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Friday 20 December 2013

The Definitive Christmas Recipe Roundup

The best bit about Christmas is the spending time with friends and family presents the food. We've done a lot of festive recipes over the years but this is our hugest, tastiest Christmas recipe compilation yet. Feast your eyes, there are over 40 recipes here!

First up, our previous Christmas recipe compilations. Christmas round up number one is where you'll find braised red cabbage, pecan pie and Joe Frogger cookies. Christmas recipe round up number two features honey glazed ham, sprout recipes you'll actually like (no, really) and our gingerbread mug houses. And millions of other things.

If you watched The Great British Bake Off, our Bake Off recipe compilation will definitely inspire you. Our jam and chutney recipes are perfect for presents and if you need more inspiration, our Christmas food gift feature is perfect and our Doctor Who recipe round up will definitely come in handy for visiting festive Whovians.

Before any serious cooking can get started, you'll need some savoury snacks. Beer and bacon nuts will do nicely. These gluten free cheese and onion tartles are tasty and very easy to make. Did you know in Poland they make fortune telling dumplings on Christmas eve? They're excellent.

Here's a token fruit recipe.

Peppermint bark! We've gone crazy for peppermint bark this year. We made a fancy version with cranberries, and a really simple bark as well. For those of you so sleepy and into your Christmas lazing about that melting two colours of chocolate is too much effort.

More sweet stuff! (Look, it's meant to be for sharing, don't come bitching to us about your sudden sugar crashes, HAVE YOU NO SELF CONTROL?) Obviously you need mince pies. Ours look like bow ties, because Matt Smith is excellent. Snowballs are tasty. Make some of those too.

Let's move onto all things biscuity, because we've got loads of recipes and they make brilliant gifts if you've *ahem* forgotten people during your Christmas shopping. Empire biscuits are great fun to make with kids, minty millionaire's shortbread will be a hit and our 3D gingerbread Christmas tree will be a brilliant party centrepiece until it's demolished five minutes after putting it on the table. And don't forgot our stained glass window biscuits.

Now, before we get onto the cake, we should talk pie. Caranutter pie is definitely festive. And pecan brownie pie is a sort of cake/pie hybrid that we're happy to eat all year 'round. Speaking of brownies, now is a great time to mention our after dinner mint brownie recipe. And for those folk who don't like mince pies and Christmas pudding, our spiced apple crumble and custard pie is the perfect pudding.

Santa hats! We don't know if they're biscuits or cakes. We don't really care.

Time for cake (or a nap, whatever). Yule log! You've still got time to make this speedy (and gluten free) Christmas cake and these white chocolate and cranberry cupcakes are so festive. And this carrot and treacle spiced cake is the perfect cake for people who 'don't really do' Christmas. Whoever they are.

And when you've finally, finally had enough sweet stuff, make our nutty date Christmas bread and have a bit of cheese. Spread some of our red onion chutney on it.

We haven't just made cake and snacks, honest. We've made things that you can have on your Christmas dinner. Like these cranberry and chilli pigs in blankets. And we've put edible glitter on bread sauce, that's well festive. We've also made a dairy free apple stuffing loaf and some gluten free dumplings. And for all of those leftovers? Don't put them in a turkey curry, try our Christmas spring rolls instead.

We need some booze! We've already done a brilliant Christmas cocktail compilation - these drinks are perfect for scaling up so you don't spend more time shaking and mixing than you do drinking and chatting. You'll love our festive double - Damson Sour? Brown Sugar flip? YES PLEASE. Don't forget our Christmas drinks gifts, they'll make your friends love you forever. We're definitely going to be making some sloe gin jellies for our favourite Christmas guests.

Whatever you're eating, whatever presents you're unwrapping, do it with excellent people. That's really the very best part of Christmas. Thanks for sharing another brilliant year of Sluttery with us, we'll see you in 2014!

Sluttery Sales Spy: Hobbs, Warehouse & Office

The January sales have started! We've missed Christmas! RAISE THE ALARM.

