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Christmas The


a hotel break


The No1 magazine for a fabulous Christmas 2016


Celebrate the season

in style ! Get creative



READY FOR GUESTS From welcoming hallways to perfect place settings

Gift guide



PERFECT TREE Everything you need to know to find your ideal tree this year

WRAPPING UP Great ideas to make gifts stand out under the Christmas tree




Create a Christmas as Unique as YOU!

Shop securely online and choose from hundreds of unusual decorations and gifts

PURVEYORS OF Lovely Things For Homes Since 2005





KELSEY MEDIA Cudham Tithe Barn, Berry’s Hill, Cudham, Kent TN16 3AG EDITORIAL Editor Amy Curtis Art Editor Hallam Foster Sub editor Leona Gerrard Contributors Ysanne Brooks, Emma Clayton, Andrea Dean, Alex Fisher, Chris Haslam, Rebecca Nee, Kate Sleeman, Linda Parker, Sophie Warren-Smith ADVERTISEMENT SALES Advertisement Manager Sara Clark 01732 445302 Sales Executive Amy Reeves-Clews 01732 445055 PRODUCTION Production Supervisor: Melanie Cooper,, 01733 362701 MANAGEMENT Managing Director: Phil Weeden Chief Executive: Steve Wright Chairman: Steve Annetts Finance Director: Joyce Parker-Sarioglu Retail Distribution Manager: Eleanor Brown Audience Development Manager: Andy Cotton Subs Marketing Manager: Dan Webb Brand Marketing Manager: Rebecca Gibson Events Manager: Kat Chappell Publishing Operations Manager: Charlotte Whittaker DISTRIBUTION: Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London, EC1A 9PT,, 020 7429 4000 PRINTING: William Gibbons & Sons Ltd, West Midlands Kelsey Media 2016 © all rights reserved. Kelsey Media is a trading name of Kelsey Publishing Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden except with permission in writing from the publishers. ISSN 1747-8111. The editor cannot guarantee a personal response to all letters and emails received. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Publisher. Kelsey Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties. Kelsey Publishing Ltd uses a multi-layered privacy notice, giving you brief details about how we would like to use your personal information. For full details, visit uk , or call 01959 543524.If you have any questions, please ask as submitting your details indicates your consent, until you choose otherwise, that we and our partners may contact you about products and services that will be of relevance to you via direct mail, phone, email or SMS. You can opt out at ANY time via email: or 01959 543524.

Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier each year; some shops were even selling mince pies in the middle of summer this year! And while it sometimes feels like this dilutes the excitement, there’s no arguing with the fact that it pays to be prepared. And when it comes to creating your perfect Christmas, the longer the run-up, the better! So rather than pining for the days when you couldn’t get your hands on a box of crackers til the 1st of December, why not embrace the early-bird festivities and give yourself more time to get geared up for the Big Day? Of course, The Christmas Magazine is here to help and we’ve compiled a bumper gift guide, along with great ideas for wrapping presents, decorating your home and even taking the family out for the day, to really soak up the seasonal atmosphere. You never know, with our help, this could be your best Christmas ever!

A few of our favourite things… p45


Gold Merry Christmas gift tags, £2.40 for 8, Ginger Ray Six-person cracker, £12.50, Talking Tables


Merry & Bright card, £4.50 for 20, Next


The Christmas Magazine





Contents p38


Decorating 9




Delightful decorations Ideas for using decs in clever ways. Stylish settings Lay your Christmas table with style. Oh Christmas tree Choose the perfect tree this year. Welcome home Welcome guests this Christmas.

102 The festive bathroom

Christmas cheer even in here!

Get creative 13


40 45

Christmas glitter trees Guide to making these sparkly trees. All wrapped up Wrap the prettiest gifts this year.

DIY greetings cards Buy this year’s designs for inspiration.

49 Floral fusion



Create two festive floral centrepieces. Wrapped up Clever ideas for beautiful-looking gifts.

127 Make a snow globe

A fun project to do with the kids.

Food & drink 17



The Christmas Magazine

Eat, drink and be merry Christmas food traditions explored. Christmas cheese board The perfect combination of cheeses.




p49 28 33

Olde puddings Delicious old-fashioned recipes. Dreamy drinks Ideas for a real treat this Christmas.

130 Christmas treats

Two recipes for children to try.

132 Kids’ party

Quick buys for a great festive spread.

Out & about

90 Shop til you drop!

Christmas markets across the UK.

137 Seven festive family days 142 Look behind you!

71 73 76 78 81 85


95 Shopping: crackers 96 Win a hotel stay in Cologne! 106 Santa and the book of secrets

An extract from this gorgeous book.

109 Shopping: stockings 111 Shopping: advent calendars 150 Board games

We review a selection for families.

154 Movie marathons made easy

Gifts for gardeners Great ideas for the green-fingered.

64 Gifts for cooks 69

Presents for all ages, baby to teenager.

We look at Legoland as a day out.

Gifts for home lovers For the interior designer in your life.


115 Gifts for kids

152 Video games

Gift guide 59

Gifts for sporty types Ideas for fitness enthusiasts in your life.

Pantomimes across the UK this year.

146 A Christmas bricktacular



The lowdown on this year’s options.

Get Christmas entertainment sorted.

158 Christmas playlist 160 Stockists 161 Horoscopes



Delight and inspire food enthusiasts. Gifts for craft lovers Fire up their creative side. Gifts for her Perfect treats for the ladies in your life.

Gifts for him A few ideas for the men in your life. Gifts with a personal touch Personalised products for everyone.


Gifts for techy types Presents to keep their minds whirring. Gifts for animal lovers Fun designs with cats, dogs and more. Gifts for stockings Quick buys to boost the haul!

The Christmas Magazine


Bright ideas for Christmas

Christmas is the perfect time for lighting up your home – and the faces of your loved ones. If you are looking for that special and unusual Christmas decoration or gift then Icon Neon has the answer. We have Neon clocks, sculptures and classic signs of all shapes and sizes. Our Neon art will totally change a space. But don’t just light up your home this year, light up your office, workshop, playroom or bar – in fact anywhere your imagination takes you! • • • • •

10,000 classic Neons in stock UK based sales, service and support Fantastic pricing plus free Mainland UK NEXT DAY delivery on all Neon Bespoke work by the top Neon artist in the UK Visit our website to see our entire licensed range

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The largest supplier of classic Neon Art in Europe.



Gather together all your old picture frames and assemble them to create a display of Xmas baubles. Use the strings supplied with the baubles or add pretty twine or thread, and tie or blu-tack these to the frames. Pretty and space-saving. All gold decorations and candles, from ÂŁ1 for a gold owl decoration, George Home at Asda.

Delightful decorations New ideas for 2016

Make your Christmas home look on trend and beautiful with these inventive and simple ways to use baubles this festive season FEATURE Linda Parker

The Christmas Magazine




It’s impossible to get through Christmas without doing some baking, so why not make star-shaped biscuits and hang them on the tree? (Or wrap them in tissue and pack into a festive gift tin.) Make a hole using a skewer half-way through baking, then dust with icing sugar or edible glitter afterwards. Set of three metal star cutters, 9cm, 7cm and 5cm, £2.95, Dotcomgiftshop.


If you have a favourite set of decorations, try making a small-scale twig tree where you can showcase your trinkets altogether, rather than them getting lost among hundreds on a big tree. Choose a weighty glass vase as a base – you may need some blu-tack to hold the twigs in place. Putting sharp sand or fine gravel in the vase will also do the job. All black, white and gold decorations, George Home at Asda.


This is a lovely way to add decorations to a dining room without getting in the way of the meal itself. Choose any non-breakable decoration (glass baubles are out!) and tie to the backs of chairs. We love the little bells on these for added Christmas cheer. Cream Fretwork Laser Cut Decorations, each with a gold bell, £10 for a set of four, The Contemporary Home.


The Christmas Magazine

Add flourish to chairs with these delicate designs



A pendant light, especially a very pretty and sparkly one, can look even better at Christmas time. All you need to do is very carefully and gently loop some ribbon-hung decorations onto the branches, making sure to avoid close contact with the lamps. This seasonal suggestion is perfect for rooms with tall ceilings. All decorations and accessories, as well as the Crumble snuggle sofa in Dusty Rose velvet (£1,249), John Lewis.


Make good use of any platters you might have in your home by turning them into stunning centrepieces. Add a couple of baubles, a group of candles and some tea lights for a beautiful dining table or coffee table display. All decorative items, Poundland.


If you’re after a Christmassy view without spray-on snow, go for some seasonal window film instead. What’s more, it has the added advantage of disguising a less-than-inspiring view! This is the Navidad design from the Frostbrite range, from £30, The Window Film Company.


If you don’t have space for a big tree, get creative with ribbons and baubles. Group them together and hang from the wall, using panel pins if there’s a picture rail. If baubles have a looped string, they can all be tied together with a decorative ribbon. All baubles, from the new designs by The National Trust.


A ball of string and a little patience are all that’s needed to add festive interest to your home. Stick to a simple, low-key colour scheme by using natural string, or go for a traditional green/red look by raiding the shed for garden twine. All decorations, from a selection at Sainsbury’s.


Make your home look totally on-trend with honeycomb paper decorations. They’ll stand out in the corner of the room, unless you have very high ceilings! Metallic and cream honeycomb spheres with tassels, from £11 each, Talking Tables.

The Christmas Magazine


For all your Christmas inspiration

MAke it


Christmas trees

Step back in time with these shimmering tabletop Sixties- and Seventies-inspired trees


his Yuletide, have a go at making a cluster of Traditional Trees (right) for a classic retro mantel decoration or tablescape, or try a taller, triangular modern tree (instructions below), which is reminiscent of the streamlined designs of the 1960s, especially when done in atomic shades like platinum, white, ice blue, chartreuse, or vibrant turquoise.

Materials Tracing paper Craft knife or sharp, finepointed scissors Ruler Tape Two pieces of lightweight cardboard for each tree, such as from cracker or cereal boxes

Scotch tape Positionable mounting adhesive Several sheets of clean, unused printer paper Glitter in your choice of colours Brayer or rolling pin, optional

Photographs © 2014 Dane Holweger. All rights reserved

instructions 1 To make a tall tree, fold a piece of tracing paper in half lengthwise. Decide how tall you want the tree to be and make a dot where the tip will be, measuring from the bottom edge of the paper. Decide how wide you want the base to be and make a mark half that length at the bottom edge, measuring from the fold. Use a ruler to connect the dot marking the tip of the tree to the dot marking the base. Cut along the line, open the paper, and you’ll have a tree pattern. Remember to mark the midpoint along the fold. 2 Once you have created your pattern for the tree, tape it to a piece of lightweight cardboard, trace twice, and cut out two cardboard pieces for each tree you want to make. Mark the centre point on each cardboard piece. Use the ruler to draw a straight line from tip of the tree down through the centre point all the way to the base. Cut one piece along the line from the top down to the

These retro trees make unique tabletoppers centre point, and the other piece along the line from the bottom up to the centre piece. 3 Working with one piece at a time, cut a section of mounting adhesive large enough to cover the piece. Position it over the cut out tree with the exposed sticky side down and the protective liner up. Press down firmly, smoothing with your hands. It’s important to get good coverage, so go over it with a brayer or rolling pin. 4 Turn over and cover the other side with mounting adhesive too. Use a craft knife or small sharp scissors to cut away the excess mounting paper. Cut through the liner papers, along the slit you made in the tree piece. 5 Peel away the protective liner on one side and lay the piece, sticky side up, on a sheet of clean paper. Pour glitter over the piece, covering it completely. Lay a second piece of paper over the top and press down firmly, going over the surface with your hands, a brayer, or rolling pin to push the glitter into the sticky surface. 6 Allow to set for a few minutes, then

tap off excess glitter. Place the piece, glittered side down, on a fresh piece of paper, peel off adhesive liner, and repeat. 7 Apply glitter to the second piece using the same method as you did the first. There may be one or two spots where the adhesive did not stick. This can be touched up by applying a drop of glue to the bare spot and covering with glitter. Allow the two pieces to cure for several hours to ensure the glitter is stuck properly. 8 Assemble the tree by sliding the slotted pieces together and arranging them at right angles. If the slits are too tight to let the pieces stand at right angles, take the pieces apart again, then carefully trim a tiny strip from the inside of the slot and reassemble. Handcrafted Christmas: Ornaments, Decorations, and Cookie Recipes to Make at Home by Susan Waggoner (STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Books, £11.99).

The Christmas Magazine



Every present looks extra special with shimmering paper, matching ribbons and beautiful gift bags.


Glittering taper candles add glamour to the dining table.


The Christmas tree will shine with golden angel wing decorations.

e n i h s o t e m i t A

Be inspired this Christmas and give your home a luxurious feel with Poundland’s Festive Glamour theme, a collection of soft golds, copper and bronze, with subtle hints of champagne. All at £1 each.


Mix your metals with baubles in copper accents.


This gold glitter stag will catch the light beautifully.


Clusters of baubles make an opulent display.


The Christmas Magazine


Ornamental birds bring a sense of fun to the scheme.



Add interest with this rustic glass copper diamond.

A mix of shimmering metallics makes for a truly glamorous look

TOUCH OF GLASS Mix gold glass shapes for opulent glamour.


Pretty paper stars are simple and effective.


Welcome guests with a sparkling decorative tree.


Group different decorations for effortless style.


Luxury gift bags under the tree complete the look.

The Christmas Magazine



Shop securely online and choose from hundreds of unusual decorations and gifts

PURVEYORS OF Lovely Things For Homes Since 2005


Eat, drink and

be merry

Why do we eat the foods we do at Christmas? Alex Fisher takes a look at the history and traditions surrounding our Christmas feast

The Christmas Magazine


Christmas food


ow would you feel about a boar’s head instead of a turkey this Christmas? No? Then perhaps peacock served with blackbird and pigeon pie or a few neat’s (beef) tongues? In reality, these delicacies were reserved for the rich; a rabbit used to be a more common centrepiece to the festive feast of everyday people. Food is at the heart of Christmas. We spend hours, sometimes days, preparing what we consider to be a traditional Christmas dinner, but how ‘traditional’ really is our turkey roast? When did Brussels sprouts become an essential part of the meal? And why do we eat Christmas pudding for dessert? Although turkey is a relatively recent staple, having been too expensive before the 1950s to be popular (today, 90% of us choose it for our Christmas celebration), there is a long standing custom of eating meat on Christmas Day. During the winter months it was more costly to feed livestock, so they would often be killed at this time of year. Chickens were rarely eaten, as they produced eggs, and cows produced milk, so it was more likely that a goose, duck or pig would find its way to our table. Turkeys were


The Christmas Magazine

ABOVE Roast turkey was really only popular after refrigeration became affordable and commonplace.

only introduced to this country from America in the 16th century, and it is said that Henry VIII was the first person to eat one for his Christmas dinner. It was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who really made this dish popular with the middle classes, but it wasn’t until refrigeration became commonplace that it became cheap enough for us all to eat. The game of pulling what is now called the ‘wishbone’ of the bird, with the winner (the person who ends up with the largest section) having their wish come true, didn’t actually originate at Christmas. It is more likely this game came from the ancient Roman practice of using chicken bones for divination and the telling of fortunes. It was picked up in England hundreds of years ago, when the bone was referred to as ‘merrythought’.


Love them or hate them, many people feel that it isn’t Christmas unless they have eaten at least one compulsory Brussels sprout. Interestingly, sprouts have been part of our festive feast for at least 400 years. They were originally imported from what is now Belgium and were an obvious choice because they are a hardy vegetable, able to survive frosts


Sprouts have been part of our festive feast for at least 400 years and snow, essential before greenhouses and cheap imports. These days, it’s estimated that in the UK, Brussels sprouts take up the equivalent field space of 3,240 football pitches during the months prior to Christmas. Stuffing is a culinary tradition that dates back the Roman times. This dish was probably created to use the offal or giblets from the animal or fowl, mixing them with spices, herbs, rice, nuts or more recently breadcrumbs. Originally, this would have been cooked inside the cavity of the bird, as the name suggests; however, these days there are warnings against doing this; the turkeys we eat are now so big, it’s hard to guarantee that the stuffing will

reach the required temperature needed to kill off all dangerous bacteria, such as salmonella. You are better off, in this instance, in going against tradition and sticking to separate balls or trays of stuffing. Roast potatoes, in comparison, are a much more recent addition. Traditionally, potatoes were more likely to be mashed; our delicious roasted versions only become widespread when modern ovens become commonplace. Pigs in blankets, a term we now use to describe mini sausages wrapped in bacon, used to be the name for what we now call sausage rolls. The first recorded appearance of the bacon-wrapped version at the Christmas dinner table was in the 1950s. It’s been suggested that the combination of salt and fat in these meats were a necessary accompaniment to what can be rather dry turkey meat.


As many people know, mince pies got their name because they used to be made with meat. Mince pies, or mutton pies, as they were also known, have been eaten at Christmas since the 13th century when crusaders

The Christmas Magazine



Christmas pudding was originally always eaten on Christmas Eve

brought the recipe combination of meat, fruit and spices back from the Middle East. They were considered so decadent that they were banned under the puritanical rule of Oliver Cromwell. However, the urban legend that it’s still illegal to eat a mince pie on Christmas day due to an un-repealed law from that time is, in fact, unfounded. It was also only after the Victorian era that we began to make the pies without meat in them. Our traditional Christmas pudding (or plum pudding) also originated as a savoury dish, a kind of soup made with beef shin, sugar, spices and fruit. The sugar and spices helped to preserve the meat, but as we found other ways to do this, the dish became less savoury and it gradually transformed into the dessert we know today. Due to its heavy nature, the traditional Christmas pudding is becoming less popular, but the fundamental problem lies in the fact that it wasn’t meant to be eaten as a dessert. It was also originally always eaten on Christmas Eve after fasting. Popular lighter alternatives today include the trifle and the chocolate log. Various forms of trifles have been eaten by the rich since around the 16th century, but the roots of the Yule log go right back to the Iron Age. The Celts would decorate and burn a huge log to celebrate Solstice, a Pagan festival that takes place on the shortest day of the year – a celebration that has largely been superseded by Christmas, falling just a few days before the Christian festival. As houses 20

The Christmas Magazine

ABOVE Christmas pudding wasn’t always the sweet, filling dish we know today – it originated as a savoury meat dish.

became smaller and we spent more time indoors, the logs shrank, and eventually the idea of baking a log-shaped cake, instead of burning a real one, took over.


In Denmark the traditional dessert is a creamy rice pudding called Risalamande. A whole almond is hidden in this, and the person who finds it has to hide it in their mouth until all of the pudding is finished. Only then can they claim the extra present they’ve won. This is similar to our now largely lost tradition of hiding a lucky silver sixpence in a Christmas pudding, the fear of choking probably putting many people off from mixing lucky tokens into their desserts. In Slovakia and other parts of Eastern Europe fried carp is the central dish of the day. Today many families still buy a live fish and keep it in the bath until it’s time to cook it. In Portugal the traditional meal is boiled salt-cod and cabbage, eaten on Christmas Eve. In reality, our ‘traditional’ Christmas has always evolved and changed. We have incorporated influences from other cultures, and now a Spanish Panettone or a marzipan-filled Stollen from Germany are making appearances at many more British tables. Only time will tell if this year’s new creation by GAME, Christmas Tinner (Christmas dinner in a tin), £1.99, created this year for x-box addicts, will eventually become part of our ‘traditional’ food repertoire.

Ever so slightly

Lakeland Roasting Tins. A festive life-changer. Ours come with a pouring ‘nose’, so you can easily pour out the juice... without losing your goose.

69 stores nationwide

HOLLY AND LIVELY Robin and Holly napkins, £44.95 for four, Annabel James.


Botanical Christmas crackers, £10 for six, Talking Tables.

Classic choice

For a refined table setting, choose elegant dinnerware like this delicate bone china (above) with grey filigree and platinum detailing. Then layer with pure linen napkins and smart stainless steel cutlery. An embroidered motif and a berry sprig provide the ideal festive flourish. Fenton tableware, from £66 for a set of six side plates; Emily linen napkins, £31 for six; Stuart cutlery, £275 for a 36-piece set; all Neptune.

STAND AND DELIVER Nordic red Christmas cake stand, £18, The Contemporary Home.

s g n i t t e s h s i l y St Be inspired by our creative ideas for your table this Christmas FEATURE EMMA CLAYTON

STAR OF WONDER Radiance star platter, £10, Sainsbury’s.


Lismore Essence champagne flutes, £100 for two, Waterford at Amara.


Silver stag candelabra, £30, Debenhams.


The Christmas Magazine

Minimal mood

This frosty table setting (right) combines contemporary and traditional pieces to great effect. Sleek white china sits alongside mercury glass candlesticks and bold black cutlery for a contrasting twist. Bubble wine glasses bring subtle interest to the table, while floral sprigs soften the look. Swedish tableware, from £7.50; mercury silver candlesticks, from £12.50; black cutlery, from £8.95; bubble wine glasses, from £55 for a set of six; all Nordic House.


Berry mix

Red and white is always a winning colour combination and this scheme offers a new twist on an old favourite. Mixing and matching china patterns, as seen here with stripes, snowflakes and tartan prints, provides a relaxed mood that’s ideal for seasonal dining. Finish the look with simple branches of festive foliage and berries, plus a few tea lights for a warm glow. Tartan dinner set, £18; snowflake dinner set, £18; red and white stripe dinner set, £18; red napkins, £4; red lantern, £12; berry votive, £4; baubles from £1; all George Home at Asda.

For stockists turn to page 160

The Christmas Magazine



PLATE EXPECTATIONS Snowshill tea plate, £25 for four, John Lewis.


White bisque star tea light holder, £10, The Contemporary Home.

Scandi style

Dress a wooden table (above) with white bottlebrush trees, sparkly string lights and snowflake votives, adding this polar bear as a quirky centrepiece. Choose paper plates and napkins featuring wintry motifs, accompanied by additional tableware in gold and white. For a fun place card, fix luggage tags to your plates with miniature pegs. Faceted polar bear, £17; bottlebrush trees, £8.50 for six; snowflake tea light holders, £5.50 each; paper plates, £3 for eight; napkins, £3.50 for 20; wooden pegs, £4 for 12; all Nordic Christmas range at Talking Tables.

OH CHRISTMAS TREE Mini rustic tree, £5, Matalan.

“A Nordic mood is easy to create and gives a festive look that’s modern and natural” CIRCLE OF LIGHT

Wreath candleholder, £39.50, Marks & Spencer.


On reflection

Gold confetti decanter, £19.50, Oliver Bonas.

ALL THAT GLITTERS Gold star bauble place card holders, £5.99 for six, Ginger Ray.


