Summer Christmas Lunch with the Family

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is a mere 35 days away, which means the time has arrived to put on our festive faces and once again celebrate a merry season. This year we want to encourage you to take things slow and to enjoy the gift of life’s little pleasures. Managing to do this, inspiration will be knocking on your doorstep, peeping through your dusty drawers filled with long forgotten treasures and making its way to your lush summer garden. A happy holiday is not always found in fancy restaurants or luxurious vacations. We anticipate a sunny South-African Christmas. Being relaxed, bare feet and lazing under the cool shades of a big, beloved tree. (Photos: Christine Meintjes, Venue: Kleinevalleij Estate)

Still planning your Christmas menu? You can make all the scrumptious dishes featured below, just head to our Food Section for the recipes. We asked Ilse to create a few summery dishes like Whole Grilled Trout Stuffed with Herb  and Cracked Roasted Baby Potatoes. But there are lots more to come, so keep your eyes peeled for Edible Gift Ideas, a Fig Pavlova and a Festive Fennel Salad. And what would a Christmas celebration be without fruitcake? Here’s the trusted recipe we used for the beautiful Traditional Fruitcake below.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Soon the bells will start, and the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing right within your heart.

Meredith Wilson

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.

Peg Braden

Get the look

For our our al fresco Christmas table this year, we keep things simple, we re-use, recycle and re-invent. To make the look interesting we created a tablescape with lots of texture by using lots of natural elements. Walk through your garden, you will be surprised at what you find that you could turn in to a wreath or a centerpiece, berries, twigs and herbs can easily transform a simple lunch setting into a feast. If you have a wooden table, put it under a tree or on the stoep, and don’t even bother with a tablecloth, a linen runner will be just fine. Lay the table with your favourite set of crockery, white, cream or earthenware will do. Add a textured runner, some foliage in glass bottles, mismatched glasses, and round it off with a Christmas tag for each guest. Now put on your sun hat, and take your seat at the table. (The Christmas recipes will follow soon, so keep an eye on the blog)