Hot Toddys And Some Winter Treats

We’re in the thick of the Christmas countdown here. The boys have perfected their hot toddy recipe and have kindly allowed me use of it for this blog (see below). We’ve been busy making the red cabbage and cranberry sauce in readiness for tomorrow and the kitchen smells authentically wonderful. “It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas”.¬†Tonight we’re off to some friends for our traditional Christmas evening of board games, gentle competitive spirit and lots of laughs.Then we plan to hot-foot it to Midnight Mass and should hopefully be back just in time to leave some mince pies and port out for Santa.

There are some things that I have already bought myself already as I am just too impatient to wait for Santa. They give me that lovely hunkered-down for the season feeling and I felt it would be rather churlish of me not to share them with you.

Sisley’s Soir D’Orient

I have only just discovered this perfume and I adore it. The first note is quite gruff but it settles down as soon as it dries into an intense, powdery woodiness. This is a sophisticated fragrance with impressive lasting power. It’s the sort of fragrance you wear on a major night out, it’s the black, satin dress and stilettos of the perfume world and it makes me feel fabulous. Love, love, love it.

Diptyque’s Le Roi Sapin

I love scented candles at Christmas; there’s something almost ritualistic in the lighting of them. Diptyque brings out three winter candles every year, with slight variations on the previous ones. I adore the green one which is usually based around something they refer to as ‘sapin’; that’s fir tree to you and me. It’s always gorgeous and it usually sells out pretty quickly but sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can find it in the post Christmas sale.

Weleda’s Skin Food

Weleda is the great grandfather of the natural, holistic beauty movement. It has been around since the 1920’s and its products are fab. The skin food is an intensive moisturiser; it’s a god send for chapped hands and other extremities.

Escentric Molecules 02 body wash

I use this as a bath gel. It’s gorgeous and the sultry Oud-like scent lingers for ages. It’s available from

Nobby’s Toddy

The boys were giddily enthusiastic whilst making this. After sampling the South Bank’s finest toddy, they decided to embark upon their own brewing quest. And to my astonishment they actually managed to come up with something rather wonderful.

1 litre Apple juice

The juice of 1 fresh lime

Peeled, grated fresh ginger ( add sparingly to taste. Fresh ginger is a ferocious beast that cannot be returned to its cage once released)

1 cinnamon stick

30 grammes of brown sugar

Brown rum


1. Put all the ingredients, except for the rum, in a large pan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Do not boil.

2. Add one shot of rum and taste. Add more ginger if required.

3. Strain through a sieve.

4. Add one shot of rum per glass and add the toddy mixture.

5. Stir and enjoy.

Bottoms up, seasons greetings, merry Christmas and a joyous New Year to you all.

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