A Season of Luxury | Celebrate with… The Walpole Team
It’s Day 2 of A Season of Luxury, as we discover how the people behind Britain’s luxury brands are celebrating the most wonderful time of the year. Today, the Walpole team share our favourite festive traditions, where we’ll be spending the big day, and what we’d most like to find in our Christmas stockings (a Boston Terrier puppy, anyone?) as we look forward to our 10-day Yuletide break.
How will you marking Christmas this year? Let us know by clicking here or download the guidelines here: A Season of Luxury 2019
The Walpole team at the 2019 Walpole British Luxury Awards. Image courtesy of Adam Duke Photography.
Helen Brocklebank | What’s your favourite festive tradition?
Every year, sometime between the unveiling of the Claridge’s Christmas Tree and the Walpole/Royal Warrant Holders Christmas Carol service, I do my Christmas shopping.
After a cocktail with a friend at Brown’s, I sally forth, suffused with a Negroni-induced spirit of goodwill to all men, to Fortnum & Mason, followed by a dip into Hatchards and then a few of my Jermyn Street favourites. Piling triumphantly into a taxi an hour or so later, I’m filled with a satisfyingly smug feeling to have done all my present shopping in such a civilised manner.
I inevitably discover, a week before Christmas, that my present buying has been rather sketchier than it felt when I stashed the spoils of my jaunt round St. James in my study at home. A large tin of Chocolossus biscuits, Sir Nigel Playfair’s Best marmalade, a box of smoky Earl Grey, Floris scent, a Turnbull & Asser pocket square, some socks and the latest John Le Carré seem to be the sum total of the lovely things I’ve bought – perfect for my husband’s Christmas stocking, but a little lacking when it comes to the children, the rest of my family, my best friend and so on. Fortunately, just as I’m cursing myself for once again combining the twin pleasures of Christmas cocktails and Christmas shopping, my sainted husband sticks his head round the door to remind me he has already bought everything on the family Christmas wish lists, and all I need to do is wrap his.
Keri Beak | Best place to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere?
Fortnum & Mason. I love the energy and buzz of the iconic store in the run up to Christmas with hampers, fabulous decorations, delicious food and gifts – it’s so special and where I buy a new tree decoration every year.
Charlotte Keesing | How will you be celebrating Christmas this year?
In our new home! We began decorating it this weekend, while watching my favourite festive film – the original Miracle on 34th Street.
Olivia Lowdell | All I want for Christmas is…
A Boston Terrier puppy for Dolly, my Boston Terrier. I also like to spend time around the Southbank (near to Walpole HQ), enjoying the mulled wine and Christmas Market.
Rosie Mason | How will you be celebrating Christmas this year?
At Chateau Thuries in the South of France, the beautiful bed & breakfast my parents have been restoring over the past two years! www.chateauthuries.com
Jenni Rayner | How will you be celebrating Christmas this year?
Slightly strangely the Christmas holidays will be spent on an Alpaca Farm in the Lake District, with my four-year-old identical twins, husband, and 10 members of his family. Send (Chapel Down) wine.
Stephanie Robinson | How will you be celebrating Christmas this year?
I plan on getting all of the obligatory catch ups out of the way so that over the Christmas break my little family and I can enjoy long walks, watch festive films, drink red wine and eat homemade mac n’ cheese. Did I mention that we will be wearing our matching Christmas PJs?
Celandine Wade | What’s your favourite festive film?
Anything on Netflix with the words ‘Prince’ and ‘Christmas’ in the title.
Carly von Speyr | What’s your favourite festive tradition?
A delicious and elegant, but lethal champagne cocktail called a Twinkle has become very popular in my family. I don’t recommend having more than two if you’re in charge of lunch, although after three you really won’t care if the turkey’s burnt.
15ml elderflower cordial
Laurent Perrier champagne, to top
Lemon twist, to garnish
Add the vodka and elderflower to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, give a quick shake. Strain into a large coupette (Richard Brendon does a particularly lovely one), top up with champagne and garnish with a long lemon twist.
Julia Woolley | Your favourite Christmas tradition?
At our little 14th century village church, we have the most beautiful carol service which is entirely lit by hundreds of tiny candles. There is standing room only as we celebrate the spirit of Christmas with the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, while it is cold and frosty outside.