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Wishing you all a Happy Christmas, from Gaby, Julie Walters and the Prima team


Let’s get fabulously


I do hope our gorgeous cover with Dame Julie Walters – complete with snow and sparkle – has made you feel Christmassy. But if you’d like a little more encouragement to get in the mood, you’ve certainly come to the right place! We’ve got all you need to fill you to the rafters with comfort and joy. Cooking the big lunch at yours this year? We’ve everything to help make it delicious and (almost!) stress-free – a foolproof timeplan and recipes with something a little extra special and very 2017 about them! There are some decidedly naughty but nice puds, too – naturally. New and simple ideas for making your house warm, welcoming and truly twinkly fill our homes section, while I know for sure you’ll find clever suggestions for everyone on your pressie list in our fantastic gift guide. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without treating yourself to a little something, so our fashion and beauty pages are jam-packed with ideas for ensuring it’s your prettiest time of year. But aside from the shopping, wrapping, decorating and baking that goes with the season, we have some amazing stories and interviews to warm your heart. From the tale of Alan, a rather magical donkey, to Lisa Shrive, who tells us how her life has been transformed following a lung transplant, and Liza Wilson, who finally has her precious young family, this issue is all about sharing special moments, people and places. As Liza Tarbuck says in her exclusive interview with us, ‘Time spent with people is the best gift.’ Hear, hear – and I’m so happy to be spending this Christmas with all of you. GABY HUDDART, EXECUTIVE EDITOR Merry Christmas!


34 THERE’S STILL TIME TO JOIN ME AND THE PRIMA TEAM for a pre-Christmas glass of fizz at our EVENING OF BEAUTY & BUBBLES in London on 30 November, 6.30-9pm. Our fabulous beauty expert, Kazia Pelka, will be on hand to talk to you, and there’ll be pampering beauty treatments to try – ideal timing before glamming up for the festive season! Book now at

Don’t miss the January issue – OUT 1 DECEMBER PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 5

December 2017 30

38 26 Gift




23 24

34 ‘Time spent with people is the

It’s the prettiest time of the year When the party

Ding dong merrily on high heels and handbags


who has brought us so much joy’ One woman’s story of how


Welcome to accessories heaven

26 Your dream dress edit


‘Tree, turkey & presents in front of the fire… lovely!’ Dame Julie Walters on

How social media can turn Christmas into an insta sham!

what makes her ideal Christmas Why they do it so well in Denmark, and how we can do it too 6 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

model their party looks for all the season’s occasions

YOUR HEALTH 68 Comfort & joy in no time! Fast fixes for frazzlement

72 How to cope with cancer at Christmas Victoria Derbyshire describes her personal journey through illness in December

76 How to give kids the gift of

52 Working in a winter wonderland We discover some successful start-ups with a seasonal slant

162 Celebrate local heroes! Caroline Quentin on the joy of buying loved ones gifts in shops

On the cover

32 10 ways to feel the festive spirit

one animal made all the difference A time to remember Three writers share festive recollections, and the lessons they’ve learned

fairy has perfume on her list

64 Turn up the glamour Readers

51 Let’s give ourselves a break

30 Top of the tops Max out on sparkles – find yourself a glittery treat for under £50!

counts her lucky Christmas stars It’s a wonderful life When the tricky times eventually come good

44 ‘The little Christmas donkey

On the cover

Whatever your shape and style, we’ve got the frock you’ll rock

62 Heaven scents When the present

best gift’ Actress Liza Tarbuck

On the cover

invitations start to arrive, make sure you’re dressed to say yes! Twinkle, twinkle Stars in your ears and everywhere else – and all for less than you’d think




On the cover ’Tis the season to sparkle Here’s our countdown

to loveliness from head to toe

On the cover

The 2017 gift list

Whoever you have presents to buy for, we’ve got heaps of brilliant ideas


gratitude The thankfulness habit could be easier than you think Colds & flu? Not you! Dr Sarah on seeing off the beastliest bugs


On the cover Top tomes for this year’s stockings! Stuck for what

to buy beloveds? Here’s what’s hot

113 56 32 99 110 145 HOME STYLE 99

Welcome home for Christmas! This year’s decorative On the cover

themes, from trees to tinsel

108 Deck the halls… living room… bedroom… bathroom Sarah


Beeny’s home thoughts will give your guests and family the warmest of welcomes Style it, do it, love it Baubles, polar bears, reindeer, cushions… and crackers, of course


On the cover

Lunch is served...

Bring out the classics – albeit with a twist – for a Christmas meal to remember, plus keep things on track with our foolproof timeplan

125 On the cover Raise your glasses! What we’ll be drinking this year, from sparkling wine to Scotch

126 On the cover Glad tidings of great joy! Sweet treats that are an indulgent change from Christmas pud

The perfect gift! See page 78

130 Starry snowmen Christmas cake Take our three-dimensional approach to decorating the teatime centrepiece

Photography: Nicky Johnston. Stylist: Jillie Murphy. Hair & make-up: Chrissie Baker. Long gold sequin dress: Adrianna Papell. Gold earrings and ring: Nadine Aysoy

MAKE IT 140 Strictly special! This month’s Prima pattern is a dress with some dancing in mind 142 A handmade tale Everything from cards to cushions, all crafted by you with love 145 Snowman’s land A cute jumper for little girls, plus a festive knit that’s perfect for winter walks

149 Lisa Comfort customises it! Turn a jumper into a warming treat


EVERY MONTH 78 Subscribe A fab deal on Prima 150 Your time off & time out A guide to this month’s films, TV programmes and live shows 160 The Prima team… and how to contact them 161 Stars December’s horoscopes

138 153

On the cover Get 20% off Gatineau skincare Grab a Create and Craft gift-wrapping kit – worth £90 – for just £20! Clear your diary – events you won’t want to miss Win! Win! Win! Fab goodies

could be yours

154 £100 prize… For your story 157 Puzzles Win cash prizes! PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 7


‘Tree, turkey presents in front of the fire…lovely!’ Dame Julie Walters talks to Prima about her ideal Christmas, her weakness for chocolate and feeling liberated by being a sixtysomething woman

CHRISTMAS MAGIC Growing up, Christmas was exciting and magical. I imagine it was utterly stressful for my mother but we always had a tree and all the trimmings, and I’ve got clear memories of my two older brothers saying that Father Christmas had just flown across the sky – and I’d just missed him! I still adore the magic of Christmas. I must have a tree; and I love to have a fire going in our inglenook fireplace. Maisie comes to stay – we’re very close and I never really suffered from empty nest syndrome when she left home because she’s around so often. Farmers don’t get days off. So when we get up on Christmas morning, Grant is already out on the farm, although it’s a relaxing day for him because the turkeys have all finally gone. While he’s out, Maisie and I make tea and sit in front of a big fire to open our presents from one another. It’s very cosy. We used to host a family Christmas with my brothers and their kids. That was lovely, and everyone would help cook. But hosting people becomes tiring and I’ve enjoyed the fact that we 8 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

haven’t had people around for the past couple of years. My sister-in-law in Birmingham hosts now, but she’s changed it to the summer, so that’s when we all get together, which is lovely.

good health for the family, for all of us to be safe and things to be OK with work.

Christmas lunch is very traditional. We’ll have one of our own turkeys from the farm with cranberry sauce, roast potatoes and then Christmas pudding. I enjoy cooking, although I’m very careful because Grant has raised that turkey! A few years ago, I had the family over and put the turkey in the oven and was surprised by how delicious it smelt so quickly. I realised just in time that I had the grill on instead of the oven!

It was so much fun being back on the Paddington set this year and I love being Mrs Bird. The set is so gorgeous – that kitchen! Everyone wants to live in that house. Paul, the director, is a bit of a genius. He is so into it and there is nothing cynical about him; he really believes in Paddington Bear! It was great seeing everyone again. Hugh Bonneville (who plays Mr Brown) is hilarious. Sally Hawkins (who plays Mrs Brown) is just the loveliest girl – we talk food and health and novels all the time.

Things don’t have to be ‘perfect’ any more. If I was cooking for posh people, I’d be worried and stressed about cooking, but because it’s family, I’m quite relaxed. I used to be cooking for days on end in the run-up, on Christmas Day, and afterwards, but I don’t feel the need to do that now. The quest for perfection makes everyone tense and it’s so nice to feel liberated from it. I’m quite organised about gifts. I start buying in October if I can. I do stockings for Grant and Maisie, so I’ll keep my eye out for lovely and clever things for them. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. But I do think about what I would like to be able to say at the end of the coming year. The kind of things I wish for are


I then started filming for Mamma Mia 2 in September – it’s coming out next summer. The original cast all agreed that we’d only do it again if everyone was in it, so we’re all in it together again. Learning the dancing was a lot easier this time around. None of us are dancers and we had to rehearse together in a big troupe for the first film, which took a long time and was very nerve-racking. This time we learned the routines individually, which was so much easier! I love singing. So I really enjoyed laying down the tracks in the studio. I wasn’t nervous this time, but I was when we made the first film: I remember going to the studio for the first time and

Julie wears: Jacket; trousers; top, all Marc Cain. Body, Item M6. Earrings, Konplott. Bangles, Mishanto

Julie, 67, lives on an organic farm in Sussex with her husband, Grant. They have a grown-up daughter, Maisie.


your cover star

Words: Alice Mason. Photography: Nicky Johnston. Styling: Jillie Murphy. Hair & make-up: Chrissie Baker. Julie wears: Jeans; jacket, both Oui. Blouse, Ida at Donna Ida. Earrings, Nadine Aysoy. Ring, MeMe London. Shoes, Very. Opposite: Biker jacket, Oui. Top, Very. Body, Item M6. Skirt, Ted Baker. Earrings, MeMe London. Cuff, Kaleidoscope. Heels, Piagetti. Prop styling: Theoda Solms-Iles

‘I start buying gifts in October. I do stockings for Grant and Maisie, so I’ll keep my eye out for clever things’

Meet your cover star bumping into Meryl Streep, and Benny and Björn! Straight away, we all had to sing Mamma Mia together around the piano – which is the hardest song to sing. So that was a bit of a baptism of fire. Meryl is very down to earth – not starry at all. When we first met, we immediately started talking about domestic stuff, like our families, so it was all very human. She is very much an actor as opposed to a star, although she has this huge energy, which made me feel knackered all the time! I suppose I’m pretty down to earth, too. I hope that I see things for what they are. The business is only glamorous from the outside. Inside, it’s very hard work! I have been in the business so long that I don’t tend to keep in touch with the actors I meet on set. But when I find myself reunited with someone like Jim Broadbent, who is also in Paddington, and who I’ve worked with a lot over the years, it’s just wonderful. Another of my work highlights this year was filming Mary Poppins, which comes out next Christmas. I had to fly into Cherry Tree Lane and it was magical and fabulous… until the 16th take, that is, when the harnesses started chafing!

WHAT MAKES ME TICK My job is massively sociable, so what I really like doing is being at home and watching TV with my husband. I like being around people, but I’m definitely a homebody. I love my house, but it’s not all matching; it’s more like the Weasleys’ house in Harry Potter – higgledy-piggledy and homely. I do care about looking after myself. Occasionally, I think, ‘I must do 10,000 steps’, but I hardly ever do! I’m aware of it but it’s much harder to do when I’m filming and routine goes out the window. It’s the same with my diet – I have times when I’m ‘good’. It’s true that the camera adds a few pounds and sometimes before filming I think, ‘Oh,

JULIE IN BRIEF Tidy or messy? MESSY! Lark or night owl? A mixture. Sweet or savoury? Both. Please! What do you order in the pub? Camomile tea. I don’t really drink – I’m intolerant of yeast, which rules out wine and beer. I love Champagne, so occasionally have half a glass. High street or designer? High street. What do you spend your money on? Clothes. Jigsaw and H&M are great. What is your motto? Be kind to yourself. Last time you cried? Last Saturday when our old sheepdog died. Favourite TV programme? Corrie, EastEnders, Emmerdale. I love them all. What would you change about yourself? My posture. What does love feel like? A mixture of warmth, pain and excitement. What keeps you awake at night? If I’m worried about my family. Last time you were really happy? I’m a happy person generally. I’ve been happy on this Prima shoot! I shouldn’t be fat for this part’. I knew that my characters in Indian Summers and Mamma Mia! wouldn’t be overweight, but Mrs Bird and Mrs Weasley could be any old size. And losing weight is so depressing and miserable, denying yourself all the time. I confess to having an unhealthy relationship with sugar. I stayed in a lovely hotel when we were filming Paddington and each evening there would be four chocolate bars in the

fridge – and I’d eat every single one of them! Eventually, I had to ask them to stop leaving them in the fridge because I knew I’d just eat them. I’m not gregarious, with millions of friends. I have two close friends in London and another in Brighton – people I can really talk to. And I have friendships from all phases of my life, from school to my early days working as a nurse, to people from drama college. They are all important to me. When I’m not working, I spend most of my time doing domestic stuff: sorting, pottering around, washing. But I like walking in the woods. And I love to read; at the moment I’m reading The End Of The Affair by Graham Greene. Next on the pile is The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. But what I really love doing is lying in front of the soap operas eating something I probably shouldn’t. The other night, Grant made some potato wedges that were just the ticket! Quite honestly, I’m finding it a relief being 67. Less is expected of you in some ways – so everything is a bit of a bonus. I don’t have so much to prove; I’m not scrabbling for my position in the business and there is something about not having to be a young woman any more that feels liberating. I’m more able to be myself. And I’m more able to say what I think. • Paddington 2 will be released in UK cinemas on 10 November PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 11

Little mix The new partywear rule? Dress down your dress-ups! Wear a dramatic full skirt with a crisp white shirt or your favourite jumper and trainers. No longer do trainers have gym-only status – they’ve become a seriously fashionable buy. Jumper, £75, xs-l, Cath Kidston. Skirt, £150, 8-16, Raishma at Trainers, £89, 3-8, The White Company

Style inspiration

It’s the

PRETTIEST time of the year Feminine lace, romantic chiffon, swishy pleats, decorative frills and feathers… partywear doesn’t get lovelier than this. It’s time to dress up!

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 13

A long story This season, go full-on floorgrazing and fabulous! And the good news for those who struggle with sky-scraper heels? The new way to wear pretty frocks is with ankle boots, brogues or flats. There’s a whole new meaning to comfort and joy! Dress, £275, 6-20, Phase Eight. Earrings, £12, Principles by Ben de Lisi at Debenhams

Take flight Keep a black suit from looking underwhelming by teaming with look-at-me decorative touches. We’re loving feathers, the new fashion adornment for Christmas 2017. Or try big earrings and catwalk-worthy shoes; they will instantly skyrocket your office look to evening status. Cape, £99, Issa London at House of Fraser. Blazer, £325, 6-18, LK Bennett. Blouse, £89, 6-18, Hobbs. Trousers, £99, 6-18, Somerset by Alice Temperley at John Lewis

14 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Style inspiration

Style inspiration

Wrap star This festive season sees a return of all things unashamedly girlie. Top of our party wish list? A vintage-looking stole that can be layered over tops, dresses, blazers and even jumpers. Faux-fur stole, £40, Linea at House of Fraser. Top, £59, 8-18, Monsoon

Modern romance If you have great legs, make the most of them! But even if you don’t wear short hems, simply layer this dress over sleek trousers or skinny jeans for a modern, chic approach to cocktail dressing. Don’t forget, party outfits need an equally fabulous coat, and winter pastels keep things pretty and romantic. Coat, £65, 8-18, Wallis. Dress, £169, 8-18, Monsoon Limited Edition

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 17

Style inspiration

Keep it casual Had an invite to a daytime occasion and looking for an outfit that wows without being too dressy? These cool separates will do the trick. Coat, £160, xs-l, Cath Kidston. Top (just seen), £22, 8-18, F&F at Tesco. Trousers, £38, 6-22, Next. Shoes, £45, 3-9, Wallis

Lighten up Bored with trad black? Brighten the festive season with delicious sugary tones of peach, candyfloss and pistachio. Accessorise with a feather cape, which will add personality to after-dark outfits while offering a layer of warmth to strappy shoulders. Cape, £50, Jenny Packham at Debenhams. Dress, £260, 6-16, French Connection

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 19

It’s a classic Not sure what to wear to the party? We all need a failsafe dress to put on at a moment’s notice and this one has it all. We’re not sure what we love most – the statement sleeves, sexy asymmetric hemline or price tag. An LBD is for life, not just for Christmas! Dress, £60, 6-22, Next. Shoes, £35, 3-8, V by

Pretty in pastels A gleaming sequin-trim cardi neatly tucked into a swishy skirt is your less-is-more approach to eveningwear. Shoes adorned with feelgood feathers add a fun, fashion-forward edge. Coat, £275, 8-18, Damsel In A Dress. Cardigan, £108, xxxs-xl, J Crew. Skirt, £129, 6-16, The White Company. Shoes, £45, 3-8, V by

Photography: Catherine Harbour Styling: Amanda Marcantonio Assisted by: Dani Southwood Hair & make-up: James Butterfield Model: Aniko at MOT Props: Fairy lights, Marks & Spencer. Garland, The White Company

Style inspiration

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 21

Pearl surround ring, £18, New Vintage at Accessorize

Fashion gems



Flower necklace, £28, Laura Ashley

Polish off your party outfit with some high-shine jewellery

Brooch, £15, Jon Richard (jonrichard. com)

Earrings, £30, No. 1 by Jenny Packham at Debenhams

Crystal floral necklace, £18, Oasis

Words: Jo Atkinson Photography: Catwalk image, Alberta Ferretti

Star earrings, £5, George

Brooch, £15, Jon Richard ( Pearl bracelet, £15, Very

Jewelled bracelet, £12, Principles by Ben de Lisi at Debenhams

Diamanté ring, £10, River Island

Bracelet, £35, New Vintage at Accessorize

Add arm candy with a jewelled charm bracelet PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 23



2 1





Ding dong merrily on Party season simply demands fabulous finishing touches, so we’ve


11 13

12 9 15 17 14


1 Flats, £18, 3-8, M&Co 2 Clutch, £16, M&Co 3 Sandals, £38, 3-8, Dolcis 4 Bag, £15.99, New Look 5 Clutch, £59, Miss KG 6 Shoes, £250, 3-8, LK Bennett 7 Heels, £35, 3-8, M&S Collection at Marks & Spencer 8 Sandals, £59, 3-8, Faith at Debenhams 9 Sandals, £30, 3-8, Next 10 Sandals, £69, 3-8, Miss KG 11 Clutch, £50, No 1 Jenny Packham at Debenhams 12 Heels, £120, 3-8, Boden 13 Flats, £18, 3-8, Tu at Sainsbury’s 14 Bag, £14.99, Deichmann 15 Flats, £195, 3-8, LK Bennett 16 Heels, £140, 3-8, Carvela 17 Bag, £12.99, New Look 24 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Glam accessories









high heels & handbags sourced the most beautiful shoes and bags on the high street


Styled by: Amanda Marcantonio Photography:




14 15

16 13 1 Flats, £128, 3-8, J Crew 2 Heels, £32.99, 3-9, New Look 3 Clutch, £65, Phase Eight 4 Flats, £195, 3-8, Russell & Bromley 5 Bag, £16, M&Co 6 Shoes, £98, 3-8, Boden 7 Clutch, £69, Phase Eight 8 Sandals, £110, 3-8, Phase Eight 9 Heels, £32.99, 3-9, New Look 10 Sandals, £35, 3-8, Dorothy Perkins 11 Flats, £80, 3-8, Dune 12 Bag, £20, Debut at Debenhams 13 Shoes, £25, 3-8, M&S Collection at Marks & Spencer 14 Clutch, £49, Issa at House of Fraser 15 Sandals, £35, 3-8, V by 16 Heels, £35, 3-8, M&S Collection at Marks & Spencer PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 25

Your DREAM Take your pick from this season’s most figure-flattering party frocks.



Jacquard, £145, 10-32, JD Williams

Velvet floral, £199, 10-20, East


Lace and sequins, £140, 8-20, Laura Ashley


Embossed floral design, £99, 8-18, Monsoon

Floral off-the-shoulder, £16, 8-22, George


Embroidered mesh maxi, £180, 6-18, Oasis

Embellished mesh, £90, 6-22, Next

Wear with…

Velvet boots, £69, 3-8, Debenhams

velvets and satins. Play with prints and rich embellishments for a more is more approach to accessories Drop earrings, £10, Accessorize

26 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Jacquard bandeau, £85, 6-18, Oasis



Velvet tunic, £29.99, 6-18, New Look



Bird print, £39.99, xs-xl, Zara

Bag, £35, Faith at Debenhams

Chic for your shape

DRESS edit There’s a style to suit everyone, whatever your size…

Sleek & CHIC





Pleated, £140, 6-20, Phase Eight

Printed tunic, £159, 8-18, Damsel In A Dress

Embroidered mesh maxi, £85, 6-16, Little Mistress



Lace shift, £199, 8-18, Fenn Wright Manson

Ruffle front, £69, 6-22, Marks & Spencer


Bardot, £49, 14-26, Elvi

Velvet and satin wrap, £55, 8-20, Debenhams

Tassel earrings, £8, Accessorize Sandals, £45, 3-8, Marks & Spencer




Lace detail, £50, 14-32, Evans

Gold-detailed maxi, £120, 6-20, Phase Eight

One-shoulder, £179, 6-18, Coast

Bag, £28, JD Williams

Wear with…

bold geometric-style earrings and classic boxy bags. A pair of block heels or satin-tie sandals will finish your look PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 27

Chic for your shape Go all out and dress to impress in eye-catching disco fabrics and glitterball shine. The perfect look for party season

Sequins & GLAMOUR

Silver wrap, £160, 8-18, Phase Eight

All-over sequins, £109, 8-18, Monsoon



Navy sequin tunic, £55, 6-22, Dorothy Perkins

Silver and black maxi, £50, 8-20, Wallis


Scatter sequin prom, £299, 8-18, Debenhams

Ear cuff, £5.99, New Look

Multi-sequin maxi, £79.99, 6-18, New Look

28 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017


Metallic twist detail, £79, 6-22, Marks & Spencer

Off-the-shoulder, £65, 12-32, Simply Be

Wear with…

minimal jewellery, neat clutch bags and shoes in simple black or a co-ordinating metallic. These dresses are the stars of the show Bag, £25, V by

Maxi, £189, 8-18, Damsel In A Dress



Asymmetric print, £195, 6-18, Coast


Silver kitten heels, £35, 3-8, V by

Words: Jo Atkinson



£28, xs-xl, Oasis

£35, 6-20, Marks & Spencer

£35, 14-32, Evans

A look-at-me top will add pizzazz to workwear and an eclectic twist to jeans. £35, 14-26, Elvi (

TOP of the TOPS



£22, 8-22, F&F

£48, 8-20, Wallis

Need a last-minute party rescue remedy? A purse-friendly glitzy top is the ultimate hero buy that will jazz up your festive look

£49, 8-18, Studio by Preen at Debenhams

£16, 8-22, George

£40, xs-xl, Vero Moda at Littlewoods

£45, 10-32, JD Williams (

£29.99, 6-18, New Look

30 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Instant update

£28, 8-22, M&Co

£45, 6-20, Nine by Savannah Miller at Debenhams

£45, 8-20, Wallis £45, 8-18, Debenhams £45, 6-18, River Island

£39, 6-18, Label Lab at House of Fraser

Compiled by: Amanda Marcantonio

£39, xs-xl, Oasis


ancy a bargain update for your festive wardrobe? So do we! It’s easy to overlook the humble top in lieu of a glittering dress, but when party season is in full swing, you might want to embrace after-dark dressing’s quickest fix – the showstopping top! If you’re having an ‘I have nothing to wear to the party!’ moment (let’s face it, we all have them, even fashion editors), the fashion formula that always works is a wear-and-wow top teamed with your favourite black trousers. From a dressy blouse to a sparkly cami, sprinkle on the glitz and glamour with our pick of the best twinkly tops on the high street – all under £50. Result!

Top, £16, skirt, £14, both 8-22, George

£20, 8-22, Tu

Super–sparkly tops need no extra adornment - just slip on and go!

£35, 8-18, Very ( £35, 8-18, Debenhams

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 31

10 t i r i p s e v i t fes WAYS TO FEEL THE

The most wonderful time of the year can be fraught with stress. To stop your Yuletide turning into a nightmare, we’ve asked Meik Wiking, head of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, for his advice



Denmark is officially the happiest place in the world, so we Danish know a thing or two about how to bring happiness into your life. This is especially true at Christmas when we want things to be perfect. There is a saying in Denmark: ‘Try not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.’ In other words, we shouldn’t let ‘perfect’ undermine our appreciation of the ‘good’. So maybe the tree or gifts aren’t as good as you’d hoped, but that’s fine. Focus on gratitude. Sometimes we’re not grateful for something if it’s not perfect. Instead of obsessing over having a faultless Christmas, remember it’s okay to have one that is simply ‘good’.

32 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Life’s better with Prima



Christmas is a time for togetherness. Fire and food bring people together across all cultures and geographical borders – and sometimes, we need do no more than light a candle to create a sense of community around our dinner table. Candlelight creates a calming atmosphere, while sharing food nurtures more than our body. It feeds our friendships and nourishes our sense of community through conversation – factors vital to our happiness.



This time of year can turn out to be very expensive, but research shows that being happy has nothing to do with the price tag. Activities or places that are free will make us happy. One of my favourite Christmas rituals is going on a long

Words: Elayne Nunan Photography: Getty



At Christmas, we spend hours trawling for gifts, but the best investment is actually a meaningful experience that connects us to other people. Studies have found that if people are asked to compare purchases they made to try to increase their happiness – one that was something tangible (an iPhone) and one that was an experience (a trip) – 57% will say the experience made them happier, compared with 34% who bought the object. We also get enjoyment from looking forward to things. In one study, when people were asked to name a celebrity they’d like to kiss, then asked whether they’d like to do it now, or in the future, people said in three days’ time. Anticipation adds to the enjoyment!



It’s hard to get the party going when everyone is glued to their phones. Agree to put phones and tablets down, for two to three hours, say, between 1-4pm. Or put a basket by the front door where guests leave their phones. A Danish boarding school confiscated pupils’ phones, returning them for one hour a day. After six months, 80% of students voted to keep the limited use. And families in some streets agree to not use phones at set times – the kids run out to play like we used to.

walk with my dad, when we talk about the year that’s gone and the year to come; it’s nice, good exercise and doesn’t cost a penny. If you can, find a forest to explore. Forget about taking an Instagram picture. Instead, listen to the wind in the leaves, take a deep breath and see what smells you can detect.



In Denmark, we open gifts on the evening of 24 December. One Christmas, my brother, Dad and I celebrated together but decided not to have presents. It was a lovely, cosy night.



A lot of hard work goes into making Christmas happy for the family – and women and men should share the load equally. My friends and I started a food club where we each bring ingredients to make a dish, then we cook together. You could have one dish that is the son’s responsibility, and Dad has another. Sharing the burden reduces stress.



One way to spoil your fun at Christmas is to compare your life with other people’s – so don’t! If on social media you’re exposed to how beautiful Mrs Jones’s tree is, or how stunning Mrs Smith’s dinner table settings are, you’re going to feel less content. Log out of Facebook and feel the pressure lift.



Research shows that human beings are happier when we feel connected. At the Happiness Research Institute, we’ve found that the happiest people have someone they can rely on in times of need. The more often people meet, the happier they are. So, say hello to neighbours you don’t know, maybe invite them over for a drink. Acts of kindness have an effect called ‘helper’s high’, so as well as making their day, you’ll feel good, too.

Gift opening can often be seen as the main event, but it was nice to focus on each other’s conversation. Of course, if there are children, it might cause a revolt to have no gifts, but limit the number, or choose a time and just unwrap them then so it doesn’t go on all day.



Laughter is good for us, so if you have guests coming, ask them to bring a funny board game or video. In experiments, if you want people to laugh, show them videos of other people laughing. So, to have a truly happy Christmas, just think how contagious it is when you’re with someone who’s in fits of laughter – it’s impossible not to join in!

•The Little Book Of Lykke by Meik Wiking (Penguin Life, £9.99) is out now PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 33

Simple pleasures I’m a visual person, so when I started my book, it was very important that it looked good. I was a History of Art student, my taste is very broad and while I always wanted to go to art school to experiment with everything, my sister went to Chelsea, so I thought I’d best do something else! I paint and draw all the time. The book has allowed me to come clean!

I An Distracted By Everything is essentially the book I wanted to have – but which didn’t exist. It’s a sort of annual for adults, for want of a better description. It’s been completely absorbing putting it together. I want it to be a good companion, something to amuse that you can keep coming back to. One of my great pleasures in life is to come up with ways of getting stories out of my dad. I’ll describe a scenario, tell him what car he is driving, for example – he loves cars – and 34 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

suggest who we bump into and he has to take it from there – and he’s off, telling a story. We’ve had some laughs remembering things, but actually, there’s a new story almost every day with my family. We’re a chatty gang. We’re close as a family and always have been. I’m not sure if it’s because of having to share our dad because of his job, but we do treasure getting together. I go home a lot. Dad would love all of us to be there all of the time – Mum, too, but with caveats, ha ha! Dad’ll get us all there and then go and watch sport, just sitting there earwigging us all, and chipping in. I love watching Mum and Dad with each other. Mum laughing at something Dad has just said, or raising a knowing eyebrow. The routine at home is deeply comforting. She and I love FaceTime, even if it’s just to do the crossword together. As a family, we moved into the house when I was four and I’m very lucky that I’ve still got that, that they’re still in the home we all grew up in. There’s a lot of succour to be gained from that; it makes you feel very tethered.

Christmas time A few years ago, I went off to India for Christmas with my ‘husbands’. They’re two of my oldest and best friends who are married to each other – and I’m their best man! They are basically another part of my family. I confess that I absolutely loved spending Christmas sitting in a hammock looking at the Bay of Bengal! I thoroughly enjoyed being away. We were there for five weeks and it was an amazing trip. We travelled round a lot. We were fools in love with India. It warranted missing a family Christmas. Usually, Christmas is at Tarby Towers. We have open-house drinks in the morning, with friends and neighbours. My sister and brother have five kids between them, ranging from five to mid-twenties. There are 13 of us when we sit down, plus any strays who get invited in. When it comes to presents, giving is the best bit. It’s hard buying for people who already have most of the stuff that they want. As single woman, I try to

Liza wears: Shirt, Live Unlimited. Camisole, Eileen Fisher

Radio and TV personality Liza, 52, lives in north London. Her book, I An Distracted By Everything (Michael Joseph, £16.99), is out now.

I’m the middle child. It’s quite a defining characteristic, and when I look at my arsenal of charms, I realise I’ve learned quite a lot from being in that position! Middle children take a natural role of being the bridge, and an occasional mediator. It’s a useful quality for life.

‘I am close to my family and we treasure getting together’

In conversation go in for tickets for something, or a membership. Buying rubbish annoys me. It’s time spent with people that’s most important. The best thing anyone can ever give me is a book. more honest with yourself and slough off things that bring unnecessary drama.

I’m quite a good auntie and godmother – firm but fair, with a bit of nonsense every so often, and I’m good for the odd tenner. My eldest nephew knows how to charm me and will barter his skills. He comes and cleans my windows or saves me from dull jobs for a bit of remuneration!

Love & loss

My rescue dog Wilf died last year. He was 16 and had the life of Riley. If I went away, I checked him into the Paw Seasons doggy hotel, or Mum and Dad had him with them. He was a very special dog and I felt his loss keenly. I really miss our walks and the clarity that walking him brought me. I love books. I love Robin Hobb at the moment. She’s slightly fantastical, but she has a great way with words. One of her trilogies is so intertwined with animals that it became my companion when Wilf died. I found a lot of solace in her books. Love and loss are bedfellows, and understanding that contrast is an important part of our lives. My approach is to dwell on the positives, enjoy as much as you can, and consider the things that you don’t. At the very least, it gives you the focus to change.

