A win­ter won­der­land in the Hamp­tons

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - TRADITIONS - By Lynda La Plante

Touch­ing down at the air­port in New York last Christ­mas, I felt but­ter­flies in my stom­ach. I spend most Christ­mases at my house in the Hamp­tons, on Long Is­land to the east of the city, but this year felt more mag­i­cal as there was heavy snow. It was as though we were en­ter­ing a win­ter won­der­land.

When I ar­rive at the house, I like to cre­ate a com­fort­ing at­mos­phere with log fires burn­ing, but it’s the tree that re­ally sets the scene.

I have al­ways had a liv­ing Christ­mas tree and one of the first trees I had, which

I planted in the gar­den over 20 years ago, is now over 30 feet high.

Dec­o­ra­tions are so spe­cial to me, as when my son Lor­can was born in Flor­ida in 2003 I dis­cov­ered an ‘all year round’ Christ­mas shop sell­ing elab­o­rate dec­o­ra­tions. So now they re­mind me of his birth, and though ev­ery Christ­mas is mem­o­rable, it’s even more spe­cial now I can share Christ­mas Day with Lor­can.

In the Hamp­tons we of­ten have 12 to 14 friends join­ing us around a vast round ta­ble and my roast pota­toes are leg­endary – as is my over­es­ti­mat­ing the amount of brandy re­quired on the Christ­mas pud­ding!

My ad­vice is, go easy on the cham­pagne be­fore lunch. Car­ry­ing a 15lb turkey, a lit­tle ine­bri­ated, is a recipe for dis­as­ter.

My ta­ble over­looks the bay and last year the view was even more breath­tak­ing with deer graz­ing in the gar­den – de­spite the snow!

✿ Lynda La Plante’s mur­der mile, pub­lished by Zaf­fre, is out now

‘Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions re­mind me of the birth of my son’

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