The Christmas Magazine

Try a new take on metallics (right) by combining glassware, votives and lanterns in a mix of gold, copper and silver on a monochrome backdrop. Candlelight is key to show these off to perfection. Finish with plenty of greenery, using foliage as a runner along the length of your table and tucking frosty berries and leaves into napkins. Metallic tea light holder, £4.99; silver tea light holder, £1.99; gold glass hurricane lantern, £19.99; gold print glass bottle with LED lights, £5.99; copper mesh lantern, £14.99 for a set of three with tray; gold confetti champagne flute, £3.99; all Dobbies.


For stockists turn to page 160

Luxe look

This on-trend theme (above) combines decadent tableware and decorations in muted pinks and glamorous metallics. A shimmering tablecloth is the perfect backdrop for beaded charger plates and decorative china. Embellished baubles are strung above the table to catch the eye. Biba comport £40; Biba beaded charger plates, £18 each; Biba carafe, £38; Biba Empire cutlery set, £140; Biba candles, from £20; Living by Christiane Lemieux sun mirror, £126; Living by Christiane Lemieux Shibori dinnerware, from £10; Living by Christiane Lemieux Shibori napkins, £16 for four; baubles, from £6; pearl garland, £40; Baroque wine glasses, £14 each; peacock crackers, £30 for six; champagne pepper berry garland, £55; star lights, £8; all House of Fraser.


Gold nine-piece cutlery set, £19.99, HomeSense.


Champagne saucer, £19.50 for two, Marks & Spencer.


Candy stripe crackers, £20 for 12, John Lewis.

The Christmas Magazine


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Impress guests with the perfect selection by following these tips courtesy of Hero Hirsh, 2012 Cheesemonger of the Year



If you are looking to create a cheese board as part of a Christmas meal I’d suggest allowing each person about 100g to 125g of cheese. So for six people around 750g of cheese in total is a good amount. If you are looking for a festive supper then I’d allow each person 150g each. In terms of different styles of cheeses I’d suggest that you create a cheese board with three or four cheeses. More than that and it’s too much for the palate.


You want to create a cheese board that offers different styles, textures and flavours for your guests to enjoy. This is why the combination of Cheddar, Stilton and Brie has always been popular as you’ve got a blue, a hard cheese and a soft cheese. I’d recommend going for this type of combination but perhaps be more adventurous in the cheeses you select. For example, instead of a Brie, try a Morangie Brie or Tunworth; instead of Cheddar, try a Lincolnshire Poacher or Kirkham’s Lancashire; and instead of Stilton try Barkham Blue or Devon Blue.

F lavours 

I always think that it is a good idea to look at what other food you are serving for the meal. Will the food be served prior to the cheese course be heavy in flavours? If so then think about selecting cheeses that have a stronger flavour so that they complement preceding courses. The cheese course should be a continuation of flavours so that your guests can really enjoy it.

Where to buy

If you are looking for some really great artisan cheeses and really great advice I would always recommend going to a good cheesemonger. The cheeses will be in good condition, you’ll be able to talk to the cheesemonger about what you are looking for and you’ll also be able to try some of the cheeses before buying them.


As well as the cheese it’s important to think about what to enjoy with them. A good biscuit, cracker or well-made bread helps to complement cheeses, as do chutneys, fruit confits and dried fruits. The important thing is not to overload the cheese board with accompaniments. Perhaps choose one chutney that goes with the cheeses and a biscuit and some bread. Less is more in this area.

Make your own

Paxton & Whitfield has put together the perfect cheese board for this Christmas. Rachel (£39.00/kg) (Thermised, vegetarian rennet, goats’ milk) This is a semi-hard, washed rind cheese made from thermised goats’ milk with a mellow nutty flavour that is not too ‘goaty’. The cheese is regularly washed in a brine solution, a technique more common with cows’ milk cheeses, which creates a warm reddish orange colour to the crust. Barwheys Cheese (£29.00/kg) (Unpasteurised, traditional rennet, cows’ milk) Barwheys Dairy uses milk from its own herd of pedigree Ayrshire cattle. The milk is very rich and gives the cheese a full bodied, smooth and complex flavour. The cheese is clothbound

and aged for between eight to 14 months. The cheese has the slightest hint of a crumble and has subtle notes of spice, caramel and nuts. It’s a delicious alternative to the traditional Cheddar. Crozier Blue (£36.00/kg) (Pasteurised, vegetarian rennet, sheep’s milk) The milk for the cheese comes from Ballinamona Farm’s herd of approximately 300 Friesland ewes. The ewes graze on limestone rich pasture which helps create a lush, full and sweet milk. Crozier Blue has a smooth and creamy flavour that is not overpowering, with a pleasant saltiness and some nutty notes. It also has a firm texture. It won a Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards 2015.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT Golden Cenarth; Barwheys cheese; Rachel; Crozier; Camembert de Normandie PDO*. Cheeses are all available to buy at paxtonandwhitfield. Golden Cenarth (£8.25/250g) (Pasteurised, vegetarian rennet, cows’ milk) This round, soft, rind washed cheese has a tasty buttery flavour with a supple texture. All the milk used in Golden Cenarth is GM-free cow’s milk sourced from local farms. It won Best Welsh Cheese at the 2016 British Cheese Awards. Camembert de Normandie PDO* (£7.25/250g) (Unpasteurised, traditional rennet, cows’ milk) A good Camembert should have a rippled rind with a coating of white downy mould with reddish pigmentation in places. The interior should be supple throughout with a creamy white colour.

The most loved and internationally famed of all is the plum pudding

lde Opuddings


We bring you some of our favourite traditional recipes from new recipe book Pride and Pudding by Regula Ysewijn

Mock Plum Pudding Ice


Makes: enough for a 600ml (21 fl oz) basin (mould); serves: 4-6 he English have always loved to serve one dish under the guise of another. This imitation plum pudding is no different. It also resembles the Nesselrode pudding, an ice-cream dessert that was very popular in Victorian England but designed in France for Count Nesselrode. Food historian Ivan Day reckons the count’s chef, Monie, probably designed his Nesselrode pudding as a joke to poke fun at the English plum pudding. There are Nesselrode pudding recipes a-plenty in the 19th-century books, but I was only able to find one version described as an ‘imitation plum cake’:

Imitation plum cake ice

Prepare a custard cream ice with six ounces of chestnut farina added to the other ingredients composing the custard, and mix therewith stoned raisins, currants, candied peels, shred pistachios, and a wine-glassful of curacao; mould the ice in a Charlotte mould, and when dished up pour a vanilla cream ice half frozen over it. Charles Elmé Francatelli, The Royal Confectioner, 1891 This pudding requires chestnut flour, where Nesselrode pudding often uses chestnuts that are boiled, then puréed. I find the second version has a much nicer flavour than using chestnut flour, which is only really good if you can get it fresh. You can easily use the chestnuts bought ready-peeled in a jar or vacuum pack; I use a small brand from the Ardennes. Boiling and then peeling the chestnuts is a tedious task you really don’t want to get into.

Ingredients 20g (¾ oz) raisins 20g (¾ oz) currants 10g candied peel Shot of Cuarenta Y Tres or any other citrus liqueur, or dark rum 600ml (21 fl oz) thick (double) cream 50g (1¾ oz) brown sugar 4 egg yolks 5 chestnuts, boiled or roasted and peeled 20g (¾ oz) peeled unsalted pistachios, halved A home-made ice cream recipe (find online) or ice cream machine Method 1 Soak the dried fruits, including the candied peel, in the liqueur overnight: this will prevent them from freezing dry. 2 In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer with the sugar, then remove it from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, then start adding the warm cream gradually, as you would for a custard. Allow to cool. 3 Proceed to make ice cream. Meanwhile, grind the chestnuts using a pestle and mortar. 4 When you are ready to transfer the ice cream to the mould for the final freezing, mix the ground chestnut into the ice cream, along with the soaked fruits and soaking liquid and pistachios. 5 Serve, as suggested by Francatelli (mentioned left), with melting ice cream so it looks like a plum pudding with cream poured over, or just as it is.

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18th Century Quince Tart Makes: a 20cm (8 inch) tart


uince was a favoured fruit from as early as we can tell from contemporary cookery books. Recipes for quince tart and preserving quince are plenty. In fact, it appears there are more recipes using quince than any other fruit. To keep the quince’s nice red colour they were cooked with the lid on the pot for a long time, but sometimes the juice of red barberries, grapes or the colouring agent cochineal – made from crushed beetles – was added to enhance the colour. Ingredients 1 quantity shortcrust pastry; doubling the recipe if you want to make a lid 2 large quinces, 400g (14 oz) each 1 cinnamon stick 2 cloves Peel of 1 lemon 350g (12 oz) raw sugar 70g (2½ oz) raw sugar, extra 1 egg, beaten, for egg washing Method 1 Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F). Prepare and roll out the shortcrust pastry. If you are using a pastry lid, don’t blind bake the pastry base. Line the pie dish with the pastry, leaving enough pastry on the rim to fasten the lid to. 2 In a large saucepan, cover the quinces with water and boil until tender. Remove them from the saucepan, reserving the water. Core, peel and cut the fruit 30

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into thin slices. Reserve the cores and the skin. 3 Measure out 500ml (17fl oz/2 cups) of the reserved cooking water and toss the reserved quince cores and skin back into the cooking water with the spices and lemon peel. Add the raw sugar and simmer on a low heat until reduced to a syrup. 4 Neatly arrange the quince slices in the pastry case, strewing some of the extra sugar in between each layer, then strain and pour the syrup over until the fruit is covered but not drowned. Any leftover syrup you have will keep for a week or two in the fridge when transferred to an airtight container. 5 If using a pastry lid, cut a circle of pastry the same size as the pie dish and carefully place it over the filling. Crimp the edges, or create a nice pattern using a pastry jigger if you have one. Egg wash the pastry lid. 6 Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes. Note: This tart is very good made with quince purée: it might even be more appealing to modern palates. Boil 3 quinces whole with the same flavourings as the recipe above, then peel and cut them into chunks. Weigh the quince and add the same weight in sugar. Proceed as for making jam, being careful, as quince jam tends to spit. When ready, pour the purée into the pastry and bake for 50 minutes.

Plum Pudding Makes: 2 puddings using 16cm (6¼ inch/No. 36) basins (moulds), or 6-7 mini (150ml/5 fl oz) puddings


robably the most loved and internationally famed pudding of all is the plum pudding, or Christmas pudding. It has its roots in the ancient Roman and haggistype puddings, but along the way it lost the meat and became a sweet dish. Originally boiled in skins, then in a cloth and later, when it became the fashion, in moulds, it has changed surprisingly little over the past 300 years. It is a favourite with my friends and family and I will often make several of these, either to give as gifts or keep for a few months, or even until the next Christmas, as the puddings only get better and better.

Ingredients 200g (7 oz) shredded suet 75g (2¾ oz) plain or spelt flour 150g (5½ oz/2½ cups) fresh breadcrumbs 150g (5½ oz) muscovado (dark brown) sugar 150g (5½ oz) currants 150g (5½ oz) raisins 40g (1½ oz) candied orange peel 1 small dessert apple, grated 2 tsps mixed spice ½ tsp grated nutmeg ½ tsp sea salt 3 large eggs


Buy the book

All recipes are from new book Pride And Pudding by Regula Ysewijn, published by Murdoch books and available for RRP £20 at most good bookshops and online book sellers.

150ml (5 fl oz) brandy or dark rum 75ml (2¼ fl oz) stout (beer) Butter, to grease the pudding basins Method 1 Grease the pudding basins and line with a circle of baking paper. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add the eggs, brandy and stout and combine well by gently stirring with a wooden spoon. You can stir from east to west if you fancy it. 2 If you have the time, leave the mixture to rest overnight. Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F). Spoon the batter into the prepared pudding basins and cover with a large circle of baking paper. Secure with string around the outside rim. Stand the basin on a trivet inside a deep lidded pot, fill the pot with boiling water to halfway up the side of the basin and put the lid on. Steam in the oven for 3-4 hours for small puddings and 5-7 hours for large ones. 3 Either serve them straightaway or, if Christmas is still a while off, cool the them in their basins, change the baking paper covers for clean ones and tie them up. Store the pudding in a cool cupboard and, if you like a boozy one, feed it with a couple of teaspoons of brandy or rum once a week. This will also help preserve the puddings. To serve on the day, steam for 1 hour and serve with custard, clotted cream or brandy butter. Notes Use apple butter instead of the dark sugar to give more depth of flavour. I also like to add a handful of walnuts or pecans, but the combinations are endless; adding dried cranberries to the mix is lovely too, but stay away from glacé cherries as they make it too sweet.

Queen of Puddings Makes: 6 individual puddings, or use one 18cm (7 inch) ovenproof dish


pudding with such a regal name must be of royal origin. Except it isn’t. Some claim it was invented in honour of Queen Victoria, but it wasn’t. Puddings using milk-soaked bread, custard and jam were plenty in historical cookery books. The first time one appears under the name queen of puddings is in Massey and Son’s Comprehensive Pudding Book, where it is named ‘ A queen’s pudding’. It is made of a layer of custard thickened with breadcrumbs, on which a layer of jam is spread, followed by a layer of pretty meringue swirls. Alan Davidson, author of the Oxford Companion to Food (3rd edition, 2006) notes that this pudding, in its modern form, is one of the best British desserts. Ingredients Butter, for greasing 4 egg yolks 600ml (21 fl oz) milk 20g (¾ oz) raw sugar Zest of 1 lemon 25g (1 oz) unsalted butter 80g (2¾ oz) fresh breadcrumbs 2 tbsps raspberry jam Meringue 4 egg whites 225g (8 oz) caster sugar Method 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Generously grease the ovenproof dish

or individual basins (moulds) with butter. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Bring the milk, sugar and lemon zest to a simmer in a saucepan. Now add the butter and melt it, making sure the mixture doesn’t boil. 2 Pour a little of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and whisk thoroughly. Continue to add the hot milk in batches, stirring until fully incorporated, and you get a smooth custard sauce. Make a layer of breadcrumbs in the buttered dish, or divide them between the individual moulds, then pour the custard sauce over and let it rest for 15 minutes. 3 Prepare a deep baking dish with boiling water and place the dish or small pots in it. Carefully place the baking dish with the pudding(s) into the oven and bake for 35 minutes. 4 Towards the end of the baking time, make the meringue topping. Whisk the egg whites using an electric mixer until you get soft peaks when removing the whisk. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, still whisking, until the meringue is stiff and glossy. 5 Remove the pudding from the oven and spread the raspberry jam over the custard layer making sure you don’t break the custard layer. Now either scoop the meringue onto the hot pudding, or scoop into a piping (icing) bag and make fancy swirls or peaks. 6 Return the pudding to the oven until the meringue is slightly coloured, which will take 15-20 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

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Ever so slightly

The Christmas baking range at Lakeland. When it comes to making festive cakes, we’ve broken the mould.

69 stores nationwide

s k n i r d y m a e r D


Put the eggnog away this holiday season and try these delightfully different festive mixes

recipes Louise Pickford and ben reed photographs William Lingwood publisher Ryland Peters & Small

Turkish delight frothy


ou can use any flavour of Turkish delight you like in this pretty, delicate drink. The best bit is finding half-melted pieces of the sweet at the bottom of the cup! Serve with a spoon. Serves 2 Ingredients 500ml milk 50g Turkish delight, cut into cubes, plus extra to top 125ml double cream, whipped 2 tsps rosewater ½ tsp clear honey Pinch of ground cardamom Unsalted pistachio nuts, finely chopped, to serve Method 1 Put the milk and Turkish delight in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring constantly, until the mixture just reaches boiling point. Meanwhile, whip the cream, rosewater, honey and ground cardamom in a bowl until just stiff. 2 Pour the milk into 2 cups and top with the cream. 3 Sprinkle with pieces of Turkish delight and pistachio nuts and serve immediately.

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White Chris tmas


his is a delicious Christmas drink is bursting with the evocative flavours of the season, such as orange zest and warm spices. For a large crowd, double or triple the ingredients as required. If you like frothy drinks (such as cappuccino), then a milk frother is an absolute must in your kitchen. There are various types available, but basically they are devices that froth milk into foam until it is ‘stiff’ enough to be spooned on top. Serves 6



1 Put the milk, chocolate, orange and spices in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until it just reaches boiling point. 2 Froth the milk with a milk frother or whisk vigorously with a flat or small round whisk until the mixture is foamy. 3 Divide between six small cups or heatproof glasses and pour in the Grand Marnier. Spoon a little whipped cream on top and sprinkle with candied orange and grated white chocolate to serve.

1 litre milk 200g white chocolate, grated 2 unwaxed orange slices 4 cloves, lightly crushed 2 cinnamon sticks, lightly crushed Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg 75ml Grand Marnier, Cointreau or other orange-flavoured liqueur 125ml double cream, whipped Candied orange and grated white chocolate, to serve

Reader offer

Fireside Feasts & Snow Day Treats is available to our readers for the special price of £11.99, including postage & packaging (RRP £16.99). Call Macmillan Direct on 01256 302699 and quote the reference HU1.

Mulled wine


raditionally made with red wine, sugar and spices, this drink is always served hot. Don’t let your mixture boil when you heat it as it may impair the flavour.

Serves 10 Ingredients 2 x 750ml bottles red wine 100ml brandy Pared zest and freshly squeezed juice of 2 clementines Pared zest of one lime Pared zest of one lemon 200g caster sugar 1 cinnamon stick 4 cloves 4 pinches of grated 34

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nutmeg 1 split vanilla bean Lemon zest and cinnamon sticks, to garnish Method 1 Add all the ingredients to a large saucepan set over a medium heat. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 2 Serve in heatproof glasses garnished with extra lemon zest and cinnamon sticks.



s the great Christmas tree debate descends on us once again, it’s easy to get extremely enthusiastic over both real and fake. My own decision, I must admit, is to pull out one of two lovely fake ones I have just got out of storage, and which will go in the kitchen-dining room but with the full intention of buying a glorious real Nordman Fir around two weeks before the big day, with the intention of positioning it in the living room window.


A period home, decorated in authentic period style, really looks best with a traditionally styled tree. Keep everything a safe distance from the fireplace or stove, of course. All decorations and accessories, John Lewis, 0345 604 9049,


Always buy from a reputable store or dealer, visit some garden centres or nurseries ahead of time to check out types and sizes. Homebase and Dobbies are always worth a visit. Try, The British Christmas Tree Growers Association for independent growers in your local area; or for home delivery, try (0845 604 8366). Be prepared to nurture your real tree once it’s indoors; it will need regular watering, whether it’s in a holder or has roots and is potted, and if it’s positioned next to a radiator, turn that radiator off or down if possible, as overheating will make needles drop. A real Norway Spruce is the one to go for if you like a proper pine scent throughout the house, but it can drop

… e e r T s a m t s i r h C h O

Do you fancy a full-on real tree this year? Or perhaps you’d rather go for the easy option – a great fake! ◀ GREEN & OPULENT

White, gold and green combine together to create a glamorous but frosty scheme. Team a splendid fake fir with gold and white decorations for Christmas impact. Disguise the stand or pot with a pile of perfectly wrapped prezzies, you could just use empty boxes if necessary! All decorations and accessories, House of Fraser, 0345 602 1073,




We rather like the idea of giving youngsters their own tree project to decorate and even make their own decorations. Displaying it on top of hampers looks cool too. White 3ft Geneva tree, £4; pom-pom garland, £12, wool felt decorations, from £2, all Homebase, 0345 077 8888,

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Large-scale trees in front of windows are a winner, and won’t get in the way either, as you’re unlikely to be opening French windows in December. Shown here is the Ice Palace collection of decorations and accessories from Sainsbury’s, sainsburys.


Keep it modern and simple with pick-up and plug-in tree choices. String of Retrostyle LED lights, £24.99; Coloured bauble/ berry tree, £74.99; Light Box, £19.99, Trio of green glitter trees, £24.99, all Lakeland, 01539 488100,


Decorate the staircase with an ultra-modern ‘tree’ …. For an extra touch of genius, try spraying the branches black or silver and adding a dusting of spray snow. Iridescent foil honeycomb decorations, £10 each, from the Decadent Decs range at Talking Tables,


Horizontal branches on the wall, entwined with strings of lights and decorations create a perfectly individual ‘tree’. Large Frosted Branches Hanging Tree, £40, all lights and decorations from a selection at Cox & Cox, 0330 333 2123,


Keep it icy cool with a snow white tree and silver-blue decorations. 6ft pre-lit white tree, £25, silver wall snowflake £1, silver garland, £1, paper balls, £2, all other decs from £1 each, fur cushion, £7, bear cushion, £5, all George at Asda,

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If you want to put on a really special Christmas celebration, why not buy a supply of fake snow – it will put the icing on the cake, so to speak. 6ft Flocked Princess Pine tree, £109.99, plus all decorations, Very, Stock up on fake snow from Snow Supermarket,

needles rapidly unless it’s watered properly; a Nordmann Fir is usually a bit more expensive, but has lush, thick branches and doesn’t ‘drop’ so easily.


High quality faux trees are an investment buy – it’s easy to spend £100 - £200 on a perfect, fake-snow decorated tree, but there’s no doubt that they are easy to deal with! Always buy pre-lit (ie with the lights already attached and ready to plug in) to avoid pre-Xmas light stress… There are lots of cheaper trees around, high street stores often have them for less than £25, and it’s a fun idea to splash out on trees for the children’s rooms, plus one for the kitchen too. Tip: keep the box the tree came in so you can store it dust-free for next year.


Four impressive fakes 1

7ft Mountain Pine with hook-on branches, £93.49, Christmas Tree World,


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Real or fake, your main Christmas tree needs a little bit of forethought before it’s hauled into position. Check the height, taking account of the height of your tree topper. Trim from the bottom upwards in the first place, and then tidy up the top section. Sort out all the sockets and extensions needed the day before; you don’t want to end up racing around looking for an extension lead on Christmas Eve … You may need to re-organise sockets for the TV etc so label plugs if necessary to avoid meltdowns when the wi-fi or tv-box needs to be re-set. If space allows, a full-height Christmas tree always looks lovely in the entrance hallway, or in pride of place in a living room window – especially if it’s a bay window. Lastly, think about which way the doors open before deciding on the final spot – sometimes it’s necessary to prop a door permanently open to get the best view and position of the tree.

Our favourite real-look trees available this year…


7ft Silver Spruce with snow effect, £195, John Lewis. 0345 604 9049,


6ft Crystal Pine Cone tree, £125, Marks & Spencer, 0333 014 8000,


7ft Canadian Fir with supply of decorations included, £80, Wilko,

NEED A L A E R TREE? Trees supplied direct from Grower

6ft to 60ft




0845 604 8366


Reindeer tags, £3 for five, Princesse aux Bidouilles at Etsy.

Natural twist

Brown paper packages are one of life’s simple pleasures and it’s easy to give them a festive spin this season. Natural touches like pine cones, feathers, eucalyptus leaves and wooden discs (above) will make ideal flourishes, tied on with striped twine. For gift tags, look out for cards with printed motifs or try stamping your own for a personal touch. Woodland wrap pack (includes four brown paper bags, four muslin bags, four hand-stamped tags, three drilled wood slices, 2 metres of green baker’s twine and a selection of feathers), £6.50 per pack, Rastall & Daughters.


