TEAM ZOELLA NOVEMBER 30, 2019

Christmas In London: 6 Of The Most Festive Spots In The City

London really comes into its own at Christmas time. From the magical shop fronts to the bustling streets, every corner is decked out with lights and decorations as it transforms into a Winter wonderland for the holiday season.

Between eating Bratwurst and sippin’ on glühwein at the markets, the festive displays are a must-see if you’re in the city over Christmas.

We’ve rounded up our favourite locations so you’ll know exactly where to head to see London at its most sparkly.

Somerset House

One of London’s most magnificent ice rinks transforms into a festival of light and Winter wonder. Complete with a stunning 40ft Christmas tree decorated with mini Fortnum & Mason hampers, it’s a must-see in December.

Enjoy a steaming Bailey’s hot chocolate while you take in the dazzling icy scenes or slink off to do some seasonal shopping in Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade, surrounded by the beauty of Somerset House in all its festive glad rags.

Where to find it: Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

Leadenhall Market

With its 20ft Christmas tree, ornate painted ceiling and charming Victorian passageways, it’ll make you feel like you’ve stumbled into the magical world of Harry Potter.

Christmas returns to the cobbled streets of Leadenhall Market. Originally a meat, poultry and game market, it’s now home to a number of boutique retailers, cafes and award-winning pubs.

In fact, you might recognise it as it featured as an entrance to Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Hagrid and Harry walk through the market and enter the Leaky Cauldron Pub through a blue door.

Have a mooch around the picturesque pathways, enjoy a glass of mulled wine and get in the festive spirit at one of London’s most historic hidden gems.

Where to find it: Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch St, Langbourn, London, EC3V 1LT

Covent Garden

Ambling around Covent Garden at Christmas is like stepping back in time. Once home to a world-famous fruit and veg stall, the Apple Market is filled with crafts, speciality shops, handmade jewellery and mementos. Marvel at London’s biggest hand-picked Christmas tree festooned with 30,000 lights and make your way across the cobbled piazza to enjoy some 115,000 lights illuminating the main square. It’s a sight to behold.

Where to find it: The Apple Market, Covent Garden, WC2E 8RD

Natural History Museum

No trip to London is complete without feasting your eyes on the wintry scenes at the Natural History Museum. Set against the beautiful backdrop of the iconic South Kensington Museum and dripping in fairy lights, it is one of the most magical places to be this Winter.  

Ice skate around the giant Christmas tree and soak up the Christmassy atmosphere with your friends and family, right in the heart of London. It’ll put you in the holiday spirit in no time!

Where to find it: The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

Annabel’s

Dubbed one of the most elegant clubs in the world, Annebel’s is a legendary members-only hangout right in the heart of Mayfair.

You’ve probably spotted the ladies powder room popping up all over Instagram, with its pink onyx basins carved into oyster shells, gilded swan taps and peony-adorned ceiling – we’d gladly eat our dinner in the loo.

We could talk about its gilt-trim, maximalist interiors and iconic bathroom décor forever  but it’s the beautiful exterior splendour of this Grade-I listed mansion that steals the limelight at this time of year.

Rather than following suit with a traditional red and green fir tree, this year Annabel’s have gone all out extra with an elaborate, white 42ft faux Christmas tree dusted with snow and dressed with gold baubles. Insta-bait at its best and we LOVE it.

Where to find it: 46 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1J 5AT

Cartier

Dressed to the nines and wrapped up in a red bow stretching across the entire building, Cartier always goes all out with its Christmas window. Located in the heart of London’s Mayfair, you won’t be able to resist walking by without getting a snap of its show-stopping display.

Where to find it: 175-177, New Bond St, Mayfair, London, W1S 4RN

Isn’t Christmas in London just charming? Let us know your favourite festive spots in the city below!   

TEAM ZOELLA NOVEMBER 29, 2019

The Best Christmas Jumpers for 2019

It's not Christmas until we're all clad in novelty knitwear and eating Twiglets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Amen.

This year, there’s some absolute corkers out there. From reindeer embellished jumpers, festive Fair Isle sweaters and sequin candy canes, please be upstanding for the best Christmas jumpers 2019 has to offer.

TEAM ZOELLA NOVEMBER 28, 2019

The Crappy Christmas Films You NEED To Watch

Amongst Home Alone, Elf and the rest of the crème de la crème, we have the Christmas films that are so bad, they're actually good.

