Festive Things to Do This Christmas

Christmas is a time to do all sorts of festive things with your family- from the comfort of traditional activities to trying something new. You can never be bored with so many things to do this time of year! Read on to find out our top ideas, but if you have any other suggestions, let us know in the comments!

Christmas Crafts

Christmas Crafts

Images taken from Pinterest

There are endless ways to craft handmade decorations and gifts for both your home and friends. A simple but effective way to start is by giving reusable, natural materials such as pine cones and twigs a new life. Spray paint them in festive metallic colours and attach them to an ornament – or even the tree! If you’ve kept craft materials from last Christmas, now’s your chance to use them for something special. For example, handmade cardboard boxes are a personal way to wrap a small present. Caught the arty bug? You can gather plenty more inspiring of craft ideas on Pinterest.

Traditional Things to do

Tradtional Things to Do

Images taken from Pinterest

England has several traditional activities and Christmassy events around the country to entertain the whole family. Pantomimes and nativities are fun and interactive ways to get the kids involved. Ice skating is a great new skill to learn, and it gets a few laughs when someone falls over spectacularly! Top your evening off with a few glasses of mulled wine whilst listening to the carol singers, and you’ll have a brilliant night out. Don’t forget to wrap up nice and warm in a men’s hat and scarf set or a women’s knitted set!

Festive Foods

Festive Foods

Images taken from Pinterest

One of the biggest things to look forward to on the big day is the delicious Christmas meal – and the yummy puddings to follow! A traditional roast has a sense of comfort to it, but why not add a twist by making smaller nibbles such as stuffing and pasties out of the leftover ingredients as an after-dinner snack? There are plenty of options available to cater for all tastes, and the web is bursting with new and creative ideas!

Dents Advent Calendar

Dents Advent Calendar

The countdown to Christmas has never been more fun! As well as eating a tasty chocolate treat everyday, keep a look out across our social media for our Advent Calendar trail, starting here. Our calendar above will be updated daily with a new festive favourite.

Shop Christmas Gifts

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Dents Take Part in Christmas Jumper Day!

XMAS JUMPER blog

Here at Dents, many colleagues took the opportunity to bring a little festive cheer by putting on a Christmas jumper in aid of Save the Children. There was a whole array of quirky designs, from extravagant Christmas trees to fanciful fair isle. We certainly had a laugh looking at what everyone else was wearing!

But while we all had a merry time dressing up, we didn’t forget what this was all towards. Save the Children is an vital organisation that saves children’s lives in 120 countries. When it comes to disasters, education, poverty, health, hunger and children’s rights, the organisation works hard to transform their lives and fulfill their potential.

If you would like to help, it’s easy to donate. Either give £2 (or more if your prefer) to collectors at your work place/school etc, or make a donation online. The easiest way however, is by text:

text woolly

Did you take part in Christmas Jumper Day? Let us know in the comments!

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How to Wear Faux Fur

Faux Fur Inspiration copy

Brrr, it’s getting very chilly around here! All we can think about is snuggling up in our cosy faux fur accessories and braving the cold in style, because the winter weather has finally taken over!

Faux fur definitely adds a touch more warmth to your outfit and is forever coming back on our fashion radar. It’s also popular among celebs; Made in Chelsea’s Millie Mackintosh, Kim Kardashian and Olivia Palermo are regularly seen working the look.

Pinterest has plenty of faux fur inspiration for you to gather ideas. The trend can appear on just about any fashion accessory these days, from the trim on your gloves, to covering your hat. Reds, grey, browns and black are some of the most popular faux fur colours seen on the street, which we’ve reflected in our faux fur collection. But to make things a little more interesting, we’ve even included animal prints such as dalmatian and leopard to the mix.

So how can you style this look? When it comes to your main outfit, stick to natural and neutral colours such as grey, khaki and white as a base colour, so your faux fur accessories can really jump out. Be careful to not overdo the look – stick to one or two key pieces so that your outfit underneath doesn’t become hidden. So, if gloves are your accessory of choice, wear them with a tight, snug jumper and coat (plus a matching hat will work wonders!). If you prefer a scarf/snood, try it with a cape coat, or an oversized chunky top and a faux fur handbag. Finally, if you’re trekking across the country in wellies, or wearing long boots around town, our fur trim socks and boots toppers are for you!

Psst… If you hurry, you can get 25% off all faux fur accessories online! Until 14th December.

Shop Faux Fur.

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Find that Perfect Dents Fit!