Christmas sticker set, £8.95 for a set of 45, Papermash.

SANTA’S SECRET ‘Do not open’ Christmas ribbon, £4 for 5m, The Contemporary Home.

p u d e p p a r w All Make your gifts the prettiest under the tree this year with our ideas for wraps, ribbons, tags and trims FEATURE EMMA CLAYTON OFF THE PEG

Nordic Christmas pegs, £4 for 12, Talking Tables.


Nordic Christmas ribbon and twine pack, £4, Talking Tables.

Simply styled

TWINKLE, TWINKLE Large silver glitter gift bag, £2, Sainsbury’s.

Wintry shades of soft grey, blue and white are ideal for creating an elegant look. Gorgeous gift bags provide an easy yet impressive option for presents, while boxes wrapped in kraft paper can be given a stylish finish with grosgrain ribbon bows and sprigs of fresh foliage (right). Why not try adding a few miniature glass baubles too for an extra special touch? Starry Night table runner, £18; Starry Night wrap, £4.95 for 3m roll; Starry Night small gift bag, £3; powder blue ribbon on spool, £3.75; assorted mini antiqued glass baubles, £8 for six; all Sophie Allport.


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Cover story

These vibrant and interesting gift wrap ideas will add an element of fun to Christmas morning. Reindeer heads wrap; sprouts wrap; animal antlers wrap; baubles wrap; woodland stags wrap; London lines wrap; Christmas gems pastel wrap; astro wrap; blurred lines wrap; Scandi tree wrap; pine cones wrap; tree wrap; Santa heads wrap; London bus wrap; reindeer wrap; stockings wrap; cats in hats wrap; all ÂŁ3.75 for 3m, Paperchase.

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SEASON’S GREETINGS Gold foiled Merry Christmas gift tags, £3.49 for eight, Ginger Ray.


Gold glitter alphabet stickers, £4.50, Papermash.

Precious metals

For a truly impressive look, make decadent decorations the focal point of your presents this year. Start off with luxurious wrapping papers in silver and gold featuring shimmering stars and glittery finishes (above). Then choose your decoration – metallic designs featuring festive messages or jewelled embellishments are ideal. Simply tie on to your gifts with lengths of co-ordinating ribbon. Silver Merry Christmas tree decoration, £5; wrap and ribbons from a selection; all The Contemporary Home.

WINTER WONDERLAND Snowflakes gift wrap, £1.69 per sheet, Arthouse Meath.

“Metallic designs featuring festive messages or jewelled embellishments are ideal” ALL IN THE DETAIL

Festive red and white pom-pom ribbon kit, £2.49, Ginger Ray.

JINGLE DANGLE Present toppers, £3 for 24, Sainsbury’s.

Festive cheer


Christmas Santa sack, £4.90, Luck & Luck.


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For the easiest way to make Christmas presents look great, choose a mix of red, white and kraft paper designs (right). Bold reindeer, gingerbread men and typographic prints will look lovely stacked together. Tie parcels with baker’s twine and trim with co-ordinating decorations. Kraft Santa wrap, £2 for a four metre roll; reindeer tissue paper, £1; luxury red town scene wrap, £2 for a three metre roll; gingerbread house decoration, £4; joy mushroom decoration, £1; felt decorations, £2.50; red and white toadstools, £2; fabric stocking hanging decoration, £1.50; all Tesco.


Sweet motifs

These charming designs (above) will make present giving a joy and introduce a touch of character beneath the tree this Christmas. Sweet illustrations featuring festive scenes sit alongside bold spots in crisp shades of black, white, red and green. Make your presents even more irresistible by trimming them with beautiful wooden decorations that are a lovely gift in themselves. Bertie wooden decorations, £24 each; Green Skiing Bertie, Charcoal Spots, Presents Unwrapped and Jingle Bells wrapping papers, £2.50 per sheet; Bertie Christmas Lights, Dear Santa and Bertie & Holly Christmas cards, £2.50 each; all Plum & Ashby.

For stockists turn to page 160


Liquorice and silver twine, £2.95, The Makery.


Floral gift wrap, £4.50 a roll, Marks & Spencer.

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Buy once, give twice this Christmas Send friends & family season's greetings & support a wide range of charities this year

Buy cards & gifts online or find your nearest shop at Cards for Good Causes Limited (VAT No GB 458 9691 78 Registered in England No 2260866) is the trading company of The 1959 Group of Charities (Reg Charity No. 249039) Registered & Head Office: 1 Edison Gate, West Portway, Andover, Hampshire SP10 3SE


DIY greetings cards Want to make some handmade cards this Christmas but not sure where to start? We’ve been inspired by this year’s high street cards to get crafty and make some of our own. FEATURE REBECCA NEE

Simple Shapes BUY IT: Merry and Bright card (left), 20 for £4.50, Next MAKE IT: YOU WILL NEED A piece of card Scraps of pretty wrapping paper Pencil Scissors Glue or double sided tape Sparkly pen Use up those left over scraps of paper to create beautiful cards. Pick a simple shape such as a christmas tree, holly or a bell and using a pencil draw it on the back of your chosen scrap of paper, cut it out neatly and stick to the front of some card with glue or double sided tape. Finish the card by writing a personalised message beneath the shape in a sparkly pen.

Stylist tip!

Use the same method to create gift tags in complimentary papers.

All that glitters

BUY IT: Eat drink & be merry cards, £2.50 for 10, Tesco MAKE IT: YOU WILL NEED A Piece of card Pencil PVA glue small paint brush Glitter A tray or large piece of paper Send some Christmas sparkle with this glittery card. We love this design and think it could look just as cool reversed with glittery writing on a plain card. Choose a piece of card and using a pencil write out your Christmas message, we found

bubble writing worked best for maximum glitter. Next using a small paint brush cover your writing with PVA glue. The last and definitely most fun step is to cover the writing in glitter, be sure to place the card in a tray or on a large sheet of paper first to avoid a glittery house. Once the glue has dried simply tip the card up and shake off the loose glitter to reveal your message.

Stylist tip! if you want to go even more sparkly then try using sequins instead of glitter.

Why not buy some cards as back-up in case you don’t end up making enough?

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Stamp it out

BUY IT: Watercolour lights (left), 10 for £4, John Lewis MAKE IT: YOU WILL NEED A piece of card Poster paints wet wipes pencil Metallic pen

There’s no end of designs you could create with fingerprints for a personal touch!

We love the simplicity of this card and also the bright colours! A great one to get kids involved with we think this technique would work well to create a wreath design. Start by dipping your finger tips in poster paint,

wipe any excess with kitchen roll or wipes and then print them onto a card to create a circle shape. Repeat in different shades of green until the wreath is full and leave to dry. When dry stick a bow made of bright ribbon to the bottom and add a hand written message in a metallic pen.

Stylist tip! Why not try stamping a Christmas tree shape complete with colourful baubles?

Pa rum pa pom pom

BUY IT: Christmas pud card (right), 6 for £4, Sainsbury’s MAKE IT: YOU WILL NEED A piece of card A green pen or pencil crayon Metallic pen Sequins Scissors Mini pom-poms in various colours Glue We love this cute card with its pompom detail and think it could look just as sweet as a christmas tree with fluffy

and sparkly baubles. Draw a christmas tree shape on the front of your card and colour in carefully. Add some twinkly fairy lights using a gold or silver pen. Finally dab glue on the tree where you would like some baubles and press your pompoms and sequins into place.

Stylist tip! If you don’t have pom-poms try using buttons instead OR why not draw a Rudolph and give him a fluffy red pom-pom nose.


BUY IT: Christmas Pudding card (left), £2.50, Paperchase MAKE IT: YOU WILL NEED A piece of card Colourful paper Scissors pencil mug black pen Glue or double sided tape We love the graphic nature of this card and think a Father Christmas built up in the same way would look great. On light pink paper draw around the edge of a mug to create Santa’s


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face. Next cut three smaller circles in white for his eyes and a hat bobble, then two in red for his rosy cheeks. Cut a large triangle from red paper for his hat and finally a white strip for the rim of his hat and a big fluffy-shaped beard. Glue the layers together to create his face and finish with some black dots in his eyes and a little smile.

Stylist tip! Try cutting out little houses and create a snowy horizon scene complete with twinkly stars.


For Complimentary Gift Wrapping Service

Quote: Noses

Vase ÂŁ82

Just Say It With Noses!

Canine Companion comes boxed, gift wrapped in Scottie dog paper and with one years' free membership to the Moorcroft Club. Free postage. Established in 1897, entirely handmade. Tel. 01782 820 500 Email.

F loral fusion


Combine colourful blooms with festive berries to create vibrant, fragrant and striking centrepieces around your home

Homemade Christmas: Create your own gifts, cards, decorations, and bakes, is available to buy on 3 October, ÂŁ14.99. For details see

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Winter bouquet


e tend to assume that winter is bereft of plants with colour and variety, but this beautiful mixed hand-tied bouquet (main picture, previous page) uses species such as berried ivy as a feature, rather than as a backdrop, to give structure, definition and interest. This bouquet is ideal as a gift or as a table centrepiece in a clear glass vase at a dinner party. It will last up to 10 days in water if you refresh the water and re-cut the stems.

Y ou will need Flowers and foliage 7 ‘Red Lion’ amaryllis 10 berried ivy stems 5 ruby red single roses 5 ‘Tamango’ spray roses

7 ‘Dolly Parton’ hypericum stems Florist’s scissors Raffia or garden string

1 Sort the different ingredients into separate piles. Hold one amaryllis stem gently upright in one hand and encircle it with two or three stems of berried ivy. 2 Add a rose and twist the bunched blooms around slightly in your hand, then add a stem of hypericum. Keep the stems spiralled by adding them all at the same angle and turning the arrangement in the same direction as you work. 3 When you have added one of each of everything, check that you are happy with the arrangement of stems by tilting it towards you, or checking it in a mirror. Trim the stems if necessary and if the bouquet is becoming unwieldy in your hand. Add another amaryllis stem at an angle and continue to add the rest of the flowers and foliage. 4 Tie the arrangement securely with a length of raffia or garden string. Treat the amaryllis stems with care, as they may split under too much pressure. 5 Cut the stems at an angle

so they are roughly the same length and will all be able to sit in water. If the arrangement is well balanced, it should be able to stand unaided. If the bouquet is a gift to someone, stand it in water until you present it.

“Such an elegant festive showcase would look stunning in a hallway” 50

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Mixed winter arrangement


his crisp white and green vase display (pictured above), with its heavy winter berries, is warmed up gently by exotic cymbidium orchids. Such an elegant, festive showcase would look stunning in a hallway, master bedroom, on a dining room table, or on a low coffee table. The soft-stemmed anemones may need replacing after a few days, but the other blooms should last up to 10 days if you keep them in good condition.

Y ou will need

Flowers and foliage 10 skimmia stems 6 single white roses 10 hypericum berry stems 6 white spray roses 6 white anemones 5 cymbidium orchids

Chicken wire Florist’s scissors

Opaque green glazed flared vase, around 19cm (7in) high

Possible substitutions Trachelium (for anemones), mini amaryllis (for spray roses), Singapore orchids (for cymbidium orchids), berried ivy and rosemary (for skimmia)

1 Place the chicken wire inside the vase and fill the vase with water. 2 Arrange the skimmia stems first. Keep turning the vase around as you add the foliage in order to create a fully 3D domed effect. Try not to add too much foliage at this stage. 3 Add the single roses next, placing the shorter stems around the edge and the longer ones near the centre to reinforce the domed effect. The flowers should look

ordered and not muddled. Keep turning the case so it faces you as you add the roses. 4 Arrange the hypericum and spray roses next, spacing them evenly throughout the arrangement. Recess the flowers so that the tips of the skimmia leaves break the curved contours of the blooms. Then add the anemones. 5 Finally, add the cymbidium orchids. They can be quite dominant in a floral display, so arrange them last to work out where they will sit best.


A special gift with a stylish twist A collection of elegantly crafted chocolates, created with passion and artistry by the Lindt Master Chocolatier

Lindt Master Chocolatier since 1845


Sales line: 01386 793240



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based on Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman Music and lyrics by Howard Blake

“Sheer theatrical magic. Go see The Snowman and melt”

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Stuck for fresh ideas of what to buy for your loved ones this year? Worry no more, we have it covered! Turn the page for our gift guide‌



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p88 The Christmas Magazine



PICTURE PERFECT Umbra Prisma copper finish photo frame, £25, John Lewis

IN THE PINK Carnival Fiesta Metal LED flamingo light, £35, Talking Tables

5 LET’S CELEBRATE Party night set, £30, Next

Gifts for

H ome

Stuck for what to get the interiors enthusiast in your life? These stylish suggestions should tick all the right boxes


SHINING STAR Copper framed pillar candle holder, £5, Wilko


TABLE CHIC Christiane Lemieux Pineapple napkin rings, £20, House of Fraser

ANIMAL CRACKER Grizzly Bear Grey cushion, £9, B&Q

BASKET CASE Pair of Murmur seagrass baskets in red, £37, Bedeck Home

HERE SAY DIY Lightbox, £25, Southbank Centre

The Christmas Magazine


MERRY CHRISTMAS Sherry Gets Me Merry festive Christmas decanter, £20,

LUXURY SCENT Christmas Trees candle, £50, Jo Loves

OH DEER! Softheads Duncan Soft deer head, £79, Amara

For stockists turn to page 160

CAFFEINE BOOST Copper and stainless steel espresso coffee maker, £45, JD Williams

CUTE PUP Pug wall vase, £27.99, The Oak Room

GET COSY Rust Red Crossroads throw, £58, The British Blanket Company

COCKTAIL HOUR Copper and marble bar tools set, £60, Oliver Bonas

DRINK UP Folklore set of four ceramic mugs, £29.95, Wild & Wolf

SPLASH OUT Laswell serving bowl, £30, Habitat

The Christmas Magazine


Gifts for Home

Everyone needs a pair! Unique Quality Gifts for Gardeners.

The Nutscene Brand has been around since 1922, still producing quality twines and gifts in the UK. Always useful & practical. Call us for details - 01307 468589

Brighten up the home with a pair of Backdoorshoes®. Lightweight, waterproof, durable - leave by the back door and slip them on enabling you to enjoy a day in the garden in comfort. UK sizes 3-8 £25

Personalised Cake Tin


Eat, drink and be merry!

Advent Calendar

Jonny’s Sister designs and manufactures beautiful, unique personalised gifts out of their Somerset Studios. From their award winning Love Letter cushions to their ever popular personalised enamel ware, there is definitely something for everyone. These Personalised Enamel Cake Tins come in a range of colours and designs. Just choose your personalisation and we will do the rest. Get FREE POSTAGE using code XMASCAKE till 21 December 2016.

Looking the perfect gift for that someone who has everything? Well look no further. The Husky Budweiser EL202 Drinks Cooler is instantly recognisable and will make a welcome addition to any home or office. With a capacity of 40x 440ml cans of your favourite tipple, you can be sure to enjoy chilled drinks on hand over the festive period. The perfect gift at just £129.99* *maximum price for limited 12 week period only subject to availability Available exclusively from

Balanced between traditional craft methods and modern design processes,artisan perfumer PRIDDY ESSENTIALS creates beautiful and luxurious fragrant products. Handmade in Rutland UK the Winter Spice collection blends oranges and mandarins with the warmth of cinnamon, nutmeg , clove and a hint of apple , perfect for the cosiest welcome at home this festive season. Tel. 01572 821890

Make the build up to Christmas even more special with our wooden Santa’s Sleigh advent calendar. A traditional design, this item is a fun addition to your home in the run up to Christmas and children will love the magical surprises that can be placed in each draw. Fill this lovely festive gift with goodies to make the perfect present and reuse every year. Price £14.39


Personalised Postage Stamp Destination Print

Moorcroft Pottery is all about stories and dreams: about an art pottery now more than a hundred years old, fiercely independent, small and almost alone in its pursuit of quality at the highest level of the applied arts. Visit us in person the Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre in Stoke-on-Trent is home to our retail shop, museum and original 1913 grade II listed bottle kiln that proudly soars into the Staffordshire skyline.

Stamps are like mini works of art and compiled together in a frame you have a whole gallery! We’ve taken inspiration from those beautiful graphic patterns and designed this brand new destination print to capture your most important locations and favourite places. Perfect Christmas gift for those hard to buy for loved ones! From £28

Now the 80’s Icon is even cooler!

Geometric Polar Bear Wooden Christmas Ornament

Introducing the brand new-yet-definitely-retro Husky HU231 Rubik’s Cube Mini Fridge. It’s a true compressor driven mini fridge that looks just like the iconic 80’s puzzle, but to solve this giant version you simply open the door and fill it with your favourite drinks or food. The perfect gift and a real talking point for just £139.99.

Personalised Door Mats

Unique & personal, these fun and functional personalised doormats are hand printed with your own special message. They are made in the UK from high quality traditional coir. Even friends who have everything won’t have one of these! Pet Motifs & Flag Designs also make great gifts. £29.95. Order by 14th December for Christmas Delivery. Save 10% before 30th November vember with code XMAG. 020 8819 5869

A fabulous geometric polar bear or reindeer decoration for your Christmas tree that can be personalised with a name. Strung with a white satin ribbon it makes a wonderful festive addition to your tree and a beautiful keepsake for years to come. The perfect first Christmas gift for new babies. Made in the UK from a cedar wood veneer has a soft and herby fragrance. £7

Santa and Reindeer Hanging Advent Calendar

Such a magical way to countdown to Christmas! This beautiful advent calendar is created from 25 individually stitched white Kraft paper shapes to present a stunning scene of Father Christmas in his sleigh, with his reindeer of course, flying through the clouds and stars. Each shape is left open for you to pop a chocolate or other gift in. £21

Gifts for Home

St Eval Candle Company St Eval Candle Company is the home of beautiful, quality candles. Handmade in Cornwall, their Christmas range will make the perfect gift for candle lovers. Some of their heart-warming festive scents include the warm and spicy Inspiritus and the sweet and fruity Figgy Pudding. Lovingly decorated by hand with gold detailing, these candles capture the true joy of Christmas.

Dad’s Army Boxset

Fall in for three Christmas Specials – plus a host of extras including Resisting the Aggressor, The Floral Dance Broadcast, To The Empire (From Christmas Night With the Stars) and more! Offer Price: £7.99 Product Code: 130001

Ring Video Doorbell

Never miss a visitor again thanks to the Ring Video Doorbell. This simple to install smart doorbell device streams live audio and HD quality video from your home’s front door directly to your smartphone, tablet or PC allowing you to see and have a live 2-way conversation with whoever’s near or at your door. Ring, available for £159. Blends convenience, monitoring and security into one sleek, simple and powerful video doorbell

Gardening in Style!

GOLD LEAF Gardening Gloves are endorsed by The Royal Horticultural Society, and are widely acknowledged as “the world’s finest”, making them the perfect gift for all gardeners! From £18.95,

Warm Feet for the Winter

Perfect as a present for a loved one or simply a treat for yourself, these Warmawear™ Bluetooth rechargeable heated insoles are perfect for keeping your feet toasty during the cold, winter months. Control the temperature using the fun and innovative Bluetooth smartphone app. As a special offer just for Christmas Magazine readers, get free delivery (£5 off) using code HEATED5OFF.

Something for the Ladies!

Lightweight, durable, waterproof and easy to clean - backdoorshoes® are a lovely gift to give this year (even treat yourself to a pair) UK sizes 3-8 £25. More designs online, suitable for Men, Ladies or Children


KEEP NOTE Garden organiser, £8, Sainsbury’s

DIG IT Allotment mug and socks, £6, Tesco

Gifts for


HANDS ON William Morris potting gloves, £16.99, The Oak Room

For stockists turn to page 160

For the green-fingered among us, these gardening greats will have you venturing outside in the wintry weather and getting ready for spring WEEDS BEWARE Wilson and Bloom kneeling mat, £12, Debenhams


NAME GAME Eight wooden plant labels, £5.95,

SHINING STAR Lorraine at Home bronze lantern, £35, JD Williams

A SNIP Orla Kiely secateurs, £24.95, Wild & Wolf

EAT UP Garden salad servers, £43.50, Joanna Wood

The Christmas Magazine


Due to popular demand our famous garlands are now available online

Sponsor a horse or donkey from Redwings A perfect this Christmas Christmas gift!!

A year’s sponsorship costs just £12.50!





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You can order anything from a single fireplace garland to a 40 metre luxury connectable staircase garland. Made-tomeasure and special colour schemes are also available. Lux





Visit our website for more details and choose from a range of luxury baubles and decorations on-line.

Order early, stocks are limited

“I want to be your friend!”

For an extra special gift this Christmas, why not sponsor a Redwings horse or donkey?

To adopt a horse or donkey for your friends and family this Christmas Visit Call 01508 481000

Mistletoe & Holly Supplied Direct

Pre-Order Pre e-Orrder and gett 20% Off Offf Selected Items Unique q Gifts Winter Weddings g Wholesale & Resale Packs

Magical Christmas Breaks Choose from our portfolio of 500 hand-picked cottages along the stunning Pembrokeshire coastline

From om a single g bunch to a ton,, we supply upply all qu quantities of o Mistletoe & Hollyy direct from our farm,, ensuring ng the best price & the Freshest Product. Choose your delivery week

FREE CHRISTMAS HAMPER worth £30 delivered right to your cottage!

Simply quote code ‘XMAS 16’ when you book! Hamper available for full-price December 2016 holidays only. Further T&Cs apply.

01437 765 765

The Woodland Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales no. 294344 and in Scotland no. SC038885. 8690 09/16



CUT AND DRY Butcher’s collection tea towel, £9.95, Coconutgrass

TEA TIME Innes cake stand, £29, Oliver Bonas

Gifts for


GREAT SHAPE Kenwood spiralizer, £50, Debenhams

For stockists turn to page 160

Thrill budding chefs on Christmas Day with this array of foodie finds, from a music-themed cookbook to a unique utensil necklace


RIGHT INGREDIENT Festive Family Christmas round tin, £7.95,


WE’RE CONVERTED Wooden chopping board, £15, The Great Gift Company

SAY CHEESE Copper handle cheese knives set, £25, Habitat

SING ALONG Bake in Black cookbook, Rockett St George

CHAIN REACTION Bake off Fair Trade brass necklace, £34.95, Decorator’s Notebook

The Christmas Magazine

Shoes for Chilli lovers!

