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Seasonal St-Germain Spiced Cider and Wreath Making:
There’s nothing quite like a session of making your own Christmas wreath to give a positive festive vibe. For a start, there’s something quite cathartic about the process of picking out seasonal greenery and adding sweetly scented cinnamon sticks, dried orange slices and berries – it’s the scent of Christmas for me, taking me back to my childhood when mum used to literally ‘deck the hall’ with holly and pine cones and when we’d make mulled wine to go with the piles of mince pies, fudge and shortbread biscuits we had to greet visitors.
Step into the Christmassy wonderland of the St-Germain pop-up on the aptly named Floral Street in Covent Garden to do just that and I challenge you not to smile. Oh, and did I mention cocktails? There’s even a wonderful Cidre Chaud – a kind of warm spiced cider that is just perfect for Winter.
The wreath making is led by the team from June in March who are also running a small florists in the shop where you can buy all sorts of seasonal flowers and greenery. I went along to try my hand with Emily Baylis, originally from the French Alps, who has set up her floral studio to focus on bringing the beauty and wildness of English countryside into our homes.
Joined by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and her daughter Hannah, we all were thrilled with the results of our efforts.
If you want to try for yourself, you can join the wreath making classes for just £45.00, which includes two St-Germain cocktails and your Christmas wreath to take back home – there are just a couple of sessions left on Wednesday 19th December at 5pm and on Saturday 22nd December at 2pm. Quite a bargain for what is as much or as little of a designer wreath as you manage to make – plus two delicious cocktails.
Of course, if you just want a St-Germain cocktail (they do serve my favourite St-Germain Spritz), and perhaps to take a selfie or two, the St-Germain shop is neatly tucked away just off Covent Garden and makes a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping.
We sampled a few of the offerings and particularly liked the Cidre Chaud – a kind of seasonal mulled cider and a stunning recipe for a snowy white cocktail aptly named ‘Hiver’.
I’m sharing the recipe for Cidre Chaud (Spiced Cider) here so you can try it at home if you can’t get to Floral Street before the end of 2018. It’s a wonderful kind of mulled Cider that I think I’ll be drinking for a lot longer than just the festive season!
- 10 ml Calvados
- 20 ml St-Germain
- 20 ml cloudy apple juice
- 80 ml Sassy rose Cidre if not available use a suitable dry cider and add sugar to taste
- 1 piece cinnamon
- 1 piece star anise
- 2 cloves
- 1 lemon slice
Pour all ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently for a minimum of 10 minutes (do not boil)
Serve warm in a teacup garnished with slices of apple, edible flowers and a slice of lemon
You can book the wreath making classes online here
Or just visit the St Germain Bar any time until 22nd December – it’s open daily from Tuesday to Sunday from midday to 7pm
33 Floral Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DJ