If you want some ideas for your Christmas menu, look no further – whether you are looking for traditional or modern ideas, here is a collection of recipe books to inspire you. All of these books can be borrowed from our libraries, no need to just choose one!
From Christmas Eve to Twelfth Night, the hairy bikers have thought of everything, from a traditional roast goose to telly snacks, to what to do with turkey leftovers. It even includes a section on edible gifts such as sloe gin and chutney.
Jamie has also got everything covered. From pates to roast meats, herb butters to chocolate log, but what Christmas recipe book wouldn’t be complete without a whole section on potatoes! Not only that, Jamie includes a lot of delicious vegetable recipes including creamed spinach, four ways with Brussels sprouts and Clapshot, a delicious vegetable mash made with bitter marmalade and “loadsa chives”. Something special for everyone.
Delia’s recipes always provide a safe pair of hands, just what you need to get you through the Christmas period. Not only does this book include 100 new recipes such as chestnut cupcakes, along with old favourites and traditional recipes, Delia has taken away the stress of planning with sample menu plans to make sure you are ready for the whole period.
If its luxury and decadence you’re after, then look no further. Nigella shares simple recipes for start with a cocktail, prepare simple dinners with friends, go to town on the main event, make soothing soups and light bites to restore yourself ready for the next feast and finish off with a hot drink. There are even gift ideas as well as sweet Christmas baking and preserves.
Enjoy Christmas bakes and savoury treats from the hosts and participants of the Bake Off. Including Paul’s mince pies and Mary’s best Christmas pudding or try a passion fruit and pomegranate Pavlova layer cake. Ideas for the whole Christmas period whether for entertaining or relaxed suppers with some Christmas present ideas thrown in too.
Escape the tinsel, mince pies and mulled wine madness with a good book- tell the family you’re off to wrap some presents, disappear into the spare room with a cup of tea (or g&t) for a couple of hours, and let them get on with Christmas while you lose yourself in a bit of reading…
Brompton has now swung into full Christmas mode! We had our first Christmas craft session last Saturday and the youngsters decorated little card Christmas trees with glitter and all manner of sticky things. Their parents and carers were delighted!
Elisabeth has created an Advent Christmas tree and adds a new box to it every day for the children to decorate (I don’t know where she gets all her great ideas for the kids!)
For the grown-ups we have our terribly tasteful Christmas tree complete with presents (library stock) underneath for the taking plus our hand-picked display of Christmassy books, CDs and films.
For the rest of this month we have another Christmas craft session for children this Friday– please join us!
From Monday 15th December onwards the staff will be initiating the public who may be giving or receiving tablets and e-book readers into how to download our new, improved collection.
Hello to you all from the staff at Kensington Central Library. We’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you’re planning on visiting us over the holidays please check our Christmas and New Year opening hours first.
We’ve had another busy month so read on to find out what’s been happening.
To see what other events we have check out our What’s On page on our website.
Tri-borough Reference Librarian
New signage at Kensington Central Library
It’s been a long time coming but we finally have some new signage in the adult lending and children’s libraries. I really enjoyed working with the borough’s designer and the graphics company to ensure we got the signage we needed. It was fascinating learning about fonts, types of signs and even staying late to supervise the installation. We really hope our customers find the library easier to use.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..
The staff have done an excellent job at decorating the library for this special time – hope you like our decorations!
We also had a very special visitor on Friday 20 December – Father Christmas made time in his busy schedule to attend our baby rhyme time. Kids and adults alike very pleased to see him and he felt like a celebrity with all the photos that were taken!
At our last story and craft session on Saturday 21 December – the children had great fun making Christmas wreaths using paper plates, green paper and red glitter.
Kensal Library is looking very festive: we have our tree and snowflakes up and some wonderful winter displays for our stock (which we have had to top up several times!). A Westminster resident who came into the library commented that Kensal was lovely, bright and fresh (thanks!).
Leanne Bellot, one of our Kensal CSA’s, has created a very cosy looking winter fireplace design to showcase some of our favourite festive reads. Thanks to Laryssa, one of our regulars, who helped Leanne with the display.