My age and stage Fifty is just another number really. I can never remember my exact age because the seasons have a tendency to whip by, but I love being me now. I know who I am. One of the best things is the long-awaited recognition of what women bring to the party. I’m at a good place in my life. 36 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

‘Nothing is as fantastic as a day trip with a mate bundled in the car’ I’m not married and I don’t have a partner. When you’ve lived on your own for a long time, you get used to having a pleasant routine. It doesn’t mean I don’t want that broken. I enjoy male company. I’ve got some cracking guys who look after me and I thrive on that, but it would be gorgeous to have one fabulous fella to go out of my way to delight. There are lots of good things about the menopause. Beyond the nuttiness that happens initially when your hormones are letting off like fireworks and surprising you with their colours, you have to take a much greater interest in your health, which is a very good thing. You start to re-evaluate everything from your point of view, become much

When it comes to work, I’ve always done the things that I want to do. I know myself, I have an acute boredom threshold, so I need to fully invest in any job I do or I won’t enjoy it. That was an active choice back in my twenties: make hay when the sun shines, earn a few quid, and then when things come up that you’re not convinced by, you can say no… I say no a lot. I love doing my radio show. I want to be the best company I can be, find that pool where we all feel part of the same tribe, with no anxieties or overt judgements. Music is an important part of that for me, and I spend hours working out the playlists. I couldn't live without it. My hobbies include travelling and art, being quiet because I talk too much, making things, music assembly, saying thank you, being curious and visiting mates. Nothing is as fantastic as a day trip with a mate bundled in the car. Wonderful things get said when you’re one to one.

Photography: Liz McAulay. Hair & make-up: Liz Kitchiner. Liza wears: Shirt, Yacco Maricard. Camisole, Eileen Fisher

Pass over the other side of that mountain and it’s lush, filled with fabulous new things. I have never felt so right in my life. Although I’m much less likely to mince my words. I’m not trying to be rude, merely moving the action on to get to the next good bit.



Christmas is a magical time of year – and for these readers, this particular festive season definitely calls for a celebration


After a devastating freak accident last year, Prima features writer Ella Dove, 26, from London, and her mum, Sara, 59, from Maidstone, have found reasons to be thankful.


very Christmas, my family goes for a walk. We stroll around the village, night air fresh on our faces, marvelling at the Christmas lights. As a little girl, I’d run ahead, clutching my favourite present. This Christmas, that annual walk will feel especially poignant. I feel lucky to be walking at all. On 29 May last year, I woke early on a Sunday morning to go for a jog with my sister, Althea. We headed for the canal path in Stratford, east London. But on the way home, I tripped. Lying on the gravel path, I felt searing pain in my right leg. I screamed at Althea for help. I knew I’d done something bad – probably broken my leg. But I had no idea how serious it really was. When I’m asked how I lost my leg, the answer shocks people into silence. There was no car crash, no mauling by a wild animal, no fighting on the frontline. When I tripped, I dislocated my knee, severing the blood supply to my foot. After several operations to try to save my leg, amputation was the only option. Losing a limb feels like a tidal wave of grief. I spent four months in a wheelchair, and my confidence reached an all-time

38 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

low. Frustrated and tearful, I developed an irrational fear of children staring at me in the supermarket. I felt claustrophobic in crowds. As a natural extrovert, it was terrifying to find myself in the mental state where I just wanted to disappear.

A new path By last Christmas, I had a prosthetic leg. But the dark thoughts continued, as pain and a fear of falling consumed my every step. My family encouraged me and filled the day with love, but my emotions were volatile. Christmas is a time for reflection and resolution, and I felt totally overwhelmed. I couldn’t imagine what the future would bring. When I was in hospital, my auntie gave me a bracelet engraved with the words, ‘You are capable of amazing things’. Back then, I couldn’t fathom how my life could ever be normal again. Now, that message feels more significant than ever. I’m back at work in a job I love, I have a full social life, and I do voluntary work helping others come to terms with life-changing injuries. I’m also writing a book about my experiences, fulfilling a long-held dream to become an author. A fall on one path set me upon another one. This Christmas, there’s so much to celebrate. I still have dark days but this year, as we go on our Christmas walk, I’ll stride confidently, without fear. The future is bright, and I’m determined to make every moment count.

Mum Sara says... On Christmas Day, I always take a photo of Ella and Althea in front of the tree. Last year’s photo fills me with pride and sadness. Ella has her arm around her sister as usual, but Althea is helping her balance. When Ella lost her leg, we were devastated. I remember Althea’s call, and the panic. Yet as my husband, Richard, and I raced to London, I didn’t expect it to be as serious as it was. Hearing Ella’s leg couldn’t be saved felt surreal, like it was happening to someone else. In the early months, our moods fluctuated. One moment Ella and I would be full of dark humour, joking about putting one foot in front of the other. The next, we’d cling to each other, crying uncontrollably. We’re a close family and Christmas is always special. Last year Ella tried to be positive, but the shock of her accident loomed large for us all. As a mum, you just want your children to be happy. When they’re not, it has a profound impact on your own emotions. Looking back, I can’t believe how far Ella has come – I’m so proud of her. My daughter may have lost her leg, but I didn’t lose her. This season will truly be merry and bright.

Ella wears: Jumpsuit and shoes, New Look. Bracelet, Pebble London. Sara wears: Top, Mint Velvet. Trousers, Monsoon. Earrings, Pebble London. Cuff, Dower & Hall. Ring, Lola Rose. Shoes, Chie Mihara. Sofa, Rug, Homes accessories, all George at Asda

‘We’re ready to step into Christmas!’

A time to celebrate

‘I can’t believe how far Ella has come – I’m so proud of her’

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 39

Dream come true

‘I gave my dogs a fresh start – and they did the same for me’ Miriam Payne, 42, from Wigan, is celebrating her first Christmas as a published author, thanks to two special rescue dogs.


hen it comes to the festive season, there are few things cuter than a dog in an elf coat. My rescue lurcher, Ramsay, now five, and ex-racing greyhound, Blue, seven, are very spoilt, and my husband Dave and I get them a new coat each year. It was 40 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

just a fun tradition, and I never dreamed it would lead to me becoming an author. It began on a winter walk, with Blue and Ramsay pulling on their leads in excitement. They’re both strong dogs, and Ramsay gets particularly enthusiastic about being outside. The sound of my voice helps calm him down, so I natter to them as we walk, making up stories and imagining them on adventures. That morning, I told the dogs to stop dragging me, saying, ‘Keep this up and you’ll be pulling Santa’s sleigh!’ It was

Four weeks later, I’d written a first draft, but I never imagined anyone would take me seriously. However, with Dave’s encouragement, I sent it off to a couple of publishers. When one came back to say they loved it, I was floored. My ambition to be a published author was becoming a reality. I couldn’t believe it. A Greyt Christmas Tail came out in July. I’m thrilled that two-thirds of the proceeds are going to rescue dog charities, helping other dogs to find their forever homes. When the first copy dropped through my letterbox, I had to pinch myself. To see Ramsay and Blue immortalised on those pages was joyous. Their mischief provides constant inspiration. I’ve started jotting down any funny incidents or personality quirks and I’ve already started planning my second book. I’m overjoyed to be celebrating my first Christmas as a published author – and thanks to my book, I’ve been feeling festive all year, excited for the big day to arrive. When we adopted Ramsay and Blue, we wanted to give them a fresh start – a better life, full of happiness and love. Amazingly, that’s what they’ve done for me. These loveable dogs have given me a bright new future. They definitely deserve new coats from Santa this year! • A Greyt Christmas Tail by Miriam Payne (Filament, £9.99) is out now, available from Amazon and

Miriam wears: Gilet and top, Mint Velvet. Jeans, Eileen Fisher. Necklace, Claudia Bradby. Boots, New Look. Ramsay and Blue wear: Dog collars and leads, Holly & Lil. Padstow chair, Lisa wears: Dress, Adrianna Papell. Shoes, New Look. Jim wears: Jacket, shirt and trousers, Guide London. Shoes, Jones Bootmaker. Sofa, rugs and homes accessories, as before

a throwaway comment, yet as soon as the words were out of my mouth, an idea began to form. What if they did just that? I couldn’t get it out of my head. I’ve always loved writing. I trained as a journalist and lived in the States, working in TV news, for 15 years. When I moved back to the UK and met my husband three years later, I got a job in PR. The hours were better and the workload more manageable, but I really missed writing. After that walk, I came home and told Dave my story – the adventure of two rescue dogs who jump into action when Santa’s sleigh crashes in their garden on Christmas Eve. They volunteer to pull the sleigh, deliver presents to children around the world and save Christmas – all before their owners wake up. ‘That’s a children’s book,’ I remember Dave saying. ‘You need to write it.’

A time to celebrate

‘Life is the most precious gift of all’ After a life-saving lung transplant, Lisa Shrive, 48, from Nottingham, is looking forward to Christmas with her new husband, Jim.


very morning when I wake up, I take a moment to appreciate the wonder of being alive. I breathe deeply, filling my lungs, and say a silent thank you to the family who saved my life. Without them, I would not be here today, celebrating another Christmas with my daughters, Amy, 14, and Fay, 24, and my husband, Jim. I have so much to be grateful for. I started to feel unwell 13 years ago. I was out of breath going up and down

stairs, and put it down to asthma. When I got a chest infection that wouldn’t clear up, however, I was diagnosed with hypertension and sarcoidosis, a condition where the immune system thinks the organs are an infection and attacks them. I developed emphysema, and six years later my lung collapsed. I had an operation to remove half of the damaged organ, and needed a drip into my chest to keep my lungs and heart going. I became bed-bound, reliant on Amy, then just eight years old, to look after me, as I was a single parent. Every morning, she’d bath me and prepare my medication. She cooked her own dinners and washed her own clothes. It tore at my heart that she

had to grow up so quickly. In July 2013, I was put on the transplant list, but was told that I might not live to see Christmas. It was the most dark and frightening time. On 2 January 2014, I finally got the call. By then, I’d been waiting for five months, and I’d begun to give up hope. The specialists weren’t sure I’d survive the operation, but miraculously it was a success. I remember waking up to take those first few breaths. I felt relief and joy, tinged with guilt and grief. I knew someone had had to die for me to live.

Endless gratitude When Amy came to see me, I walked around the bed, and she burst into tears. I asked her why she was crying. ‘Because I’ve got my mummy back,’ she said. At that moment, I decided to honour my donor by living a happy and fulfilled life. Transplant donors are anonymous but you’re allowed to write a letter to their family. About a year after my operation, I knew I needed to thank the family who had saved my life. It was the most difficult letter I’ve ever written – I couldn’t find the words to express the enormity of my gratitude. To my surprise and joy, I received a reply, and two years ago, the family asked to meet me. My donor was called Rhona. She was just 33 when she died of a brain haemorrhage, days after giving birth. When I met Rhona’s mum, Jane, and her stepdad, John, in Edinburgh, Jane and I hugged for a long time. She put her hands on my chest and felt Rhona’s lungs working – a moment I’ll never forget. Jane told me her daughter was a part of me now, and welcomed me into their family. I felt I’d known them all my life. When Jim and I got married in October, I knew who I wanted to walk me down the aisle. My stepdad had died many years before, so it seemed natural to ask John to give me away – I had him and Jane to thank for my life. This Christmas, I’m healthy, happy and married to a wonderful man. When I look back at how much my life has changed, I feel a wave of emotion, knowing that I have Rhona and her family to thank for it. They’ve given me the most precious gift of all.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 41

‘Our miracle babies are a Christmas wish come true’


atching my baby son, George, giggling while my two-year-old daughter, Isabella, tickles him, I feel a rush of love and pride. George is now nine months old and about to have his first Christmas. While that is a milestone for any family, my partner, Thomas, and I have more reasons to celebrate than most. Both our children were born prematurely, and they are our little miracles. I wasn’t sure if I would ever get pregnant. After three years of cervical cancer treatment in 2009, doctors didn’t know if my body could cope with a baby. Thomas had had mumps as a child, and had been warned of the risk of infertility. We were both keen to have children, so we were thrilled when it happened quickly. To begin with, everything went smoothly. But at 28 weeks, my waters broke.

and my head was spinning. All I wanted was for our daughter to be okay. It was the most scared I’ve ever been. Isabella Rose was born by emergency Caesarian at 28 weeks old. She weighed just 2lb 6oz and fitted in the palm of my hand. I was desperate to hold her but she was immediately whisked away to the neonatal ward, where she was put on a ventilator to keep her alive. Recovering over 14 hours, I kept thinking about the women in the maternity ward next door – their healthy newborn babies by their side. Meanwhile, my little girl was fighting for her life. After seven weeks, we took Isabella home. It was a joy to feel like a normal family again, but Isabella was still on oxygen, so our relief was tinged with worry. In hospital, I’d grown used to the

reason why it would happen again. Thomas was desperate for another child, but I simply couldn’t face it.

Moving forward Then, very gradually, something shifted. Thomas and I both have large families, and I began to think about the fun I’d had with my three sisters. I told Thomas I didn’t want Isabella to grow up without a playmate, and he was ecstatic. In August 2016, I discovered I was pregnant again. This time, I was monitored even more closely. I was told to avoid physical activity – tricky for my job as a PE teacher. By Christmas, my cervix had shrunk to a dangerous level and I was put on bed rest. Every week, I’d pack a bag and go to the hospital for a check-up. On several occasions, I was admitted, but each time told to go home and rest. Lying on the sofa on Christmas Day, I was consumed by anxiety. All the worry, fear and trauma returned. George Lennon was born on 15 February 2017, again by emergency Caesarian. At 4lb, he was bigger than Isabella, and to begin with, he did really well. Yet at 12 hours old, he started to have breathing difficulties and was ventilated for five agonising days. I felt torn – wanting to be with George at every moment, yet experiencing huge guilt for not spending enough time with Isabella. George came home on oxygen after four weeks. Now nine months old, he’s very happy and much more robust. Isabella is constantly cuddling him, and loves being ‘Mummy’s big girl helper’. Our first Christmas with George will be very special. It’s amazing how far we’ve come. Celebrating the day with both our families and two healthy, happy children is a Christmas wish come true.

‘I was reliant on my instincts. At first, I slept with my hand on Isabella’s chest so I knew she was breathing’

A challenging start I was admitted to hospital and given injections to mature my baby’s lungs. I remember sitting with Thomas as the medical team explained that our baby could have serious complications, breathing difficulties or even brain damage. There was so much to take in, Two-year-old Isabella with baby brother George

reassuring beeps of her heart rate monitor. Now I was reliant on my instincts. For the first few months of her life, I slept with my hand on her chest. I just wanted to know she was breathing. At nine months old, Isabella was taken off her oxygen. At 15 months, she was discharged completely. Now two and a half, she has no complications, and you would never know she was premature. She’s a real character – smiley, communicative and full of energy. For a long time, I was adamant I didn’t want any more children. Isabella’s birth had taken its toll on me emotionally, and I was diagnosed with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Surgeons thought an infection had brought on my early labour, and assured me Dad Thomas with there was no medical newborn George

Prima is proud to partner with Wellbeing of Women, the charity dedicated to improving the health of women and babies. To find out more, visit

Feature: Ella Dove Photography: Liz McAulay. Liza wears: Blouse, Phase Eight. Skirt, Closet London. Earrings, Dower & Hall. Shoes, Chie Mihara. Isabella wears: Dress, Mothercare. Tights and shoes, Monsoon. George wears: Top and trousers, Mothercare. Sofa, rugs and homes accessories, as before

This Christmas, Liza Wilson, 36, from Liverpool, and her partner, Thomas, are celebrating the joy of family.

A time to celebrate

‘The little


who has brought us so much joy’

Times were getting tough at Tracy Garton’s animal sanctuary, but the arrival of Alan, a cheeky rescue donkey, ensured the future is merry and bright My Christmas is rather different to most people’s. There are no guests to welcome, vegetables to prepare or turkeys to defrost. In fact, Christmas Day is usually the only day of the year that my husband Steve and I spend by ourselves – except, of course, for our donkeys. I’ve always been a huge animal lover. As a little girl, I drove my parents mad by sneaking any creature I could get my hands on back into my bedroom – injured birds, lost mice, even a bat. I’d scoop them into my jumper and snuggle them safely on top of the pile of books in my school bag. I even kept a cardboard box in the bottom of my wardrobe, ready and waiting for my next rescue. While it seems I was destined to work with animals, setting up a donkey sanctuary happened by chance. When Steve and I got married in 1983, we decided not to have children. Just as some couples always know they’ll start a family, we felt sure it wasn’t for us. Instead, we filled our home with ‘friends’ such as dogs, cats and tortoises. Luckily Steve was an animal lover too, although before he met me, he’d only had a budgie! 44 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

It was in March 1991 that Steve discovered a neglected mule in a field near our village. He was pacing through the sticky mud on his own, soaking wet and clearly distressed. I couldn’t get him out of my mind. We tracked down his owner, who said we could have him for £250, and I couldn’t resist. I talked a local farmer friend into letting our new mule – whose name was Muffin – live in his field temporarily, alongside his sheep. A couple of weeks later, we found our own field, which we rented as Muffin’s home. Having Muffin in my life felt like a natural fit, like something had been missing before. Donkeys and mules (the offspring of a donkey and a horse) are such lovely animals – their expressive faces and varied personalities are irresistible. When you sense that a donkey is grateful for your help, it really hits you in the heart. When I saw an advert in the local paper looking for someone to give two Skegness beach donkeys a home for the winter, I called straight away. A few days later, Noddy and Linda arrived in a trailer. In a short space of time, I’d gone from having no donkeys to owning three. It meant I had to stock

up on hay and spend more time maintaining the field and stables than before. Word got out around the village, and people would stroll up to the field, asking if they could feed the donkeys treats. The donkeys loved the attention – and I’d never felt happier. After that, calls started to flood in, and the Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary was born. Whenever someone saw a donkey living in unsuitable conditions, they’d get in touch. I was no expert, but I couldn’t stand the thought of an animal in distress, and I soon developed a soft spot for every donkey I heard about. After each call, I’d borrow a horsebox and travel across the Midlands – sometimes further. I was working for my family’s video renting business at the time, but the rescue cases took up every spare moment I had. As time went on, I created three ‘groups’ of donkeys – the Hooligans, the Geriatrics and the Mismatches. The Hooligans alone contained 12 donkeys! I came to know which gang an animal would fit into as soon as I rescued it. More stables had to be built, fences erected and more land rented – it was costing around £20,000 a year to keep us going.

Making a difference his teeth! But for all his naughtiness, Alan found a firm place in my heart. At Christmas, we receive cards and gifts for all the donkeys, but Alan always gets the most. In less than a year, he captured the hearts of so many visitors that our bank balance was finally looking healthier. I’m often asked how I cope with the long hours and the lack of holidays, but it’s easy to get out of bed when you know you’re making a difference. I feel so lucky to have the life I do, and our donkeys give people so many happy memories. Alan marked his first Christmas at the sanctuary by hatching an escape plot. I was woken by a neighbour telling me a group of donkeys was wandering the village. The neighbour had opened his curtains to find one nibbling on his hedge. It meant Steve and I spent our Christmas morning running through the streets – me in my pyjamas – chasing 14 escapees and luring them home with ginger biscuits. When I caught Alan loitering behind the pub, I couldn't help but think he was the ringleader…

Words: extract edited by Ella Dove Photos: Chris Vaughan

A donkey is for life, not just Christmas!

A few years later, we moved to an old farmhouse near Alford in Lincolnshire for more space, and we still live there. It means I left my family’s video business to look after the animals full-time. We held regular fundraising events to finance the ever-mounting veterinary bills. We opened to the public, too, building a tea shop and creating a Sponsor-A-Donkey scheme, as well as growing a wonderful team of volunteers. But while I loved the donkeys with all my heart, money was very tight, and there were times when I felt like giving up. Doing the accounts was especially draining – it was my least favourite part. Then, at Christmas 2009, along came Alan… We rescued Alan from an out-of-town retail park. He was tied to a lamppost with a piece of old rope – a tiny brown donkey with protruding ribs and hardly any hair. He didn’t have a lot of life left in him, and for days he refused to leave his stable, cowering in a corner. Donkeys

are usually sociable animals, so it broke my heart that he wouldn’t join the others. I’d leave the door of the stable open, hoping to coax him out, but nothing seemed to work. It wasn’t until weeks later that I woke to an ear-shattering bray and found him kicking the door of his stable with his hooves. It seemed Alan was ready to face the world.

‘For all his naughtiness, Alan found a firm place in my heart’ From then on, Alan established himself as a ‘mischief maker’ and was always playing up to the public to get carrots. Whenever I was working in the field, he’d be the first to come over, tipping over my wheelbarrows as soon as I loaded them with manure. Once he even made off with my hammer between

This Christmas, as always, I’ll be giving thanks for the things that are important to me: my family, friends and, of course, the donkeys. I’ll even treat them to a festive tipple on Christmas morning – a splash of Guinness, which they adore. Christmas is a time to be with your loved ones, and there’s nowhere I’d rather be. Alan is now 10, and it seems so long ago that he arrived as a scrawny, sad little donkey. It’s been a privilege to watch him grow, becoming the cheeky character we all know and love today. He really has given me the perfect gifts: joy and laughter. • Alan The Christmas Donkey by Tracy Garton (Pan Macmillan, £9.99) is out now (paperback, £7.99, out 16 November). Details of Radcliffe Sanctuary at PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 45

Christmas nostalgia

A time to

remember The festive season holds memories to cherish for us all. Here, three writers share their treasured recollections

46 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

‘On that frosty Christmas Eve, I learned to take each moment and make it the best it can be’ For many, spending Christmas in hospital can be a bleak and isolating experience. Author Sarah Morgan, who used to be a nurse, describes how one patient taught her a life lesson she’ll never forget.


ike many authors, writing wasn’t my first profession. I left home at 18 and, while most of my friends went to university, I chose to train as a nurse. I’d been living and working in London for three months when I experienced my first Christmas away from home. I loved nursing but I wasn’t looking forward to the festive season without my family. At Christmas, any patient well enough to go home is discharged, so those left in hospital tend to be quite poorly. At the age of 18, this wasn’t easy to deal with. On the ward where I was working, there was one man in his early twenties who was seriously ill. He was trapped in a hospital bed, thirsty for company and distraction. I was the one closest to him in age, so whenever the ward was quiet, I’d go over and have a chat. On Christmas Eve, the nurse in charge told me to take this patient out for a change of scene. He wasn’t well enough to walk, so we wrapped him up in blankets, found a wheelchair, and I pushed him along quiet streets up to London Bridge. The evening was cold and frosty. Being the night before Christmas, London was deserted and we had the place to ourselves. We stopped on the bridge, gazing at the illuminated dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, and agreed that nothing could be prettier than the London skyline at night and the sparkle of lights on the Thames.

Despite the challenges this man was facing, he’d somehow managed to retain his sense of humour, and his determination not to let his situation darken every moment meant that the evening was surprisingly lighthearted. He was a keen reader, as was I, and we talked about the books we loved, the worst Christmas gifts we’d ever been given and how we’d spend Christmas if we weren’t both stuck in hospital. For a while on that bridge, we completely forgot about our situations. We were just two people watching the river. At one point, I remember him turning to me, and the smile on his face spoke volumes. I realised that this was the closest thing to normal his life had been in a long time. He wasn’t thinking about the treatment he had coming, or what the future might hold. He was simply relishing the moment. That was the best Christmas present for me. I knew that, right then, I wouldn’t have chosen to be anywhere else. That evening taught me an important life lesson: to make the most of what I had, instead of focusing on what I didn’t have. It taught me not to wait for life to be perfect but to take each moment and make it the best it can be. When life gets tough, I do what I can to make it better for myself, and I appreciate simple things – the ability to take a walk in the country, to smell the flowers in the garden, to read a book, to taste good food, or to share a coffee with friends. As that young man taught me on that frosty Christmas Eve, there’s little that can’t be improved by sharing a laugh with another human being. • Sarah’s latest novel is Moonlight Over Manhattan (HQ, £7.99)

‘I remember him turning to me, and the smile on his face spoke volumes’

‘The choirboy sang the solo and Mum opened her eyes’ Listening to a service of Nine Lessons and Carols brings Pippa Kelly’s mother back to her each year.


nearly didn’t visit Mum that Christmas Eve. By then, her dementia was so severe that she was confined to her nursing home bed, eyes constantly shut, unable to speak or feed herself. When I received a call to say she had yet another infection, I was tempted to ignore it. I’d been here so many times before: dropping everything to rush to her, only to find that she’d rallied. But then I remembered the service of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge – possibly Mum’s favourite thing, ever. She loved Christmas. As a child, I’d listen to it with her as the two of us made mince pies through blizzards of icing sugar. It would soon be on the radio; if I hurried, I could be there in time. I dumped the Sainsbury’s shop, jumped in the car and headed for Surrey. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. For the time spent sitting with Mum was to be the last time I saw her alive. As the choirboy’s solo voice sang the opening bars of Once In Royal David’s City, Mum opened her eyes. She didn’t move or speak. She simply rested her gaze on the ceiling. But it was enough; and I found it profoundly moving. I now know – though didn’t then – that one of the best ways to connect

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 47

Christmas nostalgia

Katerina Diamond’s magical Christmas wedding was merry and bright.

with people with severe dementia is through music that’s familiar to them. In the final hours of Christmas Day, my big-hearted, half-Irish mum died, minutes before I arrived. My siblings were abroad and Dad had already passed away. But my sadness at Mum ending her life alone is lessened by the precious moments we’d shared the previous day. People often assume that the date of Mum’s death must have blighted the festive season for me. Quite the reverse. It’s been five years now and every Christmas Eve since, I’ve listened to the Nine Lessons and Carols while making Mum’s apricot, apple and pecan stuffing using a recipe written in her own hand (my daughter makes the mince pies). As I chop and slice, the music brings Mum back – and with her, all our Christmases. They were full of family traditions. The tree was never dressed until Christmas Eve, when Dad climbed a pair of steps and swung open the trap door to the loft – a dark, whispering place of shadowy shapes, the most magical of which were the shoe boxes of decorations. I only began to understand my mum’s passion for Christmas when I learned the poverty of her childhood. At one stage, her dementia loosened her tongue and she revealed that she’d been in service to the Duke of Newcastle-underLyne in Nottinghamshire. My proud mother had scrubbed floors at the ‘Big House’. I realise now that for her own family she created the security missing from hers. Never was this more true than at Christmas time – which is why it was so important to Mum, and why it will forever remind me of her. • Pippa’s novel, Invisible Ink (Austin Macauley), is available from Amazon, Waterstones and WHSmith


y husand, Derek, and I got married on 27 December 2008. That year, the run-up to Christmas was so exciting. We had rented a large house in Westonsuper-Mare, the town where I was born, bought a beautiful tree and decorated it in anticipation for the week ahead. While most people were indulging in last-minute Christmas shopping, our families were pulling together to put the finishing touches on the wedding decorations. I’m a keen crafter, and made everything I could from scratch. My sisters-in-law and I designed invitations and orders of service, which we spent Christmas Day binding together with velvet ribbon. Meanwhile, on Boxing Day, we made the place settings, which were striped candy canes, each one with a guest’s name tied to it. When the big day arrived, it was the coldest winter since 1996. I’d always dreamed of a winter wedding but nothing could prepare me for the cold. I regretted my decision to wear glittery sandals and a strappy dress! The church was decorated with festive flowers and the nativity scene

set up in the corner. There was a large tree decorated with gold tinsel and red ribbon, and we sang carols instead of hymns. Not realising there was a shorter version than the one I’d found online, I’d printed out an eight-verse rendition of O Come, All Ye Faithful – it went on forever and everyone was laughing through the last couple of verses. The reception was at my aunt and uncle’s restaurant. There were balloons instead of flowers, a disco full of Christmas songs and glittering gold decorations hanging from the ceiling. Everyone felt merry and bright. After the reception, Derek and I went back to our hotel. The suite we’d booked was beautiful but, when we got there, they’d forgotten to put the heating on. We could literally see our breath! We dragged all the bedding off the bed and pulled the duvet around us. I was still wearing my dress, a coat and anything else I’d been able to find to keep warm. The first thing anyone mentions when they talk about our wedding is how cold it was. Yet, despite the temperature, it was a beautiful day, and one we’ll ‘Cool bride Ka terina’ always remember. • Katerina’s book, The Angel, is out now in paperback, digital format and audio

Edited by: Ella Dove Photography: Getty

‘The year my husband and I got married, I felt like the lights were sparkling just for us’

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That’s life! ‘And here’s a batch I made earlier. Ahem…’

Social media has made the festive season more bonkers than it’s ever been, reckons Donna Douglas, who is giving herself a break from Instagram

Photography: Getty


did something shameful with a box of mince pies last night. No, I didn’t eat them all in one sitting. Although I must admit there was one stressful Christmas when the family went all Game Of Thrones over a game of Pictionary and I locked myself in the bathroom with Mr Kipling and a bottle of Baileys. But not this time. This time, I carefully arranged the pies on a pretty vintage plate, dusted them with icing sugar, took a photo and posted it on Instagram, claiming they were my own work. What sane person posts a photo of mince pies so strangers can see them and possibly feel bad about themselves? Christmas has never made sense, but in recent years, it has become even more bonkers. I blame social media. Time was when your Christmas could be as low-key or as tacky as you wanted, and only your loved ones were any the wiser. But now, thanks to Facebook and Instagram, it has a one-upmanship about it. It all started when photos of people’s

Christmas trees started popping up on Facebook. But these were no ordinary trees. These were works of art, like in the window of a posh department store. There were themes, too. Who knew Christmas decorations had to have a theme? Not me. But of course, you can’t have the same theme every year, can you? That would be as shameful as turning up in last year’s party dress. Which is why our loft is now taken up with boxes of themed Christmas decorations. You want Scandi chic? We’ve got it! An Aladdin’s Cave theme of opulent gold and jewels? Yep, we can do that, too. I kind of miss our battered old baubles, each with their memories. But the foil stars our daughter made at nursery will never inspire envy, so they just have to stay in their box. It’s the same with the food. If your table doesn’t look like something from the M&S festive food brochure, then you’ve failed. Last

year, we experimented with a goose. Not because any of us particularly wanted to take a trip into the culinary unknown, but because my sister thought it would be more Insta-worthy. It might have looked good online, but we paid twice as much for a bird that didn’t even stretch to a post-dinner sandwich. But at least it made some stranger at the other end of the country feel a little bit bad about their supermarket turkey. But those mince pies were a wake-up call. Isn’t Christmas stressful enough without setting ourselves up to be judged? If I want someone to insult my life choices, I’ll just invite my mother-inlaw. And she’ll polish off the leftover advocaat while she’s doing it. Let’s give ourselves a break this festive season. Let’s accept that perfect family Christmases only exist in John Lewis ads. Put the camera away, stop worrying whether your decorations are chichi enough, or your canapés will make your friends and followers properly envious, and just enjoy yourself with the people who matter. Because that’s what Christmas is really all about, isn’t it?

‘Our loft is taken up with boxes of themed decorations’

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winter wonderland ’Tis the season for taking inspiration from the big chill outside. Meet four readers who have made cool businesses out of winter

‘I love making people feel warm and cosy’ Kate Sayer, 40, from Altrincham, Cheshire, lives with her husband Steve, 42, and two daughters, aged nine and six.

from lecturing and go for it, setting up my business, Little Knitted Stars. Starting by listing some hairclips and hairbands I’d crocheted on the online site Etsy, I was delighted when they sold for a couple of pounds each. Then hen the winter chill sets my mum saw a vintage 1980s knitting in, there’s nothing cosier machine advertised for £50 and bought than wearing a lambswool it for me. It meant scarf or snuggling up to soft, comfy cushions. Ever since my mum taught I could make the me how to crochet aged 13, I’ve loved cushions I wanted, everything to do with knitting, but with detailed dog, flamingo and cactus I never imagined I would be running motifs. I installed the my own woollen business. machine in our spare For 14 years, I worked at the University attic bedroom, which of Manchester, lecturing in knitted quickly became my studio. I loved using textiles. But when I had my two young the machine, which fitted neatly on my daughters, life was hectic and I longed desk and made a comforting whirring to find more time for my own knitted noise. These days, most knitwear creations. My head was full of ideas, so, in 2013, I decided to make the break is made using computer-generated patterns, but my aim was to hand-punch my designs and finish them myself. I wanted my pieces to be hand-crafted. My only outlay, apart from time, was yarn. I decided to use 100% lambswool, which comes in vibrant colours and is soft, warm and light, and washes well. In addition to producing my motif cushions, I soon added a snood to my listings after friends loved a picture of me Kate works wearing one on my Facebook on her beloved page. Next came hats and knitting machine matching mittens, all made


using my trademark geometric patterns. Sales slowly started to trickle in until in September last year my business got the boost it needed to grow. There was a ‘pitch-up’ to be a seller on the website I had a face-to-face meeting – a bit like a mini Dragons’ Den – in which I had 10 minutes to show my products. I was terrified, but thrilled when I got a yes! After getting the go-ahead, I listed 35 products (adding scarves, beanies and wrist warmers) and the orders picked up so quickly that I got two more machines. Seeing them working together, whirring in motion as my designs slowly emerged, felt amazing. Most of my work was done when my girls were at school or after they went to bed. Doing all the packaging and posting myself meant that soon boxes of stock were spilling out on to the landing. Since starting out, I’ve learned so much. Now I work through my quiet seasons getting stock ready, knowing Christmas is my busiest time. I charge from £25 for a pair of mittens to £45 for a thick scarf, with cushions starting from £28. My turnover is now £10,000 a year. Working in my attic studio suits me perfectly – I’d never want to go back to commuting. I love my new lifestyle.’ •

‘Seeing my designs slowly emerge from the machines felt amazing’

52 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Ladies who launch

KATE’S BUSINESS TIPS ● Use quiet periods to prepare

for busier ones. ● Network with local businesses

– it’ll make you feel less isolated. ● Give yourself time to work

on fresh new ideas – you’re the only person who can do it.