So what if they can’t compete with the perennial Yuletide staples like Love Actually? Let us celebrate all the tip top happy and crappy Christmas movies out there anyway.

With their predictable and far-fetched storylines and corny characters, these are the best of the worst Christmas movies we can’t stop watching.

For your guilty pleasure viewing only

What’s your favourite crappy Christmas movie?

TEAM ZOELLA NOVEMBER 28, 2019

We Tried: ALL the Christmas Sandwiches So You Don’t Have To

The John Lewis ad has been unveiled, Wizzard's on the radio again and most importantly the cranberry smothered sandwiches are giving our mundane lunches life once more. Huzzah! Screw you miso soup, screw you.

We made it our mission to devour the best turkey-laden baguettes and veggie festive offerings of the land, identifying the moist-makers from the barely-even-buttered Christmas sarnies so you don’t have to. Because that’s the kinda teammates we are.

Let us compare filling vs bread ratios forevermore thank you, please. Slap Christmas nibbles in and around our mouths until we smell more like pigs in blankets than pigs in blankets smell like pigs in blankets. Say pigs in blankets one more time.

Find out which Christmas sandwiches, toasties, subs and festive variants made it into our top 10 and prepare to salivate.

Pret: Veggie Christmas Lunch
£3.75
Score: 5/5

In short, dear reader: it deserves cult status.

Sainsbury’s: Turkey Feast With Sage And Onion Stuffing
£2.40
Score: 3.5/5

A textbook festive feast with generous chunks of turkey. What’s not to love?

Pret: Christmas Lunch
£3.95
Score: 4/5

One for the traditionalists. Layers of free-range turkey, complemented by just the right amount of port & orange cranberry sauce, herby stuffing and spinach. A solid stalwart sandwich, sir.

Sainsbury’s: The Christmas Market sandwich
£3
Score: 4.5/5

Gherkins in a Christmas sandwich, now that is WILD. Dubious though we were, it was a risk worth taking. Not a classic festive snack as we know it but top marks for originality and taste. Bravo, Sainsbury’s you win the award for best newcomer. Be proud.

Pret: Lobster Roll
£5.99
Score: 3.6/5

Those crustaceans are a spenny bunch, eh? Not the most festive of flavours but if you like your prawn posh and your fish fancy, this is your kinda luncheon.

Tesco: Turkey Trimmings Sage And Onion Stuffing
£2.50
Score: 4/5

If meat is what you came for, then you’ve lucked out on this triumphant trio of turkey, sausage and smoky bacon.

Pret: Brie Pistachio Cranberry Baguette
£3.50
Score: 3.5/5

A handful of peppery rocket cuts through the creaminess of rich brie and cranberry sauce. Topped with a toasted pistachio crumb – unfamiliar territory as Christmas sarnies go but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Pret.

Starbucks: Turkey Festive Feast Panini
£4.25
Score: 5/5

Sandwich sceptics, here’s one for you. Pulled turkey, hickory smoked bacon, Emmental cheese, chestnut stuffing and cranberry chutney spread over a rustic panini. It’s basically like poetry on the tongue.

Pret: Christmas Baguette
£3.99
Score: 3.7/5

Everything you’d want from a Christmas sandwich, wrapped up in baguette form. Herby, crunchy, moist – expect an explosion of festive euphoria as soon as it hits your lips. Merry Christmas indeed, you filthy animals.

Nero: Vegan Christmas Dinner Ciabatta
£4.55
Score: 3.6/5

2019 is the year plant-based Christmas sandwiches upped their game. Hand-stretched ciabatta, check. Butternut squash, check. Lashings of cranberry sauce, check. Our resident vegan digs it!

M&S: Made Without Wheat Turkey Feast
£3.50
Score: 4.5/5

This is not a drill: we found a moist gluten-free sandwich. Need we say more? The festive fomo is over, guys.

M&S: Brie And Grape Sandwich
£3.00
Score: 3.8/5

Grapes in a sarnie sounds pretty exotic but we can confirm it’s jammy and surprisingly good. We were shooketh.

Costa: Pigs & Blankets Mac & Cheese
£3.95
Score: 3.7/5

Ok, so by definition it’s not a sandwich (doh, technicality) but when you take a holiday staple like pigs in blankets and tuck them under a creamy sleeping bag of mac and cheese, it’s going to change the game. They knew what they were doing. Would have again. And again. And again.

