Sweet Champagne Reflections

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It’s that time of the year again, twinkle-twinkle! The Christmas tree is waiting in the living room, decorated already more than a week ago. Presents almost done and some of them already given over to Santa’s helpers for our little family members. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and “Home Alone” coming non-stop, gingerbreads baked and Christmas menu planned. I believe I’m all set for the coming holidays!

I guess, I have always been one of those people who love Christmas, even if a part of me always thinks back, taken over by a sudden rush of nostalgia, believing that when I was still a child back in my family home, these were the best Christmas ever, with a lot of snow and the sweet mountain of presents under the Christmas tree. I can imagine that a lot of us tend to do it, to long for the past, sometimes. But the deal is that one can’t go back to his childhood and now we are responsible for creating the right Christmas mood and atmosphere for ourselves and for those, who are dear to us. And actually it’s not that hard, you just need to keep that creepy Christmas stress away.

This year I’m managing this rather well, I must say. Though some details of the presents and, of course, the menu ingredients, are kind of left to the last minute, the majority of the necessary preparations I managed to do well in advance. For example, buying some of the presents already during my previous travels throughout the year. In that way I can take time to really think about the recipients of those gifts, about what they might like, about bringing them something unique and at the same time practical and thus avoiding picking up something in a hurry that nobody would enjoy. Didn’t manage to do it fully this year, so there’s some improvement room for the next one, but I still did pretty well.

Another secret formula for avoiding the much discussed Christmas stress, is to think about the meaning of Christmas. Not in general, but personally for you. For me, one of the most valuable things about those lovely holidays – yes, besides the tree and lights and presents etc – is actually taking some extra time to meet friends and people close to me. Not much of a news, of course, but I don’t mean around the Christmas dinner table, though, of course, there too.

What I like to do is to think about those friends that I haven’t seen for a long time – each living a busy life etc – and to agree with them little pre-Christmas and between Christmas and the New Year’s Eve week lunches. So instead of a normal business lunch, I’d take an hour to meet a friend and make this meeting a little bit more festive than the usual lunch would be. Sweets. Appetizing starters. A glass of champagne.

For one of such festive lunch breaks, I went to the restaurant D.O.M, which had a lovely Christmas atmosphere – with great views to the Christmas market in Tallinn Town Hall square – and a really delicious pairing of Moët & Chandon Rosé with a salted caramel chocolate tart. Not only did we have a really good time catching up, but the taste combinations put together by the restaurant’s chef, Pavel Gurjanov, were exceptional: the saltiness of caramel and the luxury sweetness of chocolate were accentuated and brought out by champagne, playing wonderfully with different textures and taste levels.

Such little escapes or occasional festive lunch chats, as I like to name them, allow to enjoy the beautiful holiday season in all its length and instead of running around, buying presents for your friends, allow to concentrate everything enjoyable into those stolen moments of little guilty pleasures. And to give what matters the most – your time.

Happy Holidays, my dears! Buone Feste! Ilusaid pühi!

Cover photo: Ardo Kaljuvee
Story photos: Fashionista Lifestyle blog

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