This year’s Christmas was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever had. I traveled to the Southern Highlands to spend the day with my best friend Char and both of our families. Char’s family home is a country cottage nestled in an exquisite garden. There are fruit trees, roses and lillies in abundance, and a blue cattle dog named Alice. The house is filled with books, duvets, an open fire, homemade food, there is always music playing or conversations happening, and in the front library rests a Steinway Grand piano.
One of my favourite places in the world. This family, and the way they open up their home, is a continual inspiration to me.
You see, I think they’re onto something. I always feel welcomed, loved and appreciated in this home, and I’m not the only one. I always have a cup of tea in my hand, and I am always listened to. Most importantly, the kindness and generosity in this house is genuine.
I want my home to be like this. I want a home that welcomes everybody, a home where my friends and family feel comfortable to talk, to hang out, to drink endless cups of tea and wine… In my final year of school, I was interviewed in an assembly as a graduating student. Much to the chagrin of my teachers, I said “I don’t know what I want to do with my life… I just want a home full of candles and cushions, just a place where people can hang out.”
I don’t have a house of my own yet (but I rent a terrace apartment: come visit!) … but what I do have are dear friends who let me into their homes.
Here are some of the best photos from the day… I hope Char’s family home, and the Christmas spirit, inspires you as much as it inspires me.
My talented mother made us all a Christmas pudding (one of Nigella Lawson’s recipe… what a goddess), full of blueberries, Tia Maria and figs. Char’s sister made custard from scratch (that store-bought easy-pour stuff has got nothing on this). It was divine. I wanted to sing “we all want some figgy pudding” but I was too busy eating.
Then to top it off, my bro made a gingerbread house from scratch. He was going to make a little Parthenon (don’t ask), but decided to make an outhouse/dunny (again, don’t ask).
And in the front room stands the Steinway grand (only recently shipped from the US). It commands attention and demands to be played.
Sending you all my love (and figgy pudding),