Last Friday saw our special Winter Baby Rhyme Time party: we read some Christmas stories, sang some classics like ‘When Santa got stuck up the chimney’ and ‘Christmas Pudding’ (accompanied by noisy rattles and bells!) and had a craft session making Santa beards. All the children went home with a colouring book, a puzzle and a big smile.
Our last Crochet Diva session was on Monday 16 December. The ladies who come regularly to this event really enjoy the session and the company and have produced some lovely pieces of work. For a couple of sessions they made jewellery and this proved to be very popular so watch this space for future sessions of jewellery making – perfect if you want to learn a new skill in 2014! The next Crochet Diva session will be on Monday 6 January at the usual time of 1.15 to 3.15pm.
All the staff at Kensal wish our customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
It has been a busy month at Brompton library. We have noted a surge in new members and our books seem to be flying off the shelves as the frosty weather convinces borrowers to stock up on reading material for the festive period. Whether you need some ideas for Christmas recipes or fancy browsing through our brand new crime and romantic fiction titles, sports and celebrity biographies or a fantastic selection of new cookery books we have something for everyone. Why not browse some of our stock through the online catalogue?
Elisabeth impressed us all by making an Advent calendar which stands in the toddlers’ corner of the Children’s area. As someone who can’t cut a straight line, let alone a circle, I’m in awe of people who can do crafts!
On the first Saturday of each month from 10:30 to 11:30 our story and craft sessions allow young children to participate in reading and small art projects. With just over a week until Christmas, Brompton library has been getting into the spirit with a seasonal craft and story session. Library assistant Rahima and Lisa, our Saturday volunteer, had the kids making lots of Rockin’ Robins! They loved it, and for the tiny tots there are always colouring-in sheets.
The theme of our monthly craft session was based on a story about a generous robin who gave away his seven vests to keep all the other animals he met warm. This story inspired the children to create their own robin. Using paper plates which were folded in half to create a rocking robin; the children sat around the table, colouring pens poised on paper ready to colour. The choice of colour varied as one child confidently says to the other children, “maybe a thousand years ago, there were multicoloured robins”, so with those words of encouragement the children chose their favourite colours. When the power of imagination lets loose our creativity, the end results are that we produce things that are unique; this was evident in this craft session as there were multicoloured, stripy and flowery rocking robins.
Intergenerational project at Brompton
After the success of Brompton’s collaboration with Celebrate My Library on the “Creepy Library” book I‘m very pleased to be working with them again on a project called “Our Community, Our Stories”. This will bring together young people from our Chatterbooks group and older residents from the Kensington and Chelsea Older Residents Forum to explore the differences between life as a child now and life for a child as it was when our older volunteers were young. The children will then do some creative writing around the conversations they’ve had and this will be brought together in book form, again with everyone’s name in print. To get this going, Celebrate my Library (Hilary and Vicky) and I were an agenda item at the forum’s AGM where we explained the project.
The happy result was that we signed up at least half a dozen volunteers!
Mingling with residents over coffee and cakes – it’s a hard life!
We will keep you posted in January on how the project is going.
Library Volunteers Event at Kensington Town Hall – Tuesday 26 November
Volunteers and volunteer mentors met at the Mayor’s Parlour in the Town Hall to recognise and celebrate the wonderful people who help us across our library service. These types of volunteer roles are varied – IT sessions, homework club, summer reading challenge and story-time classes – to name but a few.
Sue Cornish, our Adult Learning Coordinator, did a sterling job in organising the whole event whilst two volunteers (Celia and Mark) and I were invited up to say a few words. Mark was one of the first volunteers to join us – his time with us stems from when he turned 40 and realised that he wanted to give something back to the community. Just as inspiring was Celia – like so many of us as a child spent many happy hours in the library and has for three years been helping us with our summer Reading Challenge at Brompton and Chelsea.
It was clear from everyone how much of a privilege it is to work with our volunteers and that they too get so much from volunteering their time and effort.
I would like to dedicate our blog to all of our wonderful volunteers: Celia, Jane, Lisa, Raed, Srishti, Megan, Gunjan and Mathilde – we at Brompton all love working with you!
Happy New Year to you from us all at Chelsea. Welcome to our second blog post – hope you don’t think we’re crazy to write about Christmas in January but we wanted to share with you some amazing pictures.
