How chef Sophie Conran celebrates Christmas
From family traditions to hosting tips, chef and designer Sophie Conran tells us how she celebrates Christmas day at home
What time do you serve the Christmas meal?
We have a large, latish brunch at 11am and then our Christmas meal is served between 3pm and 4pm.
What traditions do you have for your Christmas celebrations?
We open stockings first thing in the morning - everyone gets into bed together! Then we have brunch, which is an array of smoked fish, beautiful scrambled eggs, lovely bagels and freshly squeezed orange juice. We open some presents and then start cooking and organising the Christmas lunch, which we have after a walk. Instead of Christmas pudding, we always have a chocolate bomb, which explodes with quite amazing ferocity and makes everyone scream! After lunch we all just veg out.
What is your theme for Christmas 2019 – if you have one?
Getting as much out of the garden possible. Last year I went crazy with decoration buying, so we have lots of amazing decorations to put around the house. I have a cedar tree in the garden that I trim, so I use that up the banisters. We live next to a forest so it’s a good opportunity to get into the woods and bring in ivy and foliage in. We always have hundreds of sets of Christmas lights. The theme for my dining room is greens and gold, and the hallway will be reds and whites – like a candy cane.
What are the essentials for your Christmas table?
I always put a garland down the middle - lots of foliage with decorations, baubles and ribbons tied into it. Masses of candles all round the dining room, as by 4pm on Christmas Day it’s pretty dark. Sparkling glasses, crackers and place names are also essential.
What is your favourite thing about Christmas?
I love everything about it! Getting everyone together, all the prep and camaraderie of it. And the decorating of course!
What is your favourite part of the Christmas meal?
Brandy butter and everyone in their crowns when they’ve gone all wonky.
Tip for being perfect Christmas host
Enjoying yourself and spoiling your guests.
Tips for stress-free (ha!) entertaining
Doing it all together and sharing responsibilities. Be prepared!
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