Costa: British Turkey & Trimmings Toastie
£3.95
Score: 4.2/5

A perfectly crispy indulgent toasty loaded with cheese and all the Christmassy trimmings. You’re hired.

How many festive sandwiches have you tried and what’s your fave?

TEAM ZOELLA NOVEMBER 27, 2019

Keeping Skin Moisturised This Season

It’s no secret that we’re big on skincare here at Zoella HQ and as meticulous beauty junkies, we’re constantly on the hunt for products that’ll give us the glow factor come rain or shine.

As we move into the new season, our skin can feel sensitive, dry, dehydrated and seriously lacklustre due to environmental changes and central heating. Whilst we habitually adapt our wardrobes with cable knit sweaters and winter coats, our skin and haircare routines often go unchanged when they too should benefit from a seasonal switch up.

It’s time to bid adieu to those lightweight oil-free Summer staples and make way for hardworking formulas that’ll promise to keep your skin happy right through to the festive period. We won’t rest until we have perfectly blushed and dewy cheeks to rival the merry man Santa himself.

From rich moisturisers, creamy cleansers and enriching body lotions – get ready to weather proof your pores with these Autumn beauty heroes!

1. Opt for a heavier moisturiser

It may seem obvious but upgrading your lightweight moisturiser for a seriously hydrating cream instead can work wonders for dry skin on both your face and body. Look for non-comedogenic products that contain ceramides for repairing the skin’s moisture barrier which is easily broken down in the Winter months.

2. Layer up right

Apply your face products from the thinnest consistency to the thickest. Start with your serums, then go in with your face oils and finish with creams and SPF. SPF should always be applied last in your skincare routine and before makeup.

3. Give it time to absorb

If you’re layering up several face products, allow enough time between applications for each product to absorb and work effectively. Patience is a virtue!

4. Apply in gentle upward sweeps

Apply your face and body moisturiser in upward strokes to help with circulation and lymphatic drainage.

5. Don’t forget your neck!

Along with your hands, your décolletage is one of the quickest areas to age. Taking the products you use on your face down your neck and chest will ensure you’re keeping your skin supple and hydrated.

6. Be gentle

Use your fingertips to apply your face moisturiser, taking particular care around the delicate eye area to prevent tugging. Use your ring finger to gently tap product in a figure of eight around your orbit bone.

7. Check your ingredients

It might not be necessary to completely overhaul your moisturising routine for Winter but tweaking some products will help keep your skin happy. Look for humectants such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin – these are ingredients that hydrate the skin by attracting water like a magnet.

8. Stick to gentle exfoliation

Without light exfoliation, skin will stay dry and dull no matter how many creams and oils you apply. Opt for a product with a gentle glycolic to buff away dead skin cells once a week to allow better penetration of your moisturiser.

TEAM ZOELLA NOVEMBER 26, 2019

13 Questions with Livia’s

Today's guest post is from Olivia Wollenberg, the entrepreneur behind Livia's, a brand producing delicious free-from tasty treats available in supermarkets across the country. She's taking over our Instagram today and filling us in on what life is like behind the scenes at Livia's.

What was one of your first amazing recipes?

Our original peanut butter millionaire slab! It inspired our Million Squares product range which we now sell in 3 yummy flavours.

Has food always been a passion of yours?

I’ve always had a sweet tooth and been interested in trying new things but I never thought I would end up working in the food industry.

What is a real pinch me moment in your career?

Seeing my products in supermarkets and spotting them when I’m doing food shopping! The excitement never gets old!

Where do you find inspiration for your products?

I honestly dream them up in my head!

How did you start your business?

I started by developing recipes in my parent’s kitchen and then got my first listing in Selfridge’s. I now have a team of 12 and 3 product ranges sold in major UK retailers such as Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Boots and more.

Did you always want to set up your own business?

Not at all. Until 2013 I had been studying Neuroscience at UCL and had completed a masters in Paediatric Neuropsychology. I was on route to pursue a career in academia but realised in the last few months of studying that it wasn’t as well suited to me as I first thought. I was then diagnosed with severe food intolerances and spotting that there was a gap in the market for really yummy desserts and treats made me think about starting my own business. I was passionate about neuroscience but I’m also hugely passionate about what I’m doing now and I love it.

What is the best thing about owning your own business?