OH. No. It's just that the shops couldn't wait to hang up their 2014 calendars, and now they're confused about what month it is. But that's good news for us, because PRE-CHRISTMAS BARGAINS. Also, you can still get stuff delivered in time for the big day. I have made a handy list of dates and times. It's my Christmas present to you.


Pop Boutique swing dress, £15 (was £30), ASOS

Well now, someone's looking as cute as button. I love this Pop Boutique dress from ASOS, and now it's just £15! Don't wear it to a restaurant, otherwise people (cc: Mama B) will keep mistaking you for the waitress. Unless you are the waitress, in which case, EXCELLENT choice.

Cutwork dress, £40 (was £65), Warehouse

There's something bat-like/caped crusader-esque about this cutwork dress that makes me ADORE it. PAGING DC COMICS: I'm ready for my close up now. Come along. I'm waiting for your call.


Creature Feature top, £22.95 (was £34), Anthropologie

OWLS! Exceedingly grumpy owls at that. There are buttons all the way down the back of this Creature Feature tee from Anthropologie, which is an added bonus. They describe it as a "delightful conversational top", so you'll be able to have a nice long chat with the owls, too. How charming.

NW3 owl tee, £19 (was £29), Hobbs

ANOTHER OWL! He's less grumpy, but a bit perplexed at having found himself on a Hobbs NW3 tee. Validate his existence by buying it immediately. Twit-twoo, etc.


Jennifer Loiselle blue Solaris earrings, £56 (was £80), Boticca

The Boticca winter sale has arrived, with up to 70% off some incredibly lovely jewellery. These Jennifer Loiselle Solaris earrings are my faves. As a Christmas present, Boticca is offering FREE worldwide delivery from 3pm on Christmas Day, right through to 3pm on December 28th. I can't think of a better reason to switch off the Queen's speech and go shopping instead. Sorry Ma'am.

Champagne necklace, £28 (was £35), Tatty Devine

Cheers! Tatty Devine has 20% off their Christmas jewellery at the mo, including this cutesome little shiny champagne glass. Bubbly is for life, kids, not just for Christmas. INVEST. Then ingest. (Not the necklace. You're not some strange Britain's Got Talent act.)


Lola Ramona clogs, £50 (was £100), Office

You know I like a clompy shoe, and these clogs by Lola Ramona are ticking all my stomp 'n' clomp boxes by being cute-yet-orthopaedic. It's the loveheart what does it for me. Note too, please, the metal kicking apparatus at the front. Very useful.  

Juniper heels in teal, £38.40 (was £48), Topshop

Sian loves these shoes. Kat loves these shoes. Commenter Allie has them and loves them. I think it's safe to say that we're all fans of Topshop's Juniper heels, never more so than when they've got almost a tenner off in the sale! There are five colourways, and I love them all. 

Wow. That was a lot of love right there. 

