Its a lot of fuss, but that one day makes it all worth­while

The first fe­male chef to take part in the BBC’S Great Bri­tish Menu, Jac­que­line O’ Don­nell, goes all out with her Christ­mas decor...

No. 1 Magazine - - COVER STORY -

On Christ­mas Eve my chil­dren and I make bis­cuits for Santa and sprin­kle rein­deer food on the lawn. Then there will be a rat­tle at the door, or we will hear a fire­work go off, and it means that Santa has left a spe­cial Christ­mas Eve present. It’s nor­mally a hot choco­late on a stick, new py­ja­mas and a Christ­mas movie. On Christ­mas morn­ing we know Santa has been be­cause there’s snowy foot­prints in the hearth. One year we got up and the dogs had licked up all the ‘snow’, so it’s a spe­cial kind of snow now that isn’t quite so tasty for dogs! I go for tra­di­tional Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions and I get a real tree. And I love to for­age in the gar­den for pinecones and branches to make a man­tle piece dec­o­ra­tion.

On Christ­mas Day the kids open their stock­ings, we all go down to see what Santa has left and we go for a big walk to­gether. I cook the Christ­mas din­ner ob­vi­ously – some peo­ple find it stress­ful but it shouldn’t be, I re­ally en­joy it and given I’m used to cook­ing for a full restau­rant (The Sis­ters in Glas­gow) I don’t find it stress­ful at all. This year we will have goose and for dessert a win­ter pavlova, choco­late torte and clootie dumpling. I do think it’s a lot of fuss for one day. There’s so much run­ning around and stress but it’s such a mag­i­cal time, that one day makes it all worth­while!

Trousers, £69, Jacket, £130, Shoes, £95, Ted Baker, Cami, £59, Brooch, £12, Ban­gles, £16, each all at John Lewis.

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