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Festive fun

sparkle & FULL OF


Strictly’s Shirley Top of my Santa wish list? A MAN!

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A big box of chocs, fizz, family and a turkey roasting in the oven – I reckon they may be my very favourite ingredients for a perfect Christmas. Add a stocking-load of gifts and a great movie on the TV and, yes, I’m pretty much in heaven. But, this year, I’m thinking things may be diferent. You see, in putting together the pages of this fabulous issue, I’ve learnt a lot about how to make things that bit more special, and it’s got me quite inspired… First, there’s our stunning cover star, Shirley Ballas (page 6) – yes, she really does look that good in real life! – who stresses the importance of sending Christmas cards. It’s made me realise how much I love getting a glittery envelope with a heartfelt message tucked inside. So, note to self: spend more time on the cards! Our festive food pages (from page 111) are brimming with recipes that add a twist to the traditional lunch – who’d have thought of brandy butter and bay turkey or toasted sourdough bread sauce? Then there’s our homes pages (from page 93). I confess, in our house, the same tree comes out every year and the same bit of tinsel dangles over the same picture. I realise now that cleverly placed baubles, candles, festive crockery and pretty cushions can really transform a room. We’ve also got some great ideas in our craft section (page 135), easy ways to glamorous make-up (page 50), as well as the most gorgeous selection of party outfits (page 10). So you see, dear reader, while Christmas may come around with familiar regularity, a few simple tweaks can turn it into something truly magical. I hope this month’s Prima inspires you in the same way it has me. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas…




It ’s a 10 from ! me for Shirley

As a huge Strictly fan, it was fabulous to meet Shirley Ballas for our cover shoot. She spun and twirled with such elegance in all the outfits and was so much fun, too. A star in every sense!

I hope you enjoy our 10-page gift guide (page 79) and don’t forget, for even more great gift ideas, head to

Don’t miss the January issue OUT 7 December

December 2018 26 20


10 34 ‘Simon gives me framed photos

10 Have yourself a very beautiful

of himself!’ Presenter Dermot

Christmas When the party invitations start to arrive, make sure you’re dressed to say yes!


On the cover

O’Leary on Christmas gifts, his cat and his favourite X Factor moment

20 of the best party

even Christmas Day’ Dame Jacqueline Wilson talks about her family, village life and latest book

style, we’ve got the frock you’ll rock On the cover

Now for the finishing

38 ‘Our tree is hung with love

Kazia Pelka shares her beauty secrets for the festive season Let’s get the party started! Nail the art of dressing up for any event with inspiration from these readers


64 All I want for Christmas is…

touches Ding dong merrily

& memories’ Why decorating

a new smile! Oral hygiene

on high heels and handbags… welcome to accessories heaven

their festive pine is so special for Cass Hunter and her sons

tips for healthy, white teeth



37 ‘I never have a day of, not

frocks Whatever your shape and


56 ‘A few of my favourite things’

Top of my Santa list is a… man! Strictly head judge On the cover

Shirley Ballas reveals what she’s wishing for this year

26 Our Christmas songs came true! Four readers explain how festive tunes took on whole new meanings for them

32 Our favourite traditions unwrapped! What’s the meaning behind mistletoe? Find out why we do what we do on 25 December 4 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

68 Dr Sarah’s Christmas SOS

42 It’s Christmas with the royals

surgery Dr Sarah Brewer

Find out what the Windsors get up to over the festive period 44 Jingle belles! It may be Christmas, but it’s business as usual for these three women 162 All that glitters… Caroline Quentin on why she’s thrilled that sparkles are back

covers the season’s most common health hazards


On the cover

Fast ways to look


On the cover

Create some festive

calm Fast fixes for when you’re feeling frazzled


On the cover

101 gifts under £50

Find the perfect presents for everyone on your list

90 Books to make Christmas

fabulous Because it’s that time

sparkle Spread the joy of reading

of year to shine!

this year with Nina Pottell’s top picks






126 Divine desserts Sweet treats

76 Don’t panic, it’s only

that make an indulgent change to Christmas pud

Christmas! Peace and goodwill to all? Deal with diicult situations this season with our expert advice


Come on in for Christmas! This year’s decorative On the cover

themes, from trees to tinsel

103 ’Tis the season for traditions Sarah Beeny’s home ideas will give your guests and family the warmest of welcomes 107 Style it, do it, love it Baubles, polar bears, reindeers, cushions and crackers, of course!


Easiest-ever Christmas lunch Our get-ahead On the cover

menu will make entertaining for friends and family a breeze! 124 On the cover Cheers! From sparkling wine to the best gins, here’s what we’ll be drinking this year

Meet your cover star Shirley Ballas on page 6

131 Winter wonderland Christmas Photography Nicky Johnston Styling Alexandria Reid Hair Lewis Pallett Make-up Kim Jacob Red sequin dress Isabell Kristensen Earrings Vicki Sarge Glitter Talking Tables

cake This showstopper will dazzle and delight


136 Simply stunning! A dress that’s sure to impress 138 Let’s go crackers! Add a personal touch to the festivities with our simple makes 141 Baby it’s cold outside Cosy up on chilly days with this stylish shrug 144 Twinkle twinkle Knit this elegant clutch just in time for party season

145 Lisa Comfort customises it! Jazz up your jumper in a flash


48 Subscribe A fab deal on Prima 146 Your time of & time out at Christmas A guide to the best


in films, TV and live shows Stars December’s horoscopes

TREATS FOR YOU 22 24 67 149 150 153

Enjoy 20% of at M&Co On the cover Time to shine with 20% of at JD Williams On the cover 20% of Crabtree & Evelyn Win! A French family getaway £100 prize… For your story Puzzles Win cash prizes! On the cover

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 5

Strictly head judge Shirley Ballas chats to Prima about all the things that bring her Christmas cheer, from appearing in a pantomime to spoiling her friends and family over the festive season


hirley, 58, lives between England and LA. She has a grown-up son, Mark, 32, a musician and dancer on the US version of Strictly, Dancing With The Stars. She also acted as guardian to Dancing With The Stars siblings Derek and Julianne Hough, who lived with her in England in the 1990s.

MY PERFECT CHRISTMAS I’ve spent a lot of Christmases in diferent places. I did many with my ex-husband, Corky, and his family in Houston, we’ve done Christmas at Mark’s, at mine, and at my mum’s. Each place is diferent, but I think it depends on the people you’re with, not the place. So for me, it doesn’t make any diference where I am, as long as I’m surrounded by people that care about each other and want to get into the festive spirit with an eggnog. 6 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

This year, I’m going to be in Liverpool for Christmas because I’m in pantomime there. [Shirley’s in Jack And The Beanstalk at the Empire Theatre.] I only get Christmas Day and New Year’s Day of, but it’ll probably be me, my mum [Audrey, 81], my Auntie Barbara and my Uncle Norman celebrating together. My mum will either make dinner or we’ll go to a hotel so she doesn’t have to do any work, and we’ll come back for a nice Christmas pudding at Mum’s. It’s my first time appearing in panto and I get to wear a crown and shiny shoes – I’m going to be as glitzy as the Strictly glitterball trophy. When I was young, my mum would put two cotton pillowcases at the end of our beds – one each for David [Shirley’s brother] and I. We’d wake up and they’d be packed full with all sorts of diferent toys. Then Mum would cook us a lovely dinner for late afternoon and the three of us would sit there together – I have fond memories of that. She’d do roast beef or beef Wellington with Yorkshire

pudding, sprouts, carrots and cauli, roast potatoes slow cooked in the oven and mashed potatoes with her home-made gravy tipped all over it. Then she’ll do a nice treacle sponge pudding with lots of custard. You’d have to waddle away from the table. That’s the sign of a good Christmas. Nothing comes close to my mum’s roast dinners. We always had a tree and crackers from Marks & Spencer – she had to have the M&S crackers, although my brother would always work his way through the box before we even sat down! My best-ever present was a pair of dancing shoes – and a Tiny Tears doll with a high chair. I’d take that doll everywhere with me. Since then, some of my best gifts have been from Mark, Derek and Julianne. I have a lovely heart ring from Mark, a diamond ring from Derek and a nice necklace from Julianne, which I can wear all year round. I don’t really take them of because they mean something, and they took the

Meet your cover star

‘I’m going to be as glitzy as the Strictly glitterball trophy’

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 7

time to pick them for me. Mum always gives me a new pair of Christmassy pyjamas. I must be the only girl that has about 100 pairs. Every colour, every style. Onesies, zips, buttons, silky, not silky, flannel, velour, you name it. I like to think I’m good at buying gifts. If I’m unsure, a cashmere scarf with a hat and gloves always goes down well. I try to do my shopping early, but it’s always a rush. I love writing cards. I understand that not everyone has the budget to buy presents, but cards are lovely. They’re really important to me, and I keep all the ones I’m given. I do personalised Christmas cards with a nice message of what the year’s meant to me or why that person is included in my life – nobody gets the same one. With a card, you can read it over and over again. I do about 50 for close friends and family, but my standard cards still have a paragraph in there, too. 8 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Peace, tranquillity and happiness are at the top of my Christmas list this year. And maybe to find myself that man that’s eluding me! I’m going to put it on my wish list for Santa Claus. I’d like a man older than me, kind, caring, understanding, sweet and who makes me laugh. And fun! I’d also like health and happiness for my family, and for my son to call me every day, which he does pretty much, more or less. I don’t know whether he feels it’s his duty or I just crack him up with all my stories – it’s a bit like Coronation Street, he can’t wait to tune in! This will be my dog Charlie’s first Christmas. He’ll be the star of the show, and spoilt rotten. I got him last year from a rescue home. He’s a Lhasa apso and he’s gorgeous. He’ll be getting all sorts – he loves soft toys and teddy bears. He’s a rascal. I brought him to the UK from LA to be with my mum, but he’s a handful,

stealing her toast, eating her sweets and leaving the wrappers everywhere! I watch Scrooge every year – it’s my favourite festive film. To watch a personality change to being loving and kind at the end and wanting to share his bounties – I think it’s really important to share and try to include people. I love The Sound Of Music, too, it’s such a classic. I must’ve watched it 5,000 times. And I love all Christmas music, especially White Christmas. I always watch the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day. I love the royal family. I watch The Crown, I watch everything they do in real life, and if they’re on the front cover of anything, I buy it. I love Meghan, and Princess Diana’s and Charles’ boys. I’ve been a royalist all my life. I think they’re a magnificent family. We always keep Christmas to just family, but it’ll always be tinged with so much sadness because my brother,

Shirley wears (opening spread and this page) Gold dress, red dress, both Zeynep Kartal. Earrings, Vicki Sarge. Shoes, L.K.Bennett

‘My mum and I were the only ones up dancing! I was with all the 80-year-olds and we had a blast!’

Meet your cover star David, died over the Christmas period in 2003. [David took his own life after battling depression, aged 44.] Last year, my mum and I put up a tree, baubles, and got a little bit more in the spirit of things, but it will always feel strange to have Christmas without David.

Words Jen Crothers Photography Nicky Johnston Stylist Alexandria Reid Hair Lewis Pallett Make-up Kim Jacob Shirley wears (this page) Dress, Serenity & Grace. Earrings, Jon Richard

MY PERFECT NEW YEAR I always make New Year’s resolutions and hope that everyone can be kind and bring the world together with love and compassion. Spreading kindness and doing your small part to make the world a better place, also the world using less plastic – it’ll be those types of things that I’ll be wishing for, so nothing too much for myself. Maybe except that man that’s eluding me. You never know! I keep putting you on my wish list, darling, wherever you are! I’m the most boring person you’ll ever come across when it comes to New Year’s Eve. Last year, I went with my Auntie Barbara, Uncle Norman, my mum and all their friends to some club that had about half a dozen people in it. They’d made lovely sandwiches and pork pies and my mum and I were the only ones up dancing. So I was with all the 80-year-olds and we had a blast! This year, I’ll be doing panto on New Year’s Eve, so I’ll be looking for somewhere to go in Liverpool after.

Shirley’s favourites Christmas in the sun or snow? Snow; it gives that true festive atmosphere. Favourite Christmas dinner food? Parsnips! Or roasties. I can’t choose! Festive guilty pleasure? My son and his wife’s band, Alexander Jean, singing an amazing cover of We Three Kings. Sequins or little black dress? LBD. My industry is all sparkles, so I like simple. Party heels or flats? In my mind, party heels, but with my sciatica, flats. Best Quality Street? The one in the purple wrapper. I did a photoshoot in a purple dress and everyone said I looked like a Quality Street! Festive tipple? I like eggnog.

STRICTLY FESTIVE The best thing about returning to Strictly is that I understand how the show works now. Of course, the cast is amazing and I love the time I spend with the judges. We get together at least twice a week, and engage with each other, so we all put our best foot forward and make a show the whole country can really enjoy. Last year at Strictly, I got wine for the cameramen and for the man who gave me aspirin when I got a headache. I got Quality Street tins for the band. I think even a card, a tin of sweets or a candle makes people feel like you’ve thought about them, because they thought about me all season. I got all the judges a nice card; some wine and sweets, too. I think it’s just finding the time to make someone smile – people like to be thought of. Craig Revel Horwood gave me the push to do panto. He said I was just

‘Craig told me to trust him and have a go at panto – he said I’d love it’ the type of person who’d love it. I told him I hadn’t done any stage work, but he told me to trust him and have a go. On Strictly, I’ve seen some great rhythm from the contestants! Sometimes when people get nervous, their personality becomes larger than life, but in actual fact, they’re terrified. I monitor everyone backstage to see who’s cocky or who’s humble, but it’ll all come down to this at the end – how strong of character they are. Now that Robbie Williams is on The X Factor, I’m going to have to make sure my mum tunes into Strictly. She’s a huge Robbie fan! You can always watch it on catch-up, I suppose, but I hope people watch Strictly first. • Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Shirley stars as Mother Nature in Jack And The Beanstalk at the Liverpool Empire from Friday 14 December. PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 9

Festive fashion


yourself a very

beautiful Christmas High-shine sequins, luxe velvet and cosy knitwear make for efortless festive dressing. Here’s how to make sure you sparkle‌

Time to shine For a showstopping look, go all-out in a full-length sequin dress. This makes for a refreshing change from an LBD, yet remains just as versatile thanks to flattering and glamorous sequins. Wear with a pair of neat ballet flats or black kitten heel mules if you need a height boost. Dress, £325, 8-18, Phase Eight. Hat, £19.50, M&S Collection. Gloves, £29, The White Company. Shoes, £100, 2-9, French Sole

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 11

Festive fashion

Merry & bright Who says festive jumpers can’t be stylish? We love this Scandi-style knit from Marks & Spencer and, when teamed with a bold red skirt, you have an outfit that is both cosy and fabulous. Jumper, £29.50, xs-xl, Marks & Spencer. Skirt, £89, 6-16, Coast. Earrings, £12, Accessorize. Ballet pumps, £100, 2-9, French Sole

12 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Black tie style Breeze through the party season in this one-piece wonder – a tux-style jumpsuit that ticks all the boxes if you’re not a lover of girlie dresses. Wear as it is with embellished flats for a fancy cocktail party or, if you like to cover your arms, layer a fine-knit poloneck underneath – sparkly lurex styles are great for glam nights out. Jumpsuit, £55, 10-20, Roman. Earrings, £35, Adore. Shoes, £110, 3-9, Boden

Blazer glory This season, look no further than a velvet blazer to add instant luxe to your wardrobe. Perfect for upgrading jeans and a cashmere sweater or worn over a slinky slip dress, this is one gift that is for more than just Christmas. Blazer, £198, 6-16, The White Company. Blouse, £79, 8-18, Temperley at John Lewis & Partners. Trousers, £189, 6-16, Me+Em. Ring, £15, Z for Accessorize. Shoes, £139, 2-8, Carvela

Festive fashion

’Tis the sequin Winter’s big trend from the high street is the sequin skirt, which is ideal for fun, twinkly dressing. A statement piece that requires little efort – take a less-is-more approach and wear with classic Breton-style tops and cashmere sweaters. Top, £69, xxs-xl, Petit Bateau. Skirt, £69.99, s-l, Mango. Earrings, £15, Marks & Spencer. Shoes, £35, 3-7, Faith at Debenhams

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 15

White Christmas Dress like an A-lister and embrace head-to-toe shades of white and pale metallics to make an entrance. Expensivelooking and sumptuous, this may not be the outfit to cook Christmas lunch in, but it’s a real uplifting alternative to black for special occasions. Top, £89, 6-18, Mint Velvet. Trousers, £89, 6-18, Coast. Earrings, £35, Adore. Shoes, £99, 3-8, Dune

16 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Festive fashion

All wrapped up Dress down a dramatic party skirt with a rollneck sweater for an understated yet unique outfit that will take you from day to night. For romantic winter walks, team with a beautiful hat and scarf combo. If you’re going for all-out glam, swap for a faux-fur wrap and a diamanté hair pin. Jumper, £35, xxs-xl, Ninety Percent. Skirt, £69, 6-22, Jenny Packham at Debenhams. Hat, £69; scarf, £129, both Me+Em. Boots, £179, 3-8, Carvela

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 17

Festive fashion

Make it modern Easy-to-wear separates that work with the rest of your wardrobe make for versatile festive style. Find a great shirt to team with wide-leg trousers or a simple pencil skirt – a go-to for last-minute party invites. Add a punchy splash of colour with bold accessories. Coat, £110, 10-32, Simply Be. Blouse, £25.99, xs-xl, Zara. Skirt, £79.95, 8-22, Madeleine. Bag, £60, Boden. Shoes, £95, 3-7, Nine West

Photography: Wendy Carrig Stylist: Jo Atkinson Stylist’s assistant: Lucy Trievnor Hair & make-up artist: Sally Kvalheim @ Angeli & Co using Kérastase and Clinique Set designer: Michelle Lester Location: Thanks to Belmont House

18 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Just for you


20% OFF


at M&Co Get stand-out festive style for less with this great discount


e’ve teamed up with M&Co to bring you an exclusive discount this party season. Whether you’re looking for the perfect novelty jumper for Christmas Day, a super sequinned party outfit or a gorgeous gown for New Year’s Eve, M&Co has something for every event. With velvet tops, embellished jeans, lace and embroidered dresses, plus a great selection of coats and cover-ups, M&Co has your Christmas wardrobe covered. Happy shopping!

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR DISCOUNT To redeem your discount in store, present this page at the till. For online orders, simply visit and use PRIMA20 at checkout to receive your discount code. Valid 1 November 2018 to 7 December 2018

Terms & conditions: *20% of full price ofer valid in M&Co stores upon presentation of this page and online when you visit 20% of full price ofer excludes promotional or sale items, gift vouchers, items from non-participating concessions and online P&P charges. Returned items will be refunded at the discounted price paid. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other ofer or promotion with the exception of M&Co Reward Vouchers. Promoter: M&Co, Caledonia House, 5 Inchinnan Drive, Inchinnan Business Park, Inchinnan, Renfrew PA4 9AF. To receive your discount in store, present this page at the till and use tillcode 893732. For online orders at, simply visit and use PRIMA20 at checkout to receive your 20% discount. Valid 1 November 2018 to 7 December 2018

Festive fashion

Now for the


You’ve got the dress, now it’s time to nail the shoes and bags. We’ve found nearly every colour and size – just take your pick

Shoes, £12, Primark

Hero buy

Bag, £99, L.K.Bennett

Bag, £99, Ted Baker

Shoes, £35, Marks & Spencer

Great for day or night Shoes, £25, JD Williams

Shoes, £90, Van Dal

Bag, £30, Accessorize

Pricey, but perfect for a real treat!

Bag, £129, Bell & Fox

Shoes, £110, Boden Bag, £69, Phase Eight

Bag, £26, M&Co

Shoes, £295, L.K.Bennett

Editor’s choice

Shoes, £139, Kurt Geiger

Bag, £12, Matalan

Shoes, £36, Evans

Bag, £20, Accessorize

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 23

Just for you Prima

Time to shine with 20% OFF at JD Williams Get ready for the festive season with this exclusive ofer


hether you need an outfit for a Christmas lunch, a festive party or anything in between, JD Williams has stand-out styles for every occasion. You’ll find glamorous looks that sculpt and shape, so you can be every inch the showstopper this season. Think shimmering sequins, beautiful fabrics and on-trend tailoring – JD Williams occasionwear is designed to make you look and feel fabulous. And with 20% of, how could you resist?

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR DISCOUNT This is an exclusive ofer for Prima readers when they shop online at To get 20% of, simply enter code READY at the checkout. Valid until 2 December 2018.

TERMS & CONDITIONS Ofer excludes home, sale, outlet, appliances, electricals and toys. Ofer can be used once, and not in conjunction with any other ofer. Ofer ends 2 December 2018.

24 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Festive fashion

Great value

Bag, £14, George

Shoes, £95, Dune

Bag, £29, Coast

Boots, £49, Next

Shoes, £169, Hobbs Shoes, £25, Simply Be

Bag, £29.99, Pavers

Bag, £55, French Connection

For a true party look, pair with rich jewel tones

Must-have mules

Bag, £28, V by Very

Bag, £119, Radley

Shoes, £45, Monsoon

Shoes, £27.99, New Look

Shoes, £28, Dorothy Perkins

Bag, £32, Oliver Bonas Boots, £45, Oasis

Compiled by Gabriella Minchella

Bag, £80, Biba at House of Fraser

Boots, £96, Oice

Bag, £75, Dune

Velvet is a key trend for the festive season

Add a pop of colour

Shoes, £38, River Island

Bag, £30, Miss Selfridge

Shoes, £49.50, Joe Browns

Bag, £35, Faith

Shoes, £140, Ted Baker

Bag, £16, F&F PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 25


Christmas Everybody has a favourite festive tune but, for some, it can take on a whole new meaning – as these readers explain…

SONGS came true!

‘We have a relationship full of fun and dancing’ When Arrianne O’Shea, 30, from Brighton, discovered swing dance, she found far more than just a new hobby.


love this photo of me with Scott, we’re literally Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree. But this is what we do, dancing together is what makes us happy and the thing I love most of all about swing dance is that it’s impossible to do it without smiling. The music sucks you in, transporting you to another place, back to a diferent era. Swing events at Christmas are especially fun, with twinkling fairy lights and silly Christmas jumpers. There’s a real sense of sparkle and magic – and for me, that feeling lasts all year long. I’ve always loved dance and, as a child, I had ballet and tap lessons. However, I only discovered swing dance a few years ago, after a friend dragged me along to a local class. I worked as a web developer, and fancied a fun hobby. Little did I know how much it would change my life. Walking into that first Swing Patrol session in a pub in north London, I couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous. But as I pushed open the door to the back room, the music that sprang forth was joyful and uplifting. The teacher, Scott, came over to welcome

26 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

me. He seemed so friendly that my apprehension disappeared. As the class progressed, we moved around the room, swapping partners. From that moment, I was hooked. Scott’s charisma struck me immediately. Warm, lively and a brilliant dancer, he had a fill-the-room confidence and a gift for making everyone feel at ease. We soon became good friends, and as my dance skills improved, he would ask me to go with him and perform at festivals and events. I found him attractive, but I didn’t ever consider that he might feel the same. Scott’s the kind of person who is equally lovely to everyone. I assumed it was simply his natural friendliness.

A SPECIAL FEELING However, as time went on, Scott and I realised that we were spending time together not just at dance events, but in our spare time, too – and we were enjoying every minute of each other’s company. Then, last December, we were sitting in a pub after a rehearsal when Scott took my hand and said he had feelings for me, too. I’d always

assumed he was out of my league – after all, he was the teacher! From there, everything fell into place. I realised how special Scott was to me and now we have a relationship that is full of fun, laughter and lots of dancing! This Christmas, we will love Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree all the more because dance has given me so much in my life – most of all, it’s given me love!’ SCOTT SAYS: ‘From the day Arrianne walked into my class, I could tell she had an energy about her and an amazing spirit – she was always making everyone laugh. I often say that I can teach dance, but I can’t teach personality, and Arrianne had it by the bucketful. As I got to know her better, I found I loved her attitude to life: she’s a strong woman who knows exactly who she is. Swing dance is my life and now I have the perfect partner to enjoy it with. We’ll walk down to a club near our home, have a rum and Coke and dance for hours to a local jazz band. I love dancing with her more than anyone else in the world.’ •

Let’s celebrate

d n u o r a n i k c o R ’ e e r t s a m t s the Chri PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 27

Let’s celebrate

r o f t n a w I l Al


! u o y s i s a m t s i r h

28 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018


Arrianne wears (previous page) Skirt with braces, Collectif. Blouse, Hobbs. Boots, L.K.Bennett Scott wears Shirt, Debenhams. Bow tie, Hawes & Curtis. Waistcoat, trousers, shoes, all his own Gemma wears (this page) Dress, Godiva Dan wears Jacket, waistcoat, trousers, shirt, all Hawes & Curtis. Shoes, New Look. Tie, stylist’s own

‘This time of year is even more magical for us’ Gemma Hawkins, 31, from Elsenham, Hertfordshire, had two loves in her life – Christmas and her man. So surely that left her just one thing to do…

, a t n a ! S y b a b


s I tugged the cracker, I heard a snap. The next thing I knew, a sparkling ring flew out. I picked it up and stared at Dan, whose face creased into a knowing smile. My heart swelled with happiness. There was only one answer: “Yes, I’ll marry you.” It was 25 December 2015 and there couldn’t have been a more fitting way to propose. I’d always loved Christmas and was one of those people who counted down to it on the calendar – starting at the 100-day mark! I’d met Dan 10 years earlier and we had two children, Teddy, now eight, and Lily, six. Over the next few months, we began making wedding plans. There was only one time of year it could happen – Christmas! So Dan and I booked Holy Trinity church in Takeley, Essex, for 22 December 2016. As the day approached, everyone was busy decorating trees and buying gifts, but there I was running around booking flowers and talking table settings.

WEDDING WONDERLAND Finally, our day arrived and the weather was cold and crisp. We’d decorated the church with wreaths and candles, Teddy and Lily were pageboy and bridesmaid in red and white outfits, and I carried a bouquet of red roses. It felt so festive. We sang carols instead of hymns and after the ceremony, we had a reception at a stunning manor house. The tables were named after Santa’s reindeer, and in the centre of each we had a wreath. The DJ played Christmas songs and snowflakes were projected all around the room. It was a real winter wonderland. Now, Christmas for us is even more magical. We still decorate the house to the max in twinkling lights! For anniversaries to come, I know we’ll always do something festive to celebrate. And playing on the stereo will be Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You. Well, what better song could there be?’

‘She took us all by surprise’ For Katherine Lawrenson, 30, from Dartford, Kent, and her husband, Graeme, an unexpected present last year gave them all the more reason to celebrate.


e’d tucked into turkey and all the trimmings and were now eating mounds of gorgeous rich fruit pudding. Suddenly, I felt a painful twinge in my stomach. I tried to hide my grimace and shifted awkwardly in my seat. It was Christmas Day and my husband, Graeme, and I were visiting his parents for a late-afternoon Christmas lunch. We were all having such fun and I didn’t want to ruin things. Anyway, at 34 weeks pregnant,

I was bound to feel a bit uncomfortable, wasn’t I? But as I went to get the last spoonful of pudding, I felt another stab of pain. Making my excuses, I went upstairs to the bathroom. I told myself I’d just eaten too much, only then, glancing down, I realised my waters had broken. I gasped, terrified. I wasn’t supposed to be having my baby for another two months – and certainly not here in my in-laws’ bathroom! I took a deep breath to

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 29

‘Our little girl was the greatest git of all’

BOXING DAY BONUS Only outside, as we headed to the car, Graeme stopped and stared at me. “I can’t drive,” he said. “I’ve been drinking.” I groaned and grabbed the keys from him. I had no choice but to drive now. Easing my bump behind 30 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

‘Midnight Mass in Bethlehem was incredibly moving’ Carolyn Pearson, 53, from Leeds, discovered new hope and inner calm on a memorable Christmas trip.


winkling lights lined the streets of Bethlehem as my friend Joana and I made our way to the Church of the Nativity for Midnight Mass. In the square, a giant tree was lit up in green and gold. The atmosphere was magical and I knew right then that I’d remember it for ever. The year before, it had all been so diferent. I’d been sharing Christmas with my husband and his mother. Yet, as we’d sat eating turkey and chatting, he and I had been hiding a secret – that our marriage was over. After 19 years together, we’d decided to separate. Not wanting to ruin Christmas, we’d kept it quiet from family. As a result, our day was underpinned with an unspoken strain. We finally announced it the following spring, and I started to adjust to life on my own. But as the next Christmas approached, I wondered what I could do. I hated the idea of sitting at home alone, and then I remembered my friend Joana had mentioned I should visit her. She lived in Jerusalem. Without a second thought, I booked the flights.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS I flew to Tel Aviv on 22 December. On Christmas Eve, I made that trip to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. In a place of great unrest, that night, there was peace. The square outside was full of people, gathered to share in the celebrations. The Midnight Mass service was incredibly moving and if ever I could feel the spirit of Christmas, it was then. So, as this Christmas approaches, I’ll remember that special time. Life has moved on, and a few months ago, I met a lovely man called Sandy. We’re looking forward to spending some time together over the festive season. But I will never forget my visit with Joana. Discovering new places is the thing that makes me happiest in life, and this year when I hear the carol O Little Town of Bethlehem, I will think of those special memories.’

Words Ella Dove Photography Nicky Johnston Styling Rachel Fanconi Hair & make-up Liz Kitchiner, Sarah Jane Green Katherine wears (this page) Top, Betty Barclay. Skirt, Traffic People. Cuff, Lara Heems. Imogen wears Santa outfit, Mothercare Carolyn wears (opposite page) Dress, Kruszynska. Earrings, Lola Rose. Ring, Butler & Wilson. Tree, Balsam Hill. Baubles, Gisela Graham. Light-up star, Lights4Fun. Wrapping paper, Paperchase. Ribbon, Jane Means

steady myself. Graeme and I had been married three years and this was my first baby. We were so excited but I didn’t know what to expect. After a few minutes, I realised there were no other pains so I assumed I couldn’t possibly be going into labour. Heading downstairs, everyone was getting ready for an evening in front of the TV. Grabbing Graeme, I pulled him to one side and told him what had happened. “I think we need to get home,” I said. He looked worried, but we decided not to tell his parents what was happening; we didn’t want to panic them unnecessarily. Instead, we made our excuses and left.

the steering wheel, we set of. It was only a 20-minute drive and arriving back, we decided to head to bed. The discomfort had eased and I told Graeme we’d give it until the morning to see if I should see a doctor. In no time, he was fast asleep, but as I lay beside him in bed, I felt another twinge. Finally, at 2am, I nudged Graeme awake. “I think I need to go to hospital after all,” I said. An ambulance arrived and I was taken straight to the maternity unit, where a scan revealed my baby – a girl – was lying in the breech position. Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain shoot through my stomach. I clutched Graeme’s hand as the nurse came over to check on me. “You’re in labour,” she said. Everything happened so fast after that. I was rushed into the delivery suite and after just 80 minutes, our darling daughter, Imogen, arrived. It was 10.53am on Boxing Day and, as I held her in my arms, I couldn’t believe that she was here. She weighed just 4lb 11oz and needed to go to the special care baby unit, but as soon as I was strong enough, I was wheeled over to see her. I stared at her incubator and felt such love for my little girl. She was never supposed to have arrived at Christmas, but she’d taken us all by surprise – the greatest gift of all. Imogen progressed well, and after two weeks, she was finally strong enough to come home. It was such a magical moment for Graeme and me and, although there were no presents for our little girl because we’d never expected her to be here, I vowed that we’d always make Christmas her very special time. So this year, as Imogen turns one, there will be a double celebration. She is the first grandchild in our family and adored by everyone. She loves us clapping our hands in front of her and has the biggest smile. The day after Boxing Day this year, we’ll hold a big birthday party to celebrate. Just like the song, Imogen really is our very own Santa Baby.’

Let’s celebrate Prima

e l t t i OL f o n w To

m e h e l h Bet

Our favourite traditions

UNWRAPPED! Ever wondered how we came to kiss underneath mistletoe, deck the halls with tinsel and wear paper crowns around the dinner table? A new book reveals all…


Christmas cards

In 1847, confectioner Tom Smith started wrapping sweets in a twist of paper. Over the years, he added new elements, first inserting a love motto into the wrapper, and then – inspired by a crackling fire – a ‘crack’ when the wrapping was broken. Tom then FESTIVE replaced the sweets with trinkets and wrapped the paper around FACT a cardboard tube. When his White Christmas by sons took over the business, Bing Crosby is the bestselling single of they introduced paper all time. It’s sold over crowns. 50 million copies.

