Christmas this year will be unlike any we've had before. At the end of such an unusual year we've caught up with a handful of women we admire to find out how they are approaching the festive season this year, what 2020 has taught them as well as what there top sustainable gift picks are. First up we spoke to chef and food sustainability expert Xanthe Gladstone....
How will you be spending Christmas this year?
I will be spending Christmas at my family home in Scotland with my parents, most of my siblings, my niece, and our (collectively) 6 dogs!
What are your own personal Christmas traditions?
We are quite a Christmassy family so we’ve always had many Christmas traditions. My two older sisters always get up early to make us all muffins for breakfast which I love. They decorate the table for when we come down!
You are a sustainable food expert - any tips on how we can make Christmas more sustainable?
I think we tend to waste a lot of food at Christmas. My advice would be to get creative with your leftovers! I often think leftovers actually taste better the next day. Put them in a sandwich, a roasted vegetable salad, or just heat them up again and have them as they were! Also, keep all of your leftover ends of vegetables and make a big stock!
What's on your menu? Any foods or recipes that you can't be without at Christmas time?
I am a vegetarian so my Christmas lunch looks slightly different, but there is an Anna Jones nut roast recipe that I’ve used for the last few years and I love it. I personally think the trimmings are the most exciting part, so I never feel like I’m missing out!
Are you a dress up or dress down Christmas girl? What do you like to wear on the day itself?
Day to day, I’m a dress down girl, so when it comes to Christmas I actually like dressing up a little! Although for the average person, this is probably not much by way of dressing up. I’d usually wear some tailored trousers, a nice top, and some boots. Always something with plenty of room for overeating. Comfort is always a priority for me.
What is your favourite Christmas tune?!
There are so many! Christmas Lights by Coldplay is up there.
Any causes will you be supporting this Christmas?
We are exploring ways to help feed hungry children from our cafe at Hawarden Estate Farm Shop.
2020 has been a year unlike any other - what are your reflections on it looking back?
It really has been a strange year full of ups and downs. Reflecting back on it, I’ve really pushed myself to use the time wisely, developing recipes and strengthening my skills both in the garden and the kitchen. I’ve learnt just how fragile things can be and to not ever take anything for granted.
Tentatively looking forward, do you have any hopes and plans for 2021 you'd like to share with us?
I cannot wait to host in-person events. Pre-Covid I ran a supper club company and I can’t wait to start those again. I also love teaching and look forward to hosting workshops and classes. I hope to keep developing my skills and knowledge and to share this with as many people as possible.
Last but not least - what are your 5 top picks from our Gift of Goodness.
I particularly love the Monarc Hoops in Gold, I’m a sucker for gold hoops!
Monarc Jewellery Suitor Chain Bracelet
The Endery Everywhere Scarf because how could you not!!
Find out more about Xanthe's work here.