British meets Australian is how editor-in-chief of Vogue Living, Neale Whitaker and his partner, David Novak Piper celebrate and decorate their home for Christmas. "I'm British so I'm fairly traditional when it comes to Christmas," says Neale. "Fortunately David agrees - must be his Scottish heritage!"
A well-decorated home for Christmas is top of the list for the charming couple who love to entertain during the holidays. Here they share their Christmas traditions and answer what every decorator contemplates every holiday season: real or fake?
David and Neale, you're two extremely stylish gentlemen. How do you decorate your home in style for Christmas?
Neale: The tree takes centre stage and then the rest is all about candles, candles and more candles. David's mum, Ruth, usually stays with us for Christmas and she loves to decorate the tree. It's become a tradition.
Shop Christmas candles and other home décor.
Hang on, do you go for a real tree or a fake one?
N: If it was up to me it would be real but fake wins out because it's more practical. It's a good fake though!
How else do you dress up your house for Christmas?
N: We keep things fairly simple and stick to red, green, silver and gold colours. As a nod to the Australian summer we also like to place bowls of frangipani flowers around the house - the tree in the garden obligingly drops plenty of them.
Shop the David Jones Christmas Shop for Christmas trees and baubles.
Is there anything unique or different that you do to celebrate Christmas?
D: Neale's family is in the UK and mine is spread around Australia, so we tend to have what we call an 'orphan's Christmas'! It's basically open-house for three days to any friends who want to drop in - with or without dogs. There's a running buffet!
N: I introduced David to bread sauce. That was pretty radical. I can't eat turkey without it!
What's your favourite thing to drink when entertaining during Christmas?
D: Champagne. Ruinart anyone?
N: A good chardonnay or pinot gris and chilled sparkling Shiraz go down pretty well with me. David's a bit like Bubbles DeVere in 'Little Britain': "Champagne for everyone!"
Shop Ruinart champagne and more.
What’s on your Christmas wishlist this year?
N: A sleep-in would be nice! Maybe some time on the south (NSW) coast - our favourite getaway. Other than that I'm happy with friends and David's cooking. Did I mention that he is the best chef?
D: A house in the country and two more Weimaraners. I've always wanted a big family!
Finally, what makes Christmas special to you?
N: Memories. Sunshine. Friends. Time to relax and take stock of the year that's coming to an end and the one ahead.
D: Time out with Neale, mum, friends and the 'boys' - Ollie and Otis.
Shop all your Christmas decorating and entertaining needs at the David Jones Christmas Shop.