Are You Christmas Ready?

It’s around this time of year when work and life collide for me a little more than usual due to Christmas. I can say that word now, because it’s December, but the truth is that the C-word has been thrown around at French For Pineapple HQ a fair bit for well over a month now.

Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests

The kids think it’s pretty amazing that their recovering Christmas grinch of a mother, was putting a tree and decorations up in NOVEMBER to photograph, and not taking them down again. It’s just too close to the real thing to bother, so yes, Christmas has well and truly started in the Hall household.

We have Christmas at home every year, and my husband is in charge of the main event. He does an incredible Christmas lunch, and you know, if it ain’t broke and all that...

Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests
Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests

I on the other hand, am in charge of more important things: specifically drinks, puddings, and snacks. Yes, plural on all counts!

We always have a house cocktail for the festive season (some years are better than others I must admit: let’s not talk about the year I decided that Tequila Bloody Marys were a good idea. Urgh.).

This year we’ll have an extra full house, so that means I have to plan extra drinks and puddings, obviously.

Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests

So I’m starting to stock up the bar, although I admit I’ve not actually planned the house cocktail, but I’m feeling inspired by the Christmas cordial I picked up the other day, and am wondering if I can come up with some kind of Christmas Sour involving this. I reckon I can, so if it's a success I'll share it on the blog before the big day so you have time to get the ingredients if you fancy trying it.

Anyway, I digress. Getting the bar Christmas ready, is of utmost importance.

On top of at least one house cocktail, the staples are a necessity. You definitely need to be able to offer guests a G&T. And at Christmas, you can justify spending a bit more on those staples than you might do otherwise, making it less of a staple, and more of a special treat, whether it’s going to be a gift for a loved one, or a gift for yourself. Or, as I like to put it, a gift for the house. That way, it doesn't need to come from your gift 'allowance', but you still get to drink it. Clever huh?

Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests

A bottle of artisan Gin like The Teasmith Gin from Curious Egg, is just the ticket. One of several from their 'Gin Bar', all originating from Scottish craft distilleries. I've not opened this one yet as we can't be trusted, but it's distilled with hand-picked tea, which sounds great to me, and it could indeed inspire a tea-based cocktail of it's own.

The bar is far from fully stocked yet, still to come is Amarula Cream (a regular Christmas treat), Aperol, and I'm quite liking a Dark & Stormy at the moment, so maybe some dark Rum too. And of course a selection of tonic waters for the G&T's, and various other mixers.

Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests

Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests

Don't forget you'll need some lovely glasses in which to serve these drinks, so get those 'special' glasses out. I'm a firm believer in using 'best' every day, but if you are saving them, it's time to dust them off. I love these vintage inspired Deco Cocktail Glasses also from Curious Egg, and the cutest little Bamboo Cocktails Whisks.

Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests
Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests

Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests

So now that we've covered drinks, we need to cover where to put them (before they go in your mouth!). A bar cart or trolley is in order (or a sideboard, top of a chest of drawers or a shelf if you don't have space), and this rattan one from Out There Interiors offers plenty of space up top and on the two shelves below.

It's an unusual army green colour, and has a rough distressed texture, and would fit in rather nicely with the decor at Chiltern Firehouse, with their Titanic meets Gilligan's Island vibe.

Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests

Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests

I may pile it up with the entire contents of the alcohol cupboard, then again, I might just fill it with what I know will be used over Christmas, and keep it looking lovely. One thing's for sure, the fairy lights and gold plated ice tongs are staying!

Are You Christmas Ready? Getting the bar ready for Christmas guests


This post is in collaboration with Out There Interiors and Curious Egg. Two independents who have truly fabulous curated collections, so please do go check them out.


Textured Wallpaper Shelves & Goodies From Curious Egg!

Yesterday I finally got around to wallpapering the backs of the shelves in the living room (more about that next week, including what I used, and all the options I looked at before choosing this one!).

I absolutely love the result, and I couldn't wait to put everything back onto the shelves, with the much more dramatic backdrop, along with a few new additions from Curious Egg.

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

Curious Egg is not just another online homewares shop. Nope. Delve into the beautifully curated Curious Egg collection, and I promise you'll find so many beautiful gems that you have most definitely not seen before. I can't tell you how happy that makes me! So refreshing in a world of sameiness (that's totally a word, right?).

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

Artist Lorraine Aaron (and husband Roddy!), launched Curious Egg last year. They travel regularly, and on these off the beaten track adventures, they source many of the pieces in the collection from artisan makers and entrepreneurs around the world.

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog

I asked Lorraine to share her styling tips for the pieces I've chosen for this post...


The Kea Vase

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog


'This is one of my favourites as it’s so different to our other vases and has great texture. The more you look the more you see. It’s like looking at the edge of a shoreline as the waves draws away and you see all the grains of sand, foam and little reflective channels of water. I’ve shown it on the website against a very clean crisp background to show off its gnarly surface but it can look fantastic next to really dark walls too. It’s like relic that’s been buried under the sea for centuries and the unusual glaze will make your room instantly more interesting and confident because its not immediately ‘pretty’ – more like a dug up relic it adds layers and story.  The jug shape looks great with medium ‘mop headed’ flowers like green chrysanthemums or ball headed thistles as well as flat headed ‘lacey’ types.'




The Ana Vase

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog


'This vase looks beautiful sat on a little pile of two or three books on the coffee table or on a shelf between books or a console as the main focus.
To show this off best I’d place it beside solid colours rather than patterned walls to show off its beautiful speckled like glaze. It looks lovely against brownish pink such as Farrow and Ball’s pink ground or any flat grey from pale to charcoal.
It’s like an artwork in itself so looks great on its own or if you want to put flowers in the tubes you could experiment with really tall grasses and put the vase down on a low table or the floor. You could also try umbrella type seed heads –flat headed, sculptural flowers to play off against the vertical tube forms.'




Lunga Bowls

Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog
 

'These have a lovely lozenge – like shape that makes you almost want to bite them!  You can stack them together making them ‘statement bowls’ for the hall console table, or make an arrangement of them on the coffee table all facing different ways as though they’ve been scattered - especially if they are the main gold item in the room. They’re really eye catching and work well for serving little wrapped treats in them at parties and can also just be a stylish way to keep nik-naks safe! So simple and striking, they work well with all colours of interiors and even with heavily patterned wallpapers.'


Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog







Here are some more of my favourite pieces from the current collection...


Curious Egg - French For Pineapple Blog







1. Angel #2 Original Mixed Media Artwork by Rachel Lee. Mini orginals for just £45?! There's a whole series of these and they're fantastic.

2. Cocoon Wire Lampshade. Three words: Oh. My. God. I've got a serious crush on this. It would be absolutely perfect on the landing outside my bedroom. I think I NEED it!

3. Urn Vase. I absolutely adore this vase. Yes, I do have a thing for vessels.

4. Appaloosa Fringe Cushion. Speaks for itself really, don't you think? L O V E.

5. Agata Marbled Vase. Le Sigh...

Thanks for the lovely pieces Curious Egg and for raising the online interiors shopping game. Go check them out!


This post is in collaboration with Curious Egg.