Food writer Skye McAlpine has had a busy few years. She published her latest book, A table for friends, launched a beautiful range of tableware and even teamed up with the Papier stationery brand on a collection of menus, place cards and recipe journals.
In 2020, Skye showed Good Housekeeping around her lovely London home to give a glimpse of how she spends her Christmases.
His house is wonderfully inspiring for lovers of colorful and assertive design. Primary color combinations and detailed wallpaper line the walls with standout pieces such as a Fornasetti refrigerator and grand piano taking center stage in the living room.
Walk through the doors and you’ll find Skye’s “pride and joy”: her collection of cookbooks. This is not a meager selection; the design of the library alone is as magnificent as the assortment of books that live there. Skye’s cookbooks are color coordinated and span a floor-to-ceiling shelf that’s painted in a gorgeous, bold shade of red.
It goes without saying that the writer’s cuisine is as magnificent as one would expect.
The copper pans extend over the wall above the stove, acting as a beautiful design choice as well as being practical, while the copper molds help complete the look. The space itself uses tones of yellow and marble countertops to create a finish that is both classic and quirky. Delicately designed bowls, plates and cake stands filled with freshly baked goods can be found on any surface.
Skye also believes in incorporating storage into the way she designs her home, with a repurposed cabinet from a flea market in Brussels serving as a place to display her collection of dinnerware and dinnerware behind stunning antique glasses.
As Skye prepares for Christmas 2021, we sat down with the culinary sensation to find out how she plans to celebrate this year …
How do you prepare your house for Christmas?
Everything revolves around Christmas trees for me. We have two in our London home: one in the living room and one in the kitchen. We live in the kitchen so much, it’s great that it feels so festive. I also add a wreath to our front door, so people get a feel for Christmas even before entering the house.
I also like to add little touches to the rest of my house to create a festive mood, like decorating the stairs with greenery and adding scented candles. I also love the disorganized touches that can make my house special at Christmas; there will always be wrapping paper and ribbons all over the place and I love the feeling that it creates.
Are there any decor themes or trends that you will be following this year?
I’m not exactly trendy but I thought about my Christmas table a lot this year and decided to go for a marble theme. The latest tableware line I launched includes marble crackers, which I will definitely be using, and I will also be using the Christmas lunch menu cards from my collaboration with Papier. The idea of the marble style is to create a special and opulent feel while still being Christmas, as it will include touches of green.
What dish are you most looking forward to making for Christmas?
I love making the panettone meringue cake, which is included in my recipe book A table for friends. It’s about making a panettone cake, slicing it across the body, and layering it with something delicious, like whipped cream, pistachio butter, brandy butter, or hazelnut spread. You then reassemble the cake, with the creamy layers included, and cover it all with soft meringue. I like to brown the top with a blowtorch to caramelize and serve this pudding to friends when I entertain.
What makes you happy at Christmas?
Being together with friends and family. I love that time when you can just take a break from the hustle and bustle of life and celebrate together with a delicious and special meal.
If you had to pick one item that personifies Christmas for you, which one would it be?
Christmas cakes; every year I’ll make at least 20 to give to friends. I have memories of my mother making them every year when I was young, so it has become a tradition for me because I love that the whole house is filled with the scent of Christmas cake. Plus, when decorated with frozen fruit, nuts, and marzipan, they look so festive and pretty. The whole process of making and tasting Christmas cake is totally joyful.
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