Christmas is coming
Switch your festive Christmas mood on and enjoy your nights out. As our diaries start to fill up and we get more excited about what’s coming our way, whether it’s mulled wine or sticky toffee pudding (or both). Make sure you have a plan in place to avoid any post festivities regrets, because we all know the holiday season brings mountains of food and drink!
Get party ready
Take your time getting ready before going out. Pamper yourself and you will feel better for it the entire evening! Even if you’re not going to a masked ball, putting on a mask before the dinner party can have huge and instant results on your skin.
Our favourite pre-event mask is the Biomagic Mask. Thanks to its pore cleansing, lifting and toning effect, this mask will make your skin looks younger, unified and brighter. Indispensable to make you glow on special occasions.
For more information, see my ‘go-out’ routine here.
Healthy and Clean Christmas
“Remember that everything devoured during December will show on your skin…“
Kamilla Schaffner, clinical nutritionist, has shared with us some great nutritional tips.
- Plan ahead
Look at your festive calendar this month and carefully map out the indulgent outings: if you know where you are going, then decide in advance whether it is worth having a that great dessert it is known for or an extra glass or two of good wine instead. I call this smart calorie counting – don’t spend it all at once! Think what is worth ‘splurging out’ on this season, nutritionally speaking. If you haven’t been there before then when you arrive scroll over the whole menu including dessert and drinks list: this gives you a ‘full visibility’ of options and will help you decide which course is worth spending your calorie allowance on. This helps tremendously in cutting potentially dangerous corners like the Dessert Menu: if you make strategic nutritional choices, then you might not need a dessert at the end of the meal.
- Choose wisely
Ok, we are at the table and you just want to dive in! Hold your horses! Smart swaps are the name of the game when it comes to traditional Christmas lunches or dinners. Of course, we all expect a massive traditional roast, but you will be surprised that once you know how to navigate it correctly you are in no danger of seeing extra pounds the following day. So instead of a pile of roast potatoes go for other roast vegetables: carrots, parsnips, brussel sprouts (the next superfood in 2017) or courgettes, which are all full of incredible fibre, beta-carotene, Vitamin C and K. If you have a full plate of these amazing roasted veggies alongside your turkey, then hopefully there will not be a need (or place) for anything else.
- Keep quantities in check
So, we all know that portion control is not an option during the holidays, and a ‘food coma’ is something we all almost expect after a good festive meal with our family and friends. However, try your best to avoid reaching that point – sleepiness and lethargy after a big meal indicates that the body is overwhelmed with the amount of food to be digested, which, sorry to break bad news, unfortunately will not be digested to some extend (hello, easy weight gain). If you are planning to repeat these food comas 2 or 3 times this month than it can seriously damage your digestive system, particularly the pancreas – an organ responsible for your body correcting insulin secretions which can offset all sorts of metabolic issues. So, try to be careful and do stop when you feel the button of your jeans or zipper of your top slowly digging into your tummy.
- Learn to say ‘NO’ to pre and post-meal snacks
Finally, I always say to my patients that the most important thing to look out for during the festive season is not a big dinner itself – it is the extras that come before and after it! You don’t need to eat half of your body weight in canapes pre-dinner party. Most often it is the surest way to ingest excess fat, carbs and sugar (plus all those drinks constantly being topped up) before you even sit down to eat! So, exercise a tiny bit of will power and say a flat ‘NO’ to all greasy canapes, sugared nuts, bowls of crisps and cocktails sausages that are always offered. The same goes for after dinner: say ‘NO’ to endless chocolates, biscuits and alcohol proof digestive drinks that are just sugar and fat on steroids. Once January is here, you won’t even remember them, but the flab and cellulite will continue being your annoying reminders of nutritionally incorrect festivities!
The coolest venues and events for December
Coppa Club’s Igloos
If you are looking for a quirky and fun venue with the London skyline at sight, look no longer. These Scandinavian-styled igloos are rather unexpected by the River Thames, yet they offer a cosy setting to make your night out a true Christmas experience. You could find yourself looking for Santa’s reindeers… but the igloos are fully-heated and sheepskin blankets will keep you warm so you can enjoy your festive cocktail without turning into ice.
3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, London EC3R.
Winter at Dalloway Terrace
Bloomsbury’s Dalloway Terrace has been transformed into a replica of the enchanting Narnia forest by florist Nikki Tibbles. If you would like to enjoy a hot chocolate cocktail, designed by chocolatier Maison Pierre Marcolini, under frosty flowers, this venue is for you. If the cocktails happen not to keep you warm, the large outdoors heaters and hot water bottles should. Meaning you can chill without the chill!
16-22 Great Russell Street, Fitzrovia, London WC1B 3NN
The Roof Gardens
You may have already spent most of your evenings sipping champagne at the gardens last summer, but this celebrity spot is a great option for Christmas. If you have never been, its three-themed gardens will win you over. After a drink with a view on the rooftop and a festive meal at the restaurant, hit the dancefloor to prolong the night. These Gardens have your Christmas party all wrapped up…
99 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 5SA.
Belmond British Pullman
This luxury train experience is guaranteed to make you step back in time to the glamorous 1920s. Take a ride on board of the beautiful art deco carriages and enjoy a gastronomic five-course lunch with entertainment. From London Victoria Station, you will be transported to a world of pure indulgence across the British countryside. Whether for a Christmas feast or New Year’s Eve party, this wonderful journey promises a day to remember.
Victoria Street, SW1E 5ND.
Rooftop Winter Cinema
For a romantic and indulgent evening out with your other half, think cinema under the stars. From a private chalet-inspired cabin, watch one of the two Christmas classics – ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ or ‘Santa Claus: The Movie’ – on the big screen, whilst snuggling up in a warm blanked with homemade hot chocolate, mulled wine and mince pies (or a glass of fizz). With only eight seats, you will feel right at home on Berkeley’s rooftop garden terrace.
The Berkeley, Wilton Road, SW1X; until 26 December.