just off Calle Marqués de Larios and a stone’s throw from Malaga’s main square, Plaza de la Constitución. Rooms range from singles through to quintuples (perfect for families or a girls’ weekend). Prices start at £108 per night and include breakfast, free WiFi and use of hotel bikes. INFO Monarch Airlines (monarch.co.uk) fly to Malaga from Birmingham, Gatwick, Luton and Manchester with fares from £34.99 one way. Visit malagaturismo.com/en.


TRAVEL The perfect weekend away: good food, good wine and great art

The Northern Lights provide the best light display on earth

REYKJAVIK

MUMS (AND DADS... AND KIDS) GO TO ICELAND WHY & WHEN If you’re in search of the Northern Lights, then November to February is your best bet. And although the word Iceland is enough to send a shiver down your spine, thanks to the Gulf Stream, the temperature rarely drops below -1˚, even in January. True, there’s not much daylight then – around 5 hours – but you’re here for the night sky action, so stop complaining! WHAT TO DO Arctic Adventures (adventures.is) offers a three-day Northern Lights Weekend package (around €600) to bring out

your inner Bear Grylls. Giant super Jeeps – with expert super guide – will take you lava caving, cramponing on a glacier, hiking a canyon, plus the spectacular Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir hot springs. And when night falls, you’ll chase those elusive Northern Lights. Weekends don’t come much more exhilarating than this. INFO Return flights from London to Reykjavik with WOW (wow air.co.uk) cost from £110pp. The site also has an extensive range of hotels to choose from, with many offering big discounts.

ESSENTIALS 143


PORTO

WINDING STREETS AND TILED CHURCHES, THIS EUROPEAN CITY HAS PLENTY TO SHOUT ABOUT Portugal’s second largest city is a fascinating combination of modern and historic. Rising up from the banks of the Douro River, there’s more than enough to entertain you for a long weekend. But the real gem in Porto’s crown is, of course, port! SEE Porto is a great city for walking. Start at the Ribeira down by the Douro riverfront – this is the buzzing shabby-chic part of town. Stroll around the old streets and if you’re a Harry Potter fan, drop in at Lello & Irmão, a neo-gothic bookshop where JK Rowling is rumoured to have found inspiration for the Hogwarts library. Next stop, São Bento station, with its amazing tiled panels depicting the history of Portugal. Then head for the Majestic Café, a great spot to try pastéis de nata (custard tarts). Walk them off by crossing the Douro River via the scenic topdeck of Infante D. Henrique Bridge. Arriving on the Cais de Gaia riverfront, you’ll find Graham’s 1890 Lodge, a family-run business producing excellent quality ports – take the tasting tour (€8) and look out for the ‘v.v. old tawny’, a snip at €4,000 a glass! EAT Discerning diners should head for DOP, where the head chef, Rui Paula, is a judge on Portugal’s version of MasterChef. Choose from two tasting menus – the Memória, €65, or the O mar, €75, and allow your taste buds to be seduced. For a more rustic experience, head to the Mercado do Bolhão (a favourite with Jamie Oliver) and try the mighty Francesinha – a ham, sausage and steak sarnie with beer-tinged tomato sauce. Porto’s equivalent to tapas is petiscos (pronounced: petishcush). You’ll find them in most bars and restaurants serving caracóis à portuguesa (snails), octopus and squid dishes, farinheira sausages and regional cheeses. Enjoy over a long, lingering bottle of local vinho verde. STAY The modern Hotel Vila A night on the tiles Galé Porto has amazing at São Bento station views from the top-floor gym and pool, and costs from just £66 a night. For a special occasion, go for the five-star Hotel Meliá Braga. Prices start at €89 per room per night. TAP Portugal flies to Porto from £120pp return (flytap.com). For more info, go to visitportoandnorth.travel.

