Subscribe to our newsletter to receive news and inspiration direct to your inbox

My festive season: five Sloane Streeters share their traditions

From fireside afternoons to Anya’s Grotto and horse-and-carriage rides in Chelsea, here are five Sloane Streeters’ traditions for November and December

2 November 2022

No matter what you celebrate or how, November and December are ripe for forming new traditions and practising old ones. Here, we ask five Sloane Streeters to share theirs in honour of the festive season ahead.

Anabela Chan, jewellery designer

“I love Christmas and all the festivities. A visit to Santa’s Grotto at Lapland UK [in Ascot] and Anya’s Grotto on Pont Street have both become family traditions with our children. 

Ice-skating is always magical, and a festive horse carriage ride on Sloane Street [for the Christmas Lights switch-on] is a must. If we are in London for Christmas Day, we also indulge in a home-delivery feast from somewhere in Chelsea.”

Anabela Chan, 35B Sloane Street SW1X 9LP

Peter Joseph, chef at Kahani

“The festive season must be one of the busiest, most hectic times of year for chefs. People are out in London in full force – some are Christmas shopping, and others are closing up business for the year. All of these people have to eat – and they do – so I mostly work these periods, but when I get my break I spend time with my family and play with the kids. 

I do leave London after Christmas to see new cities and experience their culture and food. It’s nice to chill out with the family after a month of hard work. Sometimes I cook at home, particularly a roast lamb shoulder with roasted potatoes, curry-flavoured sauce, and a few salads. It is a great time to try out some lovely new wines, which I do cheerfully.”

Kahani, 1 Wilbraham Place SW1X 9AE

Anya Hindmarch, fashion designer

“I love Christmas and especially the run-up to it. One of the traditions I love the most is the Household Cavalry Breakfast. Every morning, we are lucky enough that the Household Cavalry come down our street [past the Anya Village on Pont Street] as they exercise the horses. And so, once a year, we invite them to stop for a breakfast of bacon sandwiches and port (their request). The whole street comes out to greet them in support of the Household Cavalry Foundation. It is still dark when they arrive and dawn as they leave. We sing two carols, give them three cheers and off they go. A magical Christmas tradition.”

Anya Hindmarch, 157-158 Sloane Street SW1X 9AB

Reverend Yaroslav Sky Walker, assistant priest at Holy Trinity church

“My most beloved Christmas tradition (other than Midnight Mass, which can’t be beaten) is the ‘Walker Family Boxing Day Walk’. Every Boxing Day, we have a freezing stomp around a London park – Hampstead Heath and Hyde Park being our favourites – and then top the day off with a restorative feast of party finger food. It is my most enduring Christmas memory, and a tradition I look forward to introducing my baby daughter to this year.”

Holy Trinity Church, 146 Sloane Street SW1X 9BZ

Brunello Cucinelli, fashion designer

“My Christmas will be very easy, very straightforward. It will be based around a classic Christmas lunch and then three or four days sitting in front of my fireplace at home in Solomeo in Umbria, Italy. 

For lunch on Christmas Day, we have a broth with cappelletti pasta and chicken, and then Christmas pastries like the classic panettoni or pandoro – another typical Christmas cake. 

On Christmas Eve we watch the film A Christmas Carol with the grandchildren, and then we go to Mass – the Italian nativity – at midnight [in the small church in the village that we restored]. I am a big lover of spirituality. Christmas with the snow is beautiful but it only happens here every seven or eight years. We once came out of Midnight Mass and it was snowing like in a movie; and what I remember most is how very quiet it was.

On Christmas Day itself, we walk in the village and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. And we eat. I really do reckon it’s three kilograms that you put on between the 25th and New Year’s Eve!”

Brunello Cucinelli, 159 Sloane Street SW1X 9BT

The best of Sloane Street, from its locals

Guest edits, shopping guides and recipes from local chefs, influencers and creatives in Chelsea, London