Christmas cooking

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!

The Hairy Bikers’ 12 Days of Christmas

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 Oliver’s Christmas cookbook

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 Happy Christmas

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.

Nigella Christmas : Food, Family, Friends

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.

Great British Bake Off Christmas

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.


Brompton Library



Blog post from the North – September 2013

North Kensington Library
North Kensington Library

Cheap and healthy eats at North Kensington Library

 Celebratory chef Jamie Oliver has generously donated copies of his latest book ‘Save with Jamie: Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less’ to over 4,000 public libraries in the UK including all six libraries in Kensington and Chelsea. There’s more information about the chef’s donation in an article in The Guardian.

In honour of the occasion we have a display promoting Jamie’s book at North Kensington Library. We have also included other books about cheap, healthy eats which help you eat well and waste less. So whether you are a busy parent looking for healthy snacks for children and nutritious family meals, or live on your own catering for one, we have a wide range of books which will help you shop wisely and cook delicious healthy meals.

Gaynor Lynch
Gaynor Lynch

Gaynor Lynch

Lending Librarian

Kensal Blog:

Our Baby rhyme time is fast becoming a popular event that is regularly attended by a local nursery. The young children aged between 12months to 3 years rush into the library every Friday morning, all eager to participate in the singing and listening to stories. For those 30 minutes, Kensal Library livens to energetic chatter and stamping of feet that resonates throughout the library. At the moment our most read and requested stories are:

-The Fish who could wish by John Bush

-Animal Music by Julia Donaldson

The stories are read in various, comical voices, which grip the children’s attention. They all stare at the colourful images on the pages which we almost bring to life.

However, the best is saved for last and that is the nursery song ‘Jumping Bean’ – the children love being dancing beans. So if you want to join our ‘everyone is a dancing bean, biggest bean I ever seen’ and hop about the library for about 30mins then come along to our baby rhyme time sessions.

Rahima Begum-Miah
Rahima Begum-Miah

Rahima Begum-Miah

Library Assistant

Expert Patients Programme

Jenny Clement received her Expert Patients Programme (EPP) course completion certificate from Davendra Dangol at North Kensington Library.  Jenny, a regular library visitor, found out about the programme by visiting an information stall run regularly in the library by Davendra.

The EPP is a free course designed for people who have long term conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, asthma, cancer, high blood pressure, Arthritis etc. and covers:

  • healthy lifestyle advice
  • action planning
  • managing stress
  • pain and fatigue
  • relaxation techniques
  • and better communication with family and friends and health professionals

Registering is easy all you  to do is contact Davendra on 0208 749 8017 for a call back or email . Or you can visit him at North Kensington Library on Thursdays 12 noon  to 3pm  until Thursday 24 October.

Kensington Central Library – September 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Hello to you all from the staff at Kensington Central Library – we hope you’ve had an enjoyable summer. We’ve got that ‘back to school’ feeling with lots of new things happening at our library – from new events to new displays.

Bye bye to the Summer Reading Challenge

It’s been a fantastic summer for the kids at Kensington Central Library – along with our normal regular events for our youngest library members we had a weekly story and craft session on Thursday afternoons to support this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. During the last session – the kids made some great creepy houses out of a tissue paper which they really enjoyed.

We’re really proud of the children who’ve taken part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge – at the last count over 250 children took part and just over 100 of them completed. That mean’s they read six or more books each – in fact we’ve worked out that over 660 books have been read!

Story and craft sessions
Story and craft sessions

As our story and craft sessions are so popular – we’ll now be having a regular weekly session every Saturday. So if your kids enjoy listening to stories and like to get creative – bring them along on Saturdays at 2pm!

New displays

We’ve got some new and diverse books on display at the moment – right by the library entrance so they’re easy to find:

  • A new series of The Great British Bake Off has recently started on BBC 2 so we have an amazing display of books for  anyone who’s been inspired to bake. (there’s more information about The Great British Bake Off on the BBC website)
  • To carry on the food theme – we’ve a healthy eating book display. We’ve included Jamie Oliver’s latest book which is to do with healthy eating on a budget – just perfect timing for students off to university.
  • We were very sad to hear about the death of Seamus Heaney so it was important for us to pay tribute to this important poet.
  • And finally some more treasures from our biography collection – this time we have some unpleasant characters for you to find out about.

New events

We have two new events programmes that can be collected from the library – events for all ages in September to December and the London History Festival. All of the events are also listed on our news and events page. Here’s a quick summary of what’s happening at Kensington Central Library in the next month or so:

Arthritis Care
Arthritis Care
Arthritis Care talk
Thursday 19 September, 1 to 2pm

Do you suffer with arthritis? Arthritis Care will give a talk on arthritis and pain – why you get pain and how to cope with it. There will also be a chance to ask questions.

Fashion event
Fashion event
Fashion – Press the Fast Forward Button
Tuesday 24 September, 6.30 to 8pm

Are you interested in the fashion industry? Thinking of starting a fashion business as a designer, retailer, importer or exporter? Then don’t miss this opportunity to hear from expert fashion management consultant David Jones and successful designer and entrepreneur Francesca Marcenaro. This session is in partnership with Colin Rutt from Portobello Business Centre.

Business information session
Business information session
Business information: professional resources made available for free from your library
Thursday 26 September, 2 to 4pm at Kensington Central Reference Library

At this session we will guide you through how to use two great business research websites which are available free through your library: Mint UK and also Cobra. Mint UK provides access to a wealth of company information including company data, directors, news and market research. Cobra is a continually updated information resource for anyone who is running a small business or thinking of setting up a business.  Here you will find practical information and advice such as start-up business ideas and profiles, guides to business support in different areas of the UK and much more.

You can book  a FREE place to any of these events at Kensington Central Library in person, by calling 020 7361 3010 or emailing

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian, Kensington Central Library