My family will be scattered across the country on Christmas Day, spending time with families-in-law, grandchildren, parents and niecephews. My mum, who spent four years of her childhood in America, wanted to gather us all to celebrate Thanksgiving, but when that proved impossible, fixed on yesterday for our pre-Christmas get-together. We met at my sister’s flat to cook, eat, catch up and celebrate.
Table decorated with red and blue paper. We will bring out the family linen and coloured glass for Christmas Day, and not mind about the washing and washing up. And yes, Z’s flat does slope that much (London subsidence). And yes, there were more chairs!
We started with smoked salmon and cream cheese, with spring onion, lemon juice and black pepper on thinly sliced brown bread, in homage to my granny who made platefuls of this for every gathering.
I was too excited (and too full!) to take photos of the pudding: my mum’s amazing macaroon cake and apple sauce, chocolate brownies and two types of ice cream.
Dad’s cousin and her brother-in-law popped round for coffee, champagne, more cake and chocolates in the late afternoon, then it was off to St John’s Smith Square for Bach’s Christmas Vespers 1723, a celebration of Christmas music including Giovanni Gabrieli and Erhard Bodenschatz as well as Bach’s Magnificat in E-flat and In dulci jubilo performed by the wonderful Oxford Baroque.
On the way home we stopped off at a friend’s Christmas party for mulled wine, mince pies, a giant Christmas ham and luxurious amounts of cheese, before falling into bed to dream of organ preludes and real Christmas.
And since no party is complete without a festive outfit, a photo of what I wore, taken at the top of my sister’s stairs in bad light and a hurry. A mix of old, new, sober and sparkly, high-street basics and a few things I really couldn’t afford but loved too much to leave in the shop. Probably my favourite kind of outfit.
Cardigan: Banana Republic T-shirt: Uniqlo Skirt: L. K. Bennett Shoes: Manolo Blahnik Necklace: Victorian seed pearl horseshoe
Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend!