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Begin planning your festivities now!

Organising your Christmas party

There is no uncertainty that the mention of a Christmas party has already cropped up in your work place by now, even despite the desperate pleas from those who state, “It’s too soon to start thinking about Christmas!”. The dreaded headed email alone can occasionally stir up a wave of sheer panic to those who desperately attempt to keep Christmas and all common denominators at bay until, at least, December. Fear not, readers! Whether you are the hapless individual that has somehow

been landed with the responsibility of organising the party, or in fact an attendee of the party gathering ideas to help said hapless individual; we are on hand to provide an easy to follow guide which will smooth the process of organising a Christmas work party. Firstly, it is vital that you gage the successfulness of the previous Christmas party. You need to find out from your colleagues whether they were happy with the venue and arrangement of last year’s party and find out what, if given the opportunity,

they would have changed. Big or small, all suggestions will assist in your role of finding the best suited venue for your party. It’s essential to discuss ideas with your colleagues to try and find out what they would like, or expect, to see this year. Secondly, before you go booking any venues, you will need to find out just how much money your colleagues are willing to spend. It is also important to consider if your company will contribute towards the cost of the Christmas party. Is there

a budget to be reckoned with? Not all companies are able to provide this luxury, however, so you must make the evening affordable for everyone. The budget will respectively facilitate limitations as to what you are able to get organised for your team, so ensure

that you gather this information quickly. Ask all your colleagues for their desired party date. This will allow you to narrow down on dates whilst also enabling you to confirm numbers, which will provide you with more sureness when contacting

the venues etc. A few venues offer discounts for early bookings, like in November, so this may be something to consider if you are on a tighter budget. Work your way through the list of venues that has been suggested by your colleagues, contacting each one – or visiting their website – to see what they are able to offer you and your team and for what price. Also enquire as to whether you will need a deposit for your party or not, what time the DJ runs until, also directions on the venue if it is typically difficult to find. Check to see if the venues are easily accessible via public transport as the taxi fares to and from the party may put your colleagues off wanting to attend. Once you have obtained this information from your colleagues and the venues, it is time to present the information to your colleagues, concisely, with a narrowed down list of best picks. Outline in the email that the choice of the venue will be decided upon a majority vote and ensure you give your colleagues a date to respond by! Of course, as designated party planner, you mustn’t forget those allimportant cheesy images to spread Christmas cheer along with every email!

Have you considered


Many charities are desperate for volunteers in the build up to Christmas – have you thought about the impact you could make to just one person? The festive period can be particularly gruelling and isolating for homeless people and shelters are likely to be filling up quickly with those requiring relief meaning that general assistance is always welcomed. This can mean assisting with serving food and cleaning up, to chatting to those in the shelter and trying your best to ensure that they know that there is someone for them to talk to. Skilled help is often overlooked in shelters. Businesses like beauty therapy and hairdressing services are often highly desired within shelters and these are often the businesses that are needed the most, too. Regardless as

to whether you have a skilled trade, there will always be an opportunity for you to help. Volunteers often leave knowing that they have helped make a difference to somebody’s day, possibly brought festive cheer to those that need it the most. How can I find volunteering opportunities near me? As you would probably expect, Christmas day is the most popular shift over the Christmas period and these shifts are usually filled weeks in advance. However, shelters often struggle to cover their night shifts, so please do bare this in mind. The best place to start enquiring about volunteering opportunities is with your local council. They should be able to provide details for organisations in your area that are in need of volunteers. You could also

try to contact organisations directly. Below are a couple of examples: Do-It is a volunteering database with hundreds of opportunities all over the country. Visit their website to see if you could help: [] The Salvation Army offers support and companionship to those must vulnerable all over the country. Visit their website to see if you could help: [] Thinking of something smaller? If the Christmas period is rather chaotic, do not worry as you can still help with the following, smaller opportunities for volunteering this Christmas: Pack a giftwrapped shoebox full of items for a disadvantaged child to receive at Christmas. Visit their website for more information to see if this is something you could possibly contribute towards: [www. samaritans-purse.] Contribute to charity buckets by supermarket tills. Regardless as to whether the amount you add is small or large, every involvement will help somebody in need. Locate and buy charity Christmas cards rather than buying commercial cards. The money you spend will go to charity and the cards are just as beautiful.

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Revealed: 1 in 3 Brits find

Christmas Stressful

The lead up to the festive period can be emotionally and financially demanding, often having serious implications in people's health and wellbeing. Leading bingo comparison site conducted an independent survey of over 2,000 UK residents to find out how people really feel about Christmas. The independent survey looked at individual's attitudes, priorities and behavioural changes regarding the Christmas period, with some revealing insights. The findings include: 1. One in Three people find Christmas Stressful (Stoke-on-Trent is the top place within the UK where people find the lead up to Christmas stressful and feel anxious during the 3-day event) 2. One out of 6

Brits find Christmas “depressing” (We asked 2,000 people to describe the festive season in one word) Over 33% of families will use shortterm loan companies such as Wonga to cover their festive expenditure, Birmingham is the top city within the UK where these adjustments are made. 3. Over 85% of parents said they can't afford to give their children everything they ask for. 4. 75% of people said they do NOT enjoy the company of their own family during Christmas day. Uncles and in-laws are the top two family members to cause animosity while tucking into your Christmas turkey. 5. It's not all depressing! 80% of parents said their most enjoyable moment was seeing their children

unwrapping their presents on Christmas morning. 6. 80% of single men aged between 18-55 said the most enjoyable thing during the festive period was watching the English Premier Leagues busy festive football fixtures on TV. Alex Hammond, Commercial director said: “It's time for people to start thinking about their Christmas preparation; whether that is buying presents and decorations, organizing family reunions or planning the iconic Christmas dinner timings. The run up to the holidays can be emotionally and financially demanding, often having implications in people's health and wellbeing."

Budgeting for Christmas is much easier said than done, granted. It is an element that many of us attempt in the earlier stages of our shopping ventures but rarely actually follow up on. However, budgeting early can avoid unnecessary last-minute spending and can help you reign in the overall amount you’re dishing out, too. Make a list and most importantly – stick to it. Outline those that you are planning to buy for along

with an approximate amount that you wish to spend on this person. Keep this list with you always! This way, if you do happen to nip in to the shop on the way home from work and see that lovely bath set that your sister would like, you can tick her off your list right there and then! You can choose to save the list on your mobile phone if you are tech savvy or on a piece of paper in your wallet or purse if you prefer. If you can, buy early. Smaller

items, like wrapping paper and Christmas decorations, are in shops from September and they are often a fraction of the price at this time of year when compared to December. Stock up on these items as early as possible, but avoid splurging on bows and ribbons as, although pretty, it’s money that is being unnecessarily spent. Although not for everybody, shopping online can be a great help when trying to avoid extra spending

Budgeting for Christmas and simultaneously getting more organised for Christmas. Not only do many shops offer online discounts on certain items, but you may also discover ideas for gifts for your family or friends whilst browsing. This almost one-dimensional approach can save you money long term too, as shops are privy to our tendency to pick up ‘last minute extras’ whilst waiting for the queue to go down and, of course, when shopping online

these extras are not sat waiting for you near the checkout! Shopping online can also spread out the cost of gift buying as you can add items to your basket and buy one or two online. Of course, you must be mindful that these items may become out of stock or increased in price during these two time frames, however, this will hopefully avoid the panic of checking your bank balance after wandering around the

city centre for hours! If you like to gift the children in your family with letters from Santa, small presents in the build-up or a Christmas eve box, why not help Santa out with a little bit of D.I.Y.? these small purchases may not seem like much at the time, but you can cut a fraction off the price of these items by making them yourself. You can go to almost any craft shop to pick up items to assist with these gifts.

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Merry Christmas with


Gift collection „Merry Christmas“ by Hutschenreuther Merry Christmas! That is also the name of the new Christmas collection from Hutschenreuther, with finely detailed decorations, eye-catching greetings and three exquisite and traditional colour schemes. Nordic Red, for example, features accented lettering, stars, sledges and reindeer, beautifully positioned on the cream-coloured material of

the collection. For a more refined look, the Shiny Gold colour scheme presents angelic figures and a black band around the circumference, with gold stars and lettering. Charming Grey joins the new Christmas collection with typical Scandinavian reserve. In soft greige (a mixture of grey and beige) snowflakes and crystals float over cups, plates, bowls and Advent candlesticks. A stylised stag and branches are also

present, along with striking lettering. All three colour schemes can be combined in any way you like, and you can complete the collections with the appropriate napkins, candelabra and baubles. A selected range of undecorated, cream-coloured pieces such as animal figurines, two new house façades with tealight inserts and various tree ornaments offer more ideas for decorations.

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Celebrating Christmas

abroad is becoming more

popular, research reveals

∙39% of Brits have made the choice to spend Christmas outside of the UK previously ∙Almost a quarter of those escaped the British Christmas to avoid family or traditions A study* carried out on behalf of, the tailormade long-haul holiday specialist, shows that 39% of UK adults have spent Christmas abroad with almost a quarter admitting they did so to escape their families, traditions such as cooking and even the idea of Christmas altogether. While 37% leave the UK to visit family who live abroad, a further 18% follow the sunshine as they leave the UK because of the weather. 15% like the idea of spending Christmas in a different country to experience different traditions. Interestingly, almost a quarter of those spending Christmas abroad travel by themselves, while 40% take their partners with them. A further 28% bring the whole family while only 4% travel with their friends. Over a third of those surveyed admitted avoiding Christmas in the UK every year, followed by a third who escape every other year, and 22% who say

they've spent Christmas abroad a couple of times. When asked what people miss the most when travelling, almost half said they wish they were with their families, followed by 27% who miss the festive TV programs. Interestingly, just over 10% claim to miss the British weather. This might be why over two thirds of those who spend Christmas abroad decide to keep taking part in Christmas traditions. A further 12% are not so fond of traditional activities as long as they exchange presents, and 12% always adopt the traditions of the country they are visiting. On the other hand, there are other elements of the holiday season that the public don't miss. Cooking Christmas dinner was voted to be the least favourite aspect of the whole festive season, while second place goes to family visits, followed by Christmas advertising. Commenting on the results, Travelbag's spokesperson Paul Hopkinson, says: "It's interesting to see how many people are travelling abroad over Christmas to either visit their families, discover new countries or just to make sure they are not

spending Christmas in the UK as some feel the festive season is getting too commercial." Spending habits When it comes to spending cash to celebrate the festive season abroad, people from Northern Ireland and those aged 55+ don't seem to mind turning their wallets inside out. The findings show that respondents based in Northern Ireland invest on average £1,039** into celebrating Christmas outside the UK. Compared to, for example, savvy Scots who pay only £704. Looking at the age groups, those aged 55 and over don't mind forking out almost £1,000. On the other hand, young professionals (aged 25-34) are more careful and spend just £663. Women are keen to take £798 out of their budget, while men are prepared to splash £882 during the winter holidays. Hopkinson adds: “It's interesting to see the different attitudes towards spending money when travelling. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself when celebrating Christmas abroad, but everyone should make sure they won't struggle financially and spend within their means."

