The Christmas Feast

This year my family, from near and far, are coming together to unwind and celebrate Christmas in Margaret River. To ensure a harmonious running of the day, we have divvied up the Chrissy Day antics – depending on who had been naughty or nice. I have been dealt the auspicious tasks of making pre-luncheon-party-starter cocktails, table setting and tunes. It seems like I have won the ‘jobs lottery’.


My Dad always told me that a ‘party-starter’ was the perfect way to kick-off a great night, he endorsed the Manhattan as his welcome drink of choice, sufficiently glamourous and alcoholic enough to grease the social wheels. He is practically tea-total these days, but the message is still solid. Although, I’m thinking a family luncheon starting with such a potent lubricant could end badly (insert your personal family alcohol filled antics) – eeek!

So, I have decided to call on the professionals I have in my life to help solve the conundrum.
When it comes to cocktails, the team at Strange Company are my experts of choice. After a consultation, we decided that a spritz would make the ideal choice – introducing ‘The Spritzmas’. With the glassware dressed in their ‘party best’ aka garnished, this aperitif is sure to offer a stylish and refreshing start to our lunch in the sun.

I’ve never been to this particular ‘home away from home’, so preparation is a challenge. All of those ‘OCD party organiser’ type of questions around crockery, décor, table style etc. remain unanswered. So, I have thrown caution to the wind and decided not to worry about it (too much), which is much easier than the alternative. Currently I am planning to delve into the archives and channel a shoot we did for a Christmas past – think ‘foliage’.

The team at Floral Army are putting together a bundle of fabulous bits and pieces for me including a collection of spruce and holy mixed in with a little native action, simply add in floral wire and a few blooms, and you’ve got Christmas décor a-la Detail. Stay tuned for a social media update on how that plan plays out.

Now for the tunes… earlier we put together a play list of all the Christmas songs we love to hate, as well as those we just love – like Tim Minchin’s ‘White Wine in the Sun’. So, we will kick the day off in the festive spirit and then quickly move along to something less irritating. But if Dad’s party starter, the copious amounts of champagne and our Christmas spirit have anything to do with it – I suspect we will all be singing into the evening before heading to the beach for a late-night dip.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and we will see you in the New Year.


Fruity and fresh with some nice bitter notes to finish.

Built in a wine glass.
Start with 30ml of Poor Toms Strawberry Gin, add in 15ml of Strange Company’s patented Mandarin Shrub (made with mandarins, mandarin peel, apple cider vinegar and sugar), fill the glass with ice cubes, and top up with a nice Cava.
Garnish with a mandarin segment and voilà – some Christmas cheer!

Word: Claire McGowan

Imagery: Claire McGowan