Tinsel Tinsel was designed to replicate icicles, and was initially made from strips of real silver! However, this became tarnished by smoke from candles, so lead foil was used instead. In the 1960s, worries about lead poisoning saw a switch to plastic materials, which are still used today.

32 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Sending Christmas cards can be time-consuming, but they were actually invented to save time! In 1843 Sir Henry Cole commissioned an artist to create a festive illustration alongside a Christmas greeting. He then printed 1,000 of these cards to send to friends, then sold the rest for charity. Today, around 900 million are sent in Britain every year.


In 2001, one of Cole’s 12 surviving original Christmas cards sold at auction for £22,500.


Pagans believed mistletoe had a mystical life force of fertility. Kissing under the mistletoe became a popular Victorian parlour game: each white berry represented a kiss, and for each kiss given a berry was removed, until none were left and the kissing had to stop.

Festive fun FESTIVE FACT

Santa Claus

In 1879, the world’s The tradition stems from the first ever Santa’s pagan figure of Father Winter, Christmas Grotto who would be welcomed in to opened in people’s houses and plied with Liverpool. food and drink in the hope of being given a mild winter.

FESTIVE FACT Some say Santa Claus wore green until CocaCola gave him a red coat in the 1930s adverts. But some earlier depictions show him dressed in red, based on St Nicholas’ red bishop’s robes.

FESTIVE FACT The first Advent calendars containing chocolate were produced in 1958. Cadbury launched its version in 1971.

Advent calendars

Counting down to Christmas was started by Germans in the 19th century, who made chalk marks on a door and wiped them of each day. The Advent calendar was invented by Gerhard Lang, whose mother placed a cookie on each day of a calendar leading up to Christmas when he was a child. This inspired him to produce a commercial Advent calendar.

Christmas trees

Feature Arielle Tchiprout Photography Getty, Mary Evans

Pine trees have long been seen as symbols of hope and celebration, their greenery showing that life continues throughout winter. In 1419, the first chronicled Christmas tree appeared in Freiburg, Germany. This communal tree was decorated by bakers with fruit, nuts and baked goods, which were given to children to eat on New Year’s Day. In 1800, German-born Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, put up Britain’s first known Christmas tree in Windsor. Laden with candles, trinkets and sweets, it set a trend, and demand soared further after a sketch of Queen Victoria’s family with their Christmas tree appeared on the front cover of a magazine.


The Book of Christmas: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Festive Traditions by Christopher Winn (Hardie Grant) is out now

The name Santa Claus comes from the generous Catholic Saint Nicholas (or ‘Sinter Klaas’, in Dutch), a red-robed bishop who was said to drop presents down chimneys for children.

Mr Saturday night

‘Simon gives me framed photos of himself!’ The X Factor presenter Dermot O’Leary reveals the odd presents he gets from his boss, Simon Cowell, and how his life has taken a new turn thanks to his cat!

MY INSPIRATION Although my cat, Toto, was born blind, she has a really good life. She has incredible reactions, and knows her way around the house. Dee and I started making up a story that she has a double life, going out at night and solving crimes, and thought it would be a fun idea for my first kids’ book. Everyone will be getting the new one for Christmas – even the adults!

THE WRITING PROCESS I write in the morning, because I’m useless for hours after lunch if I’m at home. It’s not as if I have a particularly indulgent lunch, like kidneys, but my brain shuts down post-food. I like to finish about 6pm, then make dinner and have the rest of the evening to decompress 34 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Words Jen Crothers Photography David Venni/Chilli Media, Rex Features, Getty


e’s been Mr Saturday Night Entertainment for 10 years, yet what you might not know is that Dermot, 45, is also a successful author. Having just published his second children’s book, the presenter – who lives in London with his wife, Dee, 39, a TV producer and director – chats to Prima about his writing, five-day cooking fests and why he hates a Christmas party…

or go out. Writing a book is totally diferent to live TV and radio – you find out who you are creatively.

FESTIVE FUN Christmas as a child was brilliant. We’d get up and go straight to Mass. I was an altar boy so it was one of the big glamour gigs of the year! Back home, we’d have breakfast, open a few presents and then go for a walk along the nearby beach [Dermot was born to Irish parents in Colchester, Essex]. Christmas dinner would be later in the afternoon. On Boxing Day – or St Stephen’s Day as my parents would call it – we’d go to the races or visit family. Now, I travel a lot at Christmas.

‘Everyone will be getting my new book for Christmas – even the adults!’ Mum and Dad are back in Wexford, Ireland, while my in-laws are in Norway and Broadstairs, Kent. They’re all very beautiful places, but they’re all spread out! Broadstairs is lovely because you can go for walks by the sea, and Norway’s stunning. Alpine countries are tailor-made for Christmas – you can go tobogganing, drink hot chocolate and eat lots of wales. And, obviously, Ireland is fun all year round.

HOST WITH THE MOST I do love being in London for Christmas, as it feels quite Dickensian. Last year, we hosted and I was like a galley slave for

five days – I got up, saw daylight for three hours and just cooked and roasted meat. I literally didn’t stop. I enjoy cooking, but I was exhausted by the time everyone went home!

PRESENT AND CORRECT I’m not in a great place to ask for much this Dermot year when it comes with wife to presents – my wife Dee bought me Bruce Springsteen tickets for my birthday back in May, so Christmas came early for me. We went to see him in New York, and it was the best concert I’ve ever been to in my life.

STYLING IT OUT While the Christmas jumper look is not really on-brand for me, the Scandis do a great alpine jumper – none of that itchy polyester stuf. I’ve got a couple of nice big cardigans and a lovely grey one I wear in January.

THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT I’m not a massive fan of work Christmas parties and enforced fun. Instead, I do a supper club with my friends. We have four a year, and there’s a Christmas one, which is really fun. I love watching old films over the festive break. I’m a fan of musicals, so I’ll put on Oliver!, Bugsy Malone, Fiddler On The Roof… all the old classics. And going to watch

My X Factor highlight

Beyoncé duetting with Alexandra Burke

A lot of preparation goes into live TV, which is why I like doing it so much. When you go on air you feel prepared, so you can have fun. I love the fact you can have Beyoncé performing and then have people like Honey G and Wagner. In fact, my favourite ever moment was when Beyoncé duetted with Alexandra Burke. She’s the biggest star in the world, but was so magnanimous. Beyoncé didn’t know Alexandra, did a rehearsal with her and when she realised Alexandra was incredible, she went: ‘Right, give her the best lines, I’m here to support her.’ She was brilliant.

You shouldn’t have, Simon! Dermot and his inspiring cat, Toto

Arsenal play on Boxing Day is a football fixture that I don’t want to miss if I’m in London.

SECRET SIMON Simon Cowell’s son, Eric, is an absolute legend. He comes on set with us and he’s such a sweetheart. He’s four now and a good little boy. I’ll be giving him a copy of my new book, of course. He enjoyed the last one – well, his daddy said he did. I don’t expect Simon to read it to him – I think his bedtime story is before Simon gets up! It’s hard to buy Simon a Christmas present. He gives me nonsense things, like pictures of himself set in beautiful silver frames. I have two of them up at home, but when we had a decorator round, Dee was like, ‘Take Simon down! Do you have any idea how that looks if people don’t know it’s a joke?’ It’s like when my sister, Nicola, was selling her house a few years ago. A lovely couple, who were viewing it, were a bit confused as to why she had pictures of herself with Dermot O’Leary on her mantelpiece! • Toto The Ninja Cat And The Incredible Cheese Heist by Dermot O’Leary, illustrated by Nick East (Hodder Children’s Books), is out now PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 35

Meet the author

‘I never have a day of, not even

CHRISTMAS DAY’ At 72, million-selling children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson returns with the latest in her famous Tracy Beaker series. She reflects on the joy of celebrating the season with friends

When I was young, Christmas was a bit odd. My parents didn’t get on, so it wasn’t always a happy time. Although I looked forward to it, my feelings lurched between high excitement and great anxiety, as there were terrible rows that often ended in disaster. One year, my father threw the turkey across the room! I had my daughter, Emma, when I was 21. By that time, my parents had separated so Christmas had calmed down, though there was still a bit of tension surrounding which one of them to spend the day with. Watching Emma’s My new book, My Mum Tracy Beaker, tells the story of one of my most excitement was lovely. I’m so lucky that famous characters as an adult. we’ve always been close. She’s 51 now Generally when I finish a book, the so we don’t always spend Christmas characters disappear from my mind, but together, but we’re great friends. Tracy has never faded. For years, people One thing that’s guaranteed is I’ll start have asked me what happened to her the day by writing. Every morning, I get up early, feed my cat, Jacob, let my dog, and I’ve made flippant comments about how maybe one day I’d bring Jackson, into the garden, her back. Then I began to make a cofee and get back think – what if I actually did? into bed. There, I spend an Last year, I bought my first hour propped up against the ever proper Christmas tree. pillows with my laptop. I’m still I’d just moved from London half asleep when I start, which to the Sussex countryside. means all sorts of ideas come to me. I try to write between I bought a huge tree and 500 and 1,000 words each decked the whole house out Jacqueline’s new morning – and I’ll do the same book sees Tracy with loads of decorations, on Christmas Day! which I really enjoyed doing. all grown up

Christmas in my village is very special. Each shop decorates a window and there’s a real sense of celebration. Last year, I was lucky enough to be asked to switch on the village lights. Although I’m not religious, I went to the Christingle service at the local church, where all the children were in Nativity costumes. One little boy was dressed up as a camel, and watching him get fed up and start galloping up and down the aisle was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen! There’s nothing better than community spirit. I’m not the greatest cook, so last Christmas was perfect because two lovely guys in the village invited me and a group of others for a splendid Christmas lunch. After that, some other local friends laid on an elaborate tea. Hopefully this year’s celebrations will involve just as much eating and chatting. As one year ends and the next begins, I’m feeling grateful for my health. When you’re younger, you expect to be healthy for ever, and I used to take pride in being fit for my age. That changed in 2009 when I sufered heart failure and had a defibrillator fitted. My kidneys were badly damaged, meaning I needed dialysis three times a week. A few years ago, I had a kidney transplant. I did worry about the future for a while, but it’s faded in my mind now. I’m active and happy, and I have a lot to be thankful for as the festive season approaches. • My Mum Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson (Random House) in out now

Words: Ella Dove. Photography: Geoff Pugh/Telegraph Syndication

‘There’s a real sense of celebration in my village’

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 37



‘Our tree is hung with love & memories’

For author Cass Hunter, 50, decorating the Christmas tree with her sons is more than just tradition – it has helped them find happiness again

38 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

y eight-year-old son Matt knelt on the floor of our flat, arranging tinsel and decorations on our small tree. We’d made a star with cardboard and tin foil and, as he stuck it on the top, his face was full of pride. Decorating the Christmas tree is a ritual in many homes, but for us, the tradition holds bittersweet memories, a special poignancy that will stay with both of us for ever. Matt was just five when our lives were ripped apart. His father, Glen, sufered a heart attack and had died in the night, aged just 37. Matt had found him, simply saying, ‘Dad won’t talk to me.’ The shock was unimaginable. It was November 1997 and Glen and I had divorced a couple of years earlier but we’d remained close and I couldn’t believe he’d gone. Matt had been staying over with Glen and, that morning, I had the devastating phone call from Glen’s mum, who lived in the same block of flats. In a daze, I went to collect my boy. He was too young to really understand what had happened, but as we drove home, he said: ‘When we get home, can we put up the Christmas tree?’ I was puzzled. It was only November but I wanted to do whatever I could for Matt at this time. ‘Of course,’ I replied. ‘Why?’ ‘Because Dad won’t be here for Christmas,’ he said. ‘But he’s an angel now, so he’ll make Christmas instead.’ I looked at him in the rear-view mirror. Christmas was the furthest thing from my mind, but if that was what he wanted to do, we would do it. At home, I dug out our Christmas tree. Although it was more than six weeks early, we decorated it, stringing lights and

Relections hanging baubles. I couldn’t even feel the emotional impact of what had happened. The practical implications were enormous. I was 29, a solo parent, without the support of my parents as they had both died. I was alone, and I had to support my little boy who had lost half of his world. But of course, Matt was the reason I got through it. The practicalities of parenthood kept me busy and kept me sane. That’s how the tree came to symbolise our grief and our hope. I knew I owed it to Matt to stay strong.

Clockwise from left: the family’s special angel; Matt when he was a toddler; father and son were so close

MOVING ON That year, the tree stayed up beyond Christmas, as we came to terms with the enormity of our loss. We took it down on Twelfth Night, and slowly we began to move forward as a family of two. We went through so many emotions in those first months. I found myself furious with Glen for not being there, and bereft because it was so hard to make decisions without him. We kept his memory alive, talking about him and looking at photographs. Matt often asked about his dad’s taste in music, and liked to listen to the rock and heavy metal Glen had loved. Matt had to reimagine his future, one without a father. He was brave, strong and practical, but he did seem to struggle physically. He was small for his age, and developed asthma for a few years. I often thought this was brought on by shock. I had no idea how to help Matt, so I did what felt natural. He had questions about his dad’s death, and I answered them as honestly as I was able. I think this honesty formed the basis of our relationship. For the next seven years, it was the two of us against the world, and the only way we could do it was to be truthful, direct and work as a team. Every year, we put the Christmas tree up together. It had become a tradition, our way of remembering Glen.

Christmas, snow fell. It was the first snow Matt had ever seen – he was awestruck. Yet life was hard in London; I struggled financially and had no friends around me. If I hadn’t joined our local church, I don’t know if I would have stuck it out. They had an excellent choir and I signed up just before Christmas in 2001. Matt and I were drawn into a community of friends with their own traditions. Some were ancient and church based, and some modern, like the Christmas Eve curry and pub visit before Midnight Mass. It felt that we had a new ‘family’ and it was here that I met Tom, the man I fell in love with. We got together in 2005, and married in that same church a few years later. Matt, then 16, gave me away. He delivered a beautiful speech at the reception, welcoming Tom to our family. I know it’s a cliché to say it’s the happiest day of your life, but it was. As that year’s festive season came around, my husband’s family decorations joined ours on the tree. Even when Matt was a teenager, the tree remained an important part of our Christmas and he never missed the chance to decorate it. In Christmas 2008, we hung a pair of booties on the tree, a symbol of the new family member who was to join us. The next year, Ted was born, a much-wanted addition. Matt was overjoyed and despite the age gap, they are very close.

Edited by Ella Dove Photography Getty

‘The tree is our way of remembering Glen’

PLANTING NEW ROOTS Three years after Glen’s death, a work opportunity meant Matt and I moved to London. It was that Christmas, when he was eight, that was particularly poignant and he hung an angel on the tree to represent Glen. A few days after

the Christmas tree is still a tradition in our family. On a crisp December evening, Matt, Ted and I will go to the garden centre. There, we’ll choose our tree and wedge it into Matt’s car. In the living room, we unwrap it and I always put on cheesy Christmas tunes (they both love Wham!’s Last Christmas) and leave the boys to decide on the placement of each decoration. Matt, 26, likes the tree to be symmetrical and stylish; Ted, nine, has a more eclectic style. There may be more than 16 years between my sons, but when it comes to decorating the tree, it’s hard to tell who is the most excited. One lesson I have learnt over time is to treasure happy moments, no matter how mundane. I cherish this one every year − my boys, laughing together. As Matt lifts up his little brother to place the Santa on the top of the tree, I watch them and reflect on how far we’ve come. I don’t think I believe in angels, but if fiveyear-old Matt was right, I’d like to thank his personal angel. That awful Christmas broke us, but it also made us. Our tree is no longer a symbol of sadness and loss. It’s sprawling, abundant and hung with love and memories. • The After Wife by Cass Hunter (Trapeze) is out now

CHRISTMASES TO COME Now, 21 years after the morning that changed our lives for ever, decorating

Cass and son Matt on her wedding day PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 39

Then and now: The Queen, Philip (and trusty corgi!), and the new generation at Sandringham

Jokey gits, jigsaws & titbits for the corgis…

It’s CHRISTMAS with the ROYALS Royal insider Penny Junor reveals all the intrigue of what really goes on when the Windsors get together. It may just surprise you!


ike most of us, the royal family has been doing the same thing at Christmas – including those embarrassing party games – for decades. The children, the cousins, the aunts and uncles, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren and all their assorted dogs descend upon Sandringham House for the traditional break that can turn into the most fraught two or three days of the year. That said, there are worse places to be cooped up. Sandringham is a grand house, fully stafed, with a huge garden in an area of outstanding natural beauty, near the Norfolk coast. It’s been in the family since 1862, when Edward VII

42 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

fell in love with it, and the royals have been celebrating Christmas there for generations. It was where the Queen and her sister, Princess Margaret, spent Christmas as children, when it belonged to their grandparents, George V and Queen Mary. And the format today is very much as it was all those years ago, with the exchange of gifts on Christmas Eve – a hangover from their Germanic heritage – a walk to church on Christmas morning, charades after lunch and a shoot on Boxing Day. And there is always a large jigsaw puzzle on the go. Possibly the only innovation in the best part of a century is a charity football match that William and Harry instigated a few years ago. It’s played

New addition Meghan at last year’s service

Festive fun Floral gifts on 25 December make their church visit special


‘Dinner on Christmas Eve is candlelit and formal’

on Christmas Eve between the home team – the estate workers – and the locals. The two princes usually take opposing sides and inevitably there is a lot of banter between them – William once asking the ref to give his brother a yellow card.


Photography: Alamy, Getty

The young Princess Elizabeth was very fond of her grandfather. She called him Grandpa England and it was he who instilled in her a life-long love of horses – and dogs. Most of us associate corgis with the Queen, and dorgis (a cross between a corgi and a dachshund), because those are the dogs we have so often seen her with. She has never been without one since the age of seven, when she persuaded her father to buy one for the family; at times she has had as many as 10. But all these years she has been equally passionate about gundogs. She is one of the most experienced and respected breeders in the country; she is also a remarkably skilled handler. And the dogs love her.

On the day, the family gather round to watch the Queen’s speech

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the corgis traditionally arrive in Norfolk about a week before everyone else. Guests arrive throughout the day on Christmas Eve, which is when the festivities begin. Those invited to Sandringham are usually immediate family, which includes the late Princess Margaret’s children and grandchildren. They arrive in order of precedence, with the most senior royals, Charles and Camilla, usually last. Gifts are neatly laid out on a trestle table in the Red Drawing Room for later. Once everyone has arrived, the Queen takes the children into the White Drawing Room to put the final decorations on the tree; about 20ft tall, cut from the estate. They also have a silver artificial tree in the dining room. At 5pm, the whole family gathers for afternoon tea, with sandwiches, scones and cakes. The Queen invariably slips the dogs, who scarcely leave her side, titbits from her plate. She does this at every meal. After tea, it’s time to open presents. Dinner that evening is served at 8pm; it is candlelit and formal. The women wear gowns and jewels, the men wear black tie, and the table is set with the finest china and glass. At around 10pm, the ladies and the dogs adjourn – as they would have done 100 years ago – leaving Prince Philip to serve

According to David Linley, the Queen’s nephew, there is ‘total uproar’ when gifts are opened at Sandringham. They are traditionally jokey – Princess Anne once gave Royal flush: her eldest brother family members love jokey a loo seat; Harry presents reportedly gave his grandmother a shower cap with the phrase, ‘Ain’t life a bitch!’

port or brandy to the men before everyone retires for the night; but no one goes to bed before the Queen.

CHANGING TRADITIONS After breakfast on Christmas morning, the family head to St Mary’s Magdalene for the Christmas Day service, where they greet well-wishers. It’s one of the rare occasions when so many of the royal family are seen together in public. Lunch is at 1pm. The menu never varies. They begin with shrimp or lobster salad, move on to roasted Norfolk turkey with all the trimmings, parsnips, carrots and Brussels sprouts, finishing with Christmas pudding and brandy butter. At 3pm, they gather to watch the Queen’s Christmas broadcast together, after which they disperse until teatime. Some go for a walk, some watch a film. Dinner that night is a bufet with up to 20 diferent dishes to choose from. Some traditions are changing with the arrival of new members. Last year, Harry announced that he would not be taking part in the Boxing Day shoot. Meghan disapproves. And in 2016, William and Kate took their children to spend Christmas with their other grandparents, the Middletons, in Bucklebury. • All The Queen’s Corgis by Penny Junor (Hodder & Stoughton, £!4.99) is out 1 November PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 43

Jingle BELLES! Meet the women who make Christmas their business

‘I found a recipe in a junk shop cookbook’ Gingerbread queen Liz Druce, 48, runs her baking business from her home in Whitby, North Yorkshire


he comforting smell of ginger and spice lingers in the air long before Christmas actually comes around in my house – and I love it! In my pantry, I take down jars of flour, ground ginger, mixed spice and caster sugar from my shelves. Apron on, I blend the dry ingredients with golden syrup, black treacle and eggs, which are fresh from the hens my husband Stephen and I keep in our garden. This is the beginning of just one of the 5,000 gingerbread houses and 2,000 gingerbread men I’ll sell every festive season. It’s a long and careful process, but one I never tire of, even though making a living out of gingerbread isn’t where I envisaged my life heading. In fact, after studying fine art at university, I embarked on a career in horticulture. While I loved gardening, after 20 years of it, I started to grow tired of the cold northern winters spent working outside. I knew it was time to try something diferent. These thoughts were in the back of my mind when I happened to come across a gingerbread house recipe in an old cookbook I found in a junk shop. I thought I’d have a go at this festive

fare, and I fell in love with it immediately. I’d spent my childhood making things from clay, so shaping the gingerbread felt like a familiar warm and sculptural activity, and my steady hand from my fine art training came in useful when drawing the details out with icing. A hobby at first, I made some as Christmas gifts for friends and family. I didn’t think of making a business out of it until Stephen took a set of my home-baked gingerbread houses to work as a treat for his colleagues. Also a gardener, he’s based in the stately home Castle Howard. His team loved them so much that they asked me to sell them in the gift shop. At the same time, a friend commissioned me to make a replica of the pub where she worked. With that, my gingerbread business slowly formed.

‘My houses help to make Christmas special’

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TAKING THE PLUNGE Wary of doing anything too drastic, I kept my baking business going alongside my gardening, selling large gingerbread houses for £20 and small ones for £10 on a website I’d set up. But within four years, I realised that the demand for my

gingerbread meant I could actually make a living from it so, in 2007, I took the plunge. Over the following years, I fine-tuned my recipe and baking process to make each house and gingerbread man perfect. After mixing the ingredients, I’ll leave the dough for a few days to mature, as I found it was too soft to work with straight away. I used to roll the dough by hand, but it’s important that the pieces are all the same thickness, so a few years ago I bought a commercial pizza dough roller. I use copper cutters to shape the dough, and then bake them in the oven. I love the detail of my work: I’ll cut out a section on a gingerbread wall and pop in a boiled sweet, which melts when it’s baked and looks like a stained glass window. While gingerbread houses are everywhere around this time of year, they won’t be like mine! I enjoy every minute of my work – not least because it means I can spend my days inside, near the warmth of an oven! I love that my gingerbread houses help make Christmas special. Many of the same families order year after year, and they send me pictures of my houses on their Christmas tables. Seeing those really is the best present I could ask for.’ •

Ladies who launch

LIZ’S TIPS ● Invest in as much timesaving equipment as you can at the start. ● When starting a business, it’s easy to get completely caught up in it – but don’t forget your social life. ● Make your work enjoyable and interesting – it takes up a large part of your life.

Liz uses her fine art skills to make fabulous gingerbread creations

Her unique designs keeps customers flocking back

‘I’m perfecting my Christmas Tree Gin’ The fruit gins Beth Paterson, 31, creates at her family farm in Braintree, Essex, are perfect winter warmers


he clinking of glasses at Christmas has always been a joyful sound, but since I started making flavoured gins, it’s become all the more special. Having been brought up on the family farm, Slamseys, I have fond childhood memories of helping Mum pick sloes to make flavoured gin for family and friends. But it didn’t cross my mind as a business venture until much later in life. As an adult, a not-so-happy stint in property management taught me that oice-based jobs and working for other people were two career choices I didn’t want. So in 2011, I began looking back to the farm I’d grown up on for alternative ideas. Recalling the days spent with my mother picking sloes, and knowing how popular gin was becoming, I had my

lightbulb moment – why not see if I could make a living from creating my own brand? Blackberries and sloe trees already grew in the fields at the farm, so they were my first ingredients. I also planted raspberry bushes. It was a long and careful process, but by the following year I was able to pick, wash and add the three fruits to premiumquality gin. I left each to soak for a few months, drained them and bottled them. We had a family tasting and we were excited about how delicious they were. The fruity, homegrown flavours were like nothing we’d tasted before – so much nicer than supermarket gin. I had my first three flavours of infused gins. My husband Matthew and I began selling the gin at local farmers’ markets,

BETH’S TIPS ● Have confidence in yourself and your product. ● Don’t be afraid of taking risks. ● Always reach out for help when you need it.

food shows and country events, testing the waters by ofering free samples, which were always gratefully received! There was so much interest that I had to set up a website. I called the gin Slamseys, named after the farm, and began selling bottles from £22.50. I spent the next few years growing all sorts to try out diferent flavours. Some, such as plum and strawberry gin, were a big success. Others, such as gooseberry, I haven’t been able to perfect just yet.

FAMILY FRIENDLY The best thing about my work is that I can fit it all around being a mother. I now have three small children, Ewan, Finn and Heidi, who’ve had many naps in the orchards while I’ve been picking fruit. I’m perfecting a recipe for Christmas Tree Gin, as we have a ready supply of Christmas trees on the farm. The rest of our seasonal range includes Sloe Gin and Marmalade Gin, which are the most popular at this time of year. We sell it in the farm’s festive gift shop. The beautiful labels mean they make great presents, although customers sometimes come back just before we close for Christmas to re-buy the bottle they bought as a gift and ended up drinking themselves! While the lead up to Christmas is hectic, I make sure my family remembers what it’s all about: spending time together. I really look forward to finally putting my feet up with them this year, and having a glass of sloe gin next to the fire!’ •

Ladies who launch

Customers love crafting Nancy’s charming designs

NANCY’S TIPS ● Have an original idea! Check your competition and make sure your product is unique. ● Love what you do – passion shows through. ● Delegate the things that aren’t your strong point to others, and focus on the things that only you can do.

all the materials, thread and fabric for customers to make items themselves. I started with embroidery kits, and it was warming to have a great response. Bit by bit, I expanded the range, adding cushions and small fabric decorations.


Nancy’s festive craft kit business started life at the kitchen table

Words: Anna Bonet Photography: Lisa Linder, Christian Barnett, Chris Terry

‘It’s the most creative time of year’ The kits made by Nancy Nicholson, from Rye, East Sussex, are the ideal gift for craft lovers


omething about Christmas makes people want to get creative, and that’s good for business! All autumn, I’ve been putting together my festive crafting kits, working in a nearby village barn that I’ve transformed into a colourful haberdashery full of paper, thread and fabric. Customers across the world can then follow my instructions to stitch their own fabric baubles, make 3D Christmas cards or create paper angels for the tree. I set up in 2012, after years of being a textiles teacher. I’d wanted my own business for a while, but it wasn’t until going through a hard time personally

that I decided to do it. First, I lost my mother, Joan, who was a celebrated embroiderer and designer. Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This dark time really put things into perspective. After I recovered, I left teaching and got myself into action. From my kitchen table, I made colourful 3D cards. I set up a website and an account on Etsy, which is a marketplace where crafters sell their products, and the orders trickled in. I spent many happy hours experimenting with materials, fabrics, colours and designs. But I realised the best thing about craft is not just the finished product but the act of making it. I decided to focus on making kits, with

Three years in, a buyer from John Lewis came across my kits online, and asked if they could stock them. I was thrilled. Even today, it’s surreal to walk into a store and see my kits on the shelves! I now rent a unit in a local converted barn, with more space to be creative. My mother’s influence is visible in all my work – characterful birds and vibrant colours are inspired by her sketchbooks. I’ve also written two books about the craft she loved: Modern Folk Embroidery and Big Embroidery. I know she’d be very proud. Orders for my festive range fly in when winter hits so, every year, from September, I’m frantically putting together kits for hanging baubles and fabric reindeers. The thought of adults and kids spending their Christmases stitching my designs together makes it all worthwhile.’ •

‘It’s surreal to see my kits on shelves in John Lewis’

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Making life simple for the modern woman Subscribe to the digital edition of Prima magazine for instant access to advice on how to look and feel your best, time and money saving solutions, quick and easy food, beautiful homes and gardens, and above all everything you need to get the most out of life.

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Get glowing Highlighting is the secret to youngerlooking skin, says Caroline Barnes, Max Factor’s make-up artist for UK and Ireland. ‘I love using highlighter to add youthful dewiness, but you don’t want your face to be shining like a glitterball. Add a little at a time, building up to a subtle glow.’ Max Factor Miracle Glow Pro-Illuminator, £10.99, flatters all skin tones. Apply to the bridge of the nose, your Cupid’s bow and above cheekbones, blending out towards your temples. Highlighter can also help sculpt your décolletage, shoulders and legs. Apply down the front of your shins, along the top of your shoulders and just above your collarbone. Prima loves Models Own Throw Shimmer Highlighter Sticks, £7.99, and Ted Baker Fragrant Bloom Shimmer Body Wash, £12, which leaves a pretty sheen on your skin. 50 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

LIP LUXE Nothing gets you in the mood for merriment faster than a bold, red lip. A satiny texture like Clarins Joli Rouge Gradation in Red Gradation, £22, looks modern, and this deep red shade has a lighter pink strip in the middle to make thinner lips appear plumper. Or for colour that lasts, try Bourjois Rouge Fabuleux in Scarlet It Be, £8.99, which gives intense colour for up to 10 hours and won’t dry out your lips.

Beautiful you

Quick tip A ďŹ nal spritz of face mist can stop your make-up from looking powdery and overdone, or pat moisturiser gently over cheekbones for a subtle gleam.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 51

Quick tip The best time to apply fragrance is just after a shower, once you’ve applied your body lotion – perfume lasts longer on hydrated skin.

Beautiful you

PAMPER TIME Choosing the right aroma for the bath or shower is a simple way to boost your mood. If you’ve spent the day rushing around at full speed, de-stress in double time with the calming lavender, geranium and marjoram essential oils in Neal’s Yard Remedies Aromatic Floating Bath, £15.50. Need a reviving pick-meup? Hop in the shower and use a body wash packed with zesty citrus notes or refreshing mimosa flower, like Love Beauty And Planet Radical Refresher Shower Gel, £5.99.

TOP-TO-TOE SOFTNESS Winter skin needs a bit of TLC before you slip on your party dress! Fast track your way to skin worth showing of by buing legs and arms with an oil-based exfoliator before you wash. We like This Works Perfect Legs 100% Natural Scrub, £24. You can use it all over and the oils give skin a silky, soft finish. Follow with an intensive body moisturiser like Nivea Irresistibly Smooth Body Lotion, £3.99, and massage in when skin is still damp to leave it feeling fully hydrated, with a lovely luminous sheen.



There’s no age limit on wearing eye-catching eyeshadow. ‘The trick to making sparkle work after 40 is to use a small amount in the upper and lower lash line, and in the inner corner of eyes,’ says Caroline. ‘This adds a subtle twinkle without being overpowering.’ Try Smashbox Cover Shot Major Metals, £24, or W7 Cosmetics Metal Pop Eye Colour Palette, £9.95, and you’ll have lots of shades to play with. Add drama with Revlon Volumazing Mascara, £8.99. Finish with L’Oréal Paris X Isabel Marant Lipstick in La Seine Shadow, £9.99, to keep the focus on the eyes.

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Beautiful you

Fake a


There are plenty of quick fixes when you want to look fresh, not stressed. A speedy face mask, for example, gives a ‘just-had-a-facial’ efect in 15 minutes while you relax! For an instant pick-me-up, Prima loves complexion brightening Garnier SkinActive Fresh-Mix Vitamin C Shot, £3.99. If you’re feeling flushed, the soothing rose extract in Sanctuary Spa Nourishing Rose Petal Hydrogel Mask, £7.50, gets to work calming the skin. Or try No7’s Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi Action Serum Boost Sheet Masks, £27 for 4. Each mask contains an impressive one week’s worth of serum for plumper, bouncier, younger-looking skin.

Quick tip Face mask ingredients sink in better when skin is clean and smooth. Save time with an exfoliating face wash. Prima loves Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Micro Polish Wash, £9.99.