I read all those tedious shouty emails from shops so that you didn't have to. 
  • Amazon - today's the last day for first class delivery. Order by 11am on December 23rd for one-day or express delivery. Those of you in major British cities can order up until 9.30am on Christmas Eve for evening delivery that day. And don't forget - gift certificates are available on Christmas Day, if you're really disorganised. 
  • Anthropologie - get your orders in by noon on December 23rd for express delivery.
  • ASOS - order by 9pm on December 23rd for next day delivery, or by 11.59pm that day for evening next day delivery.
  • Boots - next day delivery is an option up to 2pm on December 22nd, and Christmas Eve store collections can be arranged until 2pm on December 23rd
  • Cath Kidston - order today for guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. 
  • Currys - orders of small electricals placed by 5pm on December 23rd will arrive by Christmas. Large kitchen items can be ordered up until 8pm on December 23rd for FREE next day delivery. Presumably this will be of comfort to anyone whose fridge packs up on Monday. Or those of you who have a sudden urge to gift your mothers a washing machine.
  • Debenhamsorder by 2pm on December 23rd for next day delivery. Hampers, wine and anything personalised should be ordered by midnight tonight
  • Fortnum & Mason - orders placed by noon on December 23rd are eligible for next day delivery, or can be collected in store on Christmas Eve. 
  • Hobbs - next day delivery is free at the moment, and orders will arrive before Christmas if you get them in by noon on December 23rd. Check your postcode is eligible, though - much of Scotland is excluded from this service. 
  • Hotel Chocolat - scoff all of the chocolate on Christmas Day by ordering by 6pm on December 23rd
  • House of Fraser - order by 7pm on December 22nd for delivery by Christmas Eve. Buy + Collect is available right up until 10pm on December 23rd, for pick-up in store after noon on Christmas Eve. 
  • Interflora - orders received by 11am on Christmas Eve will arrive that day. 
  • John Lewis - Click & Collect and next day delivery are available up until 7pm on December 22nd. Unless you're a hare or a bear, in which case, the John Lewis skeleton key is yours and you can help yourself to anything you like on Christmas morning. 
  • M&S - you can still order items to be collected in store until 11.59pm tonight
  • Monsoon & Accessorize - order today for Saturday delivery, and by December 23rd for next day delivery. 
  • Oasis - order today for Saturday delivery, by December 22nd for nominated day delivery, and by 6pm on December 23rd for next day delivery. 
  • Schuh - need new party shoes? Order by 10pm on December 23rd for next day delivery, or - depending on where you live - by 1pm on Christmas Eve for a Shutl delivery by 5pm that afternoon. WOWZERS. 
  • Tatty Devine - December 22nd is that last ordering day for priority delivery.
  • Topshop - for collect in store, order by midnight on December 21st. Express delivery is available until midnight on December 22nd, and it's £3.
  • Urban Outfittersyou only have until 2pm today to order! Express delivery is £1 until then.
  • Warehouse - order by 3pm today for delivery tomorrow, and by 4pm on December 23rd for next day delivery. If you're in an eligible city, order by noon on Christmas Eve to get a Shutl delivery by 8pm that night. YES REALLY. Be sure to offer the courier a mince pie. 
I'll be back in 2014, lovely Spyettes, when the New Year sales will be in even fuller swing. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals! 

Sluttishly Savoury: Red Onion Chutney

This is a very selfish chutney recipe. You're probably reading this thinking it's too late to make this for Christmas. It's no good for a Christmas present if you have to tell someone they can't eat it yet. And you'd be absolutely right. But it's not meant to be ready in time for Christmas. I'm not making it for anyone else. I'm making it just for me. I'm making it now so that when I get home from the holidays, to an empty flat and a Tivo full of trashy telly, it's all mine. It's going in a toastie with a shitload of goats cheese and I can't wait.

Merry weird-but-brilliant-bit-after-Christmas, everyone.

Red onion chutney.
Makes one small Kilner jar but does scale up easily.

You'll need:
  • 6 red onions. Or eight of those small ones.
  • Olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 red chillies, finely sliced. Totally up to you if you leave the chilli seeds in.
  • 2 star anise
  • 220g brown sugar (I used demerara)
  • 125g balsamic vinegar
  • 150g red wine vinegar
  • Splash of mulled wine syrup. This is totally optional, but there was a bottle next to the hob and I figured why the hell not? Turns out it was a great idea, if only to fight the acrid vinegar smell filling my tiny kitchen.
Make it!
  1. Slice your onions as thinly as possible. Ignore that the more you slice, the thicker they're getting because you're sobbing and trying to remember that shutting your eyes while holding a sharp knife is really stupid.
  2. Fry your onions on a low heat in a deep pan with the bay leaves, star anise and chilli for about twenty minutes, until everything is softened and smelling brilliant.
  3. I'm really sorry about what's about to happen next.
  4. Pour in the vinegars and sugar. Stir about a bit. Realise just how vile everything smells and leave the kitchen. It's going to be like that for the next thirty minutes. It sucks. Vinegar isn't bloody festive, it's horrible. But it will make your chutney brilliant and you can't make it without.
  5. After about half an hour, your chutney will be dark and thickening and getting sticky. Once it looks like it's about to turn to caramel, take it off the heat and transfer into a sterilised jar.
  6. Go on holiday! Go do Christmassy things! Forget you made chutney at all! Your chutney won't be ready for a few weeks yet (it will already taste good but get better the longer you leave it).
  7. Then one day when you've got the flat to yourself and all of the parties and exhausting festive silliness is over, smear all over bread and melted cheese.