144 ESSENTIALS


TRAVEL With the oldest parts dating back to 300BC, Porto is a gem of a city if you’re in search of historical sites

KRAKOW

POLAND’S SECOND CITY IS FIRST IN LINE FOR A WEEKEND BREAK WHY & WHEN The prettiest parts of Prague and the best bits of Budapest combine to put this Polish university city and former capital top of the weekend bucket list destinations. The Nazis liked it so much that while they were wiping out the rest of Poland, they decided to make Krakow home, which is why so many beautiful medieval buildings survived the ravages of war. Winter may be very cold and snowy, but when the sun shines, all that glistens really does look golden. And with more bars per capita than any other European city, staying warm is easy another vodka anyone? WHAT TO DO Wake up to an obwarzanki, like a bagel, but with poppy seeds and salt, then stroll your way round the city. Start at the Krakow Glowny train station, then it’s just a few minutes walk to the Old Town, known as the Planty. Head up to the Royal Castle and 14th-century cathedral, then reward yourself on the way back

with a spot of jewellery shopping – Baltic amber is big business here and World of Amber at Floriaska 13 is well worth a visit. Fourteen miles south-east of the city is the former salt-mining town of Wieliczka – an extraordinary homage to the 13th-century mine, which only stopped production in 2007. Known as the Salt Cathedral of Poland, visitors descend to 327 metres where a 287km tunnelled world of pits and chambers carved entirely out of salt awaits them. It may be uncomfortable, but you can’t come to Krakow without visiting Auschwitz. Harrowing? Yes, but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pay your respects to the 1.5 million people who lost their lives in the concentration camp. Go to visit.auschwitz.org INFO A three-night break with Easyjet Holidays (easyjet.com/holidays) at the Wyspianski Hotel costs from £175pp including flights from London Gatwick.

Feature Terry Tavner Photography Getty Images; Alamy; 4 Corners Note Prices are checked & correct at time of going to press

Culture and endless bars can make for a pretty great weekend!

ESSENTIALS 145


MONEY SAVER

‘Buying through Quidco means more treats for me!’ Katy Rosaci has earned £875 – and is looking forward to her Christmas shopping!

C

abin crew attendant, Katy, 31, from Reigate, Surrey, joined Quido in 2008 after her brother and sister-in-law told her how much cashback they had accumulated. ‘Quidco was amazing from the get-go. My job means I’m home at random times, so online shopping’s convenient for me. One of my first buys was GHD hair straighteners, which I got £10 cashback for. I’ve also discovered some great beauty sites I never knew existed. My husband Paolo and I even used Quidco to plan our wedding and earned around £100 from things like booking accommodation for the family to table settings. We’ve recently renovated our home, so Paolo’s been using Quidco for power tools and appliances, but we mostly use it for DVDs and clothes. It’s nice to be able to treat yourself, especially when the cashback adds up to £875 – the amount I’ve banked so far. Now, with Christmas round the corner, I’ll be doing all my present shopping through Quidco – that way I’ll clock up more cashback to spend on me-treats!’

It’s so simple &

FREE

Photography Getty Images

to use

GIRL MEETS DRESS

✱ Quidco has teamed up with Girl Meets Dress to help you look your absolute best for all those Christmas parties. All you need do is browse over 4,000 new-season designer dresses, try on up to three for free and only pay for the one you wear, then return it for free! ✱ And as a special treat for Essentials readers, Quidco is offering 12% CASHBACK on your first rental. Brilliant! ✱ Simply sign up to Quidco, visit Girl Meets Dress at quidco.com/gmd_ newmember, to make your purchase and your cashback will be put in your account.

Here’s how Quidco works

Get cashback on almost anything with Quidco BROWSE Join Quidco for free to find offers at over 4,300 retailers. SHOP Click through from Quidco to the retailer and buy online as normal. EARN When you make a purchase, you’ll get cashback into your Quidco account, which you can then transfer to your bank or PayPal account. VISIT Join today for free at www.quidco.com/learn-more Terms and conditions apply. See website for details

Join for free at www.quidco.com/learn-more

ESSENTIALS 147


EXCLUSIVE OFFER

Come spa

with Essentials at Ragdale Hall Treat yourself – or someone else – to some pampering from just £308pp

*Gifts are subject to availability and may vary Photography Images used in conjunction with and offer operated by Ragdale Hall, a company wholly independent of Essentials, published by Time Inc. by Time Inc.