NAIL THE LOOK ‘A warm, plummy shade is festive and works on all skin tones,’ says manicurist Ami Streets, who created the nails shown here. ‘Adding a line of silver or gold ups the glam factor.’ Ami used Gold Nail Art Tape, £1 (, cutting strips to fit the nails. ‘Using tweezers, place the strip just below the tip of the nail. Let them stick to the polish before sealing with a top coat.’ For a burgundy base, try Jessica Custom Nail Colour in Wine Country, £11. 54 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Go-to up-do Hairstylist Jonothon Malone created this classy style in five minutes! ‘It works best on mediumlength hair that’s been washed a day or two beforehand,’ he says. Part your hair naturally and separate into two ponytails, one behind each ear. Fold them over each other at the base of the neck and hold in place with a Kirby grip. Fold the sections over again, twisting upwards, securing with grips, then tuck remaining hair into the base of the knot; secure with a hair pin.

THE MANE EVENT Hair can frizz fast when you spend the day cooking, but, used before blow-drying, the long-lasting formula in Paul Mitchell Neuro Prime HeatCTRL Blowout Primer, £8.95, protects hair against humidity for up to eight hours. Just before your guests arrive, smooth a pea-sized amount of Toni&Guy Picture Perfect Hair Gloss, £7.99, over lengths and ends to add a shiny finish to your style. Got hair that looks flat by the time you’ve had your first glass of fizz? Apply Percy & Reed Up, Up & Away Root Lift Mousse, £15, to towel-dried hair, then use a round barrel brush while blow-drying to create bouncy volume.

Short & Get ready for your close-up! Words: Hearst Lifestyle Photography: Helen McArdle

Say goodbye to unflattering photos with our camera-ready hacks. ★ Under-eye concealers often use skin-brightening pigments to cancel out the blue in dark circles, but a camera flash can make them look white. A little foundation patted over the top stops the whiteness from showing, preventing reverse raccoon

eyes. Applying lipstick and blusher before you say cheese also stops features from looking washed out. ★ Prima cover-star photographer Nicky Johnston says, ‘Most of the celebs I work with know how to pose so they always look great. It sounds

vain, but looking in a mirror and working out expressions and angles that suit you is a good idea.’ ★ Give your jawline more definition by touching the top of your mouth with your tongue when you smile. It gives a more sculpted, firmer shape to the face.

stylish Jonothon suggests adding a chic touch to bobs and shorter styles by sweeping one side of your parting from the front towards the crown and pinning in place with a jewelled pin. ‘Lightly backcombing the roots of the side you’re pinning up helps styles to last longer,’ he says. We love these Accessorize 5X Pearl & Diamanté Hair Slides, £8.

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‘A few of my In the spirit of beloved Christmas classic The Sound Of Music, actress and beauty expert Kazia Pelka shares her favourite products and top tips for the season

Nailing it At the start of the festive season I’ll book in for a pedicure. It’s a moment away from the madness, and it makes me feel great. I keep up the good work at home by applying a glossy top coat to restore shine and adding a little oil around the cuticles, too, for smoothness. As for my fingernails, I do a DIY mani when I’m in a rush, swapping my usual hand cream for REN AHA Body Serum, £35, which has smoothing glycolic acid and knocks 10 years of the back of hands. I’ll then use a slick of OPI Nail Envy in Bubble Bath, £19.50, which dries in minutes with a French mani efect that I love. 56 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Grown-up beauty

All about the scents It’s hard to carve out me-time but, come Christmas, we do all need pampering. I love to unwind by filling my bath with a few drops of essential oils like clary sage and festive frankincense, both of which are incredibly uplifting and grounding. Scented candles are a must, too. This Works Black Spice & Cedar, £25, and John Lewis & Partners Winter Spice, £18, are on rotation in my house during winter for the warming trail they leave. Plus, they fit with my motto: if your house smells gorgeous and you have lots of beautiful flowers, no one will notice the mess!

Refresh & revive Going out with no time to do your make-up? My favourite trick is to blot skin with a thin sheet of tissue before spritzing with a facial mist like Caudalie Grape Water, from £6. It’s a great way to refresh without cleansing. I’ll then spray cotton buds with the water and use to remove any smudged mascara or liner, focusing on the outer corners of eyes. I also

recommend tapping serum around the eyes and edges of lips before touching up make-up, to create a smooth canvas and prevent lipstick from bleeding.

Skin savers Busy days and late nights can lead to a dull complexion, but I swear by my own winter rule of adding an extra layer to skincare. Already using a thick serum? Add a lighter one underneath that’s antioxidant rich. I stock up on night-time masks, too, to get skincare benefits while sleeping. Right now, my go to is This Works Sleep Power Recharge Mask, £32. It’s an easy way to keep skin glowing and nourished when time is limited over Christmas. And when I really need a reboot, I drink water with a scatter of Himalayan pink rock salt. It encourages the movement of fluid throughout the body towards the lymph nodes, which helps clear congestion, boost immunity and reduce pufy morning-after face – perfect after too much fizz!

Clutch essentials My take-everywhere staple is Delilah Ultimate Shine Gloss in Modesty, £22. It adds low-key

Nity gits

Words: Rebecca Hull

For men, my go-to is Dr Hauschka Spruce Warming Bath Essence, £10, with its fresh, natural smell of Christmas trees – who doesn’t love that? For female friends, it’s Clarins Eau des Jardins body sets, £36, to stash away for their next holiday.

Go for gold My tried and tested work-to-party routines are an application of St Tropez Express Mousse, £33, for an all-over glow, nude gloss on lips and a dash of the subtle Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Bronzed Bell, £24. When I’m not going for gold, I’ll do a smokey eye with a dark aubergine shadow like NYX Nude Matte Eyeshadow in Late Night Lingerie, £4.50 – it makes the whites of your eyes pop. I finish with lashings of Max Factor Volume Infusion Mascara, £12.99. Both looks are glam and easy to do.

glamour and lasts from day to evening. I’d also feel lost without my trusty Max Factor Pan Stik Foundation, £7.99. It’s too heavy as a base, but perfect as a concealer with its super creamy texture that gives great coverage. Scent is very important to me too, and my go-to is a woody, floral chypre like Guerlain Mitsouko, from £53, or Clinique Aromatics Elixir, £22.50 – or both. It is Christmas after all!

My wish list Under the tree, I am hoping for anything that will improve my wellbeing, be it meditation classes or Champagne! I’d also love to receive Ilapothecary Beat The Blues Room Spray, £28, and Good Vibe Reeds, £45. They are packed with essential oils to inspire, calm and uplift. They really do lift my mood whenever I feel low or hormonal. But above all, I wish for a relaxing time with my friends and family in front of an open fire. PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 57

Let’s get the When those invites start rolling in, don’t stress – we’ve got you covered! Here, six readers showcase the best looks for every occasion throughout the festive season

Head-to-toe metallics up the ante for after dark

[From left to right] Danni wears: Top, £29, 6-16, Topshop. Trousers, £24.99, 6-18, New Look. Earrings, £4, Primark. Bracelet, £15, Jon Richard. Jewel bag, £45, Next. Sparkle boots, £18, 3-8, Primark. Sarah wears: Gold sequin dress, £75, 6-18, Lipsy. Bangles, £8.50; heels, £34, 3-8, all Next. Tess wears: Beaded dress, £200, 8-22, Monsoon. Jacket, £62, 6-22, Next. Bag, £80, Van Dal. Bracelets, £6.99; sequin heels, £25.99, 3-8, all New Look 58 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Wow makeovers

party started! A full skirt will create great shapes on the PMZOQ ´[[^

Simple shape, maximum impact. Your perfect party plus-one

[From left to right] Amy wears: Jumper, £49.99, xs-l, Zara. Skirt, £32, 10-16, Lace & Beads at Topshop. Earrings, £10, Next. Bag, £8, Primark. Heels, £75, 3-8, Dune. Lindsay wears: Gold spot jumpsuit, £60, 10-20, Roman. Earrings, £5.99, New Look. Pendant, £15, Wallis. Bracelet, £14, Next. Clutch, £70, Dune. Strappy heels, £24.99, 3-8, Bon Prix. Audrey wears: Teal sequin dress, £26, 6-22, Next. Earrings, £12, Jon Richard. Bracelet, £12.50, Marks & Spencer. Clutch, £8, Primark. Strappy heels, £34, 3-8, Next PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 59

LINDSAY EPHGRAVE (top), 38, director of Announce PR Agency and best friend, AMY GEORGE, 40, a Hartbeeps franchise owner.

AFTER-WORK DRINKS For oice dos and cocktail hour, let your colleagues see your glam side! Add a smattering of sequins and some A-list accessories to go from desk to dance floor in an instant. ● Meeting up after work? A sequin top or jacket propels an oice skirt from standard to standout. A statement necklace dresses up a white shirt. ● Have fun with your accessories. What other time of year can you get away with this much sparkle?! ● Not a fan of heels? Dance the night away in some embellished flats or glittery trainers. ● Swap your work blazer for a couturelooking cover-up, like Lindsay, for relaxed glamour at its best.

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Amy wears: Sequin top, £70, 8-22, Monsoon. Skirt, £28, 6-22, Next. Earrings, £10, Jon Richard. Bangles, £32 each, Stella & Dot. Bag, £30, Roman. Heels, £12, 3-8, Primark. Lindsay wears: Jacket, £90, 6-18; blouse, £35, 6-18, both River Island. Velvet trousers, £32, 6-22; clutch, £24, both Next. Earrings, £10; necklaces, £18 each, all Jon Richard. Trainers, £17.50, 3-9, Next

Wow makeovers If there’s ever a time to sparkle and shine, it’s at Christmas!

TESS GUSTARD (top), 49, a supporting artist, is with sister SARAH GEORGE, 45, a radiographer.

FORMAL EVENTS Black-tie events or balls mean a more glam approach to evening wear. Make an entrance in a knock-out party dress and glittery accessories, like Tess and Sarah. ● Check the dress code. A special occasion or charity ball may require a more formal full-length gown. If you’re attending a drinks reception, you may be able to wear a cocktail dress. ● Love dressing in all black? Mixing textures, like Sarah, is your fast track to chic. ● A dress isn’t the only way to dazzle. A sleek trouser suit with a crisp shirt or a full satin skirt with a silky blouse are other party-perfect outfit ideas. ● Sparkling jewellery will take your outfits to a whole new level of gorgeous! Tess wears: Tassel dress, £55, 10-20, Roman. Necklace, £16, Next. Bangles, £18 each, Jon Richard. Bag, £45, Coast. Heels, £42, 2-9, Faith at Debenhams. Sarah wears: Jacket, £99, 6-18, Coast. Velvet and satin dress, £140, 8-20, Debut at Debenhams. Necklace, £39, Debenhams. Cuf, £25, Jon Richard. Clutch, £16, Next. Heels, £95, 3-8, Dune

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 61

DANNI BROWNING, 28, a music teacher, is with mum, AUDREY, 70, and daughter MADDIE, one.

FAMILY LUNCHES Special family occasions call for laidback luxury. Get into the festive spirit by teaming your favourite partywear with of-duty staples to make outfits as chic as they are comfy. ● When you’re overflowing with invites and need more than one outfit, investing in separates is the best sartorial solution. Danni’s sequin skirt will work double time, as it can be dressed up or down with ease. ● A comfy pair of black velvet wide-leg trousers, like Audrey’s, will see you through the festivities in style. ● Look for luxe finishes – if you can’t wear velvet, embellishment, satin or brocade at Christmas, when can you? ● Little ones love something special to wear. Go for matching accessories, too.

Audrey wears: Top, £40, 14-28; velvet trousers, £38, 14-32, both Evans. Earrings, £4, Primark. Bracelet, £10, Next. Heels, £28, 4-10, Evans. Danni wears: Jumper, £19.99, s-l, New Look. Sequin skirt, £48, 6-22, Next. Earrings, £10, Jon Richard. Pearl necklace, £18, Marks & Spencer. Heels, £45, 4-9, Simply Be. Maddie wears: Dress, £50, 3-13yrs, Monsoon. Hair bow, £8 (for a set of 2), Bows of Bowdon. Shoes, £12, 0-18mths, Monsoon 62 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Jacket, £45, 8-20, Red Herring at Debenhams

Wow makeovers Necklace, £16, River Island

Skirt, £129, 6-18, Coast

Jumpsuit, £39, 8-20, Red Herring at Debenhams



Necklace, £25, Debenhams

White shirt, £42, 4-18, Lipsy


Nothing says glamour like glitzy jewellery. You don’t have to pile it on. This wowfactor necklace (above), revs up any neckline.

DO EMBRACE COLOUR While there’s no denying the fab-factor of an LBD – don’t feel limited to only black options. Feelgood brights are guaranteed to get you noticed for all the right reasons.

Embellished flats, £129, 2-9, Kurt Geiger


Get into the party spirit with all-over sequins. A stunning skirt is the perfect starter piece. By night, team it with a silky blouse and swoon-worthy shoes. By day, opt for a chunky jumper and ankle boots.

These simple style rules will make you the best-dressed guest

DO DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY IN COMFY SHOES It’s hard to be your most glam self when your feet hurt. So step out and stand out in a pair of showstopping shoes that you won’t want to kick of at midnight!

Sequin skirt, £90, 8-18, Monsoon Multi-way bra, £30, 30-40, A-E; briefs, £12.50, 6-28, both Rosie for Autograph at Marks & Spencer

Velvet, £29.50, 3-7, Marks & Spencer

Blouse, £40, 4-18, Lipsy




Feature Helen Johnson Photography Matt Monfredi Hair Julie Read Make-up Anna Durston Styling Anne Hartnett Styling assistant Lucy Trievnor


Party style DOS & DON’TS!

Earrings, £6, George at Asda

The right foundations are essential to looking and feeling your very best. For tricky necklines, invest in a multi-way bra.

Diamanté slipper, £80, 3-8, Dune

Velvet embellished, £110, 3-9, Boden PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 63

All I want for Christmas is... a new


How confident are you at showing of your teeth? While we may all wish for brighter pearly whites, the health benefits of good oral hygiene shouldn’t be underestimated


miling is one of the simplest things we can do to boost our wellbeing – people smile back, our confidence lifts and the world seems a happier place. More than that, a set of gleaming teeth and healthy gums is one of the most efective anti-ageing treatments. But while we rate a great smile as the top physical feature when it comes to attraction, only a third of us show our teeth when we smile for a photo. Nearly half of us blame discoloured or yellowing teeth, and one in five cite crooked or missing teeth, according to research by the Oral Health Foundation. More seriously, nearly a third of adults have tooth decay, revealed an Adult Dental Health survey. This not only causes pain, but decay and gum disease are also linked to heart disease and stroke. Bacteria entering the blood stream leads to inflammation which is believed, over time, to damage blood vessels in the heart and brain. Fortunately, the latest dentistry techniques mean there are painfree ways to good dental health and a brighter smile, whatever your age or the condition of your teeth.

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So you want whiter teeth… Many people believe it’s enamel that’s whitened, but enamel is actually quite thin and you can see through it, says Dr Ben Atkins, a Trustee of the Oral Health Foundation. It’s the material inside the tooth – dentine – that’s whitened. It’s a creamy colour but becomes discoloured as teeth absorb stains from food, drink (particularly red wine and black tea), smoking and some medications. ‘Whitening treatments can be extrinsic or intrinsic,’ says Ben. ‘Extrinsic – outside the tooth – means a really good polish by a hygienist or even just a good electric toothbrush and whitening toothpaste to remove stains. Bleaching is an intrinsic treatment that goes through the enamel to lighten the dentine. It

doesn’t afect crowns, fillings or implants.’ The dentist may apply hydrogen peroxide gel at the surgery and use a laser or LED lights to speed up the bleaching process. This may even be possible in one session. Alternatively, they take impressions to make personalised trays fitting over the upper and lower teeth. You’re shown how to fill them with hydrogen peroxide gel to wear at home overnight or for a shorter period in the day. This usually takes between two and four weeks. ‘Your dentist will discuss what’s best for you,’ says Ben. ‘Trays have a lot of control and lighten teeth slowly to reach the right shade, but lights can accelerate the process.’

Fluoride not only protects teeth but helps to repair early-stage tooth decay

How white should you go? Dr Ben Atkins’ tip is that your teeth should be no whiter than the whites of your eyes as ‘really white teeth can look false, and you can never go back.’ Dentists who are registered with the General Dental Council can whiten teeth, as can registered dental hygienists and therapists using a prescription from a dentist.

Best of health Looking after your teeth and gums is important for your health as well as your smile


ways to better oral health

It’s important to know how to care for your teeth and gums. Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser to the British Dental Association, gives these tips:

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Brush twice a day, for at least two minutes, with a toothpaste containing 1,350-1,500ppm fluoride. Clean teeth before bed and at another time in the day. Wait an hour after eating or drinking – sugary or acid foods soften enamel, but it hardens again in an hour. Spit, don’t rinse, even with fluoride mouthwash, to keep the protective fluoride in your mouth longer. It doesn’t matter if you use an electric or manual toothbrush, as long as you brush all surfaces, including between the teeth – interdental brushes can help. The latest thinking on flossing is that there’s no strong evidence it’s beneficial, but it can be useful when the space between teeth is too tight for an interdental brush. Don’t ignore bleeding – it’s a sign of gum disease or gingivitis caused by plaque, the film of bacteria on the teeth we remove by brushing. Lemon juice in hot water first thing is not recommended as it’s acidic and can afect enamel – only drink it with food. Try to have nothing but hot water up to an hour before bed.

What about chipped or wonky teeth? The trend in cosmetic dentistry is towards the preservation of healthy teeth, says Dr Linda Greenwall, a specialist in restorative dentistry and prosthodontics (the replacement of missing teeth), who has a practice in London, Hampstead Health Care. ‘You’re never too old to have your smile improved, and there are so many minimally invasive ways to do that now,’ she says. A process where material is ‘bonded’ onto an existing tooth can repair chipped or broken teeth. In the case of veneers, used to close small gaps, conceal a discoloured tooth or bring a crooked tooth back into line, Linda says modern technology now allows a very minimal amount of enamel to be removed so a porcelain or composite veneer can be cemented over the front of the tooth. In the case of crooked teeth needing orthodontic treatment, there are a number of systems. Incognito is a brand of braces that fit behind your teeth, while Invisalign is a system that doesn’t require wires or brackets but uses clear, removable aligners customised to fit over your teeth. How long it takes depends on the degree of adjustment required.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 65

Best of health

Does whitening hurt? Bleaching can sometimes cause discomfort if you have sensitive teeth, where the gum has receded leaving the neck of the tooth exposed, or there’s a crack in the tooth. Carbamide peroxide is a slower acting bleach that can help in the case of sensitivity. ‘Dentists will carry out a sensitivity assessment,’ said Ben. ‘It’s possible to give a desensitising treatment in advance using potassium nitrate, which blocks the pores in the dentine and prevents the nerves in the teeth working quite as efectively. Potassium nitrate is also the active ingredient in toothpaste formulated to help sensitivity.’

Will dental work cost a fortune? Your dentist should discuss treatment options and give you a written plan and estimate of cost. Prices vary depending on location, practitioner and materials. Tray whitening treatments start from around £300, laser whitening from about £500, simple composite bonding to reshape a single tooth from £150, and veneers or crowns from about £500. To check that a dental professional is registered and accredited, visit the General Dental Council website at

Try not to overdo the fizz this Christmas, as Prosecco contains enamel-dissolving phosphoric, citric and tartaric acids

Shall I go abroad for treatment? Medical tourism is on the increase, with Eastern Europe top for dentistry. Visit to check if the country has a regulatory body and whether it’s compulsory for dental professionals to be registered, advises the General Dental Council, which also has a guide on its website. Ask whether the team speaks English, if they have a UK practice, what aftercare is provided, what happens if there are complications, and who pays for extra flights, accommodation and remedial work if needed. For further advice, visit

You’re never too old to get your smile improved

Do home kits work?

‘I got a bright new smile for £400 – well worth it!’ Helen Fairhall, 56, a college lecturer from Bournemouth, is married with three children and two grandchildren. ‘I’d noticed how yellow my teeth looked and I wanted to get them whitened for a family wedding. I read up about it and knew it was important to go to a professional, so I chose Harley Street Dental Clinic. I had 66 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

impressions made for trays and was shown how to use them. I wore them overnight, which was fine, although my husband didn’t find it very romantic! I had a little bit of sensitivity, but it wasn’t too bad, and I was very pleased with the whiteness. It looked natural and I felt happier with my smile – I got lots of compliments at the wedding! I keep my teeth white by occasionally topping up using the same trays. It cost about £400 in total, and was well worth the money.’

Words: Tessa Hilton. Photography: Getty

Home whitening kits can only contain up to 0.1% peroxide by law, which won’t have much efect; dentists can use up to 0.6%. Trays not tailor-made will not fit as well, so there’s a higher chance that the bleach can leak onto the gums, causing sensitivity, warns Professor Damien Walmsley. However, his main concern is that over-thecounter kits have been found to contain substances that can damage teeth.


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Set the scene with the Noël Poured Candle

TERMS & CONDITIONS One promotional code can be used per order. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other Crabtree & Evelyn ofer and applies to full-priced items only. Discount available to UK residents at only and is not valid in stores. We reserve the right to end or extend the promotion at any point under exceptional circumstances. The discount code is valid from 25 October to 23 December 2018.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 67

Best of health

Dr Sarahs Sarah’s SURGERY

Complementary medicine expert and GP Dr Sarah Brewer makes sure the most wonderful time of the year isn’t spoiled by health problems and accidents

SOS 1 Corks that go

pop the wrong way

A flying Champagne cork can reach a speed of 50 miles per hour as it launches from the bottle! Eye injuries from shooting corks can include rupture of the eye, retinal detachment, dislocation of the lens and even a fractured bone in the eye socket. Prevention is key – point the cork end of the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and others before starting to open it. Hold the palm of your hand over the cork while removing the wire cage, and keep your hand there – don’t walk away to dispose of the wire. Place a tea towel over the top of the bottle, grasp the cork and twist the bottle while holding the cork still (and pointing away at that 45-degree angle). As the seal on the cork breaks, press down to counteract the force and allow the cork to gently release with a satisfying fzzzzt.

What to do

If an exploding cork does result in an eye injury, covering the area with a cold flannel may reduce swelling, but do seek medical attention by going to A&E.

‘A lying Champagne cork can reach a speed of 50 miles per hour’

SOS 2 I’ve got food


Always keep raw poultry and ready-toeat food separate, thoroughly wash hands, use a meat thermometer to make sure meat is properly cooked and use up leftover turkey within three days. Mild cases of gastroenteritis are best treated by eating a light diet (eg, Bio yogurt, thin soup) but avoid fruit and dairy products as these can make symptoms worse. Drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration.

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An electrolyte solution (available from chemists) will help restore body salts, and a probiotic supplement will help replenish the bowel with protective bacteria. Ask a pharmacist about using anti-diarrhoea medications, such as loperamide. If symptoms are more severe, or last longer than a day or two, seek medical advice, so that the cause may be found and treatment given, if necessary. If a baby or infant develops diarrhoea, tell your GP as they can become quickly dehydrated.

SOS 3 Help, Nan’s fainted! Feeling faint is caused by a variety of triggers that can result in reduced supply of blood, oxygen or glucose to the brain. Eating a large meal, meaning blood is diverted away from your main circulation to help with digestion, can also make you feel faint. If faintness is due to overbreathing (eg, anxiety or panic attack), slowing down breathing or breathing in and out of cupped hands (to reinhale carbon dioxide) helps. If someone feels faint, get them to lie down – this helps restore blood flow to the head, and ensures they can’t injure themselves by falling. Raising legs up on a few cushions helps to restore blood flow, too. If you think it might be something more than a simple faint, seek medical advice.

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SOS 4 I’ve burned myself taking the turkey out Burns from the oven are very common at Christmas. Immediately immerse the area in cold, running water, or soak a clean towel in cold water and hold it against the burn until pain eases. I keep a burns gel in the kitchen as an alternative to water – applying a thick layer instantly soothes burns and scalds. Follow on-pack instructions about how long to keep the gel in contact with your skin – usually at least 30 minutes. Natural alternatives include aloe vera gel or neat lavender essential oil. Seek medical advice if a burn: ● is anything more than superficial, as they easily become infected ● results from contact with chemicals or electrics


Photography: Alamy, Getty

Choking on food If someone is choking, first encourage them to cough to clear the blockage. If coughing doesn’t work, stand behind them, slightly to one side, lean them forward and give up to five sharp slaps between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand. If choking persists, stand behind them, place your arms around their waist, and bend them forward. Clench your fist and place it between their belly button and the bottom of their breastbone. Place your other hand on top, then thrust both hands inwards and upwards into the stomach with a hard movement, up to five times. If the obstruction still isn’t cleared, repeat back slaps and thrusts up to three times, checking their mouth after each step, until the object is expelled. If this hasn’t worked, call an ambulance. Continue your eforts until help arrives. If the person becomes unconscious, give mouth-to -mouth resuscitation, as the throat may relax, allowing breaths to get through. If you can’t get air in, give chest compressions to try to relieve the obstruction quickly. For babies under one year, lay them facedown along your forearm, keeping the head low and give back slaps. Turn the baby face-up on your arm and remove the object. If this fails, place two fingertips on the lower half of the baby’s breastbone. Give five thrusts into the chest. Check the mouth and repeat, if needed.

WHAT I KEEP IN MY CHRISTMAS FIRST AID KIT ● 4Head levomenthol swipe stick for headaches ● Kaloba pelargonium extract for sore throat, colds, bronchitis, sinusitis ● Olbas Oil nasal decongestant ● Strepsils sore throat lozenges ● Paramol: paracetamol and ibuprofen combination for aches and pains, fever (for adults) ● Antihistamines for allergies ● Remegel indigestion chews ● Ranitidine indigestion tablets for persistent heartburn ● Daktacort antifungal cream ● Tea tree oil antiseptic cream ● Plasters and dressings ● Colloidal blister plasters ● Clove oil for toothache ● Gengigel for mouth ulcers ● Globe artichoke and milk thistle extracts for avoiding hangovers ● Acriflex Skin Cooling Gel for burns Always keep items locked and away from the reach of children

SOS 6 The kitchen

knife slipped

While sharp knives are essential in the kitchen, it’s easy to become distracted with all the festivities going on around you as you’re preparing food and end up cutting yourself. Gently cleanse any cut under cold, running water. Apply a plaster that both protects the wound and keeps it moist, and helps new skin cells grow into the area, so healing is quicker. It will also mean less of a scar than if a wound is left exposed to the air. Seek medical advice if: ● the wound is deep, very dirty or ragged ● bleeding is profuse or you cannot stop the bleeding ● your tetanus vaccination is not up to date



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Create some



Sneak a few minutes once, twice or even three times a day for some dedicated rewind time that restores energy, eases anxiety, boosts your mood and more‌

70 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Your wellbeing FEELING FRAZZLED?


Slip into a bath

Press for relief

Sleep is a top remedy for stress, but if you’re buzzing from festivities and finding it hard to drop of, take time out for a soothing herbal bath. ‘When I feel especially fraught, I use the same bath blend as my favourite wind-down tea, all swooshed together with musclerelaxing French sea salts,’ says herbalist Tipper Lewis. Here’s how to make it… ● Blend equal parts of dried pink rosebuds, lavender and

chamomile flowers. Infuse a handful of the mix in a pint of boiled water for 10-15 mins. ● Run your bath, add the sea salts, then pour in the herb mix through a sieve. Slide in and relax for a good 15-20 mins. THE RESULT? Soft skin, soothed mind and a body ready for rest. Hello, eight hours’ sleep! TIP Use 1-2tsp of the herb blend to make a lovely tea. Find dried herbs (from £4 for 50g) at nealsyard

If festive stress gets to that heart-racing stage, acupressure may give relief. Find your ‘Inner Gate’ (it’s said to lead to the heart), which is located three-fingers’ width below your left wrist on your inner arm. Press down for five seconds, release and repeat a few times. THE RESULT? It’s strangely comforting. If it feels a little sore, don’t stop – it means you have located the trouble spot perfectly.

‘Make your irst move towards mindfulness’


Regain balance Oh, the joy of a family Christmas! But there is a downside. ‘Closeness can be complicated,’ says mindfulness expert Tzivia Gover. ‘To regain equanimity when you’ve been thrown of balance, practise the tree pose to help you reclaim your footing, and also improve memory and focus.’ Stand with arms by your sides and feet close together (but not touching). Shift your weight gradually to your left foot and lift your right foot as high as you comfortably can. Place your right foot on your left leg. Rest it just below (never on) the knee. Gaze at a point on the wall (it aids balance). Place palms together in front of your chest. Root your standing foot into the earth and let arms extend like branches. Hold the pose for several breaths and repeat on the other side. THE RESULT? In five mins, you can happily dive back into the family melee. Tzivia Gover is author of Joy In Every Moment (Storey). Connect with her at

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Take a tea break There’s no debate, mindfulness helps keep a lid on stress – and boy do we need it! Mindfulness teacher Neil Seligman suggests taking a proper tea break. ‘A mindful break means a full pause, without any technology or distractions,’ insists Neil. ‘Let it be one human,

one drink, and some time and space to simply be.’ We can’t wait! ● Disconnect from tech for the length of your break. Prepare your favourite drink and take it to a restful spot. Get really comfortable, pull a blanket over yourself, if you like, and relax. ● Hold the mug close and breathe. Inhale deeply, let

go completely and exhale. Sink into the peacefulness of the moment. Sink into the now. ● Allow yourself to land fully in the freedom of these moments – they are dedicated to noticing what is arising within. ● Take a sip. How do you feel right now? ● Take another sip. What do you notice in your body? ● Another sip. What thoughts are bubbling up in your mind? ● Let all of it be just as it is and breathe, deep, open, calming breaths. ● Drink. Contemplate. Be.

THE RESULT? It’s seriously good. You’ll feel better for a real break and pleased you’ve made your first move towards mindfulness. Check out Neil’s book 100 Mindfulness Meditations: The Ultimate Collection Of Inspiring Daily Practices (Conscious House). It’s great if you are new to the idea.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 71

Your wellbeing FEELING STRESSED?

Walk it of When endless to-do lists are making you stressed, take yourself outside for a mindful stroll. Concentrating on your breathing as you walk prevents you from rerunning the same problems in your head. ● Start by inhaling for four steps, then exhaling for four steps. Repeat this for a couple of minutes. ● Now work up, inhaling


Reset with a candle Many of us use scented candles as atmospheric ‘wallpaper’ as we zip round the house, but they can provide so much more. ‘Aromatherapy candles can help perk you up or wind you down,’ says Lara Morgan, CEO of Scentered. Try her simple ritual, it’s bang on the money! Pick a fragrance combo to improve your mood. Lara has a whole menu to inspire us… Clary sage and rosemary to improve mental clarity. Orange and grapefruit to improve positivity. Lavender, ylang ylang and palmarosa to help you to relax. Cedarwood and

sandalwood to help you feel grounded and confident. ● ‘Once the candle has been burning for 15 mins, stop everything and sit quietly,’ suggests Lara. ● Repeat a positive mantra to stop mental chatter, such as, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again’. ● Concentrate on breathing. Take a short inhale, hold for twice as long and release with a slow exhale. Repeat 10 times. THE RESULT? ‘You will be in a much better place, Christmas or no Christmas,’ says Lara. Try it and you’ll see. Find aromatherapy candles at

FEELING ANXIOUS? Just breathe We do bang on about breathing, but ‘deep diaphragmatic breathing helps decrease blood pressure, relax muscles and reduce anxiety,’ says breath expert Rebecca Dennis. ● Relax shoulders, jaw 72 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

and face. Rest hands on lower belly to feel air moving through the body. ● Hold head in a neutral position. Relax throat. ● Breathe in slowly through nose. Allow the inhale to push belly out. ● Let the breath go with

a gentle sigh through your mouth and feel your belly come in. Repeat 10 to 20 times. THE RESULT? It takes the edge of anxiety fast! Rebecca runs breath workshops and retreats (


Try scented therapy When it all feels a bit much, indulge in an aromatherapy ritual that works wonders for festive brain overload. Surprisingly, it’s a hair treatment. ‘It nourishes dry, cold-weather hair, but also calms the mind, encouraging a good night’s sleep,’ enthuses aromatherapy expert Ines Willis. ● Melt 40g coconut oil in a bowl (bain-marie-style), add 10ml avocado oil (brilliant for treating a dry scalp). ● Add the following essential oils*: 2 drops vetiver (grounding and calming), 2 drops cedarwood atlas (restorative) and 4 drops mandarin (good if you overthink or worry). ● Stir together and leave to set. ● Apply generously on to hands, then massage into the scalp with your fingertips. Wrap a scarf or cloth over your hair and leave overnight, breathing in the soothing fragrance. THE RESULT? Amazing zzzs, tension eased and fabulous party hair! Ines Willis practises aromatherapy massage in south-west London ( Visit to find essential and base oils.

