NOBODY DOES CHRISTMAS LIKE BUTLERS, THE IRISH FAMILY-OWNED LUXURY CHOCOLATIER WHOSE DELECTABLE NEW CHRISTMAS COLLECTION HAS LANDED IN STORES.
IN THE RUN-UP TO CHRISTMAS, WE FIND GIFTS THAT EVERYONE WILL LOVE, FROM THE DIE-HARD CHRISTMAS SCENE-SETTER, TO THE DISCERNING HOSTESS, TO THE PARTY GIRL …
Barbara is ahead of the curve. While most people are still dismantling their Halloween decorations and batch cooking a seemingly endless supply of pumpkin soup for the freezer, she is finalising the finer details of Christmas 2021. Barbara always begins her festive preparations a year in advance, in keeping with her personal and professional mantra of “adapt, innovate and evolve”. Whether at the helm of her boutique interior design agency, or at home where she is mother-in-chief, she marshals both employees and her three truculent teenagers with the same tenacious zeal.
Having hired a professional photographer to take assorted shots of her Christmas table, the children and the dog frolicking in the snow, these images will be mounted and sent as this year’s cards complete with a bespoke family seal on the envelope. Barbara has already trawled Pinterest for the latest trends in gift wrapping. (Of course, she’s sourced gifts – she’s never not thinking about Christmas presents when she goes shopping and picks up items as she sees them – she only needs to source last minute stocking fillers). She’s torn between a maximalist approach – loud paper, gold trimming – to the more austere Mary Poppins-esque brown paper and string. She has also debated the current marbling and monochrome themes. In the end, she decides on dramatic matt black paper with natural ribbon and a sprig of pine or mistletoe that works for Christmas and any winter birthday (many of her friends are Capricorns who, while very caring, can be highly critical).
For clients she is ordering some of Butlers Festive Gifting Bundles, a feast of chocolates that is both decadent and sustainable, all delivered in a jute bag. Naturally Barbara is member of The Butlers Chocolate Café Platinum Loyalty programme – and she’s loaded cash onto the card to spend online. For employees she’s also installed a hot chocolate machine; they love the seasonal flavours of Butlers Toasted Coconut & Cranberry hot chocolate or the Black Forest and Orange and Ginger iterations. The scent fills the boutique office on which visitors always remark.
As for parties, Barbara has already issued her Twelve Days of Christmas invites via Paperless Post. These virtual and in-person events, ranging from cocktails and karaoke to sushi and saki tastings, have involved rigorous planning – Barbara’s long suffering EA, Elaine, has really stepped up. Barbara is particularly meticulous over the what-to-wear conundrum as she’s known as a bit of a style icon in local circles, especially for her doortraits [doorstep photos] showing her “outfit of the day”. She’s sourced everything from swishy sequinned skirts and velvet suits to feather-embellished palazzo pants. On Christmas Day, she cannot wait to debut her new velvet mini – framing as it does her honed pins – the result of hard grind on dawn Zoom sessions with various Pilates and personal trainers. When her friends lament Christmas and their tardiness, Barbara is unable to empathise. Like anything in life, Barbara firmly believes ensuring a good Christmas takes hard work and dedication.
Barbara recommends the following items from Butlers Chocolates Christmas Gift Ideas:
Medium Festive Gifting Bundle, €55, a feast of chocolates with something delicious for chocolate lovers of all ages and is ideal for corporate gifts. This bundle includes Hot Chocolate, Butlers 210g Platinum Collection, Butlers 170g Twist wrapped Chocolates, Butlers Festive Menu, Butlers 130g Giftwrapped Box, Butlers Christmas Decoration and a Bar, all accompanied in a Butlers jute bag.
Gift-wrapped Signature Christmas Assortment, 500g, €24, one of the most exquisite chocolate gifts, this box of 24 chocolates chosen by Butlers exacting chocolatiers is beautifully presented and looks lovely under any tree or tablescape.
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