Ladies who launch

‘A beautiful aroma in your house will make it feel happy’ Debbie Knight, 56, lives in Wimbledon, London, and has a grown-up daughter.


was visiting a lovely boutique hotel in Florence, Italy, in the winter of 2005 when I first came across the fragrance that would change my life. It was a special holiday, booked to mark the end of my treatment for breast cancer. I soon noticed that everywhere in the hotel the air was filled with the most amazing scents, subtle but evocative, and I was hooked. I discovered the aromas were dispersed using reed diffusers, the first time I’d ever come across them. The reeds, usually made from rattan, soak up the liquid fragrance in the bottle and circulate a continuous aroma. I knew straight away I wanted to bring these fragrances to the UK – I knew others would love them, too. Although I’d never run a business before – my job was

54 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

previously in events – I felt confident enough to rent a shop near my home. enough to set up a meeting with the I opened in 2011 and quickly built up a supplier in the hope of distributing his loyal customer base, doubling my sales products in the UK. And I was delighted each year. I could hardly believe it when, when he said yes. two years later, I was accepted into Borrowing £25,000 from my thenseveral major department stores, too, husband, I ordered 1,000 bottles in four including Liberty and Harrods. By 2015, different scents and paid my turnover had grown to £1million. All that changed in 2016, a designer to create a Debbie’s when the owner of the website for my business, diffuser Italian fragrances decided Senti. Next, I hit the road, range to distribute his products visiting shops I thought himself. It was a huge may be interested in stocking the products. blow and came at a time when I was splitting from It was exhausting, and my husband. Still, I was I had many 4am starts confident I could start and sleepless nights, again – this time launching wondering if I’d done my own products. Using the right thing. Eventually, all the knowledge orders began I’d picked up, to come in, and DEBBIE’S I worked with two after a couple of BUSINESS TIPS major perfumiers years, I was selling ● If you don’t know the answer to create new to something, ask – there are fragrances, always people willing to help. including my ● Be passionate about your now-bestsellers, product – it makes it much Jasmine & easier to sell if you believe in it. Geranium, and ● Learn from your mistakes, Bergamot & because everyone makes them. Ginger. Working for myself meant I had complete creative control over the finer details, too, like finding a glass-blower to supply me with beautiful bottles, and having my logo redesigned. I relaunched in September last year, selling from a new, smaller shop where my products sell from £38 for a 100ml room spray to £47 for a 200ml reed diffuser. I advise people to place the diffusers at hip height near a door so the air flow carries the fragrance, and to turn the reeds every few days. They should last for four months and you can keep the reeds when the fragrance runs out to use in the car or shoe cupboard – the scent lasts a long time. At this time of year, people love the traditional aromas of orange, pine and woods – they get you in the festive mood. Incredibly, reed diffusers now outsell scented candles, and I feel so proud that I’ve created my own range.’ •

‘We help kids stand out on the ski slopes’ Terry Tavner, 65, from London, and Sara Young, 51, from Guilsborough, Northamptonshire, went into business together after coming up with a unique idea for children’s skiwear.

Words: Sandra Walsh Photography: Jill Jennings, Thomas Skovsende, Liz McAulay Terry wears: Shirt, Oliver Bonas. Jacket, Betty Barclay. Sara wears: Shirt, Trilogy. Bangle, Claudia Bradby


y daughter, Jess, learned how to ski when she was five, zipping down the slopes without a care in the world,’ says Sara. ‘When a friend sent her a velour helmet cover from the US with a rabbit face, Jess loved wearing it and it meant we could easily spot her on crowded runs among the sea of helmets. But the cover soon fell apart and when I tried to get it replaced, no one was producing them. I’ve always done a bit of sewing, so I decided to make one myself, cutting up old dressing gowns and working on a pattern. After a lot of trial and error, I made a prototype white bunny with big ears. The reaction was amazing – everywhere we went, people would ask us where they could get one. Discussing it with my friend Terry, who I’d first met in the French Alps, we came to the conclusion there was a business opportunity. Both ready to try something new, we each invested £3,000, which went on materials and paying for the first orders. We launched Headztrong in 2009 with our bunny helmet cover in white, black and pink. We’d wanted to fly the flag for the UK but our first manufacturer didn’t work out, so we turned to China. After emailing patterns and sending materials, the Chinese factory turned out to be brilliant – the quality of the work was excellent. While I worked on the designs, Terry’s media background allowed her to take care of the marketing side, creating a website and helping us get publicity. The hardest part was selling. We both hated it. Many shop owners were very dismissive and looked at us like we were mad, which knocked our confidence. But we were determined to keep going and gradually sold into retail outlets as well as directly from our website. Then Terry managed to get us into Harrods

SARA & TERRY’S BUSINESS TIPS ● You don’t need the best idea

in the world, but you have to persevere to make it happen. ● Working with a friend is great, but make sure your skills complement each other’s to avoid any clashes. ● Selling is part of running a business – so smile, be positive and develop a thick skin.

for a few seasons, which was terrific. The Headztrong family continued to grow and we added a polar bear, panda, reindeer, penguin and shark, selling them at £35.99 each. Each furry animal fits helmets for all ages, from tots to teens, and is designed to last, even after tumbles on the slopes. Our turnover is around £12,000 a year, which works for us as we both have other jobs – I’m a bookkeeper; Terry is a journalist. The run-up to Christmas is our most frantic time, although we stay busy right through to the end of the ski season at Easter. We divide the stock – I keep boxes in my loft while Terry stores them in her cellar – and we share posting the orders. Jess is now 15, but she still wears the covers sometimes for fun. It’s a real thrill

Terry (left) and Sara model their ski helmet covers. LEFT: The covers help children stand out on the slopes

when we spot children wearing them on the slopes. Believe me, they certainly stand out!’

TERRY SAYS: ‘When I was made redundant at the same time as separating from my partner, I was devastated. I just wanted to run away, so I rented a ski chalet for six months, where I met Sara and her family. Jess was wearing her original helmet cover, which was falling to bits, and that’s what gave us the idea of setting up together. We both bring different skills to the business, which makes us a great team. Running a business isn’t something I ever thought I would do, but I’m so glad I took the plunge – it really helped me get my confidence back at a difficult time.’ • PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 55

Be the belle of the ball with our easy skin, hair and make-up ideas

Tis the season to 56 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Beautiful you

Countdown to

party gorgeous skin Whether you’ve got time to spare or the guests are on their way, try one of these beauty tricks: 24 HOURS TO GO Combining a hit of cold oxygen with the Comcit roller, which creates micro channels to allow hyaluronic acid deeper under the surface, the Crystal Clear Comcit H20 Glow facial (from £75 for 60 mins, salons nationwide) leaves skin gorgeously plumped. 12 HOURS TO GO Boost your beauty sleep. The two-step GlamGlow Dreamduo Overnight Transforming Treatment (£42, Boots) has a vitamin and antioxidant serum that’s layered with a hyaluronic acid formula. For pursefriendly hydration, try Sanctuary Spa Reverse Beauty Sleep Face Mask (£12, Boots). ONE HOUR TO GO The best make-up base is a well hydrated complexion. Vichy Minéral 89 Skin Fortifying Daily Booster (£22, Boots) drenches skin in moisture and plumps it, so make-up won’t sit in fine lines. Avène Hydrance Intense Serum (£18) is also a fab buy for those who have sensitive skin.

10 minutes to… A glowing complexion OSTEP ONE: MOISTURISE No matter

how busy you are, always moisturise to plump and hydrate your skin. We’re loving Nspa Expert Daily Rejuvenate Cream (£10, Asda) teamed with Nivea Q10 plus C Energy Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream (£10.99, Boots) on the eye area – with radiance-promoting vitamin C. OSTEP TWO: PRIME A primer, applied before foundation, will make the texture of your skin look more uniform and keep make-up in place for longer. Stila One Step Prime (£24) fills in pores and lines. OSTEP THREE: PICK A BASE For a light coverage, try Clinique Even Better Glow Light Reflecting Makeup (£27) to minimise lines and leave skin looking luminous. And for a handbag essential, reach for Clarins Everlasting Cushion Foundation (£31). Looking for a buildable base? Nude by Nature Flawless Liquid Foundation (£25, is a mineral coverage with a semi-matte finish. If you like to touch-up on the go, you’ll love Elizabeth

Arden Flawless Finish Everyday Perfection Bouncy Makeup (£28). For more substantial coverage, YSL All Hours Coverage (£33.50) does what it says on the tin – staying put all night long. Max Factor Healthy Skin Harmony Miracle Foundation (£14.99, Boots) leaves skin with a semi-matte, shine-free finish. OSTEP FOUR: INSTANT CHEEKBONES Give yourself a sculpted look by using matte bronzer under the cheekbones at the part nearest to the hairline before you apply your blusher. An angled brush, such as Real Techniques Sculpting Brush (£9.99, Boots), gives you more control, allowing precise application. OSTEP FIVE: GO FOR GLOW Fake a flattering candlelit glow with a dusting of Topshop Highlighter in Crescent Moon (£12), a sheeny golden illuminating powder. For an easy-to-apply liquid, we’re loving Delilah Pure Light Liquid Radiance (£32, Both can be applied to cheekbones, temples and collarbones.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 57

Wow-factor eyes THE GOLDEN RULE ‘Rose-gold tones add youthful warmth,’ says make-up artist Lee Pycroft. ‘Apply a matte taupe eyeshadow, such as Bourjois Little Round Pot Nude Eyeshadow in Utaupique (£6.99), on to the lid and blend into the socket. With a small, flat brush, press gold shadow on top.’ Try elf Baked Eyeshadow in Toasted (£4.50), Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash in Rose Gold (£17.50), or NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Golden Peach (£5.50).

YOU CAN WEAR GLITTER If you can’t sparkle during the party season, when can you? Prep lids with BareMinerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer (£16.50), then add glitter to the centre of the eyelid to catch the light when you blink. Prima loves Barry M Dazzle Dust in Bronze (£5.49) and Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Midnight Blast (£15.50).

Party pout ‘The trend for a bold lip may feel out of your comfort zone, but as you can wear it with a fresh, pared-down look, it really needn’t be,’ says Lee. ‘Upping the ante and teaming it with a smoky eye makes a style statement that definitely says party-ready. To keep it modern, smudge the colour into your lips with your finger for a softer, more youthful finish.’ Red lipstick and festive parties go hand in hand, but berry shades are also on-trend, and with a higher level of pigment, they have serious staying power, too. Lining lips after you’ve applied your lipstick will add definition. 58 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

5 FESTIVE REDS WE LOVE... from left Delilah Colour Intense Cream Lipstick in Floozy (£24) Classic red with warm undertones. YSL Tatouage Couture in No1 (£29) A modern matte liquid finish. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in No4 (£30) Treat yourself to this suit-all with pinky-red tones. Bourjois Metallic Lip Cream in Red Carpet (£7.99, Superdrug) Trend-setting metallic. BareMinerals LuxeShine Lipstick in Flash (£18) A coral rouge.

Beautiful you

Your lashes... but better pre-glued lashes that add curl Eye opening and de-ageing, the and fullness.’ Here are our pro tips: effect of false lashes is so positive, it’s worth adding them to your OSTEP ONE Line the upper lash line routine. Make-up artist Cassie with Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Steward, who created the Gel Eyeliner (£19). A smudgy looks in these pictures, line acts as a guide suggests strip lashes, and will hide the join Go to a pro as they’re easier and between your lashes quicker to use than and the false ones. Lash Perfect lash individual ones. After you’ve applied extensions (lashperfect., from £45 for half a ‘Brands like Eylure, the lashes, use it to set) last 2-3 weeks and Ardell and Kiss all disguise any gaps. feel super-light and make natural-looking, OSTEP TWO Cassie comfortable.

recommends trimming the inner edge of the strip to fit. ‘If they’re too long, they’ll bump the edge of your nose and start to peel off,’ she says. OSTEP THREE ‘Curling your lashes and adding a light layer of mascara before applying the false set gels them together,’ says Cassie. ‘Finish with a final coat of mascara to secure them.’ We love Max Factor Lash Crown Mascara (£10.99) because the unique ‘crown’ shaped brush makes it super-easy to add volume.

Helping hands 10-MINUTE TREATMENT When you have a few moments to yourself, try this DIY hand and nail treatment... Soak nails in warm almond or sunflower oil for 10 minutes to condition the nail plate and cuticle area. Put a teaspoon of sugar on to your hands and exfoliate with the oil. Rinse. This will remove dead cells, and brighten and moisturise skin. Wipe your nails with polish remover if you want to apply polish straight away. ALLOW ONE HOUR If you like to experiment with colour, painting your own nails means you’re spoiled for choice. Go for on-trend metallics, for a luxe look, but keep nails short and slightly square for a modern look. In gold place is Barry M Liquid Chrome in Bright Lights (£3.99). Silver goes to Mavala Pearl Nail Colour in Austin (£4.95, John Lewis), and in bronze medal position is YSL La Lacquer Couture in No 55 Bronze Fever (£19.50). Alternatively, red is glamorous and classic. Hold the bottle against the back of your hand to check if the colour will work with your skin tone – the right shade will make it look fresh and bright. For one with a hint of sparkle, try Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Red-y Set Run (£9.99); for a classic ruby, try George Gel Effect Nail Polish in Obsession (£3, Asda); and for a mulberry rouge,

try Nailberry L’Oxygéné Nail Lacquer in Rouge (£14.50, An application of Mavala Mavadry Quick Drying Top Coat (£11, Boots) speeds up drying. Although nails will be touch-dry in 10 to 15 minutes, avoid doing anything much more taxing than handing round cheese straws and sipping Champagne for an hour or so.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 59

Beautiful you

Hair dos IN ADVANCE... A great cut and fresh colour is a guaranteed confidence boost, and it also makes styling so much easier. Book your appointment a couple of weeks before the celebrations begin, so you can get used to any changes. Try challenging your hairdresser to show you an alternative styling idea, too.

to… 30 minutes perfect hair

60 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Body boosters DARE TO BARE If you’re ditching the tights, exfoliating legs with The Ritual of Ayurveda Body Scrub (£19.50) banishes bumps and dry patches. ‘Start at the ankles and work upwards,’ says skincare expert Nicola Joss. ‘This improves circulation and gives you a leaner silhouette.’ Smooth Manuka Doctor 24K Gold & Manuka Honey Body Oil (£24.95, Holland & Barrett) down shins for a leg-lengthening sheen, and on shoulders and collarbones to add a warm glow. GO FOR GLOW For a sun-kissed look that hints at a weekend away, reach for the gradual tan, says tanning expert James Harknett. You can’t beat St Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Sculpt and Body Lotion (£18, Boots). For faster results, the tanning actives in Vita Liberata Ten Minute Tan (£29.95, Boots) absorb quickly and develop in up to six hours.

Words: Sabine Wiesel Photography: Tony McGee

CURL IT If you have straight hair, an easy way to change your look is by using a large tong like Nicky Clarke Supershine Styling Tong (£44.99) to create a loose sexy style. Simply take random sections and wrap your hair around the tongs. Hold for a couple of seconds and release. CRIMP IT ‘Crimping is a session stylist’s secret for creating volume,’ says stylist Adam Reed. ‘Bring the trend up to date by crimping different sections of hair for a dual-texture effect.’ Try the new GHD Contour (£95) for fabulous body. VA-VA-VOOM IT Rollers are always useful if you want quick volume. Simply set your hair with large Velcro ones, spritz with hairspray, use the hairdryer on them for a minute, and then leave as long as you can. Or use heated rollers, such as T3 Volumising Hot Rollers Luxe (£115, OUP IT For a classic [ROUNDEL] chignon, apply a styling To hold pins and spray, such as clips in short hair, Andrew Barton spray the inside with Volumising dry shampoo or Texture Spray texturising spray to (£4.50, Asda), add grip. to dry hair. Smooth it back and sweep it into a ponytail at the nape of the neck. Twist the hair around an elastic in a figure-of-eight shape to create a neat bun. Fasten with grips and then pull out a few strands to soften the look.

Just for you

20% OFF* Gatineau skincare The award-winning Parisian skincare label has this exclusive offer for Prima readers this festive season


hether you’re looking to do battle with fine lines or want to fast-track your way to increased radiance, let Gatineau solve your winter skincare worries with its extensive range of skincare products. For the undecided or anyone looking for gift inspiration, Gatineau’s 13-piece Christmas collection could be the answer. This clever edit is packed full of the brand’s most loved products, for just a fraction of the usual price. Our beauty editor, Sabine Wiesel, picks her favourites to spoil yourself, or a loved one...

3. Gently does it Cleansing is the essential first step in any regime to improve texture and remove impurities. The Gentle Silk Cleansing Collection (£25) features cucumber extract, green tea and aloe vera, and there’s a Double Sided Cleansing Cloth, too.

1. It’s a cracker The Christmas Cracker (£32) features Gatineau’s DefiLift 3D Perfect Design Revolumising Lipcare, enriched with soothing lavender extract and shea butter to soothe and soften lips, plus the Targeted Wrinkle Corrector to help smooth lines.

4. Body boosters The recipe for silky skin this season is found in the Body Double Collection (£49). It features the new Gatineau DefiLift Body Oil to deeply nourish the skin, an invigorating body brush to improve circulation and buff away dead cells, and AHA Body Lotion to draw moisture to the skin’s surface.

2. Little luxuries Seven classic Gatineau products come together to form the perfect skincare Christmas gift, the Little Luxuries Collection (£29). Selected by Gatineau Skincare experts, this selection showcases powerful formulations in the range for home use.

*HOW TO CLAIM YOUR DISCOUNT To receive your 20% Gatineau discount, simply enter PRIMA2017 at the checkout from 3 November to 2 December.

TERMS & CONDITIONS Only available at Code can only be used on full-priced items. Valid from 3 November to 2 December. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 61



Spoil your loved ones with fab new fragrances under the tree – we all know the best gifts come in small packages!

L’Occitane Terre De Lumiere the Gold Edition EDP (from £58 for 50ml) A spritz with aromatic bergamot, pink pepper, white musk and lavender. Divine! Jean Paul Gaultier Classique EDT (£80.50 for 100ml, The Perfume Shop) Bottles don’t get more fabulous than the oriental floral’s festive makeover.

Giorgio Armani Si Nacre Sparkling Limited Edition EDP (from £73 for 50ml) The modern classic’s festive edition leaves a lovely shimmer on skin.

Tiffany & Co EDP (from £52 for 30ml) Surprise someone with the iconic turquoise box and a beautiful floral scent of iris flower, patchouli and musk.

Molton Brown Russian Leather EDT (£39 for 50ml) An intense unisex spritz for something unique, with warming black tea, pine, vetiver and leather. 62 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Mugler Aura EDP (from £49 for 30ml) The pick for those who love a woody aromatic with notes of orange blossom and vanilla really coming through.

Festive fragrances Michael Kors Sexy Ruby EDP (from £46 for 30ml) Fruity notes combine with orange blossom, rose, vanilla and woody ones for a more sensual spritz.

Words and styling: Sabine Wiesel. Photography: Hearst Studios. All perfumes available nationwide unless stated

Keep skin well moisturised with an unscented formula so fragrance lasts longer

Roger & Gallet Extrait De Cologne Verveine Utopie (from £30 for 30ml, Marks & Spencer) An exotic unisex spritz of verbena, cedarwood and vetiver. A new fave!

Marc Jacobs Decadence Eau So Decadent EDT (from £43 for 30ml) Our pick for fans of a fruity floral. The fun bottle will look fab on a dressing table.

CK One Gold EDT (£40 for 100ml) Lovers of the scent of the 1990s will want this fresh, woody updated version with bergamot, neroli, jasmine, vetiver and patchouli.

Chanel Gabrielle EDP (from £79 for 50ml) Let the compliments roll in with the latest white floral scent with orange blossom, ylang-ylang, jasmine and tuberose. Dolce & Gabbana The One EDT (from £43 for 30ml) A real modern classic with lily, orange blossom, vanilla, vetiver and musk.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 63

How to feel fabulous this festive season? Showstopping party outfits that fit and flatter in all the right places. Here our four readers model dazzling looks for every invitation…

Rise & SHINE (From left) Katie Owen, 40, from west London, is the founder of shoe company Sargasso & Grey. Don’t want to splash out on a whole new outfit? Give your classic black trousers a glam-over by teaming them with a glitzy top for the easy approach to eveningwear. Velvet trousers, £39.50, 6-22 , Marks & Spencer. Top, £164.99, s-l, Forever Unique. Pyramid earrings, £8, Accessorize. Clutch, £16, Next. Heels, £175, 3-8, Sargasso & Grey

Gold RUSH Lynn Hart, 57, from Henleyon-Thames, is the founder of Hart to Heart dating events. For low-key luxe, make a sequin jacket your party plus-one. Glam it up with metallics for the office do, and when the party’s over, dress it down with denim. Jacket, £89.95, s-l, Zara. Vest top, £85, 6-18, LK Bennett. Jeans, £29, 8-22, M&Co. Earrings, £8, Collection at Debenhams. Necklace, £25, Jon Richard. Bangle, £15, Principles at Debenhams. Cuff, £24, Bag, £195, LK Bennett. Shoes, £139, 3-8, Lisa Kay

64 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Prima makeovers

glamour Asymmetric hems are bang on trend

Black MAGIC (From far left) Sue Verran, 51, from Kent, is an IT clinical systems trainer for the NHS. Nothing says cocktail hour like a LBD. Sophisticated and elegant, this dress will work for every invitation. Up the ante for after dark by adding dazzling accessories. Velvet shift dress, £99, 12-26, Studio 8. Gold and silver earrings, £6.99, New Look. Gold bangles, £12 for a set, Principles at Debenhams. Metallic bag, £225, LK Bennett. Heels, £29.50, 3-8, Marks & Spencer

Maximum VOLUME Sara Benwell, 30, from Suffolk, is a writer. Go for all-out glamour in this knockout party dress. With its figure-loving silhouette, shimmering fabric and fabulous flare, you’re guaranteed to make an entrance. Metallic dress, £195, 6-18, Coast. Necklace, £19.50, Marks & Spencer. Rings, £18 for a set, Accessorize. Heels, £29.99, 3-8, New Look

Turn the page for more occasion looks

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 65

LADY IN RED Feeling fashion forward? Red is the hero colour of the season and oozes confidence! Add head-turning heels and a statement necklace to take it to a whole new level of glam.

Bag, £25, and earrings (part of a set of three pairs), £15, both Very

Sue wears: Dress, £40, 8-20, Wallis. Collar necklace, £20, Simply Be. Bangles, £6.99 for a set, New Look. Suede heels, £139, 3-8, Lisa Kay

Clutch, £65 Dune

SILVER LINING Dare to dazzle in a scene-stealing sequin shift dress. So much easier to wear than you’d think, the simple body-skimming shape will flatter every figure. Finish off with a slick of lipstick for ultimate Christmas chic.

Shoes to be seen in

Heels, £120, 3-8, Dune 66 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Earrings, £10, Butterfly by Matthew Williamson at Debenhams

Lynn wears: Silver sequin dress with ribbon tie back, £89, 6-18, Limited Edition at Marks & Spencer. Earrings, £12, Collection at Debenhams. Satin heels, £12, 3-8, Primark

Heels, £30, 3-8, Very at Littlewoods

Bring on the bling!

Prima makeovers

Silver clutch, £25, JD Williams

Cocktail ring, £4.99, New Look

MAKE AN IMPACT Searching for the ultimate wow-factor frock? This red-carpet worthy dress from Adrianna Papell is not only beautiful, but supremely figure-flattering, too. Perfection!

Feature: Helen Johnson Photography: Angela Spain Hair: Anna Durston Make-up: Carl Stanley Styling: Anne Hartnett Styling assistant: Elisa De Carli Balloons supplied by: Bubblegum Balloons

Sara wears: Dress with lace trim, £210, 8-20, Adrianna Papell at Choker, £19, Accessorize. Diamanté bracelet, £15, Jon Richard. Velvet clutch, £15, Next. Satin heels, £225, 2-9, LK Bennett

Glitter clutch, £29.99, Bon Prix

Slip on a statement necklace to add drama

Necklace, £25, Oasis

INSTA-GLAM If you’re looking for superstar sparkle, a glittering sequin dress will stand out for all the right reasons. Keep your accessories to a minimum and let the dress do all the talking. Velvet flats, £139, 3-8, Hobbs

Katie wears: Dress, £169, 8-18, Hobbs. Coloured crystal earrings, £12, and bracelet, £15, both Butterfly by Matthew Williamson at Debenhams. Satin clutch, £150, and matching heels, £265, 2-9, both LK Bennett

Striking costume jewellery says it all Bracelet, £25, Jon Richard at Debenhams

Satin heels, £48, 3-8, River Island


Comfort Joy ! e m i t o n in

Let’s have a good-mood season and get totally chilled way before the big day!


ow, Christmas can be stressful anyway, but this year could be our most angst-ridden ever. If Brexit, work, family or life in general has upped your stress levels, there are so many ways to smooth things over. Try these calming remedies, from clever new supplements to hands-on therapies and more‌ plus, most only take a few minutes!

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Your wellbeing Vervain helps soothe nerves

In 30 seconds… take the edge off festive anxiety Trust us, you are not alone – it gets to us all. Pop a supplement daily from now on and you’ll knock the sharp corners off that to-do-list worry! What to try? A PROBIOTIC More than a gut reformer, probiotics communicate with the cells in the brain that produce moodelevating and nerve-calming serotonin. A double dose of calm – just what we need! TRY: Florassist Mood, £26 for 60 capsules, One study revealed a 50% decrease in low mood and 55% reduction in anxiety. Left it a bit late? Go for a fast hit of… VERVAIN A herb with great cred for soothing nerves, anxiety and irritability. A spritz of it will do the trick. TRY: Vervain S.O.S Spray Of Sunshine, £15.10 for 50ml, MIMULUS This remedy helps you face your fears about not creating the perfect Christmas. A few drops and you can cope! TRY: Bach Original Flower Remedies Mimulus, £7.79 for 20ml, RESCUE PLUS The new take on Rescue Remedy, with all the signature flower essences plus added vitamin Bs for focus. TRY: Bach Original Flower Remedies Rescue Plus, £12.99,

In 1 minute… give Christmas angst the boot And do it in a new way, with neat little hands-on moves. Our favourite energy medicine expert Madison King shows you how… OPRESS FOR ENERGY ‘Massage firmly all around the bunion joint and the base of the big toe and the one next to it. Firmly stimulate the webbing, stretch out, massage and imagine you are creating space in these areas. Work on these fast-track-to-energy points for 30 seconds on each foot, then pull each toe.’ OTAP TO DE-STRESS ‘When things hot up at Christmas, find a moment to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and tap the top of your hand at the base of your ring and little finger. Tap lightly for 20 seconds, smile and keep repeating: “All is well, it’s a great Christmas.” This point brings down the stress reaction in the body.’ For more easy energy moves, visit

In 3 minutes… reframe a grumpy mood A smarter-than-average smoothie will transform you from Scrooge to sweetheart in no time. Trust us – it works! CHOCOLATE ORANGE SUPER SMOOTHIE This is packed with energising vitamin C, stress-busting potassium and cacao, which contains serotonin and endorphin stimulators to enhance mood. Blend together 2tbsp cacao powder, 1 frozen banana, zest and juice of 1 orange, ¼ cup almond milk, 2tsp peanut butter, 1tsp honey or 2 dates, and a sprinkle of cinnamon until creamy. Pour into a glass and decorate with cacao nibs and orange zest. TRY: Aduna Super-Cacao, £5.99 for 100g,

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 69

Your wellbeing

In 7 minutes… sort a seriously strung-out you Settle into an easy meditation that takes the weight from your shoulders. Aromatherapist Glenda Taylor tells you how to do it… OSET A SEVEN-MINUTE ALARM on your phone so you can zone out without worrying about time. OSIT COMFORTABLY BUT WITH ‘INTENT’ Back straight, supporting your own weight, feet on the floor if you’re in a chair, or sit cross-legged on the floor. OMENTALLY SCAN YOUR BODY from your toes to your head. If there is an area that aches, simply breathe into it. OCOUNT YOUR BREATH in on one, out on two, and so on, up to 10, then start again until the alarm goes. OSCAN YOUR BODY AGAIN from toes to head. Gently open your eyes. This seems so simple but try it daily and you’ll feel secure, grounded and relaxed – just what’s needed.

In 10 minutes… get rid of that stressed look! Release the folds, furrows and lines caused by stress with a massage/oil combo from Glenda Taylor… 10-MINUTE MASSAGE OMAKE A BLEND ‘Into 1 dessertspoon (10ml) of jojoba oil, add

2 drops of camomile and 1 drop of mandarin essential oil.’ Camomile is soothing and sedative. Mandarin is calming and uplifting. ONOW MASSAGE ‘Simply pour a little of the oil onto your palms – warm by rubbing hands together and use your fingertips to massage every area of your face and neck.’ OAND MORE… ‘As you massage, you’ll feel areas that need attention,’ says Glenda. ‘Spend extra time working on those areas, rubbing away tension and stagnation.’ Not a blender? Use a ready-made essential oil skin serum to iron out the stress. We love Angelico Serum For Sensitive Skin, £35 for 30ml, 70 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

In 20 minutes… revive for that party!

Words: Daisy Gough Photography: Alamy, Camera Press, Getty, Jumpfoto Consult your GP about any specific concerns and before following any medical advice on these pages

In 15 minutes… release festive aches & tension Kinks and knots get unravelled with yoga expert Emma Harding’s ( stretch and breathe routine that anyone can do. OTO CALM YOU Sit comfortably, place your hands on your ribs and take five relaxing breaths, expanding and filling the lungs with fresh, energy-boosting oxygen. OTO RELEASE THOSE ARMS Bring arms up, catch fingers in front of you with left hand and gently move elbows away from each other. Sit tall. As you breathe in, gently pull; breathe out and release. Repeat five times, switch hands; repeat. OTO EASE BACK AND HIPS Lie down with legs bent, knees over hips. Breathe in, slowly peel your spine off the floor and raise hips high. As you breathe out, slowly lower hips down. Repeat five times. Now breathe in, raise hips, clasp hands under the body and stay with hips raised for five breaths; peel the spine down. OTO DE-STRESS YOUR SHOULDERS Come to kneeling and sit tall, shoulders relaxed, breathing fully in and out. Clasp hands behind you, reaching them towards the floor, easing shoulders back and down. As you breathe in, move the hands away to increase the stretch. As you breathe out, let them lower; repeat five times. On the last time, keep the arms raised for five breaths. OTO RESTORE ENERGY Sit comfortably, rest backs of hands on thighs, index finger and thumb touching, palms up. Eyes closed, enjoy 10 full breaths in and out, neck extended, spine long, heart lifted, hips and pelvis grounding down. You’re ready for a fine festive season…

Feeling too pooped to party? A few swift moves will have you out the door in no time… OTAKE A POWDER! Yes, powdered beetroot, reishi and cordyceps mushrooms. ‘They are three of the best energisers to give you a sustained boost, but still let you switch off when the party’s over,’ says nutritionist Nina Sabat ( ‘Take a spoonful as soon as you get home.’ The trio improves blood flow, increases stamina and enhances mental clarity. Beetroot and reishi are also effective detoxifiers – ideal if you’ve been a bit enthusiastic with the alcohol. Result! TRY: Terranova Beetroot Juice, Cordyceps & Reishi Super-Blend, £29 for 70g, ODIP YOUR TOOTSIES! Soak feet for 15 minutes in a bowl of hot water plus a mix of 3tbsp powdered ginger and 6tsp mustard powder. Genius at reviving exhausted feet! OTHROW YOUR LEGS UP! We recommend this every year – and why not? It’s an unbeatable leg reviver. Lie sideways to the skirting board, swivel bottom and raise legs against the wall. Now stay there for three to four minutes. Bliss!