Words Daisy Gough Photography Getty, Jumpfoto. *Certain oils can cause mild photosensitivity or an allergic reaction. Don’t use when pregnant without talking to your doctor, midwife or aromatherapist

‘Deep breathing helps relax muscles and reduce anxiety’

for five steps and exhaling to a soothing six to eight. Your to-do list shouldn’t intrude as you count steps – the brain isn’t good at doing two things at once. If stressful thoughts pop up and you miscount, start again. Carry on for 10 mins. THE RESULT? A clear head, a break from stress and a new mood. How easy was that?

Find your

relief Experiencing vaginal dryness during the menopause? Get the relief you need with a little help from Vagisan MoistCream

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*Management of symptomatic vulvovaginal atrophy: 2013 position statement of The North American Menopause Society: Menopause 2013; 20 (9): 888-902


hile most of us expect the dreaded hot flushes during the menopause, for some women vaginal dryness can be an extra, unwelcome surprise. However, it’s not uncommon. In fact, almost half of all women over the age of 45 have experienced it*, yet are unlikely to speak about it in public or with a doctor. We’re on a mission to break the taboo and help women get the relief they need. After all, there’s absolutely no reason we should live with an itchy, sore or dry vagina. Vagisan MoistCream, the first hormone-free cream for vaginal dryness, is a quick and easy solution that will moisten and soothe you down there – so you can get on with being you.

SORE NO MORE Why might we be experiencing vaginal dryness? During the menopause, oestrogen levels fall, which causes the delicate skin of the vagina to get thinner. Unfortunately, more oten than not, this results in soreness, itchiness and pain in the area. But Vagisan MoistCream contains the soothing lipids necessary to provide moisture and ease the symptoms. The cream can be used both inside your vagina and on the external skin, so no part is let unsoothed.

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‘We’re on a mission to break the taboo and help women get the relief they need. Vagisan MoistCream is a quick and easy solution that will soothe you down there – so you can get on with being you’

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DON’T PANIC it’s only Christmas! Tackle tricky situations this festive season with our experts’ advice

OUR PANEL OF EXPERTS Tech guru Tanya Goodin, author of Stop Staring At Screens (Ilex, £9.99)

Expert in etiquette and manners Jo Bryant,


Is it acceptable to send digital thank you letters? ‘Any “thank you” is better than no “thank you”, but a hand-written note will be appreciated more than an email that can be cut and pasted,’ says Jo. ‘The efort for the thank you should match the efort of the act or gift,’ adds Tanya. ‘So if you’re invited to a party that has taken a lot of time and trouble, or if a relative has posted a gift that clearly took a lot of efort and thought, then putting pen to paper is the only acceptable way to say thank you. Children themselves are thrilled when they get something hand-written in the post, so

remind them of that when they sit down and write their letters.’


My mum won’t let anyone else in the kitchen to help with cooking. It means she gets frazzled and short-tempered. How can we stop her being such a festive martyr? ‘You can’t change how someone is, but you can change how you are around them,’ says Arabella. ‘If your mum is just one of those people who has to be at the centre of Christmas, even if it leaves her frazzled, instead of thinking of her as a martyr, realise instead that she likes to take responsibility for Christmas. There’s no harm in raising it with her though. If you can see this problem coming a mile of, tackle it before the season’s craziness gets into full swing, asking if she

Psychotherapist Arabella Russell, amrussell counselling.

would like some help. She may refuse, but at least you’ve asked. On the other hand, she may like to change things too but didn’t want to ofend you by suggesting it.’


It feels like we’re all going to end up sitting in diferent rooms on diferent TVs and devices this Christmas. How can we bring everyone together? ‘Children are still keen to do things together as a family, especially at this time of year, as long as you involve them in choosing the activity,’ says Tanya. ‘It’s not realistic to ask them to spend every waking hour over the holidays with you, but you can have a couple of nights where you all do

Advice for you


I always buy my nephews Christmas presents but my brother doesn’t do the same for my kids in return. What should I do? ‘If you’re close to your brother, you can be honest. Say something like, “Is there something Freddie wants or are we not bothering this year?”

plan in advance so you aren’t caught out. Do whatever makes you happy, whether that’s staying in bed or going away with friends. Don’t think that 25 December is the only day you can have Christmas. Celebrate with your children another day, and if they’re old enough, ask them what they’d like to do to mark Christmas on a diferent day, and even in a diferent way.’


Compiled by: Mel Hunter Photography: Getty

After lunch and a few drinks, things always seem to get a bit heated around the table. Last year we even ended up arguing about Brexit. How do I manage to keep people of diicult topics? ‘It’s quite normal for festive tipples to end up leading people to say things they might not otherwise say,’ says Jo. ‘As the host, try to distract and above all don’t get cross as that will only escalate things. And if you’re a guest, don’t even think of getting into this kind of heated discussion!’

something together, watching a film or playing a board game. The key is balance – time of screens balanced with time on screens, and trying to meet them in their world occasionally. I bet they’d love to show you their favourite YouTube videos one evening. Why not ask?’


It’s my first Christmas without my children since my divorce. I’m dreading it. How do I get through it? ‘It is painful and it’s important to acknowledge that,’ says Arabella. ‘But


We love having extended family over at Christmas, but they end up staying so long we start resenting them. What’s the polite way to show them the door? ‘Don’t expect people to know when they should leave – they might stay just because they think it’s rude to go,’ says Jo. ‘Set time limits before people arrive. If you’ve got guests coming to stay, say, “We’d love you to come on Christmas Eve and it would be great if you could stay for lunch on Boxing Day”, making your ofer seem generous rather than like you’re trying to kick them out. If you’ve invited friends for dinner or drinks, the best way to send the “leave” message is to stop serving drinks. Alternatively, drop hints about what a busy day you have tomorrow or, when the first cabs are called, say things like, “Is it that time already?”’


My husband’s dad died earlier this year and my mother-in-law is struggling. We want to have her with us for Christmas but are worried her mood will upset everyone else. ‘The whole family will be hurting after losing a loved one,’ says Arabella. ‘So

then at least you’ll know where you stand,’ says Jo. ‘If you’d like to buy presents for his children, tell him so before Christmas, and hopefully he’ll then get the hint to buy them back. Don’t be confrontational. Christmas tends to bring out the emotion in all of us and situations can easily get blown out of proportion.’

acknowledge that loss and how painful it is, but also celebrate Christmas and remember Granddad. Grief is a sign of how much someone was loved, so it’s a very precious thing to be together. Celebrating Christmas does not mean you didn’t love and don’t miss that person. Toasting your loved one and talking about him will make him part of the day, and your mother-in-law may take comfort from seeing your children enjoying themselves.’


We always spend Christmas with my parents and now it’s become tradition. How do I make sure my partner’s family don’t feel left out? ‘Just because you have always done things one way, it doesn’t mean it is the right way,’ says Arabella. ‘Equally, most people’s families are not like the Waltons, and just because it’s Christmas it doesn’t mean you have to bring everyone together. Don’t be afraid to start new traditions. Talk to your partner and find out what you both want.’


We just want to be by ourselves this Christmas. How do we break it to our families? ‘Ask yourself why it feels important to spend it by yourself and try to convey that message to your wider family,’ says Arabella. ‘It’s really important that the message you give is not one of rejection. So if you’ve had a tough year and you just want to pull up the drawbridge around your family for Christmas Day, explain that. Arrange to meet another day over the holiday instead.’ PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 77

Kids’ jumper, £10, 4-7yrs (larger sizes available at diferent prices), Matalan Llama trinket dish, £8, Debenhams


£ 10 &

Diamanté earrings, £7, F&F




Christmas Biscuit Tin, £7, National Trust Shop

E D R N U Miss Roxie Flufy Unicorn keyring, £3, George at Asda

Star shirt, £8, 3-12yrs, F&F

Tree decoration, £2, Hotel Chocolat

Petit Collage Toy Camera Kit, £10, Wild & Wolf

Fun for coffee lovers

Mug, £4, Sainsbury’s Home Friends Small Lockable Notebook, £10, Smiggle

Tealight holder, £6, Matalan

Ocean’s 8 DVD, £9.99, Amazon

80 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Parrot Bottle Stopper, £8, John Lewis & Partners

Git guide Ring, £8, Next

Garden seed collection, £9.95, Sophie Conran for Burgon & Ball at Annabel James

Vouchers towards a stay in a Country Living Hotel (Prima’s sister brand), GIFTPRM, from £10

Emile Et Ida Striped Fox Socks in Navy Blue, 3mths-8yrs, £10, Smallable

Tote, £5, Marks & Spencer Swan money box, £6, Sainsbury’s Home

TASTY GIFT IDEA Men’s slippers, £10, s-l, F&F

Prima subscription, £6 for your first six issues*

*Terms & conditions apply; please see the website for details,

Cartwright & Butler mince pies, £8, Heal’s

TY Sequin Flippables, £8, Hamleys

Treat your friend to a subscription

Tealight holder, £9.50, Oliver Bonas

Caudalie Vinosource Cracker skincare gift set, £10, John Lewis & Partners ➺ PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 81

Early Learning Centre Wooden Curved Puzzle, £12, Mothercare

Reindeer Bag, £14, Marks & Spencer Pandoro, £17.95 for 750g, Carluccio’s


£ 20

Beauty Elixir Bauble, £12, Caudalie

Bee Lovely Nourishing Duo, £15, Neal’s Yard




Tea Trules, £12, Mariage Frères

Make-up bag, £18, John Lewis & Partners

Gordon’s Premium Pink Gin, £16.50 for 70cl, Tesco Hair clip, £12, Oliver Bonas Sequin Pom Hat in Blush, £12, Next

Men’s Jumper, £16, F&F


So pretty and RaXX [R ´Mb[a^ Necklace, £19.50, M&S Collection

Mini Mask Musts, £15, Origins 82 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Cloud of Butterflies origami kit, £13.95,

Git guide Cherry Blossom Bauble,

£12, L’Occitane Shirt & Bow Tie, from £18, 3-6 months to 3-4 years (larger sizes available), Monsoon

Charbonnel et Walker, Whisky Trules, £14, John Lewis & Partners

Aperitivo Spritz, £11, Asda Festive Hand Cream Trio, £12, The Body Shop

Afternoon Tea planter, £14, Dobbies

Christmas Skittles, £18, Laura Ashley

Mistletoe & Fir candle, £12.50, Marks & Spencer


Cashmere Socks, £20, F&F Fingerlings WowWee Unicorn, £16.99,

Cashmere makes these so soft Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Limited Edition, £20, Elizabeth Arden

Greenhouse Caddy in Lime Green, £19.95, Annabel James ➺ Coasters, £18 for 4, Oliver Bonas PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 83

Beauty cracker, £25, YSL Christmas Geese pastry forks, £21 for 4, at Amara


Journeys To The Other Side Of The World by David Attenborough (Two Roads, £25)




N DE U & Add some festive sparkle



Tassel earrings, £24.50, J.Crew at John Lewis & Partners

Top, £22.99, 6-18, New Look

Reindeer boot slippers, £22, 0-24 months (larger sizes also available), The White Company

Pallo goblets, £30 for 4, Oliver Bonas

Bird jug, £25, Marks & Spencer

Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, £28, Elizabeth Arden Copper alarm clock, £25, Newgate

Kids’ wooden tool box, £26, Cath Kidston

84 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018


Personalised colourful wooden xylophone toy, £22,

Candles, £25 for 3, Fearne Loves at Cath Kidston

Git guide

Mirror, £28, Dunelm Cardigan, £23, 6mths-6yrs, JoJo Maman Bébé

Brass cheese knives set, £30,

Noël Haute Couture tea collection, £29 each, Mariage Frères Dinosaur hot water bottle, £22, Marks & Spencer

Festive top, £29.95, 8-18, Joules

L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick in Caprice, £25.50, Lancôme

Cable pom pom hat, £25, White Stuf

Panettone with Prosecco, £27.95, Carluccio’s

Stag salt and pepper shakers, £29.95, Annabel James


Trinket box, £25, John Lewis & Partners

Mini project pack, £29.95, Annie Sloan

Warm Winter Wishes bouquet, £25.99, Prima for Flying Flowers

Dramatic centrepieces PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 85

Game of Thrones Seasons 1-7 DVD, £47.99, Amazon

Frangipani Stars gift set, £42.50, Elemis

Glitter shoes, £35, 3-8, M&S Collection

5 £ 0 R E



Scarf, £40, J by Jasper Conran for Debenhams

Chase Marmalade Vodka, £43, Heal’s

S T F Cushion, £40, John Lewis & Partners

Aromatherapy Associates, Liberty Exclusive Clear Mind Bath and Shower Oil, £48, Liberty London

Starlight Crystal Eye Shadow Palette, £35, Bobbi Brown

The Flower Lady Scented Candle, £32,

GET PARTY READY Your dog will love a new bed! Noughts And Crosses game, £35, John Lewis & Partners

Pet bed, £49.95 for a small bed, Joules

City of London Wooden Train Set, £49.99, 86 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Meteor Shower Kit, £49, BareMinerals

Git guide Barn Owl embroidery kit, £40, Becky Hogg for V&A

Terry Triceratops, £35, Hamleys

Benefit B.right! Delights!, £39.50, Benefit

Knit Your Own Baby Personalised Blanket Kit, £49, Stitch & Story at

Sanctuary Spa Pamper Me Perfect gift set, £40, Superdrug

All eyes on you!

Bag, £35, Therapy at House of Fraser Coat, £39, 6-22, F&F iPhone case, £45,

Bra, £26, 32A-38DD, briefs, £15, 8-18, Reger by Janet Reger for Debenhams

Cheese knives, £35 for a set of 3, Laura Ashley


Manchester Gin, £34.95,

Cleanse & Polish Winter Radiance Trio, £45, Liz Earle ➺

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 87

Git guide White Christmas Large Candle, £60, The White Company

Leather clutch bag, £59.50, Madewell at John Lewis & Partners

Timex men’s watch, £90, J.Crew

Bronze leather satchel, £85, Zatchels


Royal Christmas cake stand, £60, Pip Studio at Amara


Alphabet pendant, £85; 17-inch chain, £45, both Monica Vinader




Globe, £90, Wild & Wolf at Stanfords

The Chubbettes Gift Set, £68, Clinique

Multi Circle Ring with Dragonflies, £89, Emporio Armani Pyjamas, £55, Fearne Loves at Cath Kidston Samsonite Laptop Backpack, £80, John Lewis & Partners

Fabulous Frangipani Gift Set, £95, Elemis 88 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Worth over £130, this set is a real steal!

Boxer Robot, £79.99, Argos

Hamper, £52,

Brother HC14 sewing machine, £70, Hobbycraft

Great gift for foodies!

Akiko Marble Chess Set, £69,

Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blancs, £75,

Trafalgar Square Lion bookends, £85,

Play cushion, £85, Bluebellgray at Amara Men’s cashmere crewneck sweater, £98, xs-xxl, J.Crew

Compiled by James Cunningham, Gillian Davies, Amanda Marcantonio, Laura Beckwith, Alice Shields, Carolyn Bailey, Rebecca Hull Photography Getty

Perfect for parties


Boots, £90, 3-8, Oice

LittleBits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit, £149.99, Amazon

Festive Collection hamper, £100, Paxton & Whitfield Personalised Ride On Aeroplane, £130,


Books to make

Christmas sparkle Prima’s books editor Nina Pottell has rounded up a cracking selection to delight all ages and tastes

Cofee table delight LIFE ON EARTH by

HOW WINSTON DELIVERED CHRISTMAS by Alex T Smith (Macmillan Children’s, £14.99) This delightful book is written like an Advent calendar, with things to make each day. A great pre-Christmas gift for age 7+.

STORIES FOR KIDS WHO DARE TO BE DIFFERENT by Ben Brooks (Quercus, £20) Full of role models like Dr Seuss, Whoopi Goldberg and Ellen MacArthur, this book tells extraordinary life stories to show kids anything is possible.

LITTLE GUIDES TO GREAT LIVES (Laurence King, £8.99) These beautiful biographies are a sure-fire way to get kids interested in amazing people. Now including new editions on Frida Kahlo and Charles Darwin.

THE RESTLESS GIRLS by Jessie Burton (Bloomsbury Children’s, £14.99) With its gorgeous drawings, this exquisite retelling of a classic fairy tale by the author of The Miniaturist is a dazzling achievement.

Wellbeing wonders RITUALS FOR EVERY DAY by Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips (Hutchinson, £14.99, out 15 November) When work is stressing us out or home life is tough, we need a bit of calm. This useful book is packed with advice to help you press pause. 90 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

AS YOU ARE (Aster, £12.99) With stories and tips on valuing yourself and finding ways to become happier and stronger, this beautifully illustrated book is perfect to dip in and out of. A great gift for all ages.

BEST OF THE CELEBRITY CROP BECOMING by Michelle Obama (Viking, £25, out 13 November) The former First Lady shares the experiences that shaped her, from childhood through to the White House. Warm, inspiring and honest, this is a truly inspiring read.

BLOWING THE BLOODY DOORS OFF AND OTHER LESSONS IN LIFE by Michael Caine (Hodder & Stoughton, £20) National treasure Michael Caine shares the wisdom, insight and skills life has taught him, all with his fabulous storytelling.

Photography: Claire Collins


David Attenborough (William Collins, £25) To mark the 40th anniversary of his original book, Sir David has updated Life On Earth with amazing new photography, and it’s stunning.

Love to read FESTIVE WINTRY FICTION MISS MARLEY by Vanessa Lafaye (HQ, £7.99) A prequel to A Christmas Carol. Orphans Clara and Jacob Marley scavenge the streets of Dickensian London before a chance to escape their poor life sets them on a path to Ebenezer Scrooge.

CHRISTMAS AT THE BEACH HUT by Veronica Henry (Orion, £7.99, out 15 November) Lizzy Kingham is fed up of her family at Christmas, so she escapes to a beach hut in Devon. Will there be festive cheer when they track her down?

UNDER THE TREE FOR GROWN-UPS BEDTIME STORIES FOR STRESSED OUT ADULTS (Hodder & Stoughton, £16.99) It’s great to take a book to bed, but a thriller can often keep us awake. These poems and short stories magic away stress and ease you to sleep.

EAST OF CROYDON by Sue Perkins (Michael Joseph, £20) A few years ago, Sue Perkins made a documentary travelling from Vietnam to Tibet. This part memoir, part travel guide is a fab account of the trip, full of wit and emotion.

WORK LIKE A WOMAN by Mary Portas (Bantam Press, £12.99) The Queen of Shops shares her career story and addresses crucial issues, such as equal pay, in this invaluable guide to being a woman in the modern working world.

ROAR by Cecelia Ahern (HarperCollins, £12.99) I am woman. Hear me roar. Thirty stories about 30 women, all titled ‘The Woman Who…’, delve into women’s lives. It’s an extraordinary collection that will resonate.

A WINTER BENEATH THE STARS by Jo Thomas (Headline, £7.99, out 13 December) Halley is on a courier trip in Lapland when her package is lost. She must confront her heartache on the journey across the tundra to recover it.

Gits for bookworms LIBRARY-SCENTED CANDLE (Birch & Brook at the British Library Shop, £36) The perfect scent to snuggle up with when reading on a cold night.

WOODEN FOLDING BOOK LAMP (Amazon, £39.99) An LED lamp that opens up like a book – ideal for the bedside table.

JEWELLERY (literary

Hottest cookbooks MY ALL-TIME FAVOURITE RECIPES by Prue Leith (Bluebird, £25) A treat for foodies as the Bake Off judge shares her kitchen table recipes in her first cookery book in 25 years. CARBS by Laura Goodman (Quadrille, £15) Good news for carb lovers – medical experts say it’s time to embrace them again! With platefuls of pizza, pasta and potatoes plus loaves, this will tantalise your taste buds.

THE HAIRY BIKERS’ BRITISH CLASSICS by Si King & Dave Myers (Seven Dials, £22) Whether you want soups, suppers, or Sunday dinner, the duo have something to suit every taste. A festive section gives seasonal inspiration.

THE MODERN ITALIAN COOK by Joe Trivelli (Seven Dials, £25) He learnt his craft watching his Italian grandmother, now chef Joseph Trivelli combines traditional Italian food with new ideas. Be it a book necklace or quote cuf links, gifts from this site will bring sparkle to a book lover’s life.

PENGUIN BOOK MUG (, £8.99) Share your tea with Austen or Dickens – a quirky literary gift.

DONATION TO GET BOOKS TO KIDS ( From just £3 a month, you can fund books for children across the globe who may not otherwise have access to reading.

BOOKS ARE MY BAG LIMITED-EDITION TOTE BAG (Available in bookshops, £15) Carry your books in style with this chic tote. PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 91

Seasonal style

Come on in for Christmas! Our fabulous, festive ideas will turn your home into a twinkly wonderland – perfect for celebrating with family and friends


Opening page, door: Berry wreath, £35, Debenhams. Ribbons, from a selection, Jane Means. Frosted Fraser Fir pre-lit artificial tree, £449, Balsam Hill. Baubles, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Doorstep, left: Decorative tree, £12.99, B&M Stores. Vases, £50 medium, £45 small, Raj Tent Club. Open-weave basket, £70, Garden Trading. Wrapping paper, from a selection, Marks & Spencer and Paperchase. Ribbons, from a selection, Jane Means. Storm lantern, £22, Argos Home. Robin doormat, £25, Laura Ashley. Doorstep, right: Santa Express train, £19.99, B&M Stores. Hexagon lanterns, £35 large, £25 small, Marks & Spencer. Malvern lanterns, £58 for 2, Lights4Fun

94 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Cosy Christmas Glam up your sitting room with a festive mix of gold, red and green decorations. Add seasonal cushions, glitzy stockings and warm throws. Moby accent chair, £399, Heart cushion, £7, Wilko. Robin cushion, from a selection, Walton & Co. Oscar sofa, from £1,050, Sage mohair throw, £89.95, Bronte by Moon. Noel cushion, £35, Laura Ashley. Ullkaktus cushion, £2.50, Ikea. Joy cushion, £8, George Home. Jingle Bells cushion, from a selection, Walton & Co. Fakse rug, £120, Ikea. Gold poufe, £125, Raj Tent Club. Wonder-Boy cofee table, £345; Tria side table (by tree), £125, both Loaf. On cofee table: cake stand, bowl and baubles, from a selection, all Gisela Graham. Mince pies, from a selection, Aldi. Floral arrangement, from £15 each, Scarlet & Violet. Mercury candle, £6, Sainsbury’s Home. Frosted Fraser Fir pre-lit artificial tree, £449, Balsam Hill. Baubles, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Wrapping paper, from a selection, Marks & Spencer, Paperchase and, Roger la Borde. Ribbons, from a selection, Jane Means. Gold sequin baskets, £35 large, £29.95 small, Graham & Green. Cambridge button-back

chair, from £975, Laura Ashley. Be Jolly cushion, £8, Wilko. Furry cushion, £18, Dunelm. Ella side table, £135 for nest of 2, Next. On side table: Champagne flutes, £10 each, Laura Ashley. Mercury candle, £6, Sainsbury’s Home. On mantelpiece: Floral arrangements, from £15 each, Scarlet & Violet. Wreath, stag, artichoke, topiary ornaments, stocking holders, from a selection, all Gisela Graham. Sparkling Amber votives, £9 for 3; berry centrepiece, £22, both Sainsbury’s Home. Metallic vase, £6, George Home. Mistletoe & Fir candle, £12.50; Ava dinner candle holder and pillar candle holder, £12.50 each; all Marks & Spencer. Red candles, from a selection, Ikea. Monogrammed stocking, £16, The Handmade Christmas Co. Gold sequin stocking, £7, The Contemporary Home. Copper sequin stocking, £4, Wilko. On console, behind sofa: Vase and decorations, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Curva floor lamp, £30, Argos Home. Find a similar mirror at John Lewis & Partners

Seasonal style

Style tip Pop a few stems of scented foliage in vases so the room smells as good as it looks.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 95

Party time Get the fun started with a fabulous tray of festive cheer. Add a warm glow with candles and crackers.

Take a seat Pull up a chair close to your fireplace and enjoy the wonderful warmth and festive glow from the fire. Vesper cocktail chair, £530, Arlo & Jacob. Christmas tree cushion, £34.99, Perkins & Morley. Wrapping paper, from a selection, Marks & Spencer and Paperchase. Ribbons, from a selection, Jane Means. Wonder-Boy cofee table, £345, Loaf. On mantelpiece: Metallic vase, £6, George Home. Stocking holders, topiary and artichoke ornaments, from a selection, all Gisela Graham. Berry centrepiece, £22; Sparkling Amber votives, £9 for 3; Mercury candle (also on table ), £6, all Sainsbury’s Home. Mistletoe & Fir candle, £12.50; Ava dinner candle holder and pillar candle holder, £12.50 each, all Marks & Spencer. Red candles, from a selection, Ikea. Floral arrangement, from £15, Scarlet & Violet. Monogrammed stocking, £16, The Handmade Christmas Co. Gold sequin stocking, £7, The Contemporary Home. Copper sequin stocking, £4, Wilko. Krisa table lamp (on console), £49.99, Find a similar mirror and chandelier at John Lewis & Partners

All wrapped up Use large baskets to store beautifully wrapped gifts, just waiting to be opened on the big day. Frosted Fraser Fir pre-lit artificial tree, £449, Balsam Hill. Baubles, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Tria side table, £125, Loaf. Gold sequin baskets, £35 large, £29.95 small, Graham & Green. Wrapping paper, from a selection, Marks & Spencer, Paperchase and Roger la Borde. Ribbons, from a selection, Jane Means 96 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Make sure fireplace decorations are at a safe distance from the fire. Never leave lit candles and fires unattended

Play footstool, £159, DFS. Gold-efect tray, £29, Dunelm. On tray, from left: Stillhet tealight holder, £4, Ikea. Sparkling Amber votive, £9 for 3, Sainsbury’s Home. White Christmas wine glasses, £5 each; Christmas Spirit tumblers, £4.50 each, both Marks & Spencer. Fern bottle matches, £12.95, Graham & Green. Crackers, from a selection, Celebration Crackers

Seasonal style

Style tip

Stunning seasonal centrepieces

Wreaths aren’t just for front doors – they also look great on inside doors and walls.

BAUBLE TIME Customise a shop-bought votive ring with a hurricane lamp and glam baubles. Glitter wreath votive centrepiece, £22, Sainsbury’s Home. Lantern, £16, Dunelm. Baubles, from a selection, Gisela Graham

FLORAL FANCY Fill mugs with

Words and styling: Carolyn Bailey, James Cunningham Photography: Mark Scott

pretty blooms as a table centre. Three Kings mugs, £24.95 for 3; plates, £22.95 each, both Emma Bridgewater. Forest Hideaway mug, £5.50, Sainsbury’s Home. Table runner, £42, Laura Ashley. Glitter leaves and sprigs, from a selection, Gisela Graham

Special arrangement Clear the decks and re-dress a console table with glitzy glasses and fresh flowers, alongside hurricane lamps glowing with candlelight and bowls of luscious seasonal fruit. Replace pictures on walls with a pretty wreath suspended by ribbon. This is also a great place to pile up wrapped gifts and Christmas present sacks. Mistletoe wreath, £31.99, Lights4Fun. Ribbon, from a selection, Jane Means. Wonder-Full console table, £275, Loaf. On console: Red berry wreath, £29.99; Noel light-up sign, £14.99, both Lights4Fun. Garland, serving bowl and decorative glitter fruit, from a selection, all Gisela Graham. Hexagon lantern, £35, Marks & Spencer. Medina tealight holders, £14.95 for 6, Rex London. Merry Christmas highball glasses, £5.40 for 6, George Home. Midnight Party drinks stirrers, £8 for 4, Sainsbury’s Home. Champagne flutes in bucket, £28 for 6, Next. Floral bouquet, from £40, Scarlet & Violet. Wrapping paper, from a selection, Marks & Spencer and Paperchase. Ribbons, from a selection, Jane Means. Christmas Tree and Robin present sacks, £29 each, Thornback & Peel. Red Foil Spenser present sack, £18, The Handmade Christmas Co

GLAM GIFTS Place a cake stand laden with small gifts in the middle of a festive ring. Bronze wreath, £24.99, Cake stand, £25, Habitat. Wrapping paper and ribbons, as before

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 97

The main event A red and gold scheme with highlights of green will make your dining table feel super festive. Layer cloths for drama, and add a gorgeous runner down the centre of the table for a really luxurious feel.

Style tip Bowls of baubles and fresh seasonal oral displays add colour and texture.

Seasonal style Frosted Fraser Fir pre-lit artificial tree, £449, Balsam Hill. Baubles, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Amsterdam dining bench, £299, Next. Provencale dining chairs (opposite bench), £600 for 2, Laura Ashley. Idler dining chairs (at ends), £330 for 2, Loaf. Robin cushion, from a selection, Walton & Co. Reindeer cushion, £5, George Home. Abby faux fur cushion, £35, Laura Ashley. Tejn sheepskin rug (on chair), £10; Stockholm rug, £270, both Ikea. Tablecloths, from a selection, Walton & Co.

Damask table runner, £42, Laura Ashley. On table, from left: Charger plates, £3.50 each, Sainsbury’s Home. Gold Star dinnerware set, £25 for 16 pieces, George Home. Gold cutlery set, £54.99 for 16 pieces, Katie Alice for Creative Tops. Crackers, from a selection, Celebration Crackers. Red Greta cake stand, £25, Habitat. Wine glasses, from a selection, Creative Tops. Clear and red candlestick holders and dinner candles, from a selection, all Gisela Graham. Red metallic napkins, £8 for 4; star napkin

rings, £12 for 4, both Debenhams. Star placecard holders, £5 for 4, Sainsbury’s Home. Placecards, from a selection, Paperchase. Yuletide cake stand (white), £25, Debenhams. Floral bouquets, from £40, Scarlet & Violet. Glitter garland, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Stockholm bowl (gold), £8, Ikea. Red votives, £4.99 for 6, B&M Stores. Lantern, £16, Dunelm. Red vase, £12, Next. Glittrig candle holders (gold and white), £17 for 3, Ikea. Wire fruit bowl, £14, Next. Berry faux floral decoration, £16, Sainsbury’s Home. On sideboard: gold glitter tree, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Greta jug, £25; Toni vase, £35, both Habitat. Gold Star jug, £5, George Home

Quick & easy ideas for table settings

PRETTY BOWS Tuck a floral sprig under a ribbon-tied napkin. Table runner, from a selection, Walton & Co. Charger, £12; plate, £10, both Creative Tops. Mince Pies plate, £22.95, Emma Bridgewater. Napkin, from a selection, Walton & Co. Tag and label, from a selection, Jane Means. Nutcracker decoration, from a selection, Gisela Graham

KEEP IT SIMPLE Treat guests to a table gift and a mini cracker. Table runner, £12; napkin, £8 for 4, both Debenhams. Charger, £3.50, Sainsbury’s Home. Cameo plate, £10; side plate, £8, both Creative Tops. Cutlery, £151 for 16-piece set, Viners. Crackers, from a selection, Celebration Crackers. Placecard, from a selection, Paperchase

TREE TIME Cinnamon sticks in ribbons look and smell wonderful! Table runner, £42, Laura Ashley. Charger, £12; cutlery, £54.99 for 16-piece set, both Creative Tops. Tree plate, £15, Debenhams. Napkin, from a selection, Walton & Co 100 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Style tip Add a string of fairy lights to give your shelves a warm, magical glow.