How to pick the best bottle

of bubbly for Christmas

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without bubbles. But with 10 zillion options vying for a place in your festive fridge, which bottle should you take home? 2015 was the year that our collective zeal for Italian prosecco reached its zenith (Brits spent £41m on own-brand versions of the stuff last year). But it was also when bright, fresh English wine started to be taken seriously (HMRC has seen a 41% increase in applications to produce English sparkling wine this year). And let's not forget the original. The fanciest. Bone-dry, golden-toned champagne. First up, let's talk basics. Prosecco – This is a lovely lighter style of fizz. It's fresher and fruitier than champagne and cava, which makes it easier to drink and therefore great for parties. It's also the fizz of the moment, very trendy and obviously a cheaper alternative to champers. Cava – From Spain, cava is a great all-rounder. It’s much cheaper than champagne (about £6 a bottle) but made in exactly the same way, so the flavour profile is similar with those yeasty notes that come from the second fermentation in the bottle. Champagne – Naturally, the king of fizz, and the  price reflects that. It can only be made in the Champagne region of France, and only from certain grape varieties. It has delicious brioche notes from its extended time ageing in bottle. English Sparkling – The home-grown stuff is having a great time at the moment as consumers are coming to realise its excellent quality. It tends to have similar traits to champagne as the climate of southern England, where most of the vineyards are, is very similar to that of the Champagne region in France – although the notes are more appley rather than lemony. And buying it helps the English wine industry, which is a good thing. And which fizz is best for which occasion​? For Christmas nibbles and antipasti platters: prosecco wins Shellfish starter or any fried fish: try cava – the acidity cuts

through the oiliness. Smoked salmon: perfect with blanc de blancs champagne. The citrus notes work beautifully with the strong flavour. For pudding: try asti, the sweet sparkling white Italian wine.

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Your guide to the perfect Christmas dinner:

CHOOSE YOUR MAIN ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TURKEY: it’s all in the preparation… [A JAMIE OLIVER RECIPE: recipes/turkey-recipes] The turkey is often perceived as the central part of the Christmas dinner. Food lovers from all over the country will defend their chosen method to the ground, however, here we prefer to keep things simple yet effective with Jamie’s turkey recipe. 1. Check the main turkey cavity for the bag of giblets, and if they’re in there, remove and tip them into your roasting tray, discarding the bag. The added flavour they’ll give your gravy will be incredible – trust me. 2. Peel the onions, wash the carrots and roughly chop with the celery, then add to the tray with the unpeeled garlic cloves. 3. Halve the clementine and chilli and place in the turkey cavity with

most of the herbs – not filling it too full allows hot air to circulate, cooking the bird from the inside out and from the outside in. 4. Place the stuffing in the neck cavity (click here for my meat stuffing recipe, or you could use any veggie stuffing), then pull the skin back over it and tuck it under the bird. You’ll get a good contrast between the soft, juicy stuffing here inside the turkey, and the crispier stuff you can bake in a dish, as well. 5. Scrunch and warm the butter in your hands so it’s soft enough to spread all over the bird, getting into all the nooks and crannies. The butter layer serves two purposes – natural basting, plus keeping the seasoning away from the meat until it hits the oven, so the bird stays nice and juicy. The butter will melt off as it cooks, adding to the flavour of the gravy, and you’ll also be able to skim off

that tasty fat and save it in a jar in the fridge for delicious cooking another day. 6. Generously sprinkle the turkey from all sides with sea salt and black pepper, pick over the remaining herb leaves and pat them on to the butter, then finely grate over a nice coating of nutmeg. 7. Cover the turkey snugly with tin foil and place it on top of the trivet in the tray. You can now either leave it for 1 hour until the bird comes up to room temperature, ready to cook, or pop it into the fridge or another cold place until you need it. 8. Have a clear down, and your prep is done. Click here for how to cook your bird... 9. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/ gas 4. 10. You want to cook a higher-welfare bird for 25 to 30 minutes per kilo, and a standard bird for 35 to 40 minutes

ROAST DUCK with Marsala gravy… [A JAMIE OLIVER RECIPE: recipes/duck-recipes] Attempt Jamie’s crispy roast duck fuss-free substitute to the traditional roast this Christmas. 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ gas 4. 2. Remove any excess fat from inside the cavity of the duck, then using a sharp knife carefully score the breast and legs all over in crisscross fashion, roughly 1cm apart. 3. Season the duck with sea salt, black pepper and the five-spice, then rub all over so the flavour catches in all the nooks and crannies. 4. Halve the clementine and place into the cavity along with the bay leaves. Transfer the duck to a medium roasting tray and roast for

around 1 hour 20 minutes. 5. Meanwhile, halve the bulb of garlic across the middle, then peel and roughly slice the carrots and onions. 6. When the time is up, remove the roasting tray from the oven. Carefully lift up the duck and scatter the veg into the tray to make a trivet. Sit the duck on top of the veg, then return the tray to the oven for a further 40 minutes, or until the duck is beautifully crisp and the meat falls easily away from the bone. 7. Once cooked to perfections, remove the duck to a plate to rest while you get on with the gravy. 8. Add the flour to the vegetables, then mash everything together with a potato masher, scraping up all the sticky goodness from the bottom. 9. Place over a medium-high heat, pour in the Marsala and leave to bubble and cook away, stirring well. 10. Add the stock, then bring to

the boil and reduce to a simmer for around 15 minutes, or until thickened and reduced. Strain through a coarse sieve, skim away any fat from the surface, then season to taste. 11. Shred or carve up the duck, then serve with the gravy on the side. Nice with duck fat roast potatoes, seasonal greens and cranberry sauce.

VEGETARIAN NUT ROAST… [A EMMA GOSS-CUSTARD RECIPE VIA JAMIE OLIVER WEBSITE: https://www. j a m i e o l i v e r. c o m / r e c i p e s / vegetables-recipes] Emma’s innovative take on the standard vegetarian nut roast is outstanding. Ourselves and Jamie Oliver alike praise her roasted veg,

crispy potatoes and redcurrant gravy. 1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. For the nut roast crust, spread out the nuts and seeds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5–6 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, along with the chestnut purée, suet and maple syrup, and blitz until the mixture comes together into a ball. It will be very sticky to begin with, so stop and scrape the sides as you go. 2. Place a large sheet of baking parchment on a work surface and sit the dough on it. T h e n , with lots of glutenfree flour on your hands and rolling pin, roll out the dough as thinly as possible (less than 5mm). 3. If you’re making individual

tartlets, oil and flour four 10cm loose-bottomed tart tins, then cut out the pastry to size. Or roll out the dough and cut to the size of a large baking tin, then transfer to the tin using a fish slice. Prick the dough all over with a fork, cover with baking parchment, fill with baking beans or rice and bake blind for 12–15 minutes. Leave to cool completely in the baking tray, as it will be quite delicate straight from the oven. Keep the oven on. 4. For the topping, pop the sweet potato on a baking tray, toss with a little oil, then bake for 25 minutes, or until soft. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the mushrooms and 1 tsp cracked black pepper, and sauté for 6–8 minutes, until the mushrooms brown. 5. Blitz the roasted sweet potato in a food processor with the crème fraîche, nutmeg and ½ tbsp cracked black pepper (or to taste) to a smooth, creamy consistency. 6. To assemble your tart, crumble the blue cheese over the base, arrange the sautéed mushrooms on top, then finish with the sweet potato mix. Sprinkle with linseed, pistachios and sunflower seeds and add a drizzle of rapeseed oil, then pop back in the oven for 6–7 minutes until it just starts to brown. Serve hot with the accompanying vegetables.

per kilo. Higher-welfare birds generally have more intramuscular fat, which means they cook quicker than standard, lean birds. If you’ve got a 7kg bird, like I had here, do it for just over 3 hours, based on the guideline timings above. 11. Just under 1 hour before the time is up, get the tray out of the oven and remove the tin foil. 12. Cover the bird with your rashers of bacon, stretching and weaving them into a criss-cross pattern however you like. Return the turkey to the oven for the remaining time, or until golden and cooked through. 13. The simplest way to check it’s cooked is to stick a knife into the thickest part of the thigh – if the juices run clear, it’s done. If you’re worried, use a meat thermometer. You want to reach an internal temperature of 65ºC for a top-quality bird, such as Paul Kelly’s turkeys, or 70ºC for

a supermarket higher-welfare or standard bird. 14. Use heavy-duty tongs to lift up your bird so all the juices run from the cavity into the tray, then transfer the turkey to a platter, cover with a double layer of tin foil and a clean tea towel, and leave to rest for up to 2 hours while you crack on. 15. Use your tray of trivet veg and juices to make your gravy. Place the turkey tray over a medium heat on the hob. Skim away most of the fat from the surface into a jar, cool, and place in the fridge for tasty cooking another day. 16. Stir the flour into the tray, mashing up all the veg and scraping up all the sticky bits from the base. Pour in up to 2 litres of boiling kettle water and simmer until the gravy is the consistency of your liking, then stir in the cranberry sauce. 17. Strain the gravy through a coarse

sieve, pushing all the goodness through with the back of a spoon, then season to perfection. 18. Keep warm over the lowest heat until needed, adding any extra resting juices from the turkey before serving.