WHAT YOUR BREAK INCLUDES

DATES

✱ 24 TO 26 JANUARY 2016 ✱ 10 TO 12 APRIL 2016 ✱ 26 TO 28 JUNE 2016 ✱ 25 TO 27 SEPTEMBER 2016 ✱ 20 TO 22 NOVEMBER 2016 ✱ EXTRA NIGHTS AVAILABLE

✱ TWO NIGHTS (Sunday and Monday) with breakfast (served in your bedroom), three-course lunch and dinner ✱ PRE-DINNER DRINKS with the Essentials team and Sunday prize draw ✱ FREE robe hire, use of spa facilities, exercise, relaxation and water classes, use of the gym and Thermal Spa ✱ FREE 50-minute Pure Radiance Facial and FREE 25-minute Soothing Back Massage ✱ FREE *Clarins Relax Bath & Shower Concentrate (100ml) ✱ FREE *Clarins Body Treatment Oil (30ml) ✱ VALET PARKING AND REFRESHMENTS on arrival (2 to 4pm), plus orientation tour ✱ MAKE-UP AND SKINCARE ADVICE with Clarins ✱ RAGDALE FASHION SHOWCASE with 10% discount at the Ragdale Boutique

PRICES are per person, based on two people sharing and include VAT. All breaks are two nights.

2016 ECONOMY STANDARD STANDARD PLUS SUPERIOR

£308 £343 £353 £369

2016 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT £59 EXTRA NIGHT** (TUES) £145 **This includes a 25-minute Fresh Feet treatment

DON’T FORGET to look at the menu of treatments on offer at ragdalehall.co.uk and make sure you pre-book to avoid disappointment. Ragdale Hall offers a range of new, innovative, holistic and traditional spa therapies and all therapists are trained to a world-class standard. For assistance, call the Treatments Advice Line on 01664 433 043.

TO BOOK

Call 01664 433 000 Triple rooms are available on request – please telephone Ragdale Hall direct for these prices.

ESSENTIALS 149


1

Look And Feel Good This Winter Keep toes toasty in 90% alpaca bed socks in pastel shades or bright purples and pinks. Gift-box options available and make a wonderful Christmas present for any age group. Made in Britain. £16.00

2

“If Only It Had Sleeves” Short sleeve now available. An inexpensive fashionable way to expand your summer wardrobe. Stretch lace or tuille sleeves which can be worn under sleeveless dresses. Available in 10 colours - £39.

Perilla.co.uk 01886 853 615

3

My Leather Manbag Why not treat someone to a luxury gift this Christmas... you might even want to treat yourself! From a Crazy Mustang (£99) to The New Cargo (£175) ; High quality leather. The perfect all year round man bags.

www.camiconfidential.com Contact 01614271881 for a free brochure

4

Please use code TIMES15at checkout for 15% discount on all bags. Free delivery. www.myleathermanbag.com

5

Style Never Goes Out Of Fashion Cobra & Bellamy make affordable, classically designed watches. Pictured is our latest addition to the range the LAMORNA, a ladies watch retro in design easy to read, a joy to behold. Available in Stainless Steel at £115, 21 Carat or Rose Gold Plated at £125 with a black or brown hand stitched leather strap. The LAMORNA is the watch we have all been waiting for.

