Cheese, wine and a wish list for Santa from Net-a-Porter… Dominique Hughes and Rebecca da Silva Lima, founders of Jem + Bea, on how they’ll be celebrating the festive season…
Where are you spending Christmas this year?
Dominique: At home with the kids, my dad and step mum (Karen). They are visiting from Jersey. It’s my brother’s turn to go to France to see his wife’s family, but we are doing a day all together a few days after.
Christmas presents… Last minute panic or military operation prepared?
D: It starts military, then as I’ve done so much so far in advance, I forget what I’ve got – so panic buy just in case. So everyone ends up with too much!
PJs or party outfits?
Rebecca: PJs to begin with whilst the kids open their stockings. Then a jazzy jumper or something sparkly for Christmas lunch, nothing too dressy (or too tight, to make way for the expanding belly!).
Do you have a decorating theme this year?
D: Yes. We are all about silver and white.
R: No, we’re very much in the throw-it-all-on camp. All the crafty Christmas bits old and new that the kids have made go on, along with various eclectic decs collected over the years.
Who cooks lunch and what’s on the menu?
D: Dad’s cooking a traditional turkey lunch and Karen is amazing at all the finishing touches (i.e. setting the table beautifully), so I’m planning on eating all day and playing with the kids and all of their new toys.
R: As we’re at my dad’s house he’ll cook. It will be a fairly traditional affair, although my dad is Portuguese so there’s normally a few Mediterranean twists to the meal!
What’s on the stereo?
R: Carols from King’s to start with, then a cheesy Christmas album on repeat!
Favourite Christmas film?
D: Home Alone, Santa Claus: The Movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation… there are too many!
What do you leave out for Santa?
R: A mince pie and carrots for the reindeer. Both half-eaten for authenticity and a sooty footprint made from flour.
What’s on your Christmas wish lists?
D: I find it really hard to write a list. Ideally I’d share my Net-a-Porter wish list with everyone, but my Dad would have a heart attack at the cost of the bags and shoes on there!
R: Maybe I’m getting old, but I have a lot of comfort things on my list. Sheepskin slippers, cosy PJs and a luxury candle.
Biggest Christmas indulgence?
D: Wine. Cheese. Wine. Cheese.
R: I love everything about the Christmas meal, even more so the leftovers!!
Favourite Christmas memory…
D: My dad was a doctor pre-retirement and used to do a ward round on Christmas morning to see his patients. My brother and I would go too, mainly to appease the boredom of waiting for his return to open presents. He’d dress up in Christmas clothes / a Santa hat and we would follow him around chatting to patients, nurses and family. Looking back it was such a wonderful thing for my father to do. He really cared about his patients and took the time to make their day special as they were stuck in hospital.
And finally, if you could spend Christmas anywhere, where would you go?
D: I spent Christmas in Thailand seven years ago, and before that in France with the ex in-laws and as lovely as it was, there’s no place like home. I’m 38 and still have to spend it with my dad or it’s not Christmas.
R: I’m the same – definitely no place like home! Pre-children, I once spent Christmas in Australia with Simon, it was an amazing trip of a lifetime but I missed my family terribly. Plus, on Christmas day we were in tropical Queensland, which was utterly beautiful but a full Christmas meal in 40 degrees heat and high humidity was not pleasant!!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from Jem + Bea!