Step into some hot footwear this year. Lightweight, waterproof, easy to clean. Leave them by the back (or front) door, easy to slip on. Would brighten up anyones day! UK sizes 3-8 £25. More designs suitable for Men, Ladies or Children available online

A Cheese Lover’s Perfect Gift

Premium Chocolate olatee Essences

Rubis is an unconventional but highly indulgent fortified wine ine which blends together the grape variety Tempranillo with premium mium chocolate essences. Mouth-watering aromas of bold cherry fruit, spices, fresh vanilla and nd chocolate box come forth on an engaging nose, whilst the palate is smooth, rich and velvety with a subtle sweetness and delicious layers yers of chocolatey flavour. Delicious served either at room temperature in a wine glass, or over ice in a small tumbler, Rubis provides rewarding post dinner drinking or a treat on special occasions. RRP is £14

Gifts for Food

The perfect gift for the every whisky lover!

Expertly hand-crafted from the finest slate, these personalised cheese boards are completely customisable. Just add a name to our design or go completely bespoke. The range includes bedroom door signs, coasters, wall plaques, house name signs and numbers made to order in oak or slate. From £9.95. Order by 14th December for Christmas Delivery. Save 10% before 30th November with code XMAG. 020 7183 1463.

A tasting experience at Edinburgh’s Scotch Whisky Experience is the perfect Christmas treat for yourself or a loved one. Each experience includes viewing the magnificent Whisky Collection – a must see for every whisky fan. The experience sells gift vouchers for all experiences, and its renowned restaurant, Amber. Unsurprisingly, they also have a superb selection of Scotch whiskies for sale, in-store and online.


Preserved Fruits

Retailer of the Worlds Best Knife Sharpener Sharpens any steel blade including some scissors (Dependent on model of sharpener) A suction based knife sharpener that is loved by Chefs, Cooks, Housewives and outdoor types alike. Simple to use and 100% effective, you really cannot afford to not have one. Prices start at £15.00

Opies preserved fruits in alcohol make a quick and easy dessert when unexpected guests arrive at Christmas. Serve as they are or with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or a rich and creamy plain yogurt. These soft, delicately flavoured fruits are teemed with Christmas flavours and also make the ideal stocking filler for foodie friends. Opies range includes, amongst others, Black Cherries with Kirsch, Christmas Fruits with Courvoisier and Peaches with Courvoisier. Available from Waitrose, Debenhams, Ocado and quality independent stores.

Indulge in the finest chocolate


Experience a unique chocolate journey through a variety of the finest Swiss chocolate masterpieces, each created with the special care and attention of the Lindt Swiss Master Chocolatier.

Lindt Master Chocolatier since 1845


WELCOME HOME House sewing basket, £58, Cath Kidston

CUT ABOVE Carve-a-stamp kit, £24.99, Rockett St George

Gifts for


POT IT Giant gold thimble tidy, £10, Red Candy

For stockists turn to page 160

’Tis the season to get making! These quirky craft accessories should keep your loved ones busy over the Christmas period MORE IN STORE Personalised linen storage basket, £22, Gift Wrapped and Gorgeous


IT’S A WRAP The Wrapping Room assorted Christmas ribbon, £4, Talking Tables

SEW VINTAGE Mini tape measure, £2.95, Dotcomgiftshop

PURL ONE Knit your own kit, £25, Marks & Spencer

BUSY BEE Kirstie Allsopp beeswax soap making kit, £15, Hobbycraft

The Christmas Magazine


Gifts for Her Personalised coast rings

These romantic coast rings come in two halves with the join created from a stretch of coastline you choose yourself. Hand cut in sterling silver, 9ct or 18ct white or yellow gold, the matt and polished interlocking halves represent the land and sea respectively. To see our complete coast collection 01233 758198

Bespoke Organic Beauty Hampers

Pamper the person you love with a tailor made organic beauty hamper. Call our beauty experts for advice creating the perfect gift, or simply place the order online and we’ll gift wrap it for you in a beautiful eco hamper and send direct to the recipient. From £5. Save 10% before 30th November with code XMAG.

Glide Collection:

Aurora’s Gilde range represents Orkney’s nature- the stunning openness and freedom of the unique islands. Pictured - sterling silver brooch available with gold detail – the range also includes drop and stud earrings, bracelets and pendants. Prices ranging from £32.50. All Aurora’s pieces are handcrafted using traditional methods. Call 01856 871 861 or to view Aurora’s full collection please visit aurorajewellery.

Alpaca bed socks

Cosy, soft 90% alpaca bed socks from Perilla. Alpaca has higher insulating properties than any other fibre and is more hard wearing. Great colour palette of palest pastels to vivid red that come in four sizes, extra small to large. Can be beautifully boxed and make a superb Christmas gift for any age group. TEL 01886 853 615

Why don’t you treat a love one to some luxury this Christmas?

The Watch Agency buy and sell both new and pre loved watches from under half the RRP. We can offer discounts for Rolex, Cartier, Omega, Breitling, Tag Heuer and many more. All our watches come with a 2 year warranty. Purchase .Exchange . Service . Refurbishment 01702 395100

Christmas Photo

Personalised Handprint & Fingerprint Jewellery - Handmade jewellery personalised with your loved ones fingerprints or miniaturised hand prints. The printing process is really simple and can all be done via post. Starting at £49


WRITE ON Personalised ‘My Best Friend Runs On’ print, from £9, Coconutgrass

GOOD READ Fire tablet in magenta, 8GB £49.99, 16GB £59.99, Amazon

Gifts for


SHUT EYE Black and grey silk eye mask, £24.99, Gingerlilly

For stockists turn to page 160

From pampering packages and cosy knits to fun finds and personalised prints, these pretty pieces will give her a reason to be jolly this Christmas CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN 12 Days of Christmas beauty treats, £20, Next


KEY PIECE Coloured pompom key rings, £28.50 each, Joanna Wood

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD Oh So Lovely crown ring holder, £8, Debenhams

WRAP UP Blue telephone motif scarf, £35, Cath Kidston

POWER PLAY Lippy portable charger, £29, Ted Baker

The Christmas Magazine


COMFORT, WHEREVER YOU ARE. Luxuriously soft and exceptionally lightweight loungewear, made from naturally sourced cotton and linen options. Available in three colours.

Use code for a code JJ20 christmas16 for an Calibre Reader Discount early bird reader discount.


J Jones London, Bentick House, 3-8 Bolsover Street, London W1W 6AB, United Kingdom | +44 20 7681 8454

s Come ely som hand oxed gift-b


WRAP UP WARM Nordic bathrobe in Natural, £89.99, Nordic House.

MY HERO Superman art print by Mark Ashkenazi, £12, BeArty.

Gifts for


A GOOD READ Ladybird book ‘The Dad’, £6.99, Oliver Bonas.

For stockists turn to page 160

Notoriously hard to buy for, men can be a headache at Christmas, but we’ve got it covered with a range of gifts to suit most tastes PERFECT TIPPLE Chocolate-flavoured fortified wine, £14, Rubis.


HEAR ME ROAR Frilled Lizard robot kit, £24.95, John Lewis.

CLOSE SHAVE Crabtree & Evelyn Moroccan Myrrh shave soap in wooden bowl, £20.90, Amazon.

FULL OF BEANS Jelly Belly beer-flavoured jelly beans, £6.99, Very.

CAFFEINE FIX Bialetti mini express coffee pot gift set with two cups, £40, John Lewis.

The Christmas Magazine


Gifts m for Him

Personalised coast cufflinks

Treat the man in your life to these gorgeous silver cufflinks, showing the outline of a country, continent or island of your choice. Hand cut in silver and oxidised silver, you can choose anywhere in the world - a birthplace, a favourite holiday destination, or somewhere of sentimental value to him. Choose matching images or go for two different maps with special significance for you both. Tel 01233 758198

Backdoorshoes® British Brilliance Ideal for the Men on your Christmas list! Lightweight, waterproof with removable washable insoles. UK sizes 8-14 £30. Leave by the back door and slip on when you need to nip outside, they can even been worn to work!

Magnetic Therapy Sport Wristbands

Beautiful Display Replicas Battle Orders specialise in collectables from TV and Film including the Western era, selling authentic licensed replicas including Swords, Helms, Daggers, Guns and more! From Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Kill Bill to the Gladiator. Brands include United Cutlery, Valyrian Steel, Kolser, Denix and Kit Rae. 5% discount code XMAS. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!


Longclaw Sword of Jon Snow

These tricky double-sided puzzles are bound to keep men of all ages entertained! Marmite is the double-sided 500pc jigsaw that comes in a giant replica jar and is sure to challenge the Lovers and Haters alike. Pringles is also a double-sided ed jigsaw, which presents the 250 pieces in an iconic Pringles tube, complete with a peely lid!

Bioflow sport wristbands are trusted worldwide as an alternative to traditional medicine. 100% natural and non-invasive, these durable silicone bands contain powerful magnets that use a patented field of magnetism called Central Reverse Polarity. Worn by athletes from amateur to elite, they make the perfect gift this Christmas. For 10% off all sport wristbands enter code XMAS10 at the checkout. T&Cs apply.

Vuzix iWear Video Headphones

Ever wanted your own personalised cinema or gaming screen? Well want no more, with the Vuzix iWear Video Headphones you can watch 2D and 3D movies or play games from your smartphone, games console or blu-ray player. Simply connect via the HDMi cable, chose your content, sit back and relax. Available for £479.99 These have to be under your tree this year!

PROMOTIONAL PAGE Stay Comfortable wherever you are.

Rejuvenation of your mind and body happens through proper relaxation and rest. Wearing a crisp pair of pyjamas, such as these from J Jones London, stitched using natural lightweight batiste and linen fabrics will accentuate comfort and aid your relaxation process. Available in three colours. Handsomely and luxury gift boxed and shipped free to you and your loved ones. From £44.99. Use code christmas16 for an early bird reader discount.


For those of you who don’t know us yet, we make CUFFLINKS of the highest standard. Have a look at our bright, fresh website with our different styles. Be convinced of the superiority of our products and seek to own a set of Ruffs cufflinks for yourself or your children. Price ranges from £150-£1,550 Contact us for a brochure 01489 578867 or visit

Light up his face this Christmas!

Meet Las Vegas Vic, just one of over 100 handmade Neon signs available from Icon Neon. No matter what his interest, we have the perfect Neon design to surprise and delight any man this Christmas. Located right here in the UK, Icon Neon is the largest Neon stockist in Europe. For prices starting at just £49.99 please call: 01189 789738 or visit

Bateryless Power Starter

Jumpstarting is made easy with Sealey’s Batteryless Electrostart® Power Starter. Thanks to innovative technology, the E/START800 requires just 5 volts to jump start a vehicle. Simply connect to a discharged battery and the unit will fully energise within a matter of minutes. For other great gift ideas look out for Sealey’s Christmas Promotion.

Adrenaline-Fuelled Christmas Gifts

Driving Experiences at Mercedes-Benz World are the perfect Christmas gift for all your friends and family. Whether it’s a high-performance AMG Driving Experience, a gripping off-road driving adventure or a thrilling Under 17s Experience for everyone over 1.5 metres tall, Driving Experiences at Mercedes-Benz World are the adrenaline-fuelled gift that will be remembered forever. Prices start at just £45.

Sing to Silent Nights this Christmas zzz The perfect stocking filler! The Good Night Ring can change your sleeping habits – for the better. Simply pop the ring on your partner’s little finger before they go to bed, and wait for Chinese acupressure to do the rest. The ring frees up the breathing passages, to give you a good night’s sleep. Available at Boots and pharmacies nationwide.


CLASSIC CHOICE iPad Case, £29.99 including name of up to 20 characters, Getting Personal.

CREATE A STIR Hand-stamped spoon, £18.99, The Oak Room.

Gifts with a

pers onal touch

BOX CLEVER Personalized Reward Box, with 20 silver wooden star tokens, £35, The Reward Box.

For stockists turn to page 160

Show them you’ve really thought about it, buy ordering a present that’s been personalised.


IN THE FAMILY Favourite Places Personalised Infographic print, from £24.50, Betsy Benn Designs.


RAISE A GLASS Personalised wine bottle, from £15, Bottle Bazaar.

SOFT TOUCH A monogrammed Egyptian cotton bathrobe, £31.50, Soak & Sleep.

PERFECT PLANTER Personalised wooden mini crate, £14.95, Plantabox.

IN THE MIX Personalised big baking bowl, £29.99, The Present Finder.

The Christmas Magazine

m Gifts fro Tools r e p a r D 13 Piece Socket Set

Quality, functionality and aesthetics combine with this 13 piece metric socket set. Each spanner has a 15 degrees offset pattern, for maximum functionality. Sizes range from 6 to 19mm and each spanner has a unique colour for identification. Typical Selling price is around £40 inc VAT, order stock number 15395

Double Cylinder Foot Pump

This high performance double cylinder foot pump is a perfect gift for the professional, an auto enthusiast or for whoever gets the job of pumping up the paddling pool! The pressure dial is marked 0-100 psi and 0-7 bar and there is a lock to keep the pump closed when not in use. Comes with a 600mm (approx.) delivery hose with “Lock On” connector for tyres etc. and three accessory nozzles. Typical Selling price is around £20 inc VAT, order stock number 22269

Ratchet Action Loppers

These invaluable action loppers make light work of some pretty tough branches. No need to struggle now with secateurs or saws, with minimal effort these babies will chop their way through anything up to 35mm. The fibreglass handles mean they are incredibly light and the Japanese SK-5 steel blades are a joy to use. Typical Selling price is around £21, order stock number 03309

Pressure Washer

Cordless Drill

Funky looking and packed with features, this cordless hammer drill will make every DIY task fun (well, almost). The Li-ion battery is more environmentally friendly, lighter weight and doesn’t loose its charge compared to a NiMH battery. The drill comes with a one hour quick charger and carry case. Typical Selling price is around £90, order stock number 82099

Draper Venom Saws

Who wouldn’t want this is in their Christmas stocking? 1700w of pure power to clean your decking, vehicle, mobile home, windows, or used car salesman. (not the last one). The Total Stop Valve automatically activates and deactivates the high pressure cleaner every time the trigger is operated, which increases the life of the motor and reduces electricity consumption. Supplied and fitted with 5M of highpressure hose, gun, lance, adjustable jet nozzle, fixed brush, angle nozzle and detergent bottle. Typical Selling price is around £99, order stock number 83406.

All the saws in the the Draper Venom™ range feature a high quality carbon steel blade, a lacquered coating to reduce friction and prevent corrosion and an ergonomic comfort grip handle. You’ll also find helpful 45° and 90° guides for marking out. There are colour coded handles to help you choose the right saw for the right job. For rough cutting of sawn timbers there is a range of First Fix saws. For fine detail cutting jobs, Second Fix saws are available. Tenon saws for smaller jobs form part of the colour coded Venom range too. Saws start from under £5. Visit and search ‘Venom’

For More Information on Draper Tools Please Visit 0844 848 2000

ALL EARS Q Adapt Wireless Bluetooth Headphones available in Elegant Nude, Cloudy White and Stormy Black, £219, Libratone

WISE CHOICE Kreufunk Owl Bluetooth speaker available in white, green and dusty pink, £145, Amara

Gifts for


WATCH YOUR HEALTH Garmin Vivomove sports watch with the benefits of step counting and sleep monitoring. Available in brown leather, white and black, £139.99, Garmin

DO IT YOURSELF Rule Your Room beginner’s electronics kit. Contains all the components to build eight smart gadgets including a piggybank burglar alarm (ages 8+), £99,


The Christmas Magazine

Follow our lead and earn some kudos with hi-tech treats for the connected people in your life this Christmas WORDS CHRIS HASLAM

SNAP! Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 compact camera with built-in printer for snapping and sharing pocket sized (5.3cm x 8.4cm) photos, supplied with 10 shots of film, £64.99, Fujifilm

STAY IN CHARGE Meem Memory Charging cable that also backs up all your phone’s data onto a built-in memory card every time it boosts your battery, £39.99, Amazon

For stockists turn to page 160

BACK IN TIME Retro handheld games controller, works with 200 classic arcade style video games, £12.99, Argos

SCREEN STAR YOGA Tab 3 Pro 10.1” tablet with built-in projector that can display up to 70” TV screen on any plain wall, £399, Lenovo

Gifts ies for Tech Computer Addict on the list?

Ride on!

Pedal powered or engine driven, does someone you love prefer two wheels to four? From the laid back cruiser to the modern sports bike, this is a gift to get their wheels turning! With over 100 designs to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect gift to light up their face this Christmas. Prices from £49.99.

Finding a good computer desk light can be a real challenge. The harsh white light of most desk lamps are just not ideal for screen users. Our large Neon sculptures solve this problem and look fantastic doing it! These sculptures give off the perfect amount of warm light without distracting the user from the screen.

Bespoke Neon

Are you searching for a signature gift made exclusively for that certain someone? Let us help! We are proud to have one of the top Neon artists in Europe creating our bespoke pieces. With full graphic design support at your disposal, we can turn your idea or item into an amazing work of Art.

Is there a car lover on your list this year? Neon goes together with cars like crackers go with Christmas lunch! Make that special someone the envy of their friends with Neon. Our range covers dozens of marques and a wide range of automobile related designs. Located right here in the UK, Icon Neon is the largest Neon stockist in Europe. For prices starting at just £49.99.

Drive Time!

Icon Neon’s exclusive range of Neon illuminated clocks are perfect for the home or office. No matter what the passion of that special someone on your list, we have the clock to make them smile. All of our clocks are a massive 38cm in diameter and start at just £59.99 including FREE next day shipping.

Vintage Art in Neon!

Bring back those wonderful memories of yesteryear with our Vintage Neon Art. Nothing anchors a vintage décor in the way Neon does. Our vintage Neon faithfully reproduces the most iconic artwork from 1910 to today. All of our fully licensed Neon products are stocked right here in the UK and include FREE next day mainland UK shipping.

For More Information on Icon Neon Please Visit or Call us on 0118 978 9738

Help working donkeys while you treat the whole family this Christmas. Find the perfect gi! for your loved ones this Christmas in SPANA’s Happy Hooves catalogue. Choose from our delicious sweet goodies, special presents for li"le ones, gi!s for the home and even treats for your pets! All the proceeds raised go towards providing vital care for the working animals of the world.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of our gi!s… Farm in a Tin: £10

Dog Advent Calendar: £4 Christmas Star Tin: £12

Terms & Condi"ons: 10% Discount only applies to merchandise and excludes virtual gi!s. This offer is not available in conjunc"on with any other offers. This promo"on code can only be redeemed once. This offer applies to online orders only.

10% off Receive online st your fir h the it order w code 16’ ‘HAPPY

Donkey Egg Cup: £12

View the whole range and order now at


HOP TO IT R is for Rabbit mug, £10, Ladybird at Designed in Colour

SWEET TREATS Biscuiteers biscuits, £32.50, Dogs Trust at Biscuiteers

Gifts for

Animal lovers

ALL ABOUT THE NECKLACE Giraffe jewellery stand, £24, Oliver Bonas (from October).

For stockists turn to page 160

Whether they’re a dog person, cat person or love all animals, these great gifts are bound to please GO FETCH! Yellow Lab keychain, £12, Nina Campbell.


HANDBAG ESSENTIAL Makeup bag, £18, Dogs Trust at Fenella Smith

BE PREPARED Billie umbrella. £24, Cath Kidston

DRINK UP Frosty drink bottle, £7, Typo.

THE CAT’S WHISKERS Black and White Cat mug, £17, Fenella Smith at John Lewis.

The Christmas Magazine


Your Christmas covered with

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HORSE SANCTUARY Treat your family and help horses in need this Christmas. Shop online at

Cards and calendars

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Christmas cuddles Dog Beds that Work for Working Dogs

Horsey homewares

Gundog Training Equipment. Every purchase helps horses in need. Thank you!

Tel: 07970 765637 or 01902 798167

Gifts for Pets

The very best gift for dog lovers.

Great gift for all dog fans! Backdoorshoes® are lightweight, waterproof, durable and easy to slip on/off. Visit the website for 2 life stories from our rescue dogs. UK sizes 3-8 available, price £25. Many more designs suitable for Men, Ladies or Children online

PolyPads Pet Beds

A range of British made pet beds including the popular INSIDER which is a luxury Terrier Tunnel. The TOWELBED, ideal for in-car use as it opens up to towel-dry your dog after a walk but then folds together to provide a comfy bed for the drive home or the classic OUTSIDER which comes in 3 sizes including a large 120x94cm option (4x3ft). All are available in 273 colour choices and with or without Personalised Embroidery. Prices range from £27.99-£48.99

Ruffwear Aira Jacket

The SmartKitz Cardboard Pet Castle

Paw Print Photo

Sponsor a Pony

Named after a Waterfall in the Lake District, this exclusive dog jacket, is 100% waterproof, breathable, with an opening for a harness. Available in Twilight Grey or Red Rock and in six different sizes. Keep your dog warm and toasty from only £64.95 Tel 0345 362 9663

Paw Print Jewellery - Handmade jewellery made using your own paw print miniaturised in silver. The paw printing process is really simple and can all be done via post. Starting at £59. A truly thoughtful gift this Christmas.

An ideal eco-friendly present for small cats, rabbits, and chinchillas. Easy to assemble and sturdy it stands nearly a metre tall. A very special gift for your pet and a safe place for them to retreat when festivities get too much! Made in England. Available in good pet shops and online at Amazon

Sponsor a pony from Redwings Horse Sanctuary for just £12.50 – just like little Tinkerbell! Your loved one will receive a certificate, twiceyearly updates – straight from the horse’s mouth! – and an invitation to their Adoption Star’s birthday party. Plus check out our Adoption Star soft toys from £8.75, our Tinkerbell toy even has the same hair do! uk/shop


Gifts for Family

Santa’s Lapland

Santa’s Lapland offers magical 3 or 4 day trips to Santa’s home in Saariselkä. Enjoy a range of activities including a guaranteed private family meeting with the ‘real’ Santa, Husky Sled ride, Reindeer and Snowmobile Sleigh rides plus much more. Santa’s Lapland fly from 19 regional airports and prices start from just £849 per adult*. 01483 345171 *Terms and conditions apply.

The Vintage Christmas Collection

This timeless classic film collection includes 5 films for the whole family to enjoy at Christmas – Pickwick Papers, Home for Christmas, Tom Brown’s Schooldays as well as two versions of Scrooge – the original 1935 and the 1951 remake. Offer Price: £24.99 Product Code: 169085

Perfect for home, office or public transport.

It is the ultimate accessory for your tablet, ipad, ebook and phone. Can be used on any surface, including your lap. Use In the office, on the sofa, in the car, train or coach. In fact anywhere you use your device. The PADi PILLOW is great for travelling, as it’s light weight and practical. It doubles up as a travel pillow!

A personalised gift for anyone who loves the great outdoors!

Imagine your very own Ordnance Survey map – complete with personalised title, photo and area! It’s a perfect Christmas gift for any outdoor adventurer. Simply go to our website and follow the easy steps to create your unique map today!

Greatest Ever Christmas Songs The gift that never fails to delight!