Design Porn: Alexis Dove Jewellery

Happy Christmas! Or no. By now there is just the tiniest chance that you will be completely frazzled by the whole shopping/cooking/partying/songs thing (and if not, we've got Christmas covered), in which case here's a bit of time off.

Lewes-based jewellery designer Alexis Dove's new collection, Curio, is inspired by the South Downs. Less by the hilly/walky aspect and more by the wildlife (although, TBH, if I saw a kitten on the Downs I would run up the nearest slope in search of some mobile reception and call the RSPCA.)

This (unendangered) kitten necklace starts at £75, and for a tenner you can have an initial engraved underneath.
Pick your price: each piece is handcarved from gold vermeil, polished silver or rose vermeil, with prices varying. These wren earrings start at £40 for silver, and £55 for gold and rose.
Got a chatty friend? Get them a rabbit necklace (from £95). My favourite style gives you a ribbon rather than a chain, with your choice of coloured ribbon - £45.
I am always loath to use the word "bunny" as I am not in kindergarten *prim face* but these are definitely bunny ears. Someone alert Kate Moss immediately. From £40.

If, spiritually, you are more of a Bangle - walk like an Egyptian immediately - then these rabbit and wren bangles start at £110. Alexis Dove does loads of other animals and non-animals, from owls to foxes to cowrie shells, so you're sure to find something to suit your own spirit animal.

Let Her Eat Cake: Double Chocolate Christmas Log

This recipe has its base in Delia, but has become my grandma's, and has been a staple of every Christmas and family gathering I can remember. You start off eating a slice thinking: 'Oh yes, I'm going back for seconds, just watch me' and by the time you reach the end, your chocolate and cream levels have gone into overdrive and you have to lie down somewhere cool and dark for an hour to recover.

This is a great alternative to Christmas pudding or cake if you're in the 'mixed peel is the devil' camp like me, or just to wallow in festive cake delight. Also, this happens to be pretty much gluten-free because it involves CHOCOLATE AND ONLY CHOCOLATE.

Double Chocolate Christmas Log
You will need:
For the cake:
  • 6 large free-range eggs
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
For the filling:
  • 225g good quality dark chocolate
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 2 tbsp rum, amaretto or whichever liqueur or spirit you fancy
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla pod or a few drops of vanilla essence
  • Icing sugar and extra dark chocolate, to decorate
Make it!
The cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 12 inch long by 1 inch deep baking tray.
  2. In one bowl, beat the yolks together. 
  3. Add the sugar and beat again until creamy but not too thick.
  4. Sift in the cocoa and mix until combined. 
  5. In a separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. 
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the cocoa mixture. 
  7. Pour onto the baking tray, smoothing into an even layer, and bake for 20-25 minutes. 
  8. Place the tray on a wire rack to cool. 
For the filling:
  1. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bain marie (heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of just simmering water) along with 2 tablespoons of rum or amaretto and 1 tablespoon of water. Stir together with a wooden spoon until melted. 
  2. Separate the two eggs: beat the yolks into the chocolate mixture whilst it is still warm. 
  3. In a different bowl, beat the whites until stiff, then fold in to the chocolate. 
  4. Cover with a cloth and place in the fridge for half an hour to an hour to set slightly. 
To assemble:
  1. Take your chocolate mix out of the fridge and stir slightly to loosen, if necessary. 
  2. Place the double cream in a bowl, along with 1 tablespoon of icing sugar and the vanilla and whip until stiff. 
  3. Place a large sheet of greaseproof paper on a flat surface and dust well with icing sugar. 
  4. Turn your baked cake upside down into this surface, then peel the layer of baking parchment from the cake. 
  5. Carefully, spread the chocolate mix across the cake in an even layer. 
  6. Next, spread the cream evenly across the surface. 
  7. Using a blunt knife, score the cake slightly across one narrow end to make it easier to roll. 
  8. Now, using the greaseproof paper, carefully lift one narrow end of the cake up, pushing slightly forward until it curls over and begins to roll. You might want to squidge it slightly into shape at this point to help it along. 
  9. Continue until the cake has been rolled. Don't worry if it cracks: some of the best roulades do, it's all part of the rustic charm! 
  10. Dust with extra icing sugar and grated chocolate and get ready for a chocolate coma. 

