Friday, December 16, 2011



Gosh, its crept up on us in a big way, and now only days until the big guy arrives.  Cath has been busy unpacking more new stock arrivals to replenish all the favourites that have sold out.  We now have MORE of our gorgeous stone lanterns in varied sizings starting at just $49.50!  They make the nicest gift and also look amazing on the Christmas Table!  These lanterns sell faster than we can unpack them, so be quick!
Charcoal Interiors - 59 Doggett St. Newstead. every day but Sunday.

Our stone based lanterns...stunning!..but be quick!

Our Gourmet Provisions area is bursting at the seams with hampers and gift packs...prices start at just $20 and all the wrapping is done for easy!

 We make last minute gift buying just soooo easy!

 Limoges gift packs are now instore...give the gift of style, elegance and quality with these stunning Limoges collectors pieces....after all...who wouldnt like a little piece of French craftsmanship for Christmas this year?

Our elegant silver hand painted tea-light holders will bring a sense of festivity glam to your Christmas Table Setting this year...why not go for a silver and white theme like we did last year...simple, but stunning!

Love the look?...its all yours.  Everything here is available for sale right now...we are open this Saturday and our showroom is literally heaving with possibilities for your home this Christmas.  From gift hampers starting at just $20 to Cathedral Style Candles, Stunning Crystal Chandeliers and Hand Painted traditional cabinetry...Christmas doesnt have to be all tinsel and holly...for something different pop in and see what all the fuss is about this season.....we are here to help.  See you soon!
Charcoal Interiors - 59 Doggett St.  Newstead.  Qld.  Ph. 38526002



Our friends at Inside Out mag had their Christmas get together this week, with the gift giving order of the day being 'Secret Santa'....and being the creative types that they are, there was not a plainly wrapped gift in sight!...I mean, who thinks to wrap a gift in dress-makers pattern paper? nifty.  We loved it....and gorgeous red and white print material instead of paper...loved that one too.  The red polka dot paper with candy striped twine is another fave.  One year, I got my kids to draw and paint over a big roll of butchers paper...we used bright colours and they had a ball drawing whatever they liked in a christmas theme.  Then we cut the paper up into sections and used it for wrapping...small pictures were cut out and used for gift tags...the Grandparents in particular loved it, and the kids entertained for hours!  So, there really are just so many options and the sky and your imagination are the limit.  So get cracking and get creative this Christmas with your wrapping.

Dress-making paper with a simple swing it!

Fabric in rich red and white...and plain hand written swing!

The candy striped twine gives this gift wrap a Christmas feel without being over the top...a personal and individual way of saying you care....just that little bit of extra effort means so much.



Last week, we gave you some idea for Christmas Table Settings, and one favourite (weather permitting) is the outdoor Christmas party in the garden, or by the pool.  We liked this idea because the kids get to run around with easy supervision and we adults have the benefit of sitting under a big umbrella or tree in the backyard, kicking back and relaxing.  As mentioned last week with the infamous 'Sangria' Christmas party, it was held outdoors in my Aunties backyard.  I think the pre-requisite was for each family group to bring a table because there was a huge chain of tables covered in white cloth that stretched the whole length of the backyard...and we just had a conglomeration of umbrellas for really was quite a memorable setting and day to boot.

And so...the big question is "what to serve up for an outdoor Christmas Garden Party?"...simple, yet tasty and traditional are the order of the day.  So we found this recipe for Sage Roast Turkey with Pork Stuffing and Apple Cider Gravy.....ooooh la la!

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bacon rashers, finely chopped
  • 1-2 good-quality pork sausages (100g total), skin removed
  • 1 cup (70g) breadcrumbs (made from day-old bread)
  • 1 green apple, peeled, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cup (60g) coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbs finely shredded sage leaves, plus 8 extra whole leaves
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 6kg whole free-range turkey
  • 1/4 cup (35g) plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) chicken stock
  • 1 cup (250ml) dry alcoholic cider


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Melt 20g butter in a frypan over medium heat until foaming. Add the onion and bacon and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Allow to cool.
  3. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl. Add sausage meat, breadcrumbs, apple, walnuts, shredded sage and egg, then mix well with your hands until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Rinse turkey well, then pat dry with paper towel. Fill cavity with stuffing mixture. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wings under. Place turkey, breast-side up, in a roasting pan. Run your fingers under the skin of the breast to create a large pocket, taking care not to tear the skin. Arrange the whole sage leaves in a single layer inside the pocket. Melt remaining 50g butter, then brush all over the turkey. Season.
  5. Roast the turkey for 3 hours, basting occasionally with pan juices and covering with foil if browning too quickly, or until golden and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Transfer to a serving platter and loosely cover with foil. Rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, strain the pan juices into a heatproof jug. Stand for 2 minutes, then remove 2 tbs fat and place in the roasting pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring to scrape any brown pieces from the base of the pan, for 1 minute or until bubbling. Gradually add the pan juices, stock and cider and cook, stirring constantly, for 5-6 minutes or until the gravy bubbles and thickens. Season, then strain through a sieve into a heatproof jug. Serve immediately with roast turkey.


There's no easier way to start off your Christmas Garden Party celebrations than with this refreshing and simple Guava and Peach cocktail.
To be sipped under the shade of a coolibah tree with your Christmas Hat donned and bells on :-)

Recipe via Taste

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 1 cup (250ml) guava nectar (see note)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) peach liqueur
  • 2 x 750ml bottles chilled sparkling white wine


  1. Combine the guava nectar and peach liqueur in a jug, then divide evenly among 8 Champagne flutes. Top with chilled sparkling wine and serve immediately.


  • Guava nectar is available from supermarkets and greengrocers.


    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”..Nelson Mandela....

    Stay tuned early next week for our final blog for the year, and its going to be jam packed with recipes, ideas and last minute gift suggestions....until then!