Perfectly wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine, this brand knows how to create and deliver stunning bouquets. Everything is simple, from the natural elegance of their flowers right through to their easy ordering website. If you want a refreshing website that offers stylish bouquets from just £25 with free delivery take a look at

A Christmas cracker packed with festive favourites, including Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody, Elton John’s Step Into Christmas and Chris Rea’s Driving Home for Christmas among many others. An eclectic mix of pop, soul, rock and more, in this definitive festive soundtrack. Offer Price: £8.993 CDs


GAME ON Ridley’s Games Room Movie Buff Game, £8, Wild & Wolf

LIP SMACKING Burt’s Bees Treat from the Bees lip balm and hand salve, £7.99, Waitrose

STORY TIME Storytales Gingerbread Man Characters, £8, Wilko

For stockists turn to page 160

Gifts for

Stockings Want to boost someone’s Christmas haul? These great last-minute stocking fillers won’t break the bank and are bound to raise a smile

DRINK UP Coffee Makes Me Fabulous travel mug, £7, Sainsbury’s


FEELING FAB Gin and Tonic/Fizz and Bubbles hand cream, £4 each, Marks & Spencer

STYLE SELECTOR Beard Grooming Kit, £4.95,

BE MINDFUL Adults’ colouring book, £1, Poundland

DISNEY DELIGHT Minnie Spot mug, £8, Cath Kidston

The Christmas Magazine




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FRUIT FLAVOUR Citrus Zinger Sport drinks bottle, £16.99, Firebox

IN THE GYM Nike bag, £22, Nike at JD Sports

ENERGY BOOST Mixed isotonic gel pack of 20, £28, Science in Sport

Gifts for

Sporty types

Choose from our bumper list of gifts for the more active people in your life


WINTER WARMER Jase waterproof jacket, £65, Animal


WRISTY BUSINESS Under Armour Performance men’s wrist bands, £6, Amazon

TRAINER TAMER Bamboo trainer socks, £15 pack of three, BAM

FLAT OUT Essentials puncture repair kit and tools, £10, Halfords

LISTEN UP Reflect Mini BT lightweight Bluetooth sport headphones, £79.95, JBL

The Christmas Magazine


ALL THE ESSENTIALS Flipbelt belt carrier for keys, phone etc, £25, Flipbelt

LAYER IT UP Odlo Evolution warm base layer, £65, Snow & Rock

ON THE GO men-ü travel kit with shower gel, face cream, hair product, £29.95, men-ü

For stockists turn to page 160

HOLE IN ONE TaylorMade PureLite Stand Bag, £114.99, American Golf

KEEPING COUNT Misfit Ray fitness tracker, £79.99, John Lewis

GET COSY Limited edition XCEED goggle, £44.99, Michael Phelps

PEDAL POWER Bike handlebar mount phone case, £40, Rokform

USE YOUR HEAD Windproof sports hat, £26, Buff

NAMASTE Adidas 6mm yoga mat, £21.95, Amazon

The Christmas Magazine



Shop til you drop! Get out and about at one of the many magical Christmas markets across the UK




The Christmas Magazine


Bath & Bristol Christmas Markets


For a visit to Christmas markets with a difference join Great Rail Journeys on a magical tour of the Bath & Bristol Christmas Markets. Discover the beautiful and enchanting West Country in the run-up to Christmas on this festive break. Travellers visit the Christmas markets of bustling Bristol and glorious Bath and enjoy a steam railway and charming Lacock Abbey. Tour highlights include the atmospheric Christmas market in Bristol and Bath’s Christmas market, where every year the centre of Bath is transformed into a magical Christmas shopper’s paradise, as over 170 chalets packed full of gorgeous Christmas gifts line the streets surrounding the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. Rail travel and three nights’ hotel accommodation with breakfast and dinner is included. From £295pp, departing 24 Nov and 01 Dec 2016. Great Rail Journeys, 01904 527180,

St Albans Christmas Market 24 November - 18 December 2016


The ancient Cathedral city of St Albans is expecting over 100,000 visitors to it’s 2016 Christmas market. The European-style Christmas market is located in the stunning Cathedral quarter of the city and its walled Vintry Garden, once the Abbey’s vineyard, will once again be transformed into a magical wintry village. The layout will be featuring street names to make it easier to find specific stalls, as well as atmospheric twinkly lighting, music and

OPPOSITE PAGE Take the stress out of a good Christmas trip and book a tour of Bath and Bristol markets this year. TOP PICTURES St Albans offers the perfect festive backdrop for a magical Christmas market. RIGHT Not just a market, Nottingham offers ice skating too this year.

entertainment. On the last Saturday of the Christmas market shoppers can enjoy the beautiful sounds of the St Albans Choristers, and pop in to join in the singing as the historic Cathedral hosts its annual ‘Carols on the Hour, Every Hour’. The pretty, festive market will be the ideal place to buy gifts and goodies made by local designers as well as from suppliers across the UK. From festive door wreathes to sheepskin cushions. The food and drink offering is second to none, with plenty of delicious new options as well as old favourites such as Bratwurst and hot pork rolls. Opening hours will be: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 11am–6pm Thursday, Friday: 11am–8pm Saturday: 10am–8pm Sunday: 10am–6pm

Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland 18 November - 4 January 2017


Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland includes a gorgeous Victorian Christmas market. Nottingham’s Old Market Square is transformed into Winter Wonderland with a Victorian-style Christmas market with more than 50 cabins selling a range of quality handmade crafts, gifts and food. Christmas gifts from local

The Christmas Magazine



traders and craftspeople will include artisan cheeses, chutneys, chocolate, handcrafted goods, handmade winter woollies, handmade jewellery, wooden handicrafts and silk shawls. Visitors can take a break from shopping and do a spot of outdoor ice-skating on the beautiful ice rink with live music on the traditional bandstand; or enjoy a mouthwatering treat amid the authentic Christmas trees. New for this year is the Ice Bar where you can enjoy a fun frozen experience including glasses and furniture made of ice.

Padstow Christmas Festival 1-4 December 2016


This award-winning free event is Cornwall’s largest food festival, famous for its traditional Christmas market packed with more than 100 artisan crafts, food and drink stalls. Now in its ninth year the festival is due to attract over 50,000 people to Padstow over four days. Visitors can expect to find tempting gifts from Deli Farm Charcuterie and Cornish Gouda, to Figgy’s Christmas Puddings and Cornish Seasalt. Ales, wine, ciders and spirits will also be on offer from local producers including Sharp’s Brewery, Cornish Orchards, Knightor Winery and Southwestern Distillery with lots of tasters to sample! An array of makers will be exhibiting prints, textiles and jewellery; and Cowshed Spa of the St Moritz Hotel will be showcasing a range of


The Christmas Magazine

AbovE LeFT Stock up on artisan goods and get cooking tips from the best at Padstow Christmas Festival. Above RIGHT One the most well-known German markets in the UK, Birmingham never fails to delight visitors!

their bath, body and skin care products. Beside the Christmas market, there will be two chef theatres hosting celebrity chef demos from culinary talent such as Nathan Outlaw, Rick Stein and Phil Vickery to inspire your Christmas cooking. There is also a Santa fun run, evening entertainment including a spectacular firework display and live music to look out for. The Christmas market and chef demos take place during the times below: Thursday: 12pm–5.30pm Friday: 10am–8.30pm Saturday: 10am–6.30pm Sunday: 10am–5pm

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market 17 November – 29 December 2016


The largest authentic German market outside Germany and Austria and the centrepiece of Birmingham’s festive event calendar returns to Birmingham each year in mid November for six weeks. Explore over 180 stalls selling gifts, jewellery, decorations, handmade toys, delicious German fare and of course the ever popular Glühwein! Adjacent to the Frankfurt Christmas Market, the Christmas Craft Fair offers an entirely different selection of beautifully hand-crafted items, created by local artisans. Take a horse ride on the fantastic ornate Carousel or enjoy a German Bratwurst or chocolaty Crêpe whilst you join in with the infamous singing moose!



ath is a magical city at any time of the year, but when the nights grow longer and the temperature drops, the excitement heats up in Bath, as the city prepares for its sparkling festive season.

The World Heritage city of Bath is renowned not just for its restorative natural thermal waters, but for its striking Roman ruins and iconic palladian architecture. In addition to Bath’s rich history and architectural heritage, the city boasts a wealth of independent boutiques and artisan producers as well as designer names and high street favourites, cementing its reputation as a shopping hotspot. Since the introduction of the annual Bath Christmas Market – regularly voted the most picturesque in the UK – there is nowhere more charming in which to enjoy a spot of Christmas shopping. BATH CHRISTMAS MARKET Set amid the imposing surrounds of the world-renowned Roman Baths and impressive Bath Abbey, the atmosphere surrounding Bath Christmas Market is second to none. This year’s market will run from 24th November to 11th December, allowing visitors plenty of time to get their Christmas shopping all wrapped up. Upon arrival in the city the twinkling

lights and tempting aroma of mulled wine and gingerbread will immerse you in the magic of Bath at Christmas. Weave your way through the market’s 170 chalets to discover a wealth of unique gift ideas including crafts, homewares, artisan food, wooden toys, clothing, jewellery and much more. Bath Christmas Market is a veritable celebration of local and regional independent businesses, with over 85% of stallholders (or ‘makers’, as we like to call them) coming from Bath and the surrounding region. As a result, Bath Christmas Market is the place to find oneof-a-kind gifts to delight everyone on your Christmas list. THE MARKET AND MORE Bath’s retail heritage goes back to Georgian days and its historic backdrop creates a unique shopping environment. The city overlays its Georgian past with a contemporary and thriving retail scene so that people are attracted to Bath not just for what it was but for what it is today – a buzzing city and a fabulous place to shop. UNIQUE TO BATH Bath’s independent boutiques are a little off the main drag but no less worth discovering for it. Venture north from the bustle of the Christmas Market to explore Walcot Street and the Artisan Quarter, peruse the eclectic shops along Bartlett

Street and discover the charming array of independents at Margaret’s Buildings for something a little more unusual. GRAND DESIGNS For shoppers looking for the best of designer and boutique shops, alongside a plethora of high street stores, Bath is your shopping heaven this winter. Don’t miss the SouthGate shopping area, offering a range of shops with designer brands and high street names, or Milsom Street, voted the ‘UK’s Most Fashionable Street’. VERY VINTAGE With a nod towards recycled fashion, Bath has many great charity shops and vintage stores. The monthly Bath V&A, vintage and antiques market takes place at Green Park Station, Bath’s answer to Covent Garden. And if visiting on a Saturday morning you can pick up the freshest home-grown produce from the Farmer’s Market, which was the first in the country.

▼ To find out more about Bath Christmas Market and plan your visit to Bath this winter, visit Now in its 16th year, Bath Christmas Market is the biggest shopping event in the South West. The event is managed and promoted by VisitBath (


A guide to North East Christmas Fayres and Markets 2016 Christmas isn’t Christmas without a trip to to a few Christmas markets. This year, they are starting at the beginning of October so I have created a handy guide to what’s on and when. ● Hexham Winter Market (28th – 29th October 2016)

For the second year running and with Autumn in the air and Christmas fast approaching, we are delighted to bring you the Winter Food, Craft and Gift Market in the Auction Mart, Hexham. It’s indoors, so all warm and cosy with tons of free parking. Get yourself a head start on buying some unique gifts and fabulous food & drink too – things you can’t buy on the high street and all in one warm, dry place with a restaurant/cafeteria next door too and a licensed bar to keep you refreshed. With family entertainment & crafts, including face painting, what better way to round off the Autumn half term holiday and find something special for you and all the family. There will be approximately 60 of our fabulous traders to welcome you and entry is free to all. So come along and shop till you drop!!

● Azure Christmas Markets (18th – 20th November 2016)

With Christmas literally just around the corner we are so excited to announce our new Christmas Craft Market at the Azure Garden Centre in Cramlington. There will be a ‘roving Santa Claus’ to complement the ‘Breakfast with Santa’ events that Azure offer in their fabulous restaurant, family entertainment, seasonal food & drink including mulled wine and all those delicious sights, smells and magical things we associate with the advent of the season of goodwill. Our market with have around 40 stalls selling an array of crafts, gifts, food and drink to delight your senses and buy special gifts and treats that you can’t get anywhere else. Then you can relax and have a well-earned cuppa or whatever takes your fancy. The garden centre will already be ready dressed to the nines and we will be providing some festive entertainment to enhance your shopping experience.

Entry is free and there is also lots of free parking around the centre. Come along and join us and our fabulous traders to really get ‘the holidays’ underway.

● Gateshead Christmas Village (24th – 27th November 2016) Come to Gateshead International Stadium for a different experience in Christmas shopping with something for all the family. From 24th to 27th November, come and join over 200 top quality traders, selling everything from Artisan food and drinks to crafts, gifts and goodies galore. Your Christmas shopping all wrapped up in one place and with unique presents too. However, this isn’t just a shopping event, it’s a day out for the whole family. We will have a kiddies fairground on-site, Santa in his grotto with a live nativity, family entertainment, carol singing, mulled wine, hot chestnuts, mince pies and of course our wonderful traders. Almost unlimited free parking – not shared with other shops or venues, loads of buses stopping outside and a Metro station too. Profits from Santa’s Grotto donated to a local children’s charity. Entry - £2.00 per adult and children FREE There will be more surprises to come as we continue planning to ensure this is the BEST EVER Christmas Event in Gateshead.

● Redfox Christmas Market & Narnia Experience (18-20 November)

An ideal opportunity to start your christmas shopping and celebrate the start of Redfox Garden Centre’s very popular Narnia and Santa’s Grotto event. Our market with have around 40 stalls selling an array of crafts, gifts, food and drink to delight your senses and buy special gifts and treats that you can’t get anywhere else. Then you can relax and have a well-earned cuppa or whatever takes your fancy.

for further details visit:



Our favourite designs to make sure Christmas dinner goes with a bang this year


Bring a traditional Christmas character to the table with these nutcracker crackers. Nutcracker navy and red crackers, £16 for 6, House Of Fraser.


These beautiful faceted crackers will bring a luxe feel to every Christmas dinner table. Gold crackers, £12 for 6, Next.


Bring colour and sparkle to your dinner table with these purple foil beauties. Purple and gold crackers, £24 for 6, Debenhams.

For stockists turn to page 160



With sparkly antlers and fluffy noses these reindeer will be a cute addition to any table. Small reindeer crackers, £14.95 for 6, OHH deer.


These gorgeous eco-friendly crackers are hand-made in the UK. Sophia Victoria Joy chevron crackers, £45 for 6, Etsy.


Try something new with this 6-pointed cracker that the whole table pulls at once. 6 person cracker, £12.50, Talking Tables.


The muted tones on these printed crackers would go perfectly in a simple scandi setting. Origami Helsinki crackers, £20 for 6, John Lewis.


These little saucer crackers are super cute and won’t take up valuable table space. Set of 8 Festive family Christmas saucer crackers, £3.95, dotcomgiftshop.


What’s better than animals at Christmas…animals wearing antlers of course! Animals in antlers crackers, £13 for 6, Paperchase.

The Christmas Magazine


! e n g lo o C n i s y a d 2 ! Win


Discover the lovable metropolis on the Rhine with a two-night break!




ne lucky reader and their guest will enjoy a wonderful break to Cologne in 2017. This lively city with its 2,000year history offers a wealth of cultural activities, an outstanding artistic and cultural scene and numerous major events. Traditional (brewery) culture meets modern urban lifestyle and the “Cologne way of life” is highly infectious – and that’s reason enough to pay Cologne a visit! During the pre-Christmas season the beautiful Cathedral city shines in unique brightness and offers you a grand total of seven romantic Christmas markets each of which has its own special theme and atmosphere. Angels and Saint Nicolases, elves and Father Christmases as well as twinkling stars and the aroma of roasted almonds and ‘Glühwein’ invite you to browse in the festively decorated centre of Cologne.


Against the backdrop of the Gothic Cathedral, you will find the “Christmas market at the Cologne Cathedral” under a resplendent starlight tent. The rustic Christmas market “Home of the Elves” in the Old Town welcomes its visitors with its old-world charm, a fairytale atmosphere and a spectacular ice rink. At the “Market of Angels” at Neumarkt you will be enchanted by lovingly decorated

TO ENTER, VISIT: chalets and just a few minutes walk from there, you will find the “Village of St. Nicholas” at Rudolfplatz with its reindeer, elves and a walkable house of St. Nicholas. Situated directly by the river Rhine, the “Cologne Harbour Christmas market” awaits you with its elegant maritime charm, and the cosy “Christmas market at Stadtgarten” in Cologne’s oldest park offers live jazz music, organic mulled wine and unusual gifts. Last but not least, everyone is welcome to celebrate the Christmas-time in the sparkling ambient of Colognes gay and lesbian Christmas market “Christmas Avenue” near Rudolfplatz. Of course, Cologne has plenty to offer the whole year through! Attractions such as Cologne Cathedral, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city’s 12 large Romanesque churches and many museums and galleries make an unforgettable impression on visitors. Cologne is considered one of the greatest German cities for shopping and, as it has the highest density of pubs and taverns among Germany’s major cities, there are countless options to experience the unique atmosphere of the Rhine metropolis while enjoying a cool Kölsch beer. Besides the “Kölsch culture”, Cologne has developed into a creative hotspot and is the ideal place for lovers of design, fashion, culture, music, festivals, food and more. and follow the instructions on-screen

THE PRIZE The winner and guest will stay for two nights including breakfast at the AZIMUT Hotel Cologne City Center, a 4-star business hotel with an on-site fitness area and sauna ( Located in the innercity, the main sights are easy to reach. With your two KölnCards you will enjoy free travel on all public transport and up to 50% off at selected restaurants and attractions. For one evening of your choice you will enjoy a dinner for two at the Hard Rock Cafe ( Located in the heart of Cologne this will be a unique experience you won’t forget. Cologne is looking forward to your visit!

Terms and Conditions: Two-night holiday with breakfast each day for two people. Hotel + Hard Rock Cafe: vouchers will be handed over, hotel voucher valid until 31.12.2017, Hard Rock voucher valid only until 30.07.2017, depending on availability (not possible during trade shows or high seasons). Reservations have to made by the winner himself in advance, referring to the appropriate voucher. Hard Rock Cafe: One Dinner voucher for two people including. welcome drink, one starter (to be shared), two main dishes, one dessert (to be shared) and two soft drinks. KölnCards: Two cards, each valid for 48 hours. Usage explained in the brochure that will be send together with the KölnCards. Return travel to Cologne not included, has to be self-organized by the winner at own expenses. No changes after reservations are made. Entry free and open to residents of the UK aged over 18. Prize is non-transferable, non-exchangable and there is no cash alternative. No meals or beverages other than stated. For full terms and conditions, please visit

The Christmas Magazine

Gifts for ights N n o e N

Meet Rudolf

Bring the heart-warming story of Rudolf to life in your Christmas decorations this year. These traditional Neon light sculptures add that extra bit of Christmas cheer anyplace you set them. All of Icon Neon’s sculptures come packed in a rugged, re-useable storage box so you and your family can enjoy them year after year. Prices from just £49.99.

Let it snow!

Shake up your Christmas decorations this year with these handmade Neon Sculptures. The warm inviting glow of these unique sculptures will give your home the perfect Christmas feel. This cheeky snowman comes complete with top hat, carrot nose, buttons and a corn-cob pipe. At 43cm tall, it is sure to become a favourite decoration year after year.

Ring in the New Year!

Complement your outdoor decorations

The clever design of Icon Neon’s 3-D light sculptures make them a great addition to your Christmas display. Set them on your inside window sill to give your home a real Christmas feel inside and out. Each sculpture is handmade in the traditional way using the best quality components and the skill of an Artist.

Christmas candle with a twist

We all love candles at Christmas time, but having a burning candle is not always a practical choice. Now you can get that warm Christmas candle glow without all the worry. Like burning candles, the lasting popularity of Neon comes from the warm inviting glow that this type of light gives off.

From Christmas Carols to the turn of the New Year, bells have become a traditional symbol of Christmas. This big 3-D light sculpture from the largest supplier of Neon in Europe brings this tradition to life with the warm, inviting glow of Neon. All items feature FREE next day mainland UK shipping.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree……

Here is a great alternative to setting up multiple Christmas trees to keep everyone in the home happy. These tall Christmas tree light sculptures set up in less than a minute and pack away for next year just as quickly. With 4 designs to choose from, everyone can even have their favourite!

For More Information on Icon Neon Please Visit or Call us on 0118 978 9738


Good quality exterior festive lighting should be considered an investment purchase; when storing away after Christmas, make sure everything is clean and dry. Of course, only use lights specifically designated as exterior quality for outdoor use. Trees and lights shown here, Dunelm.


If there’s no space for a tree in the hall, go for a deer head instead – just add baubles for a festive feel! Mossy Deer Head, £25, John Lewis.

For stockists turn to page 160


December days are often so gloomy it’s nice to have exterior lights up and running from afternoon onwards; look at ‘statement’ pieces such as the 59cm H Rattan Heart with 50 LED lights, £69, suitable for both indoors and outdoors, Scandi Living.

Welcome home

If you’re going to have guests over the holidays, make sure there’s a jolly grand entrance to enjoy SANTA’S ARRIVAL


This could be the perfect still-life scenario for Christmas morning … think how delighted the children would be to see this! All from a wide range at Dunelm


Put on a pretty display along the windowsill, so it can be seen from outside. LED house, £6; Candle snuffer, £8; three-wick ceramic candle pot, £12; pillar candle, £12; glass tea-light holder, £5; lantern, £10, robin ceramic candle, £6 for three; all Sainsbury’s.

The Christmas Magazine



▲ BRING OUT THE BUNTING You can’t go wrong with a few yards of bunting – for the front door, hall, along the landing, pretty much anywhere! Red cotton Christmas bunting, 5m long, £15, Ragged Rose.


We love the white stars decorating the stairwell in this lovely hallway. Princess Pine Flocked 6ft tree, £109.99; decorations, from £14.99 for a set of three stars; all from Very.

For stockists turn to page 160


We love the idea of decorating the shed or summerhouse in true Christmas style. It would work beautifully when everyone is sitting in an open-plan kitchen-dining room, avoiding the ‘black glass’ effect and providing something pretty to look at. All from a selection at Homebase.


Pared down and pretty, this tree would look great lit up all year around, not just at Christmas! Pre-lit Silver Birch, £155, from Cox & Cox.



Possibly the perfect indoor tree, and just right for the entrance hall. Snowshill Pre-Lit pine tree with snow and cones, 7ft tall, £250, John Lewis.

For the porch, balcony, stairs or hallway, a floorstanding lantern gives a lovely effect; use one large pillar candle or several smaller ones; Ornate Metal Lantern with glass panels and an antique crackle finish, H47cm, £45, Pastel Lane.

The Christmas Magazine




Make your period-style bathroom look elegant for overnight visitors by adding greenery and garlands. Buckingham cast iron bath, £1,900; Hidcote bowfront oak vanity unit, £725; basin, £230; Glastonbury pillar taps, £100; all Heritage Bathrooms.


