I love Christmas.
I don’t know if it is the fact I have lived away for 6 years but every year I seem to be feeling even more festive! From 1st December I have been eating out, ice skating, more eating and just generally being social catching up with all friends from across the UK.
Ever since seeing my wonderful University friends in Cardiff in the last weekend in November, exchanging gifts and generally eating and drinking I have just been all over Christmas.
Don’t you just love it when all of you are in great places in your life? I love theses ladies to the moon and back. We don’t see each other enough due to living all over the UK but we are constantly communicating, through snapchat or memes about food or sharks.
I spent a weekend in London starting with a festive girls meal. We went to All Bar One for our meal which was 25 for 3 courses. Sadly we were based down stairs near the bar so it was very loud and NO CRACKERS! It was lovely passing on our secret santa (aka how much tat can you get for a fiver in poundland) and catching up with the ladies. Also great journey home on the last train making friends with drunks.
Saturday myself and friend, Emily went to Winterville in Victoria Park in the East end of London. It was free to enter and paid £5 for Christmas Masseoke. That good I lost my voice. I can’t recommend this more. We had such a laugh. If you don’t like to crowds at Winter Wonderland they this is for you!
This was followed by ice skating on the Sunday at the Natural History Museum. Very easy to find and book, probably a bit too busy as we went at 1pm, peak time but beautifully scenic. Also had a quick look round the museum after (which I will always recommend doing no matter the time of year)
Now how do you survive them all? I don’t know, I didn’t. I have had a croaky voice from the weekend in Amsterdam and it hasn’t 100% come back to normal yet.
I organised my departments meal and we went to a lovely posh pub called the Reliance in the city centre of Leeds. We had our own room for 20 odd people with 20 for 2 courses and 25 for 3. Many people had pheasant as why wouldn’t you, it’s pheasant?! I had pork. I chose wisely, it was gloriously tender whereas pheasant was slightly chewy and a few people found the bullet that killed the bird (there is a proper work for the bullet but I have had too much food to think what that is) Then we went off for a few festive drinks to the Belgrave which is so hipster but wonderful all at the same time. Suitable for all.
We had an all staff do in our own venue, Old Bar and it was hilarious. Everyone was on top form and all jazzed up which was lovely to see. There was a photo booth too that always goes down well. We ventured into town after but we all soon dropped with the cold air from the walk down into town. Fantastic night celebrating the year we have had as a Union.
As part of the sports team at University we had a few drinks before Christmas Eve. This started humously in one of the team’s office for mulled wine and crisps. We venture into town to The Pit, owned by Arc inspirations, a Yorkshire based restaurant/bar company. They are great, majority of place based in Headingley but have started to venture into the city and The Pit has an American dinner based in the mountains feel. We had some sharers (as classically we had skipped dinner) then on to Karaoke. This was the cherry on the top for my voice as it disappeared after giving my own rendition of bills, bills, bills by destiny’s child.
Christmas Eve & Day
As many people have traditions I have mine. Wrap presents for the fam, recently accompanied by Rosie, this year by Ruth too. Then on to the carols on the green and to the local pub. I go back to my old waitressing restaurant the Goose, Fat and Garlic to wish the head chef a Merry Christmas and treat myself to a cocktail or two (this year I tried strawberry tequila – fascinating to say the least)
Myself, my brother Ross and cousin Lauren all classically wake up a bit worse for wear but we make sure we roll out of bed and start helping everyone get ready! Duck, ham and turkey were our meats of choice which we lovely, we even had grey coloured gravy which may have turned many off but my god it tasted glorious! We stuck with Anne (mums sister) tradition of two crackers so poor jokes were flying around everywhere.
I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas celebrating with friends and family as after all that is what it is all about. Oh and really good food.
Merry Christmas all!