Seasonal style Festive scene Dress shelves with groups of snow-frosted trees, reindeer ornaments, candles and baubles. Jeferson shelf unit, £450, Next. Batterypowered fairy lights, £12.99, Lights4Fun. Top shelf: Gold wire trees; star candle snufers, from a selection, both Gisela Graham. White candle bridge, £9.99, Lights4Fun. Second shelf: Decorative trees; gold stags, from a selection, both Gisela Graham. Red vase, £10, Next. Letter mug decorations, £16.95 each, Emma Bridgewater. A la Ronde biscuit tin, £7, National Trust. Third shelf: China, from a selection; light-up ceramic house, £15, both Marks & Spencer. Nibble bowls, £15 for 3, Debenhams. Decorative sprig; decorative Snowy Trees, from a selection, both Gisela Graham. Gold tealight holders, £16 for 3, Next. Lower shelf: Vases, £50 medium, £45 small, Raj Tent Club. Midnight Party serving bowl, £12, Sainsbury’s Home. Baubles and heart wreath, all from a selection, Gisela Graham. Paper tree, £7, National Trust. Gold glitter wreath (on wall), £10, Wilko. Hamilton dining chair, £198 for 2, Next. Conifer cushion, £39.99, Perkins & Morley. Lucas runner, £120, Habitat. Open-weave basket, £50, Garden Trading All wrapping paper, from a selection, Marks & Spencer, Paperchase and Roger la Borde. All ribbons, from a selection, Jane Means

Striking chairback ideas



Tie shop-bought or garden foliage together and secure to the back of your dining chairs. Add extra magic with a gleaming gold star. Idler dining chair, £330 for 2, Loaf. Star decoration, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Ribbons, from a selection, Jane Means

Add glitz to your chairs with groups of baubles tied on with pretty ribbons. Natterbox dining chair, £230 for 2, Loaf. Baubles and decorations, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Ribbons, from a selection, Jane Means. Stockholm rug, £270, Ikea.

Tie stockings, filled with gifts, to each chair, bearing a tag with your guest’s name. Wire chair, £175, Graham & Green. Stocking, £20, The Contemporary Home. Tags and ribbons, from a selection, both Jane Means. Wrapping paper, from a selection, Marks & Spencer and Paperchase

Christmas shelie Bookshelves are perfect for creating a temporary seasonal display. Re-dress them with pretty china, gleaming gold, foliage and flowers. Find a similar shelf unit from Ikea. Top shelf: Gold Star side plates, £25 for 16-piece set; initial mugs, £3.50 each, all George Home. Yuletide Tree salt dispenser, £12, Debenhams. Decorative sprigs and glitter leaves, from a selection, both Gisela Graham. Second shelf: Mince Pies plates, £22.95 each, Emma Bridgewater. Green votives, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Star placecard holders (as decoration), £12 for 4, Debenhams. Cloche decoration, £6, Sainsbury’s Home. Wrapping paper, from a selection, Paperchase and Marks & Spencer. Ribbons, from a selection, Jane Means. Third shelf: Fir Tree side plates, part of a set, from £5, Marks & Spencer. Feeling Festive cup, £10, Debenhams. Stillhet tealight holders, £4 each, Ikea. Glass tumbler, from a selection, Habitat. Cameo teacups, £6 each, Creative Tops. Decorative sprigs and glitter leaves, from a selection, both Gisela Graham. Lower shelf: Doris vase, £20, Habitat. White star bowl, £4, Sainsbury’s Home. Fir Tree side plate, as before. Gold Star glass trifle bowl, £7; highball glasses, £5.40 for 6; Gold Star bowls, £25 for 16-piece set, all George Home. Sparkle candle, £1.99, B&M Stores PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 101

Sarah Beeny’s

Love yourHOME

’Tis the season for

TRADITIONS We all want Christmas to be perfect, but you don’t have to splash out. Here, Sarah reveals some of her tricks for having an extra-special time with friends and family BRANCHING OUT I do love a real tree. For me, part of the ritual of Christmas is going out as a family, picking a pine and dragging it back home where we try to make it stay upright. The smell of a real tree is amazing! Even though the needles get everywhere and by the time of the Twelfth Night you’re only too happy to take it down. To us, that’s all part of the festive fun. Opt for the biggest tree you can aford, you won’t regret it when it’s all decorated and taking centre stage in the house.

Top tip When we moved into our house 20 years ago, we didn’t have any decorations and asked visiting family members to each bring a bauble. Every decoration has its own little story.

ALL WRAPPED UP I’m a big fan of using brown paper to wrap presents (with some lovely ribbon or, better still, decorative ink stamps). I think that a nice variety of diferent wrapping paper under a tree adds to the excitement of Christmas, as it shows the various gifts bought by diferent people, and the more creative the wrapping is, the better. It’s important not to get too hung up on splashing out on expensive metallic and glittery paper (it’s often not even recyclable!). Keep it simple and, of course, personal. (Check out our great wrapping ideas on page 140.)

Real tree, baubles and decorations, from a selection, all Wyevale Garden Centres

THE HANDMADE TOUCH Paper chains are a brilliant way to get kids involved with decorating. Everyone loves making them and there’s something fabulously unpretentious about a home with them around. Hopefully, you’ll have kept your favourite decorations from past Christmases, so each year you can bring out the old and just add a few new bits into the mix.

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SEASONAL SCENTS The smell of a gorgeous candle is hard to beat, but beware – most are made from parain wax, which can contain the same toxins found in diesel fumes. For candles that you can be sure are safe, choose ones made from natural soy wax or beeswax. My new favourite brand is Abahna – its candles are utterly fabulous and worth the money. Prices start at £15, but the candles are beautifully packaged and made from 100% natural soy wax. Bliss. Or you could try a fragrant reed difuser Candles, from instead. a selection, The

Wreath, decorations and accessories, from a selection, all Dunelm

Luxe Candle Co

Christmas Rose difuser, £22, Laura Ashley


FESTIVE GREETINGS I haven’t sent Christmas cards for about 10 years – not because I don’t like them, but because, every year, Christmas comes up and bites me before I’ve got organised. I think it’s a lovely way to stay in touch with people, but it can cost a fortune – not just for the cards, but for the stamps, too. If you’re looking for an easier option with a personalised touch, try Download the app and you can upload photographs, design cards with custom text and send them from £1.49 each, including postage! It’s so easy to do everything at the click of a button. 104 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Wire wreath, £12.50, Sainsbury’s Home

AND FINALLY… Top tip This Christmas, we’ll be using our Joy Stove ( It’s a brilliant table-top barbecue that you can stick outside and use to toast marshmallows on those crisp, cool winter evenings.

Charcoal stove, from £89, Joy Stove

Don’t be afraid of a bit of creative chaos. After all, it’s what Christmas is all about! Remember what matters – not having the fanciest baubles and flashiest lights, but choosing the decorations you like. The simple (and often cheaper) things really are what matter at Christmas time, along with a good amount of laughter and fun. I wish you all a very happy Christmas!

Sarah’s portrait: Nicky Johnston Additional photography: Getty

Frankincense & Bitter Orange candle, £28, Abahna

A wreath is easy to make yourself, so if you embark on one DIY project at Christmas, make it this. Get an old metal coat hanger, untwist it and bend it back together in a circle shape (or buy one ready to decorate), then get foliage and wrap it around the wire. With a few red baubles and maybe some battery-powered fairy lights, you’ll have a wreath that’ll make your whole neighbourhood envious.



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Fabulously festive treats from homes and gardens editor Carolyn Bailey

Dining table, bench and stool, from a selection; Autumn Leaves tablecloth, £35; tableware, from a selection; Clyde pendant lights, £130 each, all John Lewis & Partners

Style it, do it,

love ıt... for Christmas

Country Christmas One of the big themes this year is country chic – we love this scheme in rich tones of russet. An abundance of animal decorations is also a must-have. Snuggle up and enjoy! Rustic star wreath, £25, Marks & Spencer

Decorative stag, £15, George Home

Star dinner set, £25 for 12 pieces; jug, £5; spot Champagne flute, £6 for 2; tumbler, £5 for 2; cutlery, from a selection; leaf platter, £12, all George Home

Decorative tree, £7, Sainsbury’s Home

Midas touch On-trend gold accessories are an ideal way to glam up your Christmas table. Nutcrackers, £24.99 for 2, Very

Table confetti, £2.99, Ginger Ray

STATEMENT BUY Cake servers, from a selection, HomeSense

Serving bowl, £13, Cult Furniture

Nutcrackers are a must-have decoration. This jolly pair are sure to bring festive cheer.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 107

Home trends A touch of glamour, £2, Dunelm

Green and gold Christmas combo, £5, John Lewis & Partners

PRETTY PASTELS Soft, feminine shades are having a moment – they work perfectly with silver and opaque white.

Glitter ball, £5.99, Dobbies

Having a bauble Delightful decorations to brighten your tree Put on the glitz, £3, Wyevale Garden Centres Striking and intriguing, £15 for 6, Debenhams Baubles, from a selection, all Next

Snowy tree, £75, baubles and decorations, from a selection, candle holders, from £7.50 each, all Marks & Spencer

Ho ho silver It’s oicial – silver is becoming more popular each season, and for good reason. Mix with white to create a winter wonderland.

Winter Wonder Sequinned Stocking, £4, Wilko

Light The Way Light-Up Tree, £14, Laura Ashley

Wine glass, £26 for 4, Next

Tealight holder, £3.50, National Trust

Light-Up Star, £12, Wilko Cushion, £19, M&Co

108 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Festive food


Chrıstmas Our delicious get-ahead menu will leave you more time to enjoy fun with the family

LUNCH➺ PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 111

Perfect planning Style tip

Menu to serve 8 Blood orange negroni izz Bloody Mary prawn shots 9 9999 remoulade Bresaola with celeriac & pear 9 9999 ey with best-ever gravy Brandy butter & bay roast turk soulés OR Twice-baked goats’ cheese 9 9999 sage salt Duck-fat roast potatoes with ts Prosecco & honey-roasted roo t Braised red cabbage & beetroo nero Pan-fried sprouts with cavolo & chestnut crumbs Creamy swede gratin stuffing balls Pancetta, pistachio & apricot Sloe gin cranberry sauce e Toasted sourdough bread sauc 9 9999 rum sauce Christmas pudding with Rich

Time to get ahead

On the big day

Prepare the following, according to instructions, then label and freeze:

Up to a month before 9Pancetta, pistachio and

apricot stuing mixture 9Sloe gin cranberry sauce 9Braised red cabbage and beetroot

Two days before

9Creamy swede gratin 9Rich rum sauce

Christmas Eve

Thaw, then transfer to fridge: 9Pancetta, pistachio and apricot stuing mixture 9Sloe gin cranberry sauce 9Braised red cabbage and beetroot Prepare/cook: 9Blood orange Negroni fizz 9Bloody Mary prawn shots 9Brandy butter and bay roast turkey 9Pancetta, pistachio and apricot stuing balls 9Toasted sourdough bread sauce 9Twice-baked goats’ cheese soulés 9Pan-fried sprouts with cavolo nero and chestnut crumbs 9Duck-fat roast potatoes with sage salt 112 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Instead of using name cards, personalise wooden decorations and attach to cutlery with ribbon.

Tick of our plan to serve the starter at 2pm (based on a double oven; you’ll need a bit longer if you’re juggling dishes in a single oven). second oven to 200°C (180°C … 8.15AM Take prepared turkey fan) mark 6. out of fridge (keep covered). … 2PM Serve the starter. Check cooking instructions for store-bought Christmas pudding … 2.15PM Put the gratin, Prosecco roots and pre-cooked roast (factor into timings). potatoes into the main oven. … 10AM Preheat main oven to … 2.25PM Put the stuing balls 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. and soulés in the second oven. … ABOUT 10.15AM Start to roast … Add beetroot to red cabbage the turkey in the main oven, and reheat on the hob, along according to timings in recipe. with bread sauce and gravy. … Prepare Prosecco roots. … Complete the pan-fried sprouts. … 10.45AM Cover turkey with foil. … Warm serving dishes and plates. … 11AM Make remoulade. … 2.45PM Transfer potatoes, … 11.30AM Set table. sprouts, cabbage, roots, bread … 12.45PM Remove foil from turkey. sauce, stuing and gravy to … Put cranberry sauce in a serving preheated serving dishes. dish and cover. … 2.50PM Take Rich rum sauce … 1.20PM Take turkey out of oven out of fridge. Take soulés, (follow resting instructions). turkey and trimmings to table. Increase main oven to 200°C … 3PM Serve the main. (180°C fan) mark 6. Make gravy. … 3.30PM Cook store-bought … 1.30PM Serve blood orange Christmas pudding according to Negroni fizz with Bloody Mary pack instructions and heat Rich prawn shots. rum sauce. Serve together. … 1.50PM Plate the starter. Preheat

Festive food Bloody Mary prawn shots Succulent prawns are the perfect match for a spicy shot of Bloody Mary MAKES 16 PREP 15min, plus chilling • 500ml (17fl oz) tomato juice, chilled • 150ml (¼ pint) vodka • Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon, plus a little extra for the glasses • 1tsp tabasco • 2-3tsp Worcestershire sauce TO SERVE • 1tsp each celery salt and black pepper • 2tsp crushed sea salt • 1 lemon, sliced and cut into 16 pieces • 16 caper berries or green olives • 16 large cooked tail-on prawns

Cook’s tip To make straight away, follow step 1, add ice and chill for 10min, then strain.

1 Pour tomato juice, vodka, lemon zest and juice into a large jug. Add tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of salt. Stir well and chill for at least 1hr. 2 Mix the celery salt, pepper and sea salt together on a plate. Dip the rims of 16 shot glasses into a little lemon juice, then dip into the salt mix to coat the edge. 3 Thread a lemon slice, caper berry and prawn on to 16 cocktail sticks. Pour the Bloody Mary into glasses and place a cocktail stick over each one. GET AHEAD Make cocktail mix and assemble skewers up to a day ahead; cover and chill both separately. PER SERVING (WITHOUT GARNISH): CALS 27; FAT 0G; SAT FAT 0G; CARBS 1G

Get the party started Blood orange Negroni izz This bittersweet take on a Buck’s Fizz sees on-trend Negroni mixed with seasonal blood orange juice. Chill everything well first. MAKES 8 PREP 5min • 125ml (4fl oz) ready-made Campari Negroni • 125ml (4fl oz) blood orange juice • Champagne, to serve

1 In a large jug, mix together the Campari Negroni and

blood orange juice. 2 Divide among 8 glasses and fill each one about 2.5cm (1in) from the top with Champagne to serve. GET AHEAD Complete recipe to end of step 1 up to 24hr in advance. Store in fridge. Complete recipe to serve. PER SERVING: CALS 93; FAT 0G; SAT FAT 0G; CARBS 3G

Cook’s tip Bresaola is an Italian air-dried salted beef. Find it in larger supermarkets.

Classic turkey with a modern boozy twist

Pancetta, pistachio & apricot stuing balls Move over sage and onion! This fruity stuing is packed with flavour. MAKES 12 PREP 10min, plus cooling COOK about 30min • 25g (1oz) butter • 1 large onion, finely chopped • 75g (3oz) dried apricots, finely chopped • Small handful sage leaves, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish • 50g (2oz) pistachios, chopped • 450g (1lb) sausage meat • 50g (2oz) fresh breadcrumbs • 24 slices pancetta

Special starter Bresaola with celeriac & pear remoulade Bored of smoked salmon? Then try our update of a classic remoulade. SERVES 8 PREP 15min, plus pickling • 2tbsp caster sugar • 2tbsp red wine vinegar • 150g (5oz) radishes, thinly sliced • 1 celeriac (about 500g/1lb 2oz) • 2 pears • Juice 1 lemon • 100g (3½oz) mayonnaise • 200g (7oz) crème fraîche • 1tbsp wholegrain mustard • Small handful fresh tarragon, chopped • 24 slices bresaola • Rocket, to serve

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1 In a small bowl, mix the sugar, red wine vinegar and ½tsp salt. Add the radishes and leave to pickle for 20min. 2 Peel celeriac and slice into matchsticks – use a mandolin if you have one. Slice pears into matchsticks. Put both into a bowl with the lemon juice. Toss to coat. Mix mayonnaise, crème fraîche, mustard and tarragon together before combining with celeriac mixture. Season to taste. 3 Divide the remoulade between 8 plates. Serve with 3 slices of bresaola per person, a few radishes and a small handful of rocket. PER SERVING: CALS 262; FAT 20G; SAT FAT 8G; CARBS 9G

1 Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the onion and gently cook for 10min, until soft. Stir through the apricots, sage and pistachios until fragrant. Remove from heat; set aside to cool. 2 Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. Tip sausage meat and breadcrumbs into a large bowl, add the cooled fruit mix and stir until well combined and evenly mixed through. Set aside 300g (11oz) of the mixture for the turkey stuing. 3 Line each hole of a 12-hole cupcake tin with 2 slices of pancetta, leaving an overhang. Divide remaining stuing mixture among the holes, lightly flatten, and fold the pancetta over. Top each with a small sage leaf and cook for 16-18min until cooked through. 4 If you have leftover pancetta slices, chop and stir through the set-aside stuing mix, ready to stuf the turkey. GET AHEAD Make stuing mixture and freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Defrost thoroughly before using. Complete recipe from step 3. PER STUFFING CUP: CALS 157; FAT 13G; SAT FAT 5G; CARBS 5G


The main event

Turn the page for brandy butter & bay roast turkey with best-ever gravy

Cook’s tip Pancetta, pistachio & apricot stuing balls

We served our turkey with shop-bought pigs in blankets and our stuing balls.

Brandy butter & bay roast turkey with best-ever gravy This year we’ve used aromatic bay and Christmas favourite brandy butter for a turkey with a subtle boozy twist!

Cook’s tip Don’t buy the brandy butter, as it will contain more sugar and be too sweet.

SERVES 8 with leftovers PREP 30min, plus resting COOK about 3hr 25min • 5kg (11lb 3½oz) free-range turkey • About 300g (11oz) pancetta, pistachio and apricot stuing (see recipe on previous page) • 2 onions • 2 bay leaves, plus extra to garnish (optional) • 2tbsp brandy FOR THE BRANDY BUTTER • 100g (3½oz) butter, softened • 25g (1oz) each icing sugar and light muscovado sugar, sifted • 2tbsp brandy • Freshly grated nutmeg • Pinch of sea salt FOR THE GRAVY • 200ml (⅓ pint) white wine • 1tbsp redcurrant jelly • 1 litre (1¾ pint) chicken stock • 1 bay leaf • 3tbsp cornflour, mixed into 3tbsp cold water

1 Remove the turkey from the fridge 2hr before you plan to cook it to allow it to come to room temperature. Pat the skin dry with kitchen paper. 2 To make the brandy butter, whisk the butter and sugars together, until pale and creamy. Whisk in the brandy, a little at a time, until incorporated. Add a generous amount of nutmeg and a good pinch of sea salt. 3 Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. Starting at the neck end of the turkey, use your fingers to ease the skin away from the breast. A little at a time, gently spread the brandy butter under the skin, over the meat, being careful not to rip the skin. Next, put the stuing inside the neck cavity. Turn the turkey over on to its breast, pull the neck flap down and over the stuing and secure with cocktail sticks. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time, allowing 30-35min per 1kg (2lb 3½oz). Put one of the onions, halved, the bay leaves and 116 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

brandy into the main turkey cavity. 4 Roughly slice the remaining onion and use to make a ‘trivet’ in a large roasting tin. Tie the turkey legs together and place turkey on top of onions in tin. 5 Roast for 30min, uncovered, then remove from the oven and loosely cover tin with foil. Return to the oven and roast for the remaining calculated time, basting every 30min, adding a little water to the tin if the base is catching. Remove the foil for the last 30min of cooking time if the skin needs to crisp up. To check the turkey is cooked, insert a fork into the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices run golden and clear. If there’s any red tinge to the juice, return the bird to the oven and keep checking every 10-15min. Alternatively, check with a meat thermometer – the temperature needs to read 72°C when inserted into the thickest part of the breast or leg. 6 Transfer turkey to a board (set aside the roasting tin for gravy), cover well with foil and clean tea towels to help keep the heat in. Leave to rest in a warm place for at least 30min, or up to 1¼hr.

7 To make the gravy, tip the meat juices from the roasting tin into a large jug, allow to settle, then skim of any excess fat with a spoon. Put tin over a medium heat on the hob, add the wine and increase heat, deglazing and scraping the base of a tin with a wooden spoon to dislodge any meaty bits. Pour this into a saucepan, along with meat juices, the redcurrant jelly, stock, bay leaf and slowly bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15min, stirring occasionally. Check seasoning and adjust to taste. Strain, then return to the pan. Reduce the heat to low, gradually add the cornflour mixture, stirring, until thickened. Keep warm over a low heat. 8 To serve, unwrap turkey and transfer to a warm platter. Remove cocktail sticks and garnish with extra bay leaves, if you like. Serve with the gravy and other accompaniments. GET AHEAD Prepare to end of step 4 up to a day ahead. Chill. To serve, allow the stufed turkey to come up to room temperature before roasting. PER SERVING (WITH STUFFING & GRAVY): CALS 413; FAT 19G; SAT FAT 9G; CARBS 17G

Festive food Twice-baked goats’ cheese soufflés Serve as a vegetarian main course, along with all the trimmings. These soulés pair especially well with spiced red cabbage and cranberry sauce. SERVES 4 PREP 25min, plus infusing and cooling COOK about 1hr • 200ml (⅓ pint) whole milk • 1 bay leaf • 2 thyme sprigs • ½ onion • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste • 25g (1oz) butter, plus 1tbsp extra, melted to grease

• 3tbsp breadcrumbs, toasted until golden • 25g (1oz) plain flour • ¼tsp English mustard powder • 75g (3oz) Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated • 2 large eggs, separated • 150ml (¼ pint) double cream • 1tsp thyme, leaves picked • 100g (3½oz) round goats’ cheese

Vegetarian showstopper

Cook’s tip These can be finished under the grill for 2min so they turn golden.

1 Pour the milk into a pan, add the bay leaf, thyme sprigs, onion and nutmeg. Set over a low heat and slowly bring to a simmer – don’t boil – then remove from the heat and set aside to infuse. 2 Meanwhile, brush the insides of 4 x 175ml (6fl oz) dariole moulds or metal pudding basins with melted butter to coat. Add the breadcrumbs, turning and tilting the moulds until evenly coated, tipping any excess into the next as you go. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. 3 Melt the 25g (1oz) butter in a pan, add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2min to make a paste, then stir in the mustard powder. Strain the infused milk into a jug, discarding the bay leaf, thyme and onion. Gradually add the milk to the flour mixture in the pan, stirring, over a very low heat, until smooth. Allow to cook over a medium heat for 3-4min, stirring, until very thick. Remove from the heat, stir in the Parmesan and season well. Transfer to a large bowl, set aside to cool for 5min, and then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. 4 In a separate, large, clean bowl, whisk egg whites to medium peaks. Then, using a large metal spoon, carefully fold into the sauce in stages, keeping as much air in the mix as possible. Divide the mixture equally among the moulds – they should be two-thirds full. Place in a small roasting tin, pour just-boiled water into the tin around moulds and bake in the oven for 20-25min until risen and golden. Remove from oven, lift moulds out of the water and set aside to cool – they will sink, don’t worry. 5 Once cool, run a knife around the edge of each mould to release soulés. Invert on to baking dish – this should be just big enough to fit them all in, without touching. 6 When ready to bake again, preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. In a jug, mix cream with seasoning, a few thyme leaves and a generous grating of nutmeg. Pour over the soulés. Slice cheese into 4 equal rounds. Place one on top of each soulé. Season with black pepper and add a few more thyme leaves. Bake for 15-18min, or until piping hot and cheese is beginning to colour. GET AHEAD Prepare up to the end of step 4 up to a day ahead. Once cooled, cover with clingfilm and keep in fridge. Remove 30min before continuing with recipe. PER SERVING: CALS 547; FAT 46G; SAT FAT 28G; CARBS 13G

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A selection of sensational sides Pan-fried sprouts with cavolo nero & chestnut crumbs We’ve livened up sprouts with some great flavours. SERVES 8 PREP 10min COOK about 15min • 500g (1lb 2oz) Brussels sprouts • 200g (7oz) cavolo nero, roughly chopped • 150g (5oz) smoked bacon lardons • 180g pack chestnuts • 50g (2oz) toasted chopped hazelnuts • 1tbsp vegetable oil • 25g (1oz) butter

1 Cook the sprouts in a large pan of boiling water for 3min to blanch, adding the cavolo nero for the final minute. Drain and plunge into cold water to cool. Drain again and dry on kitchen paper. Cut any large sprouts in half. 2 Meanwhile, in a frying pan, fry lardons for 2-3min until beginning to turn golden. Add chestnuts and hazelnuts; fry for a further 2-3min. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 3 When ready to serve, heat oil and butter in frying pan and stir-fry sprouts and cavolo nero for 5-10min until golden (you may need to do this in batches). Season. Stir in half of the lardon mix to heat through, transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with remaining lardon mix. GET AHEAD Complete recipe to end of step 2 up to 24hr in advance. Store separately in the fridge. Complete recipe to serve. PER SERVING: CALS 212; FAT 14G; SAT FAT 4G; CARBS 11G

Prosecco & honey-roasted roots Prosecco and honey add sweetness to the vegetables and make a super-speedy glaze. Great with any roast! SERVES 8 PREP 10min COOK about 30min • 500g (1lb 2oz) carrots • 600g (1lb 5oz) parsnips • 2tbsp olive oil • 200ml (⅓ pint) Prosecco • 2tbsp runny honey • Small handful sage leaves

1 Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. Trim and peel the carrots and parsnips, then cut into long, even slices. Tip into a large, shallow roasting tin or split between 2 tins. 2 Drizzle the oil over, toss to combine, season and roast for 20min. 3 Meanwhile, gently simmer the Prosecco, honey and sage in a small pan for 5min. 4 Remove vegetables from oven and pour the Prosecco glaze over. Shake well and return to the oven for 10min, until the vegetables are cooked through and sticky. GET AHEAD Prepare to end of step 1 up to 4hr in advance. Cover and keep at room temperature. To serve, uncover and complete recipe. PER SERVING: CALS 139; FAT 4G; SAT FAT 1G; CARBS 18G

With something for everyone, these indulgent veg dishes are sure to please the crowd 118 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Cook’s tip Swap the duck fat for rapeseed oil if you are cooking these for vegetarian guests.

Duck-fat roast potatoes with sage salt

Festive food Cook’s tip Try this with sprout tops or kalettes instead of cavolo nero, if you prefer.

Duck-fat roast potatoes with sage salt We’ve paired our delicious roasties with an aromatic sage salt. SERVES 8 PREP 20min COOK about 1hr 10min

Prosecco & honey-roasted roots

Pan-fried sprouts with cavolo nero & chestnut crumbs

• 2kg (4½lb) floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper • 25g packet fresh sage, leaves picked • 6tbsp duck or goose fat • 1tbsp vegetable oil • 1tbsp flaked sea salt

1 Peel the potatoes and cut in half or into even-sized chunks. Put into a large pan and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to the boil, and then cook for 10min to parboil. 2 Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. Add half of the sage leaves to a large roasting tin along with the fat. Put into the oven to heat up (about 10min). 3 Drain potatoes in a colander and leave to steam-dry for 2min. Shake to roughen up edges. Carefully put potatoes into the hot tin, turning to coat in the fat. Cook in the oven for 1hr, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through. 4 While potatoes are roasting, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry remaining sage leaves until crisp on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to drain and cool on kitchen paper for 5min. Finely chop the cooled sage leaves and mix with the sea salt to combine, or bash together in a pestle and mortar. 5 Remove potatoes from oven 10min before they are ready, toss with half of the sage salt and return to oven. Sprinkle with remaining salt to serve. GET AHEAD Roast potatoes up to a day ahead. Store in the roasting tin in the fridge or transfer to a container and cover. Reheat in a roasting tin in a preheated 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6 oven for 20-30min or until crisp and piping hot. PER SERVING: CALS 335; FAT 13G; SAT FAT 3G; CARBS 47G

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 119

Creamy swede gratin

Simple sides that make this a feast to remember

The humble swede is often overlooked, so we’ve given it a starring role. SERVES 8 PREP 15min COOK about 1hr 10min • 1 large swede, about 1kg (2lb 3½oz) peeled and cut into 1.5cm (⅔in) chunks • 3 large leeks, trimmed and sliced into 2.5cm (1in) rounds • 2tbsp vegetable oil • 100g (3½oz) butter • 50g (2oz) plain flour • 200ml (⅓ pint) milk • 300ml (½ pint) hot vegetable or chicken stock • 4tbsp trule oil, plus extra to drizzle (optional) • 3tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped, plus extra sprigs to garnish (optional) • 150g (5oz) reblochon cheese, sliced • 25g (1oz) panko breadcrumbs • 2tbsp olive oil (optional)

1 Put the swede into a large pan, cover with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to boil, and simmer for 25min until tender. Drain and leave to steam dry. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, fry leeks in oil and 50g (2oz) of the butter for 15min until tender and lightly golden. Set aside. 2 Melt remaining butter in a large pan, add flour and cook, stirring, for 1min. Remove from heat and gradually add milk, followed by stock. Return to heat; cook, stirring, until thickened and smooth. Take sauce of heat, stir in half the trule oil, if using, and thyme. Season. Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. 3 Spread veg out in a shallow baking dish, pour sauce over and lay reblochon slices on top. Mix breadcrumbs with remaining trule oil (or use olive oil) and seasoning; sprinkle over gratin. Garnish with thyme leaves, if you like. 4 Bake for 30-35min until golden (cover with foil if it browns too quickly). Drizzle with trule oil, if you like, to serve. GET AHEAD Complete recipe to end of step 3. Cool. Cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Allow to come to room temperature before completing recipe. PER SERVING: CALS 336; FAT 26G; SAT FAT 11G; CARBS 16G 120 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Creamy swede gratin

Cook’s tip If you can’t find reblochon cheese, use Gruyère, taleggio or fontina instead.

Festive food Braised red cabbage & beetroot This twist on the colourful side dish can be made ahead and frozen (minus the beetroot). SERVES 8 PREP 15min COOK about 2hr 10min

• 200g (7oz) baby beetroot in vinegar, sliced

• 50g (2oz) butter • 2 red onions, sliced • 1 large red cabbage (about 1kg/2lb 3½oz), outer leaves removed, cored and finely shredded • 2 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks • 5tbsp red wine vinegar • 5tbsp dark brown muscovado sugar

1 In a large pan or casserole, melt butter and gently cook onions for 8-10min to soften. Add remaining ingredients, except the beetroot; season and stir well. 2 Bring to boil, then cover with a lid, reduce heat and simmer for 1½-2hr until soft, stirring in the beetroot for last 10min. PER SERVING: CALS 146; FAT 6G; SAT FAT 3G; CARBS 20G

Cook’s tip This side tastes even better prepped ahead, as the flavours have time to infuse.

Braised red cabbage & beetroot

Toasted sourdough bread sauce Toasting the bread and using brown butter makes an extra-tasty sauce SERVES 8 PREP 15min, plus infusing COOK about 15min • 40g (1½oz) butter • 1 onion, roughly chopped • 6 cloves • 2 bay leaves • 600ml (1 pint) whole milk • 200g (7oz) sourdough bread (weight without crusts) • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste • Double cream, to serve (optional)

1 Heat 25g (1oz) butter in a pan until light golden, add onion and cook over a low heat for 10min. Stir in cloves and bay leaves; pour in milk. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Infuse for 15min; strain into a jug; return to pan. 2 Whizz bread in a food processor to fine crumbs. Heat a non-stick frying pan and cook crumbs until golden. 3 Add breadcrumbs to milk, simmer and cook for 1-2min, stirring, until thickened. Add nutmeg and seasoning. 4 To serve, stir in a little cream, if you like. Melt remaining butter in a pan until golden brown. Drizzle over the sauce. GET AHEAD Make to end of step 3 up to 1 day ahead, cover and chill. Reheat gently on hob, adding a splash more milk. Complete recipe to serve. PER SERVING (WITHOUT CREAM): CALS 149; FAT 7G; SAT FAT 4G; CARBS 16G

Sloe gin cranberry sauce A classic with a boozy boost! SERVES 8 PREP 5min COOK about 15min • 500g (1lb 2oz) fresh cranberries • 150g (5oz) caster sugar • 5tbsp sloe gin

1 Put berries, sugar and 3tbsp of gin in pan. Heat gently, stirring, to dissolve sugar. Increase heat, bring to the boil and cook for 10min until berries have burst and sauce has thickened. 2 Remove from heat; stir in 2tbsp gin. If making ahead, cool, then freeze. PER SERVING: CALS 110; FAT 0G; SAT FAT 0G; CARBS 21G

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Festive food

The inishing touch

Rich rum sauce Cook’s tip To flame your pud, heat 5tbsp brandy in a pan. Light with match; pour over pud.

