Whether you are hanging decorations now or waiting until the last minute to get festive, the Christmas countdown has begun and we are always on the lookout for inspiration to get us in the mood. We took the chance to find out what the guys at Hampson Woods will be doing this Christmas, don't be surprised if you find yourself longing for an invitation...
Woodworker Jonty Hampson and artist Sascha Gravenstein have a deep-rooted appreciation for timber, designing and creating bespoke interiors and beautiful small-batches of handmade products. Intended to appeal to both your sense of sight and touch, their beautifully crafted wooden boards add an honest touch of rustic charm to your table and are a pleasure to see and touch. With access to carefully sourced timbers from woodland in Cumbria and from arborists working in and around London, they bring fallen trees back to life in people’s homes. With so much delicious food on offer this Christmas, we anticipate our table will be an abundance of wooden platters stacked high with treats.
Who would be sat around your table and what does it look like?
There would be family and old friends sat at an old oak table covered with simple, beautiful linens - and crystal glasses, festive napkins and plenty of candles. If anyone's feeling adventurous and has braved the cold, perhaps some decorated ferns, grasses and holly. And of course, Christmas crackers with paper hats and bad jokes!
Tell us what you will be eating...
Roast turkey, Devils on horseback, green bean casserole, roasted sprouts with honey, and lashings of bread sauce. And mince pies. Though not necessarily in that order….
What will you be serving on your wooden boards?
Our boards always look best covered in delicious foods; cheese, oatcakes & crackers, mince pies, membrillo and jamon from Santos & Santos (at Broadway Market), and then probably some more cheese! Cold meats and damson chutney on Boxing day.
Name your Christmas poison...
Pol Roger and orange juice to get through the morning’s sausage rolls and food preparations. Mulled wine after a cold wintry walk, and a crisp dry white wine, with dinner. Whisky to snooze into the evening with a good book.
What's on the stereo?
Music is always a big part of Christmas; from soothing hymns to a Sesame Street Christmas. Try and start the day off with Sam Cooke, build up to the lovely crooning of Nat King Cole (by an open fire), and then the nostalgia that Ella Fitzgerald and Tom Waits bring.
Your most wanted Christmas presents?
Preferably a shiny new chisel or two, and a carefully considered surprise - then of course some (manly) lotion and a good pair of thick woollen socks.
How do you unwind and entertain...
Backgammon and Monopoly before people are too sleepy, and whichever card games anyone’s willing to play. All being well, some slip catching practice in the garden (to burn off a few calories and re-live past Ashes glories), and at some point into the evening, the hat game. A busy day!
For those of you who don't know the hat game...it's a classic! Everyone puts famous folks names in a hat, and each team has to guess as many as they can over 3 rounds; using only words, then only gestures, and then just a single action - hours of fun!