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Christmas in July

It's a celebration that's mostly embraced by Aussies originally from the Northern Hemisphere, but with all the doom and gloom of 2020, perhaps we could all do with some festive cheer. Here's how to make the most of the winter chill with a beautifully styled Christmas in July feast featuring warming roasts, boozy puddings and cocktails. 

Christmas in July roast ideas
Given we're midway through jumper and wooly sock season, now's the ideal time to be cranking up that oven and pulling out the roasting pans. Create a festive centrepiece with the best roast turkey for Christmas or any time by Jamie Oliver with its herby pork and dried apricot stuffing or, for foolproof succulent meat, try this easy cranberry glazed turkey with pumpkin and pecan stuffing (below), which requires you to brine the bird overnight for best results. 

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Image via delicious.com.au

Roast pork more your thing? Bring the Argentinian flavours of Sydney restaurant Porteño to your feast with this Christmas porchetta (below) by chefs Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz. Or, if you're missing your annual trip to Bali, why not evoke some of those signature flavours with Adam Liaw's turmeric roast pork belly with fresh sambal based on Bali's famous roast suckling pig dish. The heat from the chillies will keep you warm too!

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Image via goodfood.com.au

Roast beef lovers ought to give this recipe for sticky mulled wine roasted beef a whirl. The spiced marinade makes a delicious sauce to pour over after roasting, or to serve in a gravy boat on the side for everyone to help themselves. 

It's the perfect time to also enjoy winter veg at its best and cheapest. A warm side of brussels sprouts with walnut dressing, lemon and pecorino makes a tempting side, as does Neil Perry's whole roasted cauliflower with lemon and mustard (below), which could also double as a vegetarian main. 

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Image via goodfood.com.au

Warm boozy desserts
It may be all about mangoes and cherries for Christmas in December, but for Christmas in July, it's all about warm, rich and alcohol-laden desserts. Think chocolate whisky soufflé (pictured below) baked in individual ramekins for the ultimate decadence or, if you're too daunted by this French dessert, enjoy the same chocolate and whisky flavour combination with these chocolate mousse pots instead.

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Image via Australian Gourmet Traveller

​If Christmas really doesn't feel like Christmas without a trifle or pav, here are some warmer winter alternatives. This banana, brandy and butterscotch trifle that's served with the butterscotch sauce still warm could even be simplified with a store-bought sponge. Serve in a glass trifle bowl so everyone can appreciate those luscious layers. 

Make the most of winter pears with this chocolate pavlova with spiced pears and butterscotch sauce (below): an impressive three-layer meringue tower that's sure to impress. Amaretto optional, but encouraged. 

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Image via delicious.com.au

Christmas in July drinks
Pull out the blender and your finest glasses for espresso eggnog martinis to kick-off the Christmas in July celebration. For something less rich, consider this festive bay leaf and hibiscus Christmas cordial (below) that's perfect with gin or vodka. Doing Dry July or need something for the kids? No problem, this Christmas in July mocktail with cherry, apple and orange juice will ensure nobody feels left out.

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Image via delicious.com.au

Table styling tips
Stylist Allira shares her top three tips for Christmas in July table styling. 
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​1. Mix and match crockery

Strike the balance between formal and casual by layering different styles of dinnerware. Selecting crockery with interesting glazes and slight imperfections in shape allows for an enhanced and tactile dining experience. 

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2. Keep napery tonal
Winter is all about hibernating - especially lately! For a grounded and calming look, digress from traditionally loud yuletide themes and instead choose earthy colours such as moss green and dusty olive tones reminiscent of nature. 

3. Add a personal touch
Little details can really enhance your tablescape. I tied handmade name tags around salt rocks to add a personal touch to each place setting and created an oversized paper garland for an affordable centrepiece which you can even do with the kids.

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