Share a kiss when you light this ceramic candle pot, £12, Sainsbury’s.


Guests will love wrapping up in this tartan fleecy robe, £18, George Home, Asda.


Group baubles together and loop on the back of the bathroom door for a decorative display. All baubles, George Home, Asda.

BEAUTIFUL BAUBLES This Christmas Apple & Cinnamon Soap Bauble, £6, makes a unique and pampering gift, Bronnley.

The festive

BATHROOM Impress guests by adding seasonal touches to the bathroom as well

For stockists turn to page 160



Inject Yuletide charm to a bathroom cabinet with these Atlas Silks Bath Fizzer Crackers, £5, Heathcote & Ivory.



Laura Ashley’s Royal Bloom Bath Soak is a great addition to a guest bathroom, £10, Boots.


Get into the spirit with these Beefayre Winter Scent candles, £23.95, Annabel James.


Bring a Christmassy aroma to your home with this votive candle, £8, and diffuser, £10, Landon Tyler.

The Christmas Magazine

LED Lit Acrylic St Bernard Dog Outdoor battery powered lit Christmas display. RRP £24.99 Product Code: 77528

LED Copper Barrels Light Set Indoor lights which can be enjoyed all year round. RRP £14.99 Product Code: 77527

Metal Copper Effect Candlestick Beautiful handcrafted copper effect indoor window display. RRP £34.99 Product Code: 77510

Light up your Home this Christmas LED Acrylic Christmas Sign Post New for 2016, great fun and ideal for outdoor displays. RRP £79.99 Product Code: 77584

Pre Lit Festive Christmas Door Wreath Battery powered with 35 built in warm white lights. RRP £29.99 Product Code: 77579

Static Outdoor Christmas Laser With Timer and Remote Control Turn the exterior of your house into a festive light display. RRP £79 Product Code: 77593

Zaplites Smart Phone Controlled Christmas Lights Cutting edge Christmas light technology, a must for gadget lovers! RRP £59 Product Code: 77487

Wooden LED Lit Home Sign A 60cm battery powered indoor wooden sign lit with warm white LED’s. RRP £16.99 Product Code: 79033

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SPECIAL Turn the page to find great gift ideas for all ages, plus family days out and craft projects to do together

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The Christmas Magazine

Dear Santa …

This Christmas, we have been enchanted by Russell Ince’s Santa Claus: The Book of Secrets. Here is a taster to enchant you too!


any centuries ago, I was known to people simply as Nichlaus, or Nicholas, depending on which country you were from. I lived in a small wooden house with my wife and was blessed with the ability of being able to make anything I desired out of wood, with toys being my personal favourite. Only the wealthier people could afford to spend money on luxuries, such as toys and so I had to make all sorts of different things. Having seen the joy that my toys brought to the children of those who were lucky enough to be able to afford them, I could not bear to think that the majority of children in my village were going without. As such, throughout the year, I would make wooden toys and my wife would sew dolls, whenever we had a spare evening. Upon the Eve of Christmas, I would 106

The Christmas Magazine

ride through the village in my sleigh and deliver these toys to all of the children even those whose families couldn’t afford to buy their own. I did this for many years, until my beard grew white and the twilight of my life began to descend. History has, at times, got me confused with many great people around the world, such as the famous bishop of Lycia (now in Turkey), St Nicholas. I am afraid that this is not so, I am still and have always been just a humble toymaker. In a time when humans were living the early chapters of their story on earth and for thousands of years before that, magic was as commonplace and as accepted as the wind and rain, and many magical races shared the planet. At first, humans were just another race of creature who called Earth their home and they were able to accept

“I am still and have always been just a humble toymaker” their magical neighbours, despite not always seeing eye to eye. This is well documented in the old tales and myths, still told in many countries today. As the human population grew and villages began to move to new lands in search of a better life, confusion and distrust seemed to spread along with them, leading to many of the ancient beings having to go into hiding. Now, whilst their numbers have decreased radically, I can certainly state with confidence that these magical people still exist. Why am I so sure? Well let me tell you. One Christmas Eve, as I was finishing my annual rounds, I found myself confronted by a group of very small people who appeared to be Elves. They greeted me politely and went on to tell me of how they sensed the early signs of the downfall of man and, realising that the fate of both Elf and Human were entwined together, knew that something must change. The

High Council of Elven Elders had foretold that it must be one of humanity’s own who brought hope and salvation. Needless to say, my wife and I were astonished by what was happening and, in our state of shock, seemed able to do nothing other than simply follow these wondrous little people. The snowstorm, through which we found ourselves travelling for hours, suddenly cleared, as quickly as it had arrived, and before us lay a mysterious village. Here, I was told that I had been chosen to continue the work I had already begun and that I would deliver gifts to the children of the entire world. Santa Claus: The Book of Secrets is available to purchase for £18.99 as is the eagerly anticipated follow up title and new release to Santa Claus: The Annual (shown here). Both of these gorgeous books are available from

The Christmas Magazine




Elf Mail




Adorn your mantelpiece or the end of your child’s bed with a fun design


We love the name tag at the top of this pretty stocking. Christmas bauble stocking, £15, Cath Kidston.


Mermaids aren’t just for summer, they’re for Christmas too! Mermaid stocking, £25,


This drawstring sack complete with glittery antlers is a great new twist on a stocking. Reindeer back pack, £16.50, OHH deer.

For stockists turn to page 160



Perfect for small and big kids alike this stocking features Father Christmas himself. Linea Santa stocking, £16, House Of Fraser.


This stocking is the perfect combo of houndstooth and plain cotton. Ashfield Wool Christmas Stocking, £65, Ian Mankin.


This fur trimmed beauty will bring a feel of grandeur to any fireplace. Ruskin print stocking with fur trim, £25, John Lewis.


This monochrome number is perfect for the lovers of all things greyscale. Holkham Waffle stocking, £60, Tori Murphy.


Step away from classic Christmas colours with this splash of rich blue and purple. Peacock stocking, £6, Debenhams.


Rudolph makes an appearance on this sweet sack. Waiting for santa stocking, £8, Talking Tables.

The Christmas Magazine



Estâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d. 1973


Shop online at 01822 612048

s r a d n e l a c t n e Adv


Designs to count down to the Big Day in style!


Let Father Christmas himself help you keep track of the days. Santa advent calendar, £12, Debenhams.


With pen this chalkboard is a great one for excited kids and adults alike! Waiting for Santa advent calendar, £8, Talking Tables.


Don’t want to go the chocolate route? Try pegging jokes and trivia for the family to enjoy instead. Christmas tree advent string, £4.95, dotcomgiftshop.

For stockists turn to page 160



With everything from nail varnish to lip gloss you will feel truly pampered by Christmas Day. Beauty Advent Calendar £25, House Of Fraser.


We love this alternative calendar that will bring a festive touch to your sofa. Advent Calendar cushion, £8, George at Asda,


Change the blocks around each day to count down to Christmas. Countdown to Christmas blocks, £5, Tesco.


This set of mini wooden drawers can be filled with goodies and used year after year. Wooden tree calendar, £29.99, Very.


This sweet paper village scene can be built up throughout the month. Village Advent Calendar, £12, Rastall and Daughters.


Keep it simple and stylish with this wooden chalet scene. Wooden advent house, £35, Next.

The Christmas Magazine



❆ ❆❆

What makes the perfect toy to give a child at Christmas?

For many parents and grandparents, th he toys that have the greatest value are th hose that encourage ‘learning through play’ – ways in which a child learns to make sense of the world around them via learning-based playing. It’s widely acknowledged that there is a strong link between play and learning for young children, especially in the areas of problem solving, numeracy and physical skills. The award-winning design and construc ction of Magformers helps to develop children'ss creativity and thinking. At the heart rtt of the company, is the concept of 3D Brain Train ning – which encourages learning and comprehensive three-dimensional thinking through fun play with construction pieces. The joy of Magform mers’ shapes is that their unique design means they always securelyy connect. Pieces are made from a speciallytoughened ABS plastic and small neodymium rare-eartth magnets are sealed in the edges of each pie ece. Because these magnets are freespinning, they always connect and never repel when two pieces are brought together. So this makes building models quick and easy, with no complicated design sheets to slavishly follow. Children can use basic Magformers geometric shapes to create 2D ‘flat’ plans (known as nets), and these easily transform into 3D figures. It’s very easy to lay Magformers flat, forming a mathematical net, and pull them up to form 3D towers, cubes and other shapes. Magformers structures are always supereasy to assemble, take apart, then build again – and clean away. Around the world, Magformers has received more than 50 global educational and toy awards, including a Gold and Bronze medal in the UK Practical Pre-School Awards and the Oppenheim Toy Port rtfolio t Platinum status – one of the most highly-prized awards in the toy world. Magformers comply with strict quality and safety standards all over the world, carry a CE mark and ASTM mark and have a 100% global safety record.

THE #1 MAGNETIC TOY Here are the key facts that makes Magformers the world’s leading magnetic construction toy. Ideal for Curiosity, Creativity & Imagination Using Magformers magnetic construction sets, children can make hundreds of models from geometric shapes and animals, to trucks and cars - and also come up with their own amazing ideas. Helps Improve Reasoning Magformers help improve reasoning skills through the process of assembling ‘flat’ 2D planar (also known as ‘nets’) and then instantly transforming those ‘nets’ into 3D shapes.


Sensory Development Playing with Magformers improves any child’s fine motor skills through touching and combining the magnetic construction pieces by hand. Develops Mathematical & Scientific Thinking Combining and connecting magnetic pieces helps children understand the concepts of space, principles of parts of shapes and identify and compare 2D shapes like squares, 3D shapes like cubes, and patterns.


Over 80 Different Sets With a vast range of different themed sets priced from £14.99 – from dinosaurs to robots, to princess castles and remote controlled cars – there really is a Magformers set to suit every child.


Advertisement Feature



In every set, pieces click simply together using rotating neodymium magnets safely sealed in every edge. Two pieces always attract and never repel. Here are six sets to suit all ages and pockets this Christmas.

RRP RP £29.99) WOW SET (RR


Makes 20 difffferent f fun vehicles using a simple combination of Magformers magnetic pieces, two wheel sets and a special driver accessory ry. y Plus illustrated set cards teach the propert rties t of shapes and colours and show how to make eight difffferent f 3D models from flat 2D ‘n nets’.

Perf rfect f for the dino-loving child, the Magformers Mini Dinosaur Set includes 40 pieces in 10 difffferent f shapes that form six cute baby dinosaurs. It’s super-easy to make detailed mini herbivores Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus and Triceratops and carnivores Pteradon, Elasmosauruss and Tyrannosaurus.



(RR RRP RP £32.99)

A superb introduction to the magical world of Magformers for the toddler. With 30 pieces in bright crayon colours and a beautifully illustrated colour matching book, younger children learn while they play and build simple models like a rocket, fish, star and house.

A magical combination of Magformers magnetic pieces and new clip in accessories like roof tiles, windows, balconies and doors enable a whole host of difffferent f lovely buildings to be made in pastel colours. There’s a postt offifice, cottage and even a hotel – complete with garden features.



(RR RRP RP £139.99)

Who wouldn’t want this on Christmas Day! With standard wheels, big wheels, train wheels and caterpillar tracks you can make loads of incredible Remote Contro olled vehicles including a monster truck, tractor, train, limo – and eve en a steampunk snowplough! Building possibilities are end dless with this fantastic set.

Bring your amazing Magformers robot builds to life with the special walking block power accessory ryy and watch them go! With 37 regula ar Magformers magnetic pieces and a host of unique and quirky kyy robot part rts, t this is the idea al set for the sp pace or sci-fi lover in your household.


Advertisement Feature


Magformers has magnetic construction kits to suit all children. With sets starting from £14.99 and the new My First Line suitable for 18+ months toddlers, the simplicity and high-quality of these original and classleading toys has seen them become the world’s #1 magnetic construction brand.


Magformers is the world’s fastest-growing magnetic construction toy and we’ve got one of their amazing top-of-the-range Miracle Brain sets worth £350 to give away in this fantastic competition. Magformers building pieces are unique and contain small neodymium magnets safely sealed in the edge of every supertough standard piece. But because the magnets are free-spinning, they always connect and never repel when two pieces are brought together.

WORTH £350

This makes them incredibly easy to use for children of all ages and because Magformers are so versatile, your child’s creativity can be endless. They can follow the simple recommended model guides in every set – or simply let their imagination run wild and literally make anything they want.


Simply answer this question. Q How many pieces are there in the Miracle Brain set a) 258 b) 358 c) 458 Email your answer, name and address to using subject line Xmas Comp. One winner will be drawn at random. Closing date for entries midnight December 31, 2016

Models are easy to smash down and rebuild in seconds, making them great to be played with time and time again. And they’re quick and easy to clear away. Sets start from just £14.99. The Magformers Miracle Brain set contains a whopping 258 pieces and includes an LED lightbox and remote control units to bring buildings and vehicles to life. With special larger pieces like super rectangles also in the box, alongside hinges, a propeller, pulley and crane arm it’s regarded as one of the ultimate STEM toys (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) while being tremendous fun to play with.

KNOW SOMEONE UNDER 12 WHO LOVES ANIMALS? The perfect Christmas gift for an animal-loving child

Complete ready to drive or self build • Build manual £45 including free UK post • Pre-cut panel sets & ready-made bodies available • Manual includes full component and body cutting dimensions • Battery powered DIY kits or parts

RSPCA junior membership! Members get a fun-filled welcome pack and copies of animal action magazine throughout the year. animal action is a great read for young animal-lovers – full of animal news, posters, activities and competitions, plus there’s a FREE gift with their joining pack. Simply call: 08000 121 989

FFor more information i f ti please contact: 01291 626141



KEEP WARM Embroidered bird beanie, from £7; bird mittens, from £8; both Next.

TWIT TWOO Skip hop rocking owl stacker, £15, John Lewis.

SHOOTING STARS Gold star mobile by Livingly, £20, Amara.

Gifts for

For stockists turn to page 160


Coax a smile from a little one’s face with these gorgeous gifts, suitable for both girls and boys FOREST FRIENDS Woodland jumpsuit, comes boxed, £15, Royal Museums Greenwich.


HAVE A JUGGLE 100% cotton Badger sky blue cushion, £35, Scandi Living.

BE PERSONAL ‘Hello World’ personalised print, £14.50, Of Life & Lemons.

PRETTY LULLABY Peter Rabbit music box, £20, Debenhams.

CUDDLE TIME Reindeer soft toy, £15, Marks & Spencer.

The Christmas Magazine



MAKE MUSIC My 1st Years personalised eight tone xylophone, £22, John Lewis.

PRETTY IN PINK Unicorn handbag, £10, by Sainsbury’s.

PLAY TIME School wooden toys carrier set, £12, George Home at Asda.

Gifts for


Whether you have a little tearaway or your tot is quiet as a mouse, these great present ideas should cover it! CLASSIC STYLE Wooden fire engine, £12.99, Wyevale Garden Centres.


ROAR ROAR Dino Stripe compartment backpack, £24, Cath Kidston.

For stockists turn to page 160

LOOK AND LEARN IztheWiz ABC Limited Edition A2 print, £45, A Splash of Colour.

TEA TIME Geena Bloomingville mini stove in natural and mint green, £195, Out There Interiors.

PUPPY LOVE Wooden pull along puppy, £15, Marks & Spencer.

The Christmas Magazine


Gifts for Kids Hand Made Children’s Name Plates

A beautifully crafted personalised bedroom door sign makes a quality Children’s gift that will last a lifetime. Individually hand made to order in the UK from a solid piece of oak, wax finished with deep carved lettering and your choice of motif. £25. Order by 9th December for Christmas Delivery. Save 10% before 30th November with code XMAG. 020 7183 1463.

Dalmatian Dominoes

A fabulous Christmas present for children! The 28 Dalmatian puppyshaped dominoes that feature various numbers of spots offer a great twist on the traditional game of dominoes! Children will love playing with the adorable’ puppy dominoes whilst learning to count and match the number of spots. Dalmatian Dominoes can be played with two of more players and is ideal for children age 3 and over. RRP: £12.99 Available from Amazon, Argos and all good Independent Toy and Gift stores

Stories and Songs 4Me - Christmas Fun Book with Personalised CD.


Personalised Stories!

Timeless Classics

Introducing not just a brand new Children’s personalised Christmas audio collection but a superb book featuring easy to read stories. The book features easy to read edited versions of the 2 Christmas stories with stunningly colourful imagery. Only £7.99.

Many parents try to encourage their children to read and appreciate the value of books. It is a sure fire way that they can have fun and by using a personalised book, a little touch of magic captures their attention as they feature in the story as it unfolds. There are many titles available which can be found online at

When it comes to maximum fun, Wheelybugs are the ultimate ride on toys! Unlike other ride ons Wheelybugs can go backwards, forwards, side to side and round and round! Perfect for your budding Stirling Moss! Available in 8 cute and quirky animal designs - they are built to last and will be treasured for years!

Enjoy good old fashioned fun with these gorgeous wooden toys. We have a range of Wooden Gruffalo toys for every inquisitive mind. We also offer a beautiful range of charming wooden toys for toddlers, made by the award-winning Bajo toys. The quality is excellent, the design is flawless and safe, organic paint is used on all of our toys. GreenOwlToys

What’s The Time, Mr Wolf?

Giant Railway

What’s The Time, Mr Wolf? is a fun board game which helps children develop analogue and digital time telling skills. A great family game, where players will enjoy shouting “What’s the time, Mr Wolf?” and “Dinner time!” as they race around the board to escape the hungry wolf! The game can be played in 2 ways, both for younger and older children as they progress. Suggested age 5-9, £9.50.

The Giant Railway Jigsaw is so much more than a jigsaw puzzle! 22 chunky, interchangeable pieces can be joined together to build numerous track layouts and tell a different story every time. The jigsaw includes character play pieces, plus children can also add their own trains and characters to inspire hours of imaginative play! This unique jigsaw for ages 3+ is fantastic value at just £13.95. Giant Railway also links with Orchard Toys Giant Road Jigsaw, as pictured below.

Match and Spell

Farmyard Heads and Tails

Match and Spell is a first reading and spelling game, which encourages letter recognition, phonetic word building and matching of pictures and words in a really fun way that helps children learn to spell! There are two ways to play, meaning the game can be enjoyed by both younger and older children for guided or independent word building. For ages 4 and over, £7.50.

Can You Guess?

Make sounds and perform actions for other players to guess in this entertaining and action-packed performance game! Great for developing children’s confidence and performance skills, Can You Guess? is the perfect game to get the whole family laughing and playing together at Christmas! Suitable for ages 4 and over, £11.75.

Farmyard Heads and Tails is a fun early learning matching activity that develops into a game as children grow in confidence and ability. Featuring 12 friendly farm characters and objects to match, the game encourages memory skills whilst introducing very young children to the concept of turn-taking! The big, wipe-clean cards are ideal for little hands. Suitable for age 18 months and over, £7.50.

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time features 6 large, 3-piece jigsaw puzzles all in one box! These chunky, beautifully illustrated puzzles are great for toddlers, who will enjoy piecing together cheerful characters from traditional tales including Dick Whittington, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Aladdin, Cinderella and Goldilocks. Suitable for ages 2 and over, £7.50.

To see our full range and a list of stockists, or to buy online, visit or call 01953 859520

Gifts ids K2016 r for foNew

SSG SNO BIRD Style 7300 Children’s winter glove Waterproof Thinsulate and fleece lined Color Black Sizes NewChildren’s for 2016 XS/3, S/4, M/5, L/6 SSG SNO BIRD See our website for a Style 7300 stockist Children’s winternear gloveyou Waterproof Thinsulate and fleece lined Color Black Children’s Sizes XS/3, S/4, M/5, L/6 See our website for a stockist near you


With this amazing magnetic construction set from Magformers, any child can make 10 different dinosaurs, including T-Rex and Triceratops. With rotating neodymium magnets safely sealed in the edges of every tough ABS plastic piece, Magformers pieces never repel – making it super-easy to make models. This set includes special learning sheets about each dino, showing their size, what they ate and where and when they lived. RRP £89.99 uk

The gift every Teen will love!

Personalised Make-up Bag

Personalised Stories!

Practical, fun footwear for Kids

Our line of handmade Neon table lights make the perfect complement to any teenager’s space. With 150 different designs to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect light sculpture for even the pickiest teen. Located right here in the UK, Icon Neon is the largest Neon stockist in Europe. For prices starting at just £49.99 please call 01189 789738 or visit

Many parents try to encourage their children to read and appreciate the value of books. It is a sure fire way that they can have fun and by using a personalised book, a little touch of magic captures their attention as they feature in the story as it unfolds. There are many titles available which can be found online at

Jonny’s Sister designs and manufactures beautiful, unique personalised gifts out of their Somerset Studios. From their award winning Love Letter cushions to their ever popular Personalised Enamel Cake Tins, there is definitely something for everyone. These cotton Personalised Make Up Bags come in 2 sizes and a range of designs and print colours. Just choose your personalisation and we will do the rest. Get FREE POSTAGE using code XMASMUB till 21 December 2016.

Backdoorshoes® are lightweight, waterproof and a fantastic addition to any home. Leave them by the back door, easy to slip on with a secure strap and let the little ones explore in the garden/outdoors wearing Worms or Butterflies. UK size 11-3 (children’s) £12 a pair.


STRUM ALONG First guitar, £19.99, H&M.

FOSSIL HUNTER Palaeontologist t-shirt, £18, Natural History Museum.

PINBALL WIZARD Pinball table game, £8, Marks & Spencer.

Gifts for

For stockists turn to page 160

P re-teen Take your pick from these fun gifts to delight older girls and boys on Christmas Day.

UP & DOWN Giant bouncer, £10, Debenhams.


HOP AWAY Bunny heel socks, £4.50, Oliver Bonas.

SNUG FEET Minnie & Mickey spot slippers, £27, Cath Kidston.

LIGHT UP Orange fox lamp, £27, Red Candy.

HIDEAWAY Nobodinoz cotton star teepee, £42.90, Smallable.

The Christmas Magazine


Gifts for Kids Pottery Cool Studio

Air Hogs Zero Gravity Drive

Being first at the finish line still counts when you’re driving on the ceiling! Defy gravity with patented Wall Climber Technology. Drive on the wall, ground and upside down! The Zero Gravity Drive’s steering technology makes it even easier to control by tilting and moving the controller just like a steering wheel. Ages 8+, £39.99,

Pottery Cool is the new way to create with clay! Mould and shape the clay discs onto the pottery wheel, and let it spin whilst you customise your design! Let your clay design air dry, then paint and display. Craft 6 clay projects or sculpt your own designs. Tools and paints included. Age 6+ SRP £39.99.