Run out of time to make a pud? Simply make this sauce up to two days ahead and serve with your favourite shop-bought pudding. SERVES 8 PREP 10min COOK 5min

Photography Kate Whitaker, Bill Kingston, Gareth Morgans Recipes Hearst Food Network

Measure out 400ml (14fl oz) whole milk. Put 3tbsp cornflour into a bowl and mix with 3tbsp of the milk. Pour remaining milk into a pan, add 40g (1½oz) caster sugar and cornflour mix. Bring gently to the boil, stirring, until thickened. Take of heat; stir in 1tsp vanilla extract, 2tbsp dark rum and 100ml (3½fl oz) double cream. Serve. If making in advance, cover and chill in fridge. Reheat before serving. PER SERVING: CALS 145; FAT 9G; SAT FAT 5G; CARBS 13G

122 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018



Throwing a party or choosing a special wine to go with your Christmas lunch? We’ve picked the best-value tipples to help you celebrate

Festive drinks

Best sparklers Organic Prosecco 2018 Aldi, £7.99 Pear drop aromas, small lively bubbles and tangy stone fruit flavours make this an easy-drinking party bubbly.

Comte de Senneval Champagne Brut NV

Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut

Lidl, £10.99 Packed with tangy peach flavours and soft bubbles, this full-bodied Champagne is excellent value.

Ocado, £15.49 Clean and crisp with fine, lively bubbles, lemon and soft tropical fruit notes. Perfect for parties.

Laborie Méthode Cap Classique Blanc de Blancs Brut 2010, £14.95 With rich brioche and red apple flavours, this wine goes well with canapés.

Blanc de noirs Champagne Sainsbury’s, £18 This indulgent Champagne is full flavoured with a buttery baked citrus and red apple flavour. Bright and easy drinking.

Best reds Finest Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Tesco, £9 A classic blackcurrantfilled cabernet with a soft, smoky note. Great with beef.

Colossal Reserva 2016

Finest Barbera d’Alba 2015

Taste the Difference Saint Chinian

Irresistible Pinotage 2017

Iceland, £8 A hearty, warming red, packed with concentrated, earthy black fruit flavours. Indulgent and smooth.

Tesco, £9 Bright, tangy red cherry flavours with gentle vanilla and spice notes. Perfect with your turkey feast.

Sainsbury’s, £9 A medium-bodied and fruity red wine. Easy drinking with lots of blackberry, plum and a spicy twist. Goes well with lamb, pork or turkey dishes.

Co-op, £7 A lighter red with ripe red berry fruit flavours and a savoury, earthy undertone. Light enough to work well with turkey.

Finest Torrontes 2017

Irresistible Marsanne 2017

Tesco, £7.50 A lovely tropical, honeyed peachflavoured wine. Balanced with a touch of sweetness, it’s ideal for Asianinspired dishes.

Co-op, £8 Light, fresh and floral with a blossomy peach flavour. Elegant and easy drinking, this is a real crowd pleaser.

Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling 2018

Best whites Finest Sauvignon Blanc Fumé 2017

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Gris 2016

Tesco, £9 Packed with passionfruit and mango, but with a soft, smoky finish. Great with smoked fish and cured meats.

Co-op, £10 Elegant and packed with pineapple and passionfruit flavours, this is delicate and easy-drinking.

Aldi, £6.99 Ripe and tropical with mango, peach and lime flavours, this is fantastic for parties.

Something special

Compiled by: Alexandra Hale

Extra Special Gingerbread Gin Liqueur Asda, £12 (for 50cl) Buttery with a comforting gingerbread spice and a warm finish. Serve over ice cream with your pudding!

Hochwinter Eiswein Ocado, £19.99 (for 37.5cl) A refreshing dessert wine packed with rich baked apple and juicy sultana flavours. Great with fruity desserts or cheeses.

Taylor’s LBV Port 2012, £15.50 Rich baked black cherry aromas with festive spice, tangy black fruit and a refreshing acidity make this a match to dark chocolate puds.

Shelly’s Mulled Gin Booths, £15 (for 50cl) A cinnamonspiced mulled gin. Buttery smooth with sultana notes, light and well balanced. A warming, comforting treat.

Gordon’s Ultra-Low G&T with Grapefruit Asda, £5 (4x250ml) Tangy, zesty citrus flavours. An easy-drinking alternative for those cutting out booze.


Festive puds


Serve up a sumptuous pudding at Christmas from this delicious selection of showstoppers


Cook’s tip Mascarpone is a soft, creamy Italian cheese that can be used in sweet and savoury dishes.

Brandy snap cofee cups This cofee parfait is a real winner – unctuously decadent and no need to churn! SERVES 8 PREP 35min, plus freezing, cooling

Pregnant women, infants and the elderly should only eat raw eggs that have the Lion stamp

and softening COOK about 12min

FOR THE COFFEE PARFAIT • 5 medium egg yolks • 125g (4oz) icing sugar, sifted • 500g tub mascarpone cheese • 2tsp vanilla extract • 3tbsp cold strong cofee • 11⁄2tbsp rum (optional) FOR THE BRANDY SNAP CUPS • 60g (21⁄2oz) unsalted butter • 2tbsp golden syrup • 60g (21⁄2oz) caster sugar • 60g (21⁄2oz) plain flour • 1⁄2tsp ground ginger TO DECORATE (OPTIONAL) • Chocolate espresso beans • Cocoa powder, to dust 1 Start by making the cofee parfait. Whisk the egg yolks and icing sugar in a medium bowl with a handheld electric whisk until thick and moussey – about 5min. Beat in the mascarpone, vanilla, cofee and rum (if using). Transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze until solid – about 4hr. 2 Make the brandy snap cups. Heat butter, syrup and sugar in a medium pan until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature – about 20min. 3 Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5 and line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment. Sift the flour and ginger into the butter mixture and stir to make a thick paste. 4 Dollop 8 x 1tbsp of the brandy snap mixture on to the lined baking trays, spacing well apart (the brandy snaps spread a lot). Bake for 7-8min until deep golden and lacy. 5 Allow to cool for a few minutes on the trays until firm but still pliable. Working quickly, and one at a time, lift of a brandy snap and gently press into a teacup/ramekin to make a bowl shape, then leave to set. Repeat with remaining brandy snaps (if they have hardened too much before shaping, return tray to oven for a minute to resoften). Once set, transfer brandy snap cups to a wire rack to cool completely. 6 To serve, allow the parfait to soften at room temperature for 20min. Scoop into balls and serve in the brandy snap cups. Decorate with chocolate espresso beans and cocoa powder, if you like. GET AHEAD Make to end of step 1 up to 1 week ahead and leave parfait in freezer. Make brandy snap cups up to 1 day ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Complete recipe to serve.

Almond puf pie Known as gâteau Pithiviers, this is said to originate from a French town of the same name, where it’s served on the 12th night of Christmas. SERVES 8 PREP 30min, plus chilling COOK about 35min • 50g (2oz) plain flour, plus extra to dust • 500g block all-butter puf pastry • 150g (5oz) flaked almonds • 100g (3½oz) granulated sugar • 75g (3oz) unsalted butter, softened • 3 medium eggs • 2tbsp amaretto or a few drops of almond extract • Icing sugar, to dust • Crème fraîche, to serve 1 Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Cut the pastry in half and roll one half out until it’s large enough to cut out a 25.5cm (10in) circle. (Cut around the base of a tart tin or plate of the right size.) Place the round on a baking tray and chill. 2 Meanwhile, make the almond filling. Put flaked almonds into a food processor with granulated sugar and pulse until the nuts are fine (it’s important to pulse rather than whizz the almonds so they don’t overheat and make the mixture greasy). Tip the mixture into a bowl and stir in the flour, butter, 2 of the eggs and the amaretto or almond extract. 3 Take the chilled pastry circle out of the fridge and spoon on

almond mixture. Level the surface of the filling leaving a 5cm (2in) border of pastry around the edge. Return to the fridge to chill for at least 20min. 4 Meanwhile, roll out remaining pastry as before. Cut out a circle a little larger than the first one. Remove pastry with the almond filling from the fridge, then lightly beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and use some to brush over the pastry border. 5 Lay the second pastry circle over the first and smooth it down over the filling to get rid of any air bubbles. Press down firmly on the edges to seal, then trim to neaten. Scallop the edges by pressing a knife held vertically into the side of the pastry at 1cm (½in) intervals. Brush with beaten egg, then score the top lightly in a pattern resembling the curved spokes of a wheel. Chill for at least 1hr. 6 Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. Glaze the pie again with the remaining beaten egg, then bake for 30-35min until deep golden. Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm in slices with crème fraîche.

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Festive puds Mincemeat & marzipan tart A luxurious alternative to individual mince pies. SERVES 8 PREP 45min, plus overnight marinating, chilling and cooling COOK about 50min

FOR THE MINCEMEAT (to be made a day ahead) • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon • 200g (7oz) raisins • 200g (7oz) sultanas • 125g (4oz) dried apricots, finely chopped • 1⁄2tsp mixed spice • 100g (31⁄2oz) soft brown sugar • 100ml (31⁄2fl oz) brandy • 2 eating apples, coarsely grated (skin on) FOR THE PASTRY • 175g (6oz) plain flour, plus extra to dust • 40g (11⁄2oz) icing sugar, plus extra to dust • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon • 100g (31⁄2oz) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed • 1 medium egg yolk TO FINISH • 200g (7oz) white marzipan • 1 medium egg, beaten, to glaze • Caster sugar, to dust • Double cream, to serve 1 Start by making the mincemeat. Put the lemon zest and juice, dried fruit, mixed spice, sugar and brandy into a large non-metallic bowl. Stir in the grated apple, cover and set aside at room temperature for 24hr. 2 To make the pastry, put the flour, icing sugar, lemon zest, butter and a pinch of salt into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 1tbsp cold water and pulse again until the pastry just comes together. Tip on to a work surface, bring together in a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30min. 3 Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the pastry. Use the pastry to line a 23cm (9in) loose-bottomed fluted tart tin. Chill for 15min. 4 Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. Line the pastry in the tin with a large sheet of parchment paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 15min or until the pastry sides are set. Carefully 128 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

remove the parchment paper and the baking beans and return the tin to the oven. Bake for a further 5min or until the pastry base is cooked through and feels sandy to the touch. 5 Meanwhile, empty the mincemeat into a sieve positioned over a bowl and press lightly to allow excess liquid to drain out. 6 To finish, spoon the drained mincemeat (discard the excess liquid) into the baked pastry case (still in the tin) and level. Lightly dust a work surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan until 3mm (⅛in) thick. Cut into 2cm (¾in)

wide strips and lay on to the mincemeat in a lattice pattern. Trim the edges. Brush the marzipan with the egg to glaze, then dust heavily with caster sugar. 7 Return the tin to the oven for 25-30min or until the marzipan is golden. Leave to cool for 10min in tin, then take out of tin and put on to a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with double cream, if you like. GET AHEAD Make to end of step 4 up to 1 day ahead. Once pastry is cool, wrap in clingfilm (still in its tin) and store at room temperature. Complete recipe to serve.

Nougat ice cream pandoro Pandoro – a sweet Italian bread – is filled with the easiest-ever no-churn ice cream for a showstopping dessert. Make it at least a day ahead. SERVES 16 PREP 15min, plus freezing COOK 5min • 750g pandoro • 100ml (3½fl oz) condensed milk • 300ml (½ pint) double cream

• ½tsp vanilla bean paste or extract • 100g (3½oz) nougat, cut in to small pieces • 40g (1½oz) pistachios, roughly chopped, plus extra to decorate • 40g (1½oz) candied peel • 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, chopped 1 Cut 5cm (2in) of the pandoro base and set aside. Carefully cut a circle into the cut side of the pandoro and remove most of the bread filling, leaving a layer to prevent any leakage. Set aside. 2 In a large bowl, whisk the condensed milk, cream and vanilla to stif peaks.

Fold through the nougat, nuts and peel. Spoon the cream mixture into the hollow of the pandoro and replace the base. Wrap in clingfilm and set in the freezer for at least 8hr or overnight. 3 To serve, melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly. 4 Remove the clingfilm and put pandoro on a plate, drizzle over chocolate sauce and top with remaining pistachios. GET AHEAD Make up to the end of step 2 up to 4 weeks ahead. Complete the recipe to serve.

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Festive puds

Cook’s tip

Sachertorte The cake for chocolate lovers, Sachertorte makes a decadent end to a festive meal. SERVES 8 PREP 25min, plus cooling and setting COOK about 40min • 125g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease • 150g (5oz) dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids, chopped • 125g (4oz) caster sugar • 4 large eggs, separated • 125g (4oz) plain flour FOR THE FILLING AND ICING • 6tbsp apricot jam • 150g (5oz) dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids, chopped • 40ml (1½fl oz) strong black cofee • 2tbsp golden syrup

130 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

• 150g (5oz) icing sugar, sifted • Edible star decorations (optional) 1 Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Grease a 20.5cm (8in) round cake tin and line with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Set aside to cool. 2 Put butter, 100g (3½oz) of caster sugar and a large pinch of salt into a large bowl and beat together with a handheld electric whisk until pale and flufy – about 3min. Gradually add egg yolks, beating well after each addition. Next, beat in cooled chocolate, then fold in flour with a large metal spoon (the mixture will be stif). 3 In a separate bowl (and using clean, dry beaters), whisk the egg whites until they hold stif peaks. Add the remaining sugar and beat again. Stir a spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture

to loosen it, then fold in the remaining whites. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin, then bake for 30min or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin for 10min, then take out of tin and cool completely on a wire rack. 4 Peel of the parchment paper, then cut the cake in half horizontally. Melt the jam in a small pan, then spread some over bottom half of the cake. Top with other half of cake, and brush remaining jam over top and sides. Leave to set for 10min. 5 For the icing, put chocolate, cofee and syrup into a large pan and heat gently until melted. Mix in icing sugar to make smooth icing. Immediately spread over cake. Scatter over star decorations (if using), and allow to set for 2hr before serving. GET AHEAD Make up to 1 day ahead. Store in a cool place (not in the fridge).

Photography: Gareth Morgans, Kate Whitaker

This Viennese speciality is traditionally served with a generous spoonful of whipped cream.

Let’s decorate

Winter wonderland

Christmas CAKE Whether your fruit cake is shopbought or home-made, it’s time to have some fun and get creative…

Get ahead

Photography: Gareth Morgans. Recipe: Hearst Food Network Remove non-edible items before serving cake and keep them out of the reach of children.

Once iced, the cake will keep for several weeks.

In our November issue, we gave you the recipe for a fab fussfree Christmas cake. Now it’s reaching its full-flavoured peak, it’s time to add decorations… DECORATES 1 20.5cm (8in) round fruit cake PREP 45min, plus drying COOK about 20min • Black, white, orange, red and yellow ready-to-roll icing • 20.5cm (8in) round fruit cake • 2tbsp smooth apricot jam • Icing sugar, to dust • 500g (1lb 2oz) marzipan • 500g pack royal icing sugar (we used Silver Spoon) • 100g (3½oz) Fox’s glacier mints, unwrapped YOU’LL ALSO NEED • Cocktail sticks • Florist’s wire or string

• Ivory edible glitter or sparkles (optional) • Ribbon, to tie • Blue food colouring

1 For the penguins, use black icing to make an oval for the body and ball for the head. Flatten 2 pieces of black icing for wings, followed by a white flat oval for the stomach. Form beak and feet from orange icing. Brush water on feet, beak, stomach, wings and head, and stick to body. Use a cocktail stick to make indents for eyes. 2 For the polar bear, roll a white oval for the body and ball for the head – pinch it to form a snout. Roll 4 white sausage shapes for arms and legs. Brush water on head, arms and legs and stick to body. Make white ears and a black nose and stick to head. Prick eyes using a cocktail stick. 3 Make hats, scarf, presents and fish from coloured icing. Tie wire around cocktail sticks for fishing rods. Allow decorations to dry for at least 4hr or overnight. 4 Put cake on a serving plate and spread top and sides with jam. Dust the worktop

with icing sugar and roll out marzipan to a 33cm (13in) circle. Position on top of the cake and smooth over sides. Trim. 5 Make royal icing according to pack instructions. Use a palette knife to swirl it over the cake, reserving a little for later. Shape a recess in the icing for the pond. Sprinkle glitter or sparkles over the cake, if using. Tie ribbon around the base. 6 For the pond, preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Cut a 28 x 28cm (11 x 11in) square of foil, fold in half, then shape into a cup. Put mints into foil, stand on a baking tray, then heat in the oven for 20min or until mints have melted. Working quickly, use a cocktail stick to stir a tiny amount of blue food colouring into the syrup, then pour into the pond recess. 7 Use reserved royal icing to stick figures on cake. Add tree decorations, if you like. WHERE TO FIND For ivory edible glitter, visit Find similar trees (Green Plastic Fir Tree 9cm, 50p each) at PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 131


Last chance! TO SAVE UP TO *






Discount only valid on standard adult tickets. A £1.95 booking fee applies per transaction. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Up to 30% saving based on booking in advance compared with on the door price. Quote: PXSPECIAL to gain your discount. Offer expires 2 December 2018.

GET MAKING! make it sew it knit it give it love it Handmade for that extraspecial touch!

See over the page FOR our fab 10-PAGE makes SECTION

EXCLUSIVE PATTERN Call charges apply*

Faux-fur stole, £59; bracelet, £25, both Coast

Prefer to keep upper arms covered? Wrap a faux-fur stole around your shoulders or slip on a sequin jacket


Easy, chic and oh-so gorgeous – you just can’t beat a confident red hue for the festive season. Style with a sparkly heeled sandal and a glitzy clutch, and get ready to turn heads for all the right reasons. Bracelet, £25, Coast. Clutch, £40, Issa at House of Fraser. Sandals, £50, 2-9, ASOS


This elegant dress will work for every occasion this party season, whether maxi or knee-length

136 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Make it!

Need to know Top tip A strapless or racerback bra is the key to wearing this dress with confidence.

WOMEN’S SIZES 10-20 The semifitted dress with cut-away shoulders can be made long or short and fastens with a centre back zip. FABRICS We used black stretch polyester/rayon crepe from MacCulloch & Wallis and rose bud red stretch cotton/polyester from John Lewis & Partners. INSTRUCTIONS The pattern pieces, cutting layouts and sewing instructions are all on the Prima pattern.


It doesn’t get more showstopping than this floor-length black dress. Timeless and chic, it’s the perfect gown for those ultra-glam invitations. Dress it up with a pair of dazzling earrings and you won’t put a foot wrong. Earrings, £4, Primark. Clutch, £40, Accessorize. Mules, £139, 3-8, Carvela at Kurt Geiger




TO ORDER THIS MONTH’S EXCLUSIVE PATTERN, call 0900 140 1003* (or, from the Republic of Ireland, 1560 716 142*). If you’re a subscriber and have opted in, the Prima pattern will be included free every month with your copy of Prima. *You must be over 18 to call. Calls cost £1.50 per minute from BT landlines (ROI €1.28 per minute) and should last no longer than two minutes. Network charges may vary. UK SP: Spoke, 0333 202 3390. ROI SP: Spoke, 0818 205403. Lines close midnight, 31 December 2018. PLEASE ALLOW 28 DAYS FOR DELIVERY. Data protection: We will use the information you provide to process your competition entry. For our privacy notice, visit

Feature: Janet Palmer Photography: Matt Monfredi Styling: Helen Johnson Hair & make-up: Anna Durston Illustrations: Terry Evans

O G ’S




se e h ht r t i s w you n tio ake l! a r b o m ecia e l ce as t e sp e tiv ide mor s e f le he p e th sim all t f k o n and tmas c i K fu ris h C

138 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018


Clever crating

Pull the other one!

Season’s greetings Create pretty lino-print cards

Crackers are easy to make and you can add your own gifts

You will need • Toilet roll tubes (you’ll need 2 extra to help with construction) • Wrapping paper (we used a selection from Caroline Gardner and Rex London)

• Pencil and ruler • Scissors • PVA glue • Paper hats, snaps and jokes (£5.40 for 30, The Little Crafty Bugs Company) • Mini gift or a wrapped sweet • Twine or ribbon

Make it ❶ Place a toilet roll along the bottom left edge of a piece of wrapping paper, roll them up until the toilet roll is covered and there’s a 2cm overlap, and mark with a pencil. Open the paper back out. ❷ From the pencil mark, use a ruler to draw a horizontal line parallel to the bottom edge. Measure 20cm in from the left edge of the paper and draw a vertical line down from the bottom of the horizontal line you just drew. Cut this rectangle out with scissors. ❸ Run a line of glue along the toilet roll and position in the centre along the bottom edge of the wrong side of the paper. Pop a hat, motto, snap and small gift or sweet into the toilet roll. ❹ Place the extra toilet rolls either side of the toilet roll. Roll the paper round them, then apply some glue along the long edge and hold in place until secure. ❺ Once the glue has completely dried, pull one of extra toilet rolls out slightly. Then, holding the cracker with both hands, twist one hand one way, and the other the other way, to create a crease. Repeat on the other side. ❻ Pull the two extra toilet rolls out and add lengths of twine or ribbon, tying them in a bow over each crease.

You Will Need • Tracing paper, pencil and ruler • Hand guard, soft lino and lino carving tool set (we used Essdee Lino Cutting and Printing Kit, £29, Hobbycraft) • Scissors • Coloured inks • Blank cards and envelopes • Rubber alphabet stamps (we used ones from Hobbycraft) IMPORTANT: The blades used in this project are very sharp. Always push the blade away from you, wear protective gloves or use a hand guard.

MAKE IT ❶ Fold a piece of tracing paper in half. Next to the folded edge, draw on half of a triangle-shaped tree with a pencil and ruler. Turn tracing paper over; trace over to complete tree. Transfer on to a piece of soft lino. ➋ Position the hand guard in the corner of the lino and hold in place. Use the thinnest blade (Number 1 if

you are using the Essdee kit) to carefully follow the triangle line, remembering to always direct the blade away from you. ➌ Cut the central and diagonal lines into the tree. Rotate the lino as you go, so you are cutting away from you. ❹ Change to a scraper blade (number 4) and scrape away some of the excess lino around the edge of the tree. You don’t need to go too deep, just gentle strokes over the top. Cut out the tree with scissors. ❺ With the tree facing down, dab on ink pad until covered. Position on to front of card and press down. Peel back to reveal your printed tree. ❻ You can make a small pot stamp, too, to go at the base of your tree, but this can be fiddly so you may just want to add a trunk on to the bottom of your tree stamp. ❼ Continue stamping trees, using diferent shades of green ink. Then use an alphabet stamp to spell out a festive message. You can decorate the envelopes, too, if you like.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 139

Clever crating

Holly good show Add the perfect finishing touch to presents, so they look gorgeous under the tree

You will need • Tracing paper and pencil • Thin card in white and two shades of green • Scorer or blunt knife • Gift wrap and ribbon • Glue gun • Mini red pompoms (£1 for 50, both Hobbycraft)

to mAKE ❶ Trace of the holly template

❸ Score down the centre of

above and transfer on to the white thin card. Enlarge or reduce size, as required. ❷ Draw around the template on to the back of the green card and cut out – you can concertina the card a couple of times to cut out multiple holly leaves at once.

the holly leaves; fold in half. ❹ Once you have wrapped your present and added a ribbon, use a hot glue gun to attach the holly leaves to the top. Layer them up, mixing the two shades of green. ❺ To finish, glue on three mini red pompoms for berries.

Beautiful baubles Create unique decorations with scraps of fabric

• Scissors • Scraps of printed fabric • PVA glue • Saucer • Plastic baubles • Brush • Narrow ribbon

to mAKE ❶ Cut the printed fabric scraps into small pieces. ❷ Empty a small amount of glue on to a saucer. 140 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

❸ Using a brush, paint a small area of the bauble with the glue and press a piece of fabric down on it. ❹ Repeat until the bauble is completely covered and there are no gaps between the fabric pieces. ❺ To make the bauble more hardwearing, cover the surface with a coat of PVA glue. When dry, thread through narrow ribbon and hang on the tree.

Compiled by: Emily Dawe Photography: Sussie Bell

You will need

Knitting pretty

Baby it’s cold outside Snuggle up in this chic shrug – perfect for a casual look with a jumper or as a classy cover-up over a party dress


PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 141

cosy shrug MEASUREMENTS To fit bust 81-86(91-97:102-107:112-117: 122-127)cm; Finished measurements Bust 101(110:121:130:141)cm. MATERIALS 5(5:5:6:6) 25g balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Romance 681. Pair of 4mm knitting needles. 4mm circular needle, at least 120cm long. TENSION 22 sts and 30 rows to 10cm square over patt using 4mm needles. ABBREVIATIONS alt alternate; beg beginning; cm centimetres; cont continue; dec decrease; foll following; inc increase; k knit; kb k into front and back of st; mk make knot: p3tog leaving these 3 sts on left needle, k tog same 3 sts still leaving them on left needle, then p the same 3 sts tog again and slip all 3 sts of left needle; p purl; patt pattern; rem remaining; RS right side; st(s) stitch(es); tog together; WS wrong side. NOTE Cast on and cast of edges must be worked very loosely to avoid these edges pulling in and spoiling the look of the finished garment.

142 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

LEFT FRONT With 4mm needles, cast on 8(8:9:9:9) sts. Work in patt, shaping hem edge, as follows: 1st row (RS) K to end. 2nd row Cast on 8(8:9:9:9) sts, p to end. 16(16: 18:18:18) sts. 3rd row K6(5:5:4:4), mk, k3, mk, k1(2:4:5:5). 4th row As 2nd row. 24(24:27:27:27) sts. 5th row K to end. 6th row Cast on 8(8:8:9:9) sts, p to end. 32(32:35:36:36) sts. 7th row K3(2:2:1:1), mk, [k3, mk] 4(4:5:5:5) times, k2(3:0:2:2). 8th row As 6th row. 40(40:43:45:45) sts. These 8 rows set the patt and start hem shaping. Cont in patt, shaping hem edge by casting on 8(8:8:9:9) sts at beg (front edge) of 2nd row and foll 9(14:17:2:8) WS rows, then 7(7:-:8:8) sts at beg of foll 8(3:-:15:9) WS rows, at the same time, inc 1 st at beg (side edge) of 11th and foll 18th row, taking all cast on and inc sts into patt. 178(183:189:194:200) sts. Work 2 rows, ending with a WS row. Shape front slope Work 1 row, ending with a RS row. Keeping patt correct, cast of 8 sts at beg of next row and foll 4 WS rows, then 7 sts at beg of foll 4 WS rows, then 6 sts at beg of foll 3 WS rows, then 5 sts at beg of foll 2 WS rows, then -(4:4:4:4) sts at beg of foll -(1:1:2:2) WS rows, then -(-:-:-:3) sts at beg of foll -(-:-:-:1) WS row,

ending with a WS row, at the same time, inc 1 st at beg (side edge) of 8th row. 83(84:90:91:94) sts. *** Shape for extended shoulder Place a marker at end of last row. Keeping patt correct, cast of 4(4:4:3:3) sts at beg of 2nd row and foll 1(0:0:1:0) WS row, then 3(3:3:-:-) sts at beg of foll 2(2:2:-:-) WS rows, at the same time, inc 1(0:0:0:0) st at armhole edge of 7th row. 70(74:80:85:91) sts. Dec 1 st at front slope edge of next 23(19:17:13:11) rows, then on foll 4(7:9:12:14) alt rows, then on 2(3:4:5:6) foll 4th rows, at the same time, inc 1 st at beg of 5th(next:next:3rd: 7th) and 5(5:2:0:0) foll 6th rows, then on 0(1:4:6:6) foll 8th rows. 47(52:57:62:67) sts. Work 1 row, ending with WS row. Shape shoulder Cast of 4(5:6:6:7) sts at beg of next row and foll -(4:7:3:7) RS rows, then 5(6:-:7:-) sts at beg of foll 7(3:-:4:-) RS rows, at the same time, dec 1 st at front slope edge of 3rd and 2 foll 4th rows. Work 1 row. Cast of rem 5(6:6:7:8) sts. RIGHT FRONT With 4mm needles, cast on 8(8:9:9:9) sts. Work in patt, shaping hem edge, as follows: 1st row (RS) K to end. 2nd row P to end. 3rd row Cast on 8(8:9:9:9) sts, now work across these sts and rest of row as follows: k1(2:4:5:5), mk, k3, mk, k6(5:5:4:4). 16(16:18:18:18) sts. 4th row As 2nd row. 5th row Cast on 8(8:9:9:9) sts, k to end. 24(24:27:27:27) sts. 6th row P to end. 7th row Cast on 8(8:8:9:9) sts, now work across these sts and rest of row as follows: k2(3:0:2:2), mk, [k3, mk] 4(4:5:5:5) times, k3(2:2:1:1). 32(32:35:36: 36) sts. 8th row P to end. These 8 rows set the patt and start hem shaping. Cont in patt, shaping hem edge by casting on 8(8:8:9:9) sts at beg of next row and foll 10(15:18:3:9) RS rows, then 7(7:-:8:8) sts at beg of foll 8(3:-:15:9) RS rows, at the same time, inc 1 st at end of 11th and foll 18th row, taking all cast on and inc sts into patt. 178(183:189:194:200) sts. Work 1 row, ending with a WS row. Shape front slope Keeping patt correct, cast of 8 sts at beg of next row and foll 4 RS rows, then 7 sts at beg of foll 4 RS rows, then 6 sts at beg of foll 3 RS rows, then 5 sts at beg of foll 2 RS rows, then -(4:4:4:4) sts

BACK With 4mm needles, cast on 105(115: 127:137:149) sts (see Note). Work in patt as follows: 1st row (RS) K to end. 2nd and every foll WS row P to end. 3rd row K6(5:5:4:4), mk, [k3, mk] to last 6(5:5:4:4) sts, k6(5:5:4:4). 5th row K to end. 7th row K3(2:2:1:1), mk, [k3, mk] to last 3(2:2:1:1) sts, k3(2:2:1:1). 8th row As 2nd row. These 8 rows form the patt. Cont in patt and inc 1 st at each end of 11th and 2 foll 18th rows, taking inc sts into patt. 111(121:133:143:155) sts. Work 19(21:21:23:25) rows, ending with a WS row. Shape for extended shoulders Place a marker at each end of last row. Cont to work in patt, and inc 1 st

at each end of 7th(7th:7th:7th:9th) and 6(5:2:0:0) foll 6th rows, then on 0(1:4:6:6) foll 8th rows, taking inc sts into patt. 125(135:147:157:169) sts. Work 5(7:7:7:9) rows, ending with RS facing for next row. Shape shoulders Keeping patt correct, cast of 4(5:6:6:7) sts (see Note) at beg of next 2 rows, then 5(5:6:6:7) sts at beg of foll 4 rows. 97(105:111:121:127) sts. Shape back neck Next row (RS) Cast of 5(5:6:6:7) sts, patt until there are 32(36:37:42:43) sts on right needle, turn, leaving rem sts on a holder. Dec 1 st at neck edge of next 6 rows then on foll RS row, at the same time, cast of 5(5:6:7:7) sts at beg (shoulder edge) of 2nd row, then 5(6:6:7:7) sts at beg of foll 3 RS rows. Work 1 row. Cast of rem 5(6:6:7:8) sts. With RS facing, slip centre 23(23:25: 25:27) sts on to a holder, rejoin yarn to rem sts, patt to end. Complete to match first side, reversing all shapings.

Knitting pretty

r u o y e Us lls ski

67(73:79:85:93) sts, taking inc sts into patt. Cont straight until sleeve measures 45(45:46: 46:46)cm, ending with a WS row. Shape top Keeping patt correct, cast of 4(4:5:5:6) sts at beg of next 6(2:8:4:8) rows, then 5(5:6:6:7) sts at beg of foll 4(8:2:6:2) rows. Cast of rem 23(25:27:29:31) sts. CUFF EDGINGS (BOTH ALIKE) With RS facing and 4mm needles, pick up and k37(39:41:41:43) sts from sleeve cast on edge. Cast of knitwise on WS (see Note). TO MAKE UP Join both shoulder seams. With centre of cast of edge of sleeve to shoulder, sew on sleeve between markers. Join side and sleeve seams. HEM EDGING With RS facing and 4mm circular needle, pick up and k176(181:187:192: 198) sts along entire left front cast on edge, 105(115:127:137:149) sts along back cast on edge, and 176(181:187:192:198) sts along entire right front cast on edge. 457(477:501: 521:545) sts. Cast of knitwise on WS (see Note).

at beg of foll -(1:1:2:2) RS rows, then -(-:-:-:3) sts at beg of foll -(-:-:-:1) RS row, ending with a RS row, at the same time, inc 1 st at beg of 9th row. 83(84:90:91:94) sts. Complete to match Left Front from ***, reversing shapings.