ROAST CHICKEN… [A JAMIE OLIVER RECIPE: recipes/chicken-recipes] If you fancy venturing away from the turkey this year, why not try our roast chicken recommendation? Birds are typically larger around this time of year so take advantage and stuff with fresh herbs, some porcini-and-pancetta butter smeared under the skin. 1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas 5. Leave the chicken to come up to room temperature while you make your butter. 2. Pop the dried porcini into a small bowl, cover with boiling water and allow to sit for 5 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to remove the mushrooms, and reserve both them and their soaking liquid. 3. Put your butter into a bowl and finely grate in the lemon zest (reserve the lemons for later) and half of the nutmeg, then peel and crush in the garlic. 4. Pick in the thyme leaves, chop and add the pancetta, then add the soaked porcini along with a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. 5. Mix everything into the butter until combined, then divide into two. Set aside in the fridge until needed. 6. Take the chicken and use your fingers and a spatula to gently work

your way between the skin and the meat. Start at the side of the cavity just above the leg and work gently up along the breastbone, towards the back, until you create a large cavity. 7. Poke half of the butter into it, using your hands to push it through the skin right to the back, so it coats the breast meat as evenly as possible. Do the same on the other side with the remaining butter, and if there’s any left, rub it over the outside of the bird. 8. Halve the reserved zested lemons and pop in the cavity of the chicken along with the thyme, rosemary and sage sprigs – this will add extra flavour while the chicken cooks. 9. Peel and halve the onions, peel and roughly chop the carrots, then trim and roughly chop the celery. 10. Pile the veg into a large roasting tray, smash and add the whole garlic cloves along with the bay leaves and chicken wings, then drizzle with oil. 11. Place your whole chicken on top, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. 12. Roast the chicken in the oven for about 2 hours, or until the skin is golden and crispy and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a sharp knife, basting twice during cooking. If the vegetables start looking dry, add a splash of water to the tray to stop them burning. 13. Remove the tray from the oven and transfer the chicken to a board.

Cover with a sheet of tin foil and a tea towel and leave to rest for 15 minutes. 14. To prepare the gravy, spoon away any excess fat from the mixture in the roasting tray, then place on the hob over a low-medium heat. 15. Add the flour, stirring constantly, then pour in the wine and let it reduce down. Lastly, add the stock and stir continuously, until thickened. 16. Sieve the gravy into a clean saucepan, pressing down on all the solids to extract as much as you can. Keep the gravy warm in the saucepan, skimming off any fat that rises to the top. Serve with your roast chicken.

HAM… [A JAMIE OLIVER RECIPE: recipes/pork-recipes]

the flavours to really penetrate the meat. 4. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/ gas 3. 5. Carefully remove the meat to a board and, using a knife, take off the skin. Depending on the breed and quality of the pig, you should have a nice layer of fat. Remove some of the fat as well, to leave you with about 1cm. The extra fat can be kept in the freezer for roasting with potatoes another time. 6. Score the fat left on the meat in a criss-cross fashion, and season generously with 3 tablespoons of black pepper. 7. Place the ham in a roasting tray and roast for 20 minutes, or until the fat renders and becomes slightly crispy. 8. Remove from the oven, stir the marmalade to loosen, then rub it all over the meat,

and strip over the rosemary. 9. Return to the oven for about 1 hour and baste frequently until beautifully golden and crisp. Serve as you would a roast dinner or as part of a picnic.

Whether you choose to serve this as part of your Christmas dinner or save it for your evening meal, Jamie Oliver strikes again with his roasted marmalade ham. 1. Place the gammon in a large, snug-fitting pot and cover with water. Roughly chop and throw in the carrots and celery, with the bay leaves, peppercorns and bouquet garni. Peel the zest from the oranges and add to the water, then squeeze the juice. 2. Place the pot over a high heat, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes with a lid on, skimming away any scum that rises to the surface, as and when needed. 3. When the time's up, remove from the heat and allow to cool for half an hour in the broth – this will allow

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Your guide to the perfect Christmas Sides:

Choose your Sides -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ROAST POTATOES… [A RECIPE BY JAMES MARTIN FROM SATURDAY KITCHEN:] The perfect roast potato is an essential part of winning over your family with the Christmas dinner. Potatoes need to be crispy on the outside and fluffy and light on the inside. 1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. 2. Simmer the potatoes in a large pan of salted boiling

water for 4-5 minutes, or until the outside of the potatoes are beginning to soften. 3. Thoroughly drain the potatoes and briefly shake them around in the colander or pan to roughen up the edges. 4. Melt the lard in a deep flameproof roasting tray on a high heat and fry

BRUSSELS SPROUTS… A RECIPE BY RICHARD CORRGIAN FROM GREAT BRITISH MENU: recipes/creamedbrusselssprou_84835 Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts are an integral part of Christmas lunch. An effortless beauty which will help to convince the most determined of sprout-haters. Entice them in with cream and bacon. 1. Cook the Brussels sprouts in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes. Drain and refresh in a bowl of ice and water.

Drain again when the sprouts have cooled. 2. Add the bacon lardons to a nonstick frying pan, and fry over a medium heat until crisp. 3. Add the cream and crushed garlic to a small pan and bring to the boil. 4. Stir the sprouts into the crisp bacon; then stir in the hot cream. 5. Season with salt and pepper and serve straightaway.

PARSNIPS AND CARROTS… [A DANNY BLOOME RECIPE VIA RESCUE CHEF: http://www.] 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Peel the carrots and parsnips and cut them in half lengthwise, larger ones can be quartered. Place them on a large rimmed baking sheet. 3. Drizzle the carrots and parsnips with the olive oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Scatter the thyme sprigs on top. Place them in the preheated oven. 4. After 10 minutes, give the veggies a toss and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and slightly caramelized. Serve warm.

PIGS IN BLANKETS… [A JAMIE OLIVER RECIPE: https://www.jamieoliver. com/recipes/pork-recipes/pigs-in-blankets/] 1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. 2. Working one at a time, lay the bacon out on a board and run the sharp side of your knife along the length of the rasher to stretch it out – this will make it even crispier. 3. Dot with a few herb leaves, then place a sausage at one end and roll the bacon around it until it’s totally wrapped up. Place in a roasting tray and repeat till they’re all done. 4. Cook for 30 minutes, or until golden, gnarly and cooked through. 5. Using a fish slice, scrape the pigs in blankets from the bottom of the tray, leaving them in there, then add the Worcestershire sauce and give it a good shake, scraping all that sticky goodness from the bottom of the tray. 6. Drizzle in the honey then place on a medium heat on the hob and bring to the boil until caramelised, shaking continuously to coat. Serve immediately.

the potatoes on each side until they begin to brown. 5. Sprinkle with salt, to taste, and roast for 30 minutes, or until starting to colour. 6. Turn the potatoes and return to the oven for a further 20-30 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp. LEMON AND THYME PORK STUFFING… [A MARY BERRY RECIPE: christmas/lemon-and-thyme-porkstuffing] Make the stuffing the day before and use it to stuff a 7.2kg-8.1kg turkey in the neck end, providing it will fit in the fridge. Do not put a meat stuffing in the body cavity of a bird. The stuffing can also be made and frozen for up to a month in advance. 1. Cook the onion, covered, in the simmering oven for about 15 minutes until soft. 2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and cook gently until soft, about 10 minutes. 3. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well together. Cool before stuffing the turkey. 4. This is now ready to stuff the neck end of the bird. 5. Breadcrumbs are often used in recipes over Christmas. Some time in advance, whiz a whole loaf to breadcrumbs in the processor and keep in the freezer. You will then have them at the ready, and they defrost in minutes. Choose your dessert continued on page 51

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With Christmas often fraught with preparations, why not put aside the usual chores and unwind this festive season on one of Chapters Experience Holidays expert led European city breaks over Christmas. Atmospheric at any time of year, but even more so at this time of year, get in the flow for a relaxing Christmas with one of the following holidays floating through the misty waterways in Venice, soaking up the grandeur of the Danube River or ambling along the River Rhône and the Pont du Gard where one can do as the song says and dance on the ancient spans of the Pont d’Avignon. Venice - La Serenissima Magical at any time of year, Venice’s gondola festooned canals and impressive venetian treasures, such as the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Square, take on an invitingly eerie feel at Christmas when the mist rolls in off the water into the stylishly lit and near deserted alleyways to uncover beautifully decorated shops and a less touristy Venice with local Venetians festively going about their business. Exploring the city with a side trip to Padua, highlights of this one week holiday include exploring Piazza San Marco when only the pigeons are there, a boat trip across the lagoon to Murano, Burano and Torcello and contemplating Tintoretto’s amazing paintings in the Scuola di San Rocco. In addition, time also spent meandering around the Christmas markets, with their lovely selection of Murano glass, marbled paper gifts and gourmet goodies,

makes for the perfect opportunity to pick up that special gift. Chapters Experience Holidays (01707246666, - La Serenissima one week half board holiday starts from £1,065/person including return flights, dinners in local restaurants, an expert leader and local transport. Departures: 21 December 2017 A Danube Christmas Delight Celebrate in Vienna and Budapest, two of the finest cities on the Danube and discover the festive Tale of Two Cities. Wrap up warm for strolls through cobbled courtyards and bustling Christmas markets surrounded by twinkling fairy lights, traditional decorations and elegant architecture. Explore a museum or two before inviting smells from the numerous coffee houses tempt you in for a treat. Beginning in Vienna, this 8 night holiday takes in the city’s historic old town, the Opera House at Karlsplatz and magical Christmas

markets which take place in front of the city hall. Transferring by train to the Hungarian capital, Budapest, a wonderful city divided by the Danube with the historic Buda on the right bank and modern Pest on the left, time is spent here exploring the Hungarian Parliament, Heroes Square, the Buda Royal Palace, Castle district and the beautiful Fishermen’s Bastion as well as the traditional Christmas market on Vörösmarty Square in the heart of Pest. Chapters Experience Holidays (01707246666, www. ‘A Danube Christmas Delight’ 8 nights half board holiday starts from £1,199/person including return flights, local guides for half a day in each city, dinners in hotels and local restaurants, an expert leader and local transport. Departures: 24 December 2017 Romantic Avignon. On the tree lined banks of the River Rhône, surrounded by the 800-year-old ramparts, the medieval city of Avignon is steeped

Budapest at Christmas

in ancient lore and mystery and even more so during the festive season when Christmas lights, and a possible light dusting of snow, add to the city’s enchanting ambience. Regarded as one of France’s major artistic centres, dating back to the Pope’s court in 14th century, its narrow cobbled streets uncover a rich history with impressive sites such as the Place St Pierre, Place de l'Horloge and the Promenade

des Papes. Surrounded by beautiful French countryside, the week also includes trips to the Roman city of Arles where Van Gogh lived and painted; the small market town and birth place of Nostradamus, St. Remy de Provence; and a five mile walk up to Pont du Gard, the most spectacular aqueduct in France, where there is the opportunity to do as the song says and dance on the remaining spans of the

Pont d’Avignon. Chapters Experience Holidays (01707246666, www. Romantic Avignon one week holiday starts from £1045/person including return rail travel, en suite accommodation, half board meals with dinners in hotels and local restaurants, half day with local guide, an expert leader and local transport. Departures: 21 December 2017.