When I can see that what I am doing is having a positive impact on others. I get so much satisfaction from seeing my team develop and grow and from seeing all our customers loving our products. The pride I feel when I am tagged in posts is so immense.

What’s been the hardest part of your career so far?

Not being able to switch off and recruiting the right people who believe in the same mission.

How do you stay motivated when you’re the one in charge?

I remind myself of the vision and keep going.

What advice would you give to somebody wanting to start their own business?

Don’t pretend to be an expert in everything, hire people who can do things better than you can. Delegation is the key to a successful business.

Do you have any role models?

My mum! I would never be where I am now without her endless support.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

Avocado pesto pasta. We have it every Friday in the office for team lunch.

What are you having for Christmas dinner?

Everything! Canapes, soup, nut roast, two different types of roast potatoes, tonnes of different roasted vegetables, gravy, and the most indulgent show stopper dessert.

TEAM ZOELLA NOVEMBER 25, 2019

Our Top Tips For Black Friday Weekend

The yearly fear of missing out on a cracking Black Friday deal has probably already set in, your inbox is on its way to being completely flooded, you’ve made a list and checked it twice but it’s currently hurtling out the window...

Black Friday fear be gone, we’ve compiled a handy list of tips to help keep your head screwed on, as well as a list of deals we think are worth taking a look at! We’ll be updating our list of the best Black Friday deals all week so check back daily for an updates.

Lists Are Friends

Santa does it and so should you. Make a list of everyone you need to buy for along with a budget of how much you’d like to spend and make sure you stick to it. It’s so easy to be mesmerised by a deal and end up with more than you actually need, obviously a surplus of gifts means more for you but in the interest of only shopping for others stick to the list!

All About The Blanket

Blanket discounts are where brands take a set amount of every product on their site. This is great for the shopper as it’s usually for a short period of time and the products will go back to full price. It also means you can shop freely onsite knowing you’ll get the precious savings when you checkout.

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

A lot of brands have already started the Black Friday fun and have varying discounts every day. If there’s a brand you love that’s switching things up, make sure to check back each morning to see the day’s discount.

It’s Just Stuff!

Always remember it’s just stuff, there’s no need to get stressed and we completely feel you if not getting involved at all is your bag. As our good friend Charlie Brown once said “It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree that matters, it’s the people gathered around it.”

Best of the Black Friday Deals:

Fashion Brands

*& Other Stories

20% off sitewide with code NOIR20

*Net A Porter

30% all items in seasonal edit. Discount applied at checkout

*Mytheresa UK

All products with this link have an extra 20% applied at checkout. Discount already applied. No code

*Selfridges

Up to 20% with the code: SELFCCE

*Farfetch

30% off selected lines. Code: FFX30

*Liberty

Up to 30% off, plus 15% off beauty

*Joanie

40% off everything

*Browns Fashion 

20% with code: CYBERSPACE at checkout.

*The Outnet

Up to 80% off

*Topshop

25% off sitewide PLUS Extra 10% off with code EXTRA10

*The White Company

20% off sitewide with code GIFT20

*Mango

30% off sitewide with code BLACK19, excluding items with a *

*New Look

25% off Winter Offers

*AllSaints

30% off everything

*ASOS

Up to 70% off everything

*Boden

30% off almost everything

*Gymshark

Up to 50% off sitewide

*Missguided

Up to 75% off everything, extra 20% code BALLER

*Boohoo

30% off everything. Deals changing throughout week

*Matalan

Up to 50% off selected lines

*In The Style

50% off winter essentials, 30% off everything

*Nasty Gal

50% off everything

*French Connection

30% off all full price with code BLACKOUT

*Whistles

30% off Everything

*River Island

20% off everything when you spend £75+ with code 20OFF

*H&M

20% off everything

*John Lewis

Black Friday Event

*Arket

20% off discounted Color Week products, different discount each day

*Aspinal of London

30% of selected styles 

*Kate Spade

30% off everything + 20% off handbags with code: HANDBAGS20

Beauty Brands

*MAC Cosmetics 

20% off all makeup and skincare orders

*Elemis
30% off full sizes and selected gift sets Use code: 2019BF

*Cult Beauty

Range of discounts

*Look Fantastic

Different codes each day per region

*Charlotte Tilbury

Selected items with great discounts

*Feel Unique

Up to 35% off on over 350 brands + free beauty bags and limited time steals

Home Brands

*Soak and Sleep

25% off everything when you spend over £90 using code BF25

*La Redoute

Up to 60% off everything

*MADE

20% off selected lines + free delivery

*Amazon

Multiple offers across the site

Jewellery Brands

*Astrid and Miyu

25% off sitewide

*Astley Clarke

20% off all jewellery with code BRILLIANT + free global delivery + free extended UK, US & EU returns

