‘Tis the season for feasting
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world
– J.R.R. Tolkein
The festive season can help remind us about the joy of sharing food, spending time with friends and family, and the importance of including those who may otherwise be spending Christmas alone – but central to most of our Christmases, is the abundance of festive food and drink! It is the Charles Dickens and Victorian conception of Christmas that is fundamentally connected to the idea of feasting, which is profoundly expressive of the human happiness that he believed the festival should promote – and it is this tradition we celebrate to this day. It is the coming together of people around a table in celebration that is the very essence of the Christmas meal.
Good food is not just for Christmas …
There is no denying that the festive period is a time when we all come together to share good food and wine but it’s important to remember that the sharing of food has always been part of our human story; retrieved from the ashes of Vesuvius a circular loaf of bread was found, with scoring marks, baked to be divided. “To break bread together,” a phrase as old as the Bible, captures the power of a meal to forge relationships, bury anger, provoke laughter. Award-winning and internationally renowned retirement community operator, LifeCare Residences, pride themselves not only on providing retirees with vibrant places to live offering a full-spectrum of five-star amenities and services, but also places where the quality of food served across all three communities is of paramount importance. Residents at the LifeCare Residences communities of Battersea Place in London, Somerleigh Court in Dorchester, Dorset and Grove Place in Hampshire all benefit from having access to fresh, delicious and nutritious food – not just at Christmas, but throughout the year! The team at the LifeCare Residences communities are highly aware of the importance of good nutrition in retirement, as nutrition has a huge impact on the physical health and wellbeing of those in their retirement years. Mealtimes in retirement communities can provide one of the most important activities of the day because they allow residents, if they so choose, to not only socialise but also to get their required nutrients. The teams at award-winning and internationally renowned retirement community operator, LifeCare Residences, ensures that all their chef-led meals are well-balanced – and all include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. All LifeCare Residences communities go the extra mile to ensure that their residents benefit from delicious and nutritionally optimal meals.
At Somerleigh Court in the heart Dorchester, Dorset, the team has set up a home delivery service for residents with an emphasis on locally sourced and local farm produced products. This also includes providing fresh fish – high in essential oils and fatty acids – caught from the local coast, just ten minutes away. The team at Somerleigh Court has also put together ‘food passports’ which helps to ensure that all staff are familiar with the likes and dislikes of each resident, and most importantly to accommodate special dietary requirements. For those residents craving a satisfying ‘cooked’ meal, the in-house chef at Somerleigh Court can create delicious meals such as hearty roast dinners and fresh fish and chips. Residents are also fortunate to be situated a stone’s throw from the centre of Dorchester where many residents enjoy the numerous restaurants on their doorsteps too. This Christmas, residents can also enjoy a delicious Christmas lunch hosted in the popular Grenville Lounge on-site. Other residents may prefer to nip out to the local popular pub, The Trumpet Major in Dorchester where festive turkey with all the trimmings will be served, as well as Beef Wellington and freshly baked Christmas puddings, and not forgetting a festive themed cocktail or two!
At Battersea Place – the first luxury retirement community in London – residents can take advantage of the delicious food on offer at the on-site, chef-led restaurant which offers an impressive room service menu, featuring nutritious, freshly prepared favourites that change every day. The room service provision is extremely popular with the residents at Battersea Place as they can order throughout the day, whether it’s a tasty and nutritious meal or a quick pick-me-up coffee and cake. The restaurant is also on hand to help cater for those who have guests visiting. Like all LifeCare Residences communities, the team at Battersea Place is keen to feature locally produced ingredients on the menu which helps to create healthy, better tasting and more nutritionally balanced dishes. The on-site restaurant is one of the most popular amenities at Battersea Place. One resident adds, “That’s the other lovely thing here – having a restaurant … I arrived home from a flight at 7pm and thought oh blimey, I’m going to have to defrost something from the freezer. But of course, I didn’t, I just popped down to the restaurant and had a lovely meal.” There is always a buzzy atmosphere at the Battersea Place fully-stocked bar where many guests gather to enjoy convivial conversations a drink or two. This year, the residents will be hosting a Christmas party, with the chefs on hand to provide traditional treats such as home-made mince pies, roast goose as well as an array of quality Italian and French wines to enjoy. And on Christmas Day itself, the team will be hosting a delicious feast for residents and their guests to enjoy.
At Grove Place – a beautiful retirement community – set in 27 acres of tranquil rural Hampshire countryside, the team approaches healthy eating for residents with a very simple philosophy; keep it fresh. The team at Grove Place takes this seriously and aim to use as many fresh ingredients as possible, keeping menus simple and allowing the produce to take centre stage. The team also works closely with their suppliers to develop the weekly menu to ensure that most of the offering is in season. At Grove Place, all food suppliers are located within a 40-mile radius, including the local family butcher. Residents at Grove Place also benefit from enjoying the seasonal fruit and vegetables grown in the dedicated kitchen garden. Home-grown leeks, onions, herbs, red chard and even rhubarb are regularly found on the menu. The main health benefit of this home-grown food is that it’s fresher. Fruit and vegetables begin to lose their nutrients within 24 hours of being picked. In addition, home-grown, or locally grown food is picked at its peak ripeness, when its most dense with nutrients. Fresh honey is harvested on-site and given out to residents. The dining area and restaurant at Grove Place is always full of life – being a much-loved space where residents enjoy the delicious fresh food on offer with visiting family or by joining friends for dinner. The bar is always well stocked with various wines, gins, and spirits – and at this time of year, residents can enjoy a festive cocktail or a warming mulled wine. The team at Grove Place hosts their annual big Christmas lunch on the 25th of December and around 90 people are expected to attend the gathering, including residents, friends, and family.
Gather with friends and family to enjoy a warming LifeCare Residences signature mulled wine this festive season using the recipe below:
750 ml of your finest red wine, one orange (sliced into rounds), five dried apricots, one large cinnamon stick, six cloves, one star anise, whole nutmeg (to grate), one tsp. of vanilla bean paste, three tbsp. of caster sugar.
Pour wine into a large pan. Add the orange slices, dried apricots, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, about 15 rasps of nutmeg, the vanilla paste and sugar. Cook on medium heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain the infused wine into a large jug, reserving the orange slices for serving. Return wine to the pan and reheat until piping hot. Pour into mugs or heatproof glasses, and top with the orange slices… Merry Christmas!
If you would like to learn more about our offering and how we can enhance the ‘every day’ please call 0800 009 6950. For those who are unable to visit in person, we are also able to offer virtual tours of our communities at your convenience.
LifeCare Residences. We care about living life.