Homes gossip: Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Ali Bastian, Nicky Clarke, Aldo Zilli, Robin Windsor

There is no such thing as a quiet family gathering for Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. With 35 people for Christmas lunch, the flamboyant interior designer and his wife, Jacki, have gone for a “Grimms’ Fairy Tales” theme this year
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and wife Jackie

It will be all ‘twiggy and witchy’ chez Laurence this year


There’s no such thing as a quiet family gathering for Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. “We have 35 people at our Grade II-listed Cotswolds house for lunch on Christmas Day,” he says.

The flamboyant interior designer and his wife, Jackie, (pictured) have gone for a “Grimms’ fairy tales” theme this year. “Think lots of twigs and slightly witchy-looking elements that feel very Hansel and Gretel,” he reveals. “Perfect background for Granny, as I keep telling the children.”

So what is his top tip for a festive makeover? “The light this time of year is very low, so indulge in your passion for flamingo pink to brighten things up and go for something really brave. Interiors are increasingly becoming more about personality and individuality.”


Ali Bastian

From frazzle to dazzle for Ali


Ali Bastian is bracing herself for a busy 2012. She is set to razzle-dazzle ’em as Roxie Hart in the UK tour of Chicago from February 10.

But first she is looking forward to a cosy family Christmas at her mum’s home in Berkshire.

“Brother Nick, stepdad Warren, stepbrother Dan, stepsister Sarah and I will all be piled up on the sofas, under duvets, deeply hungover after Christmas Eve, and we’ll stay there until we’re called into the dining room for a big Christmas dinner.”


Nicky Clarke

This is not time for neutrals, says Nicky


For Nicky Clarke, Christmas Day is the most special time of the year. “Christmas at home is all about family and now that my children have grown up and moved out, I love to get everyone back together,” he says.

The celebrity hairstylist lives in a Sixties five-bedroom semi in St John’s Wood. It’s only five doors away from his ex-wife and business partner, Lesley, where the family gather for traditional Christmas lunch.

Nicky will be adding some sparkle in his own pad, too. “My house has mostly neutral shades of ivory and taupe with accents of black, muted gold and nickel. But from this week I will be giving it a festive look. I try to find edgy pieces of Christmas bling and steer away from the traditional red and green look.”


Aldo Zilli and wife Nikki

And gorgeous Nikki cooks, too


Aldo Zilli has given his five-bedroom, three-bathroom Battersea home a festive facelift.

“My gorgeous wife Nikki fills our house with candles,” said the celebrity chef. “We’re both very house-proud. We like to use natural decorations, so we put bundles of cinnamon sticks, oranges spiked with cloves that smell amazing, and lots of other fruit about the place. We always have a real tree and I make gingerbread decorations to hang on the branches for the kids.”

Zilli will, surprisingly, be anywhere but the kitchen this year. “I usually cook Christmas lunch but this year Nikki has offered so I’m looking forward to a tasty roast.”


Robin Windsor and Kristina Rihanoff

‘Orphans’ go to Windsor for dinner


Strictly Come Dancing’s Robin Windsor “can’t wait” to spend Christmas in his new apartment. Robin (pictured with fellow Strictly professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff) who teamed up with EastEnders actress Anita Dobson for this year’s show, will be giving his three-bedroom, two-bathroom flat in Kennington a black-and-white festive makeover. “The funkier the decorations, the better,” he says.

“I host an ‘orphans dinner’ for all our friends who don’t get to go home for Christmas and we all cook and bring a dish each.”

Pictures by Rex Features

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