SLEEVES With 4mm needles, cast on 37(39:41:41: 43) sts (see Note). Work in patt as follows: 1st row (RS) K to end. 2nd and every foll WS row P to end. 3rd row [Kb] 0(0:0:1:1) times, k5(6:1:0:1), mk, [k3, mk] to last 5(6:1:1:2) sts, k5(6:1:0:1), [kb]

0(0:0:1:1) times. 37(39:41:43:45) sts. 5th row [Kb] 0(1:1:0:0) times, k to last 0(1:1:0:0) st, [kb] 0(1:1:0:0) times. 37(41:43:43:45) sts. 7th row [Kb] 1(0:0:1:1) times, k1(4:5:4:5), mk, [k3, mk] to last 2(4:5:5:6) sts, k1(4:5:4:5), [kb] 1(0:0:1:1) times. 39(41:43:45:47) sts. 8th row As 2nd row. These 8 rows set the patt and start sleeve shaping. Cont in patt, and inc 1 st at each end of 7th(3rd:3rd:3rd:3rd) and every foll 8th(6th:6th:4th:4th) row to 67(55: 69:49:69) sts, then on every foll -(8th:8th:6th:6th) row until there are

NECK AND FRONT OPENING EDGING With RS facing and 4mm circular needle, beg and ending at cast of edge of hem edging, pick up and k112 sts along entire right front slope shaped cast of edge, 56(62:68:74:80) sts up shaped row-end edge of right front slope, and 9 sts down right side of back neck, k across 23(23:25:25:27) sts on back holder, pick up and k9 sts up left side of back neck, 56(62: 68:74:80) sts down shaped rowend edge of left front slope, then 112 sts along entire left front slope shaped cast of edge. 377(389: 403:415:429) sts. Cast of knitwise on WS (see Note). • Taken from Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine 64, £12.50 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 143

centre hole large enough for two thicknesses of yarn to pass through, or you will not be able to thread the beads. You may find some beads have a slightly smaller centre hole, this is due to a thicker than normal coating of silver and you will need to discard these, but you will have more than enough to complete the bag as they are sold in 100g packs.  When working the back of the bag, turn the chart upside down as you will be repeating the chart from the 50th to the 1st row.

Twinkle Twinkle This sparkly clutch adds the finishing touch to any outfit SIZE Approximately 12 x 16cm MATERIALS One 50g ball of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in Red 34. Pair of 3.25mm knitting needles. Approximately 60g of Czech seed beads size 8/0 colour 1 (SB8-1) – silver-lined crystal beads. ( One fine beading needle. 15 x 20cm of fabric for lining. Iron-on fabric interlining.

50 48 46 44 42 40 38 36

TENSION 25 sts and 34 rows to 10cm square over unbeaded st-st using 3.25mm needles.

34 32 30 28 26 24 22 20 18

ABBREVIATIONS cm centimetres; cont continue; k knit; p purl; PB place bead: bring yarn to front of work between needles, slip next st purlwise, push bead close to work, take yarn to back of work between needles to work next st; rep repeat RS right side; st(s) stitch(es); st-st stocking stitch.

144 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

14 12 10 8 6 4 2


NOTES  Before casting on, you need to thread the beads on to the yarn. If your beading needle is made from very fine gauge wire with a long collapsible eye, you can thread the beads directly


TO MAKE (WORKED IN ONE PIECE) An Front flap E V I S U L With 3.25mm needles, cast EXC r o f n on 45 sts. 1st row (RS) (1st desig a chart row) K2, [PB, k1] to last Prim st, k1. 2nd and all wrong side rows P all sts, making sure beads sit on the right side of work. 3rd row (3rd chart row) K3, *[PB, k1] 51 49 6 times, k2. Repeat from * to end 47 45 of row. Cont to work from chart 43 41 until all 50 rows have been 39 37 worked. Foldline row (51st chart 35 row) (RS) P to end. 33 31 Back 29 27 Work from chart from 50th to 1st 25 23 row (see Notes), so ending with 21 a RS row. 19 17 Base 15 13 P 5 rows. 11 9 Front 7 Next row (RS) Work across 1st 5 3 chart row. Cont to work from chart 1 45 sts from 2nd to 47th row, so ending k on RS, p on WS with a RS row. Cast of knitwise PB place bead - see abbreviations Foldline row, p on RS on wrong side. Lining Iron interlining on to wrong side of on to the yarn. If you have to use lining fabric. Using the knitted piece as a fine needle with a small a template, cut a piece of fabric, adding eye, you need 1.5cm all around for seams. Fold seam to thread the allowance on to the wrong side and needle with a press. Hand sew lining to wrong side length of sewing thread tied to form of knitted piece. a loop, then thread the yarn through the loop, TO MAKE UP so the beads thread on to Fold the piece along the base and sew the sewing thread first, bag front to bag back along the side then on to the yarn. edges, allowing front flap to fold over  The beads need to have a on to the right side.

Feature: Rosy Tucker Photography: Matt Monfredi Styling: Helen Johnson Hair & make-up: Anna Durston Model wears (clutch): Dress, Debenhams. Ring, stylist’s own

Knitting pretty!

Make it your way

Lisa Comfort Customises it!

Pretty pearl jumper You will need • Ivory jumper – ideally a bit flufy • Pearl buttons • Pins • Needle and thread • Scissors

Turn a plain jumper into a gorgeous, wow-factor piece with this simple and clever idea. It’s sure to get you in the Christmas spirit! The steps

Photography: Thomas Skovsende

❶ Lay the jumper out flat. Start to place pearl buttons randomly over the front of one sleeve. ➋ When you are happy with the position of the buttons, use pins to secure them in place. ➌ Take a needle, double thread it and begin sewing on the buttons. Come up from the inside of the jumper and stitch through the loop of the button a few times so that the pearl is secure. Move on to the next button, taking the thread inside the sleeve. Make sure that the thread between each pearl isn’t too short as this is likely to create puckers on the jumper. ❹ Once you’ve stitched all of the buttons on one side of the sleeve, flip the jumper over and repeat the steps on the other side. (Avoid putting buttons near the underarm, for comfort.) Then, move on to the other sleeve.





PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 145

Your time off

&attime out Christmas BEST OF THE MOVIES Treat the family with these big new releases

PLACES TO VISIT Get in the festive spirit with a day out

Escape to a fantasy land with Disney’s take on a classic

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS Enjoy this classic Christmas fairy tale with a sprinkling of Disney magic. Wonderful special efects, costumes and music add to a gripping tale about a young girl in an enchanted world. Stars include Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley. Out 2 November THE GRINCH Dr Seuss’s infamous green grump returns. Brilliant Benedict

Magical must-see

Eddie Redmayne reprises his role as Newt Scamander 146 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Cumberbatch voices the Christmas curmudgeon, who emerges to ruin what the locals in Whoville hope will be their biggest Yuletide ever. Out 9 November

Illuminate your life at Kew Gardens, where a million glittering lights will transform the landscape. Meanwhile, Blenheim Palace also twinkles with thousands of pretty pea lights, and Its Field Of Light and scented Fire Garden are worth the entry price alone. Head to The Eden Project for giant projections and light sculptures that glisten to a background of live music. And pay a visit to Somerset House for the annual Skate event, a highlight of London’s festive season. A glass of mulled wine and a mince pie at all these venues will certainly get you in the festive mood.

Benedict Cumberbatch is the Grinch

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD The second movie starring Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander sees the ‘magizoologist’ travel to Europe to pursue the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). Out 16 November

MARY POPPINS RETURNS The iconic nanny, played by Julie Andrews in 1964, is brought back to the big screen by the wonderful Emily Blunt. With new songs and a great supporting cast – including Meryl Streep – it’s ‘practically perfect in every way’. Out 21 December

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE Emily Blunt as Mary now

Julie Andrews as Mary in 1964

That’s entertainment

Torvill and Dean’s story is coming to TV The midwives face another challenging time this Christmas

Festive treat

The Bake Off gang reunites

Get your skates on at Somerset House

WHAT TO WATCH ON TV It’s all about specials of our favourite shows and great dramas

TORVILL AND DEAN, ITV The early years and creative influences that led these two to glory are explored in this one-of drama. Poppy Lee Friar and Will Tudor star as the duo, while Jaime Winstone plays the coach that led them to Olympic success.

The dramas not to miss are the BBC’s big-budget adaptation of HG Wells’s classic tale War Of The Worlds, starring Eleanor Tomlinson and Rafe Spall, and The ABC Murders – this year’s Agatha Christie, with John Malkovich as Poirot and a star-studded supporting cast.

CALL THE MIDWIFE, BBC ONE Be enchanted by Christmas at Kew

Don’t miss

Hilarious Miriam Margolyes joins the cast for this festive special to play the bolshy Sister Mildred. She adds to the chaos at Nonnatus House by arriving with four Chinese orphans in tow.

THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BAKE OFF, CHANNEL 4 Two festive specials of the nation’s favourite baking show see Prue, Paul, Sandi and Noel preside, while four bakers an episode – all from previous series – return.

5 minutes with Phillip Schoield

Photography: Rex Features, Alamy, PA Images

The This Morning host tells us about his Christmas What’s Christmas at the Schofields’ like? It’s a big open house with upwards of 30 guests. We light the fires and pile the table high! Any traditions? Yes! Years ago, Steph got me a flagpole. Now, each year, we pin a note to Santa on it saying, ‘Please stop here!’ And what might be under the tree for you? No idea! But I prefer giving. Fortunately, I knew exactly what to get Steph by September. I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you… Best and worst presents? Worst: the scratchy sweater my nan knitted me. And best was the model zoo my dad made for me when I was 10. You must miss him, especially at Christmas? I do, every day since he died in 2008, and not just at Christmas. We always raise a glass to him.

LOOK WHO’S IN PANTO Our favourite stars take to the stage DAWN FRENCH makes her panto debut as Wicked Queen in the London Palladium’s Snow White. GOK WAN as the Fairy ‘Gokmother’ gets Cinderella to the ball at the Bristol Hippodrome production. Our cover star SHIRLEY BALLAS is Mother Nature in the Liverpool Empire’s Jack And The Beanstalk. CRAIG REVEL HORWOOD is the Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella at The New Victoria Theatre, Woking. PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 147


It’s so easy to win!

WORTH £1,000!

A French family getaway Win a fantastic four-night stay in the French seaside resort of Bénodet with Sunêlia Vacances, the leading family holiday park company in France. One lucky reader will have the chance to win a break for up to four (two adults/two children) at the luxury site Sunêlia L’Escale St Gilles in the heart of the magical Cornouaille region of Brittany. The prize includes breakfast each day, one lunch or dinner, plus two days’ bicycle hire and two massages. Situated on the edge of Saint Gilles beach and close to the mouth of the Odet River, the site ofers a tropical water complex with indoor and outdoor pools, kids club (4-14 years), spa, dining options, cycle hire and closed cycle paths. For more information, visit sunelia. com/en†. Call 0905 789 1001 (80ppm)*. Text PRIMAPRIZE1 to 84915 (£1.50)**. Please leave your full name and address when entering. Write to Prima/Sunelia GVPRAL18486***

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A spa stay for two Hoar Cross Hall Spa Hotel, a Grade II-listed stately retreat in Stafordshire, is ofering one reader a spa getaway for two worth £600. You and your plus one will be treated to an overnight stay with dinner and breakfast, as well as a day in the spa with tranquil pools, water therapies, aqua detox, aroma rooms and sensory showers, plus an indulgent spa treatment for the winner†. Call 0905 789 1003 (80ppm)*. Text PRIMAPRIZE3 to 84915 (£1.50)**. Please leave your full name and address when entering. Write to Prima/Hoar Cross Hall GVPRAL18488***

A festive spending spree! One4all has 10 gift cards worth £100 each up for grabs! The cards can be used in over 50,000 outlets, including John Lewis & Partners, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Topshop and Foot Locker, as well as restaurants such as Ask Italian and Pizza Express. They can also be spent on a holiday with SuperBreak or Spa Seekers. The gift cards can be personalised with your festive photos, too. Available at or from your local Post Oice. Call WORTH 0905 789 1002 (80ppm)*. Text PRIMAPRIZE2 £100! to 84915 (£1.50)**. Leave your full name and address when entering. Write to Prima/One4all GVPRAL18487***

HOW TO ENTER: Call the 0905 number, or text PRIMAPRIZE followed by the number of the giveaway you wish to enter, then a space and your contact details, to 84915 (£1.50) by midnight, 31 December 2018. For example: text PRIMAPRIZE1 Jane Smith, 1 The Cottage, London AB1 2CD. *Calls cost 80p per minute plus your telephone company’s network access charge and will last no longer than two minutes. **Texts cost £1.50 plus your usual network operator rate. Lines close midnight, 31 December 2018. If you phone or text your entry after the advertised closing date, you will not be entered but you will be charged. ***Or, send your name and address on a postcard to: The Data Solutions Centre, Worksop S80 2RT, prefixed by the ofer name and code, by 4 January 2018. A separate stamped postcard is needed for each ofer. Please leave your full name and address details when entering. Winners will be selected at random after the closing date. SP: Spoke, 0333 202 3390. DATA PROTECTION: We will use the information you provide to process your competition entry. For our privacy notice, please see

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 149

WIN £100


A Christmas blessing Anna was feeling fed up with the festive celebrations – until a short walk made her take a fresh look at her life…


appy Christmas,’ muttered Anna to her husband, Mike, as he snored loudly from the armchair. No one heard her. Their three children were all busy. The eldest, Tom, was working at the local hospital, middle child Ellie was all loved-up and at her boyfriend’s house, and Sophie, the youngest, was in her bedroom, headphones firmly in place, attached to several electronic gadgets simultaneously. Christmas was just not the same any more. Even Anna’s sister, Jess, who usually came for tea, was working at a nearby boutique hotel. Anna missed the perfect Christmases of the past, with her family sitting around the table playing cards, arguing, laughing, eating and just being together. She sighed and pulled on her rainbow-coloured fleece that had been a present from Jess the previous year. Anna hated it and only wore it around the house. It just didn’t fit her mood, which was even gloomier than usual, as she had recently been made redundant from her oice job in town. To top it all of, this Christmas her sister had given Anna another showstopping fleece. Anna felt horrible for disliking her gift,

but couldn’t shake the black cloud that refused to budge from above her head. She picked up some of the recycling from the kitchen and took it outside into the cold, dark night. As Anna walked round the side of the house, a siren wailed nearby, the third that evening. The emergency services were busy. She deposited the recycling in the correct boxes and headed back to the house. But somehow she couldn’t bring herself to go in. Instead, she quietly closed the door and calmly walked of up the street. Habit made Anna turn right at the end of the road. Her morning routine was to catch the 7am bus. But there was no bus at the stop now. Instead, an ambulance was parked there and an elderly man was being helped into it. Anna immediately recognised him. It was Edgar Williams. He was so lonely that he tottered out of his house each morning to sit at the bus stop and chat to the waiting commuters. Anna always spoke to him. She had the feeling that sometimes she was the only person he spoke to all day. Edgar motioned to her to come closer and tried to pull his oxygen mask of. ‘Take my keys, girl. Take my keys and lock up,’ he wheezed. She nodded

COMPETITION RULES: Prize is £100. Entry to the competition and acceptance of the prize constitutes permission to use the winner’s name for promotional purposes and for publishing within Prima without additional consultation. Entries may be edited for publication. This competition is not open to employees of Hearst UK or their direct family members. The most deserving entry, in Prima’s sole opinion, will be chosen as the winner. Only the winner will be contacted personally. The prize is as stated, although Hearst UK reserves the right to change the prize in the event of unforeseen circumstances. If it is in Hearst UK’s opinion that no entries are

Relax with

Illustration: Emma Block

agreement and promised to visit him in the morning. The ambulance drove away, taking Edgar with his broken hip. In a daze, Anna locked Edgar’s door, then carried on walking, turning right again. She saw more flashing lights; a fire engine. A couple with three young children stood outside their house. The woman reminded Anna of herself a decade earlier. How awful to have this happen on Christmas Day! Anna found herself chatting to them. They had moved in only a few days ago, had no family nearby and just didn’t know what to do. As if on automatic pilot, Anna felt in her pocket. Her phone! Before Anna knew it she had rung her sister, who arranged for a complimentary room at the hotel and a driver to collect the unlucky family. As they left, they insisted Anna join them at the hotel for tea the next day. Anna kept walking and turned right again. The houses on this street had gardens that backed onto Anna’s. Here, the reason for the third set of sirens became clear; a man was being bundled into the back of a police car. He wasn’t going quietly, either. A woman stood at the gate waving goodbye. Anna kept her head down and tried to walk past. ‘Good riddance to him!’ the woman exclaimed to Anna. The two women realised that they recognised one another from

DO YOU HAVE A WAY WITH WORDS? This month’s winning author is Julie Woods, from Bristol, who wins £100! She says: ‘This short story is the first thing I have written in a long, long time, so it feels wonderful to win!

across the garden fence, when they had chatted briefly while hanging out washing. Many times Anna had heard shouting, but never asked questions. Now she wished that she had. ‘I only recognised you because of your lovely jacket,’ smiled the woman, who was called Claire. ‘I’d love one like that. I’ll be able to wear whatever I like now he’s gone!’ Anna smiled and said she’d pop round tomorrow – she had the perfect gift to give her. After a few more minutes, Anna realised that she had walked right around the block and was now back outside her own house. A car pulled up on to the drive. It was her eldest son, Tom. His colleague, Ahmed, had arrived early for his night shift at the hospital so that Tom could get home for Christmas evening. Her daughter Ellie was in the car, too – Tom had picked her up on his way home. As Mike opened the front door to let them all in, Sophie appeared on the stairs. No one had missed Anna or even questioned why she was outside, guessing she’d just popped out to the bins. Well, it was partly true at least. And, as she went inside, with all her family together, she smiled, realising just how lucky she really was. ‘Happy Christmas, everyone,’ she whispered. ‘Happy Christmas.’

I do try to remind myself that there is always someone worse of than me, especially so at Christmas.’ For your chance to win, email your entry of 800 words maximum to: or post to: Your Winning Story, Prima

Features, Hearst, House of Hearst, 30 Panton Street, London SW1Y 4AJ, including your name, address, phone number and a good-quality photograph. Please note that, unfortunately, Prima cannot return any photographs or stories.

deemed of a publishable standard, Hearst UK reserves the right not to award any prize. Hearst UK does not accept any responsibility for lost entries. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt. Hearst UK’s decision is final in every situation, including any not covered above, and no correspondence will be entered into. Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and agreed to be bound by them. Hearst UK shall be permitted to exclude any entrant at any time at its sole discretion. By entering the competition, you agree that the copyright and all other rights in respect of the entry shall be assigned to Hearst UK.

Fun with

Puzzles for you to enjoy Three pages of fun – with cash prizes to win!


ACROSS 6 Cool and distant (5) 8 Nadolig Llawen is Happy Christmas in which language? (5) 10 Draws closer to (5) 11 Buon Natale is Happy Christmas in which language? (7) 12 Colour, shade (3) 13 Hit for Olivia Newton-John, accompanied by a video of Olivia and friends in the gym, working up a sweat! (8) 15 Dining on, overindulging in (festive treats, for example) (8) 16 Large (3) 19 Feliz Navidad is Happy Christmas in which language? (7) 21 Cruise ship (5) 22 Fijne Kerst is Happy Christmas in which language? (5) 23 Mr Claus’s first name (5)

















DOWN 1 Joyeux Noël is Happy Christmas in which language? (6) 2 Meri Kurisumasu is Happy Christmas in which language? (8) 3 What kids want for Chrimbo (4) 4 Making minor adjustments to (8) 5 Shèngdàn kuàilè means Happy Christmas in Mandarin, which is spoken in which country? (5) 7 This is the clue to your prize answer: magical illuminations (5, 6) 9 Hawaiian garland (3) 13 An artistic work that imitates another (8) 14 Krishtlindjet e Lumtur is Happy Christmas in which language? (8) 17 Frohe Weihnachten is Happy Christmas in which language? (6) 18 Theatrical device where a character in a play addresses the audience, supposedly unheard by other characters (5) 20 Behave like a thespian (3) 21 Come to ground (4)














Call with your answer on 0906 470 1001* Solve the crossword in the usual way. When completed correctly, 7 Down will spell out your prize answer (sparkly Christmas decorations, 5, 6). Call 0906 470 1001* and leave your name, address and the answer. All calls cost 65p per minute, plus your telephone company’s network access charge, and should last no longer than two minutes. You can also write in – see HOW TO ENTER (see page 155).

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 153

Fun with



Put your feet up and win £50 at the same time!


Fill in the grid according to the arrows. When done, the shaded gold squares will reveal the answer to the following question: According to a survey**, the average British woman will not attempt to cook a Christmas dinner until she’s what age? (6, 4) Dog or cat’s foot, eg

Perceptive, sharp

Wash bar


The sixth sense? (1,1,1)

Bulb that makes you weep

Tiny jot

Top, summit

Morning moisture



How much a thing is worth


Greek god of love

Breed of blue-eyed puss (7,3) Sound of a balloon bursting!

David Bowie classic

Which person? Popular search engine

Use scissors

Summery tipple

Writing implement

Join in and WIN

Response Short note, eg


Lather, soapy bubbles Cheeseeating rodent

Cigarette (slang)

Arthur ___, US playwright

Candle material


Native of Birmingham (slang)

Unclear, ambiguous

Earl Grey, eg

Australian King with the golden bird Half a circle

All’s fair in love and ___, saying

Inhales audibly (in shock, eg)

Not a hit!

Receive audibly

___ Hathaway, US ilm star

Wrench or twist ligaments

Call 0906 470 1003* and leave your name, address and the answer. All calls cost 65p per minute, plus your telephone company’s network access charge, and should last no longer than two minutes. You can also write in – see HOW TO ENTER (opposite).

8 6 7 4 2 3 9 1 5

3 9 5 1 8 6 2 4 7

2 1 3 9 6 4 7 5 8

5 7 9 2 1 8 3 6 4

154 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

4 8 6 3 5 7 1 2 9

5 4 3 8 1 2 6 9 7

6 7 9 4 5 3 8 1 2

2 1 8 9 6 7 3 4 5

9 6 1 5 7 8 4 2 3

8 2 5 3 9 4 1 7 6

4 3 7 1 2 6 5 8 9

1 9 6 2 4 5 7 3 8

7 8 4 6 3 9 2 5 1

3 5 2 7 8 1 9 6 4

Call with your answer on 0906 470 1003* BOXING MATCH


1 2 4 5 7 9 8 3 6





Nonspeciic, universal

Border, outer limit

6 5 8 7 3 2 4 9 1

___butter, natural fat used on skin

Prayer ending

Narrow river? Conical tent

7 4 2 6 9 1 5 8 3

Oicial end of a marriage

Cowboy ilm genre


Master, expert

Bone in the forearm

Jockey’s mount

___ up, ogled


French word for ‘Saturday’

More Three uncommon Wise Men than

Single pace

___ apso, small dog breed Got to your feet


Fill in the answers to the clues and the letters in the 10 shaded squares will spell out your prize answer

Shade of grey


What Jellied ___, angles are Cockney measured in treat




SEPTEMBER 2018 PRIZE SOLUTIONS CROSSWORD Sprinkle CODEWORD Royalty ARROW-WORD Carolina reaper ✽ Solutions to this month’s prize-winning puzzles will be in the March 2019 issue.

Compiled by: Cheryl Foreman Photography Getty, Rex Features. **Survey by Food Network

Hired killer



CODEWORD For £50, see if this Christmas TURKEY can help you work out the number code for each letter of the alphabet. We’ve placed the Rs, now you do the same with the Ts, Us, Ks, Es, Ys and on you go. When you’re done, use your key grid to find out the prize word. Call 0906 470 1002* and leave your name, address and the answer. All calls cost 65p per minute, plus your telephone company’s network access charge, and should last no longer than two minutes. You can also write in – see HOW TO ENTER (below).




















































5 15




























8 1






















6 15


























5 24
















5 26








24 8








4 20









1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 T U R K E Y 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

YOUR KEY GRID: 8 13 14 14 23 5 15

Call with your answer on 0906 470 1002* All calls cost 65p per minute, plus your telephone company’s network access charge.

You can contact Prima at Hearst, House of Hearst, 30 Panton Street, London SW1Y 4AJ. Tel: 020 7312 3887. Email: Prices and availability were checked at the time of going to press, but we cannot be held responsible for any later changes. ©2018 Hearst ISSN 0951 8622, Hearst, House of Hearst, 30 Panton Street, London SW1Y 4AJ. Published monthly. All rights reserved. No part of Prima may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, either wholly or in part, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Not to be resold, lent, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade at more than the recommended retail price (subject to VAT in Republic of Ireland) or in a mutilated condition. Printed by Quad/Graphics Europe in Poland. For existing subscription enquiries, change of address and back-issue orders for Prima, please call our enquiry line 0844 848 5203†, email hearstmagazines@, or write to Prima, Hearst UK, Tower House, Sovereign Park, Lathkill Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 9EF. Please quote your subscription number in all correspondence. For new and renewal orders, please call 0844 848 1601†, or visit Phone lines are open weekdays, 8am-9.30pm; Saturdays, 8am-4pm. †Calls to 0844 numbers from a UK landline cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Prima magazine, ISSN 0951 8622, is published monthly (12 times per year) by Hearst c/o USACAN Media Corp 123A Distribution Way Building H-1, Suite 104 Plattsburgh, NY 12901. Periodicals Postage paid at Plattsburgh, NY. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Prima Magazine c/o Express Mag, PO box 2769, Plattsburgh, NY 12901-0239. The Publisher, editors and authors accept no responsibility in respect of any products, goods or services that may be advertised or referred to in this issue or for any errors, omissions, mis-statements or mistakes in any such advertisements or references. GENERAL COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS: The competition is only open to UK residents over the age of 18. Entry to the competition and acceptance of the prize constitutes permission to use the winners’ names for promotional purposes without additional consultation. This competition is not open to employees of Hearst UK, the promoters or their family members. The prizewinners will be selected from the entries received by an independent panel. Only the winners will be contacted. Prizes must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred, although Hearst UK reserves the right to change the prizes in the event of unforeseen circumstances. There will be no cash alternative. Hearst UK does not accept responsibility for late or lost entries. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt. Hearst UK’s decision is final in every situation, including any not covered above, and no correspondence will be entered into. Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by them. Hearst UK shall be permitted to exclude any entrant at any time at its sole discretion. Where Hearst UK runs a competition with a promoter such that the promoter is responsible for the selection and/or the provision of prizes, then Hearst UK shall not be responsible for, or have any liability for, the provision of such prizes. If there is any conflict with these rules and the specific competition rules, then the latter take preference. For winner(s)’ names, send a stamped addressed envelope to Hearst UK, House of Hearst, 30 Panton Street, London SW1Y 4AJ. Hearst UK reserves the right to amend these terms at any time without notice. Data protection: We will use the information you provide to process your competition entry. For our privacy notice, please see Service Provider: Spoke, 0333 202 3390. †FRENCH FAMILY GETAWAY T&Cs: Prize is valid from May to mid-September 2019, is subject to availability and excludes the months of July and August. It does not include drinks or meals outside the prize described. The Winner is responsible for their own travel and insurance arrangements. SPA GETAWAY T&Cs: Prize is available from Sundays to Thursdays, is subject to availability (not including bank holidays and selected holiday dates) and is valid for 3 months.

HOW TO ENTER *YOU CAN CALL WITH YOUR ANSWERS (see numbers with the Win £50 puzzles), leaving your name and address. Or you can write in – send your answer on a postcard with your contact details to: Prima Puzzles, /PUPRAN18695 (for the Crossword), /PUPRAN18697 (for the Arrow-word) or /PUPRAN18696 (for the Codeword), The Data Solutions Centre, Worksop S80 2RT. The closing date for phone entries is midnight, 31 December 2018 (three working days later for postal entries). Only one entry per person. If you call to enter after the closing date, you will not be entered but you will be charged. Entries will be drawn at random. The competition is open to UK residents only and the usual rules apply (see above right). Service provider: Spoke, 0333 202 3390. PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018 155

Published monthly by Hearst, House of Hearst, 30 Panton Street, London SW1Y 4AJ Tel: 020 7312 3887 Email:


HEALTH 020 7439 5263

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ART ART DIRECTOR Andrew Pye SENIOR DESIGNERS Abby Laing, Jenna Plumb DESIGNERS Aasawari Bapat Kale, Monika Szynkielewska



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156 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

Your Stars for December

Aries 21 March - 20 April


Once you pass the first week, travel hassles and uncertainties ease. Big plans developing in the background come together, and then it’s time for change. Mid-month, you’re on the move and attracting people with your ideas on the 21st. When it comes to Christmas festivities, you’re all set to take charge.

23 November - 22 December


23 December - 20 January

Home is a vortex of activity, with so much happening in secret as you put the finishing touches to special projects. Mid-month, you’re galvanised into action and make a perfect purchase. Luck is on your side and, with a little organisation, your Christmas will be super successful.


21 April - 20 May Your romantic and social skies are teeming with goodwill, and you’re basking in afection. Meetings and greetings keep you on the go, secret love sparks on the 7th and a friendship grows closer. Your good work will soon prove lucrative.


© Lori Reid Illustration: Getty

with Lori Reid

bound to find extra magic to add to the festivities. Look out for adventure, time in the spotlight and the opportunity to open your heart to love.

21 May - 21 June


You’re at your most ambitious and up to your ears in work. After some frustrations early in the month, you hit your stride and job satisfaction soars. Mid-month onwards, it’s all about closeness with someone special – you’re planning surprises for a loving Christmas time together.

24 July - 23 August


24 August - 23 September

22 June - 23 July December may be busy with new tasks ahead, but it won’t be short of excitement. With travel beckoning and romantic overtones running through the month, you’re

Given how much Leos adore glitz and glamour, you’ll relish what’s on ofer this month. Finish of domestic jobs, then turn up the music! Good fortune follows you around when meeting people or travelling. An unexpected opportunity will arise.

Virgo Forget cool and calm – this is going to be one of the most passionate Christmases ever. There’ll be a flurry of activity, but watch out for mistakes. The 7th opens a new door – expect the

unexpected, with hot dates and lucky discoveries lasting until the end of the month.

If you find the perfect balance between work and rest, you’ll get the best out of this high-octane month. Expect a whirlwind of communications, travel and local afairs. You’ll radiate confidence after the 21st and love will bloom during the festive season.



24 September - 22 October

21 January - 19 February

You’re working harder than ever and there will soon be compensation, both financial and romantic. Expecting visitors? There’s a distinct faraway feel to gatherings. If you’re invited, don’t miss out on oice parties – happy surprises are in store.

With popularity queen Venus high in your skies, you’re much sought-after and admired this month. Say yes to invitations and prepare for a hectic social time. Financially, you’re succeeding towards the end of the month. After the 22nd, you’ve earned a break.



23 October - 22 November

20 February - 20 March

As the party season dawns, you’re looking and feeling great. If you can hold of Christmas shopping until after the 6th, you’ll avoid hassle and disappointment. There’s love, drama and glitz in your festive stars, and the year ends on a memorable note.

December is an exceptional banner month for you. Look beyond the rocky start in the first week for an invitation that brings opportunity and pushes you into the spotlight. Your ideas, thoughts and energy are in demand – lucky meetings and money will set you up for the festivities ahead.



THEATRE TOKENS Why not treat someone you love to a night at the theatre? But how do you pick a show, date and time without ruining the surprise? The answer is Theatre Tokens. Available as Gift Cards and eGifts (with no expiry date), Tokens can be used at more than 240 venues nationwide – including all of London’s West End. For a present they’ll love, and a memory they’ll cherish, Theatre Tokens can be purchased at or in person at participating theatres.

Beautifully made jewellery books that hold earrings, necklaces and rings. Soft padded pages keep precious jewels tangle and tarnish-free. Designed to sit elegantly on top of a dressing table or easily pop into a suitcase for travelling. To see our full range, large palette of colours available and for details of stockists visit our website. 020 3371 1522 Or search Little Book of Earrings \ Little Book of Necklaces. Avoid inferior copies. Insist on the original.

