WE HEADED TO FOUNDER JANE’S BEAUTIFUL HOME IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS FOR A SNEAK PEEK INTO HER CHRISTMAS PREP.
WHAT DOES CHRISTMAS MEAN TO YOU?
Christmas means being with family first and foremost. Now my daughter has left home after finishing uni, it’s my quality time with her while she’s home. My parents live nearby to me and we have the occasional Sunday roast, but this is our time to properly hang out together. We are trying to make Christmas less about the gifts this year – a one present only new rule. We’re just appreciating being together, watching films, cosying up by the fire and going on country dog walks.
WHEN DO YOU BEGIN GETTING READY FOR CHRISTMAS AND HOW DO YOU PREPARE?
I probably start getting ready way too early (according to my husband) but that’s just my pure enthusiasm and love of Christmas time. I will start thinking about gift ideas at the beginning of November and any new ways of decorating the house. I like to change it up a bit every year – this year, I’m definitely feeling a back to nature / foraged / pared down vibe. I would start foraging for twigs and leaves at the end November, ready to make wreaths the first week of December.
HOW DO YOU SPEND CHRISTMAS DAY? ANY TRADITIONS?
We have a Christmas Eve tradition of visiting our favourite country pub with a roaring fire – we go late afternoon for one drink before heading home to crack on with any last minute present wrapping. Christmas Day is always me sneaking down early to prep a few food bits then all of us snuggled in bed (including Bear the dog) for a coffee and opening stockings.
Mum and Dad head over around midday and the canapés, cava and sherry come out. “It’s A Wonderful Life” will be on TV in the background or some old school Christmas music – Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra. Present giving happens around the fire, followed by a short dog walk to get some fresh air. Then we have a late lunch followed by a late afternoon movie and then without fail mid-evening snacks of cheese and crackers. If I’ve had enough cava I may be persuaded to play a few board games…
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT WINTER?
Getting hygge of course…any excuse to light candles and have fairy lights everywhere. I love crisp, cold and frosty but sunny days – they are perfect for dog walks in the woods or on Ashdown forest. Always stopping off for hot chocolate on the way home (or ending up at a country pub. I love roast dinners with the family – Mum and Dad live just over the green from me so we take turns.
The excuse to hunker down at the weekends with the log burner going and watch an early afternoon black and white movie with Bear snuggled on the sofa. Maybe planning a sneaky trip to New York with Amber in December. It’s one of the most magical and romantic places you can be at this time. Throw in a spot of shopping, some art galleries, a walk along the High Line, finished by just wandering in Greenwich Village. Perfect!
WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO WINTER STYLING PIECE?
Definitely a snuggly scarf for me! I have an old MV Ombre Mongolian Fur scarf – just gorgeously glamorous. I also love a simple grey wool blanket scarf. A slouchy oversized black sweater is my go to – I like to channel a Copenhagen cool vibe for winter!