If time, money and family rituals were no obstacle, what would your dream Christmas be? For #TeamED it’s a heady mix of fireside comfort, adventure and winter sunshine…
Philippe Blanchin, Deputy Art Director
I’d get away from it all and lie on the beach in Barbados, with a good book during the day and dinner with friends at night. Surely nobody truly enjoys the long, cold, dark nights in the UK around Christmas time.
Michelle Ogundehin, Editor-in-Chief
In my yuletide fantasies, I have rented an enormous Italian villa, large enough to accommodate each faction of my family in a separate, self-contained wing. They arrive on Christmas Eve and are settled in by the butler. I wake on Christmas morning to the gentle aroma of my private chef preparing lunch. We congregate at 11am in the great hall, warmed by two large open fires, with a huge real tree as its centrepiece. Present opening is accompanied by mulled wine and snacks, followed by at least a seven-course lunch, after which the grown-ups are rolled to a TV snug to fall asleep in front of a black-and-white movie while the kids run it all off in safe and secure grounds watched over by a suitably Mary Poppins-esque nanny.
Amy Bradford, Features Director
I’d like to see a favourite city, Venice, as I’ve never seen it before: in winter. Venice is exquisite when the summer sun dances on the water, but I would love to see it in the tenebrous weather of Christmas-time as well, empty of tourists (except for me and mine), with festive lights twinkling as the sea mists roll in. You can take a train from Venice to all kinds of European cities, too, so perhaps for New Year I’d travel to St Petersburg, known as the Venice of the North.
Flora Bathurst, Photography Director
A snowy Scotland, fires burning, house decorated with fairy lights, baubles and holly. Huge tree, Cole Porter on the stereo. Smell of mulled wine and cooking from the kitchen Aga. The little ones running about in PJs thoroughly overexcited, wrapping paper everywhere.
Charlotte Brook, Junior Features Writer
The only element that Christmas lacks is a bit of adventure. Money no object, I’d escort the family to a hitherto unvisited corner of the British Isles – nothing too exotic, Lundy Island or Ireland’s west coast – because I have always wanted to see the Northern Lights. Ideally I would rent an extra-large Landmark Trust lighthouse so that there would be space for everyone. Once there it would be festive business as usual (walking, talking, fires, films) until Christmas Day, when I would ban cooking and treat everyone to lunch at a nearby pub.
Sarah Morgan, Deputy Chief Sub Editor
I dream of spending the festive season in an English country house that has enough space for everyone I love to come together in comfort – and to escape from one another occasionally. No more of the scheduling and to-ing and fro-ing that has been known to turn my December into a route march. My ultimate venue would be The Pig hotel in Brockenhurst, because it has beautiful grounds and cosy drawing rooms that would look stunning decked out in classic decorations. Plus, I have no doubt that the restaurant would cook up an excellent roast with all the trimmings.
Tony Peters, Art Director
My dream Christmas would be to take my family to the mountains. My wife and I both ran chalets in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier one winter. It snowed so much that the snowboarding was amazing and the mountains looked beautiful all winter long. It hasn’t snowed properly in the UK since my children were born, but every time we’ve have a light dusting they get so excited. I’d loved to teach them to ski or snowboard. We’d open presents first thing, then spend the day up on the slopes, coming back to a cosy chalet with a roaring fire and hearty alpine Christmas dinner.
Clare Sartin, Chief Sub Editor
When it comes to Christmas I want there to be a festive chill in the air. And preferably a deep, pillowy covering of snow on the ground. That’s why my dream Christmas would be spent in a log cabin in Sweden. I lived in Stockholm when I was younger, and the smell of cinnamon still takes me back. The cabin would be somewhere far from the city, where my family and I could relax, bicker, and drink plenty of gløgg (sweetened, very boozy, mulled wine). There would be a roast in the oven – because the Swede’s notion of gravadlax and pickled herring is not for me – and a huge tree decorated in reds and greens.
Jack Melrose, Junior Designer
Frozen lakes, snow-dusted forests and vast mountains sum up Alaska, the picturesque backdrop to my ideal Christmas. I’d stay in a toasty warm log cabin with all my family and friends. We’d explore the wilderness, try and spot the wildlife, and see the aurora borealis in the night sky – it would be magical.
Alex Kristal, Decorating Editor
If money were no object, I would plan a long-haul family break. I’d head back to the Yucatan Peninsular in Mexico, even though the basic cabañas on the beach that I remember from 20 years ago are more likely to be chi-chi resorts these days. I love London’s festive spirit at Christmas, but there really is nothing like being in the sunshine on the other side of the world to beat those winter blues.
Jackie Daly, Homes Editor
My fantasy would be to board the Orient Express and travel to Budapest for a connection with the Polar Express. I’d be travelling to a winter wonderland – the skyline set aglow by the Northern Lights – and be joined by loved ones in a festive log cabin for Christmas Day.
Rosie Cave, Assistant to Editor-in-Chief
On a remote beach, somewhere in the Indian ocean, where there are Piña Coladas on tap, a surfing Santa Claus and guaranteed sunshine. Christmas is the one time of the year we all have off work, so it would be nice to spend it together somewhere where we can truly relax and avoid the horrendous British traffic and weather!
Ben Spriggs, Deputy Editor
I’m a bit of a Grinch when it comes to Christmas. Without sounding like a total misery, I find the idea of enforced jollity rather tiresome. Faced with kranky family, overdone brussels and unwanted socks I often find myself daydreaming about a fantasy Christmas… It’s one where me and my significant other – you know the one, rugged film star looks, rocking a Christmas jumper in a charming, non-ironic way – are holed up in a super slick mountain retreat. There will be much lounging on the capacious B&B Italia sofa, copious Champagne and gifts