I have held off mentioning decking the halls and houses for the festive season until now, but last week the Country Christmas shop at Blackthorpe Barn opened for business (until 22 December). I felt the need to go there to get into the mood for celebrating winter festivals. As ever there were spruces, firs and other conifers, winking tree lights, tables groaning with glittering ornaments, walls festooned with tinsel, wreaths and garlands to suit every possible colour way and style. I didn’t buy a Christmas tree on this visit, but there is still time!
My friend, Ruth Bolton, The Little House of Cooking, is back at Blackthorpe Barn after a five-year break.
I have taste-tested many of the delicious homemade cakes and bakes of scones, savoury and sweet pastries. Hot food includes wholesome soups and the inimitable Suffolk bacon bap, Ruth will be updating her daily menu during the event on Twitter (@littlecookhouse).
Blackthorpe Barn is a regular destination for me at weekends from 14 November through to the weekend of 13 December for the Christmas Craft Weekends. Wonderful opportunities for presents for friends and self!
My book, The Christmas Tree (available here), outlines the history of this evergreen and its journey from the forest into our homes in midwinter.