Archive of ‘festive’ category

Weekly Round Up

Unless you’ve been stranded on an oil rig in the Pacific with no form of communication or trapped in outer space for the last six months you can’t have helped but be made more than aware that it’s Christmas time. It’s happening folks and even the most Grinch like amongst us cannot escape it, so let’s embrace it. Here’s how to this weekend… 
GET FESTIVE at more of the many humble Christmas markets happening across London this weekend because you can never have too many mince pies. Visit the £3 Christmas Bazaar in Nunhead London this Saturday (14th December). It promises to be ‘part art, part Christmas fete and there’s even going to be a choir and white elephant stall – proper old school Christmassy! Peckham appears to be London’s pinnacle of Christmas with The Crafty Fox market be taking place at the Bussey building and Pexmas market on Sunday (15th December) at the Liberal Club both offering a range of stall and festive food and beverages to make merry with. 
PREPARE for next year’s first big cinematic release by watching the trailer for Spike Jonze’s latest film ‘Her’. It stars the magnificent Joaquin Phoenix who plays a heartbroken man called Theodore, who falls in love with a computer system called “Samantha”. Quirky, touching, visually stunning, provocative and heartfelt, Jonze is back on form with this latest offering, due out on January 10th. What a great start to 2014! 

INTRODUCE some graphics and colourful into your wardrobe combat those dark night winter blues. Tinned Bananas do a range of items from easy to wear t-shirts to bold jump suits in some super eye-catching patterns that are guaranteed to not just put a smile on your face but everybody else’s to boot.
LISTEN to French duo Velour Modular, whose latest track Sudden Motion is a nice old dose of spacey ethereal electronica reminiscent of The Knife and the video’s wonderfully barking. Influenced by the likes of Kuedo, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Mount Kimbie they’re bound to make waves in 2014 stay one step ahead and give this track a play (probably over and over). 

WATCH queen Bey, who’s blown everyone’s mind this morning by releasing an entire album over night. 17 bootylicious videos no less, and yes Beyoncé we’re definitely ready. 
BUY a watch, but not just any watch. With so much happening you’ll need to keep track of the time and HyperGrand’s made its debut with a range that have a NATO straps, designed by the military. Yes we’re talking top quality but these watches are far from utilitarian with a range of 12 interchangeable patterned straps (we love the Garden Skirmish) to choose from they’ll guarantee you’ll be fashionably on time.
DOWNLOAD the app we’ve all been waiting for. We can finally put an end to our eighteen years of jealousy over Cher’s virtual closet because the lovely folks at FaceCake have finally made it. It being an app where you can put together items from your wardrobe, share outfits and even do a little turn on the catwalk. Yep, mind is blown. 
By Kerry Flint

Apricot and Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

The smell of baked cinnamon rolls wafting through the house is the ultimate in festive comfort at this time of year. Added cranberries and apricots give these a seasonal twist – the perfect thing to enjoy on a cold winters morning. 
Ingredients
For the rolls
450g strong white flour
75g dried cranberries
1tsp fast acting dried yeast
1tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
150ml hot milk and 150ml hot water mixed together – hot but not boiling!
For the filling
25g butter, melted
50g light brown sugar
2tbsp ground cinnamon
75g dried apricots, cut into small pieces
Makes 8 rolls

Method
- Place the flour, cranberries, yeast, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl and stir together. Now add the hot milk and water and mix together using an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes – if you don’t have an electric mixer that’s fine, you can just use your hands and mix and knead for about 10 minutes. Once the dough has been mixed and kneaded, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 ½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another 5 minutes. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1 cm thick, spread the surface with the melted butter and scatter over the sugar, cinnamon and apricot pieces in an even layer, making sure you reach the edges. Now roll the dough into a tight sausage shape, slice into 8 even pieces and place these, swirl side up on a lightly oiled baking tray.
- Leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or if you want to make these for breakfast next day you can leave them in the fridge overnight (although if you do this, you will need to take the rolls out of the fridge and leave for 30 minutes to come up to room temperature before baking).
- When you are ready to bake the rolls, preheat the oven to 180°C and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the rolls are well risen and a lovely golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. You can eat the rolls as they are, but for an extra delicious twist make up some icing using 3tbsp icing sugar, 1tbsp water and 1tsp vanilla extract and drizzle over the top of the hot rolls. Tear off and eat warm – heavenly!
By Millie Norton