You may have caught CEO Deborah Moore’s recent BBC Radio 2 interview on Simon Mayo’s Drivetime, where they discussed finding the perfect glove fit. If you didn’t, catch up below:

Dents men’s gloves are available sizes 7½ – 11, whereas women can fit sizes 6 – 8½. If you want to find out more on how choose that perfect glove size, we’ve got a few extra tips for you:

Get a measuring tape and wrap it around the hand you normally write with at its widest point – excluding the thumb . Measure your hand in inches (note: one inch = 25.4mm) then round down to the nearest half or whole number – this will be your glove size. As you can see in the video above, the hand measures around 7.5 inches all the way around, so the glove size is 7½.

However, driving/causal gloves are designed to have a looser fit, so are available in Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L) and Extra Large (XL) sizes. With the glove size you calculated using the method above, see what size you would fit…

For Men:                                                           For Women:
Small = Sizes 7½ – 8                                        Small = Sizes 6 – 6½
Medium = Sizes 8½ – 9                                    Medium = Sizes 7 – 7½
Large = Size 9½                                               Large = Sizes 8 – 8½
Extra Large = Sizes 10 -10½

Top Tips: If you are between sizes, choose the smaller size. The gloves should be snug at first, but will stretch when worn. Also, Heritage gloves tend to be for those with longer fingers.

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Season’s Eatings

Stir Up Sunday is the traditional day to begin maturing your Christmas pudding, and it’s the perfect way to spend time with your family. 23rd November is this year’s date to mix up all those lovely fruits and spices with a dash of alcohol, and make a Christmas pudding worth remembering! seasons eatings banner

Serves 10-12 people.

Ingredients

  • 110g shredded suet
  • 110g white breadcrumbs
  • 1 level teaspoon ground mixed spice
  •  ¼ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • good pinch ground cinnamon
  • 225g soft dark brown sugar
  • 110g sultanas
  • 110g raisins
  • 275g currants
  • 25g whole candied peel, finely chopped
  • 25g whole almonds
  • 1 small cooking apple cored and finely chopped
  • grated zest ½ large navel orange
  • grated zest ½ large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 75ml barley wine
  • 75ml stout
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50g self-raising flour, sifted

Equipment

  • 2 pint (1.2 litre) pudding basin, lightly greased
  • Baking parchment
  • Foil
  • String
  • A traditional or fan-type steamer

Method

1. Begin the day before you want to steam the pudding. Using the largest mixing bowl you have, mix the suet and breadcrumbs, spices and sugar together thoroughly, and then gradually mix in all the dried fruit, peel and nuts. Add the apple and the grated orange and lemon zests.

2. In a smaller bowl, measure out the rum, barley wine and stout, then add the eggs. Beat these thoroughly together. Pour this liquid over the ingredients from Step 1, and mix very thoroughly. (At this stage it’s traditional to gather the family round and say ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works’ whilst stirring). The mixture should now have a sloppy consistency – if not, add more stout. Cover the bowl and leave overnight.

3. The next day, thoroughly stir in the sifted flour, and then pack the mixture into the lightly greased bowl. Cover it with a double layer of baking parchment and a sheet of foil, then tie it securely with string. For easy lifting when steaming, also tie a piece of string across the top to make a handle.

4. To steam the pudding, fill a saucepan almost to the top with boiling water, and heat until the water boils. Place the mixture inside a steamer, attach the lid and lower into the saucepan. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and steam for 8 hours. Keep a regular eye on the water underneath; you’ll need to top it up with boiling water around 4 hours in. Once the pudding has steamed, allow it to cool before replacing the baking parchment and foil with some fresh ones (using the same method from Step 3). Keep in a cool place away from the light. Your delicious pudding is now ready to mature for Christmas!

5. For the finishing touches on the big day, slide a palette knife all around the pudding and turn it out on to a warmed plate. Pour a ladleful of hot brandy on top and decorate with a sprig of holly. Before serving, carefully light the brandy for a spectacular show of colours! For extra tastiness, serve the pudding with rum sauce or brandy butter.

We hope you enjoy tucking into your yummy Christmas pudding! And don’t worry about leftovers, as they can be wrapped in foil and reheated in the oven for a Boxing Day treat!

Recipe source: Delia Online

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Glover’s Lane Cycle Path

Some local news for our Wiltshire readers…

A new cycle and pedestrian path was recently officially opened in Warminster. The path connects Broadwood Close to Newopaul Way on the Warminster Business Park, where Dents HQ is based – and we are pleased to announce that this new path is named Glovers Lane, after us!

New path warminster

The route between Broadwood Close and Newopaul Way is shown in red

The freshly surfaced path was previously known to have been uneven and muddy – especially during the winter months – raising concerns from the local Warminster cycle club, among others. The lane is also fitted with street lamps to provide lighting all year round. Hopefully this new path will encourage more people to cycle along the route to work.

CEO Deborah Moore is pleased with the new lane’s name, which was was suggested by a member of the local cycle club, and approved by the Planning Advisory Committee of Warminster Town Council.

