For the second year in a row, I had the privilege of attending Christmas carols at Longwood, my friend Frankie's family home just out of Featherston. Longwood is beautiful, the food was amazing, and there's something pretty cool about gathering around an electric piano and a violin and singing carols with a group of people.
The five of us girls (including Frankie) arrived early and helped with some of the food. I took on the task of 'smearing' homemade pate onto rye bread. Ginny and Fleur shared the cutting of the coriander and grapes and placing them 'just so'.
As well as yummy finger food, there was a giant glazed ham, a green salad with roasted kumara and cranberries, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, and warm bread and LOTS of cheese. Later on we had strawberries, florentines, crunchy oaty caramel slice, and chocolates. I ate so much I had to sit in a food induced stupor for a wee while to recover.
We sang all the best traditional carols (I love 'Good King Wenceslas' and 'Ding Dong Merrily On High') and a couple of not so traditional classics ('I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus'). The evening ended at 11pm with those of us left singing the song that's always left until the very end. There are only a few copies of the words so everyone has to huddle in close.
I drove us over the hill and back again (it was 12.30am before I got home) so it's left me pretty tired this week, but it was definitely, definitely worth it.