Weekly Round Up

This week we’re still feeling festive, and there’s an overwhelming abundance to see, hear and sample. From art and crafts to vinyl and beer. Go be merry… 
VISIT the London Illustration Fair at Hoxton Arches, London, from today until Sunday (29th-30th November). A range of illustrators will be selling their work so go along to meet some talented people including Cassandra Yap (above), gather some inspiration and maybe even purchase some special Christmas presents.

LISTEN & DRINK at the only place to be this Saturday, 30th November. At Spitalfields, London, there will be an abundance of beer and records on offer. What a combination! The London Brewers Market includes a range of London’s breweries and, as if that wasn’t exciting enough, the renowned The Independent Label market, which will have over 80 independent labels present, is taking place. This is a unique opportunity to discover and support new independent artists and beers. Get down and try and purchase limited edition vinyl and craft beer for yourself, or as a fantastic Christmas present.
WATCH the gripping new UK film, In Fear. Lost on their way to an Irish music festival Tom (Iain de Caestecker) and Lucy (Alice Englert) encounter some very creepy happenings. Interesting set-ups, a sparse plot and good acting make this new offering from director Jeremy Lovering a much wanted indicator of hope for the UK film industry. 
LISTEN to Manchester female foursome Pins, Christmas song. Even the most festive tune hating amongst you will be mesmerised by this jingle. These northerners are definitely ones to watch in 2014 and you can download this track from UrbanOutfitters.
BUY some silly fun knitwear now the temperatures are set to drop. Bedroom Factory Knits offer a range of fun accessories, from dinosaur bobble hats to flamingo scarfs, that are bound to make the gloomiest gloomster smile, no matter how gloomy the weather. They will be at the Brighton Craftaganza this weekend so go along and say hi. The Craftaganza will be held on Sat 30th Nov / Sun 1st Dec and Sat 7th Dec / Sun 8th Dec
By Kerry Flint

Weekly Round Up

Here are some suggestions for stuff to enjoy as we say goodbye to November and hello to December, the ultimate festive month of gluttony…
LISTEN to Blood Orange’s latest album Cupid Deluxe. It came out this week and Blood Orange aka Dev Hynes has certainly not disappointed with this lush offering that’s cooler and smoother than an ice rink. 

WATCH films at the London Feminist Film Festival. Set up in 2012 in response to the underrepresentation of women in the film industry, this festival will be showing some great films during its run from 24 and 30 November 2013. The program includes the international premier of Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights and a screening of the classic feminist film The Gold Diggers. 
PREPARE for the holiday season at a Christmas market. Yes it’s early, but why not embrace the opportunity to drink mulled wine before singing Mariah Carey badly at a Christmas tree. Go on, you know that you want to. There are lots of markets to choose from but a few of our personal favourites are Chester Victorian Christmas Market (beyond pretty) , Manchester Christmas Market (best mulled cider) and London Southbank Christmas Market (festive trip on the pretty Thames). If you’re really getting into the spirit you could even venture over to the Christmas-fest that’s Cologne Christmas Market and make everybody incredibly jealous. 
DRINK some fine ales and ciders at the Pig’s Ear Beer and Cider Festival, from December 3 – 7, at The Round Chapel in Clapton. Beers really taking centre stage at the moment with new breweries popping up all over London the festival will include Five Points, Crate and London Fields are among nine Hackney breweries in a huge line-up of beers and ciders to sample. 
EAT German style food at Wunderland East. Following its successful summer ‘Lucky Chip’ collaboration, this week Climpson’s Arch launches it’s three day bavarian themed bar with all the trimmings! 
READ Dorris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook. This wonderful author died this week so what better excuse (not that you really need one) to discover or re-discover her amazing writing. The Golden Notebook accounts women’s lives after the war. It is often regarded as a ‘feminist masterpiece’ but overall is a majestically crafted piece of writing by a brilliantly talented and outspoken author.
By Kerry Flint 