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Share the magic of Christmas

with Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa A festive hideaway Get wrapped up in the true magic of Christmas this season in our festive hideaway, where you will be welcomed by blazing log fires and tantalising decorations, oozing with an unmistakeable traditional charm. Our enchanting location offers idyllic country walks and is the perfect place to indulge on gourmet food, seasonal beverages and spellbinding entertainment, whether you are looking for a romantic getaway

Ja Windermere German

Christmas Market

Windermere is hosting a brand new German Christmas Market on the 10th & 11th December and we're proud to be a major sponsor. Come along to the Victoria Street area of the village and get into the festive spirit with a whole day of activities that the whole family can enjoy. • A wide range of festive stalls selling fantastic seasonal gifts from knitwear to soaps. • Delicious German food & drinks offerings available all day

• Live music & on street entertainment. • Santas Grotto and reindeer! • The festivities will continue into the evening in the bars & pubs in the area. Sail and ride to the German Market Get to the market easily from Ambleside, Bowness or Lakeside or combine a scenic cruise with your day out. A special sail and ride service will run the entire weekend and will be provided by Mountain Goat Tours. This special shuttle bus service will

run throughout the day and connect Bowness Pier to the German market in Windermere village. • Cost: Adults £2, Children £1 (one-way) • The first departure from Bowness will be 10:30am and the last departure from the German market will be 3:15pm. Get your free Local Resident Discount card from our stand Windermere Lake Cruises & Lakeland Motor Museum will have a stand at the market. If you're a 'local' (living in the LA or CA postcode areas), bring along a recent bill and we'll give you a FREE resident discount card.

or a festive family gathering this Christmas. If you’d prefer to enjoy the Christmas period at home, why not join us as we welcome in the New Year? Or, simply immerse yourself in luxury between the two dates with a mid-festivity break. Each of our carefully tailored packages boast an unforgettable programme of activities including clay pigeon shooting, black tie dinners, ‘meet the hawk’ sessions and much more! For more information on our festive breaks, contact Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa via the details below: Hotel Telephone: 017687 76551 The Spa Telephone: 017687 88900

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Christmas Breaks

in the Lake District

Thinking about having a Lake District Christmas break? The warmest of welcomes awaits at any of our seven Lake District Hotels this Christmas. Get into the festive spirit as you walk through the doors to one of our hotels in the Lake District adorned with traditional decorations and the aroma of mulled wine lulls you into a feeling of pure relaxation. Enjoy the cosy atmosphere and delicious food, combined with our friendly service you will feel at home from the moment you arrive for Christmas in the Lake District. The only hard part is deciding which hotel to choose! Lodore Falls Hotel Unwind by the roaring fires before spending the rest of the Christmas break indulging in the delicious feasts, such as the famous Gala Buffet, whilst relaxing in beautiful surroundings or enjoying the variety of entertainment. Inn on the Lake For a magical and memorable Christmas break in the heart of the Lake District the Inn on the Lake is the place to be. Feel relaxed and at ease amongst the courteous staff, abundance of entertainment and fantastic festive local fayre. Borrowdale Hotel What could be better than roaring fires in the cosy lounges whilst sipping hot Winter Punch with a mince pie, before spending the rest of the Christmas break relaxing and unwinding in the comfort of the Borrowdale Hotel. Inn on the Square. Indulge yourselves this Christmas in our brand new hotel and make the most of the jolly season with a luxury stay at the Inn on the Square. Whether you’re planning a relaxing quiet one or some fabulous festive fun with family and friends – we’ll make you feel welcome from the moment you drop your bags. Skiddaw Hotel Situated in the centre of the beautiful market town of Keswick and adorned with traditional decorations, this hotel has enjoy delicious food, attentive staff and great entertainment everything you need for a special Christmas break. George Hotel Trees adorned with twinkling lights, decorations that illuminate the rich wood panelling in the lounges and roaring fires - not forgetting all the delicious food, the warmest of welcomes awaits you at the George Hotel. Kings Arms Hotel. Throughout your Christmas break at the Kings Arms Hotel you can enjoy a delicious variety of festive fayre, awardwinning ales and an abundance of entertainment and the opportunity to take Christmas at your own pace.

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There has been a market

in Nantwich since 1500.

The present building, at the junction of Market Street and Churchyardside, dates from 1867 and offers over 50 stall with a wide variety of fresh food, fashion, gifts, art, cards, essentials and bespoke services. Open weekly on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays, the present market building is located in the centre of town and sits next to the lovely St Mary's church (the "cathedral of South Cheshire"). Stallholders sell a wide variety of goods including fresh produce and household items. The cosy Tea Chest cafe serves hot and cold snacks, drinks, breakfast and lunchtime

specials. Complementing the traditional town market, Nantwich boasts a number of ‘pop-up’ markets in the Town Square, each featuring over 35 stalls. On the last Saturday of every month you will find the town’s Farmers Market stocked with an array of fresh, local produce and dotted throughout the year Artisan, Antiques and Collectors and Seasonal markets are not to be missed. Opening times for Nantwich Market are: Tuesday 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Thursday 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Saturday 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Winter looms and council highways

teams geared up for all weathers

Cheshire East Council’s highways teams are all geared up to face whatever winter weather throws their way in the coming months. Cheshire East highways’ dedicated winter service starts at the end of October and preparations are well underway should the temperature plummet or strong winds impact on driving conditions. Recent autumn storms saw gangs clearing the roads of fallen trees and other debris and from next month, the service’s full-on cold-weather response programme swings into operation. Salt stocks are high and the service’s fleet of 19 gritters are on standby and ready to be mobilised throughout the winter season. Gritting routes are planned and include the recognised high-level roads to the

east of the borough, where snow and ice tend to have the most severe impact in extremely cold weather. Councillor Glen Williams, deputy cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “Using digital technology and Met Office weather warnings, we constantly monitor changes in weather and are able to anticipate sub-zero temperatures and the need to grit our roads. Major transport routes and access routes for emergency services and other key routes, are a priority. “Although we grit a significant proportion of the borough’s 2,700 kilometres of highway, we cannot ensure that all roads will be clear of snow and ice. “Residents and motorists can be reassured that if things turn unpleasant we are ready to

respond. This is also the case where storms and heavy rain can lead to fallen trees and flooding. “We urge residents to take care in adverse driving conditions or when out walking.” Cheshire East highways work closely with neighbouring authorities to ensure that a consistent level of service is provided to roads that cross council boundaries. Residents and commercial operators can keep up to date with gritting operations by following Cheshire East highways on Twitter @ CECHighways or they can go to the winter service webpage. The service can also be contacted on 0300 123 5020 for any enquiries, or to report debris on roads and other hazards.

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What do you give someone who’s looking for excitement, adventure and daily stimulation in their lives? This Christmas sign them up to a world of flavour and creativity with a subscription from Flaming Licks, the world’s premier fiery foods club. The UK company delivers the best from quality British and European producers, not readily available in supermarkets, straight to your door anywhere in the world. Each monthly subscription box will ensure spicy

food addicts are never without their fix! Chilli fans will discover how variety is truly the spice of life. Each month your delivery will contain exciting secret delights to unravel to ensure you are fully stocked with thrilling new discoveries to provide inspiration and flavours for a more creative cooking and food experience. Sign up to a choice of subscriptions to include one, three, six or twelve deliveries during the year. Choose the best matched subscription box

for your foodie companion to best tingle their taste buds: Snackers can get their chompers around the Munch Box subscription (from £8.99 per month including free shipping to the UK) with its range of four spicy treats which includes a combination of snacks including knock out nuts, dips and salsas, dried meats (UK subscribers only) or a veggie option, and sweet treats such as extra fiery brownies. Keen to try new things but the kitchen is cluttered with half empty bottles? Featuring in the Taste and Crave boxes, the newly launched Hot Shots pack means you’re never caught short when it comes to flavour. Each month one selected hot sauce producer will pick their finest top three products to fill a triple pack of 41ml shots – a staple for any dinner table and easy enough to take around with you adding a dash of excitement to any meal. The original Taste Box subscription (from £13.49 per month including free shipping to the UK) has received a serious upgrade and is perfect for the sauce fiends and adventurous cooks. Bursting with flavour the box contains a Hot Shots triple pack, a mix of two full sized sauces, condiments or cooking products and recipes cards to collect. And finally, the monumental Crave Box subscription (from £19.99 a month including free shipping to

the UK) is for the truly committed spicy food addict, cramming no less than nine fiery foods into one epic box. Every month, you’ll receive a Hot Shots triple pack, a mix of four snacks, dips, dried meats (UK only and with an alternative veggie option), and c o n f e c t i o n e r y. The box will also include a mix of two full sized sauces, condiments or cooking products as well as recipe cards providing inspiration and ideas around the products. Subscribers can join the Facebook community for reviews, share recipe ideas and learn more about the producers and their creations. Plus, they will also receive a further 15% discount for the online shop. Sign up, subscribe and enter a world

