From Thanks­giv­ing on the Thames to Christ­mas cock­tails in a cas­tle, savour the sea­son’s culi­nary de­lights in the most wel­com­ing of venues. By Frances Hedges

Town & Country (UK) - - CONTENTS —WINTER 2017 -

Quaff cham­pagne cock­tails at the real Down­ton Abbey, savour Christ­mas lunch at the Wolse­ley or see in the New Year at Clar­idge’s


‘For me, Christ­mas be­gins on the first day of December, when we cut a huge tree from the grounds, leave it to dry in the barn and then bring it in to dec­o­rate,’ says Lady Carnar­von, chate­laine of the cas­tle bet­ter known as the real Down­ton Abbey. Through­out the month, High­clere is open to vis­i­tors for carol-singing, mulled wine based on Luis the but­ler’s se­cret recipe (‘We never know what goes into it, but it’s cer­tainly strong!’) and cock­tails made with cham­pagne pro­duced ex­clu­sively for the estate. ‘As a fam­ily, we’ll dine on our own home-reared veni­son – my recipe uses ju­niper berries and Madeira wine – and then a spe­cial dessert such as a rhubarb and gin­ger fool.’ ‘At Home at High­clere: En­ter­tain­ing at The Real Down­ton Abbey’ by the Count­ess of Carnar­von (£30, Preface) is out now.


IN­GRE­DI­ENTS 2 dashes of An­gos­tura bit­ters 1 white sugar cube 10ml brandy 90ml chilled High­clere Cham­pagne Slice of orange, to gar­nish Maraschino cherry, to gar­nish


Drip the An­gos­tura bit­ters onto the sugar cube and place in a cham­pagne flute. Add the brandy, fol­lowed by the chilled cham­pagne. Gar­nish with the orange and cherry, then serve.

right: rhubarb and gin­ger fool left, be­low and bot­tom left: high­clere cas­tle in hamp­shire above: beet­rootcured-salmon canapés

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