Festivities: A photo diary


When it comes to Christmas, I am a child. I love every single little detail about Christmas, from the candy cane tree decorations to the smell of roast potatoes cooking away. To me it’s all magical. This year was a joyous one indeed, filled with merry nights with friends and family both in London and back in Somerset. I was lucky enough to soak up the atmosphere in both environments – with family in the comfort of my home town and London which is truly enchanting at Christmas.

The celebrations began, as they always do for me, right at the start of December. A friend and I headed to Harrods for tea and pastries at Laduree to catch up after a long term of hard work at university. The french patisserie was simply beautiful with white marble counters covered in macaroons of all colours and pretty pastel boxes. We had two pots of Earl Grey and I had a sneaky hot chocolate which was the best I’ve ever tried. It was virtually melted chocolate and I’m already craving another one. We then each had the ‘Saint-Honoré Rose’ which was exquisite. With mounds of chantilly cream, rose petal flavours and perfectly iced choux pastry it was simply heaven. The atmosphere was lovely and after our lunch I bought some macaroons to take home with me, I chose rose, raspberry, caramel with salted butter and chocolate pure origin from santo-domingo. They were divine.

Earl grey tea and hot chocolate at Laduree, Harrods
The delightful Saint-Honoré Rose
A very special place indeed
The Saint-Honoré Rose
A very happy Jenna Fifi pre Laduree experience

 A few days later My darling friends, Annie and Woo came over to mine for a Christmas buffet, lots of champagne and later, a night out in Park Lane. We also made a trip to The Chocolate Festival at South Bank which was just as delightful as it sounds. Look at these adorable cupcakes from Crumbs and Dollies, the red velvet one in particular was delicious!

Aren't they wonderful! Cupcakes at the Chocolate festival 
Crumbs and Dollies cupcakes
Hotel Chocolat serving up hot chocolate in the chicest manner.

By this time London was already looking magical. There is something special about being stood on one side of the thames at sunset, watching the christmas lights across the river glow brighter and brighter. The shops in Bond Street looked incredible and Carnaby Street showed off its rock and roll roots with gold record decorations.

Christmas on Carnaby Street
Christmas on Carnaby Street
Overlooking Embankment one December evening
The Christmas lights look beautiful against the white buildings of St James Park and Oxford Circus
Cartier on Bond street!

My darling Mum and sister Zoe soon joined me in London to do some Christmas Shopping and see some exhibitions. We went to the Ball Gowns exhibition and the Hollywood Film Costume exhibition both at the Victoria and Albert museum. We also headed to Somerset House to see the Tim Walker 'Story Teller' exhibition and made a trip to Harrods to look at the stunning 'Once Upon a Time' Christmas window display. This year it showed 10 disney princesses all wearing dresses made by designers especially for this occasion. It even included Christian Louboutin cinderella slippers! It wasn't just the dresses that mesmerised the crowds though, it was the fantasy that was created behind the glass. The backdrop and use of props was beautiful and as someone who's been to Walt Disney World twice, I can definitely say Harrods pulled out all the stops and captured the true Disney magic.
A post about the dresses will follow this - it deserves its own post! (:

We also enjoyed a brief explore of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and tasted treats at The Christmas real food market at South Bank.

My sister Zoe and I
The Tim Walker 'Story Teller' exhibition at Somerset House
The Tim Walker 'Story Teller' exhibition at Somerset House
The Tim Walker 'Story Teller' exhibition at Somerset House
Mum, Zoe and I 
Zoe and I outside the Valentino exhibition at Somerset House
Harrods Christmas lights!
The Victoria and Albert had a rather eye-catching tree this year. I was desperate to peak inside the stockings that hung off it!
Zoe and I
A golden glow in central London one chilly day
The Cinderella window at Harrods
The Sleeping Beauty window at Harrods. The beautiful dress designed by Elie Saab
 
The Sleeping Beauty window at Harrods. The beautiful dress designed by Elie Saab
Louboutin's very special Cinderella slippers. I don't think theres a photo in the world that can really do these justice.
Belles Rose at the Beauty and the Beast window at Harrods.
Tiana by Ralf & Russo at Harrods
Adorable treats at the Great Christmas food market at South bank
The ferris wheel at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

 After a fabulous Christmas in London I headed back home to peaceful Somerset to enjoy merriment with family and friends. Since discovering a huge passion for cooking and baking over the past two years, I decided to host my first buffet. I made a range of a hors d'oeuvres and greeted my guests with homemade cranberry Bellini's. Whilst it was a challenge to get everything done on time, I thoroughly enjoyed my first hosting experience and I can't wait to host again (which may explain some of my Christmas presents!) 

My Mum has impeccable taste in just about everything - including chic china
Cranberries glistening like rubies 
Finished! I must confess I didn't make everything, but the treats I did make received the most compliments. As for the plate of pizza and breaded chicken in the centre, that was my Sisters preferred choice of food (fussy vegatarian). I am not affiliated with that in any way.
These are so simple to make and were so delicious - ill be sure to post the recipe. Cranberry Bellini cocktails :)

Whilst I cannot deny food is one of my favourite bits about Christmas, getting creative is another. This year I wanted to do something a little different for my wrapping. I decided to wrap up presents in old books and music paper and in October I merrily, and perhaps a bit to keenly, began acquiring old music sheets and pretty books. I also made adorable little boxes made out of vintage book pages that I used to hold small gifts and act as decorations - complete with a big red ribbon. I owe a lot of my Christmas planning to a note book I bought earlier this year from Archie Grand - thank you, thank you. My mother's decorations also filled the house and I even bought my own to start up a collection for when I have a house. 

