Inspiration from our British traditions.

The inspiration for Christmas Chestnuts

In my last blog I was delighted to share with you my new, limited edition candle, Christmas Chestnuts. Over the last few weeks it has been my favourite candle to light at home, especially as the nights draw in and start to turn colder . Every time I light one I feel warm, cosy and a little bit spoilt. 

Sweet Chestnut season is actually just beginning and runs from now until the beginning of January. Would you believe that Sweet chestnut trees actually originated in Greece but have been found in England since ancient times?  I found out that this is something the  Romans introduced us to as they planted these trees all over their empire. Another Roman legacy.

The sight of roasted chestnut sellers has always appealed to me and the sweet smell draws me in. I feel it’s traditional for me to be wrapped up in a big coat, weighed down by Christmas shopping to pause and buy a bag. Even better if I can combine with a glass of mulled wine. You will most definitely still find roasted chestnuts at the Bath Christmas Market, one of my favourite traditional markets. It’s amazing to think that a Roman street seller could have been stood in the same place in Bath as the current roast chestnut sellers, close to the Roman Spa (see my previous blog for more about Bath Roman Roses)

“There is probably a smell of roasted chestnuts and other good comfortable things all the time, for we are telling Winter Stories …round the Christmas fire.”

— CHARLES DICKENS, A CHRISTMAS TREE, 1859

Screen Shot 2016-10-27 at 17.22.33.png

From cards to mince pies.

Previously I’ve talked about smells and memories (see “how smells evoke our memories”). The quote I’ve used with my limited edition candle, from Charles Dickens story A Christmas Tree , represents perfectly how tied up chestnuts are with old Christmas traditions. Dickens is often accredited with spreading Christmas traditions during the Victorian era and helping to make it the sumptuous celebration it is today. Before modern day communication such as telephones, fast travel and the internet, it was popular written works such as Dickens that helped spread new trends and fashions. It was the Victorians who started many if not most of the traditions we still continue today. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had the first Christmas Tree. The inventor Sir Henry Cole, commissioned the first Christmas card in 1843 and the introduction of the halfpenny postage rate secured its popularity and created the industry we know today. It was even the Victorians who adapted the Tudor meat pie to create our modern day mince pies. 

 

A seasonal sentiment from Dickens.

So this year, when I Iight my comforting Christmas Chestnuts candle, I’ll keep in mind this wonderful quote from Dickens.

“ I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year”  

CHARLES DICKENS

And on that note I'll leave you but just to say watch this space for news on our new luxurious products to be launched very soon.

Love Helen 

X

Helen Arthur