Life & Style

Paula Sutton

Injecting wit and verve into charming English interiors is the secret behind Sutton’s @Hillhousevintage blog. And what better moment to enjoy a cool spin on old-school British chic than Christmastime…

Image: Simon Brown

christmaswith-bigsnowflakes-portrait

Christmas cooking…

I always do the whole traditional Christmas turkey with all the trimmings: roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts with bacon lardons, pigs in blankets, stuffing, honey-glazed carrots and spiced parsnips. We start the morning with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or eggs Benedict and always a Bucks Fizz (minus the orange juice for me!). It’s been the same traditions every year, with thanks to an old, dog-eared copy of ‘Delia Smith’s Christmas’ – the cookery book I’ve used since I hosted my very first Christmas, 30 years ago.

Decorating the table…

I choose a colour palette or theme every year and then use that to guide the table. The constants are lots of candlelight, natural foliage from the garden and ample use of vintage bits and bobs from around the house to mix in with anything new.

I’ll be wearing…

Any excuse for a dress is a good one, and Christmas is the ultimate excuse! I’ll probably wear something in a deep forest green or claret red, in keeping with the festive mood. I have a beautiful The Vampire’s Wife corduroy dress in green, which fits the bill perfectly.

I’ll be listening to…

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Christmas and jazz go hand in hand!

I’ll be watching…

Last year it was ‘Bridgerton’, which I loved. I’m hoping this year will be the same, but whatever it is, it’ll be a costume drama.

My Christmas smells like…

Nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. They remind me of my Mother’s Caribbean Christmas cakes and pies when I was young. From mid-November onwards, I light scented candles to fill the house with these smells, and that’s the moment the festive season really begins.

My Christmas treat…

Mulled wine – I absolutely love the stuff!

My festive tradition…

My children are now a 20-year-old and twins of 18, but they’ll still launch themselves into our bedroom at a ridiculously early hour on Christmas morning to open the contents of their Christmas stockings. It’s a tradition that won’t stop until they eventually leave home, I imagine!

How I'll give back…

Shelter.org.uk. Everyone deserves a safe home throughout the year, not just at Christmas. Donate here

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