I’m dreaming of a “Janet Bell” Christmas
Just like last year and the year before
Where the windows glisten and customers listen
To hear the opening of the new store
I’m dreaming of a Janet Bell Christmas
With every aebleskiver I bite
May your days be fika and bright
And all your Christmas gifts be right.
Ok Bing. So I shouldn’t give up my day job. Leave song writing to the experts.
A few nights ago we were invited to a Scandinavian Christmas Evening in Beaumaris. It’s Biwmares in Welsh, and means “beautiful sea” in French.
Whenever we need an afternoon out, a mini road trip – we usually head to Beaumaris. It’s the most delightful little Anglesey town. Population 2,040. Slightly more in the school holidays!
It’s stunning in the summer. You can sit in the sunshine on the pier, take in the mountains, watch the boats bobbing and eat salty fish and chips.
It’s magical in the winter too. You can cosy up in one of the cute cafes, cradle a hot chocolate and munch on delicious dutch pancakes.
All year round really.
We love Christmas in Beaumaris for 2 particular reasons. First the Beaumaris Victorian Christmas, and second, the Scandinavian Christmas Evening at Janet Bell Home. This has become a bit of a tradition in our December diary. It’s the 3rd year now. The first year Mr Bond decided to join in with the live singer and duetted Christmas carols all evening. The second year we made fancy Danish Christmas stars with Janet’s Mum and stuffed ourselves with aebleskiver.
This year was extra exciting. Not only did we have the festive evening that has become our tradition, but Janet Bell Home is on the move. You can now find them on 11 Church Street in Beaumaris. It’s a large premises with huge windows, outside space and room for FIKA – coffee and cake – their latest danish style venture.
We were welcomed by flaming hurricane lamps, twinkly trees and pretty benches. Who could resist the warm welcoming glow of a brand new shop window full of beautiful things? The shop was buzzing with happy voices, smiling faces and the chinking of prosecco glasses. I chose the traditional glogg – warm, spiced and laced with danish goodness, served with a tiny spoon for digging out the plump brandy soaked sultanas and soft almonds. This is a drink where every moment should be savoured and nothing wasted.
Janet’s danish heritage always ensures a reassuring level of authenticity in the edibles department. You just know that everything spread out before us would look quite at home in a trendy Copenhagen cafe. All hail to Janet’s mum and team beavering away in the little kitchen.
Every time I visit Janet Bell I’m like a child at Christmas, wide eyed and a little breathless. So imagine my anticipation of a brand new shop full of all things plus many more new things. A little overwhelming you might think. So I focussed on the glogg and tried to get a grip. Mr Bond is less overwhelmed by such things so found himself a corner seat tucked up with a bunch of ladies, providing me with the perfect scarf, hat and glass holder.
Honestly I think I must be their ideal customer. Scarfs and socks, bags and books, ceramics and candles, cards and prints. Gifts galore. And plenty of things I wouldn’t dream of giving away.
Just when we thought we were done, they ushered us upstairs for Scandi style wreath making with the lovely Andrea from Luna Flowers in Rhos on Sea.
I’ve always said if I wasn’t a cake-maker, I would love to be a florist. So here was my big chance to have a go. Actually it was quite easy and lots of people were creating something lovely for their home.
The idea was simple. You choose a metal ring – whatever size you fancy, and then attach fresh foliage and berries to it with florist wire in a pleasing manner. Less is more for me so I chose eucalyptus, pine foliage, red berries, cotton bolls and of course mistletoe. And it looks ever so pretty hanging in our stairway.
Thank you Andrea for your help and encouragement.
Shopping is essential on a night like this especially when there’s 10% off everything. I’m done with the Christmas shopping so chose a pretty white Christmas tree to hang in a little empty space on our dresser. Mr Bond kindly bought me the most beautiful pink ceramic cup that I’ve had my eye on for the last 2 visits. Let’s call it a pre-Christmas treat. Thank you sweetie.
If you’re far away, you’ll find all the gorgeousness of Janet Bell Home online so you can shop to your heart’s content. If you’re a North Walian you’ve probably already discovered this treasure trove, and if not – shame on you! Get yourself over there immediately.
Big thanks to Janet and her hardworking team for making this happen in a teeny amount of time. We know you took a risk which is always scary – but if Friday night was anything to go by – it’ll be worth it.
One thing was clear from the glogg-quaffing crowd – there was a lot of love in the room. Love, appreciation and respect in bucket loads from us and everyone who raised a glass with you and went home with a bag of goodies and a floral wreath.
And I haven’t said anything about the amazing paintings or the lovely greetings cards. Another day.
Finally if you’re not feeling Christmassy yet – here’s a little treat …
We’ll be back, of course.
That’s all for now.
I’m Judith. I’ve been blogging here since 2014. I’m a writer, keen photographer, cake decorator, lover of travel, drinker of coffee and reader of books. . This is my Lifestyle blog – a fresh authentic space for thoughtful women – where I write about my life in North Wales – the things I love to use, the issues that matter, and the places I love to visit. I’d love you to join my community.
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