Christmas at Chelsea Library
We had a very successful Christmas baby rhyme time with the children anticipating a special visitor.
We played jingle bells, with the children helping, by shaking their sleigh harness bells, all the while getting more and more excited. It looked as if the special vistor was delayed. When finally a staff member received a mobile call from his toboggan and told the waiting children that Father Christmas was stranded in traffic near Fulham Broadway. While the gathered crowd, which included nannies and carers were anxiously looking at watches, the double doors from the Walker Room were burst open and in came Father Christmas with a huge white beard and a sack of gifts! The children were delighted and were handed small gifts wrapped in red tissue paper. Many thanks to Senior Customer Services Assistant, Huriy Ghirmai for dressing up!
The Christmas craft event combined story telling with making Christmas cards decorated with cut out collaged shapes and sequins. My colleague, Sue Couteux organized some fantastic shapes, Christmas trees, snowmen, fairies, stars, ginger bread men, reindeer……
We began the event by telling the Hans Christian Anderson story The Little Fir Tree about the tree’s endless desire to look towards a brighter future rather than live in the moment. I felt a bit uprooted after the story’s ending, waiting for the next big thing. Thank goodness we had the crafts to get stuck into, with glue flying everywhere, sticky fingers, children laughing, excited gleams in their eyes.
Some of the adults listening to the story had tears in their eyes – maybe The Little Fir Tree had reminded them of what Christmas is all about? Simple pleasures, snow, cold walks in the forest, log fires, log cabins, mothers at home baking, wolves. A world away from the hubbub of the Kings Road, running for buses and runny noses.
We are now planning our next events for children both with a Chinese New Year theme. On Saturday 9 February we have:
A craft event for younger children, 11am to 12 noon
What do ladybirds eat?
I was working in the library during Christmas and New Year. A little voice piped up behind the audio books: ‘Young man, I have been adopted by a ladybird.’ An elderly lady had spent her Christmas feeding a ladybird, black with red spots, discovered on her living room floor. ‘It has taken up with me and I want to know what to feed it. Her mouth is much too small for cake crumbs.’ There we were studying a book on greenfly, making meaningful human contact, talking about bug feeding habits on this wintry afternoon.
We often get suggestions from members of the public about how to improve our service. One interesting idea was about how to best harness the power of the totem display. Would it be possible with the heat and light being emitted from the mighty monolith that it could double up as a vertical tanning station?
Hello and Happy New Year from everyone at Brompton Library!
Fortunately the world did not end on 21 December 2012 as some had predicted (based loosely on information regarding the Mayan calendar) which meant that most of us could make those last-minute present purchases, enjoy our Christmas lunches and join hands in a jolly rendition of Auld Lang Syne at 12.oo am on New Year’s morning. It also means that we could open the doors again on 2 January and welcome 2013 with some new events, promotions and books for our library customers.
If you have made any resolutions to get fitter and healthier then check out some of our lifestyle books with exercises and diet regimes to get in shape. Or maybe you are looking for a career change and can benefit from some of our work skills books to brush up on interview techniques and help get that new job. Plus we have loads of books on learning new skills, everything from playing the guitar to using that new smart phone Father Christmas left under the tree. We also have a hand sewing workshop with Eithne Farry in our meeting room on Tuesday 22 January!
Last week it was nice to receive positive comments from a customer who visits our library every week. She told us how she really liked the displays and staff recommendations that we put out, saying that these give her a good selection of new and interesting books that she can browse and take home.
Brompton Library Reading Group in 2013
So, what’s on the cards for our reading group this year? A whole plethora of stuff. Next month we will be discussing Ian McEwan’s newest novel, Sweet Tooth, a spy story set in 1960’s Oxford. This will be closely followed by the Cityread London choice for all of our groups, which is AWeek in December by Sebastian Faulks. Our group usually reads newly published fiction, but this year we are branching out into historical and crime drama. This includes John Grisham’s Calico Joe, an apparently weightier tome than his other books; although I find that it does exactly what it says on the tin! Others we are looking at are The Heat of the Day (World War Two espionage) and Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate (witches and witchcraft). I don’t think we could have picked a more diverse set of books to read!
