Happy New Year! I hope you all had a happy and peaceful break. After a month of over-indulgence, it is quite a relief to know that I do not have to look at another mince pie for the next 11 months. The tin of Quality Street has been recycled (ok, both of them) and the wine fridge has been well and truly emptied! Over the next few days, I plan to slowly wean myself off the Christmas music, dismantle the tree and retire the tinsel back up to the loft. After a month of excess, I could not feel more ready for January to come. Although, this doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy all the festivities at the time.

The East Dulwich Christmas Cracker certainly got everyone in the festive spirit with an exciting array of entertainment from local bands, choirs and performance groups, exclusive offers from local traders, a wonderfully seasonal North Cross Road market and the return of the Children’s Christmas Treasure Hunt.

The Dulwich Charity Lunch in aid of Link Age Southwark was hosted at The Palmerston again this year and thanks to the generosity of our local businesses, over £1,900 was raised for this wonderful charity.

The crib service at St. Augustine’s on Christmas Eve is always magical, with children invited to dress up as any character in the nativity. This year, we avoided the eerily dark and quiet route through One Tree Hill and stuck to the well-lit main road instead!

The highlight of our festive social calendar is always our friend’s annual Christmas party in East Dulwich. They are the perfect hosts and always spoil us with glorious food, drinks, entertainment and great company. Visit www.dolcevitacatering.co.uk to sample Tracey’s amazing food for yourself!

However, it wasn’t just the season that had us raising a glass or three in December. My husband (read his review of 2017 here) celebrated his birthday at home this year, with a traditional turkey lunch and all the trimmings for 10 people. He insisted on doing “all” the cooking, which really means he put the bird in the oven and drank a lot of champagne.

Terroirs Wine Bar (formerly Toasted) celebrated Truffle Week – when trained truffle hunters flock to Alba, a small township in Piemonte, to hunt this rare ingredient, which only grows in the wild from September to December – by serving fresh truffle dishes, likely dug up that very morning!

Having a birthday on 2nd January when everyone is dry, let alone a 40th birthday, is no fun at all so we celebrated a friend’s big 4-0 a month early with a surprise party at the Watsons General Telegraph on Forest Hill Road. The drinks were flowing, the music pumping, and many tables were danced on (apologies once again to the very understanding bar staff).

Now that January is upon us, it’s time to put the wine glass to rest, lock-up up the crisps, and perhaps begin to explore healthier activities. Well, for the first few weeks of the month anyway.

Wishing you all much love, warmth, happiness and good health for the year ahead.

Details of all local news, events and ticket information can be found on our events page and on instagram @arounddulwich.

This article first appeared in the January 2017 issue of SE22 magazine.