*Daisy London

Sign up for early access

*Missoma

25% off sitewide with early access code: VIP25

*Monica Vinader

30% off jewellery and up to 50% off daily flash sales

US Brands

*Nordstrom

Up to 40% off selected lines

*Shopbop

Up to 50% selected lines

*Neiman Marcus

Up to 50% selected lines

*This post contains affiliate links. For more information and to read our disclosure policy, please click here.

ZOE SUGG NOVEMBER 25, 2019

Styling and Serving The Ultimate Cheeseboard

If you're looking for an easy to follow, fool proof guide to perfecting the ultimate cheeseboard, you've come to the right place! Here's how I put mine together for an evening of hosting!

Tis’ the season of the cheeseboard, falalalala, lalalalaa. To be honest, a cheeseboard goes hand in hand with any season and for some, is preferred over a dessert after a meal. I also think a cheeseboard is a sure-fire way to ensure everybody has something they can nibble on if you’re doing a last-minute get together with friends and drinks. For those of us who don’t really cook much (ahem) it is also SO incredibly easy as it requires no chef capabilities in the slightest. Here’s my little run down of how to achieve the most epic of cheeseboards. 

Cheeses

Obviously the key ingredient to any cheese board is the cheese itself. Depending on how many guests you are planning to serve the board to (and how hungry they might be), you generally want around 5-6 key cheeses minimum.  But what kind of cheeses do you need in order to tick all the cheeseboard boxes? 

Strength – You want to try and get a good selection of different strength cheeses. Some people will want something with a bit of a kick, or that’s been maturing for as old as you are, and others will want something a little lighter in taste. A blue cheese is a good default for a bit of strength and a brie is also a good milder choice (always buy more of the brie, it’s usually the cheese most people eat more of)

Textures – It’s also worth thinking about different textures of cheeses too. You should have some harder cheeses like cheddar, jarlsberg and manchego and then softer or more crumbly options like a goats cheese or camembert. 

Flavours – I also think it’s nice to add a few cheeses that have different flavours. You could add something with a bit of spice, or a touch of smoky flavouring. A hit in our household is a truffle cheese, or something with a hint of garlic! We even tried one recently with a sweet taste as it had toffee pieces in it (not sure it went down entirely well, but always fun to try!)

Origin – Sometimes it might be nice to try particular cheeses from certain countries. You could do a fully French cheese board, a Greek board, Italian or an “around the world” cheeseboard where you sample cheeses from various different countries (could even make a game out of it if you wanted, where people have to guess). A few mega cheese enthusiasts will always have a favourite country that their cheese is made and produced in, and if you are buying your cheese from a super enthusiastic cheesemonger as opposed to your local supermarket shelves, you will definitely get a better idea of which cheeses are most popular and from which countries.

My Go-To Cheeses: 

(list is for a larger gathering, cheeses in bold are musts for smaller groups): 

  • Brie (and lot’s of it)
  • A melted camembert baked in the oven
  • Stilton or gorgonzola 
  • Cambezola
  • Smoked Applewood
  • Cheddar  (Snowdonia black bomber is a fave)
  • Goats Cheese
  • Flavoured Cheese (a couple if you have a larger group) 
  • Comte 

Crackers and Biscuits

You can’t have cheese without crackers, or something which you can spread on to your heart’s content. As a child who was not really into cheese, the crackers were always my main focus. Did I feel like a more wheaty biscuit like the digestive, or was I after something much thinner with a crunch like a water biscuit? Much like the cheese, you want to have a nice little selection so people can choose what they think might complement their cheese of choice. I also like to add breadsticks and little cheesy biscuits (maybe that’s still the child in me finding those things a great pop in the mouth snack). I also think it’s quite nice to add a small thin loaf of some sort, maybe with olives or a bit of flavour. These days there are so many different crackers and biscuits on offer, beetroot, charcoal, cheese, spicy, wholemeal, herby, seedy and of course, your classic plain varieties. As long as you have a nice selection of a few of those, I think people will be super happy. 