Bunchems Mega Pack

Squish, Connect & Create with Bunchems! The colourful little balls that stick to each other and build like no other. The Bunchems Mega Pack allows you to build 36 amazing 3D creations including: owls, bears, octopi, cars, monkeys and more! Then customise using Eyes, wings, hats and feet, to make everything you build look super neat! Age 4+ SRP £24.99

Thunderbird 2 Heli

Thunderbirds are go! Join the rescue mission with the RC Thunderbird 2 from Air Hogs. Take control and pilot the Thunderbird 2 — Virgil Tracy’s heavy-duty transporter! This high-performance remote control heli features gyro-stabilization and power core for a high-octane, easyto-operation flight. Relive your favourite missions from Thunderbirds Are Go with the RC Thunderbird 2 from Air Hogs! Age 8+ SRP £49.99.

Kinetic Sandcastle Set

Kinetic Sand is the squeezable sand you can’t put down! Stimulating children’s creative skills, it allows them to create anything they can imagine over and over again. The Sandcastle set includes sand, moulds, a beach tool, and a sand tray to play in — the creative possibilities are endless! Kinetic Sand never dries out, and easily cleans up. Styles vary. Age 3+ SRP £19.99.

Zoomer Chimp

Go bananas over Zoomer Chimp! This lifelike primate knows over 100 tricks, 200 sounds and voice commands! He balances and moves like a real chimp — upright or on all fours. This unpredictable chimp has real facial expressions, and light-up eyes for different moods and modes. Age 5+ SRP £119.99.

To see our full range or to buy online visit


SIT HERE Grey and blue knitted pouffe, £69, Scandi Living.

WRITE IT Compliment pencil set, £12, Oliver Bonas.

KEEP MEMORIES Black chalkboard photo plaque, £4.99, New Look.

Gifts for


Play it safe with these great presents that are bound to delight even the most difficult of teenagers! OLD SCHOOL Crosley record player, £100, Urban Outfitters.


DRINK UP Headgangers water bottle, £6.50, Paperchase.

For stockists turn to page 160

BARE BULB Bulb shape table lamp, £25, Very.

WELL READ Kobo Aura One reader, £189.99, Argos.

TUNE IT Lexon Tykho 2 radio in red, £45, Amara.

The Christmas Magazine


Create a world of imagination with Win Green...

An enchanting collection of 100% cotton Playhouses, Wigwams & Accessories Beautifully hand-embroidered with colourful detail, this unique and inspiring gift is brimming with character and traditional charm.

Encourage your children to explore their imagination through creative play... whatever magical tales of make-believe they choose to explore! Save 15% with Code TCM

Santa’s Coming! We love these personalised Christmas Stockings & Sacks from Win Green!

Personalised with your child’s name, this special gift will be treasured for years to come!

£32.00 Personalised £22.00 Non-Personalised

£35.00 Personalised £25.00 Non-Personalised

Competition Win a Playhouse from Win Green

Gifts for overs L l e d o M

High-quality Caterpillar die-cast models

This stunning new range of Cat® collectible models feature intricate detail and would make excellent gifts for collectors and construction machinery enthusiasts alike. We have a huge selection of nearly 100 different models in various scales including excavators, bulldozers, articulated trucks and many more, all including driver figurines!

Scale model die-cast cars

Take a look at our superb range of car replicas from Jada, including licensed models from Fast & Furious 7, Jurassic World and many more. We also have a selection of highly detailed vintage American muscle cars from Auto World. Whether it’s a Mustang, Corvette or Camaro you’re looking for, we have the perfect gift for you.

Die-cast farming & construction models

We stock the entire range of highly detailed die-cast replicas from Universal Hobbies. Featuring over 350 models in various scales, the range includes vintage & modern tractors, agricultural implements, construction machinery and more. Universal Hobbies are one of the world’s leading model manufacturers, so you won’t be disappointed!

Ride-on pedal tractors & toys

We have a wide selection of Falk ride-on toys suitable for children aged 1-7 years. All of the vehicles are built to last and made from strong, molded plastic with metal parts. The range includes tractors with working loaders, quad bikes, diggers, motorcycles and various trailer accessories. See all 20 of the ride-on toys we have to offer

Plush Toys & Building Blocks

You’ll find the perfect stocking filler from our range of plush toys and building block kits from UH Kids! Featuring a selection of tractors and construction machinery, you’ll have just the right gift for the little ones! See the full range of plush toys and building block kits

Metal Construction Kits

The Tronico range of construction kits is perfect to keep the kids (or adults) occupied this Christmas! You’ll find a wide selection of radiocontrolled tractor models, construction machinery and various other vehicles to build. All the kits include the tools you need, along with detailed instructions. Suitable for ages 8 and up.

For More Information visit

Snow Globes


Festive snow globes make great gifts and they are lots of fun to make, too!


YOU WILL NEED Empty, clean glass jars with lids Sandpaper (optional) Silver paint Paintbrush Strong waterproof glue or waterproof tile adhesive Christmas decorations to put in jar Pitcher (jug) and spoon for pouring Distilled water Glycerin Clear dishwashing detergent Glitter Silicon sealant (optional)

• For a nice finish, sand the lid before painting. • The jar should be watertight, but you may wish to seal its edges with silicon sealant.

Project from My First Christmas Craft Book published by CICO Books (£9.99). Photography by Polly Wreford © CICO Books


1 Paint the lid of the jar (you may wish to sand it lightly before painting) with silver paint and let it dry completely. If required, apply a second coat of paint for better coverage and again let it dry.

2 Use strong glue to attach the decoration to the inside of the jar lid. If the decoration is on the small side, build up a small mound using waterproof tile adhesive and press the decoration firmly into this. Leave until completely dry.

3 Use a pitcher (jug) to pour the distilled water into the jam jar. Fill it almost to the brim. Stir in two teaspoons of glycerin and half a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent. Add five or six spoonfuls of glitter to the water.

4 Carefully place the lid on the top of the jar and screw the lid tightly in place. Turn the jar upside down, so the Christmas decoration is the right way up.

The Christmas Magazine



Shabby Chic, Painted & French Furniture 0115 9869222


Christmas treats

Get little hands busy in the kitchen over the holidays with these easy recipes MAKES & STYLING SUZIE ATTAWAY ASSISTED BY DANIEL LINDEN PHOTOGRAPHS SHERADON DUBLIN

Reindeer Bark A fun twist on peppermint bark, kids will love making and eating this sweet treat YOU WILL NEED 800g dark cooking chocolate candy canes pretzels candy eyeballs red chocolate beans STEP-BY-STEP 1 Line a small baking tray with foil. Break up the dark chocolate. Put into a heatproof bowl and melt gently in a pan over simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool. 2 Place the candy canes in a sealed freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin. 3 Pour the melted chocolate into the baking tray, and sprinkle the crushed candy cane pieces on top. 4 Break the pretzels into ‘antlers’, and place pairs on the chocolate. 5 Add candy eyeballs and small red chocolate button ‘noses’. 6 Place the tray in the fridge and allow to set for a couple of hours. 7 Remove from the fridge and carefully break the reindeer bark up into pieces with a sharp knife.


The Christmas Magazine


Gingerbread Men


350g plain flour 2 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 100g butter 175g soft light brown sugar 1 egg 4 tbsp golden syrup gingerbread man cutter

Little ones will love making these cute gingerbread men

wooden chopsticks candy canes black decorating icing STEP-BY-STEP 1 Preheat oven 190â&#x20AC;&#x2122;C/Gas mark 5. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Sieve the flour, ginger and

bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and rub in the butter. 2 Add the sugar, then stir in the syrup and egg and mix to make a firm dough. 3 Roll out to about 5mm thick and cut out your gingerbread men. Place them on the baking sheet. 4 Carefully bring their hands

together, popping a wooden chopstick between. 5 Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. 6 Leave to firm up for a few minutes before cooling on a wire rack. Once cool, replace the wooden chopsticks with candy canes. Decorate the faces with icing.

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Kids’ party Keep the kids happy and rustle up a tasty spread in next to no time with these ready-made treats


Even the fussiest eater is bound to be tempted by these banana fritters which are dunked into the moreish honey dip. £2 for 10, Tesco.


Beautifully presented, this Jigsaw platter comprises 24 crustless puzzle-shaped sandwiches, 12 filled with ham and 12 with cheddar. £11, Marks & Spencer.


Add some sparkle with these Glitter sausage rolls, £2 for nine, Asda.



No party’s complete without ice cream, so scoop it out and watch it disappear! Specially Selected Christmas Gingerbread Ice Cream, £1.99 for 480ml, Aldi.



These round shortbread biscuits pack a flavoursome punch and come in a penguin tin that makes a fun centrepiece. Shortbread Penguin Bites, £6, Tesco.

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ENTERTAIN WINNING COMBINATION If your kids like potato croquettes, they’ll love these Chorizo Jam & Smoked Cheddar Croquettes in a crisp breadcrumb coating. £2.50 for 9, Sainsbury’s.

For stockists turn to page 160


Kids of all ages will love this Something Sweet hamper that’s overflowing with confectionery treats. It costs £25, Rhug Estate.


This show-stopping Snowman cake is filled with vanilla sponge topped with buttercream that’s as soft as snow. Priced £10, Tesco.


Spice it up with a Mexican-themed buffet. Fajita Cups and Bean Burritos, each £6 for 12, and Salt and Pepper Chicken Pops, £6 for 30, all Waitrose.


Almost too good to share, these handmade Belgian white chocolate buttons are covered in chocolate-coated cereal balls. £2.50 for a 100g bag, Elsie & Fleur.


Mini Fruit Jellies give an old favourite a new twist. In raspberry with whole raspberries and orange with grapes, pineapple and orange, £6 for 12, Marks & Spencer.

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Landlust is a lifestyle magazine that embodies the spirit of the countryside. It is for those who want

to live a creative life, close to nature.Through atmospheric photography, informative feature material and detailed instructions, we aim to help you enjoy your free time and to inspire you to try out new activities. We present our features under five headings: in the garden, in the kitchen, at home, country life and nature.



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family days

Christmas is the time for family get togethers – here’s our guide to the best days out across the country




For the very first time, the iconic Capability Brown parkland at Blenheim Palace will be illuminated for a new Christmas lights trail. There’s going to be a scented Fire Garden, Christmas trees that sing and the lake will be a-glow with brightly lit boats. Waterfall cascades will be bathed in light and after the trail you can enjoy the vintage carousel and the Palace’s well stocked gift shops. Prices: (in advance) Adults £16, children £10, family of 2+2 (5-16), £48. Opening times: (from 5pm) 25th–27th November, 1st–4th December, 7th–11th December, 14th–23rd December, 26th December–2nd January. Contact: 0800 849 6500,

The Christmas Magazine


A TASTE OF CHRISTMAS... Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar is a PDO traditional West Countr y Farmhouse Cheddar handmade in Dorset and aged in Somerset’s famous Wookey Hole Caves. It is rich, tangy and mature in flavour and will add a genuine taste of adventure to the Christmas cheeseboard.









NANTWICH 2015 EST.1897





Skate at Somerset House has become a must-do winter fun activity in London. A stunning 40ft Christmas tree provides the backdrop and skaters of all ages and abilities are welcome. Fortnum & Mason are providing a festive pop-up Christmas Arcade, which will be selling delicious festive foods, gifts and glittering decorations as well as the Fortnum’s Lodge, a destination for apres-skaters! Prices: From £7.50 including skate hire Opening hours: 17th November–15th January Contact: 020 7845 4600, somersethouse.



Visit Hever Castle in Kent to celebrate the history of pantomime in Once Upon A Castle. Each room of the castle will be adorned with beautiful decorations, warming log fires and sparkling Christmas trees celebrating this year’s theme. There’s a snowy trail around the grounds through the illuminated gardens, a Father Christmas in his grotto and a chance to meet

characters and wander around the vintage fairground. Prices: Daytime, adult £16.50, children (5-15), £9.30, under-5s free. Father Christmas visits (must be booked) £11.50, Twilight prices, adult £16.50, children (5-15), £8, under-5s free. Father Christmas visits and Twilight Christmas must be booked. Opening hours: 27th November– 11th December, 12th–24th December (daily). Contact: 01732 865224,



Once The Big Wheel arrives in Princes Street Gardens, the festive season in Edinburgh begins! Covered in 20,000 lights it’s an iconic part of Edinburgh’s famous Christmas skyline. Other activities include Santa Land, The European Christmas Market – brimming full of tasty goodies, warming drinks and handmade gifts, and the popular icerink will be back in St Andrew’s Square ready for family fun. Prices: Free to access Opening hours: 19th November–8th January. Contact: 020 7307 8480,

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Every Christmas, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are transformed into a magical after-dark illuminated trail inspired by the gardens themselves. The display includes over 60,000 lights, a Choir of Christmas Trees, a Tunnel of Light, The North Pole village and the Kew Christmas Karaoke juke box, all with the sweet aroma of mulled wine, hot chocolate and roasting chestnuts. Prices: Adult £18 peak/£16 off peak, family £52 peak/£48 off peak, child 4-6 £10, under-4s free. Pre-paid parking at Brentford Gate is £7 to be booked with ticket/time slot. Day tickets can be purchased for an additional £7 at the time of booking. Opening hours: (Opens at 5pm) 23rd November–27th November, 30th November–4th December, 7th–11th December, 26th December–2nd January. Contact: 0844 995 9675, christmas

7 6


Every year Chatsworth House gets transformed into an enchanting winter wonderland for the festive season. This year’s theme is The Nutcracker and the interior will feature hundreds of fairy lights, beautiful garlands and stunningly decorated Christmas trees. The ticket price includes unlimited


The Christmas Magazine

access to the 105-acre garden complete with waterworks, sculptures, a maze and more. Prices: House & garden adult £19.90, house & garden child £12, house & garden family of 2+3, £54.90. Opening hours: 5th–11th November–11th, 1st December– 3rd January. Contact: 01246 565300,


Set in ancient woodland, Stockeld Park holds a Christmas Adventure that includes a Magical Enchanted Forest, Nordic Skiing, a Giant Yew Tree Maze in the shape of a snowflake, a Santa’s log cabin set in the Enchanted Forest, a Christmas shop and a cabin-themed café. There’s also a special event where you can see Santa arriving by Sleigh (12th & 13th November) and a Three Kings on Camels procession (19th & 20th November). Prices: You can pay per activity, or buy a Day Pass, per person £18.50, family £69 (peak times), per person £15.50, family £56 (off-peak). Opening hours: 3rd November–3rd January (10.30am-8.30pm). Contact: 01937 586333,


Look behind you!



Check out our guide to the most spectacular pantomimes coming to a town near you this year…

PETER PAN Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Billy Pearce, renowned for his pantomime performances, jumps on board the Jolly Roger to Neverland and stars alongside Darren Day, Charlie Hardwick from Emmerdale and Jon Lee from S Club 7. It will feature a spectacular 3D sequence and amazing special effects that include the largest crocodile in panto-land! Prices: From £17–£39 Dates: 17th December–29th December Box office: 01274 432000,

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CINDERELLA London Palladium

Book early for this allstar panto cast at the West End’s most famous theatre, which is showing its first pantomime for 30 years. Starring Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary, Lee Mead and Nigel Havers this will be the ultimate pantomime full of celebrities who will pull out the stops to create the most enchanting rags-to-riches fairy tale of them all. Look online for some pre-theatre restaurant deals and make a day of it! Prices: From £19.50 Dates: 10th December–15th January Box office: 0844 874 0667,


THE SNOW QUEEN Bristol Old Vic, Bristol

An epic journey lies ahead for best friends Gerda and Kai when the legend of the beautiful Snow Queen becomes all too real. This new and enchanting version of Hans Christian Andersen’s timeless story features live music and original songs and will celebrate the value of true friendship. Suitable for children of ages 7 and up. Prices: £9.50–£34 Dates: 2nd December–15th January Box office: 0117 987 7877,


PANTO FUN We’re loving some of the poster designs for this year’s pantomimes – why not get some pens, glitter and other accessories so the kids can make up their own after the event, as a fun activity that keeps the memory of your trip to the theatre alive!

“This home-grown adventure makes a great pantomime for the whole family”


JACK AND THE BEANSTALK Hall for Cornwall, Truro, Cornwall

The creative team from Kernow are putting on this extra special panto this year starring Granville Saxton, Cornwall’s much loved and regular villain. This home-grown adventure makes a great pantomime for the whole family and will follow Cousin Jack and his mum through the traditional fairy tale with lots of fun and frolics. Prices: From £15–£28 Dates: 6th–31st December Box office: 01872 262466


DICK WHITTINGTON Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham

You won’t fail to be impressed with an all-star cast including John Barrowman, Jodie Prenger and The Krankies at this magical performance. They will be bringing the magic of Dick Whittington alive this December, packed full of laugh-out-loud comedy, special effects and unmissable panto adventure. Prices: From £15.50–£94.50 Dates: 19th December–29th January Box office: 0844 338 5000,


ROBIN HOOD Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

The south coast’s biggest family panto features Eastender’s famous couple Shane Ritchie and Jessie Wallace as Robin and Maid Marion in their first pantomime appearance together. This traditional tale promises to be a fun-packed show full of action, adventure and comedy with plenty of glitz and glamour. Prices: From £15–£39.50 Dates: 17th December–8th January Box office: 02380 711811,

The Christmas Magazine




Celebrating all that is wonderful about the great British coastline, coast brings together everything readers love about the UK seaside and coast from delicious recipes and days out to stunning seaside homes and accessories. The unique landscape and history of the island comes to life in every issue with beautifully photographed features together with inspirational ideas for trips and mini breaks around the country.

Calendar 2017 CTOBER 2016 £4.20 OC

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BUILDING OUR DREAM HOME o n t he I s l e o f W i g h t




e inspiration to buy Slick styl 20 seaside homes move to the coast the e mad we How 17/08/2016 14:43





UK offer only. 37% saving is based on the UK cover price of £3.99 per issue. This makes an ideal Christmas gift, so we will ensure the first issue will not arrive until January and the calendar will be sent well before the big day. Allowing you to wrap and place under the tree for your love one to open Christmas morning!

coast captures our passion for the UK’s

unique coastline and everything that is special about it with guides to the festivals, food, culture and lifestyle of the various coastlines and what can be found at each. There are also tips on interior design, gardening and maintaining a fantastic beach home. For those who love the nostalgia and beauty of the seaside, coast has it all. Bringing that blue-sky, sea-breeze feeling into homes every month.

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e Fre mas able t l ris avai h C ue og tal a c

Dog, Equestrian, Wild dlife and Sporting Prints, Cards and Orriginal Paintings

A Christmas Stroll Christmas Card by Frederick J Haycock

Border Raiding Party Christmas Card by Paul Doyle

The Last Post - Barn Owl Ltd Edition Print by Ben Waddams Sleepy Heads - Cockers Ltd Edition Print by Paul Doyle

Frolics Chris stma as card d by Ros sem mary y We elch h

Sallly Mitch hell’s Galllerry 1 Marrket Place, Tuxford, Newa ark, Nottts, NG22 0LA Tel: 01777 838234 / 872152 Email: info@s Te sallymitchell.c com Secu ure On-lline Orderiing at: www.s sallym mitch helll.c com

Sally Mitchell Fine Art’s Winter Exhibition

ngs by:: nd Sporrting paintin an an stria ques nal Wildlife, Dog, Eq Origin John Trickett, Malcolm Coward, Paul Doyle, Frederick J Haycock, Ben Waddams and others. vember 10th 6 - 8pm. Private View Thursday Nov e end of November. Exhibition then runs until the At: Sally Mitchell’s Gallery, 1 Market Place, Tuxford, Newark, Notts, NG22 0LA. Open Monday - Friday 8.30am - 5.30pm. Sat 8.30am - 3.30pm. Sun 10am - 3pm om 01777 872152 Please contact us for an invitation and a free catalogue.


A Christmas bricktacular

All children want to see Father Christmas over the festive season, but Legoland offers something different


ut of all the theme parks and kids’ days out you could choose in the UK, Legoland is one of the most versatile. It offers rides and entertainment for young toddlers right up to young teenagers who still like to make the more complex models. The park has plenty of gentle rides for the little ones, but also just enough edgier roller coasters to keep your older ones entertained. During specific dates before Christmas they create a complex maze of Christmas trees and Santa’s Grottos, adding the crucial festive element to the park. We went to check it out:


Q Are all the rides open? A Not all of the rides, but enough for a visit on a winter’s day. The indoors Star Wars Lego spectacular is open, along with 14 other attractions. This year, for the first time, there will be a Christmas takeover of Miniland. There

The Christmas Magazine

will also be an eight-metre high Lego Christmas Tree.

