insideKENT Magazine insideKENT Issue 68 Nov 2017 - Page 8

WELCOME As I write this, the wind is howling, the sky is a muddy grey, and it’s cold. Really cold. That can only mean one thing: it’s time for coffee and a giant piece of cake. That, and it’s probably winter. It’s November – another year almost over, 2018 just up ahead, New Year’s resolutions to plan. But before all that, let’s talk about Christmas. Enjoying a glass of wine at the insideKENT Autumn Drinks Reception at Champneys, Eastwell Manor (p18). This year, I’m spending Christmas with my extended family, who happen to live in a warm and sunny part of the world. Seeing Santa in Bermuda shorts and twinkly lights on palm trees is always slightly confusing; to me, Christmas and cold weather are like fish and chips, or coffee and cake (I obviously need coffee and cake right now) – they just go together. Though I won’t be able to enjoy crisp air and crackling fires this 25th December, I’ll be with my family, which is more important than any weather, wouldn’t you agree? Besides the never-ending quest to keep frostbite off your toes, November is also the month most people start their Christmas shopping, and we’re quite the lucky lot to live in Kent when it comes to finding the perfect gift. Spend the day at Bluewater and you’ll have your pick of over 300 stores and 50 restaurants; or, visit Folkestone’s Creative Quarter for an eclectic mix of independent shops and cafés (p71). Wherever you find yourself in The Garden of England, you’ll find a Santa-friendly shopping destination nearby. Christmas isn’t the only thing on our mind this month – you’ll find all our usual features in this issue: Events (p23), Days Out (p54), and Arts & Entertainment, including an interview with the talented singer-songwriter Paloma Faith (p32). I hope you enjoy the run-up to the festive season – don’t forget to stock up on a colourful selection of bed socks. Keep in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and let us know what you’re up to. See you in December! And nothing goes with family better than food. We do like our food here at iK, especially when that food is served at a cosy Kentish pub. This month, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite winter-warmer pubs to keep your body temperature up, and your stomach full (p85). ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• MY FAVOURITE THINGS THIS MONTH... BLUEWATER It has become a family tradition to visit Bluewater at Christmastime – the lights, the festive atmosphere, and of course the shops and restaurants. And don’t forget Santa’s grotto and ice skating! ORLA KIELY BUDDY STEM NECKLACE Simple and nature inspired, the Buddy Stem necklace incorporates the iconic Orla Kiely Stem pattern – available in gold or rose gold-plated, or sterling silver. £80, ALEXEEVA & JONES SEA SALT AND CARAMEL CHOCOLATES This 9-piece selection is perfect for any salt-caramel-chocolate lover. Features chocolates from master chocolatiers from Belgium, France, Italy and the UK. £14.95, 8 HELEN MOORE LUXURY FAUX FUR THROW Stay cosy this winter with this luxurious faux fur throw from designer Helen Moore. Looks fabulous draped over an armchair – made in the UK. £105,