Chutneys and Jams

Another very important aspect of any cheese board, is a nice chutney or jam of some kind. The classic is of course pickled onion chutney, but there are so many incredible flavours out there that would make anyone happy to pair with a slice of cheese on a cracker. A few favourites we add are a balsamic fig, or a sweet chilli jam. You also might want to add a bit of quince as this is known as a great accompaniment to a cheeseboard. 

Complementary Additions

Depending on who you have as guests and what you think they might be more into, here are a selection of complementary additions to any cheeseboard. It’s important to have some of these to break up the board and offer a bit of palette cleansing, or they simply just go bloomin’ well with cheese! I like to add hams and olives, which some may say make it a little more on the charcuterie side, but it’s just something that always goes down very well in our house. Along with honeycomb which is a fairly new addition to my cheeseboards but is so delicious with the softer cheeses like brie. My mum, on the other hand, likes a bit more of a crudité style and will add celery, apple, grapes and walnuts to her cheese boards. 

  • Red and white grapes (you can also freeze these so they are like little sorbets)
  • Celery
  • Walnuts
  • Honeycomb
  • Fresh Figs
  • Rosemary
  • Apple Slices
  • Olives
  • Sliced hams
  • Cornichon pickles
  • Pickled onions
  • Oil & Balsamic dip
  • Salted Butter

Arranging

Now for the fun part, putting it all together to display for your guests. Opt for a slightly larger cheeseboard than you may think, once you start adding everything else around your cheese, it tends to fill up quite quickly.  Go big or go home tends to be how I do a cheese board, and it never disappoints. 

It’s important to get any cheeses out of the fridge 1- 2 hours prior to serving as some will require being at room temperature to be at their best a little sooner than the other cheeses, so I’ll usually pop these on the cheese board first. You should also pop any baked, or cheese you want to serve melted into the oven to start heating as you start prepping the board. 

The first step is laying out the cheese! Some people like to display their cheeses in strength order, allowing people to start mild, and work their way up to the stronger cheese, which then means your palette isn’t ruined with the first taste of a strong chilli cheese, making the brie seem a bit tasteless in comparison afterwards. I tend to spread the cheeses around the board evenly (but in no particular order, I feel like most people I know are aware of the cheeses set out in front of them, so naturally navigate their way around themselves). If your guests don’t know the cheeses, it’s nice at this stage to add little tags or labels alongside a knife for each cheese. You don’t want someone who used the knife in the blue cheeses, to then slice into a brie for the next person to get a hybrid of the two. Make sure each cheese has already had a knife put into it, or already sliced open in some way, as this encourages people to get stuck in. I find sometimes if a cheese looks a bit untouched and perfect, people are less likely to cut into it. 

I then start putting the chutneys, jams and salted butter on the board, and I spoon these into small round dishes and pop individual spoons in each. Once you have your cheeses and chutneys laid out, it’s time to start on a few of the larger accompaniments like a few bunches of grapes, honeycomb, olives and hams (which I fold into little pieces so they don’t take up as much room). By this point, the board is starting to look a little more full, so I’ll add crackers in rows filling up the gaps around the board so they are nicely spread around. The key is not being able to see the board, so once you feel happy with your breadsticks, crackers and bread, it’s time to go back to the accompaniment list. I fill gaps with walnuts, pickled onions and fresh figs and then add a couple of sprigs of rosemary if I’m feeling particularly bougie. Now your board is ready to serve! Make sure you give everyone their own small side plate and a knife for spreading (you don’t want them using the cheese knives or they’ll never go back on the board for others to use), serve with a tipple and sit back and enjoy as your cheeseboard gets lovingly destroyed in the best possible way. 

TEAM ZOELLA NOVEMBER 24, 2019

Weekly Wants: Christmas Party Outfits!

Party season is upon us and in the wise and jazzy words of Duke Ellington, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that sequin. That's the original namely unheard version, ahem.

If ever there were a time to embrace your most extra self, it’s now. The more razzle dazzle drama, the better.

Whether you’re off to a work party, a black-tie soiree or heading out for festive cocktails with the girls, there’s a party piece out there for every occasion.

From killer LBDs to tailored two-pieces and disco ball frocks, here’s a round-up of the party season glad rags we’re bookmarking asap!

Shop The Post

*This post contains affiliate links. For more information and to read our disclosure policy, please click here.

