Claire McCarthy

With husband Alec runs Rattle Ghyll Fine Food and Deli in Ambleside

Describe a typical Christmas Day in your household

We love to have a family Christmas with plenty of food, games and a good old Christmas movie - The Polar Express is current favourite. We have to go for a walk after lunch to make room for the cheese and port in the afternoon! I love to fill the fridge with way more food than is needed and could probably feed double the amount of people.

Which was your best Christmas – and why?

We’ve had Christmas on the beach in Australia...having a BBQ! And one in the depths of a Canadian winter. But then as a child having everyone at Grandma's eating at the table and one cousin even had ketchup on his roast dinner!

Who do you think would make the most entertaining guest to invite to Christmas dinner (dead or alive) – and why?

I’d want to invite Jamie Oliver, so he could cook up a storm, but have James Corden and Peter Kay at the table to bat ridiculous comedy off each other....and of course the legend that is Billy Connelly. I’d want there to be laughter and good food at the table.

What was your best Christmas present as a child?

Definitely my horse stables....loved loved loved them! Was a very keen horse rider as a child but never had my own real horse..

What is your favourite carol or Christmas pop song – and why?

I’m not going to lie....Christmas songs drive me crazy. I’d like it if some new one came out so the same ones weren’t played over and over again. But I do like the Bill Nighy song in Love Actually where they change the words a little.

What is your favourite festive ramble for walking off all the mince pies and turkey?

From my Mum’s house in Warminster. We would go to a place called Heaven’s Gate, which looks out over Longleat safari park. There are always lots of people up there doing the same so it feels very Chrismassy.

If you could spend Christmas Day anywhere in the world, apart from at home, where would it be – and why?

I’d go back to Australia. We have some very close friends out there who all have families now. I’d love to have us all together at a massive house, with the children running riot and everyone eating and laughing!