On Friday, I hosted the first of what will hopefully become an annual tradition, the LBM Christmas Lunch. The plan came about back in the late summer – chatting with a fellow blogger we were discussing the fact that as a blogger (or anyone self-employed without a team working for them), you don’t get to have a Christmas party and you miss out on the opportunity to mingle with other likeminded people, as you’re all working away, dotted around the country on your own!
Social Media (particularly Instagram) has been a great tool for connecting people and I have already met a number of lovely people through it, some of which have become friends in real life too. So I thought hosting a lunch would be the perfect opportunity to get a group of ladies with lots in common, together in the same room, in real life!
We woke on Friday to the most beautiful, sunny morning. Frost on the ground and the excitement of December 1st in the air – even the sheep seemed especially happy!
Piers from the Kitchen Garden Company, who were catering the event, arrived bright and early to get everything set up. We had a delicious menu planned; to start with there was a choice of mulled wine or cava (Juvee y Camps, which is our favourite and served at our wedding) accompanied by hot-smoked salmon (fresh from the fire), Celeriac soup shots and kitchen garden pigs (see above).
Piers and his team also set up a lovely fire pit area outside in the sunshine, complete with hay bales and sheepskins for comfortable perching. Lola also loved the smell/warmth coming from the fires!
With the help of some lovely brands, I had put together goody bags for all the guests, housed in these lovely stockings from Sophie Allport. Inside each stocking was a whole selection of treats; a mini scented candle and Christmas mug, also from Sophie Allport, gorgeous homemade mince pies and apple juice from Kitchen Garden Company, a lovely gift from local brand, Bramley, a candle from the gorgeous new range from Medusa Apothecary, a pretty potted succulent from Cherryade Store in Poundbury, beautiful personalised leather bound Wardrobe Notebook from Noble Macmillan, a gorgeous Christmas decoration from Also Home and a personlised notebook from the wonderful Papier, who also did the invitations and the menus for the lunch. Such a treat and I am so grateful to all the brands who got involved and made the wonderful goody bags possible.
For the table decor, I wanted to create an elegant and stylish look, with a hint of countryside chic. I will be doing a full post on how to create this look at thome later this week, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
The sun was still beaming down on the courtyard when everyone arrived, so we had our drinks and canapés outside by the fire – such a treat for December, we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day!
After an hour or so of sunny chats, selfies and silliness, we headed inside to the warmth for the main course; wood-fired winter chicken, rosemary roast potatoes, butternut squash, braised red cabbage and crispy kale, served with Domain des Vigneauz Viognier 2016. Pudding was mulled pears, ginger ice cream and homemade honeycomb served with Domaine l’Ancienne Cure, Monbazillac 2013.
A lovely afternoon was had by all – we ate really well, drank lovely wine and had a good catch up about all things blogging, Instagram and Christmas. It’s something that I really hope to make an annual tradition….watch this space!
Photography by Patrick Butler-Madden