Let our editor introduce you to the December Issue


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For me, the odd phenomenon of magazines being on sale a month ahead of their cover date is felt most keenly with the December issue. Christmas is not in November, when this issue is on sale, yet somehow the December issue must be filled with Christmassy things and shout Christmas all over its cover. But I imagine even the less organised among us - I fall into this category - are starting to think about Christmas at this stage, and ideas for both decorations and presents are a nudge in the right direction. I am also aware that there are plenty of people well on their way to completing their Christmas shopping at this point and some who have even wrapped all their presents by now (making me feel horribly inefficient). So this issue is hopefully well timed for us all.

While Christmas is full of nostalgia and we all love revisiting the decorations we have been collecting for years, it is also a time when one can be braver with decorating and try out new things - even totally transform a room or two - with justification and without feeling over the top. This issue is filled with inspiration and ideas for your Christmas preparation, including, to name just a few stories: revealing what the experts do with a look inside the Christmas-dressed houses of two interior designers and a florist (from page 61); Thomasina Miers' alternative and not too time-consuming recipes for Christmas entertaining (from page 135); and a round-up of the loveliest Christmas decorations we could find (page 29) - the sort that make appealing additions to a growing collection.

For those of you who do not want to think about Christmas just yet, or even at all, there is plenty else to amuse, inform and inspire. We have my predecessor Susan Crewe's striking flat in Notting Hill (from page 112) and the richly hued lodge Tino Zervudachi has created in Austria (from page 96). In complete contrast, there is a wonderful garden in sunny Australia (from page 120), a bold newbuild inserted into a Victorian street by the husband-and-wife architect duo Liddicoat & Goldhill (from page 104). Meanwhile, for those yearning for a little winter sun, our travel editor Pamela Goodman reports back from a trip to Menorca (page 147).

Happy preparations and I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, whatever it entails.


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