Party Planner
Dec 15, 2014

How to: Host a traditional English Christmas

By: Lauren McPhillips

How to: Host a traditional English Christmas Author: Style At Home

Party Planner
Dec 15, 2014

How to: Host a traditional English Christmas

By: Lauren McPhillips
England has a rich history full of traditions, and the holiday season brings out the best of those centuries-old customs. From plum pudding to mulled wine and Christmas crackers, the Brits have it down when it comes to holiday entertaining. Though many of their traditions were brought to Canada with the settlers, there are a few iconic customs that haven’t yet made their way into mainstream seasonal celebrations on this side of the pond just yet.

Take a few cues from the British this holiday season and host a traditional English Christmas dinner that Dickens himself would want to sit down to.

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How to: Host a traditional English Christmas

Christmas tea

Everyone knows that the English love their tea, and the holidays are the perfect time to break out your favourite Christmas blends. Serve up an after-dinner brew in a Spode tea set – the classic Christmas Tree print was first introduced by the Stoke-on-Trent pottery company in 1938 and has been a British holiday icon ever since. Spode Christmas Tree cup and saucer, William Ashley, $30 for the pair.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: William Ashley Credits: Style at Home

How to: Host a traditional English Christmas

Christmas pudding

It’s simply not Christmas in the UK without the classic Christmas pudding to finish off a festive feast. Its origins date back to medieval England, and the dense pudding is filled with raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Treat guests to this rich and fruity British dessert, topping it off with brown sugar sauce or creamy custard. Plum pudding with sauce, Hudson’s Bay, $11.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: Hudson's Bay Credits: Style at Home

How to: Host a traditional English Christmas

Yorkshire puddings

A British Christmas dinner is not unlike a Canadian festive feast – turkey or roast, stuffing, all the trimmings – but no English meal is complete without Yorkshire puddings. Dating back to the 18th century, Yorkshire puddings are light, fluffy hollow rolls best served smothered in gravy. Get the recipe: Yorkshire pudding

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: Maya Visnyei Credits: Style at Home

How to: Host a traditional English Christmas

Tartan dishes

As a nod to their neighbours to the north, the English adopted classic tartan as a traditional pattern for their holiday table linens and china. Welcome guests to dinner with a very merry table setting of gold-rimmed tartan plates. Tartan dinner plates, Williams-Sonoma, $86 per set of four.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: Williams-Sonoma Credits: Style at Home

How to: Host a traditional English Christmas

Nutcracker

Through the nutcracker itself comes from Germany, it’s the perfect tool to crack open the walnuts that Brits love to munch on throughout the holiday season. This two-foot woodland nutcracker would look perfectly festive on any Christmas tabletop – just add a few bowls of walnuts for guests to snack on between meals. Woodland nutcracker, Neiman Marcus, $170.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: Neiman Marcus Credits: Style at Home

How to: Host a traditional English Christmas

Christmas crackers

Christmas crackers have adorned festive British tabletops since the 19th century, earning themselves a spot on the holiday host’s must-have list. Place one cracker on each guest’s place setting, then wait for the ‘crack’ as miniature gifts stumble out with each pull. Don’t forget the paper crown – it’s an English tradition! Lord and Taylor Merry Christmas crackers, Hudson's Bay, $13 for twelve.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: Hudson's Bay Credits: Style at Home

How to: Host a traditional English Christmas

Mulled wine

Greet guests as they arrive with a spicy blend of mulled wine, sure to warm their hearts and put them in the festive spirit. For a traditional English treat, fill this spice ball with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon and steep in hot wine and sugar. Mulling spice ball, Williams-Sonoma, $21.

By: Lauren McPhillips Source: Williams-Sonoma Credits: Style at Home
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How to: Host a traditional English Christmas