Bacon and Chestnut Bites

Delicious bacon, apricot and chestnut bites – a great way of using all your Christmas Day leftovers and incredibly moreish too!

Ingredients
7-8 rashers of bacon
1 medium onion
170g cooked chestnuts (chopped) or use tinned or puréed chestnuts
1 tsp sage (dry or fresh)
3 dried apricots (chopped)
60g oatmeal or fine breadcrumbs
1 egg (beaten)
Cranberry sauce

Method
* Heat oven to 200C
* Melt butter in pan and fry onions and bacon until soft
* Transfer to bowl
* Mix in sage, oatmeal/breadcrumbs, seasoning, apricots and chestnuts
* Bind with beaten egg to give a fairly moist consistency
* Form mixture into desired shapes, brush with any leftover egg and crisp breadcrumbs (if you have any)
* Bake in the oven for approx. 15 mins or until crisp and golden brown
* Dip in cranberry sauce – yum!
By Melodie Walter

What we’re listening to…

Last year we had the very cool Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward grace us with their pretty Christmas album A Very She & Him Christmas and we’re again angling for the pick of the indie Christmas crop with Michigan born Sufjan Stevens’ Silver and Gold.  


An unusual fellow, Stevens dedicates time to making Christmas music like no other. Since producing Songs for Christmas in 2006 – a lengthy two-hour album – Stevens hasn’t produced anything for his beloved season for six years until the release of Silver and Gold last month.
Pangs of banjo, pings of drunken guitars and angelic peeps from the Oboe plus the multitude of instruments Stevens also plays, there is hope that your Christmas can be enjoyed without an overload of trashy Christmas cheer – of which we cannot escape from the radio, TV and shops playing (sometimes you just need a break!).
On this 58-track extravaganza, Stevens compiles songs of religious fantasy, life history and Christmas fantasy. Prepare to be introduced to a fairytale land of snow, psychedelic lights, Unicorns, Santa, the characters of the Bible narrative and Mr Frosty Man.
To hear Steven’s magical Christmas album and experience what it’s like to listen to music feeling as though you’re on a carousel at the fairground after having one too many mulled wines click here – apt for Christmas day!
We love this vintage-esque video for Sufjan Stevens’ Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. (Which includes a few snippets from some of our fave festive films!)
You can buy the Silver and Gold via Asthmatic Kitty Records, Amazon or iTunes. 
By Melodie Walter

