Nestivities: the perfect festive party
We got chatting to our CEO, Christian, about the importance of Christmas spirit, his go-to drink of choice and how to host the perfect festive party…
It’s officially acceptable to start feeling festive. How do you get into the Christmas spirit?
Our Christmas is very family-oriented. It’s the time of year where I get in the kitchen. I absolutely love it; both the cooking and the odd drink of course! I'd say Christmas doesn’t feel right without a real Christmas tree and lots of decorations – a festive home makes everyone smile.
Our two children are super excited at this time of the year – they’ve already written their Christmas lists and sent them off to Lapland. My son Flynn keeps asking if Father Christmas is real (which of course he is!), and my daughter Esmé says to me ‘have I been good daddy?’ The main thing for me is making sure they have a memorable Christmas.
We’ve heard you love to host a Christmas ‘do’. What makes an unforgettable festive party?
A good mix of friends, a wide selection of drinks, plenty of ice and lots of nibbles. My mother Margaret, who I call ‘Bozza’ (because she is the boss), taught me everything about hosting a party. Create places to sit and chat as well as space for people to dance. It’s also important to remember to have fun yourself and make sure you have time to properly join the party.
For me personally, parties are all about the music. From an early age, music has played a huge role in my life. I would be lost without it; it simply gives life meaning at times. Whether happy or sad I find it astonishing how artists can put words to music with such ease. That's why having a great playlist can help make a great party.
It’s safe to say that a Christmas party is nothing without a good drink selection. What’s your festive drink of choice and why?
It would have to be Hendrick’s Gin and Fever Tree Tonic with wafer-thin cucumber slices and lots of ice. It’s just perfect, and something you can drink all year round! I am also partial to the odd pale ale. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Hitachino Nest White Ales have a fantastic taste. There is also a lot to be said for the local breweries here in Sheffield!
Food is a huge part of entertaining. What’s the best food to serve at a festive gathering?
The balance between food and drink is a delicate one. A good Yorkshire Roast with homemade Yorkshire Puddings is perfect on Christmas Day. For a pre-Christmas party, I love to do lots of different nibble plates. That way, everyone can enjoy the festivities without feeling too full. I prefer to buy locally sourced food – it tastes better and creates an excuse to go to as many Christmas markets as possible!
There’s a lot more to the festive season than food and gifts (as much as we love them!), what is it about Christmas that brings people together?
It’s a time where the word family has a really strong meaning. I was very lucky to have such a loving family growing up in Sheffield. Although I have travelled all over the world, Sheffield is the place where, for 44 years, I have always gone back to and can call ‘home’. Quite often in our busy lives, we forget to make that phone call or pay that visit; Christmas traditions have the power to keep us from losing a connection with home and our loved ones.
What’s your favourite festive memory?
Spending time with my great-grandfather, who lived until he was 99 years of age. He was a truly remarkable man and I really miss his laughter and love of life. I loved the stories he used to tell me, and the divine English Breakfasts he cooked for me. If I am half the man he was then I’m proud and hope he would be too. I raise my glass and toast to him.
Image credit: Max Hawley.
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