In 30 minutes… up your energy or find sleep Showers are okay, but baths are best – especially a therapeutic version at the start of the day or at the end of a festively frazzled one. BREEZY MORNING BATH Brace yourself! Glenda Taylor’s zesty bath will set you up for a day of Christmas prepping or shopping. OFILL THE BATH ‘With not too hot water – just hot enough to soothe away any aches and pains from sleep/mattress/pillow issues.’ OMIX IN A CUP OF EPSOM SALTS, three drops each of eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils and two drops each of lavender and peppermint. OSWISH IT ALL AROUND ‘Right through the bath. This is a real pick-me-up and go-go recipe, so only use it the morning!’ says Glenda. OSOAK FOR A WHILE ‘At least 10 minutes, then stand in the bath and shower your whole body with cold water. Stick with it for 30 seconds. You will feel amazing after you’ve dried off with a big, fluffy towel.’

WIND-DOWN EVENING BATH Mmmm… this gorgeous, ache-relieving, relaxing bath is created by aromatherapy expert Ines Willis (exanimo-aromatherapy. com). It’s a soothing opener to a fantastic night’s sleep. OMIX INTO TWO TABLESPOONS OF EPSOM SALTS, two drops each of vetiver, lavender and mandarin essential oils. ‘Vetiver is highly sedative and calming, and also good for treating stiff muscles,’ says Ines. ‘Lavender is calming, and mandarin is good for nervous tension and insomnia.’ You can find essential oils at OLIGHT CANDLES, swish to mix oils through the water, slide in and relax. PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 71

How to cope with cancer at


When illness strikes at what should be the happiest time of the year, it can feel overwhelming. Here, presenter Victoria Derbyshire, 49, reveals how she coped with having chemotherapy over the festive season, and offers some timely advice to anyone whose family is facing something similar Getting a cancer diagnosis is a watershed moment in your life. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2015, I thought, ‘I’m going to die.’ But when it became clear that – with the right treatment – I was going to survive, I thought, ‘Okay, I can do this now; what can I do that’s constructive?’ Clearly, there were tremendous lows to come, but, mainly, I felt grateful. I made the decision to be open about my cancer from the start, and my friends and family were wonderful. I had my mastectomy in September and once

I was home, I’d wake up after a bad night’s sleep and find 12 texts and emails saying things like, ‘There’s no need to reply; just to say I’m thinking of you, sending lots of love, and we’re here when you need us.’ That meant the world to me. They did loads of practical things, which made a huge difference. My partner, Mark, was like a single parent at times, doing everything for our sons – Oliver, now 13, and Joe, 10 – and also working. So our friends would do things like take the boys to cricket training. My brother-in-law, Alexis,

Victoria’s partner Mark, along with their sons, Oliver and Joe, were a huge support to her while she was having treatment

who is a wonderful cook, made food for us to put in the freezer. By Christmas, I was halfway through chemotherapy. And although there were drinks and get-togethers that I wanted to go to but just didn’t have enough energy to do so, I was determined to get to my BBC Christmas work party. So, despite being in a sort of daze, I made myself get out of bed, put on make-up, board a train from our home in Middlesex and arrive there in time for lunch. And it was great; I was so pleased that I’d done it – although it was potentially a daft thing to do with a compromised immune system. Then I went back to bed for four days… I learned that you have to be realistic and listen to your body. By Christmas Eve, I was beginning to feel like myself again. My brother, Nick, invited us all for Christmas because he wanted to look after us that year. So we all piled in the car and drove to his house in Wiltshire for a big family get-together. We all had the most fantastic time, drinking, chatting and laughing. But there was an undercurrent to the day: an awareness of this thing called

72 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Health matters

‘Texts from friends sending lots of love meant the world to me’

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 73

Health matters


Victoria with Oliver and Joe: ‘Family is the most important thing,’ she says

When you’re having treatment, it’s hard to believe it will ever end. One thing I wish I’d known is that time will pass. If you keep on keeping on, you will get through it. When you’re in the middle of it, it’s all-consuming and you can’t see a way out. I added up the time between my diagnosis and the end of my treatment and it was 301 days: not even a year. Although I never forget how fortunate I am and that some people with cancer have a different prognosis to mine. Cancer gave me perspective. I used to get stressed or irritated by small things, like no wi-fi signal or getting stuck in a traffic jam. Those cares evaporated overnight – and that’s stayed with me. I have a calmness now that I didn’t have before, and a greater appreciation of everything. I’ve always known that family and friends are the most important thing. But now I squeeze the life out of every single second in a way I may not have done before. This Christmas, we’re all going to my sister’s house and I’m really looking forward to it. I love everything about Christmas, from decorating the tree and house with the kids, to buying gifts and wrapping them. I embrace it all! • Victoria Derbyshire’s book, Dear Cancer, Love Victoria (Orion, £18.99 hardback), is out now 74 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

What to say if someone you love is diagnosed with cancer ● Always say something! Some people say nothing because they’re scared or feel awkward. People tend to talk about cancer in hushed tones, but even saying, ‘I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis’ is enough. ● Don’t say, ‘My aunt had that – and died from it!’ ● Do say, ‘We love you and will do everything we can to help and support you.’

● Give yourself permission to do nothing. Often it’s the women who are running around, doing everything. This is a time to delegate. ● Accept offers of help and kindness from family and friends. They really want to help, and to feel useful, so absorb the love from those offering it and remember it’s not a weakness to say yes to help. ● Forget ‘perfection’. We all want Christmas to be lovely, but it’s okay if the crackers don’t match the napkins and the bread sauce isn’t home-made. Don’t sweat the small stuff. ● Make things as easy as possible. Mark wrote all the cards, I did all of my Christmas shopping online and the kids helped me wrap.

IF SOMEONE YOU LOVE IS ILL THIS CHRISTMAS ● Don’t say, ‘Shout if you need anything’ – because people won’t. Instead, offer something specific: say, ‘I’m going to bring you a lasagne round/buy your turkey/pick the kids up and take them to town to buy you a present.’ It is much easier to accept help than to ask for it, so think of practical things you can do that will take the pressure off someone who’s unwell. ● Offer emotional support, too. Send messages every day just saying that you are thinking of them, that you love them – and that no reply is needed.

Gorgeous gift ideas for someone who is unwell A soft, wool throw. Because chemo makes you cold. The gifts that were bought for me that I loved the most were things that were comforting. Books. During cancer treatment, you spend a lot of time in bed. You don’t always feel like reading, but when you do, it’s nice to have a choice. Box sets. We watched the whole of House Of

Cards when I was ill. It passed the time and completely distracted me from being ill. Bath oil and body moisturisers. Beautiful smells can raise your spirits, and it’s nice to feel like you’re doing little things to pamper yourself. Something personal. Mark bought me a necklace, with his, the boys’ and our dog’s names engraved on

it, which meant the world to me. A scented candle. My friend sent me a candle with the Neom note, ‘A little Perfect Peace Candle, £45 light for the chemo phase’, which really lifted me. Cards. Thoughtful words written down mean so much, so don’t underestimate the value of a card.

Words: Alice Mason Photography: Neil Cooper Hair: Alan Brent Make-up: Liz Kitchiner Styling: Arabella Boyce Victoria wears: Shirt, Ida. Skirt, Diva Catwalk. Jewellery, Merola London

cancer, which has a massive ripple effect. We all felt an awareness that life really can be short, so we wanted to have a brilliant time this Christmas – and that’s what we did. The only evidence that I was being treated was that I was wearing a wig, had a little kip before lunch and went to bed at 9pm.

Family matters

Our children are lavished with lovely presents, yet can still seem so ungrateful. So how do we make them say ‘thank you’ – and mean it?




n Christmas morning, there’s nothing more precious than seeing your children’s faces light up as they tear open their gifts. But when they move on to the next one with barely a thank you, you’re left wondering where you went wrong. If that sounds familiar, don’t worry, you’re not raising a monster. Children in Britain (and sometimes adults, too) often have so much that many have stopped seeing the value in

76 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

things. This is what experts call the ‘abundance paradox’. As one American sociologist puts it: ‘We are more likely to feel disappointed when we don’t get what we want than to feel grateful when we do.’ That gratitude gap yawns all the more widely at this time of year, but it’s worth getting a handle on it. Research suggests that those who practise being grateful have better physical and mental health, making them more

positive and allowing them to cope better when problems do arise. ‘Gratitude is for life, not just for Christmas!’ says Richard Daniel Curtis, child behaviour expert and author of Gratitude At Home (The Kid Calmer, £6.99). ‘The key to instilling it in children is to normalise gratitude and to make it part of everyday life, so it becomes an entrenched emotion and something that comes naturally, rather than something you have to force them to do.’

Feature: Mel Hunter Photography: Getty, Shutterstock

the gift of

Here’s how to help your children pick up the habit… THANKFUL TOTS Developing festive gratitude means sowing the seeds all year round. ‘Children aren’t born appreciative, so start as you mean to go on – modelling being thoughtful and grateful and helping them learn ways to thank people,’ says Judy Reith, parenting coach and founder of Richard agrees: ‘It’s important to model thanks, even for young children. At Christmas, that means showing them how to appreciate gifts and making a big play of saying thank you.’ In the run-up to Christmas, practise role play. Judy says: ‘Ask them: “If you open granny’s gift and you don’t like it, what should you do?” The simplest thing to say is: “Thank you. That’s very kind of you.”’ Practise it with them so they know what’s expected. When it comes to Christmas Day, what looks like brattish behaviour may be a serious case of feeling swamped. ‘Chaotic behaviour suggests little ones are overwhelmed,’ explains Richard. ‘Spread gift opening over the whole day so children have a chance to appreciate their presents and thank the giver.’

aren’t ready for them yet. ‘Allow them to write these things on their list, but don’t promise to deliver,’ advises Judy. ‘Find things you are happy to buy, and talk them up instead.’ This is also a great time to focus on a wider world perspective. Get children to choose charity cards or ethical presents that help others, as a gentle reminder that not everyone is as lucky as they are. Helping them understand the joy of giving also shows them gratitude from a different angle. ‘Practise what it feels like to buy a gift – the planning, searching, looking for something special at the right price, and the giving,’ says Judy.

GRATEFUL TEENS While testy teenagers may seem anything but appreciative, it’s crucial to hammer home the importance of gratitude at this age. ‘Finding things to be thankful for can help teenagers through this difficult time,’ says Richard. ‘Practising gratitude has been shown to change the way people react to negative events, giving your teen more chance of having a positive outlook on social stresses that can consume them during adolescence.’ Get into the habit of asking them what three things they’re grateful for daily. The effort you put in with teenagers throughout the year will

THANK-YOU LETTERS DO MATTER  Don’t force your children to write them all at once. Two or three a day spread over the Christmas period is enough. Young children only need to write a sentence saying thanks. As they get older, they can add why they liked the toy or book so much.  If writing to everyone who sent gifts isn’t practical, use email instead (or apps such as TouchNote, £2.99, that send cards from your iPhone).  Thank-you letters may be falling out of fashion but for the recipient, they are more treasured than ever. ‘A handwritten note, which is unique and lasts for ever, really is best,’ says Judy.

pay dividends at Christmas when they’ll be able to quickly identify the good things in their life – and be more ready and willing to show appreciation. When it comes to gifts, money tops most teens’ lists. ‘Ask your teenager to specify what they want the money for,’ says Judy. ‘They can then thank people for contributing to that one thing.’

APPRECIATIVE TWEENS This is the tricky age when pleading and peer pressure come into play. ‘Not giving them what they want will not make you a bad parent,’ says Judy. ‘Your job is to prepare your kids for the real world, not to make them happy 24/7.’ Tweens aged seven to 11 often want things they can’t have. They’re reaching for things older kids get – make-up or the latest phone – but probably

SIMPLE STEPS TO THANKFULNESS Get your children to be more appreciative with these ideas:  Keep gratitude journals throughout the year, recording two or three things daily that you and they are grateful for. Younger children

can draw pictures.

 Make a gratitude Advent calendar with 24 pockets for kids to write notes saying what they’re grateful for each day. Read the notes on Christmas Day.  Shortlist charities and discuss them with your child. Let them help you select which

to make a donation to and encourage them to contribute.  Be a gratitude and good manners role model. By thanking everyone yourself – from the staff in the corner shop to a generous friend – your children will follow your example. PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 77

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Best of health

Colds & flu?

NOT YOU! Dr Sarah Brewer, GP and expert in complementary medicine, reveals how you can avoid picking up a bug this winter At this time of year, my surgery is full – but have you ever wondered why some people sail through winter sicknessfree, and others get every bug going? The good news is that it’s possible to boost your immune system to fight off viruses, and take practical steps to avoid catching coughs and colds.

STOCK UP ON THE SUNSHINE VITAMIN During winter, there is too little ultraviolet light to trigger vitamin D production in the skin. Lack of vitamin D is increasingly recognised as a risk factor for respiratory infections during the colder months. A study of almost 19,000 adults found low vitamin D levels increase the risk of developing a cold by 36%. Public Health England now recommends taking a daily 10μg (400 IU) vitamin D supplement in autumn and winter. Higher intakes of 25-50μg vitamin D3 may be more appropriate to maintain optimum blood levels, especially in older people who have reduced dietary absorption.

PRACTISE GOOD HYGIENE In winter, as many as one in three GP consultations are for chest infections such as coughs, colds and flu. Winter bugs are highly infectious and spread easily through airborne droplets when coughing and sneezing. They can also survive for as long as a day on door handles and other items. Hygiene is key – wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for 15-20 seconds (the time it takes to sing two choruses of Happy Birthday!). Use antiviral hand sprays and wipes. Don’t touch your face, eyes or

GO FOR A WALK mouth with your hands as this can introduce cold viruses through mucous membranes. Avoid people during the early stages of a cold, especially when they are coughing and sneezing. If you develop a cold, consider staying at home rather than spreading germs!

EAT IMMUNEBOOSTING FOODS Even a minor lack of nutrients such as selenium and iron can lower your immunity and increase your risk of infection. Eat at least five servings of fruit and veg a day to supply you with vitamins, minerals and a wide variety of antioxidant polyphenols with natural antiviral and antibacterial actions. Oily fish (including salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines) contain essential fatty acids for good immune function, so eat some at least twice a week or consider

Regular, moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, can boost your immunity. However, prolonged periods of intense training can depress immunity, making you more vulnerable to infections. The exact mechanism is unknown, but it’s probably linked with the effects on stress hormone levels. Aim to exercise most days, for 30-60 minutes.

taking an omega-3 supplement. The live bacteria in bio yoghurt and probiotic supplements also have an immune-boosting action. The results of 12 clinical trials involving children and adults showed probiotics were better than a placebo in reducing episodes of acute upper respiratory tract infections

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 81

(URTI). Those taking probiotics were 47% less likely to experience at least one URTI than those taking a placebo, and in those who did develop a cold, probiotics also shortened the duration of symptoms.

THINK ABOUT VACCINATIONS Anyone who is aged 65 and over, or has a long-term health condition, should seriously consider having an annual flu vaccination. Immunisation against pneumococcal pneumonia is also available – a single vaccination protects for life if you are over 65, while others may need a five-yearly booster, depending on their underlying health problem. Check with your GP’s surgery.

HAVE AN EARLY NIGHT WRAP UP WARM The old wives’ tale about catching a cold if you get wet and shivery seems to have some basis in fact. When you feel cold, blood is directed away from your extremities, so there’s less blood flow to the lining of your nose. This reduces local immunity, so respiratory infections meet less resistance, which can triple your chance of developing symptoms when exposed to a virus.



Respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, influenza and acute bronchitis are more common in people who smoke, as tobacco damages the airways. So if you are a smoker, one of the best things you can do for your winter health is to quit. Ask your surgery about local stop-smoking services, which are free and greatly increase your chances of quitting for good.

If you do come down with a bug, the herbal remedy Pelargonium sidoides (African geranium) is one of the most effective treatments for upper respiratory viral and bacterial infections. A review of eight trials confirms it can help reduce symptoms such as a sore throat, cough, runny and blocked nose. It also helps to relieve acute laryngitis, bronchitis and sinusitis. I swear by it!

Check on elderly relatives If you have an older neighbour or relative, keep an eye on them to make sure they’re up and about as usual each day. People who are frail and elderly are unable to keep as warm as they used to. Encourage them to keep the room temperature at least 18°C and to dress in layers to help trap body warmth. The body needs

food to act as fuel, so it’s important to eat well in winter and have at least one hot meal each day, as well as plenty of hot drinks. Movement and exercise generate body heat, so try to help them stay active. To keep warm in bed, wearing bedsocks and a nightcap will reduce heat loss from extremities. A study involving 96 elderly

people found those taking a multivitamin for a year had better immunity, a better response to the flu vaccination, and half as many days ill with infection (23 days) compared with those not taking a multivitamin (48 days).

Photography: Jumpfoto, Getty

Sleep is a time of relaxation, regeneration and rejuvenation, during which your body secretes growth hormones to regulate healing and repair, and immune reactions are activated to fight disease. Lack of sleep impairs your immunity and makes you more likely to experience symptoms when exposed to infection. A study involving 164 adults found that those sleeping less than five hours a night were 4.5 times more likely to develop a cold when exposed to a rhinovirus than those sleeping more than seven hours a night.

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Keep her warm!


3 4 2





Her 10


Gorgeous arm candy!




13 1 Bracelet, £15, Accessorize 2 Faux Fur Hot Water Bottle Cover, £29.50, Marks & Spencer 3 Rose Classic Elegance Studs, £65, Pandora 4 Pink leather purse, £59, Hobbs 5 Alpine balloon glass, £36 for four, LSA International ( 6 Star-print pyjamas, £50, 7 Wishes & Kisses, £29, Nails Inc ( 8 Watch, £90, Radley ( 9 Vintage Lady Vanity Case, £45, John Lewis 10 Galaxy trainers, £145, 11 Metallic tote bag, £40, Therapy London at House of Fraser 12 Laura Ashley Body Care Essentials Set, £10, Boots 13 Glitter luggage tags, £12 for set of two, Cath Kidston

86 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017







Looks a million dollars (costs £25!)

6 5



9 10



Showstopper heels



1 Pinkster Pink Gin, £35, Ocado ( 2 Precious Lip Collection, £20, Clarins ( 3 Theia cushion, £50, Kit Miles at Heal’s ( 4 Necklace, £25, No.1 Jenny Packham for Debenhams 5 Daisy Anniversary Edition, £55, Marc Jacobs ( 6 Jumper, £59.95, Joules ( 7 Notebook, £15, Liberty ( 8 Trinket dish, £10, Oliver Bonas 9 Gold glitter bag, £20, Accessorize 10 Lace bra, £27.50, and knickers, £12.50, both Rosie for Autograph at Marks & Spencer 11 Earrings, £12, Red Herring at Debenhams 12 Satin shoes, £39.50, Marks & Spencer 13 Body Collection, £29, Caudalíe ( 14 Prima subscription, £26.99,

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 87




Essential viewing!






6 7


7 12


Seriously smart!


1 Blend Your Own Whisky, from £33, Master of Malt ( 2 Game Of Thrones – Seasons 1-6, £74.74, 3 Biba Marble Bar Set, £50, House of Fraser 4 Blue Patterned Shirt, £42, J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams 5 The Beatles socks, £29.95, Happy Socks ( 6 Jumper, £55, White Stuff 7 Mr Black Coffee Liqueur, £36, Oddbins ( 8 Men’s Sailor Scarf, £29.95, Seasalt ( 9 Men Hydration Collection, £40, Clarins ( 10 Stainless steel cufflinks, £39, Ted Baker ( 11 Hip flask, £12.50, Marks & Spencer 12 The Nutcracker, £65, Sous Chef ( 88 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 89


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3 4









Happy feet! 13 1 Baby Polar Bear Jersey Dress, £18, 0-18M, and Baby Romper, £20, 0-18M, both Cath Kidston 2 Radio Bubble Machine, £6, Tiger Stores 3 Colour Changing Unicorn Bath Plug, £9.99, 4 Tiger Bath Time Mirror, £2.50, Sainsbury’s 5 Paddington Bear Soft Toy, £10, Marks & Spencer 6 Panda, £35, Hamleys ( 7 Baker’s Dozen colouring pencils, £14.95, Ted Baker at Annabel James ( 8 Dear Zoo Vehicles, £5 each, Milly & Flynn ( 9 Sleepsuit, £9, Debenhams 10 Unicorn hat, £16.95, Joules ( 11 Green Triceratops Slippers, £12, Natural History Museum ( 12 Scribble Lunch Bag, £10.95, British Library 13 Toy McLaren P1, £29.99, Maplin

90 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017



3 1 4



7 6 8




A forever gift

14 15 1 Westworld Season 1 DVD, £24.99, Amazon 2 Flower iPhone case, £19.99, Flavr ( 3 Studs, £30, Pandora 4 Clutch, £16, Amazon Fashion 5 Flamingo lamp, £10, Debenhams 6 Beauty & The Bay Holiday Set, £34.50, Benefit at House of Fraser 7 David Hockney exhibition book, £29.99, Tate 8 Men’s top, £49.95, xxs-xxl, Jack Wills ( 9 Harry Potter Watch, £8, Primark 10 Cable Pom Pom Scarf, £89, The White Company ( 11 Socks, £29.95, Happy Socks 12 Backpack, £28, Cath Kidston 13 Lip scribble trinket dish, £9.50, Oliver Bonas 14 Star Charm Slider Bracelet, £95, Lola Rose ( 15 Millie Mackintosh Glam & Glow Set, £8.50, Boots

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 91

92 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017



Rick 2 Stein’s design






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1 Grow Your Own Avocado Tree, £10.99, Avoseedo ( 2 Copper globe, £15, George Home 3 Flora and Fauna watering can, £14.95, Annabel James ( 4 Bone China Lobster Platter, £35, Rick Stein ( 5 Allotment toolbox, £25, Imperial War Museum ( 6 Christmas Bouquet: Warm Winter Wishes, £25.99, Prima for Flying Flowers 7 House Beautiful subscription, £25.99 for a year, 8 Artichoke tealight holder, £11.99, 9 Robin Appliqué Cushion, £25, Marks & Spencer 10 Indoor Allotment, £24.99, 11 Gardeners Hedgerow SOS Tin, £10, 12 Candle, £19.95, Highgrove ( 13 Prosecco framed print, £19,

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 93



4 2


Ho, ho, ho!






Hang on the tree 11 10



13 15 1 Ceramic Measuring Spoons, £4.50, Sainsbury’s 2 Penguin Tealight Holder, £1, Poundland 3 Cherry & Amaretto Jam, £3.75, 4 Prosecco mini concrete sign, £3, Ava & I at Creative Tops ( 5 Wonder Woman, £9.99, 6 Prosecco flute, £3, George Home 7 Prosecco shimmer, £7.49, Pop-A-Ball at Lakeland 8 Wild Blackberry & Apple Bath Time Treats, £5, Baylis & Harding at House of Fraser 9 Penguin Parade chocolates, £3.50, Marks & Spencer 10 Charm coasters, £4 for four, Dunelm 11 Snowman Stacking Canisters, £5 for three, Tesco 12 Flutter Shower Gel Bauble, £4, Superdrug 13 Precious Revive Time Bath & Shower Oil, £10, Aromatherapy Associates ( 14 Keyring, £3, 15 Dark Chocolate with Cranberries & Hazelnuts, £2.40, Divine Chocolate (

94 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

You’ll find gifts to give all your family and friends in books editor Nina Pottell’s selection

Food & drink NEW CLASSICS Marcus Wareing (HarperCollins, £20) Fresh twists on classics, and new creations that will become classics, from the Michelinstarred chef and MasterChef judge.

HANDMADE GIFTS FROM THE KITCHEN Alison Walker (Jacqui Small, £14.99) You WILL become Queen or King of Baking with this delightful book full of delicious treats to make.

SMITTEN KITCHEN EVERY DAY Deb Perelman (Square Peg, £25, out 7 December) If you know anyone who follows the Smitten Kitchen blog or Instagram, this book is a must for them.

THE HAIRY BIKERS’ MEDITERRANEAN ADVENTURE (Orion, £25) Sun, sea, Si and Dave – who could ask for more? A celebration of fabulous food to tie in with the BBC Two series.

RICK STEIN – THE ROAD TO MEXICO (BBC Books, £26) Fantastic recipes from Rick’s latest foodie journey, starting in San Francisco and Baja California, and working right through to the southernmost tip of Mexico.

THE MODERN COCKTAIL: INNOVATION + FLAVOUR Matt Whiley (Jacqui Small, £25) For those who want their drinks with some pizzazz. Packed full of stunning images, too.

Animal magic CATS: A FELINE COMPENDIUM Fenella Smith and The Brothers McLeod (Square Peg, £9.99) A charming illustrated guide to cats and all their quirks. 96 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

ANOTHER YEAR OF PLUMDOG Emma Chichester Clark (Jonathan Cape, £16.99) The canine capers of Plum the dog delightfully captured on every page!

Under the tree for grown-ups AN ALMOST PERFECT CHRISTMAS by Nina Stibbe (Viking, £9.99) From picking and cooking a turkey to choosing the best presents, this is a hilarious guide to help get you through Christmas.

THE DAILY STRUGGLES OF ARCHIE ADAMS (AGED 2¼) by Katie Kirby (Coronet, £12.99) Giggle your way through this book and young Archie’s account of daily life.

THE HANDMAID’S TALE GIFT EDITION by Margaret Atwood (Vintage, £14.99) We were all glued to our screens watching this earlier in the year. Now add this stunning hardback edition as a gift under the tree for your friends who loved it, too.

POP STARS IN MY PANTRY: A MEMOIR OF POP MAGS AND CLUBBING IN THE 1980S by Paul Simper (Unbound, £18.99) Whether the 1980s was their era or not, this memoir will keep pop enthusiasts entertained over the festive period.



Best of the celebrity crop

THINKING OUT LOUD: LOVE, GRIEF AND BEING MUM AND DAD by Rio Ferdinand (Hodder & Stoughton, £20) Following on from a heartfelt documentary earlier this year, this is Rio’s courageous story of life, loss, grief and hope.

Under the tree for kids MR PENGUIN AND THE LOST TREASURE by Alex T Smith (Hodder Children’s Books, £9.99) Accompany Mr Penguin on his quest to find hidden treasure in the first of a new series by Claude creator Alex T Smith.

FATHER CHRISTMAS AND ME by Matt Haig (Canongate Books, £12.99) A magical festive series. This time it’s Amelia, the adopted daughter of Father Christmas, who, with the elves, must save the day.

FINN FAMILY MOOMINTROLL by Tove Jansson (Sort of Books, £10.99) These new hardback editions have the original designs. There are more to come, so start collecting now.

A POEM FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR Edited by Allie Esiri (Macmillan, £16.99) A magnificent collection of verses, perfect for reading aloud. Funny, thoughtful and inspiring, and your whole family will love them.

by various authors (Hodder & Stoughton, £7.99) You can learn to fly a plane, ride a bike or find happiness in these classic how-to guides, originally published in 1938.

CHASING LIGHT: THROUGH THE LENS OF A WHITE HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHER by Amanda Lucidon (Sphere, £20) Fascinating photos taken during the time Michelle Obama was First Lady.

by Sarah Millican (Trapeze, £20) Meander your way through life with Sarah’s tips and advice. Laughter guaranteed.

ME. YOU. A DIARY by Dawn French (Michael Joseph, £20) Start a journal alongside Dawn’s witty outlook on life. This will have you laughing about your year.

Health & wellbeing



100 YEARS OF FASHION ILLUSTRATION by Cally Blackman (Laurence King Publishing, £12.99) A beautiful book full of gorgeous illustrations that will look fabulous on any coffee table.

NEW YORK SKETCHBOOK by Jason Brooks (Laurence King Publishing, £19.99) Journey through the exciting and vibrant Big Apple in this sumptuously illustrated guide.

THE QUINTESSENTIAL GROOMING GUIDE FOR THE MODERN GENTLEMAN by Capt Peabody Fawcett RN (Jacqui Small, £20) For all the bearded males in your life, this is the perfect gift. The history of beards and barbering, along with a host of wonderful photos.

THE SELF-CARE PROJECT: HOW TO LET GO OF FRAZZLE AND MAKE TIME FOR YOU by Jayne Hardy (Orion Spring, £12.99, out 14 December) Sometimes we’re so busy looking after other people, we don’t look after ourselves. This book will help you factor some self-care into your life. PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 97

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CALL 0800 977 4487* TO GET A FREE QUOTE NOW! TERMS AND CONDITIONS *Calls from consumer landlines and mobiles are free; calls from other phones may incur a charge. Energyhelpline compares all publicly available energy tariffs under the OFGEM Confidence Code. This service is provided by Energyhelpline and is only available to UK residents. †10% of customers switching their gas and electricity bills with Energyhelpline (and their partners) between 18 February 2016 and 23 June 2016 saved £616 or more from a survey of more than 10,000 switches. Source:, correct as of 9 October 2017. This service is provided by Energyhelpline and is only available to UK residents.

98 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Seasonal style

Welcome home for

Christmas! Turn your home into the most beautiful, warm and convivial space with our fabulous festive ideas. 13 pages of interiors inspiration start here...


Seasonal style Opening page: White floral wreath, £29.50, Marks & Spencer. Artificial pre-lit tree, from £209, Balsam Hill. Decorations and baubles, from a selection, Gisela Graham. On ground, from left: Lantern, £95, Biba at House of Fraser. Candle (inside), from a selection, TK Maxx. St Austell trio of battery outdoor lanterns, £26.99, Lights4Fun. Glass hurricane vase, £42, Next. Red pillar candles, £2 each, Tiger. Heart lantern, £35, Kaleidoscope. Duffield basket, £40 large and £30 small, both Habitat. Presents wrapped in paper, from a selection, Paperchase and Tiger. Ribbon, from a selection, Jane Means. Wooden sledge, £55,

Create a traditional Christmas setting using red and white

SITTING PRETTY Add festive touches of red throughout your living room, including seasonal cushions on the sofa, snuggly throws, and loads of baubles on the tree! Frosted Fraser Fir artificial tree, from £209, Balsam Hill. Decorations and baubles, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Gifts wrapped in paper, from a selection, Paperchase and Tiger. Ribbon, from a selection, Jane Means. Hamptworth three-seater sofa, from £932, 100 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Willow & Hall. Cushions, from left: Scandi red felt, £7, Wilko. Village red felt, £6, George Home. Robin felt, £24.99, Perkins & Morley. Merry Christmas, £7, Wilko. Oversized red check, £10, George Home. Grey herringbone, £49.95, Bronte by Moon. Oxford Stripe sack, £65, Ian Mankin. Basket, £6, Tiger. High Five shelving unit, £495, Loaf. Yves floor lamp, £195, Habitat. Lantern (just seen), £95, Biba at House of Fraser. Alhede rug, £130, Ikea. Knitted pouffe, £79.99, Kragsta coffee table, £75, Ikea. On coffee table, from left: Bamboo tray, £8, George Home. Nöel mug, £22.95, Emma Bridgewater.

Napkins, £4 for four, George Home. Crackers, £25 for eight, Marks & Spencer. Kragsta side table (sold as nest of two), £55, Ikea. Cake stand, £4, Tiger. Mince pies, from a selection, Asda. Climping armchair, £1,666 as shown, Sofas & Stuff. Maolie throw, £45, Ikea. Cushions (just seen): White, £24, Debenhams. Red, £35, Marks & Spencer. On mantelpiece, from left: Garland, Advent candle, decorations and baubles, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Wooden tree, £8, George Home. Ceramic house tealight holder, £12.50, Marks & Spencer. Glass comport (sold with lid), £30, Next

MINI FOREST Grouping together trees on a tray to display on footstools or shelves is such an effective idea and super-easy to do.

If you hang decorations on a mantelpiece, make sure they are kept at a safe distance when the fire is lit

Romantisk tray, £7, Ikea. On tray, from left: Berry garland, £12.99, HomeSense. Silver glass tree, £8, George Home. Wooden house with LED tealight, £12 for three, Sainsbury’s. Painted tin tree, £24, Parlane. Tiered wooden tree, £9, Sainsbury’s. Climping armchair, £1,666, Sofas & Stuff. Let It Snow cushion, £24, Debenhams. Stag cushion, £35, Marks & Spencer. Footstool, from £269, Multiyork

FIRESIDE DELIGHTS Give your fireplace a Christmassy feel with stockings, garlands and gift-filled baskets. On mantelpiece, from left: Garland, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Stocking holders, £15 each, The Contemporary Home. Tall bottle (used as vase), £8, Next. Calendar, £12.99, House decoration, £8, Matalan. Artificial mistletoe wreath, £19.99, Lights4Fun. Stockings, from left: Green, £6, Wilko. White, £13.99 and red, £16.99, both Gisela Graham. Duffield basket, £40, Habitat. Holkam basket, £30, Garden Trading. Sack, £8, Matalan

➺ PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 101

Seasonal style ❸ Showstopping festive centrepieces!

