Archive for the ‘Traditions’ Category


My next wine tasting is coming up in a few weeks on March 17th from 5 – 7PM and spaces are booking up fast – sign up now to reserve your space! If you haven’t come to a tasting before, they are hosted out of my home in Battersea (right near the park). You will be welcomed with a glass of sparkling (or perhaps mulled cider to be on theme) and invited to sit down by the fire.

We will be tasting some lovely wines paired with Irish specialties like salt beef (aka corned beef), strong cheddar cheese and some sort of lovely potato dish – because you can’t have an Irish party without potatoes! We will finish off with my two favourite Irish spirits: Hennessy and Baileys. Before you say it, I know that Hennessy isn’t Irish but its Irish to me! If you come to the tasting, I will tell you why. For those of you that love a good sing-a-long, we’ll have some catchy Irish pub songs playing in the background during the evening (guitars, aspiring singers and musicians are welcome!).

Future dates are posted as well and sign ups are welcome. Get in touch if you have any ideas or suggestions – they are welcomed and appreciated.



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What better time to get up to speed on what wines you like, love and covet than when you are preparing for upcoming festivities with family and friends? There are a million ways to start brushing up on your skills: Head to your local supermarket/wine shop and ask lots of questions (many times they will have tastings available while you browse – just ask), Attend a tasting (lots of places offer tastings – speciality shops, wine shops, liquor stores, etc. Keep your eyes peeled), Talk to your friends (many people have a favorite bottle of wine that they use as their ‘go to’ tipple for any celebration. Ask people you know for suggestions and you may just discover a new gem!).
For my part, I will be hosting, attending and conversing about all things wine in the next two months (have a look at what I’m up to here and sign up if you’re interested). As always, if you want to swap ideas – pull up a chair and let’s chat.

Essentials for any successful holiday: 
Brandy – my favourite is Hennessy VSOP. Top it with a bit of ginger ale for a spritzy buzz or some spicy eggnog for a classic holiday treat
Sparkling wine – the holiday favourite in my household is Prosecco because of its light body, balanced flavour and general yummy-ness (plus it can be enjoyed at any time of day…)
Good, full bodied red wine – this is the absolute must have. I love picking a few favourites each year to share with my family. I am still in the discovery phase for this year’s celebrations and will be using my upcoming tastings to explore a few pre-selected Malbecs, Petit Syrahs, Bordeauxs and Tannats. Stay tuned…

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I have just returned from a whirlwind 3 weeks abroad: 1 week in Burgundy, 1 week in Fontainebleau and 4 days in Tel Aviv/Jerusalem. I rode a bike through Premier Cru vines in Pommard, ate grapes off the recently harvested vines in Volnay and celebrated my birthday in a gorgeous restaurant in Puligny filled with my Aussie friends and run by a Burgundian chef and his Belgian wife. I graduated from my marketing certification program at INSEAD and celebrated with 40 new friends and colleagues, leaving campus with a branded French beret to boot.
I touched the stone slab that Jesus Christ was prepared for burial, saw the empty tomb where He was buried and walked in His footsteps through Jerusalem. I prayed at the Wailing Wall and watched a class of Israeli Army graduates celebrate with their families. I dove in to Israeli wine, trying many stunning varieties, and experienced the exquisite delight of Israeli hummus. I floated in the Dead Sea, dunked my head (don’t do it…) in the mineral baths and rocked it out with 80 of my colleagues from across Europe at a nightclub in Tel Aviv. I arrived back in London yesterday, went in to the office to say goodbye to a lovely colleague who is shortly getting on a plane to move to Sydney. I am taking over his responsibilities for the UK market and took this last opportunity to glean all I could from his experience – while passing on my favourite things for him to go, see, do in Sydney (and living vicariously through him). Coming back to my flat in London last night was a surreal experience. I feel a bit lost and deflated yet full of energy. London is colder and more gray than when I left but the trees are changing colours and my flat is taking on a cosy and comfortable feel. I am happy to be back but have a sense of anxiety about what’s next, perhaps because of the crazy sequence of experiences that I have just come away from. I suppose the best thing to do is what’s most natural to me: just dive in, roll with the punches and figure it out as I go…

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Let me take a moment to be sporty….

We just won the Carling cup!  Whoop whoop!!
My favorite thing about this team? ‘You’ll never walk alone’


What to drink during a final cup game? 


= yum

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Gorgeous recipe from Borough wines! Perfect for Saturday night IN!

Love Kristen

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Ahh the infamous work Christmas party…
Always brings about a bit of dread. Should I or should I not have a drink. Well…come on – you are out with your workmates on a weekday with free booze. What else are you going to do but have a few bevvies? It would be rude not to. But then again…there is always the risk of having a Bridget Jones moment on the Karaoke machine…or the dance floor. Alas, throwing caution to the wine…ahem wind, I had attended our work Christmas party last week and did just that – Bridge Jones moment times 3. You be the judge as to whether I have completely screwed my chances of superstardom….

Number of times fallen: 4
Number of full on, on your bum, splayed out on the hard ground, in front of many people who all gasp in horror/embarrassment for you, falls: 2
Alcohol of choice: white wine in small plastic cups
Shoes worn: Ted Baker black peep toe heels (more like skyscrapers actually – they are readily worn in the North of England with short skirts and rarely a jacket in sight)
Locations of falls:
1. While getting IN to the taxi (should have gone home at this stage…). Wine consumed at this stage: 1 glass red, 1 glass mulled wine
2. While walking up the stairs to put my coat in the coat check (yes, you CAN fall UP stairs…). Wine consumed at this stage: no additional…
3. While walking down the stairs from the dance floor (understandable given fake snow on the ground, making it very slippery). Wine consumed at this stage: + 2 glasses white wine
4. While walking down the single step from the bar onto the dance floor (this was the most embarrassing…full on fall into a group of people dancing..and late enough in the night to cause concern around my level of drunkenness. Dare to say very few people thought it was due to my sky high heels…Needless to say, my glass of white wine did NOT remain in tact and instead completely drenched the front of my dress. I quickly and awkwardly got up with the help of an actor dressed as an elf (yes, my company is a bit crazy) and stood in the corner of the room until my embarrassment subsided…

To just cement the whole question as to whether or not it was just the wine, the heels or my bone-crunching clumsiness, I woke up the next morning a bit worse for the wear but functioning. I got myself ready and grabbed the 3x bottles of Cava I bought for my team as a Chrissy pressie. Even though my arms were full I needed a coffee…obviously. So, coffee in hand, box of wine and purse + Mac Air laptop, I walked the remaining 3x blocks into work. A few minutes later I was on the ground. Yet again – I fell:

5. While walking to work, hands full of Cava, Purse and Coffee. Amazingly, nothing spilt or broke. In fact, this blunder was the most graceful fall I think many people would have seen…ever. I slipped with my left boot – slid really – and landed with my legs in a Z shape on the ground. An old man considered whether to help me up (this is the middle of London and I looked rather an expert at falling at this stage so I understand his trepidation) and eventually asked whether I was OK. “Oh yes, just having one of those days” and then I finished the remaining blocks to work. Unscathed thankfully.

Moral of the story?
– White wine IS the best party drink
– High heels should be left at home for work parties
– If you do fall, just blame it on the heels and grab another glass of wine…
– If you fall with coffee in your hands, you are either still drunk or just a complete klutz.

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