Christmas traditions had been the same for my family for many years. As the youngest in my immediate family I always took the role of leaving out mince pies for Santa, waking everyone up at 5am, and playing the Christmas ‘elf’ handing out presents and bossily making sure each one was opened one at a time so that we could admire each others’ new toys. With births and marriages in our family, things have changed over the years and new traditions have appeared plus I’m definitely not the youngest any more.
Mr S and I have been lucky that we’ve been able to combine family Christmas’s and spend time with both our parents and brothers and sisters on the 25th of December so there’s no wrangling over who we’ll be with.
This year the decision was made that the Solomon contingent (my family) would once again combine with the Silvers and come to our flat for present opening, drinking, board game playing and merriment. When Christmas morning dawned, Santa had most definitely been and there were lots of presents under our little tree…I was excited but played it cool, first having breakfast and then getting showered and dressed before we opened our presents.
We opened a little bottle of champagne and took the obligatory Facebook selfie before cracking into our presents from each other. Now, I do most of my blog writing on a desk top computer but I use a laptop for when we go away…I’d been moaning to Mr S about the limited storage on my laptop and my husband had listened to the moans and bought me a Mac Book Pro. The boy did good… I loved my Macbook and it was exactly what I wanted! In exchange I gave him a butter soft cashmere jumper and new laptop case. Both super pleased with our present hauls, it was time to meet up with the rest of the family.
To avoid the usual cooking and washing up hell we’d decided to book a table at The Blue Boar Smokehouse at the Conrad London St James Hotel for our Christmas lunch. Regular readers will already know the Conrad is local to us and we’ve previously enjoyed a staycation, brunch and an afternoon tea at the luxury hotel. Though we hadn’t requested it, we were really pleased that we had been given a private dining room as we had such a large group.
On my side of the family were my parents, (Dr SilverSpoon and Susan Silverspoon), my sister, her boyfriend and my little nephew, Charlie.
And on Mr Silver’s side his parents, his younger sister Olivia, her husband and their baby Joshua. Olivia’s husband is Israeli and they live in Tel Aviv, so he’s never experienced a UK Christmas; he was particularly enamoured with mince pies, turkey, Christmas crackers and other British traditions that he’d never experienced before.
Mr S hadn’t been sure about having Christmas lunch at a hotel, he felt it wouldn’t be homely enough but actually the hotel was beautifully decorated with a Christmas tree, baubles and crackers on the table it was definitely right in the festive spirit.
The meal started with a celeriac soup which I didn’t get a good photo of – so moving on to the second course, it was a duck foie gras pate for most people.
As I don’t like foie gras, the chef was kind enough to substitute some simple smoked salmon for me…
While we were enjoying our starters Charlie and Josh were able to play in the room without disturbing other guests, it was the perfect set up for a family Christmas.
Next up was sea bass with champagne sauce…
Followed by the choice of traditional turkey and all the trimming or a beautifully cooked rare roast beef.
With plenty of side dishes heaped up on the table. Service was excellent, with waiters bringing whatever we needed…extra bread for the kids, more roast potatoes and refilling our wine glasses when ever we were lacking. But the piéce de resistance of the meal was the epic dessert buffet, which we were free to help ourselves from as many times as we wanted…
I can’t help but use the clichéd phrase, we were like kids in a candy store. But the buffet was a little bit like a pic ‘n mix with whatever festive treats we wanted…
Mince pies for traditionalists…
Crumble for me!
Cupcakes for Charlie!
And brownies for Mr S!
And it wouldn’t be Christmas without a cheese board…
Fully stuffed, drunk and happy we made the short walk back to our flat where we opened more presents, drank more wine and ate more cheese…We also had a play of Charlie’s new board game, Pie Face…
Which my dad lost…
We loved our Christmas at the Conrad hotel, a day full of festive fun…minus the washing up!
Blue Boar Smokehouse at the Conrad Hotel
45 Tothill Street