CENTRE STAGE You can make this in no time. Winter Palace wreath, £30, John Lewis. Baubles, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Candle, from a selection, TK Maxx

BAKE OFF Display your gifts in a cake stand. Garnera cake stand, £12, Ikea. Gifts wrapped in paper, from a selection, Tiger. Ribbon, from a selection, Jane Means

A BIT ON THE SIDE A cute sleigh adds to the festive feel!

EVERGREEN Adorn your table with decorative trees. Trees, from a selection, and candlestick holders, £13.99 for two, both Gisela Graham. Nordic snowflake tealight holder, £5.49 for two, Talking Tables 102 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Finland Moss artificial wreath, £23.99, Lights4Fun. Anton console table, £150, John Lewis. On top, from left: Berry garland, £12.99, HomeSense. Optic tumblers, £16 for four, and wine glasses (behind), £20 for four, both Next. Vardagen tumbler (used as vase), £3 for six, Ikea. Letter press tall bottle (used as vase, just seen), £8, Next. Wild Wood card, £12 for 10, Perkins & Morley. Glass comport, £30, Next. Baubles, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Cosworth jug, £25, Habitat. Decorative reindeer, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Letter press lantern, £12, and bottles, £8 each, all Next. On lower shelf, from left: Gifts wrapped in gingham paper, £1 a roll, Tiger. Ribbon, from a selection, Jane Means. Basket, £6, and throw, £5, both Tiger. Decorative sledge, £59.99, HomeSense

COME ON IN Deck the hall with seasonal cushions, buntings and stockings and even a tree, to set the scene the moment you step inside. Fraser Fir artificial tree, from £169, Balsam Hill. Decorations and baubles, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Gifts wrapped in paper, from a selection, Paperchase and Tiger. Ribbon, from a selection, Jane Means. Alpine bunting, £75, Jan Constantine. Berry garland, £12.99, HomeSense. Pre-lit wreath, £12.99, Homebase. Beverley stocking (left), £35, Ian Mankin. Stocking (right), £15, House of Fraser. Love seat bench, £830, Ercol at Barker & Stonehouse. On bench, from left: Stag head cushion (behind gifts), £14.99, Catherine Lansfield at Robin cushion, £25, Marks & Spencer. Faux-fur cushion, £14, Next. Pomme storage boxes (under bench), £95 for two, Loaf. Tuvalie throw (in crate), £9, Ikea

Make a festive ³^_` UY\^Q__U[Z cU`T M PQO[^M`QP hallway

COME TO THE TABLE The dining table takes centre stage on Christmas day. Make yours extra special with our quick-and-easy ideas. Overlay a white tablecloth with festive red runners, add a cluster of candles, and finish off with flowers and foliage. Job done! On table, from left: Albany tablecloth, £50, Habitat. Table runners, £13.49 each, Walton & Co. Reindeer candle, £14, Next. Napkins, £4 for four, George Home. Napkin rings, £8.29 for four, Walton & Co. Vase, £35, Marks & Spencer. Behagfull cutlery, £35 for 24 pieces, Ikea.

104 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Placemats, £4.49 for four, Home Bargains. Striped red plates, £13.50 each, John Lewis. Fireside side plates and bowls, £3.75 each, Wooden house photo holder (used as place card holder), £7 for three, both Sainsbury’s Home. Vardagen tumbler (used as vase), £3 for six, Ikea. Scarlet stem wine glass and Champagne flute, both £7 each, Dibor. Ditsy Berry crackers, £10 for 12, John Lewis. Heart candlestick holders, £13.99 for two, and red votive candles and miniature snowy trees, from a selection, all Gisela Graham. Nordic snowflake tealight holder, £5.49 for two, Talking Tables. Berry candle wreath, £15, Sainsbury’s Home. Cake stand, £4, Tiger.

Mince pies, from a selection, Asda. On mantelpiece, from left: Berry garland, £12.99, HomeSense. Hessian pre-lit trees, £14 each, Sainsbury’s Home. Wooden reindeer decorations, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Vardagen tumbler (used as vase), £3 for six, Ikea. Klein tealight candelabra, £40, Habitat. Reindeer with scarf decoration, £9.99, TK Maxx. Artificial pre-lit tree, from £209, Balsam Hill. Decorations and baubles, all from a selection, Gisela Graham. Gifts wrapped in paper, from a selection, Paperchase and Tiger. Ribbon, from a selection, Jane Means. Talia dining chairs, £95 each, Habitat. Tejn sheepskin rugs (on dining bench), £10 each, Ikea

Seasonal style ❸ Quick ideas for table settings! Create a warm and welcoming atmosphere with glowing candles

TIE IT UP Use red ribbon with a name tag. Cutlery, £24.95 for four pieces, Dibor. Ribbon and tag, from a selection, Jane Means. Festive plate, £3.99, HomeSense

IVY LEAGUE Drape a sprig of ivy round your napkins. Placemat, £4.49 for four, Home Bargains. Napkins, £4 for four, George Home

NATURAL TOUCH Tie napkins with a ring of flowers. Napkin, from a selection, Dibor. String, from a selection, Jane Means. Fireside plate, £3.75, Ikea

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 105

STEP BY STEP A leaning ladder is the perfect place to hang an Advent calendar or little gifts. Wooden ladder, £100, The White Company. Advent garland, £29.99, Lakeland. On floor, from left: St Austell trio of battery outdoor lanterns, £26.99, Lights4Fun. Borrby lantern, £15, Ikea. Red pillar candle (inside), £2, Tiger. Gifts wrapped in paper, from a selection, Paperchase. Ribbon, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Sheepskin runner rug, £115, Loaf. Talia dining chair, £95, Habitat. Merry and Bright cushion, £6, George Home. Wreath, £24.99, Lights4Fun

ON TREND Drinks trolleys really come into their own at this time of year. Not only are they a great place to keep spirits and mixers handy, but also the perfect place to put decorations. Go on – it’s Christmas, so you can be as over-the-top as you like! Luxe drinks trolley, £350, Oliver Bonas. On top shelf, from left: Advent calendar, £24.99, Lakeland. Candle on decorative coaster, from a selection, TK Maxx. Nutcracker crackers, £39.95 for six, Nancy & Betty. Decorative tree, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Santa nutcracker, £17.50, Marks & Spencer. Vardagen tumblers, £3 for six, and Stillhet tealight holder, £4, Ikea. On lower shelf, from left: Stag decoration, £24.99 for two, Robin wine glasses, £4 each, Matalan. Felt coasters, £4 for four, Sainsbury’s. Reindeer candle, £14, Next. Felt robin decoration, £7.50, Marks & Spencer. Artificial pre-lit tree, from £209, Balsam Hill. Decorations and baubles, all from a selection, Gisela Graham. Wreath (above drinks trolley, just seen), £24.99, Lights4Fun. Stocking (hanging), £48, Jan Constantine. All bottles and drinks, from a selection, Asda. Gifts wrapped in paper, from a selection, Paperchase and Tiger. Ribbon, from a selection, Jane Means

❸ Fabulous chairbacks!

WHAT A STUNNER! Hang ornaments from co-ordinating ribbon. Decorations, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Ribbon, from a selection, Jane Means. Chair, £230 for two, Loaf 106 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

PRETTY BUNCH Just before your guests arrive, tie sprigs of gypsophila together with ribbon and attach to each chair. Ribbon, from a selection, Jane Means. Talia chair, £95, Habitat

LOVE RED Decorate with a bauble and a hand-written tag. Ceramic decoration, from a selection, Gisela Graham. Ribbon, from a selection, Jane Means. Chair, £230 for two, Loaf

Seasonal style

Homes editor: Carolyn Bailey Photography: Mark Scott Additional words and styling: James Cunningham

Sarah Beeny’s

Love yourHOME

DECK THE HALLS... living room... bedroom... bathroom... Ho ho ho – it’s the time of year when we can throw restraint out of the window and go mad with decorations, says Sarah

+FESTIVE TRENDS Some noticeable themes have emerged in this year’s decorations… Bright colours work if you hold your nerve! You must keep going with bold and daring rather than have a token bright-coloured corner and then be plain or bland everywhere else. The regal trend, with crown and jewelladen decorations, needs to be handled with care so you don’t end up with a slightly pantomime look! If you are not actually the heir to the throne, a light touch of this style is probably best.

Peacock motifs, feathers and colours inject something magical to a room, but work best if you use lots of rich colours to tone with them. They’ll look out of place if you’re going for a more Scandi or traditional look, but if you go with a dark, luxurious theme, throw in as many peacocks as possible! The Bake Off-inspired, vintage-looking baubles that are everywhere have come from our thirst for nostalgia. In an uncertain world, looking back to 1950s style offers a feeling of safety and security. It’s a very pretty trend, too – though better for trad and shabby-chic homes rather than in ultra-modern interiors.

Star, £3 for 10, B&Q Crown bauble, £2,George Home Feather bauble, £2.99, HomeSense Gingerbread person, £10.50 for two, The Contemporary Home

Sarah: keep your festive decor in tune with your furnishings for maximum impact

Sophia 7ft artificial spruce, £250; Barbican sofa, from £1,199; table, £279; baubles, decorations and other accessories, all John Lewis

+REAL VERSUS FAKE My personal starting point with festive decorating is a real tree, but there are some really ingenious fakes now available. If you decide to go fake, the best advice is to invest in a really good one as they look more realistic and will last you years into the future. Check out the trees at John Lewis, which aren’t cheap but will stand the test of time. I do think going for ‘fake’ plastic baubles rather than the highly fragile glass ones is a great move, though – especially if you’re going to have kids or dogs in the house over Christmas. You can’t go wrong with the decorations at Asda, for instance, which are great value and unbreakable!

Calgary star light, £12.99, Lights4Fun




FILL THE SHELVES When space for decs has run out, just clear a few shelves of their normal clutter and load up with festive crockery and Christmas knick-knacks. High Five shelving unit, £495, Loaf



Photography: Portrait of Sarah: Nicky Johnston Instant updates panel: Mark Scott

+A FOREST OF TREES I know I’ve been banging on for ages about bringing the garden indoors by having more plants around the house, so I’m delighted with this year’s trend for multiple sizes of tree, encouraging us to use them in different rooms, not only the living room. Mini trees brighten up a bathroom or bedroom and will make the whole house look Christmassy. Of course, if you go for real mini trees in pots, don’t forget they’ll only Mini tree, thrive if they £12.50, have light. Sainsbury’s

+LET THERE BE LIGHTS! The most important thing when buying Christmas lights is to make sure they give off warm not cool light. If they don’t specifically say ‘warm white’, be careful to check what you’re buying as you might end up with a ‘fluorescent campsite’ kind of glow! There are some really fun quirky lights out there now ( Bespoke bauble, £10, I’m terribly sentimental and ever The Handmade Christmas since we bought Rise Hall in Company


Yorkshire 16 years ago, we’ve asked Christmas visitors to bring one decoration each. So we now have a massive array of decorations, each with Alphabet a story, many made wire bauble, by children and others £5, Oliver Bonas from bizarre shops around the world.

Want to festoon a dull wall or room? Simply throw a few wreaths at it. Hey presto! Clockwise, from top left: Winter Palace wreath, £30, John Lewis. Pre-lit hanging tree decoration, £22, QVC. Into The Woods wreath, £45, John Lewis. Country wreath, £12, Wilko


CUSHIONS If you’re short of time but want to make your living room Christmassy in seconds, add some characterful cushions like these! Santa Claus cushion, £22, Debenhams. Snowflake cushion, £60, Jan Constantine PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 109

Fabulous, festive treats from homes and gardens editor Carolyn Bailey

Style it, do it,

love ıt!

Christmas special Beautiful baubles Real or fake, a tree decorated with colourful baubles is a must, so why not add a few new ones to your collection? SO SWEET Ice Cream decoration, £10 for two, Amara (

FLYING HIGH Hummingbird bauble, £2, George Home

BOW WOW Dog baubles, £5 each, M&Co ( FINE & DANDY Snowflake decoration, £5, Debenhams

Baubles and decorations, from a selection, John Lewis

3 BEST SNOW GLOBES SPLASH OF COLOUR Slogan bauble, £8 for four, Next

Who doesn’t love to shake and watch a snowy scene? TOOT TOOT! Train snow globe, £24.99, British Heart Foundation (

TOP PRIZE Onion bauble, £2, Homebase

COLD SNAP Penguin hoop decoration, £3.99, HomeSense ( ATTENTION PLEASE Nutcracker bauble, £3, George Home 110 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

A TOUCH OF TRADITION Tartan bauble, £8 for four, Dunelm

WOODED WONDERLAND Fawn snow globe, £24.99,

ROCKIN’ ROBIN Robin snow globe, £25, Laura Ashley

Ready for Rudolph

WRAP UP WARM Oskar fabric decoration, from £15 each, Argos

There’s only one animal that will do right now – the reindeer! Sprinkle liberally...

Cushions, from £15, all Marks & Spencer

WALL ART Sparkly head decoration, £25, Debenhams

GOOD VALUE Reindeer ornament, £5, Dunelm


SNOW WHITE Reindeer decoration, £9.99, TK Maxx

Pile ’em high, sit back and relax!

ANTLER TIME Reindeer decoration, £34.99,

ON TREND Stag, £14.99, Catherine Lansfield at


Sign of the times

Yes, it’s that time of the year when you can go kitsch and still earn style points!

Place setting, all House of Fraser


Joy, £15, Wilko

Going crackers!

1 GET BAKING Oven gloves, £8, Next 2 FURRY FRIEND Polar bear head decoration, £35, Debenhams 3 WELL PLACED Holly Bauble placecard holders, £10.99 for six, Talking Tables ( 4 LITTLE HELPER! Light-up elf decoration, £16, Sainsbury’s Home 5 FUN TIME! Skittles set, £18, Laura Ashley

PRETTY WREATH Winter Twilight, £35, National Trust (shop.nationaltrust.

SCANDI TIME Felt reindeer, £19, M&Co (

Every table needs crackers, the essential finishing touch! 1 SPARKLE Shiny stars, £5 for six, George Home 2 NATURE’S FINEST Leaves & berries, £12 for six, John Lewis 3 GOING GREEN Origami, £17.50 for six, Paperchase 4 FAMILY FUN Santa, £24 for 12, Debenhams 5 GO FOR GOLD Star & stripes, £12 for six, Next 6 BIRD WATCH Pheasant, £34.95 for six,

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 111

Season’s eatings

Lunch is


This year it’s about the classics, but with a twist. Use our timeplan for a Christmas dinner to impress without the stress!

CHRISTMAS LUNCH MENU To start Smoked salmon and celeriac blini

Main course Clementine and sage turkey with Madeira gravy Pork, chestnut and apricot stuffing

The sides Roast potatoes • Shredded sprouts Root veg traybake • Speedy green beans Winter slaw

The sauces Luxury bread sauce Spiced cranberry sauce

Veggie option Mushroom and ale pie

To finish Christmas pudding with Chocolate truffle sauce or Rum butter

YOUR STRESS-BUSTING TIMEPLAN FROM A FEW DAYS TO A MONTH AHEAD Prepare according to get-ahead instructions, then store/freeze:  Luxury bread sauce: freeze  Spiced cranberry sauce: freeze  Rum butter: store in the fridge CHRISTMAS EVE Prepare according to get-ahead and storage instructions:  Remoulade and blini mixture  Stuffing  Turkey  Roast potatoes  Flavoured butter for Speedy green beans  Winter slaw  Mushroom and ale pie  Defrost Luxury bread sauce and Spiced cranberry sauce in fridge overnight

114 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

CHRISTMAS DAY 9AM Take prepared turkey out of fridge. Preheat main oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. ABOUT 10AM Start to roast the turkey (based on a 5.4kg/12lb turkey, plus stuffing). Finish prepping mushroom pie. 11AM Cook blinis, cover and keep at room temperature. Prepare sprouts up to step 1, cover with damp kitchen paper and chill. Prepare Root veg traybake up to step 1, cover and keep at room temperature. 12PM Preheat second

oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. 12:30PM Make Chocolate truffle sauce, cover surface with clingfilm and set aside. ABOUT 12.45PM Take foil off turkey. 1PM Remove Spiced cranberry sauce from fridge. 1:15PM Put oil in to heat up for potatoes. 1.30PM When cooked, take turkey out of oven and transfer to a large board. Cover with foil and a couple of clean tea towels. Leave to rest. Put tray aside for gravy. Put potatoes into hot oil and put in to roast

(basting and turning occasionally). 1:45PM Make Madeira gravy. Assemble Smoked salmon and celeriac blini. 2PM Put Root veg traybake in oven to roast. ABOUT 2:15PM Cook stuffing balls. Remove Flavoured butter for Speedy beans, and Winter slaw from the fridge. Serve starter. Put Mushroom pie into oven. 2:30PM Put serving dishes and plates to warm. 2:40PM Remove potatoes and Stuffing balls from oven, transfer to preheated serving dishes; keep warm. Complete Shredded sprouts and transfer to preheated serving dish. Complete Speedy green beans and transfer to preheated serving dish.

Remove skewers from turkey, transfer to a warm platter. Garnish with fried clementine halves, if you like. Reheat and complete on the hob: Luxury bread sauce (add more milk as needed); Madeira gravy. 2:50PM Take Root veg traybake and pie out of oven. Keep warm. Transfer Madeira gravy and Luxury bread sauce to preheated serving dishes. Toss Winter slaw. Remove Rum butter from fridge. 3PM Serve lunch. 4PM Reheat Christmas pudding according to instructions. 4:30PM (OR WHEN EVERYONE HAS ROOM!) Reheat Chocolate truffle sauce. Serve Christmas pudding with Rum butter and Chocolate truffle sauce. AND NOW RELAX – PHEW!

Season’s eatings

Store leftover rémoulade in the fridge (covered) for up to 3 days

Smoked salmon & celeriac blini A simplified blini recipe makes this dish easier to handle on a busy day! SERVES 8 PREP 30min, plus resting COOK about 15min FOR THE BLINIS • 200g (7oz) plain flour • 15g (½oz) caster sugar • 2 medium eggs • 150ml (¼ pint) semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature • 50ml (2fl oz) vegetable oil, plus extra to fry • Smoked salmon, in slices, to serve FOR THE CELERIAC RÉMOULADE • Juice of ½ lemon • 300g (11oz) celeriac • 3tbsp crème fraîche

• 3tbsp mayonnaise • 1-2tsp Dijon mustard, to taste • 2tbsp freshly chopped parsley, plus extra to garnish

1 To make the blini batter, sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the sugar and ½tsp salt. Make a well in the middle and crack in the eggs. Start whisking the eggs, then gradually add the milk. Still whisking constantly, draw in the flour to make a smooth batter (push through a sieve if not smooth). Whisk in the oil. Cover and set aside to rest for 30min. 2 Meanwhile, make the rémoulade. Put the lemon juice into a medium bowl. Next, peel the celeriac using a vegetable peeler – be patient, it’s not easy! Cut the celeriac into 3mm (1/8in) thick slices (or as thinly as you’re able), then cut across the slices to make matchsticks. Toss celeriac in the lemon juice. Mix through the

remaining ingredients and check the seasoning. Cover and set aside. 3 Heat a little oil in a large heavy-based pan. Spoon in blini batter, smoothing it out to make blinis roughly 11.5cm (4½in) across. Fit as many in the pan as you can, without letting them touch. Cook for 2-3min until the bases are golden, then flip and cook for a further 2min. Set aside. Continue the process until all the batter is used – you should end up with about 8 blinis. 4 To serve, put each blini on a plate, top with salmon and a mound of rémoulade. GET AHEAD Prepare to end of step 2 up to a day ahead. Cover blini mixture and rémoulade separately and chill. Up to 3hr ahead, cook blinis (add a splash of milk to the mixture first to loosen). Cover cooked blinis and keep at room temperature. Serve as in step 4 (reheating blinis, if you like). PER SERVING: CALS 301, FAT 17g; SAT FAT 4g; CARBS 24g

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 115

Clementine & sage turkey with Madeira gravy The combination of clementine and sage is mouthwateringly delicious! This is likely to become your new family favourite. SERVES 8 (with leftovers) PREP 30min, plus letting turkey reach room temperature, and resting COOK about 3hr 40min • 5.4kg (12lb) turkey • 3 firm clementines • 20g pack fresh sage • 100g (3½oz) butter, softened • 500g (1lb 2oz) stuffing (see recipe later in this feature) • 3 celery sticks • 3 carrots, halved lengthways FOR THE MADEIRA GRAVY • 25g (1oz) plain flour • 125ml (4fl oz) Madeira wine • 300ml (½ pint) chicken stock • 1tbsp runny honey or redcurrant jelly, if needed

1 Remove turkey from the fridge 1hr before you stuff it to let it come up to room temperature. 2 Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. Finely grate the zest from the clementines into a medium bowl. Halve the zested clementines and set aside. Next, add 2tbsp thinly sliced sage leaves (reserve rest of bunch) and add to the bowl with the butter and plenty of seasoning. Mix together. 3 Put the turkey, breast-up, on a board. Lift up the neck flap and use your fingers to ease the skin gently away from the breast meat. Spread most of the butter between the skin and meat. Set remaining butter aside. 4 Put stuffing inside the neck cavity, taking care not to overfill. Turn turkey over on to its breast; pull neck flap down and over the stuffing; secure with a skewer or cocktail sticks. Weigh turkey and calculate the cooking time: allow 30-35min per kg (2lb 3½oz). 5 Make a trivet in a large roasting tin of celery sticks and carrot halves, and sit turkey on top. Put clementine halves and remaining sage (stalks and all) into the turkey cavity, then rub remaining 116 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

flavoured butter over the breast of the bird. Tie legs together with string; season bird all over. Cover loosely with foil. 6 Roast for calculated time, removing foil for last 45min of cooking. If you find the skin is browning too quickly, cover with foil again – and don’t forget to baste your bird at least 3 times during cooking. 7 To check turkey is cooked, insert a fork into the thickest part of the thigh and check the juices run clear. If there’s any red tinge to the juice, return the bird to the oven and keep checking every 10-15min. Alternatively, use a meat thermometer – the temperature needs to read 72°C when inserted into the thickest part of the breast. 8 Transfer the turkey to a board (set aside the tin for the Madeira gravy), and cover 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. 9 To make gravy, spoon off most of the fat from the roasting tin (leaving veg in the tin). Put tin over a medium hob heat; add the flour. Cook, stirring well with a wooden spoon, for 1min. Gradually add the Madeira (scraping up all the sticky bits from base of tin); leave to bubble for a few min. Next, stir in the stock and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5min. Check seasoning; add honey/ redcurrant jelly, if needed. Strain into a warmed gravy jug or clean pan (to reheat when needed). 10 To serve the turkey, unwrap and transfer to a warm serving plate. Remove skewer or cocktail sticks and garnish with clementine halves and stuffing balls. Serve with the gravy. GET AHEAD Prepare turkey to end of step 5 up to a day ahead. Chill. To serve, allow stuffed turkey to come up to room temperature before roasting. PER 125g (4oz) SERVING (WITH GRAVY): CALS 286; FAT 12g; SAT FAT 5g; CARBS 5g

Season’s eatings

Fried clementine halves and _`aR³ZS NMXX_ make a pretty SM^ZU_T

THE SIDES Shredded sprouts Thought it was impossible to reinvent the humble sprout? Think again! SERVES 8 PREP 15min COOK 10min • 500g (1lb 2oz) sprouts • 25g (1oz) butter • 200g pack smoked bacon lardons • 25g (1oz) roasted chopped hazelnuts 1 Start by shredding the sprouts (the mandolin attachment on a food processor is perfect for this); alternatively, finely slice. 2 Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium-high heat and add lardons. Fry until golden, then add most of the nuts. Continue to fry for 1min, then stir in the sprouts and add a good splash of water. Cook, stirring, for 3-5min, adding more water if needed, until the sprouts are just tender. 3 Check the seasoning and empty into a warmed serving dish. Scatter over the remaining hazelnuts and serve. GET AHEAD Prepare to end of step 1 up

to 4hr ahead, then cover with damp kitchen paper and chill. Complete recipe to serve. PER SERVING: CALS 139; FAT 11g; SAT FAT 4g; CARBS 3g

GET AHEAD Prepare to end of step 1 up to 4hr ahead. Cover and keep at room temperature. To serve, uncover, stir and complete recipe. PER SERVING: CALS 165; FAT 7g FAT; SAT FAT 1g; CARBS 24g

Root veg traybake Roast potatoes If you like, use maple syrup instead of honey – both add a lovely sweetness. SERVES 8 PREP 15min COOK about 1hr • 8 medium parsnips • 8 medium carrots • 8 shallots, halved if large • 3tbsp olive oil • 3tbsp runny honey • 1½tbsp sesame seeds 1 Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. Quarter parsnips and carrots lengthways, then cut each quarter in half. Put into a large roasting tin, mix through the remaining ingredients, and season. 2 Roast for 45min-1hr or until the vegetables are tender and beginning to caramelise. Check the seasoning, then transfer to a warm plate and serve.

Adding a sprinkling of flour before roasting gives extra crunch – and who doesn’t love that! SERVES 8 PREP 20min COOK 1hr 15min • 2.5kg (5½lb) medium floury potatoes • 6tbsp goose fat or olive oil • 15g (½oz) plain flour • 4 fresh thyme sprigs • 5 garlic cloves (in their skins) 1 Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. Peel the potatoes and cut into large, even chunks. Put in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 12min. 2 Put the fat or oil in a roasting tin big enough to fit the potatoes in a single layer. Heat in the oven.

All our sides can be prepped ahead of time to help ease Christmas Day stress!

Season’s eatings 3 Drain the potatoes well and leave to dry for 3min. Shake well to rough up the edges. Empty on to a large tray, sprinkle with flour and seasoning, then toss. 4 Carefully add potatoes, thyme and garlic to the hot fat in roasting tin, turning to coat. Roast for 1hr until golden, basting and turning occasionally. Discard thyme sprigs. Season with salt, transfer to a warm plate and serve. GET AHEAD Prepare to end of step 3 up to a day ahead (but do not heat oil). Cool completely, wrap tray in clingfilm and chill. When completing recipe, make sure oil is hot before adding potatoes. PER SERVING: CALS 315; FAT 9g; SAT FAT 1g; CARBS 55g

Speedy green beans A quick-and-easy side for a welcome touch of green.

• 40g (1½oz) butter, softened • 2tbsp freshly chopped tarragon • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste 1 Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and add beans. Cook for 4min, or until just tender. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and season. 2 Drain beans and steam-dry for 1min. Empty into a warmed dish and dot over the butter mixture. Toss through. Serve. GET AHEAD Make the flavoured butter up to a day ahead. Cover and chill. Allow to come up to room temperature before completing recipe. PER SERVING: CALS 52; FAT 4.5g; SAT FAT 3g; CARBS 2g

Winter slaw Crisp and fresh, this is a perfect side for those wanting a lighter option… or those who want it all! SERVES 8 PREP 25min COOK about 3min

SERVES 8 PREP 5min COOK about 5min • 500g (1lb 2oz) fine green beans, ends trimmed

• 250g (9oz) red cabbage • 2 Granny Smith apples • 2 medium carrots

• 75g (3oz) radishes, thinly sliced • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced FOR THE DRESSING • 25ml (1fl oz) extra virgin olive oil • ½tbsp black onion seeds • ½-1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into thin rings • 2tsp caster sugar 1 Finely shred cabbage and put into a large mixing bowl. Halve and core the apples (with skin on), slice thinly and add to cabbage. Peel and trim ends of carrots, then use the peeler to slice them into long ribbons. Add to bowl, along with radishes and spring onions. 2 Heat the oil in a small frying pan and add the onion seeds. When they begin to pop, add the chilli, sugar and plenty of seasoning. Heat for 30sec, then pour over the vegetables. Toss, check the seasoning and serve. GET AHEAD Make up to a day ahead, then cover and chill. To serve, allow to come up to room temperature and toss to redistribute dressing. PER SERVING: CALS 54; FAT 3g; SAT FAT 0.4g; CARBS 7g

Why not make more than you need - who doesn't love leftovers?

Season’s eatings

SENSATIONAL STUFFING & SAUCES Our savoury and sweet accompaniments are perfect partners for your feast

Pork, chestnut Luxury bread & apricot stuffing sauce

Spiced cranberry sauce

If you are not planning on using this stuffing to fill the turkey, you can always halve it to just make balls.

If you are not a fan of cardamom, replace it with a broken cinnamon stick, both add a delish new twist.

MAKES ENOUGH TO STUFF A TURKEY, PLUS 20 BALLS PREP 30min COOK about 45min • 50g (2oz) butter • 1 large onion, finely chopped • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped • 450g (1lb) good quality sausage meat • 75g (3oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, finely chopped • Finely grated zest of 1 orange • Large handful flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped • 1 medium egg • 150g (5oz) fresh white breadcrumbs • 200g pack whole cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped • 10 streaky bacon rashers

1 Melt the butter in a medium pan and gently cook the onion and celery for 10min, or until soft but not coloured. Empty into a large bowl and set aside. 2 Add the sausage meat, dried apricots, orange zest, parsley, egg, breadcrumbs, chestnuts and some seasoning and mix to combine (using your hands is easiest). Set aside half the stuffing for the turkey. 3 Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. Divide the remaining mixture into 20 equal pieces and roll each into a ball. Stretch each bacon rasher along a board with the back of a cook’s knife, then cut in half widthways and wrap each half around a stuffing ball. Put seam-side down on a non-stick baking tray (if you like, secure the bacon with a cocktail stick). 4 Cook in the oven for 30-35min until cooked through. GET AHEAD Prepare to end of step 3 up to a day ahead. Cover balls with clingfilm and chill. Chill remaining half until ready to stuff the turkey. Complete recipe to serve. PER STUFFING BALL: CALS 86; FAT 5g; SAT FAT 2g; CARBS 7g

Mascarpone adds a velvety softness – a little twist to elevate the old favourite. SERVES 8 PREP 10min, plus infusing COOK about 10min • 6 whole cloves • ½ onion • 600ml (1 pint) whole milk • 1 bay leaf • 200g (7oz) fresh white breadcrumbs • 50g (2oz) mascarpone • 25g (1oz) butter, optional • Freshly grated nutmeg

1 Stick the cloves into the onion half and put in a medium pan with the milk and bay leaf. Heat until nearly boiling, then take off the heat and leave to infuse for 15min. 2 Lift the studded onion and bay leaf out of the milk and discard. Reheat gently until nearly boiling, then stir in the breadcrumbs and mascarpone. Cook over a low heat, stirring, for 1-2min until thickened. 3 Mix in the butter, if using, and season well with salt and nutmeg. GET AHEAD Make recipe to end of step 2 up to a day ahead. Pour into a sealable container and lay some clingfilm on the surface of the sauce. Cover the container and chill. Alternatively, freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, thaw frozen sauce in fridge overnight. Warm defrosted sauce through in a pan with extra milk to loosen. Complete recipe. PER SERVING (NOT INCLUDING BUTTER): CALS 165; FAT 6g; SAT FAT 4g; CARBS 23g

SERVES 8 PREP 5min COOK about 10min • 5 cardamom pods • 500g (1lb 2oz) fresh or frozen cranberries • 100ml (3½fl oz) white wine • 3tbsp marmalade • 100g (3½oz) light brown soft sugar

1 Bash the cardamom pods to split the husks slightly. Put into a pan with the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10min, or until most of the cranberries have burst. Empty into a bowl and cool. 2 If the sauce has thickened too much, stir in a splash of water. Remove cardamom pods and serve. GET AHEAD Prepare to end of step 1 up to 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Alternatively, freeze in a sealed container for up to 1 month. To serve, thaw frozen sauce in the fridge. Take out of the fridge 2hr before serving to bring to room temperature, and complete recipe. PER SERVING: CALS 82; FAT 0g; SAT FAT 0g; CARBS 20g

Season’s eatings

VEGETARIAN SHOWSTOPPER Mushroom & ale pie Rather than serving up individual portions, make this triumphant offering and even non-veggies will want a slice. SERVES 8 PREP 30min, plus cooling COOK about 1hr • 125g (4oz) green lentils, washed • 250g (9oz) sweet potato, cut into 1.5cm (2⁄3in) cubes • 75g (3oz) butter

This pie adapts easily - use butternut squash and feta, if you prefer

• 500g (1lb 2oz) mixed mushrooms, sliced – we used white cup and chestnut varieties • 200ml (7fl oz) vegetarian ale • 50g (2oz) fresh white breadcrumbs • 1 medium egg • Large handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped • 1tsp English mustard • 125g (4oz) vegetarian Lancashire cheese, crumbled

• 40g (1½oz) pistachios • 270g pack filo pastry

1 Put washed lentils into a pan and cover well with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20min, or until tender. Add the sweet potato 5min before the end of the cooking time. Drain and leave to cool. 2 Meanwhile, heat 1tbsp of the butter over a high heat in a large frying pan and cook the mushrooms for 10min, or until cooked through and any water they have released has evaporated. Carefully pour in the ale; take care as the fumes may ignite (they’ll die down quickly if they do). Leave to bubble until the liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool. 3 Put the cooled lentil mixture into a large bowl and mix in the cooled mushrooms, the breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, mustard, cheese, pistachios and plenty of seasoning. 4 Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. Gently heat the remaining butter in a small pan until melted. Unwrap the filo and brush the top sheet with some of the melted butter. Put sheet butter-side down into a 20.5cm (8in) loose-bottomed round cake tin – leave excess hanging over the edges. Repeat with remaining filo and as much butter as needed, arranging the pastry so it lines the base and sides of the tin well. Fill with the lentil mixture, then fold the overhanging pastry over the filling so that it covers it completely. Brush with melted butter. 5 Put the tin on a baking sheet and cook for 30-35min until golden. Carefully remove pie from tin and serve warm, or at room temperature, in slices. GET AHEAD Prepare to the end of step 3 up to a day ahead, but don’t add the parsley or egg. Cover and chill. Complete to end of step 4 up to 4hr ahead (don’t forget to add the parsley and egg here), and then cover and chill. Complete recipe to serve, cooking the pie for 35min. PER SERVING: CALS 360; FAT 18g; SAT FAT 9g; CARBS 38g

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 123

Season’s eatings


A couple of sparklers placed in your pud ³ZU_TQ_ [RR `TQ YQMX cU`T a bang!