Give something special this Christmas

This year the Lake District National donation today, you can help us look in the future. If you would like to find out more about Park is offering a Christmas present after this spectacular place now and donations, please visit with a difference giving you the chance to sponsor a piece of the spectacular landscape. A new online sponsor system where you can sponsor bridges, gates, signs and other work within the National Park has just been launched. Photo shows a fingerpost at Howtown in Glenridding which was installed using sponsorship money. National Park Project Ranger, Phil Clague explains the benefits of the new scheme: “We maintain more than 3,100km of paths and bridleways. Millions of visitors, combined with our Cumbrian climate, means we are constantly carrying out improvements and maintenance.” “This new, online system will allow you to choose a location or item which is special to you, with an option to have a small plaque, showing initials and dates. Alternatively, you can sponsor one of our larger projects, or the valuable work of our apprentices and rangers. You can pay for your donation online, and choose a message that will be shared on our website’s message wall.” “It is easy to use, and will provide people with the opportunity to sponsor something in a place which might be special to them, perhaps in memory of a loved one, to celebrate a special event such as a wedding or birthday – or even as a unique Christmas gift.” By making a

of fiery flavour by visiting www. For further media information, more hi-res images and samples to review

please contact Kristel Valaydon at KV Communications Tel: 07884 335734 (preferred)/ 0203 239 7959 Email:

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Christmas Markets and Fairs in Wales 2017

Christmas markets are popping up all over Wales. The scent of mulled wine and roasting chestnuts fills the air. Artisan food producers and craftspeople are donning seasonal knitwear and filling their stalls with tempting goodies. Santa is in his grotto, checking his list to see if you’ve been naughty or – we confidently predict - nice. Let the festivities begin! Here’s just a selection of the many markets, fairs and seasonal shopping opportunities coming your way… Llandudno Christmas Fayre 16 – 19 November 2017 The ‘Queen of Welsh resorts’ hosts North Wales’ biggest Christmas market, with more than 165 stalls lining Madoc Street, Augusta Street and Trinity Square Street for Llandudno Christmas Fayre. There’ll be a feast of local food, handmade gifts and arts along with craft demonstrations and a Santa’s grotto for the children to enjoy. There’s a distinctly Dickensian charm to the proceedings, which also includes the World Bara Brith Championships,

a hotly-contested tournament to find the champion baker of Wales’ speckled tea time favourite. Portmeirion Food and Craft Fair 1 – 3 December 2017 The stunning Italianate fantasy village opens its doors for three days to a whole load of Welsh merriment and wonder. Portmeirion hosts a range of exhibitors specialising in local produce, music makers galore and plenty of cooking demonstrations to inspire your Christmas feast. There’ll be more than 120 Welsh artisan stalls to tempt you, a magical Christmas Grotto, a giant gingerbread village and an elf dash (that’s a fun run for kids, in case you were wondering…). Wrexham Victorian Christmas Market. 7 December 2017 This year Wrexham’s Victorian Christmas Market is bigger and better than ever, with around 100 stalls alongside Victorian themed rides and entertainment. It all happens in the most picturesque part of the town centre, where local producers will be on hand to take orders for Christmas turkeys or geese or to

sell everything from pies, sausages, cakes, brownies, chocolates to local cheese, beers, cider and preserves, and toys, candles, clothing, jewellery, handbags, books, cards, crafts, gifts, seasonal plants and Christmas decorations. The parish church of St Giles becomes a real haven of warmth on a cold winter’s evening, with yet

more stalls and refreshments served up with music and carols. Conwy’s Winterfest 9 December 2017 Here’s how Conwy gets everybody into the real spirit of Christmas: the Winterfest kicks off with a grand parade, led by the town’s jester, followed by armoured knights

carrying blazing torches. There’s entertainment in the town square, the excellent array of shops stay open well into the evening, and the local pubs and restaurants are primed to offer sustenance to weary shoppers. Surf Snowdonia Christmas Market 10 – 11 December 2017 Surf Snowdonia will be playing host

to a hip and happening Christmas market celebration at the centre’s glamping village on the edge of the surf lagoon. So even if you don’t fancy dipping your toe in to the chilly water for a bit of snowy surfing, you can stay warm in the real ale tent, try the tasty festive foods and let the kids enjoy the carousel and fair rides.

Join the festivities at Dyffryn over the holidays as we celebrate traditions past and present with a new magical 12 Days of Christmas display and family fun events over the winter season. 12 Days of Christmas Trail Dates: 18 November - 7 January* Time: 10am - 4pm (Last entry 3pm) *Closed 25 and 26 December Normal admission prices apply Launch weekend - 18 and 19 November The popular winter trail is back, but with a difference. A new magical display will be placed around the gardens bringing the much loved Christmas carol to life. Take a 12 Days of Christmas trail sheet and sing your way around the gardens as you marvel at the new family fun display. Our launch weekend on 18th and 19th November is set to be an extra festive experience, so see what magical memories you will make this winter season with the National Trust. You might even get to see a very special guest around the gardens from 12pm - 2pm. Visit Father Christmas and his Elves Father Christmas is kindly taking time away from his busy schedule with a few of his helpers to meet lots of boys and girls in Dyffryn House.

Would you like to share your Christmas wish list with the special man in red in person? Make sure to book your visit in advance on one of the dates available to avoid disappointment. Dates: 9 and 10 December 16 and 17 December Price: £5 per child / present Normal admission prices apply Booking essential: Call 02920 590813 Breakfast with the Elves Dates: 9 and 10 December 16 and 17 December Time: 9am - 10am Prices: £7.95 per child / £10.95 per adult Enjoy a cooked breakfast, play games and do some colouring with our Elves in the Garden’s Café. Adults get free refills of tea and coffee and every

child receives a gift. Soak up the festive spirit Escape the tinsel-decked chaos of the high street and admire the

beautifully adorned Dyffryn House with its Christmas trees, mistletoe and twinkling lights. You can pick out a few special

Christmas presents for loved ones from our Gift Shop, which will also be open until 7:45pm for a spot of late night shopping on the evening of our popular Christmas concert on 8 December.

Spend your Christmas in North Wales

It’s the most magical time of the year – so why not spend it in the most magical of destinations? Landscapes around North Wales change (sometimes overnight) to a glorious bright white. The untouched snow makes it look like a photograph, but there’s no need to rub your eyes, this is North Wales at Christmas.

We like to think North Wales is Santa’s favourite destination. He makes plenty of stops in North Wales leading up to the big day, including an incredible zip wire entrance at Zip World. He even makes a stop off at Llechwedd Slate Mines, where you’ll jump on a train and be taken right into

the grotto to see Santa and his helpers. So that’s the kids sorted, what about the adults? Well, a break in a snowy Snowdonia lodge might be just the way to relax and unwind before the big day. The perfectly situated lodges are the perfect opportunity to explore the region in its snowy beautifulness. Plenty of Christmas markets take place around the region, including Llandudno’s popular event, an ideal chance for some last minute Christmas shopping!

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2017 Santa Steam Specials Every weekend from the 25th November through to Christmas Eve

Every year the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway run Santa Specials. Join us for a journey behind one of our iconic steam locomotives for festive fun when Santa Clause travels along the Railway spreading goodwill all round. Tickets will go on sale on 24th July. Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Santa Specials – the original and best. As soon as you board our Santa Special, it feels like Christmas with specially decorated coaches and festive music to get you into the

mood. You will be greeted by your steward, who will check your tickets and show you to your seat, before explaining what will happen during the journey (and where to find the bar!) Join the Santa Special at Oxenhope, Haworth or Keighley Stations for a ten-mile return journey on our steam train, lasting around an hour. Experience nostalgia and the magic of Christmas in our specially decorated coaches, with festive music to get you into the mood. Santa and his pixies

visit each child during the journey, delivering presents and the grownups are served with a mince pie and seasonal drink: the perfect way for you and your family to start the Christmas season. All our Santa Specials have a buffet car serving real-ale, hot and cold drinks and a variety of snacks, with entertainers on board to make sure you get the most out of your day. Your ticket also allows you free travel on our connecting diesel services. Our hugely popular Pixies Pantry Cafe

and Winter Wonderland display will be available in Oxenhope Exhibition Shed throughout the Santa Special period. When do they run? Saturdays and Sundays November 25th/26th (Availability both days) December – 2nd / 3rd (Availability both days) December 9th (No seats from Keighley on any train) / 10th (Limited Availability, only single or double seats) December 16th (Limited Availability, only single or double seats) / 17th (Limited Availability, only single or double seats) December 23rd (Limited Availability, only single seats) & Christmas Eve (Sold Out) Please note that 10th, 16th, 17th and 23rd December have only limited availability with only single or occasional double seats. Call Haworth Station on 01535 645214 if you wish to book these seats on these dates. You may book to travel from Keighley, Haworth or Oxenhope stations at the times below. Whichever station you choose, your Santa Special train will take you on a return journey over

the whole railway. When booking please specify your chosen station and the time you wish board. NOTE: the last train of the day, marked *, is not available on the first weekend of November and will not run on Christmas Eve to give Santa enough time to get his sleigh and reindeer prepared for the night’s work ahead. Booking is now open, To ensure you reserve the day and time you want, go to ON-LINE BOOKING. or call o1535 645214 Fares Adults & Children, 3 years of age and over – £18.00

Toddlers, 6 – 35 months – £8.50 Under 6 months – Free Special First Weekend Promotion For the first weekend of Santa Specials we are offering 25% discount with special prices as follows: Adults & Children, 3 years of age and over – £13.50 Toddlers, 6 – 36 months – £6.40 Under 6 months – Free Want to know more? If you want to know more about the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway’s Santa Specials go to the Santa Special page

the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Rudolph likes visiting the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, so you might be lucky enough to see him when you’re on the Santa Special train! Why not have your photo taken with

him so you can show it to all your friends? You could even bring him a carrot! Ebeneezer Scrooge Scrooge hates Christmas and everything it stands for, so he tries to

stop Santa from coming to see all the boys and girls. The one thing Scrooge hates most is Christmas Cheer, so make sure you’re all smiling and laughing, so you can see him off and make way for Santa!