Q What other Festive elements will be added? A There will be mulled wine and mince pies served, with hot chocolate and stollen for children. A nice idea is the code word ‘Rudolph’, which can be given to staff in the shop, which means they will keep all your purchases secret from your children. Q How was the visit to Santa? A Our allocated slot was in the dark, adding to the excitement of the adventure. We didn’t have to wait long until a friendly elf took us through a maze of Christmas trees, decorated with fairy lights, to the log cabin where Santa was waiting. We didn’t feel rushed and there was plenty of time for a chat. Q What was the gift like? A A quite expensive Lego set, so no

disappointment there! Q When can you see Santa at Legoland? A The weekends of the 3rd–4th Dec, then the 10th–11th and the 17th through to the 24th. Booking online in advance is essential. Q What does it cost? A £30 per person, which includes the visit to Santa and the attractions. Children under two are free, but you will need to pay £5 in advance for the Santa visit. Q Can we stay the night? A Yes, the Legoland hotel will be open and a family of four can stay in a themed room for £279. This is only available on the nights of the 2nd–3rd Dec, the 9–10th and the 16th–23rd. Q How do I find out more? A Go to




SPECIAL Keep everyone happily occupied this Christmas with games and entertainment for the whole family





p156 148

The Christmas Magazine



r Gifts fo nt nme Entertai

Nutcrakcer – The Motion Picture

In this Pacific Northwest Ballet performance, it is Christmas Eve and festivities are under way. Clara (Vanessa Sharp) is excited when her godfather, Herr Drosselmeier (Hugh Bigney), arrives with a bag full of gifts, one of which is an intriguing wooden nutcracker. Offer Price £12.99 Product Code: 164681

The Snowman and the Snowdog

The charming sequel to the Christmas classic, The Snowman, which follows the magical adventures of a young boy and the kindly snowman he creates. Offer Price: £6.99 Product Code: 138724

Birds of a Feather Christmas Specials

Four delightful specials from one of the most successful sitcoms of the nineties. Sharon and Tracey are sure to have you chuckling through Christmas. Episodes are Sailing, Falling in Love Again, We’ll Always Have Majorca and The Chigwell Connection. Offer Price £7.99 Product Code: 148008

IL Divo: The Christmas Collection If you love IL Divo and you love Christmas, this CD is perfect for you, including 10 tracks O Holy Night, White Christmas, Ave Maria, When a Child Is Born, Adeste Fidelas, Over the Rainbow, Panis Angelicus, Rejoice, Silent Night and The Lord’s Prayer. Offer Price: £6.99 Product Code: 513892

Morecambe & Wise Christmas Specials

All eight BBC Christmas Specials, produced from 1969 to 1977 – plus a retrospective documentary. Guest stars include Glenda Jackson, Andre Previn, Peter Cushing and Des O’Connor. Offer Price: £12.99 Product Code: 130000

A Festival of Christmas Carols (The Salvation Army) Recorded by The Salvation Army, carols include White Christmas, Jingle Bells, Silent Night, The First Noël, O Come All Ye Faithful, The Holly and the Ivy, Little Drummer Boy, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Hark the Herald Angels Sing… 20 tracks in total. Offer Price: £6.99 Product Code: 512261

For more information and other offers visit or call 0844 848 2000


s e m a g d r a o B

What better way to spend time together as a family than with a good oldfashioned board game? We’ve been trying out a few favourites…


HOW TO PLAY: Players move around the board (a map of a house), to gather evidence to solve the murder of the owner – get the murder weapon, location and murderer right to win. WHY IT’S GOOD: What we like about this is that there’s a 2-player version so good for any size of family. PRICE: £17.99,


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HOW TO PLAY: Shake the dice in the box then set the 3-minute timer to come up with as many words as you can with the letters showing. If two or more people get the same word, it doesn’t count. WHY IT’S GOOD: It’s great for kids learning to spell (and adults brushing up!) and you never run out of combinations. PRICE: £9.99,


HOW TO PLAY: The ‘Ultimate Banking’ edition has done away with money – a clever electronic device keeps track of everyone’s finances, just like real banks! WHY IT’S GOOD: This updated version means added features like the way property prices can rise and fall bring an exciting (and realistic) dimension. PRICE: £27.99, 0844 848 2000










HOW TO PLAY: A great version of the classic ‘what am I?’ game, where players have to guess what animal, food or object is on the card on their head. Headbands are adjustable too. WHY IT’S GOOD: Gets you thinking, plus there are 68 cards, so it’ll take a while before you get through them all. PRICE: £11.99

HOW TO PLAY: Players wear an odd-shaped mouthpiece to distort pronunciation then try to read phrases from a deck of cards while others guess what they’re trying to say. WHY IT’S GOOD: Very funny to play and good for all ages, but does need cleaning after playing! PRICE: £19.95,

HOW TO PLAY: Move around the board taking on challenges to sort lists into order, such as what weighs the most, heavy to light, from a list including a T-rex and a double bass. WHY IT’S GOOD: It was surprising how much we realised we didn’t know, which made it fun when ‘experts’ were losing! PRICE: £18.99

HOW TO PLAY: Move around the board by answering questions such as ‘name 3 things you can paint’ before the 5-second timer is up. WHY IT’S GOOD: This caused much hilarity among us, as panic ensued and ridiculous answers were blurted out! A great family game. PRICE: £19.99

HOW TO PLAY: Played in teams, one person wears fuzzy glasses (there are 3 levels of fuzziness; easy–hard) and tries to draw a picture while the others guess what it is. The most correct guesses win. WHY IT’S GOOD: Adds a fun element to the traditional game, plus different levels mean it’s great for all ages. PRICE: £19.99

HOW TO PLAY: More than just a recognition game, players have to answer brand questions such as ‘How many different flavours in Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles?’ Mostly UK brands. WHY IT’S GOOD: The adults playing enjoyed nostalgic brand questions, and kids were great at modern ones too. PRICE: £32.99

HOW TO PLAY: Set up the tower with marbles in the top and sticks inserted below to hold them in place. Players take turns pulling the sticks without letting marbles through the gaps. WHY IT’S GOOD: It reminded us of oldfashioned pick-up sticks, plus there are other games you can play with it. PRICE: £14.99,

HOW TO PLAY: Put whipped cream on the hand, and turn the dial to see if it will splat your face –win a point every time it doesn’t. WHY IT’S GOOD: Everyone enjoyed the suspense and the mess, plus there’s a wet-sponge option so you don’t always have to have cream in the house to play. PRICE: £19.99,

HOW TO PLAY: Trivial Pursuit as we all know and love, but with a pile of questions for adults and separate pile for kids, so all players in the family will have a equal chance of winning. WHY IT’S GOOD: It was great to see some of the older kids ask for a question from the adult pile to challenge themselves. PRICE: £24.99,

The Christmas Magazine



A game for all seasons

Got a family full of gamers, or just want to know what’s out there this Christmas? Take a look at the hottest games and consoles on offer…


Play the greatest games line-up this Christmas on the Xbox One S. It’s the most advanced Xbox yet, with richer, brighter colours and High Dynamic Range technology bringing out amazing visual depth in your games. Stream 4k content on Netflix and Amazon Video and watch Ultra HD Blu-ray movies in stunning visual fidelity. Also included is EA Sports FIFA 17, but when Dad’s done with his footballing, why not gather the whole family around for some LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens action! COST: From £249 for 500GB



This upgraded and enhanced PS4 console supports 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range, as well as smoother frame rates. Games will look richer and more detailed (because of the more powerful GPU and faster CPU at the heart of PS4 Pro, if you want the techy details). If you want your family to have the cutting edge of the PlayStation 4 generation then this is it! Available from 10th November. COST: From £349 (1TB)


The Christmas Magazine

LIMITED EDITION UNCHARTED 4: A Thief’s End PlayStation 4 Bundle

One of the biggest games of 2016, the Limited Edition Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End PS4 bundle includes a custom 1TB Grey-Blue console (shown) with matching DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller and a copy of the game. Unleash your inner archaeologist in style! This game is already on sale. COST: From £329 (1TB) 0844 848 2000

AHEAD OF THE GAME! around! Available from September 29th. WWE 2K17 Return to the squared circle for some fist-pumping, adrenaline-soaked action in this year’s installment of the long-running musclebound soap opera! This game will be available from October 11th.

UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END Nathan Drake is back. With the stakes even more personal, Drake embarks on a globe-trotting journey in pursuit of a historical conspiracy behind a fabled pirate treasure. On sale now.

NINTENDO NINTENDO CLASSIC MINI: Nintendo Entertainment System Fancy some compact, retro gaming fun this festive season? The classic Nintendo Entertainment System is back as a mini replica and comes complete with 30 games built-in, including classic favourites like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda and PAC-MAN. Perfect for a blast from the past! Available from 11th November. COST: From £49


The New Nintendo 3DS XL Limited Edition system comes in black, with striking Pokémon artwork on the outside of the system. This would be a great present for a Poké-crazy kid, but be

aware that the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are sold separately to the console. Available from 18th November. COST: From £179

POKÉMON SUN AND POKÉMON MOON Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are coming to Nintendo 3DS family systems, with a new world, new types of Pokémon, and lots of new adventures. If your child was all over PokémonGo earlier this year, this is the perfect gift for them. Available from 23rd November. COST: From £34

LEGO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Join your favourite heroes and villains in LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens this Christmas and relive the epic action from the blockbuster film in a whole new way. Already on sale. PAC-MAN CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION 2 Featuring eye-popping 3D graphics and funky visuals, the latest version of the classic game takes chomping and chasing through mazes to a whole new level! On sale now. PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2017 Unable to correctly place Football in the title, Pro Evolution “Soccer” is available once again this year, but if you actually like the beautiful game then you should probably get FIFA 17 instead.

FOOTBALL MANAGER 17 Whether you want to manage from the touchline, pore over post-match statistics or deal with the ever-present realities of an injury-prone squad, there is something for you in the newest addition to the Football Manager franchise. This game will be available from November 4th. CALL OF DUTY: INFINITE WARFARE Take complete control of your combatant in a conflict defined by cutting-edge military robotics – fight faster, stronger, and smarter. This game will be available from November 11th. THE LAST GUARDIAN In a strange and mystical land, a young boy and mysterious giant creature must rely on each other to journey through treacherous ruins filled with unknown dangers. This game will be available from October 28th. Always check age ratings of games before buying for children under 18 years old.

EA SPORTS FIFA 17 Swap the dinner table for a league table, exchange your Christmas cards for red cards and kick off their Christmas with FIFA 17. The best football game

“Exchange your Christmas cards for red cards and kick off their Christmas…” The Christmas Magazine



s n o h t a r a M e i v o M made easy Make the most of the Christmas films this year by transforming your living room with the latest TV, surround sound and wireless music technology. It’s easy to do, whatever your budget. FEATURE CHRIS HASLAM GREAT VALUE

With a 55” 4K resolution and the ability to upscale images to 4K, you will enjoy impeccable detail and colours, all for around half the price of most similar sized ultra high definition TVs. £799, Hisense, 0345 610 4199,


A 4K (also labelled 4K Ultra HD, HRD and Ultra HD Premium) screen boasts four times the number of pixels of a Full HD set. What does than mean in English? Exceptional picture quality and jaw-dropping realism never before seen on screen.


Proof you don’t need to buy a massive TV to enjoy the latest features, the 32” LG 32LH604V has a Full HD screen, excellent design and built-in Wi-Fi with LG’s classy Smart TV platform. £329, Argos, 0345 640 2020,


The super slim (6.1cm) 49” Philips 49PUS7181 has an excellent 4K screen and Ambilight, a clever LED lighting system that projects the colours from the screen onto your wall making the images look bigger, reduce eye strain and create a brilliantly immersive atmosphere. £899, AO, 0344 324 9222,


The Christmas Magazine 0844 848 2000 CHOOSE THE PERFECT TV FOR YOUR HOME


As elegant as designer furniture, the Sony KD65XD93 has it all, from voice-activated control, Android powered smart TV, thousands of apps, 65” 4K HDR resolution and an ingenious stand that hides the cables. £1,900, Sony, 020 7365 2810,

Good news, virtually all new televisions come with some ‘smart’ features, giving you instant access to catchup services such as BBC iPlayer, or stream online from Netflix and Amazon Prime. All you need is home broadband and Wi-Fi.

When it comes to size, your viewing distance should be 1.5-times the size of your screen, so if you sit around six feet from your TV, your ideal screen size is 48-55”.

Screen technology is constantly changing, but choose at least Full HD if not 4K resolution. OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) screens produce a more vibrant picture than LED, but are more expensive, while curved sets provide a great immersive experience.

As TVs get slimmer their speakers get smaller, so invest in a surround sound system, soundbar or soundbase to boost the audio and recreate that movie-going experience.

You can easily upgrade your existing set with inexpensive plug-ins

If you don’t have a smart TV you can easily upgrade your existing set with a host of inexpensive plug-in devices including Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Now TV and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick. Most new DVD/Bluray players also boast some smart features.


You’ll not find a cheaper way to vastly improve the sound of your TV than with the Sony HTXT100 soundbase and the slim profile design sits under your TV saving space and cutting clutter. £139, Sony, 020 7365 2810,


The two-in-one Orbitsound BAR A60 is a powerful 300W soundbar for your TV and a great sounding Bluetooth speaker for listening to your digital music. £399,Currys, 0344 561 1234, The Orbitsound is so discreet you will hardly notice it’s there, apart from the great sound it gives out!

The Christmas Magazine

155 0844 848 2000



Make the most of your new Ultra High Definition TV with the Panasonic DMP-UB700 4K Blu-Ray player. The best value available it also offers smart features so you can stream from Netflix and YouTube in the highest possible quality. On sale from October 2016. £400, Panasonic, 0344 844 3899,

● Bluetooth technology streams music wirelessly (a range of around 10m) from a smartphone or tablet to a speaker or stereo. For CD quality sound look for the aptX logo.

Most new CD systems also come with Bluetooth so you can enjoy your existing music collection and stream wirelessly from services such as Spotify.


The Sengled Pulse smart light bulb has a built-in Bluetooth speaker so you can play your digital music wirelessly around the house and control the lights with your smartphone. Euro129.90 per pair,, (+4921195433101).

This slick design will make a great addition to the family when the Christmas TV season kicks in.

Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and music streaming MULTI-ROOM MADE EASY

Unlike most multi-room speaker systems, the Phillips Izzy BM5 doesn’t need your home’s Wi-Fi to work, just press the Izzylink button and whatever you’re streaming (via Bluetooth) to one speaker will start playing on another. £99, Philips, 020 7949 0240,


The Now TV Smart Box gives you instant access to over 60 Freeview and pay-as-you-watch TV channels including Sky Sports and Cinema without a contract, plus catch up from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub etc. £39.99,


Chromecast plugs into the HDMI port on your TV and allows you to wirelessly stream virtually anything from your smartphone or tablet – pictures, videos, films, music, games – straight onto the big screen. £30,


Available in seven finishes, the adorable Libratone Zipp Mini can play music using Apple AirPlay, Spotify Connect or Bluetooth for up to 10hrs before it needs charging. £179, Libratone, +45 7026 6333,


The Christmas Magazine

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We’ve done the hard work for you by creating a playlist on Find us by searching ‘The Christmas Magazine’ and follow our playlist!

Christmas sing-along!

Need a soundtrack to kick-start the festivities? We’ve come up with the ultimate Christmas playlist…

1 2Dean Martin 3Rosemary Clooney 4Eartha Kitt 5Brenda Lee 6Burl Ives 7 The Ronettes 8 Brenda Lee 9The Andrews Sisters 10Elvis Presley

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Andy Williams Let it Snow

Baby it’s Cold Outside Santa Baby

Jingle Bell Rock

A Holly Jolly Christmas

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree Winter Wonderland Blue Christmas


The Christmas Magazine

11Connie Francis 12The Platters 13 Dean Martin 14Perry Como 15Gene Autry 16 Perry Como, The Fontanes Baby’s First Christmas

I’ll be Home for Christmas Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Frosty the Snowman

Here Comes Santa Claus

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

17 Johnny Mathis 18 Frank Sinatra 19Dean Martin 20Bing Crosby Sleigh Ride

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Silver Bells

White Christmas


Shopping directory

Contact details for stockists of products featured in this magazine


Aldi Amara 0800 5877 645, Amazon Animal 0845 026 7267, animal. Annabel James 0345 548 0210, Argos 0345 640 2020, Arthouse Meath arthousemeath. com A Splash of Colour



JBL JD Williams 0871 231 2000, Joanna Wood John Lewis 0345 604 9049, Jo Loves 020 7730 8611, joloves. com Jd Sports John Lewis 0345 6049 049,

B&Q BAM 01752 581458, Bedeck Home murmur Betsy Benn Designs, 01242 570731, Biscuiteers Boots Bronnley Bottle Bazaar 0844 549 9060, Buff Buttonbag 020 8525 1640,




Cath Kidson 0845 026 2440, Coconut grass


Debenhams 0844 800 8877, Decorator’s Notebook Designed in Colour Dobbies dotcomgiftshop dotcomgiftshop. com Dunelm 0345 165 6565, dunelm. com


Elsie & Fleur 01278 440500, Etsy


Fenella Smith fenellasmith. com Firebox Flipbelt Fujifilm 0344 553 2321, instax.


Garmin 0808 238 0000, George Home at Asda george. com Getting Personal 0845 217 6382, Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous 01467 671627, giftwrappedandgorgeous. com Gingerlilly Ginger Ray notonthehighstreet. com


Halfords H&M Habitat Heathcote & Ivory 020 7483 8383, Heritage Bathrooms


Hobbycraft 0330 026 1400, Homesense 01923 473561, House of Fraser 0345 602 1073, Ian Mankin 020 7722 0997,

The Christmas Magazine

Landon Tyler 020 7724 5222, Lenovo 020 3014 0095, Libratone LIttlebits Luck & Luck 01752 881930, Marks & Spencer 0333 014 8000, Matalan Men-ü Michael Phelps michaelphelps. com/uk


Natural History Museum Neptune New Look Next 0333 777 8000, Nina Campbell shop.ninacampbell. com Nordic House 01872 223220, Not On the High Street 0345 259 1359,


Of Life & Lemons, OHH Deer 01509 812075, Oliver Bonas 020 8974 0110, Out There Interiors


Paperchase 020 7467 6200, Papermash Pastel Lane Plantabox 01392 829977, Plum & Ashby 020 8988 5222, Poundland


Ragged Rose 01622 812897, Rastall & Daughters 01529 400545, Red Candy 0121 224 7728, Rhug Estate 01490 413000, rhug. Rockett St George 01444 253391, Rokform 01923 901257, rokform. Royal Museums Greenwich, Rubis


Sainsbury’s Scandi Living 01428 608050, Science in Sport 0800 0519 100, Smallable Snow & Rock Soak & Sleep 01483 437762, Sophie Allport 01778 560256,


Talking Tables 020 7627 6767, Ted Baker Tesco The British Blanket Company 0845 474 1747, The Contemporary Home The Great Gift Company 0845 653 1048, The Makery 01225 581888, The National Trust nationaltrust. The Oak Room 01992 501040, The Present Finder, 01935 815195, The Reward Box, 07903 559762, The Southbank Centre shop. The Window Film Company 01494 853704, Tori Murphy, 0115 960 8472, Typo


Urban Outfitters Very


Waitrose Wild and Wolf 01225 789909, Wilko 0800 032 9329, Wyevale Garden Centres 0344 272 3000, wyevalegardencentres.


In the stars

Russell Grant lets us in on his predictions for 2017 ARIES (Mar21/Apr20)

Leading a conventional life is becoming less and less compelling. Instead of trying to fit in, you’ll be content to march to the sound of your own drum. Avoid making enemies of powerful people who can undermine your success. Seeking to expand your horizons? Get more qualifications; study something that appeals to your interests and boosts your professional prospects. If you’ve always wanted to write for a living, this is a wonderful year to begin. Do you feel spiritually adrift? Taking up a religious practice will be fulfilling.

CANCER (Jun22/Jul23)

2017 will give you a wonderful opportunity to expand your horizons. You should go on at least one long distance trip over the next twelve months. Visiting a city by the sea or a spiritual mecca will be enlightening. You’ll be reminded what makes life meaningful for you. Don’t be surprised if you’re inspired to write this year. A Solar Eclipse in late February could prompt you to begin a novel, screenplay or journal. Putting your thoughts on paper will be empowering. It’s important to have interests outside love and work in 2017.

LIBRA (Sep24/Oct23)

It may be necessary to go for some further training to improve your job prospects. Don’t be discouraged by a demanding instructor. You’ll have to work hard to earn their approval, but your increased efforts will result in the sort of work that interests and engages you. Your home could go through extensive renovations this year. Finding a temporary abode may be preferable to enduring the constant sounds of building. Selling a property at a loss may even be preferable to holding on to it.


CAPRICORN (Dec22/ Jan20)

Your charisma continues to be powerful throughout 2017. Assuming the leadership of a struggling group will keep you on your toes. Your home life might feel unsettled. It’s possible you’ll have to find alternative accommodation while work is being done to your home. Try not to let these upsets undermine your peace of mind. Connecting with your private self will give you the courage to face emotional challenges. Standing up to someone who bullied you in times gone by will be empowering.

TAURUS (Apr21/May21)

A difficult family matter will be resolved in early February, thanks to a cleansing Lunar Eclipse. Breaking off a toxic relationship, ending an old grudge or tying up an estate will bring an end to a phase of care and concern. A Solar Eclipse in late August could allow you to move to a beautiful home. You can find a wonderful place that affords easy access to restaurants, shops and cultural pursuits. If you’re happy with your current abode, take this opportunity to do some improvements or add a bathroom or bedroom.

LEO (Jul24/Aug23)

A Lunar eclipse in early February marks an important turning point for you. Leaving a situation that no longer works for you will be liberating. Your outlook will dramatically improve after this break. A Solar Eclipse in late August marks a fresh start for you. Take this opportunity to relocate to a glamorous city, transform your looks or change your social standing. Travel continues to broaden this year. Learn as much as you can about other cultures; they will give you the courage to experiment with different ways of living.

SCORPIO (Oct24/ Nov22)

A difficult family situation will come to an end in early August, thanks to a Lunar Eclipse. You might be able to find care for an elderly relative who can no longer live independently. If you have a loved one that needs rehabilitation services, they could undergo a program that’s very helpful. It’s important to be honest and direct when it comes to these situations. Creative pursuits like writing, painting and playing music can be therapeutic throughout 2017. If you keep a diary, store it in a secure location.

AQUARIUS (Jan21/ Feb19)

You’ll be able to rid yourself of a toxic relationship or serious responsibility in early August, thanks to a Lunar Eclipse. As a result, you’ll have more time for the activities you truly enjoy. Travelling, studying and writing will become part of your daily routine. Friends, neighbours and colleagues will be happy to carry out your responsibilities while you’re away. A tendency to be easily bored will inspire you to take a variety of classes. You don’t have to take courses linked to your career.

GEMINI (May22/ Jun21)

You will reconsider your dayto-day living arrangements throughout late July and August. Although this won’t be a good time to sign a lease or close a property deal, it will be a good opportunity to explore your options. By September, you’ll be ready to leave a difficult household arrangement for a more comfortable one. A close relationship will show signs of strain throughout December. Tolerance and compassion will go a long way towards preserving your partnership.

VIRGO (Aug24/Sep23)

Family obligations will play a big part in your life this year. You may take time off work to care for an elderly relative or small child. It’s possible you’ll have to find a better living situation for someone who can no longer be independent. Be good to yourself during this time. You’re a kind, caring person who can be trusted to find the best arrangement for everyone involved. If you’re living beyond your means, you might decide to downsize your lifestyle. Don’t let pride get in the way of making the decision that is best for you.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov23/ Dec21)

You’ll be taking on a great deal of responsibility this year, which makes you more subdued than usual. Take this opportunity to review where you’ve been and plan where you’d like to go. If you’re dissatisfied with your surroundings, you’ll have a chance to relocate in late February. You’ll have more work than usual, which can drain your energy. Fortunately, you are surrounded by loving people who want to help. Be receptive to relatives who offer to run errands, prepare meals and provide childcare.

PISCES (Feb20/Mar20)

Spirituality will continue to be an important issue for you and you will devote as much time as possible to activities that help you transcend mundane reality. Exercising your artistic talent, donating time to a good cause and worshipping your higher power will be welcome distractions from money and status. Are you single? Let a trusted confidante set you up on a blind date. Your social connections will be instrumental to your success. Resist the temptation to cling stubbornly to your independence.

The Christmas Magazine



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UNFORGETTABLE GIFTS FROM JUST £29 Christmas may last just one day, but some gifts live on for much longer – like a Jaguar Experience. Here, those special to you can learn more about the rich history and heritage of one of the world’s most iconic car brands. They can take a tour around our world-famous Castle Bromwich factory and witness a new generation of Jaguars being brought to life – from sheet metal to finished car. Or climb behind the wheel of a classic E-Type and state-of-the-art F-TYPE. As gifts go, they don’t get more memorable. To purchase a gift voucher, or find out more visit, or call 0121 7866000/6001 quoting XMAS16.

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