The Little Book of Earrings is bound in faux leather, and is available in two sizes, holding either 12 or 48 pairs of earrings. Using padded pages with fixing holes, your earrings are held safely in pairs. The sleek design allows secure, easy storage on a book shelf, or suitcase, unlike traditional earring trees. Available in a beautiful array of colours. Buy from www.flydragonfly.co.uk

6

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New Martha Hill Skin Care Set Reader Offer - Save over 50% Four gorgeous products with organic rosewater & the finest natural ingredients to help reveal a brighter looking complexion. Includes 75mls each of Cream Cleanser, Gel Toner, Day Cream and Overnight Cream. Special offer price of £17.00 (rrp £34.80) plus free delivery. To order freephone 0800 980 6665 or order online at

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YOUR STARS

DECEMBER

horoscopes

Essentials’ astrologer Marion Williamson reveals all… Aquarius

20 JANUARY - 18 FEBRUARY

‘Your life will be totally transformed’

Things could be a little tricky on the family front this Christmas. Do what has to be done with a smile. Santa has the right idea – visit people just once a year. DO make sure they do the washing up DON’T take advice from numpties

Pisces

19 FEBRUARY - 20 MARCH

SAGITTARIUS 22 NOVEMBER - 21 DECEMBER

Saturn, the planet of responsibility, moved into your sign back in September and it’s there to stay for two years. You’ll probably already have had a taste of what this means for you. If you’ve had to pull your socks up or wake up and act like an adult, it’s all Saturn’s doing. You’re going to need to tackle difficult areas, but once done, your life will be totally transformed. Over this Christmas you’ll be quietly percolating away on changes that need to happen so that when the new year rolls in, you’ll already have a good idea of what is going to make you truly happy and how to get there. DO embrace new responsibilities DON’T say you’ll do it – just do it!

Capricorn

22 DECEMBER - 19 JANUARY

There are a few surprises in store - make sure your credit card bill isn’t one of them! Be honest if you’re skint… you’ll be touched by the support of friends and family. DO hold your head up high DON’T stick your head in the sand

This December is the perfect time to look to the future. Remind Santa that you wanted a fat bank account and a slim body – not the other way around! DO ask for what you actually want DON’T get bullied into bad taste jumpers

Aries

21 MARCH - 19 APRIL

If the thought of a Christmas of stressful shopping, overspending and industrial-scale catering doesn’t fill you with cheer – it’s not too late to make a getaway. DO check out long-haul flights DON’T believe the hype

Taurus

20 APRIL - 20 MAY

Don’t throw money at Christmas and hope you’ll find a way to cover it later. The reality is that ‘later’ is only a few weeks away. Make it crafty and creative instead. DO replace guilt with glue and glitter DON’T sleepwalk into January

Gemini

21 MAY - 20 JUNE

Half of you is digging out the flashing reindeer horns and visiting family, while the other half wants to hide under the duvet. So have a Christmas pyjama party! DO be naughty and save Santa the trip DON’T be traditional – be you!

Back issues UK, £3.99 per copy. Europe, £5.99. RoW, £8.99. John Denton Services, Essentials Back Issues Dept, PO Box 772, Peterborough PE2 6WJ (01733 385 170 24-hours /secure website: mags-uk.com/timeinc). Cheque payable to Time Inc. (UK) Ltd. Subscriptions order hotline 0330 333 4555 (UK orders only). Cheques payable to Time Inc. (UK) Ltd. Subscription rates (12 issues, inc p&p): UK £40.88; USA direct entry $79.70; Europe/Eire When you have finished with this magazine please recycle it. €89.75; North America $79.70; rest of the world £91.10. (Overseas copies sent Priority Service: 3-5 days within Europe/Eire; and within 5-7 days for all other countries; USA direct entry: 5-12 days.) Subscriptions enquiries and order hotline: 0330 333 4555. Essentials Subscriptions, Freepost RTKA-YLJG-HAAK, Time Inc. (UK) Ltd, Rockwood House, 9-16 Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath RH16 3DH; email magazinesdirect@quadrantsubs.com. Enquiries and overseas orders: Essentials Subscriptions, PO Box 272, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3FS; tel +44 (0) 330 333 0233. US subscriptions: Essentials 0953-6337, is published monthly by Time Inc. (UK) Ltd, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU, England. The 2015 US annual subscription price is $79.90. Airfreight and mailing in the USA by agent named Air