Festive Santa Specials

Happy children and smiling faces all round, but not when Mr. Scrooge comes walks through the train trying to spread gloom and doom. But Santa’s visit always brings back smiles and joy. Your Journey As soon as you board our Santa Special, it feels like Christmas with specially decorated coaches and festive music to get you into the mood. You will be greeted by your steward, who will check your tickets and show you to your seat, before explaining what will happen during the journey (and where to find the bar!) Don’t forget to watch out for nasty Mr Scrooge, who doesn’t like Christmas and wants to throw all the presents off the train. Perhaps if you sing a really jolly song, we can frighten him away, so that Santa will be able to come and see you? Of course, this is where you’ll need to bring your shouting voices – so that Santa knows you are on the train. uploads/2014/09/Santa-Song-Sheet. pdf to download your Christmas song sheet. Next comes the man himself – Mr Santa Claus – with presents for all the boys and girls, as long as you’ve been good. You could even have your photo taken with him as a souvenir of your magical day. After Santa has been to see you come the mince pies and sherries for the grown-ups. When you’ve had your train ride (or before), why not visit our Pixies’ Pantry and Winter Wonderland at Oxenhope? Your Santa Special ticket gives you unlimited free travel on our connecting diesel railcar service, so even if you boarded the train at Haworth or Keighley you can see our superb display and gingerbread house! Santa Claus Also known as Father Christmas, Pere Noel and many other names; Santa

Claus is known worldwide as the jolly man in the red suit with presents for all the good boys and girls. He’s been making a list and checking it twice, so if you’ve been good you might find yourself with a stocking

full of goodies on Christmas Day. Santa will visit every child during the journey (as long as you can shout loud enough!) Rudolph Do we all know the story of Rudolph

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Make special memories at

Nunnington Hall this Christmas Discover the Hall as it could have been throughout history, from the 18th century to the memorable war years. You’ll be welcomed to the 1920s by the Butler with a tot of sherry to enjoy by a roaring fire, before stepping back to an indulgent feast of the 18th century, to the memorable rationed years of the war. A special visitor is on his way

Saturday 25 November - Sunday 17 December (weekends only) Christmas is on its way and we have a special visitor coming to Nunnington Hall. You'll receive a personalised invitation for your visit and a festive gift to put under your tree. Normal admission prices apply. £7 per child to visit Father Christmas. Booking essential, call 01439 748283.

Winter Wonderland by the Ryedale Embroiderers Guild Saturday 18 November – Sunday 17 December (weekends only) The Ryedale Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild will be presenting their exhibition of winter and Christmas themed work to celebrate the season. Showcasing a variety of needlework and textiles,

both 3d and 2d. Join us each Sunday to meet some of artists and have a go at making your own embroidery decoration. No previous experience necessary. Joyful carol singing Saturday 10 December from 12.30pm Celebrate the lead up to Christmas with the Driffield Middle 8 Singers,

while they bellow out festive carols in the hall for all to delight in. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to get involved before enjoying the hall's festive decorations.

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Xmas Markets

What’s on in Lancashire?

The Spa Christmas Market: 9th of November The Spa Christmas Market kicks off the festivities in our Christmas guide. The evening includes demonstrations and taster treatments from a range of their products. They will also include complimentary hand and arm massages, a gift wrapping station, exclusive offers and of course products and gifts for you to buy for your family and friends. Bubbles and festive nibbles will also be supplied! The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village. Ribby Road, Wrea Green, Preston, Lancashire, PR4 2PR. East Lancashire Hospice Christmas Fayre 2017: 11th of November Get into the Christmas Spirit at East Lancashire Hospice's Christmas Fayre taking place on Saturday 11 November at Oswaldtwistle Civic Arts Centre & Theatre from 11am 3pm. There are prizes to be won in the raffle as well as festive cards on sale! Enjoy mince pies and warm, mulled wine too! Under 12’s are free and adults are £2. For £10 you can pre-book for your child’s place for the Father Christmas Experience, where tales of the North Pole will be spilled, wishes can be made, and the naughty and nice list can be checked… Twice if you wish! Finish the experience with ELF training to gain your official ELF certificate, collect your gift from Father Christmas with plenty of photograph opportunities along the way. Civic Arts Centre and Theatre, Oswaldtwistle, BB5 3HZ christmas-fayre-2017

Lancaster Brewery Christmas Market: 24th-26th of November The Christmas Market returns to the Lancaster Brewery again, selling seasonal treats for potential last minute gifts! You could also use this opportunity to treat yourself, too. There will be delicious hot festive food along with the celebrated Lancaster beer available to be sampled, and a special guest appearance from Santa can also be expected! Lancaster Leisure Park, Wyresdale Rd, Lancaster LA1 3LA Christmas-Market Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival: 25th- 26th of November The Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Market and Festival returns again to the traditional market town where attendees can revel in the atmosphere of a previous time. Expect a variety of events and entertainment as well as costume competitions, horse drawn carriages and a Christmas market with unusual gifts and festive food. Ulverston Town Centre, Ulverston, Lancashire Christmas in Rossendale: 26th November – 31st December (Date TBC) An array of festive events will be available up and down the Valley celebrating the festivities in the picturesque valley setting. Expect Christmas markets, choirs with brass bands and local talent. Various locations across Rossendale, Rossendale, Lancashire, OL13 0BB

Etsy Made Local Lancashire: 2nd-3rd of December The community-led market event runs for its second year at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery. Local Etsy sellers bring their products and inspiration directly to the local public. Expect a mass of arts and crafty bits and bobs. Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Market Square, Preston PR1 2PP Christmas Floral & Table Decoration Demonstration: 4th December If you enjoy creating a beautiful center piece for your dining table on Christmas day, this is the perfect event for you. Enjoy Christmas floral demonstrations at the Gibbon Bridge Hotel. The event takes place between 1001400 at a charge of £32.50 per person inclusive of coffee, demonstration and two course lunch. Gibbon Bridge Hotel, Green Lanes, Chipping, Preston, Lancashire, PR3 2TQ Leighton Hall Christmas Fair for Cancer Care: 6th December Take part in a fantastic, seasonal opportunity to carry out some Christmas shopping in this beautiful stately home whilst also supporting Cancer Care. There is a £4 entry charge, however, this includes coffee and a mince pie! Browse home produce, jewellery and scarves, Christmas floral decorations, clothing, fragrances, gift ideas & more. Leighton Hall, Peter Lane, Carnforth, Lancashire, LA5 9ST

Whalley Pickwick Festival -7th of December Whalley Pickwick Festival is back again this year bringing Christmas joy to Lancashire once again. Providing entertainment from live pipe and brass bands, reindeers, as well as a visit from Father Christmas himself! An array of market stalls will be available with many special Christmas treats available. Whalley Village Centre, King Street, Whalley, Lancashire, BB7 9SW https://sites. whalleypickwick/ home Windermere Christmas Markets: 9th 10th December Wi n d e r m e r e ' s German themed

Christmas market returns to the Lake District this festive season. The two day extravaganza will provide a broad range of unique stalls promoting seasonal gifts perfect for last minute Christmas presents. Enjoy a variety of delightful food and drink, as well witnessing exciting street entertainment and even a special visit from Santa and his reindeers. The festive celebrations will be continuing into the night in some of Windermere’s brilliant bars and restaurants. Victoria Street, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 1AD Annual Christmas Tree Festival at Carnforth Station: 10th December20th December Take part in the traditional annual Christmas Tree festival taking place at Carnforth Station! The tea rooms have been restored to resemble the set used in 'Brief Encounter', filmed at Carnforth Station, and they serve refreshments daily. Admission is free; donations are welcome. Carnforth Station Heritage Centre, Warton Road, Carnforth, Lancashire, LA5 9TR

Garstang Victorian Christmas Festival – 11th-12th of December The historic market town in Garstang with a vast history will be transformed into a ornamented display of festivities! Experience live bands, singers, stilt walker, Punch and Judy! Don’t forget to enjoy a visit from Santa in his grotto on High Street! High Street, Garstang, Lancashire, PR3 1EA. http://www. Christmas Farmer's Market – 17th of December The Hoghton Tower’s Great Barn will host the ‘Merchant of Hoghton’. Expect a celebration of fresh local produce where local producers will partner up with bakers, confectioners and crafts stalls. The house, tea room & gardens will be open and Father Christmas will be in the Banqueting Hall! Charges apply. The market will be open from 1000-1400 with a £1 charge per car and 50p for pedestrians. Hoghton tower, Houghton, Nr Preston, PR5 0SH christmas-farmers-market-2

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Your guide to the perfect Christmas dessert:

Choose your dessert --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CHRISTMAS PUDDING [A RECIPE BY SARA BUENFELD VIA BBC GOOD FOOD MAGAZINE 2008: https://www. christmas-pudding-with-citrus-andspice] A fruity pud creates the perfect ending to the traditional Christmas meal. 1. Mix the fruit, almonds, citrus zests and the carrot with the brandy and orange liqueur in a large mixing bowl. Cover and leave to soak overnight. 2. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add to the soaked fruit mixture. Grate in the butter, then add the eggs and stir. Don’t forget to make a wish! 3. Grease a 1.5-litre pudding basin

with butter and line the base with greaseproof paper. Spoon in the mixture, press down well and make a hollow with the back of the spoon in the centre. Cover the surface with a round of greaseproof paper, then cover the bowl with double-thickness greaseproof paper and foil and tie at the rim with string. Lower the pudding into a pan with an upturned saucer in the base, then fill with water until it comes halfway up the sides of the bowl. Steam for 6 hrs, topping up with water as necessary. 4. Alternatively, steam in the oven. Stand the pudding basin in a roasting tin filled with water, then cover with a tent of foil and cook for the same length of time at 160C/ fan 140C/gas 3. Check roasting tin occasionally as the water may need

to be topped up. 5. To store, allow to cool, then store in a cool, dry cupboard. The pudding will keep for up to a year. 6. On the day, steam for 1 hr before turning out, decorating with holly and serving with extra-thick double cream or vanilla ice cream.