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Morgan Cars & Dents Driving Gloves

Recently, Justin Barrow, a Morgan car fan, approached us with his video, entitled ‘The Gloves’ (below), that shows a personal connection with his father’s beautiful white 1981 Plus 8. It was lovely to see a pair of Dents driving gloves in Cognac/English Tan being featured, so last week we invited Justin over to visit Dents HQ, to talk about his video and take a tour around the building…

Using his creative skills as an Art Director, Justin’s nostalgic video was the perfect way to capture his family’s love of Morgan cars. It had been his father’s dream to own one, and it was finally fulfilled 6 years ago, when the Plus 8 came into his life. Justin describes Morgans as a “vessel for creating memories” that will be passed down from generation to generation, which is emphasised now that his children also enjoy being driven around in the car. His son was the young boy featured in the video.

The response to Justin’s video was far bigger than expected when it was shared throughout Vimeo and car forums. It quickly gained thousands of views. Even Morgan saw the video, and said they were impressed that so much integrity could be captured in as little as 2 minutes. The video has even been entered into a film award.

morgan car

Justin with the Plus 8, and the driving gloves featured in the video

The art of craftsmanship is something that Justin finds fascinating. He recently visited the Morgan factory to see the cars in production, so we took him into the Dents factory to see our heritage gloves being hand crafted, using methods that date back to 230 years ago. A talk about the luxury leathers we use and a tour around the museum was also included in the visit.

So why choose Dents gloves? His mother and father both own a pair, so to keep with the family tradition, his own Dents driving gloves seemed the best choice!

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Make this Halloween a Tasty One…

Halloween is definitely one of the biggest events of the year, and it won’t be long before the spooky costumes and ‘trick or treaters’ come knocking at your door. Jack-o’-Lanterns are an iconic part of the Halloween tradition, and once you’ve carved your own pumpkin, why not make a tasty treat out of the off-cuts?

pumpkin pie text

Ingredients:

  • 750g/1lb 10oz pumpkin, which is peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 350g sweet shortcrust pastry
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 140g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 175ml milk
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

Method

  1. Place the pumpkin chunks in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins, or until tender. Drain, and let it cool.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 15 mins. Line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 mins until the base is pale golden and biscuity. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve and collect in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the cinnamon. Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Pour into the tart shell and cook for 10 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Continue to bake for 35-40 mins until the filling has just set.
  4. Leave to cool, then remove the pie from the tin. Mix the remaining cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the pie. You can even decorate it with a spooky design! Serve chilled, and enjoy with friends and family!

Will you be trying this delicious recipe? Let us know how it turned out!

Recipe source: BBC Good Food

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7 VIP Days

As a thank you for being such a great Dents customer, you are invited to shop our VIP event, with specially selected pieces at fabulous prices! Look stylish for less with up to 30% OFF our favourite online Dents products for the next 7 days!

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You’ll find many fabulous accessories included in this offer, from stylish leather gloves to classic belts. Simply look out for the items marked with a ‘VIP’ flash throughout the Men’s and Women’s collections.

Here are some of the items that have caught our eye…

VIP top picks womens

For the ladies, we believe that your fingers don’t need to get cold when using technology; these Touchscreen Technology Gloves feature a spandex palm and stitched leather back for your comfort. And for your essential belongings, why not try this Crocodile Print Bag to stay stylish and practical on the go?

VIP top picks mens

For men with a classic taste in head wear, this Herringbone Harris Tweed 8-Piece Cap is ideal for that country look, and acts as a timeless piece. For a finishing touch, this Leather Belt with Plaque Buckle will smarten up your work look along with a pair of black trousers.

Hurry – grab yours before they run out! The Dents ‘7 VIP Days’ offer will end 27th October.

Shop Men’s | Shop Women’s

And to make things even better, head over to the Stephen Collins website to find selected ladies’ belts at up to 40% OFF!

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Look Natural in Neutrals

Introducing this season’s new metallics. There is a definite understated elegance in the neutral colour trend, and as the party season is approaching, we’ve injected a little shimmer to these handbags…

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Neutral metallics

Some more of our favourite metallic handbags… Which one is your favourite?

Neutrals can balance out any bright colour scheme, meaning these soft gold and pewter shades are incredibly versatile. Team them up with black and white to produce the most striking effect. Alternatively, a rich navy will work wonders with soft gold, and a deep red nicely complements the darker tones of pewter. Muted metallics, white and nudes are another popular colour combination as they won’t clash, so they will appeal to those who want to tone down their look.

neutral colour schemes

Need more inspiration on how to style your neutral bag? Here are some images from Pinterest…

Will you be adding a little metallic shine to your outfit? See the full collection of handbags here.

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