Senior Customer Services Assistant
We all enjoyed making Christmas crafts after school on Thursday 20 December 2012.
Sixteen children of various ages got together to make a Christmas tree picture using hands cut from green paper. We stuck on spots & made other decorations. Using hand and feet shapes we made reindeer faces. Some children coloured Christmas shapes and others drew their own pictures. We also stuck together paper chains to decorate the children’s library.
Craft and art are popular activities in the library. One child asked ‘Can we do this again tomorrow?’
We have story and craft sessions during every school holiday – look out for posters in the children’s library for the next session and on our website.
Welcome to our fourth blog post from Brompton Library!
On Sunday I was preparing supper and listening to Radio 4. This group of Irish poets were reading out their poetry and discussing it amongst themselves. It immediately brought me into their environment, their history and above all, their imagination. I do hope that our display does offer something a little bit different to our reader’s here at Brompton Library.
Senior Customer Services Assistant
Christmas plans at Brompton Library
With only a few days till Christmas you would think that the amount of people using the service would be reducing, but our lovely library is still full of users borrowing books for the Christmas holiday period (including Christmas themed cookbooks, fiction and audio books to curl up with on the cold winter evenings, Christmas themed children’s books and our selection of festive audio CDs and DVDs for all the family). There are also lots of people making use of our computer and study area, completing end of term coursework assignments, booking flights, and exchanging seasonal greetings with friends and family members via social networking sites and email.
So we will be running a full service until Christmas Eve when we will close for three days and open again the day after Boxing Day (27 December).
Chatterbooks is a very popular reading group for children in Brompton Library. It is fun and free. The group focuses on reading and talking about books, but some sessions include word games, quizzes, plays or other book related activities. The children love reading and it is an ideal opportunity for them to enjoy books. The group meets once a month after school on Mondays. There are eight regular members of the group. There is generally a theme for each month. This month the group met on 17 December and the theme was Christmas.
Chatterbooks is an ideal way to promote a love of reading. Sessions are designed to give children confidence in speaking, writing and reading in a group, choosing books for themselves, and talking about what they like to read. It is fabulous to hear them enthusing over their reading and recommending books to other children.
Bitter Truths – Author Event
On a bitterly cold evening on 29 November Brompton hosted its first author event (in my living memory, anyway!). One of our reading group members has published her first trilogy of novels, collectively called the Samurai Revival, and gave a very professional presentation relating to the first in the series – Bitter Truths.
We had an audience of ten who were very appreciative and I think for our first venture into author events which was great.
Chelsea Library has copies of Vogue Magazine, going back to the mid 1920s. Vogue not only gives an idea of the fashions at the time, but also reflects society. The Christmas issue of Vogue in 1939 gives a picture of glamour in war-time Britain.
Vogue Christmas stocking ideas for the woman who has everything. Christmas gift ideas for ‘a glamour girl’ include brands still familiar today, such as Coty, Yardley, Bronnley and Innoxa.
Gifts of beauty, suggestions by Elizabeth Arden.
Auxiliary Red, by Cyclax, is the lipstick for Service Women.
Elegance and glamour does not have to be limited to outside the house. The coat below is desctibed as bright as a brazier and as warm, Balenciaga’s resounding red broadcloth coat buttoned down the front to a cossetted waist, spreading to a voluminous skirt (superb as a housecoat too). Match it with Cylax’s new make-up, “Auxillary Red”.
Debenhams and Freebody are advertising their fur sale.
‘In Paris Now’ women might go shopping wearing Schiaprarelli but they still have to ‘travel in crowded carriages’.
From Books to Beat the Black-out: There is a tendency to regard all evacuee tots as problem children. Possibly they would prove less problematic if given some of the books listed here. Titles include Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Chin Pao and the Giant Pandas by Chiang Lee and Joseph Haydn: The Merry Little Peasant by Wheeler and Deucher. Old Possum by T S Eliot is still a favourite, but I’m not sure how the others would be received these days.
We hope you enjoyed these images but nothing beats looking at the originals! So pop into Chelsea Library to slip back in time via the Vogue time-portal, each edition is bound in a very chic blue.