December: Good different
Yes, there’s a recession and yes, we’re slightly wincing at the idea of turning on the Christmas lights. But it’s a special time of year and if we can’t decorate the house and entertain now in the run up to Christmas, then when can we?
It’s very likely that your Christmas is steeped in tradition: you probably know exactly when your tree should go up (N.B. not before December, please), what you’ll eat on Christmas Eve and what time you open presents on the Big Day. We all fall back on a tried-and-tested formula, and for good reason: traditions and rituals are comforting and familiar.
Here at Faro, it will come as no surprise to learn that colour and exuberance are at the forefront of our festive celebrations. And we do love to throw a good party! So, we thought we’d share our top party tips for this season and beyond with you…
- Dress the table with the right table-linen, make your table a talking point with a beautiful tablecloth and add drama and dressing to your party room with long stemmed flowers and foliage around the room and shorter stemmed arrangements at the dinner table.
- Lighting is key to the right ambiance so whether it is warm mood lighting or fun neon wall signs, enhance your party atmosphere with the right lights.
- Scented candles around the room are a great way to set an elegant tone.
- Have a drink ready for guests as soon as they arrive.
- Have music playlists for different parts of the night, from your guests’ arrival to the cocktails, dinner and dancing. Music can make or break a party!
- Prepare everything in advance so you can enjoy the party (having had a glass of fizz before everyone arrives, obviously!)
But Christmas is not all about partying! Growing up in India and moving to the Suffolk countryside means we naturally embrace being different. We’re here to encourage you to make some small changes to the way you shop, decorate, and eat this Christmas.
Gone are the days when we would traipse around a faceless shopping mall on Christmas Eve looking for lacklustre presents from ransacked highstreet stores. Recently we’ve seen the emergence of many incredible pop-up Christmas fairs, all over the country, which provide so many options for unique presents from independent, quirky, often female-run brands. Your friends and family will love that you’ve put some real thought into what you get them, and you’ll feel like a superhero for buying something that’s unexpected and often one-of-a-kind..
There’s always a place for understated, twinkly white lights. This is the season for embracing vibrancy, colour, glitter, and a maximalist vibe like no other. Pair old and new things you would never have imagined side by side or be creative and use what you already have in different ways; our throws double up as cosy fireside blankets as well as elegant shawls for keeping warm when singing nipping to those carols round the tree.
Tables that look abundant and generous are the most festive of all: flowers, candles, foliage, tree decorations, clashing linens and vintage crockery will all make your table feel personal and unique. Mix textures and heights for added tablescape drama.
Slaving away for hours in the kitchen is not our idea of a Merry Christmas. The more we can prep in advance, with minimal washing up, the better. Good old Jamie Oliver has been saving our festive (and of course non-festive) bacon for decades and he’s only gone and done it again: his new book, ‘One’ is one of his best. Full of one-pan wonders and batch cooking ideas, this will transform the run-up and the aftermath to Christmas when we often have just as many mouths to feed, but when the same credence isn’t given to the catering.
We also urge you to also give ‘Persiana’ by Sabrina Ghayour a whirl. Her recipes are colourful, fresh and different – and you won’t be cursing the niche list of ingredients wondering if you should be driving 60 miles to a Middle Eastern supermarket for that particular brand of pomegranate molasses…
pic courtesy - pinterest
We’re not going to shake up the formula too drastically because, frankly, we quite like Christmas. But here are some small things we are considering doing this year for the first time:
- Going to Midnight mass. Are we the only ones who talk about doing this every year, but when the time comes it just seems too bloody late!?
- Not giving any plastic to Godchildren…one-off, thoughtful gifts or books only
- Not buying or making a Christmas cake. Does anyone actually prefer it to Panettone?
- Going for a wild swim on Christmas Day (ok, maybe watching the swimming this year in preparation for another year!) The Outdoor Swimming Society compiles a list of events taking place across the country.
However you choose to celebrate the festive season, we wish you all deliciously different Seasons Greetings!
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