Thursday 19 December 2013

Sluttishly Savoury: Cranberry and Chilli Pigs in Blankets

My favourite Christmas food is stuff that's really easy to prepare. I don't want to spend hours stirring and keeping an eye on things. I want to be getting on with Christmas.

These cranberry and chilli pigs in blankets take minutes to make and they'll be gone in seconds. They're tasty cold but definitely better warm. Prep them in advance and then put them in the oven when your guests arrive.

Cranberry and Chilli Pigs in Blankets (makes 8)
You'll need:
  • 8 chipolata sausages (extensive pigs in blankets research shows Morrisons have the tastiest)
  • 3 tbsp cranberry jelly
  • 4 rashers of bacon, sliced in half length ways
  • Red chilli flakes
  • Olive oil
Make it!
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4.
  2. Wrap each sausage in the piece of bacon.
  3. Place the pigs in blankets in a baking tray and smear with cranberry jelly.
  4. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle liberally with chilli flakes.
  5. Pop in the oven for around 15 minutes until they're golden and sticky.
  6. Devour in as many minutes as it took to make them.

Sluttishly Savoury: Christmas Dinner Spring Rolls

In exactly one week, we’ll all be up to our eyeballs in torn wrapping paper, gift receipts, cracker jokes and leftover turkey. In my house, Boxing Day is fairly subdued affair, thanks largely to the quantity of Christmas ‘cheer’ we consume the day before. Apart from emptying the dishwasher, cleaning away the last of the carnage from Christmas dinner and watching The Wizard of Oz, we won’t do too much. Making it the perfect lazy day to roll up a few spring rolls!

You can buy rice flour pancakes from some supermarkets, health food shops and most Asian groceries. They’re thin sheets of rice paper that you can rehydrate into spring roll wrappers in a few seconds. You can put any leftovers you have in your spring rolls, if you didn't have turkey then ham, goose or pork will taste equally as brilliant. And, if you forget to rescue a carrot, parsnip and some sprouts from the pot the day before, you can use leftover roast veggies. 

Christmas Spring Rolls (makes about 10 rolls)
You’ll need:
  • 6-10 rice flour pancakes
  • 75g cooked rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • ½ parsnip, shredded
  • 3-4 Brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 6-10 chives, snipped into 3cm lengths
  • leftover turkey
Make it!
  1. Soak each rice paper wrapper in warm water for 5 seconds then lay it out flat on a clean tea towel.
  2. Layer small handfuls of noodles, carrots, parsnips, sprouts, chives and turkey in the centre of the pancake.
  3. Fold the part of the wrapper nearest to you over the filling, tuck in the edges and roll up to make a cigar shape.
  4. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers.
  5. Heat a couple of centimetres of oil in a pan until it’s hot enough to sizzle when you add your spring rolls.
  6. Fry each spring roll for about 4 minutes, turning halfway. Drain on kitchen paper.
  7. You can keep them warm in the oven at this stage, but don’t leave them longer than about 20  minutes of they’ll go soggy!
Personally, I just need a some sweet chilli sauce to dip these in, but if you want something a bit more festive then mix 1 tbsp cranberry sauce, 2 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp soya sauce, 2 tsp cold water and some chopped chilli. Pop in a wee bowl and serve alongside the spring rolls.

Sluttishly Sweet: Spiced Apple Crumble & Custard Pie

As a festive change from all the traditional pudding, mince pies and cake, what could be nicer than a Christmassy spiced apple crumble pie? Christmassy spiced apple crumble pie with custard that's what. But, living with a custard hater (le gasp!), I don't get to indulge in the custard as often as I'd like.