Chocolate truffle sauce This works wonderfully with a rich, fruity pudding, although for those who don’t like Christmas pud, it’s also delicious drizzled over ice cream! SERVES 8 PREP 10min COOK 10min • 250ml (9fl oz) single cream • 2tbsp sugar • 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, in small pieces • 2tbsp dark rum

1 Gently heat cream and sugar in a pan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Bring 124 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

the mixture just to the boil, removing from the heat when you see steam rising from the surface. 2 Add chocolate, set aside for 5min, then stir until smooth. Add rum and heat on a low heat for 5min. Serve in a warm jug, covering the surface in clingfilm to stop a skin forming. GET AHEAD Make up to 4hr in advance. Reheat in a medium pan over a low heat, stirring often. PER 1TBSP (25G) SERVING: CALS 87; FAT 7g; SAT FAT 4g; CARBS 5g

Rum butter A lovely alternative to brandy butter, this works particularly well with puddings containing dates or prunes.

SERVES 12 PREP 5min • 200g (7oz) lightly salted butter, softened • 100g (3½oz) icing sugar • 4tbsp dark rum

1 In a bowl, combine the butter and icing sugar, then beat until smooth. Beat in the rum. Keep at room temperature if serving within a couple of hours, or cover and chill. Remove from the fridge 2hr before serving. GET AHEAD Make up to a week in advance. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving. PER 1TBSP (25g) SERVING: CALS 144; FAT 12g; SAT FAT 7g; CARBS 7g

Feature: Hearst Food Network Photography: Kate Whitaker, Gareth Morgans

Run out of time to make your own pud (like most of us!)? No problem. Simply make one or both of these fabulous sauces, serve with a shop-bought pud, and listen to the applause!

Best festive drinks

Raıse your glasses! Stock the fridge and sideboard and get ready for the arrival of your guests. You’ll soon have everyone smiling with one of these wonderful tipples… BEST SPARKLERS Prosecco Irresistible Special Cuvée Brut, Italy, 11%, Co-op, £7.49 Creamy Prosecco bubbles with the bright taste of ripe pears and apricots.

Crémant de Bourgogne Brut, La Cave des Hautes Côtes, France, 12%, Marks & Spencer, £12 Stylish sparkling wine. Enjoy as an aperitif.

Taste the Difference Crémant de Loire Brut, France, 12.5%, Sainsbury’s, £11 A light, lemon and honeysuckle fizz. Perfect with canapés.

Ca’di Pietra Prosecco Extra Dry, Italy, 11%, Aldi, £12.99 for a magnum Two bottles’ worth of fruity fizz in one big bottle. A good party proposition.

Nicolas Courtin Champagne Brut NV, France, 12%, Majestic £19.99 (£14.99 on multibuy) When only Champagne will do. Crisp, rounded, toasty.

Taste the Difference Albariño 2016, Rías Baixas, Spain, 13.5%, Sainsbury’s, £8.50 Deliciously drinkable, with apricot and lemongrass aromas.

Waitrose White Burgundy 2016, France, 13%, Waitrose, £8.99 Elegance in a glass with notes of peach and citrus. Excellent dinner-party drinking.

Petit Perdigal 2016, France, 14.5%, Majestic, £7.99 Contains all the warm red fruits, spices and herbs to cope with the flavours of Christmas.

Bordeaux Merlot 2016, France, 13%, Marks & Spencer, £9 A seriously good wine that will pair perfectly with roast lamb or turkey with all the trimmings.

BEST WHITES Vermentino di Sardegna 2016, Sardinia, Italy, 12.5%, Lidl, £4.69 The white flower scent and the taste of apples makes this a good one to go with salads.

Extra Special Sauvignon Blanc 2016, New Zealand, 13%, Asda, £6.98 Crisp, with juicy citrus and gooseberry flavours. An essential aperitif.

Irresistible Gavi 2016, Piedmont, Italy, 13.5%, Co-op, £7.99 Soft, peachy notes and a hint of almonds make this a sure-fire match for roast chicken.

BEST REDS Côtes du Rhône 2015, France, 13%, Lidl, £3.99 Juicy and full of chunky red berry fruit. Perfect for simple suppers – and astonishing flavour for the money.

Wm Morrison Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2015, Italy, 13%, Morrisons, £6 Full of cherry fruit with chocolate and herbal notes in the mix. Team with pasta.

Exquisite Collection Pinot Noir 2016, Wairarapa, New Zealand, 13%, Aldi, £6.99 Raspberry and cherry fruit. Match with sausages or chicken.

Words: Christine Austin

SOMETHING SPECIAL Berton Vineyard Botrytis Semillon 2016, Australia, 11.5%, Aldi, £5.99 for 37.5cl A delicious wine tasting of oranges, apricots and honey. Pair with a fruit dessert.

Domaine Pouderoux Maury Grande Réserve, France, 15.5%, Waitrose, £11.49 for 50cl Best enjoyed slightly chilled alongside a rich chocolate pudding.

Henriques & Henriques Full Rich Madeira, 19%, Majestic, £11.99 for 50cl Nutty, caramel notes with coffee and spice. Ideal with mince pies.

Spiced Clementine Whisky Sour, 20%, Marks & Spencer, £12 A Chistmassy cocktail mix. Pour over ice with a twist of orange peel.

Ben Bracken Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 40%, Lidl, £17.49 Smooth flavours of crème brûlée, honey and spice. Terrific whisky at a great price.



great joy! Behold… scrumptious and easy to make, these decadent desserts are perfect for your Christmas dish list

Season’s eatings

Tiramisu Pots No one will know this sophisticated dessert took just 15 minutes to make. Result! SERVES 6 PREP about 15min • 375g (13oz) mascarpone • 75g (3oz) plain chocolate, finely chopped • 2 medium eggs* • 75g (3oz) caster sugar • 175-200g (6-7oz) chocolate loaf cake or brownies, roughly chopped • 6tbsp Tia Maria liqueur • Cocoa powder, to dust • Edible gold leaf, optional

1 Mix together the mascarpone and chocolate in a large bowl until combined. In a separate medium bowl, beat together eggs and sugar using handheld electric beaters until pale and moussey, about 5min. Use a large metal spoon to fold the egg mixture into the mascarpone bowl. 2 Divide half the chocolate loaf cake or brownies among six large glasses, then drizzle ½tbsp Tia Maria into each glass. Next, divide half the mascarpone mixture equally among the glasses. Repeat the layering process once more. 3 Cut a star template from paper. Lay over one glass and dust with cocoa powder. Repeat with remaining glasses and sprinkle edible gold leaf, if using, over each pudding. Serve immediately. *As this pudding contains raw eggs, buy those that carry the British Lion Mark

Chocolate Orange Panettone Pudding Yes, you can make a last-minute pud that everyone loves! This is perfect to pop in the oven while you’re serving a main course. SERVES 6 PREP about 15min, plus soaking COOK about 40min • 750g (1lb 101⁄2oz) panettone • 50g (2oz) dark chocolate chips • 750g (1lb 101⁄2oz) fresh vanilla custard • 75ml (3fl oz) milk • Zest of 2 oranges • 2tbsp demerara sugar • Cream, optional, to serve

1 Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan) mark 3. Cut panettone horizontally into 2.5cm (1in) slices to create rounds, then

cut these in half. Arrange in a 2 litre (3½ pint) ovenproof dish. Scatter over most of the chocolate chips. 2 In a small pan, heat the custard, milk and orange zest until warm and a pourable consistency. Pour over panettone, press down lightly to immerse slices completely, and leave to soak for 20min. 3 Scatter over remaining chocolate chips and the sugar, then bake for 30-35min until golden and custard is just set. Serve immediately, with cream, if you like.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 127

Cranberry Trifle Make this up to 24hr ahead. SERVES 8 PREP 15min, plus chilling COOK about 5min

Black Forest Roulade Chocolate and cherry, a heavenly combo! If making this for children, you can replace the kirsch with cherry juice. SERVES 8-10 PREP 40min, plus cooling COOK about 20min • 125g (4oz) dark chocolate, chopped • Butter, to grease • 4 large eggs, separated • 125g (4oz) caster sugar, plus extra to dust FOR THE SOAKING SYRUP AND FILLING • 2tbsp caster sugar • 2tbsp kirsch • 300ml (½ pint) double cream • 2tbsp icing sugar, sifted, plus extra to dust • 425g tin pitted black cherries, drained • Cocoa powder, to dust

1 Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted and smooth, set aside to cool for 10min. 2 Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Lightly grease a 23cm x 33cm (9in x 13in) Swiss roll tin; line base and sides with parchment. 3 In a large bowl, using a handheld electric whisk, beat together egg yolks and caster sugar until light and fluffy – about 5min. Fold in cooled chocolate. 4 In a separate large bowl, with clean 128 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

beaters, whisk egg whites until holding stiff peaks. With a large metal spoon, mix a spoonful of whites into chocolate mixture to loosen, then carefully but quickly fold in remaining whites. 5 Scrape mixture into prepared tin; smooth to level. Bake 10-15min until set. 6 Dust a sheet of parchment larger than Swiss roll tin with caster sugar; invert cake on to it. Lift off tin; lay a damp, clean tea towel over cake (with parchment still on). Leave to cool. 7 For soaking syrup, in a small heatproof bowl dissolve sugar in 1tbsp boiling water from kettle. Stir in 1tbsp kirsch. Lift off tea towel; peel off top sheet of parchment. Brush syrup over cake. 8 For filling, whip cream, icing sugar and remaining 1tbsp kirsch to medium peaks. Spread filling over cake, leaving a 1cm (½in) border. Scatter over cherries. With help of base parchment, roll up roulade from a short side; put on a serving plate, seam-side down. Dust with cocoa powder and icing sugar; serve. GET AHEAD Assemble up to 5hr ahead but do not dust with cocoa or icing sugar. Loosely cover with foil and chill. Complete recipe to serve.

1 In a pan, gently heat cranberries, sugar, zest and juice with 2tbsp water for about 5min until berries are soft. Stir in wine, if using. Leave to cool to room temperature. 2 Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add nuts; toast until lightly coloured, but keep stirring – they burn easily. Tip into a bowl to cool. 3 Line base of a 1.8 litre (3¼ pint) glass bowl with sponges, cutting to fit. Spoon over cooled cranberry mix. Stir three-quarters of nuts into custard; set aside the rest. Spoon custard over cranberry layer. 4 Whip cream and icing sugar until just holding soft peaks; don't whip too much or cream will turn buttery. Spoon over custard. Cover and chill at least 30min. 5 To serve, grate chocolate directly on to cream; sprinkle with the remaining nuts. GET AHEAD Make to end of step 3 up to 24hr ahead. Store in the fridge. Complete recipe to serve.

Feature: Hearst Food Network Photography: Kate Whitaker, Gareth Morgans, Myles New

• 350g (12oz) fresh cranberries • 60g (2½oz) caster sugar • Zest and juice of 1 orange • 100ml (3½fl oz) dessert wine, optional • 50g (2oz) pistachios, chopped • 160g pack trifle sponges • 500g tub fresh vanilla custard • 600ml (1 pint) double cream • 25g (1oz) icing sugar, sifted • 15g (½oz) plain chocolate

Season’s eatings

Christmas Brownie Bites If you can bring yourself to give these sweet treats away – and we quite understand if you can’t – they make a great present arranged in a special tin or box. To make them less sweet, simply drizzle with plain chocolate. MAKES 24 PREP 25min, plus cooling and setting COOK about 35min • 175g (6oz) butter, plus extra to grease • 125g (4oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped • 1½tbsp brandy, optional • 250g (9oz) light brown soft sugar • 2 medium eggs • 100g (3½oz) plain flour • 1tsp ground cinnamon • 1tsp mixed spice • 100g (3½oz) sultanas TO DECORATE • White chocolate • Edible sprinkles

1 To make the bites, preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Line a 20.5cm (8in) square tin with baking parchment. In a large pan, gently heat butter, chocolate and brandy, if using, until melted. 2 Take pan off the heat and mix in the sugar, followed by the eggs (the mixture will become smooth and glossy as you mix it). Sift over flour and spices, then add sultanas and stir everything together. Scrape the mixture into the tin and bake for 30min until a crust forms. Leave to cool completely in the tin. 3 Lift the brownie out of the tin and cut into 24 pieces. Arrange bites on a wire rack set over a baking tray or board. Melt some white chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, then drizzle over the bites and decorate with sprinkles. Leave to set before serving or wrapping. GET AHEAD Store the whole brownie, wrapped in clingfilm, at room temperature for up to a week. Once covered in chocolate, bites will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days in an airtight container. PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 129

Let’s decorate!

Starry Snowmen

CHRISTMAS CAKE You’ve baked a cake, you’ve ladled on the liqueur… now to make it beautiful! Get ahead


Christmas cake No soaking required – this really is the simplest Christmas cake recipe you could ever wish for. Simply boil and bake!

CUTS INTO 16 SLICES PREP 15min, plus cooling and maturing COOK 2hr 15min • 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, plus extra to grease • 500g (1lb 2oz) each raisins and sultanas • 100g (3½oz) each ready-to-eat prunes, natural glacé cherries and stem ginger, chopped • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon • 150ml (¼ pint) Amaretto, plus extra to feed • 175g (6oz) dark brown muscovado sugar • 100g (3½oz) blanched almonds, very roughly chopped • 200g (7oz) self-raising flour • 1tsp each mixed spice and ground cinnamon • ½tsp each ground cloves and ground allspice • 3 medium eggs, beaten

1 Preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan) mark 2. Grease then line the base and sides of a 20.5cm (8in) deep round cake tin with baking parchment. 2 Put all the dried fruit and stem ginger into a very large pan with the lemon zest and almond liqueur. Bring the mixture to the boil, then cook on a medium heat for 5min. Add the butter and sugar and heat gently to melt, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. 3 Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool for 5min. Stir in the almonds, flour, spices and beaten eggs and mix well. Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface (there’s no need to make a dip in the mixture). 4 Bake the cake for 1hr 45min to 2hr, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover

the cake with foil if it is browning too quickly. 5 Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin. When cool, remove from the tin (leaving on the parchment paper). Wrap a few layers of clingfilm around the cake in its paper, then cover with foil. Store in an airtight container in a cool place. After two weeks of maturing, prick the top of the cake all over with a skewer and pour over 1tbsp almond liqueur. Re-wrap and store as before.

We have a FEEDING YOUR wonderful icing CAKE The Christmas idea for your cake cake will keep for up next month... to three months stored in this way. It can be fed with more almond liqueur every week, if you like – although if you prefer a less sweet and boozy cake, every few weeks is fine. COOK’S TIP Chill the dried fruit in the fridge first before you make your cake – you’ll find it much easier to chop.


In our November issue, we gave you the recipe for an easy boil-andbake, Amaretto-laced cake. For these 3D decorations, you can make as many figurines as you like or, for a simpler design, the star-stack tree is stunning on its own. For a similar cookie-cutter set to make the tree, try Lakeland.

PREP about 1hr, plus drying. For a 20.5cm (8in) cake

• 1kg (2lb 3½oz) white ready-to-roll icing • Light blue, orange, black and turquoise ready-to-roll icing • 400g (14oz) icing sugar, plus extra to dust • Edible gold lustre spray • 20.5cm (8in) diameter round fruit cake • 1½tbsp apricot jam • 500g (1lb 2oz) marzipan • 2 medium egg whites • Edible gold balls

1 For the snowmen, shape ovals of different sizes for the bodies and smaller balls for the heads from the white icing. Use light blue icing to shape shallow cones for the hats, rolling long, thin sausage shapes for the rims and tiny white balls for the bobbles. Make carrot noses from the orange icing, adding a taper to the thinner end. Roll little balls of black icing for eyes and buttons. With a fine paint 130 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

brush, lightly brush the tops of the bodies with water and gently press on heads. Brush heads with water and press a hat on to each. Brush hat rims with water and wrap around the bases of the hats. Dot the tips of the hats with water and press the bobbles on. Use a cocktail stick to make a hole for each nose. Wet the wide end of each carrot and push into the nose hole. Brush the face with water and press on the eyes, then brush a vertical line of water down the front of each body and press on 3 buttons. 2 For presents, make different-size cubes in blue and turquoise icing. Roll white icing into thin strips. Brush presents with water, then press two strips of white icing on to each and make a figure of eight for a bow. 3 For the tree, dust a surface with icing sugar and roll out the remaining white icing to 1cm (½in) thick. Stamp out star and/or snowflake shapes in graduated sizes. Cut out

Make presents from blue icing

Spread royal icing over the cake

Stack the graduated white stars

a small star; spray with gold lustre spray. Set aside, along with snowmen and presents, to dry completely for at least 4 hours or overnight. 4 Put cake on an 20.5cm (8in) cake board. Put jam into a bowl and mix with 1tsp water to loosen, then brush on to top and sides of the cake. Dust a work surface with icing sugar and roll out marzipan into a 33cm (13in) circle. Use a rolling pin to lift on to cake; smooth top and sides. Trim and discard excess. Leave to harden for a few hours. 5 For the royal icing, put egg whites into a large bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Add remaining icing sugar a little at a time, whisking until thick and glossy. Spread three quarters over top and sides of cake with a palate knife, swirling to create snowy peaks. 6 To assemble tree, gently press largest shape into centre of cake. Dot the centre with royal icing and top with a star or snowflake one size smaller, twisted so its points poke out at angles to those below. Continue adding each layer, glueing with icing. Brush the top layer with water and press on the small gold star. Brush some of the ‘branches’ with water and dot with edible balls. Gently press snowmen and presents into the icing around the tree.

Once iced, the cake will keep for several weeks.

You could use royal icing sugar to make the icing instead. Also, as this recipe contains raw eggs, buy those that carry the British Lion Mark.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 131

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STRICTLY SPECIAL! Dress up like Tess or Claudia in one of our glamorous gowns

THE TESS DRESS Dare to dazzle in this ultra-glam LBD. With its sexy side slit, figure-loving fit and stunning neckline, this dress is guaranteed to make an impact. We love the jewelled straps, which add a little Strictly sparkle!

Earrings, £10 for a set of two pairs, Principles by Ben de Lisi at Debenhams. Rings, from £5.99, H&M. Clutch, £60, No.1 by Jenny Packham at Debenhams. Heels, £25, 3-8, Asos

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Make it your way

Need to know

THE CLAUDIA DRESS Fun and flirty, you’ll be sure to turn heads in this fab frock. The flattering cut and knee-length style make it an ideal choice for the party season. Just add heels and a glitzy clutch.

WOMEN’S SIZES 10-20 Our simple column dress is semi-fitted with back waist darts and can be made long with a deep side slit, or knee length. Make the shoulder straps from fabric, ribbon or lavish beaded trim. FABRICS We used black polyester crepe from Mad Jak ( and ivory corded lace from MacCulloch & Wallis ( INSTRUCTIONS The pattern pieces, cutting layouts and sewing instructions are all on the Prima pattern. Long dress





Additional photography: Rex Features

Short dress

Above: A feather stole is a glam addition if you’d rather keep your upper arms covered. Stole, £60, No. 1 by Jenny Top tip Packham at Debenhams. The semi-fitted Earrings, £6, Accessorize shape means this Ring, £36, and bracelet, £68, both Stella & Dot. Clutch, £69, Phase Eight. Heels, £30, 3-8, Asos

dress slims and trims in all the right places

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 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: Phonovation/Spoke, 014378815. Lines close midnight, 31 December 2017. PLEASE ALLOW 28 DAYS FOR DELIVERY.

Feature: Janet Palmer Photography: Pavel Dornak at Hearst Studios Styling: Helen Johnson Hair & make-up: Anna Durston Illustrations: Terry Evans

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 141

A handmade tale Decorations and gifts crafted by you are fun to make and so much more personal than anything you can buy

Simple and so pretty

142 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Make it special!

Season’s greetings Use a compass cutter to make a variety of fun and fabulous Christmas cards

Y wiLL nd • Card in patterned and plain colours and glitter • Scalpel • Cutting board • Compass cutter • Needle • Gold thread • Gold pen • Double-sided tape • Pencil • Steel ruler • Diamanté stickers

To Make ❶ THREE BAUBLES CARD Cut a piece of card 18cm x 18cm. Fold in half. Using the compass cutter, cut three circles from a contrasting card, each 5cm in diameter. Attach them to the main card using a needle and gold thread. ❷ BAUBLE WINDOW CARD Cut a piece of card 20cm x 15cm. Cut a 5cm circle 2.5cm from the top and lefthand edge. Fold in half. Draw in the top of the bauble and string with gold pen. Cut a square of contrasting card and stick behind the circle with double-sided tape. ❸ 3D GLITTER CARD Cut a piece of glitter card 22cm x 14cm. Fold in half. Cut four 5cm-diameter circles from contrasting card. With double-sided tape, stick one circle to the centre of the card. Fold the other three circles in half to form semi-circles. Take needle and gold thread, tie a knot, then pierce through card from the back, through the circle, just right of the centre. Then pierce through centre of a folded circle, 3mm

Shine a light

out from centre line (going through both layers). Stitch through other two folded circles in same way, so they’re all threaded on one piece of thread. Take needle back through card to the left of the centre of the circle, so the folded circles are all attached and fan out. Pull tight and tie a knot to secure. Stick a small square of card over both knots using double-sided tape. ❹ SNOWMAN CARD Cut a piece of card 18cm x 15cm. Fold in half. On the front, make a light pencil mark 4.5cm down on the right-hand edge, and 6cm in along the bottom edge. Join the two marks using the ruler to make an angled line. Mark three points along it, 4cm apart. Using the compass cutter, cut the top two circles of 4cm diameter and the bottom one of 5cm, using the marks as the centres of the circles, which will overlap. Create a snowman by cutting a hat shape at the top, and a base at the bottom. Cut a piece of white glittery card, 9cm x 15cm, and stick inside the front of the card with double-sided tape. Add diamanté stickers as buttons.

Not too tricky!

Create a lovely, warm atmosphere with these pretty pin-prick lanterns

Y wiLL nd • 2 small embroidery hoops per lantern • Scissors • Coloured card • Pencil and eraser • Images to trace or copy • Thin piece of polystyrene (eg from pizza packaging) • Sharp needle with large eye (a chenille needle is ideal) • Double-sided tape • 3mm satin ribbon • Battery-operated night lights

To make ❶ Measure the circumference of the embroidery hoops and add 1cm. Cut a rectangle of card this length by the height you want your lanterns to be. Ours measured 17cm, 22cm and 25cm high. ❷ In light pencil, draw a freehand design – an urban skyline or festive motifs – on the card, using your images as inspiration. ❸ Place the polystyrene sheet under the card. Then pierce the card along the pencil lines, with holes placed

very close together (2-3mm apart). This takes time and patience. When you have finished, rub out your pencil lines. ❹ Take the embroidery hoops apart. Wrap the card around the outside of the inner hoop. Mark where the edges overlap and use double-sided tape to stick the two edges together to make a cylinder. Place the inner hoop inside at one end, fit the outer hoop and tighten to fit. Repeat at the other end. Add a length of ribbon to the tightening screw to decorate. Place a night light inside and enjoy the glow. Mint and peach mini baubles, £4.95 for 12,

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 143

Make it special!

Advent Treats

Easy make!

Make a simple calendar with tantalising opaque bags to fill with sweets or little gifts

Y wiLL nd

To Make

• Gold star stickers (£3.70 for 60, • 24 small glassine bags (£2 for 10, • Scissors • Number rubber stamps and black ink pad • Mini toys/decorations/sweets • Tape • Red and white string • Cork board (approx 45cm x 65cm) • Brass drawing pins • Red wooden pegs (£4.50 for 25,

❶ Stick a gold star sticker on

Rockin’ Robin Use your skills

Stitch this sweet robin to a home-made cushion using soluble canvas

Y wiLL nd • DMC soluble canvas • Ready-made cushion cover, approx 30cm x 30cm (this branch design is ideal) • Cushion pad • Embroidery hoop • Embroidery silks in brown, red, white, grey, gold and black • Embroidery needles

To Make ❶ Cut a piece of soluble canvas a couple of cm larger than the robin (actual size of robin: approx 7cm x 7cm). Remove the cushion pad from the cover. Position the piece of canvas on the front of the cover and tack in place. Place in an embroidery hoop. ❷ Embroider the cross stitch robin, starting at the centre, following the diagram opposite. Divide your embroidery threads into two-strand lengths. Where possible, stitch in rows, working diagonally from 144 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

bottom left to top right of each square to the end of each row; then come back along the row, completing the stitch from bottom right to top left, until the area is stitched as charted. End threads by running the needle under the last few stitches at the back of the fabric, and then trim the ends. ❸ When the robin is completed, dissolve the soluble canvas, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the fabric to dry completely. ❹ Turn cushion cover inside out and press the seams. Turn the right side out, and insert the pad.

Words: Lisa Brown. Photography: Mark Davison. Illustration: Terry Evans. If you would like to source your own fabric for the cushion, we used Acacia Pigeon, £42 a metre,

the front of each bag – place some to run off the edge of the bag and trim excess. Stamp each bag with a number from one to 24 and then place a small treat inside. Use tape to secure the bag. ❷ Fix lines of string across the cork board with the drawing pins. Hang the bags on the strings in the shape of a tree using the pegs. Glitter birds, £1.10 for two,; mini wooden decorations (in bags), £11.99 for 24,

Knitting pretty!

SNOWMAN’S land ’Tis the season to be jolly, so wrap kids up in this fabulous festive sweater

PrimSaIVE EXCLU ! design


more and the inc row again. 68(74:80) sts. Cont straight until sleeve measures 22(25:28)cm from cast on edge, ending with a p row. Shape sleeve top Cast off 6 sts at beg of next 2 rows. 56(62:68) sts. Next row K3, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3. Next row P to end. Rep the last 2 rows 1(2:3) times more. 52(56:60) sts. Cast off.

MEASUREMENTS To fit ages 2-3(3-4:4-5) years; Finished measurements: Chest 69(73:78)cm; Length to shoulder 37(41:45)cm; Sleeve length 22(25:28)cm MATERIALS 3(3:4) 50g balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Airforce 311 (A), 2(3:3) balls in White 100 (B) and small amounts in Sienna 67 (C) and Black 300 (D). Pair each of 3mm and 3.25mm knitting needles. TENSION 25 sts and 34 rows to 10cm square over st-st using 3.25mm needles. ABBREVIATIONS beg beginning; cm centimetres; cont continue; foll following; inc increase; k knit; m1 make one st, by picking up and working into back of loop lying between st just worked and next st; p purl; rem remaining; rep repeat; RS right side; ssk [slip 1] twice, insert tip of left-hand needle from left to right through the fronts of both slipped sts and work 2 tog; st(s) stitch(es); st-st stocking stitch; tog together; WS wrong side. BACK With 3mm needles and A, cast on 88(94:100) sts. Rib row [K1, p1] to end. This row forms the rib and is repeated. Rib a further 9(9:11) rows. Change to 3.25mm needles. Beg with a k row, work in st-st until back measures 24(27:30)cm from cast on edge, ending with a p row. Shape armholes Cast off 6 sts at beg of next 2 rows. 76(82:88) sts. Next row K2, ssk, k to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2. Next row P to end. Rep the last 2 rows 1(2:3) times more. 72(76:80) sts **. Work straight until back measures 37(41:45)cm from cast on edge, ending with a p row. Shape shoulders Cast off 8(9:9) sts at beg of next 2 rows and 7(8:9) sts on foll 2 rows. Leave rem 42(42:44) sts on a holder.

146 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

TO MAKE UP Join left shoulder and neckband seam. Sew sleeves into armholes, easing to fit. Join side and sleeve seams. EMBROIDERY Swiss darn the ‘carrot’ nose in C and the ‘coal’ eyes and mouth in D . The chart should be placed centrally, with the top just below the armhole shaping. Using the eye motif, work 2 or 3 ‘coal buttons’ centrally below the mouth. 27 25 23 21 19


SLEEVES With 3mm needles and A, cast on 50(54:58) sts. Rib row [K1, p1] to end. This row forms the rib. Rib a further 9(9:11) rows. Change to 3.25mm needles. Working in st-st and stripes of 2 rows B and 2 rows A throughout, beg with a k row and work 6(8:10) rows. Inc row K3, m1, k to last 3 sts, m1, k3. Work 5 rows. Rep the last 6 rows 7(8:9) times

















1 24 sts Key C


FRONT With B, work as given for Back to **.

72(76:80) sts. Cont straight until 18 rows fewer have been worked than on Back to start of shoulder shaping, so ending with a p row. Shape neck Next row K28(30:31), turn and cont on these sts only, leave rem sts on a spare needle. Cast off 3 sts at beg (neck edge) of next row and foll WS row, 2 sts at beg of next 2 WS rows and 1 st at beg of foll 3 WS rows. 15(17:18) sts. Work a further 4 rows without shaping. Shape shoulder Cast off 8(9:9) sts at beg of next row. Work 1 row. Cast off rem 7(8:9) sts. With RS facing, slip 16(17:18) sts at centre front onto a holder, rejoin yarn to rem sts, cast off 3 sts, k to end. Next row P to end. Cast off 3 sts at beg of next row, 2 sts at beg of foll 2 RS rows and 1 st at beg of next 3 RS rows. 15(16:18) sts. Work a 28 further 6 rows without shaping, so 26 ending with a RS row. 24 Shape shoulder 22 Cast off 8(9:9) sts at beg of next row. 20 Work 1 row. Cast off rem 7(8:9) sts.

NECKBAND Join right shoulder seam. With 3mm needles and B, pick up and k24 sts down left front neck, k across 16(16:18) sts at centre front, pick up and k25 sts up right front neck, then k across 42(42:44) sts at back neck. 107(107:111) sts. 1st and 5th rows (WS) With B, p1, [k1, p1] to end. 2nd and 6th rows With A, k to end. 3rd and 7th rows With A, p1, [k1, p1] to end. 4th row With B, k to end. 8th row With A, k1, [p1, k1] to end. 9th row As 3rd and 7th rows. Cast off in rib.

Knitting pretty!


CRACKER Have yourself a chic little celebration

Prim esign!




MEASUREMENTS To ďŹ t bust 81-86(92-97:102-107)cm; Finished measurements Bust 95(106:117)cm; Length to shoulder 57(59:61)cm; Sleeve length 47(48:49)cm.

and are repeated until cuff measures 4(5:6)cm, ending with a 2nd row and inc 5 sts evenly across last row. 51 sts. 1st row (RS) K 8B, [1B, 1A, 3B, 1A, 1B, 7A] to last st, 1A. 2nd row P 4A, 1B, 3A, [2B, 1A, 4B, 3A, 1B, 3A] to last st, 1A. 3rd row K 3A, 3B, 2A, [3B, 1A, 3B, 2A, 3B, 2A] to last st, 1A. 4th row P 4A, 1B, 3A, [4B, 1A, 2B, 3A, 1B, 3A] to last st, 1A. 5th row As 1st row. 6th row As 4th row. 7th row As 3rd row. 8th row As 2nd row. These 8 rows form the patt and are repeated. Next row Patt 1, m1, patt to last st, m1, patt 1. 53 sts. Taking inc sts into patt, patt 3 rows. Keeping patt correct, rep the last 4 rows 14 times more. 81 sts. Next row Patt 1, m1, patt to last st, m1, patt 1. 83 sts. Taking inc sts into patt, patt 5 rows. Keeping patt correct, rep the last 6 rows 4 times more. 91 sts. Cont straight in patt until sleeve measures 47(48:49)cm from cast on edge, ending with a WS row. Cast off.