CHOCOLATE YULE LOG [A RECIPE BY JAMIE OLIVER: recipes/chocolate-recipes/ chocolate-log/] Paired with a Sweet chestnut purée, honeyed cream & crushed honeycomb filling, this dessert is sure to get tongues wagging! 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ gas 4. For the sponge, line a 25cm x 30cm baking tray with greaseproof paper. 2. Separate the eggs. In an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to

stiff peaks with a pinch of sea salt. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar, then, one-by-one, whisk in the egg yolks until really pale and light. 3. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, add the vanilla bean paste, then fold everything together with a large metal spoon so you keep in as much air as possible. 4. Spoon the mixture into the lined tray, gently and evenly spread it out, then bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just cooked through and springy to the touch. 5. Place a large sheet of greaseproof

paper (35cm x 45cm) on a flat surface and evenly sprinkle over the caster sugar from a height. 6. While it’s still hot and flexible, turn the sponge out on to the paper. Peel off and discard the baked piece of greaseproof. 7. With one of the longest sides in front of you, fold up the excess paper, then roll up the sponge with the paper inside (as it cools, this will set the shape but prevent the sponge from cracking). Leave to cool. 8. For the filling, mix the chestnut purée and cinnamon together. In a

TRIFLE… [A MARY BERRY RECIPE: http:// desserts/classic-oldfashioned-trifle] This reliable traditional recipe is always a popular dessert. There are now some very good readymade fresh vanilla custards in the supermarket, but of course you can make your own fresh custard if you prefer. This is an ideal dessert to make a day ahead as the flavours have time to mingle. Keep in the fridge. Scatter over the almonds just before serving. 1. Drain the pears, reserving the juice, then cut the fruit into small pieces. Split the trifle sponges in half and sandwich together with the strawberry jam. Measure the sherry into a jug and make up to 150ml

with the reserved pear juice. If you don’t wish to have sherry in your trifle then use all of the pear juice – about 150ml. 2. Put half the chopped pears into the base of a glass serving dish of about 20cm in diameter and 6cm deep. Arrange half the trifle sponges on top, then add the remaining pears and finally the remaining sponges. Scatter the ratafias on top and pour the sherry and pear juice mixture over evenly. 3. Carefully pour the custard over the top. Lightly whip the cream until it just holds its shape and spoon carefully over the custard. Smooth or fluff the surface. Serve chilled. Sprinkle with the toasted flaked almonds just before serving. 4. TIP - Flaked almonds can now be bought ready toasted but,

separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks, then fold in the honey. 9. To assemble, unroll the sponge so it’s flat, removing the paper. Spread all over with the chestnut purée, followed by the cream, then smash and sprinkle over the Crunchie bar or honeycomb. 10. Re-roll and pop into the fridge. Meanwhile, make your buttercream. 11. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, then remove and leave to cool. 12. Beat the butter in an electric mixer until pale, then, with the mixer still

running, gradually add the icing sugar and cool melted chocolate. 13. Take the log out of the fridge, chop off a quarter at an angle – that’s the branch – and position it on your serving board like in the picture, using a splodge of buttercream to keep it in place. 14. Evenly cover the whole log with buttercream, then use a fork to decorate it. Dust with extra icing sugar and a pinch of sea salt, shaved chocolate, sprinkles, plastic Bambi figures, whatever you like – go to town!

if you do need to toast them yourself, put them in a dry pan over a medium heat on the hob. Move them around with a wooden spoon and watch them like a hawk as they can quickly burn.

Chorley markets

Chorley is famous for its markets, which date back to 1498 - the most popular market day in the Lancashire town is Tuesday. There are two main markets in Chorley. Chorley covered market, which makes up the heart of the town and operates five days a week and Chorley’s Tuesday market, which is now located along the streets of Chorley town centre. The Tuesday market sees everyone’s favourite stalls lining Fazakerley Street, Chapel Street, New Market Street, Cleveland Street and the bottom half of High Street every Tuesday.

Traditionally, this market was held on the Flat Iron (sometimes known locally as the 'Cattle Market'), however, in July 2017, the market moved to the streets to make way for the extension to Market Walk shopping centre. We have more than 150 stalls on our busiest day and Chorley markets can prove to be a great place to sell your goods. Our stalls are always in demand but we welcome new traders and casual traders who wish to trade on Chorley markets. We have a covered market consisting of lock-up cabins and table top stalls, open five days a week, as well as an outdoor market under gazebos along the streets of Chorley town centre held every Tuesday. Please download the Tuesday market layout map for further information. Both markets are situated in the centre of town with excellent transport links and ample parking.

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Go Nuts for a Healthy Heart

It’s that time of year when supermarkets are displaying an abundance of nuts which provide many of the nutrients and goodness that support a heart-healthy diet. Unsalted nuts are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and eating them regularly has been shown to reduce ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol levels. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, studies suggests that nut eaters are likely to have healthy lifestyles, including being less likely to smoke or be overweight and more likely to exercise and during the study showed that people having a daily handful of nuts cut their death rate by 20%. Other research published in Diabetes Care found that replacing carbohydrate foods with two ounces of nuts daily also improved blood sugar control and blood lipid levels in people with Type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for heart disease. Nuts are incredibly versatile so, unless you have a nut allergy, try out these great nutty tips: • keep your taste buds ‘salt-tamed’ by choosing unsalted versions and remember that dry roasted contain salt, whilst the honey-roasted types are high in sugar too; • snack on nuts mixed with dried fruit for extra taste and to give your body even more vitamins and minerals and a convenient fruit boost; • walnuts go nicely with chopped orange and chicory leaves and are a good source of omega-3 so sprinkle them on your salads or add them to apple, raw cabbage and carrot for an alternative coleslaw;

• add chopped or flaked almonds to your cereal, porridge or low-fat yoghurt. Give your crumble toppings or cakes a nutty twist by using ground almonds and use less sugar and fat as ingredients; • make your own muesli packed with pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts and walnuts; • a nut-based sauce will make a nice accompaniment to chicken or turkey or you could go one step further and rustle up a filling nut roast; • add sweet chestnuts to stuffing or stir them with Brussels sprouts sautéed in olive oil and garlic; look

out for the hot chestnut stalls at the when out shopping or at your local Christmas market; • to keep that waist trim, chomp on nuts instead of less healthy snacks – nuts will also help keep you fuller for longer than sugar confectionary; • stir cashew nuts into stir-fry, curries or risottos for an added crunchy dimension Eating a handful of mixed nuts per day is a simple step towards a healthier heart and makes a perfect healthy alternative to crisps and chocolate bars whichever way you choose to eat them.

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Top Tips on Toys

this Christmas

With Christmas rapidly approaching and children already circling their must-have gifts this year, Smyths Toys Catalogue has published their list of the top toys for Christmas 2017. Smyths reveal their broad range of gifts for children of all ages, from old classics like LEGO to the newest plush toy collections. Paw Patrol Sea Patroller PAW Patrol returns to the top toys list with this year’s Sea Patroller. Kids will love saving the day with Ryder with the land-to-sea rescue vehicle featuring flashing lights and a working crane for all rescue missions. Also includes a Ryder figure and his Rescue ATV.

PJ Masks Deluxe Talking Figure 4-Pack The PJ Masks Deluxe Talking Figure 4-Pack is the perfect gift for little superheroes. Smyth’s set features Catboy, Owlette, Gekko and Romeo as 15cm poseable figures. Hear iconic phrases from the show by pressing t h e characters’ amulets!

Luvabella Doll The unique Luvabella is making an impact this year! Luvabella is a lifelike interactive doll who responds affectionately to love by changing her expression just like a real baby. Luvabella is capable of over 100 words and phrase, giggles when tickled, plays peek-a-boo and responds to her accessories.

Cozmo by Anki Cozmo is an intelligent little robot with a mind of its own and a one-of-akind personality that grows the more it is played with. Cozmo responds to its environment and will nudge you when it wants to play! Drag and drop blocks help to make coding Cozmo’s functions accessible and fun for all children and adults alike.

Imaginext DC Super Friends Batbot Xtreme The Batbot Xtreme is over 2 feet tall and packed with several epic features! The Batbot Xtreme boasts projectile launchers, extendable wings, a hidden Batcycle, a lift for the included Batman figure and an awesome voice changer. Squeeze the trigger to unleash a super-charged one-two punch! Fur Real Roarin’ Tyler the Playful Tiger FurReal’s adorable Roarin’ Tyler the Playful Tiger loves to play—as much so that when kids roar, he roars back! With over 100 sound and motion responses, he’s incredible play value. The soft plush fur makes Tyler a super huggable friend for your child.

Bush Baby World Dream Tree Bush Babies is the newest line of collectible plush toys. The toys wiggle their ears, waggle their eyes, and come in their individual delightful hanging sleepy pods, and the Dream Tree helps kids give Bush Babies a home for their collection. The Dream Tree playset has seating for 5 Bush Babies and hanging loops for even more. It also has a basket lift, swing seat and light up flower crown for your inhabitant Bush Babies! The Bush Baby World Dream Tree comes with exclusive Bush Baby Niki in her sleepy pod. Toilet Trouble Game A new f a m i l y b o a r d g a m e which is a game filled with suspense… H a s b r o ’s To i l e t Trouble allows players to take turns s pinning the toilet paper roll, flushing the toilet handle in the hope that they don’t get sprayed with water from the game’s loo! Who doesn’t love toilet humour?!

Our Generation Healthy Paws Vet Clinic Our Generation’s take on a classic veterinary clinic is a stunning, high quality playset for your children’s favourite dolls. The Our Generation Healthy Paws Vet Clinic features a waiting room, an exam table, and an X-ray light box that really lights up! It contains over 50 accessories, leaving the kids enjoying hours of imaginative role play fun. Sky Viper Stunt Drone Drones are at the top of every techie’s wish list. The Sky Viper Stunt Drone is a high-quality model which is able to perform 8 breathtaking stunts at the touch of a button! Flight assist features include auto takeoff, hover and land, while the included guardrails protect the drone whilst learning to fly it. Thomas & Friends Super Station Thomas & Friends impresses once again with their Super Station, featuring over 10 metres of track, as well as iconic Sodor locations such as Tidmouth Sheds, Brendam Docks, Knapford Station and the Search and Rescue Centre, all in one set. With endless opportunities for different routes and, with room for over 100

engines and a new track design that will work with any Thomas engine, the Super Station is sure to impress! L.O.L. Surprise Big Surprise The L.O.L. Surprise Big Surprise is a gift in which kids can discover 50 layers of surprises as they unbox their L.O.L. Surprise, uncovering new accessories and clues at every layer. The glittery outer container can act as a purse or a display case once the gift has been unraveled, while the exclusive (or maybe rare) dolls inside have secret features, for even more surprise fun! NERF Modulus Regulator NERF blasters allow children to create a blaster for any mission with the fully motorised Regulator. Three different firing modes can be chosen due to the SwitchFire Technology, while the included swivel handle and the 2 versatile barrel-scopes allow for blastercustomisation. Laser X Laser-tag… at home! Laser X contains a 2 player pack which has everything needed for the first head to head match. The receiver vests will gradually change colour as they are hit… Get hit ten times and you’re out! This high-tech gaming experience comes with 2 Laser X blasters and 2 receiver vests. LEGO Ninjago Movie Destiny’s Bounty Based on the LEGO Ninjago Movie, Destiny’s bounty, Master Wu’s flying ninja training base, is able to be the new platform for your children’s adventures. With 7 minifigures, weapons and accessories this LEGO ship allows kids to either recreate their favourite scenes from the movie or imagine brand new adventures of their own!

