For some reason this year (more than EVER) I am super excited about Christmas (read: it’s all about the festive food) and on Saturday I officially launched ‘Christmas at the Hillside’!  The launch party involved me (natch), Nigella (special guest appearance), and Mr Predictable (for a change) and what fun we had!  The three of us threw caution to the wind and decided that Saturday was going to be our ‘STIR UP’ day.  I know I know, stir up day is usually Sunday but what the heck, we were going to live a little and bring it forward a day.

No particular reason for inviting Nigella to this party.  I’ve read various christmas cake recipes over the last few weeks, Delia is probably the obvious choice for most but I have to say she doesn’t use as much brandy in her cake (shocker!!) and this is the festive season after all so it was Nigella all the way for me!

Drum roll please….

16 hours to launch and counting :- approx 1kg of various vine fruit were brought to the boil in 600ml’s of brandy then left to soak overnight…divine smells all round the Hillside, who needs Glade?!

4 hours to launch and counting :- the ‘stir up’ began…

See, there’s Nigella in her special Christmas jumper beaming with calorific delight!

3 hours to launch and counting :- Mr Predictable arrives at the party (better late than never is his philosophy) and volunteers his assistance with the ‘stir up’….

Mr P gives it some 'stir'

Wishes were made all round and then in ‘she’ popped for a few hours of R&R at gas mark 2.  Amazing smells abound, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, lemon zest, brandy, it was Christmas in a jar.

Launch time (watch out, she’s naked..) :-

She's a beawt

She is indeed a beawtee albeit in her ‘naked’ state but don’t panic, after a few more weeks of rest (for which she will be readily rewarded with a few spoonfuls of brandy per week) she will be complete with her top coats.  None of your tacky decs for this one, smooth white fondant icing with an undercoat of marzipan, joy.  Let the festivities begin.

Nigella seemed to quite enjoy our party and didn’t complain once, she’s definitely on the invite list again 🙂


  1. I can almost smell it ..made mine a few weeks with a Delia recipe tempting to eat it & make another one!

    Enjoy ..oh..and Merry Christmas

  2. It looks wonderful. Made mine a few days ago and it sure smells like Christmas 🙂

  3. Pingback: NIGELLA AND HER FESTIVE TOP COAT… | mymonkfish

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