MATERIALS 8(9:9) 50g balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in Scarlet 12 (A) and 9(9:10) balls in Ecru 02 (B). Pair of 4mm knitting needles. 4mm circular needle. TENSION 25 sts and 27 rows to 10cm square over patterned st-st using 4mm needles. ABBREVIATIONS beg beginning; cm centimetres; cont continue; foll following; inc increase; k knit; m1 make one st by picking up and working into back of loop lying between st just worked and next st; p purl; patt pattern; rem remaining; rep repeat; RS right side; st(s) stitch(es); st-st stocking stitch; WS wrong side. BACK ** With 4mm needles and A, cast on 118(134:146) sts. 1st row K2, [p2, k2] to end. 2nd row P to end. These 2 rows form broken rib and are repeated until welt measures 5(6:7)cm, ending with a 2nd row and inc 3(1:3) sts evenly across last row. 121(135:149) sts. Now work in st-st patt as follows: 1st row (RS) K 1B, [1B, 1A, 3B, 1A, 1B, 7A] to last 8 sts, 1B, 1A, 3B, 1A, 2B. 2nd row P 1B, [2B, 1A, 4B, 3A, 1B, 3A] to last 8 sts, 2B, 1A, 5B. 3rd row K 1B, [3B, 1A, 3B, 2A, 3B, 2A] to last 8 sts, 3B, 1A, 4B. 4th row P 1B, [4B, 1A, 2B, 3A, 1B, 3A] to last 8 sts, 4B, 1A, 3B. 5th row As 1st row. 6th row As 4th row. 7th row As 3rd row. 8th row As 2nd row. These 8 rows form the patt and are repeated throughout **. Cont until back measures approximately 57(59:61)cm from cast on edge, ending with a 4th or 8th row. Shape shoulders Cast off 36(41:46) sts, with 1 st on needle after cast off, slip next 48(52:56) sts at centre back onto a holder, cast off rem 36(41:46) sts.

148 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

SLEEVES With 4mm needles and A, cast on 46 sts. 1st row K2, [p2, k2] to end. 2nd row P to end. These 2 rows form broken rib

COLLAR Join shoulder seams. With RS facing, 4mm circular needle and A and beg at left shoulder seam, pick up and k24(26:28) sts down left front neck, k across 19 sts at centre front, pick up and k24(26:28) sts up right front neck, then k across 49 sts at centre back. 116(120:124) sts. 1st round [K2, p2] to end of round. 2nd round K to end of round. Rep these 2 rounds 4 times more, then 1st round again. Next round P to end of round. Next round [P2, k2] to end of round. Rep the last 2 rounds 10 times more. Cast off knitwise. TO MAKE UP Place markers 18cm down from shoulder seams on front and back, then with centre of cast off edge of sleeve to shoulder, sew on sleeves between markers. Join side seams.

CORRECTION In the October issue there was a printing error on our waterfall jacket pattern, with an insufficient quantity of wool recommended. The pattern requires 16(18:19:21) 50g balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in Berry 84

FRONT Work exactly as given for Back from **

to **. Cont in patt as set until front measures 51(53:55)cm, from cast on edge, ending with a WS row. Shape neck Next row (RS) Patt 51(57:63) sts, turn and cont on these sts only, leave rem sts on a spare needle. Cast off 4 sts at beg (neck edge) of next row and foll 1(1:2) WS rows, 3 sts at beg of next 1(1:0) WS rows, 2 sts at beg of foll 2 WS rows and 1 st at beg of next 0(1:1) WS row. 36(41:46) sts. Cont straight in patt as set until Front measures same as Back to shoulder, ending with the same 4th or 8th row. Shape shoulder Cast off. With RS facing, slip 19 sts at centre front onto a holder, rejoin yarn to rem sts, cast off 4 sts, patt to end. Cast off 4 sts at beg (neck edge) of next 1(1:2) RS rows, 3 sts at beg of next 1(1:0) RS row, 2 sts at beg of foll 2 RS rows and 1 st at beg of next 0(1:1) RS row. 36(41:46) sts. Cont straight in patt as set until front measures same as Back to shoulder, ending with the same 4th or 8th row. Shape shoulder Cast off.

Words: Rosy Tucker Photography: Hearst Studios Model wears (ďŹ rst pattern): Skirt, H&M. Shoes, Pretty Ballerina. Model wears (this pattern): Jeans, Nine by Savannah Miller at Debenhams. Earrings, M&S Collection at Marks & Spencer

Knitting pretty!

Make it your way

Lisa Comfort Customises it! Take an old woolly jumper and transform it into a wonderful gift. Easy! 1


Photography: Thomas Skovsende



hot water bottle cover You will need • Cable knit jumper with a ribbed hem • Existing water bottle cover to use as a template • Pins • Scissors • Contrasting wool or ribbon to tie at

the top • Overlocker • Sewing machine

THE Steps ❶ Pin the existing water bottle cover to the jumper. Line up the top of the cover with the ribbed hem of the jumper and pin through both layers of the jumper. Cut out, leaving an extra 1cm for seam allowance around all the edges. You should have two pieces. ❷ Overlock the edges of the pieces separately to prevent fraying. Don’t overlock the ribbed top edge as this doesn’t need it. ❸ Place the pieces right sides together and pin all edges except the top. ❹ Stitch with 1cm seam allowance. ❺ Put in a hot water bottle and tie a bow around the top with your contrasting wool or ribbon. 5

Top tip If your old jumper is a bit moth-eaten, simply sew on cotton patches in pretty fabrics.

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 149

That’s entertainment

Your time off

& time out


An evening out at the movies



Jamie Bell and Annette Bening star in this true-life story


This tender age-gap love story revolves around the real-life romance between one-time Hollywood star Gloria Grahame and much younger British actor Peter Turner. It’s based on the latter’s book about how he met and fell in love with the Oscar-winning femme fatale and took her home to Liverpool when she became terminally ill. Its co-stars, Jamie Bell and Annette Bening, are outstanding, while Prima cover star Julie Walters is terrific as the young actor’s loving working-class mum, who can’t quite get over having a screen idol in her kitchen. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… Out 17 November


This movie about Jeff Bauman, who survived Although billed as a comedy, this movie about the 2013 Boston the legendary 1973 tennis Marathon bombing, could have been too sugary. match between Billie But a great script and a Jean King and former wonderful performance champion Bobby Riggs from Jake Gyllenhaal drives home a feminist message like a 100-mile- makes it a subtle, moving, must-see movie. Bauman an-hour serve. Emma lost both legs in the Stone plays the gay terrorist attack but was 29-year-old female hailed a hero after he champ, as notorious for being a Women’s Libber identified the two bombers. The movie as a tennis ace, while details his struggle to Steve Carell plays the cope with both injury and 55-year-old chauvinist who claims he could still fame but in the end, as the title suggests, what beat any woman, and didn’t kill him made him challenges King to the stronger. Out 8 December duel. Out 24 November 150 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

DADDY’S HOME 2 and A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS It wouldn’t be Christmas without a couple of tinsel-waving comedies and these two are corkers. In the first, the stars of last year’s box office hit Bad Moms – Kiki (Kristen Bell), Amy (Mila Kunis) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) are back – and so are their own moms. In a similar vein, Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell play a father and stepfather locking antlers over the kids’ affections, but this time they’re joined in the Christmas fray by their fathers… Out 1 and 22 November

This show, based on the 1970s sitcom, reinvents TV’s loveable klutz for theatre audiences. Played originally by Michael Crawford, the role of the hapless, childlike Frank Spencer is now played by stand-up comedian and former I’m A Celebrity champ Joe Pasquale, while Sarah Earnshaw plays his long-suffering wife, Betty. Part comedy, part quirky love story: let’s hope it’s even half as good as the original. 21 February-28 July

STRICTLY COME DANCING: THE LIVE TOUR Sequins, spray tan and samba – the perfect antidote to Strictly withdrawal and the postChristmas blues. Book now to reserve your seat at one of the 30 shows taking place at major arenas all over the country. Bruno and Craig (who always choreographs the show) are on the judging panel, while last year’s Strictly winner, Ore Oduba, hosts. Visit strictlycomedancinglive. com. 19 January-11 February


Singing stars: a host of celebrities will be hoping to impress…

What’s on TV

Adrian Edmondson Actor, comedian and children’s author Adrian, 60, is playing Malvolio in the RSC’s Twelfth Night. He lives in London with his wife, Jennifer Saunders. They have three daughters and three grandchildren.

ALL STAR MUSICALS ITV Think of it as Strictly Come Singing, a contest in which celebrities train with seasoned stars of musicals to perform a number from a stage show in front of a live audience. Expect Tony Robinson, Nicky Campbell, Rebecca Front, Sally Phillips and Denise Lewis, with Michael Crawford and Andrew Flintoff in charge.

NIGELLA: AT MY TABLE, CHRISTMAS SPECIAL BBC TWO We’ll already have been tucking into Nigella’s new, six-part BBC series (her first for two years) by the time the Christmas special arrives, laden with great culinary ideas for you to try during the festive season. What’s great about this TV chef is that her recipes are both delicious and accessible. Christmas is special, though, so expect her to push the boat out with both old favourites and new takes on classics.

Words: Daphne Lockyer Photography: Getty, ITV, Michael Wharley

ORDEAL BY INNOCENCE BBC ONE Now in its third year, Agatha Christie at Christmas has become an institution. This year, as usual, it’s a glossy, star-studded, three-part adaptation of one of the iconic crime writer’s best-loved stories. This time, it’s the turn of Eleanor Tomlinson and Bill Nighy to head the cast in a dark tale about the aristocratic Argyles, a ‘perfect’ family that falls apart at Christmas. Family. Murder. Christmas? Don’t get any ideas now.

RATBURGER, SKY & GRANDPA’S GREAT ESCAPE, BBC ONE Children’s books by David Walliams sell, year round, like hot mince pies. Sky will show Ratburger, with Sheridan Smith as the rodent-loving little girl Zoe’s feckless mum, and Walliams himself as shifty Burt the burger man. Meanwhile, the BBC offers Grandpa’s Great Escape, the tale of a Second World War hero (Tom Courtenay) suffering from dementia but planning to flee his cruel care home with the help of his grandson, Jack.

Finally, the Royal Shakespeare Company! Do you feel you have arrived as an actor? The funny thing is that I played Hamlet in my last year at school and thought at the time, ‘Yes, it’s the RSC for me! I must buy a fedora.’ But it’s taken me another 42 years – and a lot of twists and turns – to get there. Malvolio is quite po-faced, the reverse of you, surely? Actually, I have a lot more in common with him than I ever had with, say, Vyvyan in The Young Ones. Just like Malvolio, I’m a grumpy old man. In fact, Malvolio reminds me most of my dad and, by extension, me, because the older I get, the more like him I become. But he’s vulnerable, too, isn’t he? Yes, he is, and that’s why I can’t help liking him. He’s a puritan and yet he’s an old fool who falls head over heels for Olivia (played by Kara Tointon), who doesn’t love him back. I feel for him because, like most of us, he just wants to be loved. What’s the secret of your own 32-year marriage to Jennifer? I think it’s our willingness to constantly work at things and never take each other for granted. Love isn’t automatic, it takes energy and commitment, and willingness, at times, to change. I also agree with whoever said that the secret to staying together is ‘not to get divorced’. It’s a decision you make to be with someone and stick to.

You both live and work at home. Is that enjoyable? Yes, we each have a study and, if I’m not away acting, I’m writing. I’m working on my second children’s book and Jennifer works hard, too. Mind you, the pair of us can also be quite lazy. So we rise a lot later than most people and we’ll eat tea and toast in bed. We mooch around, watch the telly, carp and amuse each other before getting down to work. You loved being a father – is being a granddad as much fun? It is, although I admit that I’m bit less relaxed about looking after my three grandchildren than I was with my daughters. I feel a greater sense of responsibility and fear something might go wrong. But I love their company and how easily they laugh. Will it be a big family Christmas? Yes, this year and every year. We always have a houseful of extended family – about 14 people, though this is growing, with grandchildren taking up more room each year. What do you look forward to most? All of it – the presents, the Christmas tree, even the paper hats. I always make a point of being the last person to remove mine after lunch, which has often led to staining my forehead red, or orange, or blue... Also, although I’m an atheist, I love the Christmas Eve carols – so comforting. Twelfth Night, Stratford-uponAvon, until 24 February; in cinemas 14 February 2018.  Visit PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 151





Christmas Rose and Alstroemeria

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE 12% PLUS FREE DELIVERY! This month’s superb, excellent quality bouquets take us through the last few weeks of 2017 and give you two bold choices that will appeal to all. Vibrant Autumn echoes the glowing, oranges, golds and russet reds of fallen leaves, whilst Christmas Rose and Alstroemeria suggest the deep, velvety crimson and crisp, snowy white of the festive season to come. Flying Flowers are giving Prima readers an exclusive 12% OFF* all orders, simply use code PRIMA0311 to claim your discount. And you’ll receive FREE delivery AND a FREE pop-up vase on these and the other bouquets you’ll find on too! With our great value prices and over 30 years’ experience you can rely on Flying Flowers to deliver. Please quote offer code PRIMA0311. Order online or call 0333 003 0709. Please hurry! Offer closes 1 February 2018. Offer applies to Flying Flowers bouquets and excludes other floral gifts. See full terms and conditions online.

THE SPECIALIST SERUM’S advanced RETINOL, Vit E, Aloe Vera formula minimises facial lines, wrinkles, crepey eye tissue, sun and skin damage. SPF and moisturiser. 30ml £29.95, 50ml £44.95, 100ml £79.95, 200ml £149, free p&p in UK. To order apply code PRIMA12 at checkout for exclusive reader 10% discount, or 01923 212555. See full range of our lovely preparations on web.

SARESS® – The Ultimate Beach Dress – £10.99




Say goodbye to the awkward sarong. No knots or ties, just a loop at two corners so you slip it around your back, thread opposite arms through for an elegant flattering beach dress in seconds – it’s sensational! Slimming, cool and comfortable. Nineteen designs, five sizes, two lengths. Tel: 01902 750657. As seen on TV.

MASON PEARSON 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 and cost from £26.50 to £123.00. 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.


It’s so easy to win!

Compiled by: Jacqui Bartley. For T&Cs, see page 160. ‡Spa prize to be taken on weekdays and is subject to availability. All prices are correct at the time of print

A festive spree!

Enter by phone, text or post

A luxury Scottish getaway

One4all has 10 gift cards worth £100 each up for grabs! The One4all Gift Card is accepted to spend! at over 50,000 UK outlets, including Topshop, H&M, Primark, Warehouse, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and House of Fraser, and can also be used at Spa Seekers and restaurants including Zizzi and Pizza Express, or to book holidays and trips with Thomson and Cities Direct. For extra Christmas sparkle, customise your card using the online service. Available from Call 0905 789 1001 (80ppm)*. Text PRIMAPRIZE1 to 84010 (£1.50)**. Please leave your full name and address when entering. Write to Prima/One4all GVPRAL17481***.

Highland Spring Sparkling is offering one Prima reader the chance to win a stay at the Hotel du Vin & Bistro, an award-winning townhouse hotel in Glasgow’s West End, worth over £850†! The winner and a guest will be treated to a two-night break with Champagne on arrival, a full Scottish breakfast each morning, and a three-course dinner plus wine on an evening of their choice. Feeling good starts with healthy hydration and Highland Spring Sparkling, drawn from organic land in the Ochils, keeps you hydrated, so you can make the most of every day. For more information, visit Call 0905 789 1002 (80ppm)* Text PRIMAPRIZE2 to 84010** (£1.50). Please leave your full name and address when entering. Write to Prima/Highland Spring Sparkling GVPRAL17482***.

Pampering treats!

A kitchen must-have!

The Somerset Toiletry Company is offering Prima readers the chance to win a hamper of toiletries, including a selection from its Naturally European range, worth £350. Plus, will treat the winner to a spa day for two, worth £169, at a Macdonald Hotel, with 55 minutes of treatments, two glasses of Prosecco and cream tea for two‡. Plus, 12 runners-up will receive a £30 online voucher from The Somerset Toiletry Company. Visit and Call 0905 789 1004 (80ppm)*. Text PRIMAPRIZE4 to 84010** (£1.50). Please leave your full name and address when entering. Write to Prima/ Somerset/Buyagift GVPRAL17484***.

Tefal is offering Prima readers the chance to win one of four Tefal ActiFry Express XL fryers, worth £250. The low-fat fryer cooks over 1.7kg of food in 30 minutes, using just one small spoonful of oil, making it a quick and easy way to cook guilt-free meals. All you need to do is pop in the ingredients and the stirring paddle ensures your food is cooked evenly and thoroughly. In fact, your food will never burn, as the ActiFry has an auto stop function that ends cooking when your meal is ready. The bowl, spoon, paddle and lid are completely dishwasher-safe, too – so cleaning up after your delicious, healthy meal is simply a breeze! Call 0905 789 1003 (80ppm)*. Text PRIMAPRIZE3 to 84010** (£1.50). Please leave your full name and address when entering. Write to Prima/ Tefal GVPRAL17483***.


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 84010 (£1.50) by midnight, 31 December 2017. 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 2017. 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 offer name and code, by 4 January 2018. A separate stamped postcard is needed for each offer. 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 supply to process your competition entry. For Hearst UK’s data policy, visit

PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 153

Relax with

WIN £100


A Christmas present for Carol

She’s fed up with the festivities, but will a surprise gift make Carol smile?


arol Jenkins looked at the woman in front of her in the queue and wondered whether it would be justifiable to a jury if she tied her up in a corner and claimed temporary shopper insanity. Her upper back and shoulders were screaming, weighed down under the amount of bags she had in her hands. Four different make-up counters to get the right celeb eye palette for her teenage daughter, three different game shops to get the gadgets her young son needed for his Lego gaming, and Steven had just rung her to remind her to buy some more Prosecco as his boss was calling in for a Christmas tipple after work. It was Christmas Eve’s Eve, and spirit was in short supply in the Jenkins household. Steven was finishing work for the festive period, but she knew that there was still lots to do. The in-laws would be descending, the house needed cleaning, a huge amount of presents had to be wrapped. Not to mention the dinner that would take the best part of the day to cook. Carol used to love Christmas, but nowadays, by the time the

Queen’s speech was on and her father-in-law was treating everyone to his snoring, she’d had enough. Like now. She was trying to pay for her shopping, which she then had to haul home, and the woman in front was blocking her. She was chatting to the checkout girl, while thumbing through what looked like a book of vouchers. She was handing them to the girl one by one: 30p off a tin of beans, 5p off a pot of hummus. Carol could feel herself redden, sweat dripping down her back as she huffed with her bags. Finally, the total flashed up on the register, and the woman took out her change purse. ‘Now dear,’ she said. ‘I hope you have room in that till, because I have been saving up all my pennies!’ Carol could see it now, her photo in the paper, beside that of a woman wrapped in Christmas ribbon stuffed into a trolley. No one would blame her, she was sure of it. Next year, she was going to do the whole lot online. Get everything delivered while she camped under a blanket drinking tea, reading books

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 deemed of a publishable

about sunshine and holiday romance, and ignoring anything red and beard-like. Online shopping had its own problems, of course. It was easy to find out what Santa was bringing you. Steven was at work when her present had arrived, and her heart sank as she signed for the parcel. All this work, and what did she have to look forward to on Christmas morning? The same old perfume. She still had half a bottle left from her birthday. Anyone would think she smelled, the way her husband and family bought her gifts. All she ever got was smellies. She had enough body butter to slather herself up and swim the Atlantic, and if she ever saw another bath bomb, she would throw herself into the nearest lake till spring. Bah humbug indeed. Hours later, shopping put away, she reached for a half-empty bottle of wine, pouring herself a large glass and putting her feet up on the couch. The kids were out seeing friends and swapping gifts, and Steven was just waving off his boss and his wife. Carol rubbed her poor feet and reached for a leftover cheese stick. ‘Darling,’ Steven called from the hallway. ‘Close your eyes. I thought we could exchange gifts early this year.’ Carol tried to sound enthusiastic, but all that came out was

Illustration: Emma Block

DO YOU HAVE A WAY WITH WORDS? This month’s winning author is Rachel Dove, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, who wins £100! She says: ‘After winning Prima’s Mills & Boon competition two years ago, I’m thrilled to be making another appearance in

a muffled ‘okay’. Thankfully, his gift was wrapped and already under the tree. Tick one item off the big Christmas list. ‘Are they closed?’ he called, and she did as he asked. She felt him sit down next to her, and smiled at his warmth. She did love him so, despite his boring gift ideas. She held her hands out, expecting the weight of the perfume bottle, but something much lighter landed on her palms. She felt it with her fingers. It was flat. ‘You can open them now,’ her husband said gleefully. Carol opened her eyes and gasped. It was an envelope from the travel agent! ‘Oh Steven, you didn’t!’ ‘I did,’ he said. ‘We fly on Boxing Day.’ Carol beamed. She had visions of them strolling around Italy, laid on the beach in Spain, eating chocolates in Belgium. She opened the envelope, and the dreams in her head popped like a deflating balloon. ‘Lapland!’ Steven boomed. ‘Can you believe it? I used my Christmas bonus, and, best of all, my parents are coming, too!’ Carol smiled and refilled her glass. Next year, she would be rooting for a bath bomb under the tree.

my favourite magazine. This story was inspired by the madness of Christmas. We all run the risk of feeling stressed in the chaos – but when the day arrives and I’m with the people I love, I know it’s going to be magical.’ For your chance to win, email your entry of 800 words

maximum to: yourwinningstory@ or post to: Your Winning Story, Prima Features, 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP, including your name, address, phone number and a good-quality photograph. Please note: unfortunately, Prima cannot return any photos or stories.

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 here, 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.


HEALTH & WELLBEING RELIEVE THE PAIN OF SCIATICA WITH SCIATICALM Special Offer £29.95 plus p&p* – Save £5 Sciatica is a draining, debilitating condition causing severe pain and loss of mobility. It can severely restrict the way we go about our everyday lives. Sciaticalm is specifically designed to relieve pain from Sciatica. It uses Vibration Therapy – an effective, drug free treatment. Sciaticalm is a small, lightweight and easy to use Class IIa Medical Device. Sciaticalm generates high-frequency vibration to pass shockwaves through the skin. This vibration in the body causes the pain signal to be blocked on its way to the brain. The spinal column is unable to carry both the pain signal and vibration signal at the same time, so Sciaticalm gives you a pain relieving effect. This treatment option is approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). Sciaticalm is simple to use and great value at just £29.95. It is strapped to your back with a velcro strap and turned on with a simple on/off button. Treatment time is around 10 minutes and you can wear the device under clothes and remain mobile during use. Several research studies have shown vibration therapy gives significant pain relief. The published study “Pain Alleviation by Vibratory Stimulation” by Lundberg, Nordemar & Otooson* from Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, showed vibration therapy is an effective, drug free treatment for both chronic and acute pain, and more effective than TENS. To order your Sciaticalm for just £29.95 plus p&p* visit: and use code VM at checkout or call Freephone 0800 161 5670 and quote code VM.

NEW NOVISYN+ WORKS TO KEEP YOU MOVING Our tried-and-tested Novisyn has just got better. New Novisyn+ still includes 17mg of pure Hyaluronic Acid but now also has added Vitamin C, nature’s powerful healer! Together they create a scienceled formula that contributes daily to normal collagen formation for the normal function of cartilage, or in other words helping to maintain healthy joints. Introduce new Novisyn+ into your health and beauty regime and literally feel the difference. 7000 Facebook followers and growing. Try Novisyn+ today with our Prima offer. Add three boxes to your cart and get the third free. Use code Prima342. or call us on 01480 869456.

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR STRESS INCONTINENCE WITH A PELVICTONERTM 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.

KRILL OIL – THE NEW SUPER OMEGA 3 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 Offer only £16.97 + 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 24 Hour Order Line – 0345 0956903.

Fun with

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


ACROSS 1 ___ Bells, festive tune (6) 4 In astrology, the symbol for Libra (6) 7 Barbara ___, big hit for The Beach Boys, released in Christmas week 1965 (3) 8 Animal such as Beatrix Potter’s Peter (6) 9 Wedding band, eg (4) 10 ___ League, British group who took the 1981 Christmas No.1 spot with Don’t You Want Me (5) 11 Complete the Christmas cracker joke: What do you call a man with a spade on his head? (4) 13 Animal fat used to make dumplings, eg (4) 15 Broke, having little or no money (slang) (5) 17 ___ and evens, betting chances (4) 19 Off the ___, impromptu, ad-libbed (4) 21 Written composition (5) 23 Nat King ___, crooner who recorded the most famous version of The Christmas Song (4) 24 Reach a place (6) 25 Move head in agreement (3) 26 Frankfurter served in a long soft roll (3,3) 27 The Queen’s ___, Christmas Day TV address given by Elizabeth II (6)










9 10



14 15












1 Heckled, booed (6) 2 Chatterbox (slang) (6) 3 & 6D 1995 Christmas No.1 for Michael Jackson (5,4) 4 Frosty The ___, festive tune (7) 5 Mighty oaks from little ___ grow, saying (6) 6 See 3D 12 ___ Nick, the Devil (3) 14 Christmassy comedy film that starred Will Ferrell in the title role, now a stage musical currently showing in London’s West End (3) 16 I Saw Mommy ___ Santa Claus, festive tune (7) 18 Appeared to be (6) 19 Complete the Christmas cracker joke: What’s round and aggressive? A vicious ___ (6) 20 Papa Noël is ‘Father Christmas’ in what language? (6) 22 The whole nine ___, saying (5) 23 ___ Kidston, British designer known for goods made in vintage-style floral prints (4)




25 27





Call with your answer on 0906 470 1001* Solve the crossword in the usual way. When completed correctly, the yellow squares, reading top to bottom, left to right, will spell out your prize answer (sparkly Christmas decoration, 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 (on the following page). PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 157

Fun with

WIN £50

CODEWORD For £50, see if Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, Rudy to his friends, 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 Us, Ds, 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).


24 1






21 1







14 19


17 13












6 10


23 3







6 1 3



9 19
























11 23





















23 4



23 26












1 23



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 winner’s names for promotional purposes without additional consultation. This competition is not open to employees of Hearst UK, the promoters or their family members. The prize winners 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, 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP. Hearst UK reserves the right to amend these Terms at any time without notice. Data Protection: Hearst UK may pass your personal information to the promoters of the competition (where it is not Hearst UK) and their data processors. However, we always demand that any such parties adhere to the same security procedures that we follow ourselves. For our privacy policy, visit


20 14


3 5







23 3


15 15

19 1






14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

























14 24

7 2

6 5


You can contact Prima at 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP. 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. ©2017 Hearst ISSN 0951 8622, 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP. 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, 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. †BT landline calls to 0844 numbers will cost no more than 7p per minute; calls from mobiles and other networks usually cost more. 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.


19 18 5






17 8 19 12 14 23 4


Call with your answer on 0906 470 1002* 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, /PUPRAN17674 (for the Crossword), /PUPRAN17675 (for the Codeword) or /PUPRAN17676 (for the Arrow-word), The Data Solutions Centre, Worksop S80 2RT. The closing date for phone entries is midnight, 31 December 2017 (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 right). DATA PROTECTION: We will use the information you supply to process your competition entry. For our privacy policy, visit SP: Spoke, call 0333 202 3390.

158 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017



4 2 3 5 6 8 9 7 1

7 1 6 4 2 9 8 5 3

5 8 9 1 7 3 2 4 6

2 3 7 6 5 1 4 9 8

8 6 4 9 3 2 7 1 5

9 5 1 7 8 4 6 3 2

6 9 8 3 1 7 5 2 4

3 7 2 8 4 5 1 6 9

1 4 5 2 9 6 3 8 7


3 5 6 8 2 7 1 4 9

9 8 1 3 4 5 7 6 2

7 4 2 1 6 9 8 3 5

5 9 4 6 1 2 3 7 8

8 1 3 5 7 4 2 9 6

6 2 7 9 3 8 5 1 4

1 3 8 4 5 6 9 2 7

4 7 5 2 9 1 6 8 3

2 6 9 7 8 3 4 5 1



✽ Solutions to this month’s prize-winning puzzles will be in the March 2018 issue.



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


Fill in the grid according to arrows. When done, the green squares will reveal the answer to the following: BBC One won the Christmas Day ratings war in 2016, with how many of their shows occupying a spot in the Top 10? (5) Italian ice cream

Spider’s trap

Atlas picture

Dog’s noise

Queen’s jewelled headwear

___ and outs, details


Put pressies in paper

Over 7 on the pH scale

Zodiac Lion

Senior member of a tribe

Work dough

Fishing lure


Country, capital Wellington Christmas month

Sheep’s noise

Knight’s title

mattress Shellfish

Short sleep

Group (of judges?)


Took on for work

Vim, energy

Relations, family Large wall painting


Join in and WIN

Unable to feel anything


Alan Sugar’s title Slaughters




Gold medal position

Clay oven

Second Greek letter

Compiled by: Cheryl Foreman Photography and illustration: Getty

8 9 3 6 9 6 3 3 8 5 5 1 5 1 6 2 7

7 4 8 8 1 2 3 4 9 5


Cry of woe!

Sit in a huffy mood

Help a criminal

African antelope ___ That, pop group

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 page).

9 7 1 6 2 2 3 6 9 4 9 7 6 8 3 1 5 6 2 7 3 4

Silverback ape

Make or become unclear

Doctor Who police box


___ and void, cancelled

Unease, melancholy

Ski slope Word of greeting

Large water jug

Lion’s noise

Commotion, uproar

The Three Thames, Wise Men eg

Disclose, make known


Behaved as Green though tree part attracted to

Football team’s head coach

Fill in the answers to the clues and the letters in the 5 shaded squares will spell out your prize answer

Legal excuse ___ as a rock, expression

Doner, or shish, eg

Mr Sheep?

Italian for ‘one’ Fizzy water


8 2 6 3

8 4

9 7 1 4 5 8 6 7 9 3 7 1

Call with your answer on 0906 470 1003*

7 5 9 1 5 2 6 8 4 3 8 1 5 8 4 6 2 8 7 6 1 2 4

SUDOKU Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in each empty cell so that each column and each 3 x 3 block contains all the numbers from 1 to 9.

Just for


PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 159

Published monthly by Hearst, 33 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP Tel: 020 7312 3887 Email:



BEAUTY 020 7439 5255 GROUP BEAUTY DIRECTOR Eve Cameron BEAUTY DIRECTOR Annabel Meggeson BEAUTY EDITORS Sabine Wiesel, Gillian Davies, Alexandra Friend (maternity leave) BEAUTY WRITER Rebecca Hull HOMES & GARDENS 020 3728 7712 HOMES & GARDENS CONTENT DIRECTOR Pip McCormac HOMES EDITOR Carolyn Bailey HOMES AND GARDENS ASSISTANT James Cunningham COOKERY 020 7439 5238 COOKERY DIRECTOR Meike Beck (maternity leave) ACTING COOKERY DIRECTOR Lucy Jessop FOOD DIRECTOR Alison Walker COOKERY EDITOR Sophie Austen-Smith COOKERY ASSISTANT Olivia Spurrell CONTRIBUTING EDITORS PRIMA MAKES EDITOR Sue McNeill PATTERNS Janet Palmer KNITTING Rosy Tucker COOKERY Elizabeth Fox TRAVEL Jane Anderson DIGITAL EDITOR Rachel Liddle SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR Elaine Griffiths


Tanya Stewart (020 7439 5532) Enquiries: AGENCY DIRECTOR, PRINT Clare James (020 7439 5683) GROUP HEAD, DIGITAL Crystal S Malachias (020 7439 5520) HEAD OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Lucy Porter (020 7439 5276) HEARST DIRECT MANAGER, CLASSIFIED Lucy Penny (0203 728 6247) SHOWS & EVENTS DIRECTOR OF EVENTS & SPONSORSHIP, HEARST LIVE Victoria Archbold CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT AND EVENTS MARKETING EXECUTIVE, HEARST LIVE Alice Taylor (020 7439 5219) EVENTS EXECUTIVE, HEARST LIVE Jenni Whale (020 7312 4190) EVENTS EXECUTIVE, HEARST LIVE Rhian Hughes (020 7312 3792)



PRODUCTION PRODUCTION MANAGER Pavel Pachovsky (020 7439 5619) PRODUCTION CONTROLLER Carl Latter (020 7439 5402)


Hearst UK, the trading name of The National Magazine Company Limited, 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP

HEARST INTERNATIONAL SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER & GENERAL MANAGER Simon Horne SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Jeannette V Chang SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Kim St Clair Bodden HIGHLAND SPRING TERMS & CONDITIONS The competition is open to UK residents aged 18 or over excluding employees of Highland Spring Group, their families and anyone else associated with this promotion. The winner will receive a voucher to redeem their prize within 12 months. The prize is for two nights’ accommodation for two people on a bed and breakfast basis with Champagne on arrival. Also included is a three-course dinner for two from the set menu in the hotel restaurant, on one evening, including wine but excluding side-dishes. The voucher needs to be presented at check-in. The prize is subject to availability, excluding Saturday, Christmas, New Year and Special Events. There is no cash alternative. The prize is non-refundable, non-transferable and cannot be sold on for financial gain. Reservations must be made in advance. Promoter: Highland Spring Group, Stirling Street, Blackford, Perthshire PH4 1QA.

