Christmas is a magical time, and it is all the more magical still if you are able to spend it with those you love in a beautiful English country cottage.
Whether you choose an English country cottage by the coast, nestled in the countryside or woodland, the Christmas holidays is best spent away. Those with big families or groups who are dotted across the country have known for some time that the best way to come together is with the help of a picturesque cottage away from the stresses of home. However, for those who have spent the period away from home before, you may know already that it can be tricky trying to capture the Christmas spirit in a home that is not your own, particularly on a short time scale.
To enjoy the best of both worlds, where you can enjoy a Boxing Day walk on the beach or a Christmas Eve spent cosied up to an open fire with a spectacular Christmas feast cooking in the oven, have a read of this guide on how to take Christmas with you.
1. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
One thing that may be tricky when spending Christmas away from home is putting together that perfect Christmas feast. At home you may have been buying bits and pieces for weeks, but when travelling you may not have that luxury, let alone a stretch people carrier to carry it all in! One great way of solving this dilemma is to have Christmas dinner delivered. Thankfully, Christmas hampers and food delivery services nowadays don’t just mean instant pre-cooked meals, but a whole range of fresh quality goods delivered to your door.
Forman and Field is the festive food delivery service that has saved countless Christmases from disaster. From foodie gifts to delectable hampers for Christmas day, let them answer your food woes. Their world famous smoked salmon is a sure favourite, and their experienced team is so passionate about this product that one of them even beat Gordon Ramsay in the salmon slicing World Record attempt.
For a taste of their produce ahead of your delivery try visiting their London restaurant; with Lake District fillet of beef with truffled dauphinoise and poached turbot with scallops, clams and chorizo froth on the menu, who could resist?
Looking to create your own Christmas hampers for the festive period? Then British Fine Foods offer the only choice. The Pie Lover’s Box comes highly recommended where you can enjoy traditional hand-finished pork pies, Huntsman pork pies layered with pork, chicken and stuffing and Poachers’ pork pies layered with pork and Lincolnshire Poacher cheese. Each product comes with a detailed description of where it comes from, with each British Fine Foods producer having passed their test, being either an award-winner, holder of a Royal Warrant or specially selected by British Fine Foods themselves. As you can see from the image, few could pass up their incredible luxury cheese board; whether you choose to enjoy at Christmas or New Year, the food certainly won’t let you down.
2. Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Once the delicious smells are wafting in from the kitchen, the next stop on the way to capturing the magic of the Christmas holidays is getting the decoration just right. First things first, what is Christmas without a beautiful tree?
Pines and Needles boast ‘the finest trees you can find anywhere’ and, what’s more, you can have them delivered straight to your door! Offering the full service, Pines and Needles really do have Christmas covered as they plant, nurture, deliver and install, decorate and then collect and recycle your tree – just perfect for those spending the Christmas holidays away. Not only can you feel guilt-free in the environmentally-friendly nature of this great service – whilst also enjoying one less job on your to-do list – but your family will be thanking you for one of the best trees they’ve ever seen; their 20 years of experience delivering to some of the most prestigious brands in the country guarantees the perfect tree.
What’s better than getting someone else to decorate your tree? Getting your kids to do it! Nigel’s Eco Store has the perfect solution for keeping the kids entertained while you’re going about unpacking; the kids can be busy colouring your tree – yes colouring. The recycled cardboard Christmas tree with decorations is popular with children and adults, allowing you to decorate your tree your way. See their Eco Xmas section for other great festive ideas to decorate your country cottage this Christmas.
3. Oh damn! Guess what I forgot?/ You mean you forgot cranberries too?
Now you have everything you need to create the perfect Christmas, you just need to know what to do with it. Thankfully, even self-catering cottages in the New Forest have WiFi, so you can enlist the help of YouTube and the internet to make your Christmas dream a reality and make sure you don’t forget a thing this year.
Warren Nash is Nottingham’s answer to the festive Jamie Oliver. Cooking up a storm on his YouTube channel he has everything covered from egg nog to flaky mince pies. His website warrennash.co.uk features the best of his festive recipes, along with others to help fool everyone that the crisp turkey last year wasn’t a one off.
Here’s his delicious mulled wine recipe to get you started.
Image Credits: Forman and Field, British Fine Foods, Pines and Needles, Nigel’s Eco Store, Warren Nash