YOUR CHILD WILL LOVE CREATING THEIR OWN FLOWER BOUQUETS & ARRANGEMENTS... THERE’S NO MESS EITHER! 20% OFF! Ofer price £11.99 (QUOTE CODE PRM4A) This fabulous craft kit is a superb gift that will keep your children thoroughly entertained for hours! The set contains everything they will need to create a stunning bouquet of 48 multicoloured foam flowers (including eight diferent kinds of flowers!). There’s no need for glue or even scissors! It all just pops apart and goes creatively together! Ideal for ages 5 to 15. Box size approx 32.5cm x 23.5cm. £11.99 each (usually £14.99) plus £3.95 P&P per order (UK orders over £50 have free delivery). Ofer code also reduces P&P by 20%. Regular P&P £4.95. You must quote PRM4A to receive the discount. Online:, Phone: 0844 848 2823. By post: Flower Kit Prima Ofer, c/o THPC, PO Box 586, Elstree, Herts, WD6 3XY. Cheques payable to: THPC

THE KNITTING & STITCHING SHOW, HARROGATE Join The Knitting & Stitching Show at the Harrogate Convention Centre from 22nd -25th November to celebrate craft in all its forms. • Build your stash! Discover 200+ specialist craft retailers • Find inspiration. Enjoy exhibitions from leading textile and fibre artists • Learn a skill. Choose from over 190 expert-led workshops and demonstrations Prima readers can save £2.50 (£1 for concessions) when booking entry tickets in advance. Book yours today by quoting PRIMA. Visit www.theknittingandstitchingshow. com/harrogate or call 0844 581 1319. *£1.50 fulfilment fee applies per transaction.


POTTER AND MOOCH Ear Wings climbing earrings designed for a single piercing. Handmade in England on Sterling Silver, 14ct Rose or Yellow Gold wires with SWAROVSKI Elements. The perfect, unique gift. From £22 per pair. Hypo-allergenic. Nickel-free. Visit our website or call for a brochure. 07703 785527

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Christmas Garden

Festive Sorbet

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EBSWORTH POTS Professionally hand thrown pottery made in Wales UK. Yarn bowls are the perfect gift for any knitter. No more chasing that ball of wool around. It stays in the yarn bowl while you knit or crochet.





Mason Pearson have been making hairbrushes for over 125 years. These come with tufts of either pure bristle, bristle and nylon, or all nylon, and are available from good department stores and chemists. For a free brochure and haircare leaflet, write to Mason Pearson Brothers, Dept 18, 37 Old Bond Street, London W1S 4AB, or call 020 7491 2613. Visit

There is an alternative. Do you want to stay in your own home with support from our live-in companions? If the answer is yes, Mayfair Live-In may be for you. Mayfair Live-in can ofer companionship, encourage stimulation and provide one-to-one support. For information or to become a live-in companion: email: info@mayfair-livein. or call 07896 575302.

Research now shows that krill oil is superior to fish oil due to its unique phospholipid superstructure omega 3, antioxidants and brain nutrient choline. Krill oil is now seen as the gold standard in omega 3 supplements. Silvertown Health krill oil is eco-harvested to protect nature deep in the purest Antarctic seas to provide unparalleled omega 3 quality. RRP £24.95 – Prima Ofer only £17.97 + p&p (60 capsules up to two months supply) plus Prima readers also get two free home spa face masks with their first order. Online order/more info or Tel Order Line 0345 0956 903.




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Embarrassing leaks are a symptom of a weak pelvic floor – the good news is they can be stopped with simple exercises. This is where the PelvicToner can help. It is clinically proven to help strengthen your pelvic floor, NHS approved and available on prescription. It can also be purchased without prescription for only £29.99 delivered. Designed to be used at home without supervision, it comes discreetly packaged with everything you need to start exercising straight away. So what’s stopping you? To find out more, or to purchase a PelvicToner™, visit or call 0117 974 3534 today.

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High Quality and Lightweight Wigs Our wigs range from something for the casual wearer to real hair wigs for the most demanding of customer requirements. For details of our approval service or to request a copy of our available wig range catalogues call 01455 559 679.

Right from the start, CAPRICE had the goal to develop shoes that, while standing out thanks to their workmanship and fit, provide customers with an added value. The patented onAIR technology is what made CAPRICE’s shoes popular at an international level. @capriceshoes




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Wider Fit Shoes Ltd ofers stylish, afordable shoes to fit you perfectly – whatever your width. Today, they are the leading supplier of wide-fitting shoes in the UK, ofering footwear from EE through to 8E fittings. Their entire range of shoes and slippers are adjustable, durable, lightweight and flexible and every purchase is backed by their no quibble guarantee. No wonder they’re recommended by foot health professionals nationwide. For a free, colour catalogue or more information please call 01933 311077 or order securely online at Please quote PRX1844M for 10% of your first order.

Eternal Collection ofers beautiful costume jewellery and accessories at prices you will love. They have a fantastic selection of Swarovski crystal, enamel, metallic, exquisite pearl, semiprecious and Venetian glass jewellery to suit all tastes and a vast range of clip-on and pierced earrings. No quibble guarantee and free returns. For your FREE catalogue call 03453 707071 or visit 10% OFF your first order when you QUOTE PR38.


* Excluding Postage & Packing. Not valid with any other promotion.

Slice of life

All that When it comes to Christmas traditions, Caroline Quentin reckons the sparklier and spanglier, the better. Be prepared for her dazzling plans…

162 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2018

This month… I’M BAKING

Ginger and cinnamon cake. It’s easy to make and smells like Christmas. Perfect with a cuppa!


Velvet and lace cushions. A fab way to use ofcuts for unique designs with a homely touch.


Sprouts! Not to everyone’s taste, but there’s nothing nicer with turkey than freshly grown greens!

Photography: Nicky Johnston, Getty Caroline wears: Red coat, Chesca


re you old enough to recall a time when Christmas cards really celebrated the festive season? Remember those snowy scenes and country cottages, their golden windows lighting the gloom, thatched roofs under a thick blanket of the snow, robins, red-breasted and shiny eyed, and every bit of them smothered in silver glitter? When I was a child, Christmas was totally sparkly, with tinsel and lametta everywhere. Fairy lights, candles, satin, ribbon and sequins in abundance – back then, ’twas not only the season to be jolly but ’twas also the season to throw good taste to the north wind. It was all or nothing, and at our house, it was all! On Christmas Day, every woman (and some men) wore something shiny. Sequins, lamé, Lurex, and velvet set of with a huge pair of dangly earrings. Since those gaudy days of excess, a disgusting amount of good taste has crept in to Christmas. For some years now, we Brits have exhibited a penchant for Scandi chic, Nordic nuance and barely there baubles. Understated style has been the order of the day. Happily, though, this year, I’ve noticed Yuletide austerity is disappearing. The sombre monochrome

is being replaced by something cheerier. Glitter is back. My local supermarket’s Christmas cards are super-sparkly. I notice, too, that Santa is making a return. In recent years, jolly Saint Nick took a back seat, replaced by penguins and polar bears. But he’s here again and I’m delighted to say he’s had a Strictly makeover. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sporting a bedazzled beard… The Victorians knew a thing or two about this time of year. That famous picture of Queen Victoria and her family around the candlelit tree led to the nation embracing the pine. Charles Dickens, in his novel A Christmas Carol, didn’t wax lyrical about minimalist decor and spartan suppers. He knew that, at Christmas, less is not more… more is more! I think the Victorians had the right idea. So, this year, my Christmas is going to be a bit more Victorian, all about fun and colour. The world is an increasingly bleak place – I’ll be monochrome and cool come January but this festive season, I want bling. My tree is going to be smothered in lights, and when I switch on my illuminations, I want the national grid to feel it. If, on Christmas Eve, your telly flickers and your lights dim for a moment, it’s me blinding the kids and the cats, bidding farewell to austerity for a few short weeks. Happy Christmas, dear Prima readers. However you decide to spend your holiday season, I wish you a happy and peaceful time, full of love and laughter and plenty of sparkle!

Christmas TREATS




Festive recipes your friends and family will love!


Christmas cookies page 14


Welcome to Prima’s little book of Christmas recipes. We hope you enjoy them!



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Chocolate & orange bundt cake SERVES 8 * PREP 25min, plus cooling and setting * COOK about 50min * 225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease * 175g (6oz) selfraising flour, plus extra to dust * 225g (8oz) caster sugar * 4 medium eggs, beaten * 1tsp baking powder * 50g (2oz) cocoa powder * 1tsp vanilla extract

* 2tbsp apricot conserve * Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE * 200ml (⅓ pint) double cream * 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, chopped * Chocolate stars, to decorate (optional)

❶ Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan) mark 3. Grease a 23cm (9in) bundt tin and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. ❷ With a handheld electric whisk, beat together the butter and the 4 PRIMA | Bake, Make & Share

caster sugar until pale and flufy. Gradually add the eggs, beating after each addition. If the mixture looks as if it might curdle, add 1tbsp of the flour. ❸ Sift in the remaining flour with the baking and cocoa powders, and fold. Fold in the vanilla extract, apricot conserve and orange zest and juice until combined. ❹ Spoon the mixture into the bundt tin and level. Bake for 35-45min until risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool for 5min in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely. ❺ To make the ganache, heat the cream until warm in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Take the bowl of the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes – it should be drizzling consistency but thick enough to stay on the cake. If too thick, add more cream. ❻ Transfer the cooled cake to a serving plate. Spoon the ganache over the cake and decorate with the chocolate stars, if you like. Leave the ganache to set before slicing.


This easy-to-master cake is sure to become a favourite

Get ahead Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Chocolate & hazelnut cups Just a few simple ingredients are all you need to create these moreish treats MAKES 12 * PREP 20min, plus chilling and setting * COOK 5min


* 175g (6oz) chopped white chocolate * 125g (4oz) chocolate hazelnut spread (we used Nutella) * Chopped hazelnuts * A little gold leaf, to decorate, optional ❶ Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (alternatively, blast on full power for 15sec bursts in the microwave until just melted and smooth). ❷ With a small paintbrush, paint some of the chocolate over the base and sides of 12 petit four cases. Transfer to a baking tray, chill for 5min until firm, then paint on a second coat of chocolate. Chill again to set.

❸ Put the chocolate hazelnut spread into a piping bag fitted with a 1-2cm (½-¾in) plain nozzle. Pipe into cups so they are three-quarters full, making sure none of the spread comes above the top of the cases. Level the surfaces. ❹ Use a teaspoon to spoon the remaining melted white chocolate carefully over the tops of the cups to cover the filling completely. Sprinkle over some chopped hazelnuts. Allow to set at room temperature for about 4hr or until solid. For a more glamorous finish, omit nuts, allow cups to set completely, then press on a little gold leaf. If gifting, transfer to a box lined with tissue paper.

Get ahead Store the chocolate cups in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month.

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Gingerbread wreath MAKES 2 wreaths * PREP about 1hr, plus cooling, chilling and setting * COOK 30min FOR THE GINGERBREAD * 225g (8oz) unsalted butter, cubed * 150ml (¼ pint) golden syrup * 175g (6oz) light brown muscovado sugar * 500g (1lb 2oz) plain flour, plus extra to dust * 2tsp ground

ginger * 2tsp ground cinnamon * 1tsp ground cloves * 1tsp baking powder * 1 medium egg, beaten FOR THE ICING * 1 medium egg white * 250g (9oz) icing sugar, sifted, plus extra to dust

❶ For the gingerbread: in a medium pan over low heat, melt butter, syrup and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, mix flour, spices, baking powder and ½tsp salt. ❷ Beat egg into cooled syrup mixture, then add liquid into flour bowl and stir to combine. Divide mixture in half and wrap each portion in clingfilm (each makes one wreath). Chill for at least 4hr or overnight. 8 PRIMA | Bake, Make & Share

❸ Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. Make the first wreath: line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one dough portion to 5mm (¼in) thickness. Cut out a 20.5cm (8in) circle using a cake tin as a guide and transfer to a prepared baking sheet. From the centre of this circle, cut out a 10cm (4in) circle so you are left with a 5cm (2in) wide band. Reserve the trimmings. Bake the band for 15min until golden. Cool on the baking sheet briefly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. ❹ Meanwhile, from the trimmings, use 5-9cm (2-3½in) cutters to stamp out holly leaves, re-rolling as necessary, and shape a few 1.5cm (⅔in) balls of dough to make ‘berries’. Space the biscuits 2cm (¾in) apart on the prepared, cool baking sheets and bake for 8-10min until golden. Cool for 5min on the sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If making two wreaths at the same time, repeat with the remaining portion of dough to make the second wreath, or freeze for up to 3 months until needed. ❺ To assemble, make icing (enough for 2 wreaths): in a medium bowl


A classic Swedish biscuit with a characteristic snap

with an electric whisk, beat the egg white to stif peaks, then beat in the icing sugar until smooth. Spoon two-thirds of the icing into a piping bag fitted with a 3mm (⅛in) nozzle and set aside. ❻ Use the remaining icing to stick the holly biscuits and berries to the

biscuit band(s), overlapping to make a pleasing pattern (keep the icing covered as you work to stop it drying out). Using the icing in the bag, pipe details on to some of the holly biscuits. Leave the wreath(s) to set. ❼ When set, dust lightly with icing sugar and hang with a ribbon.

Chocolate & cherry refrigerator squares A splash of cherry liqueur adds a touch of luxury to these chocolate and cherry bites MAKES 25 * PREP 15min, plus chilling * COOK 10min * 225g (8oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces * 350g (12oz) digestive biscuits, crushed * 125g (4oz) unsalted butter, melted * 2tbsp golden syrup * 2tbsp cherry liqueur * 1tbsp cocoa * 50g (2oz) blanched almonds, chopped * 200g (7oz) glacé cherries

Get ahead The squares will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.


❶ Line a 20.5 x 20.5cm (8 x 8in) tin, or one of similar dimensions, with baking parchment. ❷ Put the chocolate into a heatproof

bowl and set over a pan of very gently simmering water. Leave to melt, stirring a few times, until smooth. ❸ Put the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and pour the melted chocolate over. Stir very well so that everything is thoroughly coated with the chocolate. ❹ Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, pressing it down firmly and evenly. Smooth the surface, then chill until set. ❺ To serve, remove from the tin and cut into cubes.

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Eggnog truffles These pretty chocolate truffles are simple to make and perfect for gifting or enjoying at the end of a meal MAKES about 15 * PREP 30min, plus chilling * COOK 5min * 100ml (3½fl oz) double cream * 250g (9oz) white chocolate, broken into pieces * 25g (1oz) butter * 2tbsp brandy or spiced rum * ½tsp vanilla bean paste or extract * A generous grating of nutmeg

Cook’s tip Replace the grated chocolate with white sugar strands from, if you like.


❶ Put the double cream, 200g (7oz) of the chocolate and the butter into a large heatproof bowl, set over a pan of barely simmering water. Heat gently until melted, then remove from the heat and stir in the brandy or spiced

rum, vanilla bean paste or extract and nutmeg, to taste. Leave to cool and then chill until firm. ➋ Finely grate the remaining chocolate onto a plate. Scoop out teaspoons of the mixture and shape into balls. Coat in the chocolate and pop into petit four cases, if you like. Store in the fridge and eat within 5 days. To gift, pack in boxes or cellophane bags tied with ribbon.

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Christmas cookies

These biscuits look wonderful simply dusted with icing sugar, but you could decorate them with coloured icing, if you prefer MAKES 22 * PREP 20min, plus chilling and cooling * COOK about 15min


* 75g (3oz) butter, softened * 100g (3½oz) caster sugar * 1 medium egg * ½tsp vanilla extract * 250g (9oz) plain flour, sifted, plus extra to dust * ½tsp baking powder * Icing sugar, to dust ❶ Using a wooden spoon, cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour and baking powder to make a soft dough (you might need to use your hands). Shape into a disc and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for 1hr or until firm. ❷ Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 5mm (¼in) thick.

Stamp out shapes using Christmas cookie cutters, rerolling trimmings if necessary. If the cookies are to be hung as decorations, use a skewer to make a 5mm (¼in) hole near the top in each one. Place on 2 non-stick baking trays. ❸ Bake for 10-15min until pale golden. Allow to cool for 3min on the trays to harden, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. ❹ When the cookies are completely cool, dust with icing sugar, or ice as below.

Cook’s tip To ice biscuits, sift icing sugar into a bowl and add just enough water to make a thick, spreadable icing. Divide icing and add food colouring paste of your choice to create desired colours. Pipe or spread over biscuits and leave to set.

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Festive fudge This vanilla treat keeps for ages, but it’s so tempting it probably won’t be around for long!

* 450g (1lb) caster sugar * 125ml (4fl oz) semi-skimmed or whole milk * 397g tin condensed milk * 1tsp salt * 1tsp vanilla extract ❶ Line a 15cm x 24cm x 4cm (6in x 9½in x 1½in) roasting tin (or one with similar dimensions) with baking parchment. Heat sugar and milk over a medium-high heat in a heavybased pan, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. ❷ Stir in the condensed milk and salt and heat until bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Bubble for 7-8min, whisking constantly to avoid the mixture scorching – it should be a light butterscotch colour. ❸ Take the pan of the heat, add the

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vanilla and beat with a whisk for exactly 2min (you will see the mixture thicken slightly). Quickly and carefully empty into the prepared tin. Smooth the surface. ❹ Set aside for 5min, or until just hardened. Lift out of the tin using the baking parchment, then mark out 45 squares (cutting halfway down into the tablet). If the mixture sticks to the knife, let the tablet set for another minute. With the help of the baking parchment, return tablet to the tin and leave to cool completely. ❺ To serve, break the tablet into its marked squares. Any leftover tablet will keep in a tin or paper bag at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Cook’s tip For a change, replace the vanilla with another extract, such as cofee, chocolate or ginger from


MAKES 45 squares, with leftovers * PREP 20min, plus cooling * COOK about 15min

Get ahead Prepare to end of step 5 up to 2 days ahead and keep loosely covered in the fridge. Complete recipe to serve.

Sherry cheesecake This is a beautiful, indulgent finale to the festive meal


SERVES 12 * PREP 35min, plus cooling and chilling * COOK 1hr 40min FOR THE BASE * 50g (2oz) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease * 125g (4oz) digestive biscuits * 25g (1oz) demerara sugar FOR THE CHEESECAKE * 75g (3oz) unsalted butter, very soft * 225g (8oz) caster sugar * 550g (1¼lb) full-fat cream cheese * 40g (1½oz) plain flour * Finely grated zest 2 lemons

* 75ml (3fl oz) medium sherry * 4 medium eggs, separated * 200ml (⅓ pint) extra-thick double cream FOR THE FROSTING * 250g tub mascarpone * 150ml (¼ pint) single cream * 75g (3oz) icing sugar, sifted FOR THE CARAMELISED ALMONDS, OPTIONAL * 50g (2oz) flaked almonds * 2tbsp caster sugar

❶ Preheat oven to 150°C (130°C fan) mark 2. Grease and line a 23cm (9in) round springform cake tin with baking parchment.

❷ To make base, whizz biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor. Add butter and sugar and whizz to mix. Tip into lined tin and press with the back of a spoon to cover evenly. Chill. ❸ To make the cheesecake, beat butter, caster sugar, cream cheese, flour, zest, sherry and egg yolks in a large bowl with a handheld electric whisk until combined. Fold in cream. ❹ In another bowl, whisk egg whites with clean beaters until they hold stif peaks. Fold egg whites into filling. Pour into tin and level. Cook in oven for 1½hr or until lightly set. Turn of oven and leave cheesecake inside to cool. Cover and chill until set. ❺ Transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Using a handheld electric whisk, beat frosting ingredients to combine. Spread over top and sides of cheesecake. Chill for 2hr to set. ❻ To make almonds, line a baking tray with parchment. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a low-medium heat. Add almonds in an even layer and sprinkle over caster sugar. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until caramelised. Tip on to baking sheet and cool. Break into smaller pieces and scatter over cheesecake. Serve. PRIMA | Bake, Make & Share 19

Spiced blackberry gin Decanted into elegant bottles, this rich, fruity liqueur is a present that is guaranteed to please

* 300g (11oz) blackberries * 300g (11oz) granulated sugar * 1 large cinnamon stick * 1 litre (1¾ pint) gin YOU WILL NEED * 1 x 2-litre (3½-pint) Kilner jar or 2 x 1-litre (1¾-pint) Kilner jars * Sieve * Clean muslin ❶ Sterilise all equipment by washing well with hot soapy water, then transferring to an oven preheated to 140°C (120°C fan) mark 1 for 10min to dry. Alternatively, run equipment through a hot dishwasher cycle. ❷ Wash blackberries and discard bruised fruit. Place in a large, sterilised 2-litre (3½-pint) Kilner jar or divide between 2

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x sterilised 1-litre (1¾-pint) Kilner jars. Add the sugar and the cinnamon stick, then pour in the gin. Reserve the gin bottle(s). ❸ Set aside in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks, turning every day to help the sugar dissolve. ❹ Strain through a sterilised sieve lined with clean muslin into the reserved, sterilised gin bottle(s). To keep the liqueur clear, don’t press the fruit through the sieve. Discard the cinnamon stick. Label the bottle(s) and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Enjoy straight as a liqueur or put 25ml (1fl oz) into a small glass with ice, and top up with tonic water and a blackberry for a quick cocktail.

Cook’s tip

When blackberries aren’t in season, use frozen berries instead – there’s no need to defrost them.


MAKES 1 litre (1¾ pint) * PREP 10min * COOK 20min, plus at least 3 weeks infusing


Impress everyone with these stylish treats MAKES about 30 * PREP 30min, plus cooling * COOK 18min


* 200g (7oz) ground almonds * 225g (8oz) icing sugar * 150g (5oz) egg whites * 70g (2½oz) granulated sugar * 1tsp vanilla bean paste, optional * Food colouring paste of your choice FOR THE BUTTERCREAM * 150g (5oz) unsalted butter, softened * 250g (9oz) sifted icing sugar * 1tbsp milk * 1tsp vanilla paste ❶ Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan) mark 3. Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment, then draw on 4cm (1½in) circles, spacing 2.5cm (1in) apart. Flip paper so ink is underneath. ❷ Press ground almonds through a fine sieve until you have 115g (3¾oz), then sift over icing sugar and a pinch of salt. Set aside. ❸ In a freestanding electric mixer, beat the egg whites, granulated sugar and vanilla, if using, at medium speed for

3min. Increase speed to medium-high for 3min, then turn to maximum speed for 3min. Add a dab or two of food colouring (a little goes a long way) and beat at full speed for 1min. ❹ In one go, add almond mixture and, using a silicone spatula, fold together, counting folds. After 40 folds, the mixture should be well combined and move like lava. ❺ Transfer half the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm (½in) plain nozzle, then pipe mixture inside drawn circles. Repeat with remainder. Bang baking trays down against a work surface a few times (to burst internal bubbles). Bake for 18min until macarons peel from parchment (if not ready, cook for another 1min and re-test). Cool on trays. ❻ To make buttercream, beat together butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla paste until combined. Use to sandwich together the macarons.

Get ahead Keep the macarons covered in the fridge for up to a week.

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Chocolate bark This makes a lovely gift, or you could bring it out with coffee as a fun after-dinner sweet

* Sunflower oil, for greasing * 350g (12oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces * 25g (1oz) white chocolate, broken into pieces TO DECORATE * Shelled pistachios, dried cranberries, milk chocolate chunks, white chocolate stars, gold shimmer powder ❶ Lightly grease a 18 x 28cm (7 x 11in) traybake tin with the oil and line with baking parchment. ❷ Put dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Melt, stirring a couple of times, until smooth. Pour into the tin and spread into the corners using the back of a spoon. Tap the tin gently on worktop to remove air bubbles.

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❸ In a clean bowl, repeat the melting process with the white chocolate, being careful not to overheat it. ❹ Using a teaspoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the dark. Test a little area first, as the dark chocolate shouldn’t be too runny (you don’t want the white chocolate to sink), nor should it be set. ❺ Decorate by scattering over the nuts, cranberries, chocolate chunks and stars. Again, check the consistency of the dark chocolate – they should sit on its surface rather than sink in. Leave to harden in a cool place (not the fridge). ❻ Use an artist’s fine paintbrush to dab the gold powder on to the chocolate chunks. If giving as a gift, wrap in cellophane, tie with ribbon and attach a festive label.

Get ahead Make up to a week in advance and store, loosely covered, in a cool place (but not the fridge).


MAKES 400g (14oz) * PREP 15min, plus setting * COOK 5min

Orange blossom Turkish delight Give a package of these delicious little sweets to friends and family MAKES about 64 squares * PREP 25min, plus cooling and setting * COOK 30min


* 25g (1oz) icing sugar * 100g (3½oz) cornflour * 700g (1½lb) caster sugar * 3 x 12g sachets powdered gelatine * Juice 1 lemon * 2tbsp orange blossom water ❶ Wet a 20.5cm (8in) square cake tin with a little water and line with clingfilm. Sift icing sugar and 25g (1oz) of the cornflour into a small bowl and use 1tbsp of the mixture to dust base and sides of the clingfilm in the tin. Set bowl and tin aside. ❷ Put caster sugar, gelatine and remaining cornflour into a large pan and whisk to combine. Gradually whisk in 500ml (17fl oz) water and the lemon juice. ❸ Heat gently, whisking frequently, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a medium heat for 20min,

stirring frequently with the whisk to break up any remaining clumps of gelatine and ensure it doesn’t catch, until mixture has thickened and turned a pale yellow. ❹ Remove from heat and set aside for 5min to cool. Whisk in orange blossom water and pour mixture into prepared tin. Leave to set in a cool place (do not cover or refrigerate) for at least 6hr or overnight. ❺ Dust a board with some of the reserved cornflour mixture, then invert Turkish delight on to it. Remove tin and peel of clingfilm. Cut into small squares, then roll each gently in cornflour mixture to coat before serving. ❻ Store in an airtight container with remaining cornflour mixture at a cool room temperature for up to 1 month. To pack as gifts, sprinkle a little cornflour mixture into a bag or box before adding the sweets to stop them sticking. PRIMA | Bake, Make & Share 27

Chocolate log Dusted in icing sugar and tied with string, this Italian speciality looks like a deli-style salami but is full of nuts and chocolate

* 100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, softened * 300g (11oz) dark chocolate, broken into small pieces * 100g (3½oz) milk chocolate, broken into small pieces * 3tbsp brandy

* 50g (2oz) flaked almonds * 50g (2oz) shelled pistachios * 50g (2oz) walnuts * 2 shortbread fingers, broken into pea-size chunks * 1tbsp icing sugar

❶ In a medium bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, gently melt the butter and chocolates, stirring until smooth. Stir in the brandy, nuts and shortbread chunks. Cover the bowl and chill for 1hr until firm and pliable. ❷ Divide chocolate mixture in half. Place each half in the centre of its own large piece of clingfilm. Fold clingfilm over each mixture and, with your hands, mould them into log shapes

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about 5cm (2in) diameter. Roll up each log in the clingfilm, twisting the ends to seal. Roll on the work surface to make the logs evenly round. Chill for 1hr until firm. ❸ Sprinkle icing sugar over the work surface, then unwrap the logs and roll in the sugar to coat. Dust of excess with a pastry brush. ❹ Tie with string at 2cm (¾in) intervals to create the look of a hung salami. Cut 2 pieces of baking parchment about 25.5 x 25.5cm (10 x 10in). Place a log in the centre of each piece of paper, roll up and tie with ribbon to give as a gift. To serve, remove string and slice into 1cm (½in) rounds with a sharp knife.

Get ahead Store the chocolate log wrapped in the fridge for up to 4 days. Remove 30min before serving to soften. Freeze for up to a month, defrost in the fridge overnight, removing 30min before serving to soften.


MAKES 16 slices * PREP 1hr, plus chilling * COOK about 15min


These soft and fluffy sweets make delightful gifts packaged in cellophane bags and tied with a pretty ribbon MAKES 70 squares * PREP 20min plus overnight setting * COOK 15min


* 3tbsp powdered gelatine * 375g (13oz) granulated sugar * 400g (14oz) golden syrup * 1tbsp vanilla extract * Pink/red food colouring, optional * Icing sugar, to dust ❶ Put the gelatine into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with a whisk attachment. Add 125ml (4fl oz) cold water. Leave to soak while you prepare the syrup. ❷ Put the granulated sugar, golden syrup, a pinch of salt and 125ml (4fl oz) water into a medium pan. Heat over a medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat until it’s bubbling, carefully swirling pan occasionally, until mixture reaches 115°C (239°F) on a sugar thermometer. ❸ Turn on mixer at a low speed; gradually add hot sugar syrup to gelatine. Turn speed up to high; continue beating until mixture is very thick and white, about 10-12min (set a timer to make sure you beat it

for correct time, this will ensure the mixture is thick enough). ❹ Meanwhile, generously dust a rough 20.5cm x 30.5cm (8in x 12in) non-metallic serving dish with sifted icing sugar. ❺ When the marshmallow mixture is ready, beat in the vanilla and, if using, enough food colouring to get your desired shade. Scrape the mixture into prepared dish and gently level. Dust the top with more sifted icing sugar and stand overnight at room temperature. ❻ Put some icing sugar into a medium bowl, ready for more dusting. Slice around the edges of the dish to release the marshmallow on to a board (you may need to peel it out). Cut (or snip) into 2.5cm (1in) squares. Working a few at a time, toss squares into icing sugar to coat; transfer to a container or bags. Continue until all sweets are dusted.

Get ahead Slice, dust in icing sugar and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month; or store unsliced in the dish (covered in clingfilm).

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Peppermint creams MAKES 80 * PREP 25min, plus overnight firming * 1 large egg white * Few drops peppermint extract * 325g (11½oz) icing sugar, plus extra to dust * Dark chocolate, melted, optional ❶ In a large bowl, whisk the egg white and peppermint extract until frothy but not stif. Sift in the icing sugar and stir to make a stif mixture. ❷ Tip the mixture on to a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar and knead until smooth. Re-dust the surface with more icing sugar and roll out the mixture until it’s 5mm (¼in) thick. ❸ Use cutters to cut out small shapes and arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Re-roll the

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mixture as necessary. Leave the shapes to harden in a cool place overnight. Make sure the peppermints have thoroughly dried out before packing – they shouldn’t feel tacky. Store in an airtight container for up to two months. ❹ To giftwrap, line gift boxes or vintage-style tins with tissue paper or napkins and pack in the peppermint creams. Attach a label with storage instructions and an eat-by date.

Cook’s tip For an added indulgence, half-dip each set cream in melted dark chocolate and leave to harden for 3hr before gift wrapping. You can also replace the peppermint extract with rose water or orange essence to try new flavours.


So simple yet so delicious, especially when dipped in chocolate, too

Simple iced Christmas cake This icing design is perfect for a home-made or shop-bought cake COVERS a 20.5cm (8in) cake * PREP 40min, plus drying


* 2tbsp apricot jam * 20.5cm (8in) round fruit cake * 500g (1lb 2oz) marzipan * 2tsp vodka (or freshly boiled water) * Icing sugar, to dust * 500g (1lb 2oz) ready-to-roll white icing * Edible gold lustre spray ❶ Warm jam to loosen, then pass through a sieve to make a spreadable consistency. Brush over the top and sides of the cake. ❷ Take half the marzipan and roll into a sausage shape – this will be used to cover the sides of the cake. Using string, measure the circumference of the cake and cut the string to this length. Using the string as a guide, roll out marzipan to length and trim the edges on top, so marzipan is the same height as the cake. Stick marzipan strip around the side of the cake. ❸ For the top of the cake, roll out the remaining marzipan to about 5mm (¼in) thick. Use the cake tin as a template to cut a circle. Place the marzipan on top

of the cake and press the edges together to get a clean join. Smooth all over the cake to remove any bumps, then set aside to dry overnight. ❹ Brush the marzipan with the vodka. Using a piece of string, measure across the cake top and down the sides to the board and cut the string to this length. ❺ Dust a surface with icing sugar, then roll out the ready-to-roll icing into a circle as wide as the length of string. Carefully roll the icing on to the rolling pin and transfer to the cake. Starting from the top, gently smooth the icing with your hands. Gradually work down the sides of the cake, smoothing the icing out and removing any bumps. Trim of any excess with a sharp knife. ❻ Roll out the remains of the icing to a £1-coin thickness. Cut out shapes using diferent sized star cutters. On baking parchment, set out the stars and spray with gold lustre. Leave to dry overnight. ➐ The next day, add finishing touches. Using a little vodka, stick the stars on to the cake – stack them for a 3D efect. Tie a ribbon around, if you like. PRIMA | Bake, Make & Share 35

A brand-new cookbook to make Christmas special

Featuring 150 of your favourite Triple-Tested festive recipes in a beautifully illustrated hardback book