160 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Your stars

for December

with Lori Reid

Sagittarius 23 November – 22 December It may be the end of the year but for you it’s time to launch new beginnings. A cluster of planets working their way through your sign shower you with attention and blessings, buoying you along with a sense of contentment. As Christmas dawns, you feel that your sparkle has truly returned.

your options, consider a new avenue and get in touch with people of power. Life is enriching and action-packed – follow your instincts as the great blue yonder beckons.

Aries 21 March – 20 April

December starts shaky but the rest of the month should be a breeze. The stars give fresh impetus to travel and remove the blocks that have been holding you back. 23 December – 20 January Don’t be afraid to step up and At this time of year, Capricorns show the world what you can tend to feel drained. So ease do. At home, it’s a time for family. Focus on loved ones your way into this month’s and you can’t go wrong. activities: get extra beauty sleep and spend quality time doing the things you love. By 21 April – 20 May the third week, you’re back on form. Venus enters your Important decisions have sign on Christmas morning to be made – and not just and fills your heart with love. about what presents to buy. Long-term financial planning tops your to-do list, with 21 January – 19 February magnetic Venus drawing money your way. Wait until Festivities may be getting next month before firming underway but at work the pace is picking up. You won’t up agreements. ’Tis also the mind because you know you season to be merry, with lots are heading for better things. of chances to mix and mingle. With social and romantic stars also glistening, you 21 May – 21 June feel there are exciting opportunities on the horizon. Life’s full of pace and purpose. Relax over the holidays and With recent trials coming to re-energise yourself. an end, you need a fresh formula. Whether you’re looking for the right person 20 February – 20 March with whom to share your life, eager for someone special With popularity princess to return or wanting to get Venus opening doors for closer to your partner, Venus you, this is a golden month answers your prayers and for your status and career. Use the first week to review love will flow all around you.





home and family. You’re busy getting the house ready for all the festivities, This month is all about but you love it. A delightful returning to a place, project journey sparks romance and or people you’ve known before. Work is buzzing but, adventure. Expect a lively with everyone in party mood, home and a mad rush towards the end of the year. you’re in your element. It may be wintry outside but, with romance in the air, 24 September – 22 October love gets hot and steamy! Time to slow down and get in the spirit of the season, 24 July – 23 August so meet up with friends and revisit places you love. Friendship and fun are on Christmas is hectic at your the menu for December, house but filled with tender so now’s the time to moments, too. Need a treat reconnect with people after all the hullabaloo? Hit you haven’t seen for ages. the sales, have a pamper Searching for a soulmate? session or take in a show. Your dreams could come true. Having passed you by for the past few years, Lady Luck is seeking you out. 23 October – 22 November Time to enjoy yourself! The gloom of the past few years 24 August – 23 September – whether due to money or health concerns – is about Life moves into top gear to disappear. The 18th really as December spotlights turns the tide: energy and enthusiasm increase in the second week, and from then on, it’s all systems go.

22 June – 23 July





© Lori Reid Illustration: Camera Press



PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017 161

Slice of life


local heroes!


’m planning a traditional Christmas: turkey, mince pies, a REAL tree, and I’m going to browse for presents the old-fashioned way – in the shops! I want to hold, sniff or feel the gifts I’m giving before I wrap them. Last year, I relied on the internet for presents. I’d been busy and it was convenient, but this time round I’m heading off to my local little town. It has a few well-known brand names but, like a lot of other farming communities, it’s struggled to maintain a high street that has anything other than charity shops and bookmakers. When times are tough, the local shops suffer and superstores dominate. But a few years ago, local business people got together and revived a run-down under-cover market. It’s not exactly the Burlington Arcade, but once a week, it’s a hive of activity where I can buy all sorts of interesting and locally produced goods: chilli sauces made in Devon from locally grown chillies; a stall selling home-made cakes; and another offering handmade craft items – peg bags and padded coat hangers – all unique, beautiful and ensuring that a local charity benefits from every sale. On Fridays, a mobile fish stall arrives, heaving with world-class fish and crustacea, all caught in the waters around Devon and Cornwall. There’s a stand that’s heavy with healthy

plants and, because they’re grown locally, I know they’ll thrive in my soil. The shops around the market are worth exploring, too. It takes time and effort to pootle and rootle, as I call it, but there are treasures to be unearthed; a bijou antique shop run by a husbandand-wife team and their Border collie, Poppy, always keeps me entertained for hours. There’s nothing hugely expensive for sale but because of the passion and enthusiasm of the owners, the trinkets are fascinating – silver thimbles, a cut-glass goblet, a porcelain pillbox. I visit often, buy sometimes, and always learn something of value while I’m there. In town, there are a couple of great clothes shops, run by women with a good eye and knowledge of their customers, an independent coffee shop (yes, they do exist) and, at the last count, nine charity shops where I go to rummage through the bric-a-brac. Finding studio pottery and bits of 1930s bone china is thrilling, not to mention scarves and vintage costume jewellery. Admittedly, there are occasional pitfalls. I have a clear-out once a year to donate to these shops, but recently I returned home, delighted with a charity-shop find, only to be told by the kids that it was something I’d donated only a few weeks before! Nonetheless, that’s precisely where I’ll be this December, rummaging in my local shops, staggering home with bags full of hand-knitted jumpers and locally made brandy butter. Go on, why don’t you join me and support your local shops? We need to use them, not lose them.

This month… I’M MAKING

Place setting cards from last year’s Christmas cards.


‘Visiting shops takes time, but treasures can be found’

162 PRIMA.CO.UK | December 2017

Gluten-free ginger cake with snowy-white frosting.


Holly and ivy for my festive table decorations.

Photography: Nicky Johnston, Alamy, Stockfood, Gap Photos/Juliette Wade. Caroline wears: Coat, Chesca. Earrings, Dower & Hall. Bracelet, Van Peterson

Caroline Quentin has something special in store for Christmas – she’s going offline and into the shops

A delicious home-made Christmas

16 festive recipes you’ll keep for ever… from a showstopping trifle to perfect cheese straws!

Tropical Baked Alaska page 22



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GET THE PARTY STARTED Greet your guests with a special festive tipple

pomegranate sparklers

spiced cider

Ideal for those who don’t want to drink alcohol – or for those who do, mix with some vodka!

SERVES 6 * PREP 10min * COOK 5min

* 500ml (17fl oz) pink grapefruit juice * 500ml (17fl oz) pomegranate juice * 1 litre (1¾ pint) sparkling water * Ice * Pomegranate seeds, to garnish, optional * Mint sprigs, to garnish, optional ❶ In a large jug, combine the pink grapefruit and pomegranate juices, then add the sparkling water. ❷ Half-fill 10 tall glasses with ice and pour in the cocktail. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint sprigs, if using. Serve immediately.

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* 1 litre (1¾ pint) dry cider * Juice of 1 large orange * 3tbsp Cointreau * 3tbsp brandy * 50g (2oz) demerara sugar * 2 cinnamon sticks * 6 whole cloves * Apple slices, to garnish ❶ In a large pan, warm the cider with 300ml (½ pint) water, the orange juice, Cointreau, brandy, sugar and spices. Stir until the sugar dissolves. ❷ Discard the spices then ladle into 6 heatproof glasses and garnish with apple slices. Serve warm.


SERVES 10 * PREP 5min

A fruity winter beverage, lighter than traditional mulled wine

Cheese & PoppY seed Straws An easy, cheat’s version that’s just as tasty!

MAKES 24 * PREP 25min, plus cooling and chilling * COOK about 20min


* Oil, to grease * Flour, to dust * 500g pack puff pastry * 125g (4oz) mature Cheddar, grated * 1 egg, beaten * Poppy or sesame seeds, to sprinkle ❶ Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets. ❷ Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the pastry to a rough 30.5cm x 40.5cm (12in x 16in) rectangle. Sprinkle two-thirds of the Cheddar over one side of the pastry. Fold the pastry in half and roll briefly to stick the layers together. Re-roll pastry into a 30.5cm x 40.5cm (12in x 16in) rectangle. Trim the edges to neaten, then slice into quarters to make 4 smaller rectangles. ❸ Cut each rectangle horizontally into six strips. Working with 1 strip at a time, brush it with beaten egg, sprinkle over

some seeds, then twist the strip and place on one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the other strips, spacing them apart. Chill for 20min. ❹ Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the strips, plus extra seeds, if needed. ❺ Cook in the oven for 15-20min until puffed up and golden. Transfer to a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

GET AHEAD Make up to 1 day ahead. Once cool, pack into an airtight container and store at room temperature. To serve, reheat in a single layer on baking sheets in an oven preheated to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6 for 10min.

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Blini Bites A failsafe recipe to make a big batch of wonderfully puffed blinis – they taste so much better than shop-bought!

* 175ml (6fl oz) milk * 40g (1½oz) butter * 125g (4oz) plain flour * 50g (2oz) wholemeal flour (bread or plain) * 1½tsp fast-action dried yeast * 1tsp caster sugar

* 2 medium eggs, separated * 2tbsp freshly chopped chives * 1tbsp sunflower oil, to fry TO SERVE * Crème fraîche * Small prawns and/or smoked salmon strips * Lumpfish caviar, optional

❶ In a small pan, gently heat the milk and butter until the butter melts. Set aside to cool until just warm. ❷ Place the flours, yeast, sugar, ½tsp salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper into a food processor and whizz to combine. With the motor running, add the warm milk mixture followed by the egg yolks. Pour into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for 45min or until well risen. 8 P RI M A | A D e liciou s Hom e- m ade Chr is tmas

❸ When ready, whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until they hold stiff peaks. Using a large metal spoon, fold the egg whites and chives into the yeast batter. ❹ Brush a little of the oil around a large non-stick frying pan and heat over a medium heat. Working in batches until the pan is full, drop in teaspoonfuls of the mixture, spacing a little apart. Cook for 1min on each side or until golden. Move the cooked blinis to a board to cool and continue cooking with the remaining oil and batter. ❺ To serve, dollop some crème fraîche on to each blini and top with prawns or smoked salmon. Spoon on a little lumpfish caviar, if using, and serve.

GET AHEAD At the end of step 4, open-freeze the blinis until solid. Pack into a bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, defrost in a single layer at room temperature. Complete the recipe up to 1hr ahead of serving.


MAKES about 50 * PREP 1hr, plus rising and cooling * COOK about 20min

Festive Salmon Parcel Despite its appearance, filo is one of the easiest pastries to handle and makes this recipe instantly impressive

SERVES 6 * PREP 15min * COOK 20min


* Large handful fresh parsley * 2 sprigs fresh tarragon * Finely grated zest of 1 lemon * 3tbsp olive oil, plus extra to brush * 2tbsp flaked almonds * 270g pack filo pastry * 750g (1lb 10½oz) side of salmon, skinless, small bones removed * Lemon wedges, to serve ❶ Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. Put the parsley, tarragon, lemon zest, oil and some seasoning into a food processor and whizz until well combined but still with some texture. Add the flaked almonds and pulse briefly to break up. ❷ On a large baking tray, arrange a single layer of filo sheets into a rough 40.5cm (16in) square (overlapping the sheets in the middle) – it doesn’t matter if the pastry hangs over the sides of the tray. Top with a second layer of filo in the same way. Put the salmon along the centre of the pastry

and top with the herb mixture. Brush the top layer of visible pastry with some oil, then pull that layer up and over the salmon, lightly scrunching the pastry into frills. Repeat with the bottom layer of pastry. Use remaining filo to add more frills to the top of the parcel, then brush the frills with a little more oil. ❸ Cook for 20min, or until golden. Transfer to a serving board or plate and garnish with the lemon wedges. Serve immediately in slices.

GET AHEAD Prepare to end of step 1 up to 1hr ahead. Transfer to a bowl and cover. Keep at room temperature. Complete recipe to serve.

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roast rib of beef with mulled wine gravy

SERVES 8 * PREP 20min * COOK about 2hr 20min * 2.5-3kg (5½-6½lb) rib of beef, on the bone * 1tbsp oil * 2tsp salt * 1tsp coarsely ground black pepper * 1 red onion, sliced into chunks * Bunch of thyme * 2tbsp plain flour * 250ml (9fl oz) red wine * 350ml (12fl oz) beef stock * 1 bag of mulling spices * 1 cinnamon stick * Zest and juice of 1 large orange ❶ Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan) mark 7. Rub the beef with oil, salt and pepper. Scatter the onion chunks and thyme in the bottom of a large roasting tin. Sit the beef on top and roast in the oven for 20min. Reduce the temperature to 160°C (140°C fan) mark 3 and roast for 15min per 450g (1lb) for rare, 20min per 450g (1lb) for 12 P R I M A | A D e liciou s Hom e- m ade Chr is tmas

medium, or 25min per 450g (1lb) for well done. Test to see if the beef is cooked with a meat thermometer (60°C for rare, 65°C for medium, 70°C for well done). Remove from the oven and allow to rest, covered in foil, for at least 20min while you make the gravy. ❷ Skim off and discard the excess fat from the roasting tin so only about 2tbsp remains with the cooking juices, onions and thyme. Place on the hob over a medium heat, add the flour and cook for 2min, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the tin. Pour in the red wine and stock, whisking until smooth. Add the mulling spices, cinnamon and orange zest and juice, and simmer for 5min. Strain and serve with the beef.


Adding a little orange, cinnamon and mulling spices gives this classic red wine gravy a festive twist

COOK’S TIP To carve the beef, slice along the length of the rib to release the meat from the bone. Turn rib-side down and carve slices downwards.

StickY Five-spice Ham This delicious glazed ham is studded with star anise, which is prettier than studding with cloves

SERVES 8-10, with leftovers * PREP 20min * COOK about 4hr 30min


* 4kg (9lb) unsmoked, boned gammon joint (buy a rolled joint for easier carving) * 1 onion, quartered * 1 carrot, quartered * 1tbsp black peppercorns * 3 bay leaves * 20 star anise * 100ml (3½fl oz) hoisin sauce * 100ml (3½fl oz) plum sauce * 3tbsp runny honey * 3tbsp soy sauce * 1tsp Chinese five-spice powder

❸ Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Transfer the gammon to a chopping board. Pull back the rind with your fingers, leaving a thick, even layer of fat behind. Use a sharp knife to carefully score a diamond pattern in the fat without slicing down to the meat. Brush a third of the glaze over the whole joint and stud with the remaining star anise. ❹ Place the joint on a roasting rack in a roasting tin. Bake for 35min, brushing twice during cooking with the remaining glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature, in slices.

❶ Weigh the gammon joint. Put it in a large pan with the onion, carrot, peppercorns, bay leaves and 2 star anise. Cover with cold water, gently bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 25min per 450g (1lb). Leave in the stock until cool enough to handle. ❷ While the ham is cooking, make the glaze. Mix together the hoisin and plum sauces, honey, soy sauce and five-spice powder in a small bowl. P RIMA | A D e l i c i o us Ho m e -m a d e C hr i st m a s 15

Dolcelatte, Squash & Kale Tart SERVES 8-10 * PREP 45min, plus cooling and chilling * COOK about 1hr 15min * Flour, to dust * 500g pack shortcrust pastry * 1 small-medium butternut squash * 1tbsp olive oil * 200g (7oz) kale, stalks removed, leaves shredded * 125g (4oz) Dolcelatte, crumbled

* 200ml (⅓ pint) double cream * 100ml (3½fl oz) milk * 2 medium eggs * Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, optional * 50g (2oz) pecans, roughly chopped

❶ Dust a work surface with flour. Roll out the pastry and use to line a 20.5cm (8in) round, deep, loose-bottomed fluted tin, leaving the excess hanging over the sides of the tin. Chill for 15min. ❷ Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. Line the pastry in the tin with a large sheet of baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 16 P R I MA | A D e lic iou s Hom e- m ade Chr is tmas

20-25min until the pastry sides are set and lightly golden. ❸ Meanwhile, peel, halve and de-seed the butternut squash. Cut into rough 2cm (¾in) pieces and place in a large roasting tin. Add the oil and some seasoning and mix together. Roast for 15-20min until the squash is just tender. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool. ❹ Remove pastry from oven; carefully remove the parchment and beans. Return to oven for 8-10min, until pastry base is cooked through and feels sandy to the touch. Take out of the oven and, when cool enough to handle, trim the pastry edges (while still in the tin). ❺ While the squash and pastry are cooking, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the kale and simmer for 5-8min until tender. Drain well and set aside to cool. ❻ Lower the oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Place the pastry tin on a baking tray. Add the squash,


A vegetarian tart full to the brim with rich flavours – perfect served warm as a main, or at room temperature for lunch

kale and half the Dolcelatte, dotting it around the tin. â?ź In a large jug, mix together the cream, milk, eggs and nutmeg, if using, then pour into the pastry case. Scatter over the pecans and the remaining Dolcelatte, and cook in the oven for 30-35min until the ďŹ lling is set. Serve warm or at room temperature.

COOK’S TIP If you don’t fancy making your own pastry, use 375g (13oz) shop-bought sweet shortcrust pastry.

Ultimate Mince Pies You may already have a mince pie recipe, but do try this one – we reckon it’s the best ever! Mmm…

MAKES 12 * PREP 20min, plus chilling and cooling * COOK about 20min FOR THE PASTRY


* 175g (6oz) plain flour, plus extra to dust * 75g (3oz) icing sugar, plus extra to dust * 100g (3½oz) butter, cubed and chilled * 1 medium egg, separated * 1tsp vanilla extract FOR THE MINCEMEAT * ½ eating apple (about 50g/2oz) * 50g (2oz) dark brown soft sugar * 25g (1oz) vegetarian suet * 150g (5oz) mixed dried fruit * 50g (2oz) glacé cherries, chopped * ½tsp ground mixed spice * Zest and juice of ½ orange * 3tbsp ruby port ❶ Put the plain flour, icing sugar and butter into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, 1tbsp cold water and the vanilla extract. Pulse again until the pastry just comes together. Tip out on to a surface, shape into a disc, then wrap in clingfilm. Chill for 30min.

❷ Meanwhile, coarsely grate the apple and put in a bowl with the sugar, vegetarian suet, dried fruit, glacé cherries, mixed spice, orange zest and juice, and ruby port. Stir together and set aside. ❸ Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3mm (⅛in) thick, then stamp out 12 rounds with a fluted or plain 8cm (3¼in) cutter (re-roll the trimmings as necessary). Use the rounds to line a 12-hole bun tin and fill with the mincemeat (including any liquid). Re-roll the pastry trimmings and stamp out a smaller shape (stars or holly leaves are nice) to lay on top of each pie. Brush a little egg white over the pastry to glaze. ❹ Bake for 18-20min until golden. Leave the pies to cool in the tin for a few min to set. Carefully transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with icing sugar.

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EasY Christmas Pudding You’ll be surprised how simple it is to make this pudding the centre, to allow it to expand, set aside. ❸ Add the remaining ingredients to the soaked fruit, stirring well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared basin, packing peeled, cored * 150g (5oz) raisins it in, and level the surface. Put the and cut into * 150g (5oz) sultanas pleated foil and parchment square small cubes * 100g (3½oz) (foil-side up) on top of the basin; smooth prunes, stoned and * 1tbsp ground down around the sides. Use a long piece cinnamon finely chopped of string to tie the lid securely under the * 25g (1oz) chopped * 1tsp mixed spice lip of the basin, then loop the string over mixed peel * 125g (4oz) dark again and tie to make a handle. brown soft sugar * 100ml (3½fl oz) ❹ Put a heatproof saucer in the base apple juice * 50g (2oz) plain of a large, deep pan with a tight-fitting flour 50ml (2fl oz) * lid. Lower in the pudding and pour in brandy, optional, * 50g (2oz) enough water (trying not to get any on or 50ml (2fl oz) fresh white top of the pudding) to come halfway up apple juice breadcrumbs the sides of the basin. Cover with the lid, * Butter, to grease * 1 large egg, beaten bring to the boil, then turn down the heat * 2 eating apples * 25g (1oz) and simmer gently for 4½hr, topping up (about 150g/5oz), vegetarian suet the water as necessary. ❶ Put the dried fruit, mixed peel, apple ❺ If serving immediately, carefully lift the juice and brandy (if using) in a large pudding out of the pan by the handle and non-metallic bowl. Stir, cover and leave leave to stand for a few min. Remove the at room temperature overnight. lid, invert the pudding on to a plate, peel ❷ Lightly grease a 900ml (1½ pint) off the baking parchment and serve. pudding basin and line the base with ❻ If making ahead, leave the pudding to a disc of baking parchment. Put a cool completely (out of the pan). Wrap the 35.5cm (14in) square of foil on top of basin, still with its foil lid, tightly in clingfilm a square of baking parchment the same and then another layer of foil. Store in size. Fold a 4cm (1½in) pleat across a cool, dark place for up to 3 months. 2 0 P R I MA | A Delic iou s Hom e- m ade Chr is tmas


SERVES 10 * PREP 30min, plus overnight soaking and optional maturing * COOK 4hr 30min

TO REHEAT ON THE HOB Remove the top layer of foil, clingďŹ lm and pleated lid. Re-cover the top of the basin with a baking parchment and foil lid. Follow steps 4 and 5, reheating for 2hr. Leave to stand for a few min before serving.

TO REHEAT IN THE MICROWAVE Remove the top layer of foil, clingďŹ lm and pleated lid. Re-cover with a baking parchment lid (no foil). Heat at medium power (based on 800W) for 4min, stand for 1min, then cook again for 4min. Leave to stand for 1min before serving.

Tropical Baked Alaska Not as tricky as you might think: just ensure the frozen yoghurt is completely covered in meringue to stop it melting

SERVES 6 * PREP 20min, plus freezing and softening * COOK about 4min


* 2 x 500ml tubs coconut frozen yoghurt * 75g (3oz) passion fruit or lemon curd * 3 large egg whites * 200g (7oz) caster sugar * 1tsp cornflour * 1tbsp Malibu, optional * 1 medium sponge flan case, about 15cm (6in) diameter (we used Edler’s) ❶ Double-line a 1 litre (1¾ pint) pudding basin with clingfilm, leaving the excess hanging over the sides. In a large mixing bowl, mash the frozen yoghurt until softened slightly, then swirl through the curd as best you can. Spoon into the lined basin, pressing down to level, and freeze for 3hr or until solid again. ❷ Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan) mark 7. In a large, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar, whisking it to stiff peaks after each addition until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Whisk in the cornflour and the Malibu, if using.

❸ Put the sponge flan case on an ovenproof serving plate. Invert the frozen yoghurt into the central dip of the case, then remove the basin and clingfilm. Cover the frozen yoghurt and case completely in meringue, swirling it into peaks with the back of a spoon. Ensure there are no gaps, and make sure the meringue goes right down to the plate. ❹ Bake in the oven for 3-4min until golden. Leave to stand for 5-10min to allow the frozen yoghurt to soften slightly, then serve.

GET AHEAD Prepare to end of step 1 and freeze (make sure your basin is freezerproof) for up to 2 days. To serve, preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan) mark 7 and complete recipe.

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Red Velvet

RaspberrY Trifle SERVES 12 * PREP 35min, plus cooling and chilling * COOK about 45min * 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease * 125g (4oz) self-raising flour * 1tsp baking powder * 25g (1oz) cocoa powder * 175g (6oz) caster sugar * 3 medium eggs, beaten * ½tsp bake-safe red food colouring

* 2-3tbsp dry sherry (more, if you like) * 450g (1lb) fresh or defrosted frozen raspberries * 135g pack raspberry jelly * 500g tub fresh vanilla custard * 600ml (1 pint) double cream, lightly whipped TO DECORATE * Freeze-dried raspberries * Silver dragées

❶ Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Grease and line a 20.5cm (8in) round cake tin with baking parchment. Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside. ❷ Using a freestanding mixer or handheld electric whisk, beat together butter and caster sugar, about 5min, until pale and fluffy. Gradually add eggs, 2 4 P R I M A | A Deliciou s Hom e- m ade Chr is tmas

beating well after each addition. If mixture looks as if it might curdle, beat in some of the flour mixture. Fold in remaining flour mixture, then mix in the food colouring. Spoon into cake tin and level. ❸ Bake for 45min or until cake is springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5min in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. ❹ Slice the cooled cake into 3 even horizontal layers. Place a layer in a large trifle bowl, then drizzle over the sherry. Scatter over a third of the raspberries. ❺ Make up the jelly according to pack instructions, then pour into trifle bowl and leave to cool. Chill overnight to set. Keep the remaining cake layers in an airtight container at room temperature. ❻ Pour half the custard over the jelly and top with second cake layer. Sprinkle over half remaining raspberries and top with half the whipped cream. Add final layer of cake, spread over remaining custard, then sprinkle over remaining berries. Spoon on final layer of cream. ❼ Decorate with dried raspberries and silver dragées, and serve triumphantly!


This is no mere trifle… it’s a showstopper!

Spiced Plum & Fig Jam This aromatic preserve adds festive warmth to a winter breakfast table or afternoon tea, and makes a great gift

MAKES 1.8kg (4lb) * PREP 20min * COOK about 50min


* 8 large figs, about 350g (12oz), stalks trimmed * 1kg (2lb 3½oz) plums * Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange * 1tsp ground cloves * 1tsp ground cinnamon * 1.2kg (2lb 11oz) caster sugar ❶ Chop the figs and place in a large preserving pan. Halve the plums, discard the stones and chop the flesh. Add to the figs with 50ml (2fl oz) water, and the orange zest and juice. ❷ Cover and cook gently for 20min, squashing the fruit occasionally with a wooden spoon until soft. Uncover, stir in the spices and sugar, then heat, stirring gently, until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Bubble for 25-30min until the setting point is reached (see tip), or a sugar thermometer registers 105°C (221°F) – make sure it’s reading the jam’s temperature, not the base of the pan.

❸ Take the pan off the heat and skim off the surface scum with a metal spoon. Pot the jam into sterilised jars (see below), and cover with wax discs and airtight lids. Store in a cool, dark place for up to six months, and in the fridge once opened.

COOK’S TIP To test for the setting point, drop a spoonful of jam on to a chilled saucer and leave to cool slightly. Push your finger through the jam – if the surface wrinkles, it’s ready. If not, return to the heat. STERILISING JARS Preheat the oven to 140°C (120°C fan) mark 1. Wash the jars in hot soapy water. Place upside down on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for 10-15min until dry. Alternatively, run through a hot dishwasher cycle.

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Peanut Butter Balls This stir-together recipe is perfect for children to make, and needs just a little adult supervision

MAKES about 25 balls * PREP 15min


* 40g (1½oz) dark chocolate * 340g jar crunchy peanut butter (Sun-Pat works well) * ½tsp vanilla extract * 100g (3½oz) icing sugar

❶ Finely grate the chocolate into a medium bowl. In a separate medium bowl, mix the peanut butter and vanilla extract until combined. Gradually stir in the icing sugar – you should end up with a soft, mouldable mixture. ❷ Shape the peanut butter mixture into small balls and roll each in grated chocolate to coat completely. ❸ Store for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge. To give as gifts, present the balls in mini cupcake or petit four cases and box them in a single layer.

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EasY Chocolate & Pistachio Fudge What a lovely little gift this would make… if it survives long enough to be wrapped!

MAKES about 50 squares * PREP 10min, plus chilling


* 250g (9oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped * 100g (3½oz) milk chocolate, finely chopped * 350g (12oz) condensed milk * 1tsp vanilla extract * 50g (2oz) pistachios, roughly chopped

❶ Line a 15cm x 23cm (6in x 9in) roasting tin with baking parchment. Put the dark and milk chocolate and condensed milk into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Leave to melt, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and shiny. ❷ Stir in the vanilla extract and pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Level the surface and sprinkle over the pistachios, pressing the nuts lightly into the fudge. Cover and chill for about 3hr, until firm. ❸ Store in the fridge for up to 1 month. Cut into 2.5cm (1in) squares. Wrap in tissue paper and place in a box, or present in pretty cellophane bags, if giving as a gift.

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MerrY BerrY Liqueur Drink this fruity tipple as it is, or as a long drink with soda, fresh mint and crushed ice

* 750ml (1¼ pint) white or dark rum * 425g (15oz) caster sugar * 425g (15oz) mixed frozen berries – we used a mixture of blackberries, raspberries and redcurrants * 1tsp vanilla extract

COOK’S TIP Sterilising bottles: Preheat the oven to 140°C (120°C fan) mark 1. Wash the bottles in hot soapy water – place upside down on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for 10-15min, until dry. Alternatively, run through a hot dishwasher cycle.

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❶ Put all the ingredients into a large, clean bowl and stir with a clean spoon. Cover well with clingfilm and leave to infuse for at least 2 weeks (up to 1 month) in a cool, dark place. When you remember, give the mixture a stir. ❷ Strain through a sieve lined with kitchen paper into a large clean jug (see tip). Use a funnel to decant into pretty sterilised bottles. The liqueur keeps for up to 6 months.

COOK’S TIP Serve the strained boozy fruit with vanilla ice cream to make a splendidly indulgent pudding. P HOTO G R A PHY GARETH MORGANS

MAKES 1.2 litre (2¼ pint) * PREP 5min, plus infusing

Prima’s life-saving Christmas hacks Here are our handy tips and tricks to help take the stress out of hosting Christmas

FAKE IT OMake shop-bought mince pies taste

before guests arrive, so you can enjoy your day and spend less time in the kitchen. OThere are lots of things that can be made weeks ahead and frozen, such as cranberry sauce, braised red cabbage, gravy and mince pies.

home-made by popping them on a baking tray and warming them in the oven at 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5 for 5min, then dust with a little caster sugar or icing sugar. OStir some freshly grated orange zest into shop-bought cranberry sauce for a home-made touch. OFor easy canapés, wrap shop-bought cheese straws in Parma ham and bake in an oven preheated to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6 for 3-5min until crispy.


GET AHEAD OTry to prepare as much as possible

RESCUE REMEDIES OIf your gravy lacks

flavour, a little Marmite will liven it up. If it just looks insipid, add a couple of pinches of instant coffee to deepen the colour. Burnt flavours in your gravy? Add 1tbsp redcurrant jelly to disguise them. Too much salt? Add a splash of cream. OIf you discover the turkey is still pink when you’re about to carve it, don’t panic. Return it to the oven and check it every 10min. Cover the vegetables with foil, and when the turkey is ready, microwave any veg that’s been boiled or steamed, and put roasted veg in a high oven for 5min to reheat. OIs your over-whipped cream looking more like butter? Add a splash of milk and stir gently to soften it. ONeed to warm plates quickly? Place in a sink of very hot water for 5min.

CALMING CHRISTMAS MANTRA Remember that Christmas dinner is just a roast – people won’t mind if something is a little late to the table or isn’t perfect. Only you know what you planned to do!

LEFTOVER IDEAS OCrumble leftover Christmas pudding

into a bowl and stir in a little whisky or brandy. Use your hands to squish the mixture into truffles. Dip in melted chocolate and leave on a lined baking sheet to harden. Perfect with a coffee! OIf you’ve got lots of leftovers from Christmas dinner, add to a thick white sauce and tip into an ovenproof dish. Top with ready-rolled puff pastry and bake in an oven preheated to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6 for 30min, or until the filling is hot and the pastry golden. OFor an easy coronation sauce for leftover turkey, mix together 75g (3oz) sultanas, 75g (3oz) chopped dried apricots, 5tbsp Greek yoghurt, zest of ½ lemon, 1tsp curry powder and a little water. Perfect for sandwiches or salad. P RIMA | A D e l i c i o us Ho m e -m a d e C hr i st m a s 3 5


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