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The Hemsley & Hemsley Winter RoundUp

Are you ready for this? - the Hemsley girls have the ultimate guide to the holiday season in London, and they're spilling it all!

The amazingly, talented, incredible, beautiful Hemsley sisters of Hemsley & Hemsley ‘The Art of Eating Well’ are here to spread some Holiday cheer. They’ve shared a list of what they’ll be eating, drinking, doing to celebrate he Christmas season in London!

Top 6 RESTAURANTS To Get Cozy In This Winter

1. Brawn Columbia Road, Shoreditch

Superb food, we like to come here after Sunday’s flower market (see below) but get in quick as it’s tiny and brilliant.

2. Bodos Schloss High Street Kensington

A new ‘Austrian Alpine Ski lodge’ restaurant for some ‘apres ski’, sauerkraut (we are obsessed with proper sauerkraut) and an old-fashioned disco.

3. Jasmine has booked up to go to ForzaWin

A winter pop up restaurant serving Fonduta – a Northern Italian Fondue style dish prepared with young Fontina cheese, raw milk and butter on the 22nd of December with the other half Nick and their smashing neighbours Emma and Alex.

4. Paradise by way of Kensal Green Kensal Green

You’ll always find something addictively fun going on every night in one of the rooms at Paradise. The incredible food is cooked by our big time chef friend Tim Payne and we love their karaoke room and huge fireplaces galore. We’ll be dancing off our ‘excesses’ in our old ballet shoes at FRAME’s ‘Barre to the Bar’ ballet class in Paradise’s beautiful Main room before freshening up and heading downstairs to the dining room to feast on some of the most delicious foods we have ever eaten. Paradise is our Top 3 greatest London gem of all time.

5. Pop up restaurant – Disco Bistro – at The Rising Sun

Disco Bistro is a long awaited pop up at The Rising Sun pub in St Pauls. We’ve already happily chosen what we’re having – Jasmine: Devon Ruby short rib, pickled chanterelles and blackcurrant sage and Melissa: Quince cooked in cider with a geranium rose custard. This will be a long, lazy, decadent lunch.

6. Back in 5 minutes, Brick Lane 

Hidden at the back of a clothes shop on the infamous Brick Lane, is Back in 5 Minutes – it’s styled like a 1950’s grandma’s living room, the food is top quality, the drinks insane and it’s open late. The 3 of us (Melissa, Jasmine and Nick, Jasmine’s better half and the man who keeps us organised) will be enjoying our work Christmas party here – we’ve pre-ordered bowls and bowls of their divine snail butter.

Where To Go for PRESENT BUYING

1. Mel will be in Labour & Wait on Redchurch Street picking up enamel dishes and kilner jars to fill with sweets and also the rubber grooming brush for all her cat loving friends – the best hair remover/clothes brush ever!

2. Sunday shopping for mistletoe and adornments for our Christmas wreath and Christmas trees from Columbia Road Flower market in East London.

3. We really love The Winter Festival on the Southbank for great street food, mulled wine, carol singing and a good old fashioned carousel. At any time of year, the Southbank on the River Thames is an exceptional one-stop entertainment parade – you’ve got the BFI (British Film Institute), the National Theatre, the London Eye, the Hayward Gallery, the Royal Festival Hall, The Old Vic Theatre and if you keep on walking, you hit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

4. Jasmine will be losing hours of her life at Undercurrents, a small secondhand shop in Cowper Street, East London searching for unusual gifts. They specialise in Scandinavian ceramics, furniture and accessories from the 30’s to 90’s – apparently Danish pieces are hard to find – they don’t leave the country very often so when you can get your winter mitts on it, do! Got some cool retro curtains to make a fab tablecloth, some hand painted dishes for our Vogue recipe shoots and a Moomin (a childhood cartoon) print.

5. Pullens Opens Studios SE London – Three artisan yards with over 40 studios in Jasmine’s South East London neighbourhood. Twice a year the studios throw open their doors and invite the public to come and see their work – find distinctive hand-crafted gifts: jewellery, ceramics, paintings, photography, clothing, furniture, books – perfect for very cool presents.

6. Food tasting and food shopping at Borough Market. One of London’s oldest markets, it sits next to Southwark Cathedral (the oldest cathedral in London). It’s believed that there has been a church on this site since AD 606. Borough Market has everything you need – butchers, bakers, fishmongers, cheesemongers, grocers, wine merchants, spice merchants, chestnuts roasters, the lot – sorted.

7. Buying these 2 excellent books for our loved ones – the ultimate taste bible: The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit and Instructions for Happiness by Susie Pearl – positive living for a better world – get happy!

8. All of Alexandra Soverall products are on our wish list – organic perfume and skincare  – everything smells heavenly and feels incredible – you just want to dunk your head in!

9. We’ll be making our own HEMSLEY & HEMSLEY hampers and stocking fillers filled to the brim with our homemade organic foods – beetroot pickles, chilli quince chutneys, chicken liver pate, mince pies, mulled wines, ginger beers, cranberry cookies and chocolate and orange clusters.

You can see some of our recipes on www.hemsleyandhemsley.com in the lead up to Christmas.

Our Favorite Things TO DO

1. Ice skating by the river Thames at the grand and stunning 18th Century Somerset house for their Lovesick Disco on Ice on Wednesday 19th December.

2. Booked in for Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty Ballet at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Counting down the days for this ‘gothic romance.’

3. Watching Melissa’s best friend sing mash ups of killer pop hits in her choir, LIPS at their legendary annual Christmas concert on Saturday 15th December at the amazing Coronet Theatre in Elephant and Castle.

KNEE UPS (The Parties!)

1. The Blues Kitchen in Camden is one of our locals and their Sunday Blues Jam has got to be one of the best nights of live music in London. Melissa will be here on New Year’s Eve for their Rolling Stone’s bash – staying up late with lots of ribs and Old Fashioneds. If you can’t make it to London, listen to their hugely successful podcast for amazing live sessions and Blues chat.

2. The Hemsley & Hemsley Christmas dinner. On 12/12/12, an auspicious day according to ancient traditions around the world, this is the beginning of evolution for planet earth, humanity and the cosmos – AND the date of the Hemsley & Hemsley Christmas dinner party! A girls-only affair for the friends who have championed us since we started, we’ll be cooking our British Vogue 2012 Christmas dinner – doing a roast with all the trimmings and demonstrating our Christmas sweet recipes specially created for Vogue (keep your eyes on the Vogue.co.uk website during their Online Fashion Week, 3rd-7th December). Goody bags with ‘conscious’ gifts and some rather special shoes which we can’t reveal yet in case our guests are reading!

3. Then we’ll be going to Maggie’s in Chelsea where we’ve reserved the WHAM booth for their 80s ‘Last Christmas’ night.  Heart you 1980s George.

And of course the RECOUPING

For some serious downtime, we’ll be going to candlelit yoga classes at TriYoga in Primrose Hill then taking our thermoses of homemade hot chocolate (cacao, cinnamon and coconut milk) up on Primrose Hill for panoramic views of our beautiful city.

Best of all, on Christmas Day, we’ll turn off our phones – then eat, nap, sleep some more and probably cry while watching Sense and Sensibility and Life is Beautiful and just be with our mum and dad and 2 cats ….and each other…..just like old times….

xx Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley