Friday, 19 December 2014


'Tis the season to be jolly, so this week I thought I'd do an alcoholic 'new thing' and make my own Limoncello. I first tasted this in Italy, many years ago and after initially thinking it was far too sweet, I soon got the hang of it and now love the stuff. I hadn't realized how easy it is to make though, until I came across the recipe in my 'Kirstie's Homemade Christmas' library book.

Basically, it's lemon zest and juice, sugar, water and vodka. The lemon zest, water and sugar go into a pan and are heated until the sugar dissolves and then simmered for 15 minutes.
Whilst it is simmering, juice the lemons, then, when the 15 minutes are up, add the juice, along with the vodka, cover and leave for 1 week to infuse.
Then strain through a fine sieve or muslin cloth and decant into a pretty bottle. It apparently lasts for 6 months, but I'm not sure it will last that long around here.
I made mine this morning, so it should be ready for straining on Boxing Day - all ready for a nice little tipple after our walk maybe?

Other happies this week include:
Putting up the tree:

It's a bit of a mishmash of items the girls have made at home or school over the years and a few shop bought decorations - the girls sometimes get a new one in their stockings. We only realized this year that there are only 2 actual 'baubles' on our tree - one which was a present for L from a school friend, and one of ice-skating choristers, which we bought at Winchester Cathedral a few years ago, after we were fortunate enough to see the boys in their red surplices (not sure if this is the right word!) zooming around the rink.

Also this week:
Celebrating L's 21st birthday (a little late, as we had to wait for the end of term) with a trip to London. We started off with Afternoon Tea at The Langham:

Champagne and non-alcoholic cocktails to start, followed by a red pepper brulee amuse bouche (my bouche was very amused!), a selection of yummy veggie sandwiches and then more scones and cake than you could shake a stick at. I had tipped them off beforehand about it being L's birthday and they presented her with a birthday cupcake whilst the pianist played 'Happy Birthday'.

We then saw this in the evening:

It was brilliant - what you initially thought was quite a basic set turned out to be quite spectacular and the acting was excellent.

Walking to the theatre, we passed a bit of  Banksy graffiti. I normally hate graffiti with a passion but this little rat was rather sweet. The council had tried to protect it by covering the wall in perspex. Unfortunately, they hadn't sealed it at the top and rain water is now seeping down the gap and damaging the paintwork!

Doing a festive jigsaw puzzle or 2. We had Lucy's boyfriend, J, staying with us this week. It turns out that he is VERY good at puzzles. What I thought would take a few days in the run up to Christmas, he managed to complete in about an hour!

Getting my hooked picture framed. Now I just need to find a suitable place to hang it:

Finally, a trip into Winchester to visit the Christmas market:

We had hoped to go ice-skating but it had rained overnight and the rink had enormous puddles on the surface. People who fell over were getting soaked, so, sadly, we decided to give it a miss this year.

Anyway, that's all for this week. I'm hoping to fit in my last 'new thing' before the 28th. I have a feeling that it may be another alcoholic one!
In the meantime have a truly wonderful Christmas week. Toodle Pip for now. x


  1. Hello, your scrummy drink looks wonderful as does your hooked wall picture-very pretty indeed.
    I loved the book so glad you enjoyed the play-oooh and fabulous eats too, a very special treat to mark the occasion.
    I too have a tree with mixed collections, they are so much more special.
    Enjoy the run up to Christmas

  2. Oh my, afternoon tea looks sensational. I've never been for a smart afternoon tea, but I'm very obsessed with it, I'm sure it would be my absolute favourite meal. And I love that the sandwiches were veggie. I'm making a note of the Langham. Just in case, you know. The hooked picture is gorgeous. And I like the puzzle. You've reminded me that I bought one a while back that we never finished. Perfect for these cold winter days, I shall dig it out. Wishing you a good weekend. CJ xx

  3. It looks just so lovely where you are! I love the sound of that drink and the market looks just fantastic!!! Your happies and festivities put me in the spirit! So wonderful to have connected and I look forward to journeying along with you! Nicole xo

  4. A very festive post! I'll have to try making limoncello some time, as it looks good. The afternoon tea must've been heaven - what a lovely birthday treat! Your picture looks fantastic, and so neat. It's a shame that you couldn't skate in Winchester. We know Winchester well and my family (I'm a spectator - far too slippery for me) have ice-skated there a few times. The setting next to the cathedral is gorgeous. Looks like you have fitted lots of happy things into the run up to Christmas :)
    Cathy x

  5. Gosh you've been busy! I love the sound of homemade limocello.
    Thank looks like one delicious afternoon tea ;o)
    Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful and joyous Christmas~time!
    love Jooles x x x