What to do? In the finest tradition of home cooking, I hid it. Yes, the custard is still there but inside the pie. Sneaky non? Making your own custard really is simple but you can always buy the ready-made stuff, add some cinnamon and heat it up before adding to the pie.

Spiced Apple Crumble & Custard Pie
You'll need:

For the pie:
  • 1 pack of ready-made shortcrust pastry (or check out our gluten-free version here)
  • 4-5 medium sized sweet apples peeled and cut into large even chunks (I used Royal Gala)
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 2 tsps allspice (or any mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)
  • pinch of salt
  • handful dried fruits chopped (which you can certainly soak in booze the night before - do it, you won't regret it)
For the custard:
  • 300ml full fat milk (or a mix of 100ml double cream and 200ml semi-skimmed)
  • half a vanilla pod 
  • 2-3 egg yolks depending on their size.
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • 25g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
For the crumble topping:
  • 150g rolled oats that have been lightly toasted
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 100g plain white flour
  • 25g butter cubed
Make it!
  1. Pre heat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
  2. Line bottom of a 20cm cake tin with some baking paper and roll the shortcrust pastry out till it's about 3-4mm thin.
  3. Gently place the pastry in the tin, pushing it down into the corners and against the sides, trim it leaving a generous over hang at the top, pastry tends to shrink when baked so this'll make sure the walls of the pie stay nice and high.
  4. Scrunch up a large piece of baking paper and place in the tin on top of the pastry, weigh it down with some dried beans, ceramic balls, dry rice, basically anything with some weight and pop in the oven to blind bake for 20 minutes, then remove the beans/balls/rice and pop it back in for another 5 minutes. Once it's out whack the oven up to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
  5. Throw the apples, brown sugar, allspice, salt and dried fruits in a pan over a medium high heat and stir occasionally, once the apples start to break down and the sugar becomes gloopy and sticky take it off the heat and put to one side.
  6. For the custard, put the egg yolks, corn flour and sugar in a clean bowl and whisk together till you get a thick paste. 
  7. Pour the milk into a pan and add the seeds from the vanilla pod, the cinnamon and bring it to the boil. Once it's bubbling take it off the heat and add it a little at bit at a time to the egg mix while whisking vigorously. 
  8. When it's all added pour it back into the pan and put it over a low to medium heat, stirring constantly to make sure it doesn't stick. Keep it up till it becomes super thick, not stand a spoon up in it thick but like ... well like luxury custard thick. Strain it through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and pop to one side.
  9. Throw all the crumble ingredients in a bowl and rub them together roughly with your finger tips until you have lovely lumpy crumble.
  10. Now build the pie! Spread the apple mix evenly onto the pastry case first, follow this with the custard and then generously sprinkle the crumble mix on top. Pop it back in the oven for approx 20-25 minutes or until the crumble turns golden brown.
  11. Now serve warm with a giant scoop of ice cream and forget about all the pesky wrapping you still have to do.

Deck The Halls with the Best Christmas Decorations

I hope you are all now merrily decking your halls and trimming your trees. What do you mean you're hungover and desperately trying to answer a year's worth of emails in an afternoon?! If you haven't quite got time at the moment for full-on tra-la-la-la-ing, here are some quick fixes to festiving up your home. But - be quick and make space in that emailing schedule - last delivery dates for getting these in time for Christmas for lots of these are tomorrow, with a couple today!

You've got your baubles, yes? But have you got a lovely shiny glass ball wreath yet? Do, it's the jolliest thing I've seen so far this Christmas. It's £59 from The Hambledon, who also sell a worthy cheaper alternative in the form of a shining star wreath. Liberty, meanwhile, have a gorgeous glitter ivy number (*order by 1pm today for delivery in time for Christmas*).

I'm all about the baubles this year, clearly. Rockett St George's bauble garland is a great alternative to pound shop tinsel. And good things come to those who don't get their arses in gear and buy their Christmas decorations in advance wait, as it's already in the sale - half price at £13.

Graham and Green have got some things on sale too, including these old school vintage paper baubles. Prices start at £3.15 for the smaller one. Paper decorations really seem to be making a come back - there are loads about. Not many as charming as this honeycomb snowman however.