Cancer

21 JUNE - 22 JULY

The secret to success this Christmas is to trust the Christmas fairies will take care of everything… in your dreams! Christmas perfection is down to you. DO remind everyone who’s in charge DON’T run out of Advocaat

Leo

23 JULY - 22 AUGUST

Giving the children a magical time needn’t be costly – in their eyes even a Christmas tree from the 99p store is beautiful. Your gift to them is a less stressed you. DO give hugs not cash DON’T go shopping without a list

Virgo

23 AUGUST - 22 SEPTEMBER

Be prepared for that awkward get-together with the person that makes the festive season fester. Have a strategy in place to keep your Christmas cheer. DO practise some witty retorts DON’T rise to the bait

Libra

23 SEPTEMBER - 22 OCTOBER

Draw a line under anything negative from the past year. Embrace the festive season – you want your past forgotten and your presents remembered! DO make a wine advent calendar DON’T get sloshed before the turkey’s done

Scorpio

23 OCTOBER - 21 NOVEMBER

So many parties, so much booze! So many ways to declare your love. You’re in for a passionate Christmas, but first adjust your brain to the ‘beer goggles’ setting. DO trust in the power of magic knickers DON’T pick out baby names just yet

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ESSENTIALS 153


LIFE ON A PLATE

LISA’S

LAST WORD... TV cook Lisa Faulkner tells us what she’s loving… and loathing this month

What I’m cooking…

These chocolate after dinner mint biscuits are super-simple to make and taste delicious. They go perfectly with a cup of tea at the end of Christmas Day when you are starting to get that little bit peckish again. Find Lisa’s after dinner recipe at goodtoknow.co.uk/lisafaulkner

probably slightly better than the actual day itself due to all the stresses it can bring. This year, we will be spending the day at my sister’s house and John and I have been tasked with making Christmas dinner (no pressure

Enough already! I have had it with pre-Christmas sales! I don’t go near the shops around Christmas as I feel it should be a time spent with family. You can never find what you want and there are lots of people fighting over the same products. I prefer to be at home with a glass of wine and playing a board game with my loved ones.

154 ESSENTIALS

Well, let’s see if this year’s pyjamas can beat the fab pair by Wildfox that I got last year – they were super-soft and so chic! Follow Lisa on Instagram at @lisafaulknercooks

– eek). However, this is pretty perfect as it means we can get some time on our own, enjoy each other’s company and shut ourselves off from the shouting at the TV, loud children and other demanding family members. We also have a Christmas tradition in our house – you get to open a present on Christmas Eve… and it’s always new pyjamas. Everyone (including John and I) has to wake up wearing their new PJs. However, the problem with warm and cosy PJs is that you don’t want to change out of them. We once had Christmas at Claridge’s and I wore them there!

MY MUST HAVES

4 Hotpoint Food Processor, £129.95. I’d struggle without this – it does everything from grinding meat for the stuffing to blending fruit for cocktails. 4 Nars Limited Edition Killer Shine Lip Gloss in Wild Strawberry, £19. I love this festive shade and it’s superglossy for added glamour. 4 Oliver Bonas Lucie Blanket Scarf, £29.50. Perfect for chilly outings and to inject some colour into grey days.

Photography iStock

I

absolutely love Christmas time! I feel like it’s at this time of year that I spend the most hours in the kitchen. There really isn’t any better time to switch on the oven, pour yourself a glass of mulled wine and put on an apron. For me, there isn’t a difference between cooking and baking – it is just ‘creating’, and there’s nothing better than perfecting recipes until they are just right. The two festive things that I always love to make are a traditional Christmas pudding and a Christmas cake – I adore marzipan (and icing). Billie likes to help me in the kitchen, too, and always shows lots of enthusiasm when making cakes (mmm, I wonder why..). I must admit, though, that the build-up to Christmas is

My Instagram moment of the month


   

 

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Ayue45yes45essentials uk december 2015  
Ayue45yes45essentials uk december 2015  
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