Scandi treats

We ditch the traditional festive treats for something Scandinavian inspired mixed with Cellardoor’s creative handiwork: reds and whites, gingerbread with a touch of cinnamon (Swedish pepparkakor enthused) coconut ice and chocolate.
Ingredients
To make the gingerbread house, cherub and star
Gingerbread mixture
225g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
112g butter, softened
85g soft brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
Icing
112g icing sugar
1 tbsp water
Coloured icing tubes
Method
-       Heat oven to 180C
-       Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a mixing bowl
-       In a saucepan heat the golden syrup, sugar and butter until it melts, then let the mixture cool and add to the mixing bowl
-       Stir and then knead the mixture into a ball
-       Dust the work surface with flour and roll the rough until about ½ cm thick
-       Cut a 7x7cm square (x2) 7x5cm rectangle (x2) and for the sides of the house use a template of a rectangle 9x7cm plus a triangle attached adding an extra 3cm to the whole length of the side: for the other shapes it will be easiest to use cookie cutters
-       Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown and leave them to cool
-       Assemble the house with the icing – make sure it is thick – leave to dry for 15 mins and then decorate
To make the snowman and the Christmas trees
Coconut Ice
½ pint water
450g sugar
Pinch cream of tartar
112g desiccated coconut
1 heaped tbsp thick cream
Fillings and toppings
½ packet of white cooking chocolate
½ packet of dark cooking chocolate
1 small bought chocolate cake
Handful of walnuts
Method
-       Cut two healthy sized cubes of the chocolate cake (one for the head and the other for the body) and melt dark chocolate with some butter and then add the mixture to the cake
-       Roll into one larger ball and one smaller ball and fill the centre with chopped walnuts
-       Place in fridge to harden, then make the butter icing (you’ll just need some icing sugar and softened butter) and spread onto the balls and roll these in the desiccated coconut and then assemble to make the main body of your snowman (decorate as desired)
-       Now to make the Christmas trees! Heat sugar and water in a strong saucepan until sugar is dissolved and add the cream of tartar then boil steadily, then add the coconut and cream and beat together
-       Let the mixture cool slightly and then use kitchen gloves to form pyramid shapes for the trees, leave to harden
-       Melt the white chocolate and dip the base of the pyramids in, then leave to harden
Put together your creations on lined tray with silver paper and desiccated coconut and icing sugar and chop up flakes for logs. 

Why not make extra gingerbread cherubs and stars and hang them on the tree?

By Melodie Walter

Something for the Weekend…

If you’re around Nottingham this weekend, then we urge you to visit the Pretty Dandy Flea on Saturday at The Congregational Church, Castle Gate.
With over 20 stalls, including a vibrant mix of artists, prints, handmade cushions, records and printed lampshades, you’re sure to find some unusual gifts – just in time for Christmas shopping! 
What’s more, there will be DJs from Nottingham record label Hello Thor providing a cool soundtrack, a record stall and (really yummy) homemade cakes and treats from The Pop-Up Sandwich Kitchen.
So why not kick off your festive season in style? We’ll see you there…
Find out more info here

A song for Christmas

Now with only three more days to go until the big day, we’re all getting quite excited. We’ve bought all the presents (well, nearly!) and the only thing left to do is to wrap them. Now us Cellardoor girls, like nothing more than to crank up our festive playlist and to get stuck in with the wrapping paper and sellotape.     

Here are our favourite classic christmas anthems….      




So now we want to know – what’s your favourite?          

View our Spotify playlist here

Moments in Music

The leaves have fallen, the fireworks have finished and the Christmas Coca Cola Advert has made it’s first appearance. This time of year brings with it many pleasures. We splash out on a new coat even though we have four perfectly good ones, we wear those gloves that aren’t the warmest but go with everything and for many of us the pleasure in this season lies with the music. Not the generic Christmas songs that we hear every year but new fresh material that can bring a festive feeling to even the biggest Grinch.


This week it seems that there are two songs that evoke this lovely warming sensation. The first is an old classic by a young up and coming “starry eyed” vocalist. Covering the material of a legend can be problematic however this rendition of Elton John’s “Your Song” is a respectful adaptation of a great love song. Ellie Goulding has abandoned her previous electronic sound and shown a vulnerable softer side with simply her haunting voice and a piano. The song is a true example of what amazing material can be created when a talented individual favours simplicity over auto-tune. Recorded forty years ago it’s going to be an anthem for lovers all over again this Winter.



Finally another song that makes the frost and the dark nights bareable is from a band that has been fairly quiet since “Hey There Delilah” in 2008. Plain White T’s new track “Rhythm of Love” is a combination of gentle acoustic guitar and familiar strong vocals from lead singer Tom Higgenson. Romantic lyrics, simple vocals and a catchy beat are sure to be a hit.


So when you grab your coat and gloves don’t forget the most important accessory this Winter your iPod!

By Katie Russell