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Ten happy things – December 2022

Colourful buildings in Georgetown in Washington

I can’t believe it’s my last ‘ten happy things’ post for the year! And it’s a cracker… as you can see, there were many delicious meals this month – lucky me!

Panettone at the Italian Embassy

I was delighted to be invited to the Italian Embassy as part of Italian Cuisine Week to hear a talk with pastry chef Iginio Massari, his daughter Deborah and Great British Bake Off winner 2021, Giuseppe Dell’Anno. The subject of the conversation was ‘The art of the Italian Panettone’, which of course meant we got to have some afterwards! My lovely friend Fede was there and it was wonderful to catch up with her as I’d not seen her in a year.

Four plates with panettone and custard

Lunch with Fee and Neha

Earlier in the month I had a lovely lunch with my friends Fiona and Neha. We wanted to go somewhere Christmassy and Fee reserved us a table at Chalet Suisse by Jimmy Garcia at Somerset House. As the name suggests, it’s decked out like a Swiss Chalet and was very cosy. The food was pretty good but the service was lacking… although it did give us something to laugh about – like when Fee ordered the beetroot starter and got served a Bellini!

After lunch, Neha had to get her train back home so Fee and I headed to The Savoy to take a look at their Christmas decor and to have a drink. Unfortunately the wait was around half an hour so we went to The Corinthia instead. It was such a fun afternoon!

Chalet Suisse restaurant

Work Christmas party

It has been years since I’ve been to a work Christmas party! Not just because of Covid but because I’m freelance. As I’ve been contracting for over a year, I was invited to my client’s Christmas party and it was so much fun. When I heard we were going to be playing darts, I wasn’t very enthusiastic but it was actually a delight. Plus I got a bullseye!

Christmas catch-up with Deana

One Friday I walked up to Hampstead to have lunch at Jin Kichi with my friend Deana. It was the second time we’d had lunch here and it was great – especially the tempura tofu starter. We had a great catch-up and then a walk around the village where we went into a few shops. It was a wonderful way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Pork udon with vegetables and seaweed

Reformer Pilates

I’ve started Reformer Pilates at my new gym and I absolutely love it! It is such a great workout and I feel like it’s helping with my flexibility and improving my core strength. The only problem is the classes are really popular so I have to be on the ball the minute the class is open for bookings!

Lunch with Shelley

This month my husband and I had lunch with Shelley, one of my oldest friends. Shelley was also a bridesmaid at our wedding. We went to Barrafina, near Trafalgar Square, and shared a bunch of delicious dishes and some Cava. I hadn’t seen Shelley for months so it was so great to spend some quality time with her.

Milhojas dessert with cream and almonds from Barrafina

Read a heartwarming book

My best friend Candice gave me this book when we met up in Cape Town in November. Remarkably Bright Creatures is the story of a young man who is trying to find his father and an old woman who cleans at the local aquarium and befriends Marcellus, the very intelligent giant Pacific octopus. This is a story of friendship, love and lost connections. It was such a wonderful read, I adored it.

Book cover that says Remarkably Bright Creatures

Breakfast with Sasha

My lovely Instagram friend Sasha was over in London for a flying visit and we met up at Dishoom in King’s Cross for breakfast before I had to go to work. It was such a joy to meet her finally in real life – just wish we’d had longer. Stupidly forgot to get a photo of us together so here’s a photo of King’s Cross in the snow. It had snowed a lot the night before and made everything look so pretty.

Steps leading down to the canal in King's Cross covered in snow

Traditional Christmas Eve lunch

For years now my husband and I have a tradition of going out for lunch on Christmas Eve. We always used to go to Joël Robuchon near Seven Dials but then it closed after his death. We were delighted that they have opened a new restaurant in Green Park, which carries on his legacy. So, for the second year in a row we went to Le Comptoir Robuchon and had a delicious meal. If you ever visit, definitely order the mini beef and foie gras burgers with bell peppers – they are amazing.

Beef and foie gras burgers with bell peppers

New Year in Washington DC

We welcomed in 2023 in the beautiful, historic city of Washington DC. The weather was amazing when we visited – really warm and blue skies. Well, there was one grey day with a bit of rain but otherwise it was sunny. We stayed in the gorgeous neighbourhood of Georgetown, which has buildings dating back to the 1800s. I think it’s probably the prettiest neighbourhood I’ve ever seen!

Colourful buildings in Georgetown in Washington

Although it’s a fairly small city, there’s lots to see and do in Washington. One of the best things we did was a tour of Capitol Hill. Highly recommend it! We had a wonderful city break and a great New Year.

Capitol Hill in Washington

So that’s my ‘ten happy things’ for December! How did your month go? What were your highlights?

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.




  • Neha

    Love it and what a fab December. I am always a big fan of your ten things.

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