“Wait, so there is no meat in mince pies?” (Part 3 of #FeelingFestive)

giphy (3) Last weekend I offered two of my friends – one of whom is a pescetarian, the other a vegetarian – some mince pies after dinner. Somewhat unpredictably, they both looked at me in horror and said, Shakira, why on earth would you offer us meat? What’s wrong with you?

They were even less amused when I doubled over in laughter. Once I had recovered, I clarified that, contrary to their belief, mince pies don’t actually contain meat. Continue reading

A mulled wine for contrarians (Part 2 of #FeelingFestive)

Fun fact about traditional mulled wine – you can make a couple of bottles in advance and they won’t spoil as the spices act as preservatives.

Useful to know – if you like mulled wine. Not so useful if you are one of those who find that it triggers a booze-induced semi-restful Christmas coma.


Going… going… gone.

If you are in the latter camp, you need not resign yourself to regular wine (the horror!) over the festive period. There’s an alternative…

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The perfect mulled wine (Part 1 of #FeelingFestive)


How it feels in London right now

This year, scientists uncovered an amazing revelation: contrary to prior belief, the human nose can detect one trillion distinct scents. If not more. Dogs still beat us, but we humans are doing pretty well.

To me, nothing quite smells like Christmas as mulled wine (glühwein in Germany, vin chaud in France). It has become as much a symbol of Christmas as tinsel, probably because it’s so damn cold this time of year that the notion of a hot and alcoholic drink makes the eyes of 50 million Brits light up like a Christmas tree.

You can buy it pre-prepared, but half the fun is in making it while shaking your booty to Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is you”.

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