PHOTOGRAPHY by Nick Hopper

A Proper Christmas Dinner Party

Get cozy and spread the love Hemsley-style with a party for your nearest & dearest

The best gift is time spent with friends and loved ones – and only the Hemsley sisters could make it look so amazing!! They break down the day for us & share some recipes so you can treat your best peoples. Dive in!

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A checklist, with timings, is key to a smooth and happy party day!

Morning checklist

  • Pick up our beautiful wreath and flowers from Jam Jar (our favourite London florist) – posies of mistletoe, white anemone, ranunculus and dark purple myrtle berries in a variety of bottle-green vintage vases.
  • Simmer the mulled wine syrup (star anise, cloves, ginger, oranges) and split open the pomegranates for the welcome drinks. Now the house smells like Christmas!
  • As per instructions from Emma, the best hostess we know, we set up a designated bar area and polish as many glasses as we can find – you can never have enough glasses at a party, they seem to disappear into thin air…

 

Afternoon checklist

  • Hang up our huge and splendid wreath on the front door ready to welcome guests.
  • Lay the table while Sjaniel dresses the fireplace with a heap of church candles, pussy willow stems and bowls of clementines. The bay windows are dressed with strings of white fairy lights.
  • Set the playlists… Chaka Khan, Prince, Lianne La Havas, Dancing Doors, Alabama Shakes, Earth Wind and Fire.
  • Take our places round the kitchen table, as the sun sets, armed with peelers and knives ready to prep the veg which will be roasted in duck fat and coconut oil.
  • Pat down two fat ducks with sea salt and pop into the oven, warm the heavenly Bagna Cauda dip and toast the almond carrot crackers, then bundle up the stairs to beautify ourselves before the doorbell rings.

 

The Best Guests…

Our party was full of incredible women (apart from our Nick behind the camera) – all our guests have championed us since we started our family business HEMSLEY & HEMSLEY 2 years ago – they are unfailingly supportive and we wanted to treat them to a good night in!

Tis better to give than to receive…

It’s Christmas so to spoil our guests we excitedly planned their presents just as soon as we decided on a party! They each received a pair of Vivobarefoot running shoes complete with an invitation to join us in the New Year for a special, barefoot running masterclass lesson with one of our fitness gurus Lee Saxby… and then a HEMSLEY & HEMSLEY hamper with homemade chutneys, mince pies, sweets and spicy nuts as well as some of our favourite lotions and potions like Alexandra Soveral lip balm and hand cream, Baborganics skin care and a tongue scraper (perfect for detoxing in the party season).

The menu…

We kept it traditional – Christmas dinner for our Christmas party! We recently created a collection of Christmas recipes for British Vogue which we showcased. You’ll find nearly all of these recipes on Vogue or our website, and look out for the rest in 2013!

Drinks

Mulled wine and Pomegranate bubbly

Starters

Chicken Liver Pate & Festive Chutney Almond Herb Crackers

Bagna Cauda with Chicory Leaves

Main

Roast Duck & Cranberry Sauce

or

Mushroom Quinoa Nut Roast

served with

Chestnut & Apricot Stuffing

Coconut Oil Roasted Vegetables & White Wine Miso Gravy

Roast Turnips

Winter Salad with orange, peas & a sesame dressing

Braised Red Cabbage

Dessert

Christmas Pudding & Brandy Sauce

Teeccino Irish Coffee

Fresh Mint Tea

Wine

Vin de Pays du Gard Organic Rouge

Bordeaux Organic Blanc

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