TEAM ZOELLA NOVEMBER 23, 2019

Hosting Your Own Friendsgiving

If you're hosting Thanksgiving this year, you've probably got a lot on your plate. But hey, as long as you don't pull a Rachel Green and throw beef in your trifle, how wrong can it really go? Be breezy.

To help you mark the start of the holiday season and celebrate all you have to be thankful for, we’ve rounded up a few ideas to inspire your thanksgiving / friendsgiving gathering this year.

From traditional nosh, serving ideas and games, there’s only one mode you need for Thanksgiving Day and that’s feast mode.

What is Thanksgiving and why do we celebrate it?

Thanksgiving is a National holiday celebrated in America every year on the fourth Thursday in November and in Canada on the second Monday of October.

It marks the start of the holiday season and traditionally, involves tucking into a seriously good feast of turducken and all the trimmings with friends and family.

The origins of Thanksgiving Day go back to when Europeans travelled to start new lives in America. In 1621, the ‘Pilgrims’ – as they became known – dedicated a day to give thanks to God and celebrate a plentiful harvest after enduring many hardships that came with pioneering a new land.

They proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving and invited their friends both from within the colony and neighbouring Native tribes to a great feast which we now recognise as Thanksgiving dinner.

Use dried flowers and fall foliage

Adorn your table with all the textures and colours of fall by using small bouquets of dried flowers in vases, baby pumpkins and leaves to create a rustic tablescape bursting with nature.

Mix and match your tableware

Play with prints, clash colours, bring out the novelty plates. Nothing’s too kitsch or extra for a Thanksgiving table. Nothing.

Mood-lighting is a must

Use a mix of pillar candles and tapered candles to light your Thanksgiving table and create a cosy ambience. Just be mindful not to place tall candles directly in front of someone’s face – aunt Meredith’s corneas would quite like to see another Thanksgiving dinner, ya know.

Play the “I’m thankful for” guessing game

For those people who clam up at the thought of going around the table and saying what you’re grateful for, you can be excused and give thanks for this game, instead. Less on-the-spot pressure to come up with something meaningful and way more fun – it’s a win, win situation.

Get everyone to write down what they’re thankful for on strips of paper. You can go as sentimental or funny as you like. Fold them up and mix them into a hat or bowl and once everyone’s contributed, pull out the comments and guess who gave thanks for what. Keep it clean, Linda. Keep it clean.

Watch re-runs of “Friends”

Ain’t nothing to get you in the Thanksgiving spirit like Joey with his head up a turkey’s arse and Chandler’s toe/carrot on ice.

Friends blessed us with many iconic Thanksgiving episodes throughout its 10 season long run. There was The One With All The Thanksgivings, The One Where Ross Got High, The One With The Football and The One With Chandler In A Box. It’s the sit-com gift that keeps on giving so whichever season you choose to binge on in your post-feast happiness, you can guarantee it’ll be kick-you-in-the-crotch-spit-on-your-neck-fantastic.

B.Y.O

If you’re hosting the big event this year, take the pressure off by delegating dishes to friends and family. You roast the bird and your squad can bring a selection of other classic Turkey Day plates, puddings and homemade condiments to help ease the organising.

Have a game of Cards Against Humanity

The quickest way for your in-laws to find out how inappropriate you are? Yep, this is it. And talking of party games you probably shouldn’t play, Bad People’s another close to the (wish)bone option.

Make it cosy

If you’re inviting a big group over to yours, you might have a Thanksgiving conundrum of butts outnumbering chairs. We’ve all been there. Cheek to cheek, we stand with you.

Throw down some blankets down, scatter big cushions and sheepskin throws on the floor around the TV so everyone can plonk themselves in a cosy spot for a post-feast movie marathon.

Get creative

Feeling crafty? You can decorate your Thanksgiving table with these DIY wishbones. Once the clay pieces are painted and dry, place them on top of the napkins alongside the place settings for a lovely handmade gift, made to be broken. Find out how to make them here.

Make a mountain of mashed potato

Because every bird needs a carb-heavy sidekick to grace the holiday table. Make way for the MVP of the Thanksgiving table: it’s mashed potato’s time to shine. If you need some inspiration, check out our ultimate mash recipe right here.

What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions? Let us know in the comments below!

Get it while it's hot!

Sign up to receive our email, delivering the latest stories straight to your inbox.