 Wrapping up my mothers Montezuma's chocolates in music sheets
They really are very pretty, and ideal for anyone on a budget! 
My dog Chase was most impressed, but secretly wished they were for her.
The little boxes I made from book pages. These can make lovely gifts and decorations and are a great way to recycle vintage books. 
My London bedroom received a little a Christmas magic. I hung the little boxes with black string and they looked so pretty I didn't want to take them off after Christmas :(
This notepad by Archie Grand is simply adorable!
A new little addition this year in the hallway
Champagne by the tree
Aren't these little boxes wonderful? I bought these from a little shabby chic shop in Somerset and I think they're the prettiest decorations I've seen.

Prior to Christmas Day I spent a day with my Grandparents making chocolate cookies, chocolate truffle torte and pink macaroons. I believe Grandmas have better baking tips then any cookbook! When Christmas Day finally arrived, it was splendid. Much like Christmas lunch it had all the trimmings; music, laughter, plenty of drink, board games and treasured family time. And lots of wonderful presents!

 Christmas lunch was scrumptious and the choice of four puddings definitely kept us going all evening - thank you Grandma! Also, I am always amazed at how appropriately the cracker gift matches its owner. I got a travel perfume spray whilst my sister pulled hers to reveal a luggage tag. Given that I love perfumes and Zoe is going to Australia for a gap year in just a few months I'd say thats jolly good luck!
My dog Chase wearing her Christmas present! My other dog Coco got a little camera shy but her's was pink and looked extremely chic.
Every year my Grandma makes a traditional Christmas cake complete with little figurines. This year I recall her saying "I scuffed up the snow under his feet because he's jumping up and down with excitement." I know. She's brilliant.  
This was to die for. 
My (odd length) christmas nails. I'm wearing Rosie Lee by Butter London
One of the presents we gave my Grandad was a fake moustache kit. He has the best sense of humour so I merrily filmed him on my iPhone trying various ones on. This soon escalated into a mini film!

Now, time for presents! I received the most wonderful gifts along with money to help towards the Canon 5D mark iii that I am saving for. Here are some snippets of my presents :)

 One of my latest hobbies is baking. I find it relaxing and its a great way to express my creativity. With the added bonus that I get to eat it at the end or make it for someone I care about and put a smile on their face. Knowing this my Mother gave me lots of wonderful cake making gifts so I can enjoy my hobby even more.
This adorable tea cup and decoration from Mum look lovely in my room.
When I spend so much time baking as well as lusting after Laduree treats it makes perfect sense that this book was given to me. I asked my mother for this months ago after reading about it on the internet, however I really hadn't expected how luxurious this book is until I unwrapped it Christmas day. 
More baking/cooking related presents including an champagne ice bucket filled with vanilla and strawberry vodka and wine, baking books and a Rachel Ashwell spice rack.
The more I experiment with cooking the more I try out new herbs and spices, so I've been desperate for a spice rack of my own for university for a while now. Whilst I would have been more then happy with an ordinary spice rack, Mum chose the best for me; a Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic spice rack. I swear its the prettiest spice rack in existence and I thought it was too pretty to take to uni. Instead it waits for me in my room until I have properly settled into a house where I can cover even the kitchen in chic decoration. Interestingly I gave my Mum the Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic book for christmas! 
My grandparents who gave me money this year always give me a little something as well. My Grandma made this adorable bunting for me. It is made up of little flags in pretty floral fabric spelling out the word 'dream'. My Grandad helped by finding a letter template online and getting the letters perfect. I appreciate the love and attention that went into this and I will treasure this forever. It's the sort of thing I can imagine hanging in my own daughters room in the future, as well as mine right now.

There are so many other gifts but I will go into more detail (with better photos) in my next post. I really am a very lucky girl and once again I got spoilt this Christmas. The celebrations with my family carried on right through until New Years, and I spent nearly every evening with family playing board games, cards and watching films. Regardless of what I receive at Christmas, my favourite present is always the time my family dedicates to spending time with each other. 

I chose to spend this New Years in Somerset with my friends from back home and also within a 20 minute drive from my family. One of my best friends Woo who also moved from Somerset to London, came back for New Years so we got to spend it together. There was an outrageous amount of champagne and thanks to my dear friend Base a 6 litre bottle of belvedere vodka! Of course in true Somerset style the party didn't finish until two days later...when the vodka ran out! 

Uhoo!
Everyone looking Dapper!
Me and beautiful Woo celebrating New Years 
Happy 2013 lovelies! 

 I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! 
Sending lots of love and best wishes to you all for 2013!

6 comments :

  1. wow seems like a fun xmas and new years! happy 2013!

    http://www.counttofour.com

    http://www.counttofour.etsy.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, so many colourful, festive photos! Looks like you had an incredibly fun-filled holiday season. All the best in 2013 :)

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gorgeous pictues!! Look like you visit many interested places:) The cupcakes look tatsy and you are really pretty!

    Hope you visit me on my blog
    fashionobsession-mieni.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello :) nice blog and amazing post, now following you.
    I joined GFC, if you will go with me;)

    http://teanonsolomoda.blogspot.it/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great blog! stop by anytime :)
    xoxo Sienna
    www.fashionintheair.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lots of amazing photos, this blog post makes me miss Christmas lots and lots! x

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for commenting! :)
I appreciate every comment I receive and it makes me so happy that I know people are enjoying my blog!

Jenna Fifi x