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Spread Christmas

Cheer with a Gift from Sony

Dazzle your loved ones with a little help from Sony Twinkling trees, festive feasts and yuletide carols – Christmas is here and it's time to draw up a wish list for Santa. This festive season, Sony has a fantastic range of gift ideas for your nearest and dearest - dazzle those close to you with a premium gadget or ultimate stocking filler. Ultimate stocking fillers and pocket-sized gifts Sing along to your favourite festive tunes with Sony’s colourful XB10 portable speaker. From carols to children's favourites, Christmas pop tunes to funny festive songs, fill your house with all the classics. The XB10 is both compact and wireless, meaning you can listen to music whilst unwrapping presents in the living room, or whilst sat at the dining table tucking into Christmas lunch. It’s the ultimate stocking filler. No occasion is complete without great action shots. Relive festive moments for years to come with the X3000R 4K Action Cam with Wi-Fi and GPS. Capture blur free pictureperfect memories with Balanced Optical SteadyShot even in 4K, as well as high-speed recording modes. The Action Cam also features a ZEISS® Tessar wide-angle lens and time–lapse movie feature. Un-interrupted festive music listening with Noise Cancelling technology The WH-1000XM2 noise-cancelling wireless headphones are the perfect accessory for listening to Christmas tunes on the move. With the new

Three angels

for Christmas

- New designs

for the popular


Rosenthal angels The Rosenthal Christmas angels coveted by collectors and fans alike are available to order right now in three new designs. The specially created angel collection available in small, medium and big size continues this traditional series. The designs comprise an angel with cat, one with a skateboard and an angel with binoculars. All angels feature the Rosenthal stamp on the bottom of the item, which is important for collectors and guarantees excellence and quality. High-quality, sentimental gift packaging rounds off the concept perfectly.

Headphone Connect app you can control the noise you let in with Ambient Sound Mode and Personal NC optimiser, allowing you peace at this busy time of year without missing the important details. The ‘Quick Attention’ mode lets you place the palm of your hand to the outside of the headphone to have a conversation, without taking the headphones off. For those flying over the Christmas period, the new Atmospheric Pressure Optimising feature analyses you’re surrounding atmospheric pressure and improves the NC performance to make a difference to the comfort of your flight. The innovative and stylish WF1000X are perfect for lovers of real minimalism. The compact wireless ear buds fit perfectly into your ear with the help of the ergonomic ear hook, ensuring they stay in place no-matter what you are doing. With a 6mm driver, the sound from these headphones is dynamic despite their miniscule size. The perfect gift, the stylish WI-1000X wireless noise cancelling headphones are ideal for the style-conscious with their behind-the-neck design. The headphones bring together both functionality and class, and are the perfect flying partner when using Atmospheric pressure optimising mode. A gift for the fashionistas this Christmas, the NW-A35HNWalkman allows you to enjoy music in style with immaculate audio clarity thanks to High-Resolution Audio. Conveniently portable, you can enjoy

up to 45 hours of music anywhere you go. With the WH-H900N, enjoy wireless noise-cancelling technology with touch control in the around-ear style. Perfect for jetting off to see loved ones over the festive period, key features include Ambient Sound and Quick Attention mode. The H900N are a smart way to control your listening experience on the move. Impress your friends with the powerful XB40wireless speaker with EXTRA BASS™ technology. Perfect for Christmas parties, the XB40 features club-like lighting effects with an LED line-light, a strobe flash and speaker light. Take your party to the next level with the XB40s bigger brother, the new XB60. Use the Wireless Party Chain feature to connect up to 10 speakers together, and with up to 14 hours of battery life the party can go on all night. Give the gift of your very own personal assistant this Christmas with the stylish LF-S50G. This compact voice controlled speaker from Sony harnesses the power of Google Assistant. Be the envy of all your loved ones as the 360° sound fills the room with festive tunes. Be the life of the festive party season with the high power VD90DW audio system. Turn the fairy lights off and illuminate the room with the towers multicolour space illuminating lights, which move to the beat of the music. Impress your guests with your DJing skills by adding effects and sampling your favourite Christmas songs with a wave of a hand, through gesture

control. Christmas parties have never been better with the VD90DW. Capture precious moments this holiday season The season of warmth, joy and good cheer is here. Make memories with Sony’s α6500, perfect for the imaging enthusiast. With lightning fast autofocus up to 0.05 seconds, you won’t miss a single moment. Capture every falling snowflake, with 4K recording and release your Christmas creativity with up to 5x slow motion capture and 60x Quick Motion[i] Have a snap-happy Christmas and capture special memories with the RX0. Perfect for thrill-seekers, its miniature dimensions and all-around versatility lets you capture the action no matter where you are, always with the assurance of high quality results. RX0 redefines how small and light a premium compact camera can be and is waterproof[ii], crushproof[iii] and shockproof[iv], meaning performance is assured in rain, underwater, or in sandy or dusty environments. Its miniature dimensions also mean it can be hidden in the Christmas tree to capture the delight of present opening. Tune into your favourite festive movies

Create the ultimate home entertainment experience with Sony’s range of AV products. The stylish A1 Series OLED TV offers a unique combination of superior picture quality, the world’s first Acoustic Surface™ sound system that turns the screen into a speaker, 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme™, and a cutting-edge stand-less form factor. With over 8 million self-illuminating pixels, unprecedented black levels and rich and lifelike colour, you can create a truly cinematic experience in your living room. The A1 OLED is perfect for a movie marathon of Elf, Home Alone and Gremlins. The X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player is perfect for watching festive films in uncompromised picture quality. With High Dynamic Range every detail is brought alive with more brightness, shades and colours revealed than ever before. For interiors fans, create your own home theatre experience in high quality audio with the sleek MT300 Compact Sound Bar. The MT300 fills every inch of the room with sound thanks to S-Force PRO Front Surround. The sound bar stylishly matches your living room so is made for those following the latest design trends. Don’t like your technology on

show? Simply tuck the MT300 under your sofa and place on sofa mode for optimised bass frequencies. Stunning wish list gifts to make Christmas extra special this year Perfect for those taking a holiday over the Christmas period, the RX100 family introduces users to an incredible world of superspeed shooting. All cameras in the family come equipped with a 1.0type stacked CMOS image sensor, a ZEISS® lens for creating DSLR like portraits, and an enhanced image processing system. The RX100 family reveals Christmas wonders in up to 40x super slow motion, as well as super high-speed shooting and 4K movie capture. There is a camera to suit every photographers needs in the family, so you can capture a flawless festive photo every time. For the design conscious, the LSPX-S1 Glass Sound Speaker will fit seamlessly into any part of the home, with warm illumination and minimal design. The speaker plays crystal clear audio through organic glass creating a uniquely lifelike sound experience to transform any space into an ambient setting. The ultimate gift for that extra special someone.

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Nearly 50% of employees do their

Christmas shopping whilst at work

spending on average 72 minutes of company time

As the Christmas shopping season starts an online voucher code website looked into when and where people do their Christmas shopping, they were particularly interested in looking at shopping during working hours. 48% of employees in the UK admitted to Christmas shopping on work time, spending on average 72 minutes doing so. There is a lot of planning and organisation that goes into Christmas, with time in short supply to do these tasks. With experts predicting more shopping will happen online this

month than ever before an online voucher code website investigated if people do their Christmas shopping at work whilst on company time. w w w. m y v o u c h e r c o d e s . c o . u k surveyed 2157 men and women in the UK aged over 18 who were in full time employment (not self-employed) asking: “Have you ever shopped for Christmas presents whilst at work during work time?” They found that 48% of respondents admitted they had, whilst 2% would prefer not to say and 50% stated they never had. The results also showed that men

were more likely to spend work time shopping for Christmas presents than women, with 50% admitting to doing their Christmas shopping when they should have been working. As many companies opt for policies which restrict which sites can be viewed online at work, My Voucher Codes investigated further to see what device people were using to shop on in work. They asked those who had answered yes to the first question: “Did you shop via your computer or mobile device?” They discovered 59% of people used

mobile devices such as their phone or tablet, whilst 38% used their work computer. To work out how much time employees spent online shopping for Christmas on work time they asked: “On average per shopping session how long did you spend shopping for Christmas presents?” The majority of respondents (28%) only spend around 20 minutes Christmas shopping in work time, however 17% admitted to spending nearly 2hrs shopping and 10% admitted to spend over 3hrs shopping for Christmas presents. This meant the average the amount

of time workers spent Christmas shopping online during work time was 73 minutes. Mark Pearson said: “At Christmas there doesn't seem to be enough time to do everything we need, from planning and shopping to visiting friends and family, so it's no surprise that people try and sneak some time at work to reduce some of the stress of the festive period. Taking into consideration being able to do shopping away from a spouse, you may need to shop for them at work, however as a business owner I would suggest using the lunch break for that!”

He added: “Obviously for businesses, shopping during work hours can be a concern. Some will have taken matters into their own hands and ban access to many unessential websites including retail, but combatting access on mobile devices is harder. This may lead employers to be even more vigilant, checking that their employees aren't on their mobiles or tablets, however perhaps it is up to the employee to be better organised and perhaps taking time off work with their holiday allowance to do these tasks.”

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Lancashire local 37 xmas  
Lancashire local 37 xmas