Fondness for random Christmas-related trinkets? Excellent. You'll surely love these silver trees from Rockett St George from £11. Muji have a felt tree for only £7.95 (as well as a Christmas tree cupcake stand - why not try these on it?).

Or you could get an actual tree! This table top Christmas tree requires minimal fuss while maximising happy Christmas feelings. Extra happy in this case, as it's selling for half price at £30 from Cox & Cox (*you've got until noon today to order or your Christmas table top will be treeless*).

More stuff for your table (where is all the food going to go? It's quite concerning) in the form of these woodland owl decorations, a fiver for a set from John Lewis. Don't forget the penguin equivalents too!

No small children to let wild with your white paper and scissors? Fear not, you can still have snowflakes for your windows. Hus & Hem sell a very pretty selection of washi tape snowflakes for £8.95 each.

This set of nativity nesting dolls is the coolest, cheeriest nativity scene I've seen for many, many Christmases. It's from Lagom and costs £18.20 (*I think their last order day must be today - confusingly it says Thursday 16th December on the website*).

And to add to the Christmas madness, why not try throwing in a mini festive deer? This lovely fellow is £17 from Bouf. Or this Christmas snow globe is rather charming too. The main thing about Christmas decorating is just to go for it - when else can you get away with adding minature deers, owls and trees to your dining table seem a good idea? Have fun. And may all your Christmas decorating be bright.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

15 Amazing Christmas Party Shoes

Last week I showed you 15 fabulous party dresses and you'll need some shoes to go with them. Kat's already shown you some great party shoes for sizes 9-11. The order of the day here is as much glitter, sparkle and festive bits than we can get away with. It's Christmas, I'm a step away from covering myself in tinsel and you can't stop me.

It's not Christmas without a pair of red shoes. How great is the gold heel on these platforms? They're £45 but only available in size 3 and 6 - hurry!

Oh these glittery rose pumps from & Other Stories are such a beautiful colour. They're £55 and that's a small price to pay for party shoes that will keep your toes warm.

Proper partying is so much easier in flats. These sparkly ballerinas are £39.99 from Zara. Don't come crying to me when you drink all the mulled wine and fall on your ass because you were pretending to be in Swan Lake.

I've been coveting these Kat Maconie Mary Janes for weeks now. They're £195 from Plumo and no matter how hard I cross my fingers they haven't landed in the sale yet. The second they do, they're all mine.

While we're on the subject of beautiful and expensive party shoes, these are £138 from Anthropologie and go up to a size 8.

Our fashionable writer Gemma actually has these jewelled heel shoes and I'm mega jealous of them because I dilly-dallyed and now they're only available in a size 3. If you've got £45 and little feet, head to ASOS.

Nothing says Christmas like festive spikes. They're in the sale and they're £49 from Kurt Geiger.

Oh hello ridiculous platforms and sparkly bits. You can stay. These are from Aldo and they're in the sale at £38.49. They come in gold as well.

Christmas brogues! These are £60 from Shellys and will be the best dancing shoes that you ever buy.

These glittery platform shoes are from Shelly's as well. Yep, we've featured them before. Yep, I still think they're bloody lovely.

If you want something festive and flat, these jewelled ballet shoes are perfect. They're £50 from Office and go up to a size nine.

I'm going to have to fight some of team Sluttery for these glitter shoes (yes, Sara and Laura B, I'm looking at you). They're also from Office and they're £52. They start at a size 3, good work Office.

I really like the gold embellishment on these boots. They're £55 from Dorothy Perkins. They're stealth party boots. Just kick people in the face if they don't notice your party feet. That's Christmassy.

Oh, Karen Millen. I do love these black crystal shoes. I don't like that they're £250. Go sit in the corner.

The heels! They're so brilliant. They're definite party shoes without going completely over the top. They're £55 from Topshop and I want them on my feet. I'll get taxis everywhere, it'll be fine.

What festive shoes are you wearing on your feet at the moment? Show me, dazzle me with your sparkles!
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