Toby Bateman, Managing Director, Mr Porter
This year the whole family will be at my parents' on the Isle of Wight – myself and my family and my two brothers and theirs. For anyone who hasn’t been there, the Isle of Wight is a bit like Cornwall, but much easier to get to and about 15 years back in time – the ferry is like a time machine. Our Christmas Day begins with Bloody Marys and a full English breakfast, whilst watching the kids frantically open presents. One of my childhood friends has coincidentally just launched a delicious Virgin Mary mixer business called Longbottom so we will be using this For many years the Bateman’s go-to festive meal was a rib of beef but recently we’ve gone back to the traditional turkey, but done the non-traditional Nigella way – a large crown stuffed with Italian sausage and Marsala soaked cranberries. We are right by the sea, so once the turkey is en route we take a brisk midday walk along the beach to the pub where drinks are literally free on Christmas Day. Sufficiently imbibed, we return home and get the lunch table set. We start the meal with smoked salmon which we get from Frank Hederman in Ireland, sliced thick and straight and served with chopped capers, cornichons, parsley and shallots, which I got from Hawksmoor but who in turn I believe got from Delmonico’s in NYC. My dad has always liked good wine, so we raid his special burgundy store on Christmas Day – probably a St Aubin 1er Cru with the salmon and a Chambolle Musigny or Morey St Denis with the turkey. These are his favourites and hence they are mine too! In the evening we generally fall asleep in front of the TV whilst drinking port or sloe gin – old Wallace and Gromit programmes are favourites. Reading that back it seems our day is quite boozy…
Michael Hill, Creative Director, Drake’s
Christmas is very exciting now, with a three-year-old and a six-year-old in the house, particularly given that we have a working chimney. My wife and I put out the mince pie, the carrot, and the glass of sherry the night before, and of course in the morning we take the kids to see that Father Christmas has been.
I’ll cook a ham and we’ll have that with marmalade and our own sourdough bread in the morning to tide us over until lunch. We’ll either be having turkey or a goose – that remains to be seen – which we’ll get from the little farm shop down the road from us in Devon. I’ll be cooking lunch this year, which I have done several times before, so I’m feeling quietly confident. My parents will be joining us, too, so it will be a few of us around the table, which is lovely. I’ve made my son Rufus a little short tie for him to wear, so he can dress like his granddad (who’s also a tie-maker).
As for drinks, Berry Bros. & Rudd do a beautiful vintage champagne, which I like to buy a few magnums of – something about it just feels so festive. We’ll have a couple of glasses of that before lunch, then with the big meal we’ll be having a wine my friend Roberto makes at his own vineyard, just for friends and family. He even puts a little Drake’s label on it!
Then after lunch it’s usually time for a sleep, followed by a walk in the countryside to blow away the cobwebs. We’re right by the sea, so it’s the perfect place for a stroll.