ME…. AND MY HOUSEKEEPING
It’s the time of year when Strictly Come Dancing judge Dame Darcey Bussell likes to take a few days off and tuck into some mince pies
Dame Darcey Bussell
The former ballerina lives in London with husband, Angus, and their daughters, Phoebe, 17, and Zoe, 14.
What’s at the top of your Christmas to-do list?
Christmas outings with family and friends, like going ice-skating, visiting a Christmas market or seeing a show at the theatre.
What festive song is guaranteed to get you on the dancefloor?
Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.
Are you a minimalist or do you go all-out when decorating?
I try to keep it pretty classic, candles and a tree. Not too much tinsel.
What Christmas food could you not live without?
Mince pies and cream.
What are your festive must-haves?
Crackers, including a few little ones on the tree, a large tube of Smarties, tangerines and nuts.
Who cooks the turkey and all the trimmings?
My husband and I share it… then there’s no one to blame if it goes wrong!
What are your top tips for a hassle-free Christmas Day?
Start early with regards to planning, keep it simple and ideally put someone who really enjoys cooking in the kitchen!
What is your signature dish?
Bussell sprouts! Sorry, I just had to say that! I’m not a very good cook, but I do try to cook a large range of vegetables.
Bows and ribbons or plain presents?
I believe the wrapping is just as important as the present. Especially when the present is little!
What is Christmas Day like in your house?
The whole family, including the dogs, gets into someone’s bed to open stockings. Then we go to church. After church, we have a glass of Champagne (as it is now after 12!) often accompanied by crunchy
toasted bread with smoked salmon and cream cheese. Christmas dinner is normally ready about 3pm, followed by pudding, chocolates and a movie, normally an old one – I love White Christmas.
Any other guests?
I like to include a few stray characters! Whether it be a friend of a friend who is travelling or a relative who is on their own. I think that being welcoming to others and including them is part of the Christmas message.
Who would be your dream guests?
If I could go back in time, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly. Nowadays, aside from my family, I’d like to invite Sting, Kate Bush and David Suchet.
What’s your Christmas party style? Sequins or LBD?
Neither, actually, just something colourful – and I do love an event with a clothing theme, like a 1950s Christmas party.
What’s the most memorable gift you’ve ever been given?
We try to give presents that are experiences. I always fondly remember a wonderful few days we spent in Salzburg, walking around in the snow, singing songs from The Sound Of Music.
How do you like to do your present shopping?
I am a fan of online shopping, but getting out and walking around the shops gets me in the spirit of it all. Unless I have the present idea beforehand and can therefore pre-order it, I do enjoy a mooch and seeing lovely things that I think will suit someone. Give us a secret address for somewhere you like to get Christmas goodies… Bayley & Sage delicatessen for special food yummies, or the Selfridges Foodhall.
What’s topping your festive wish list this year?
Having a few days off and not hearing the latest news about Brexit! ◆ Darcey Bussell: Evolved (Hardie Grant) is out on 1 November.
All I Want For Christmas Is You always gets me on the dancefloor