It seems strange to be writing about something that happened on a cold January day when we are slap bang in the middle of a heatwave here in London. But I’m catching up on writing about The Great Bear Project.

Finchley Central is the last of the Northern Line underground stops that are OVERGROUND on this leg of the Northern Line. Hence, on our trip there in January with a thermos full of hot wine, Mr R took a lot of photos of the lovely architecture.

In artist Simon Patterson’s brilliant imagination, Finchley Central is actually David Niven.

Hence, we decided to take his Christmassy tipple to Finchley Central. David Niven’s Christmas Wine is traditionally served on Christmas Eve, and we had great plans to make it and drink it on the day before Christmas Eve. My tumble put paid to that…

but we were still in a Christmassy mood on the 2nd of Jan as it was the day after Mr R’s birthday and we had both taken the day off work to recover. there had been a little bit of drinking…

Setting fire to something seemed to be a good idea…

The Julgrott was an excellent hair of the dog.

Whenever I wear dungarees or culottes I am compelled to do this for some reason…

Mr R loved the Julglott and said, “It’s like a superior mulled wine.” I totally agreed.

Highly recommended for a festive tipple, but probably best served inside the home rather than on a tube station platform.

We got away with it – haha!

David Niven’s Julglögg (Christmas wine)

  • Half bottle akvavit /aquavit (or vodka)
  • 1 bottle port
  • 1 bottle claret (or sherry)
  • 10 cardamom seeds
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 pieces cinnamon stick (about 3 inches long)
  • 4 figs (or pears), optional
  • 2 bitter orange peels
  • 1 cup blanched shredded almonds
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • Half a cup of lump sugar
  • Cognac (or whisky) as desired

1. Use large decorative copper kettle. Pour in spirits, slowly bring to simmer. Place cardamom seeds, cloves, cinnamon and orange peel in a cheesecloth bag; throw into the “glögg”, simmer slowly about 10 minutes.

2. Add fruit, simmer 10 minutes longer; remove from heat. Discard spice bag.

3. Place lump sugar in a sieve over kettle. Moisten sugar, with cognac (or whisky); ignite sugar, holding match well away from the face. Ladle “glögg” over sugar lumps while sugar melts and drips down into the kettle to sweeten the drink.

4. Extinguish flame by covering kettle/saucepan. Serve hot in silver goblets (or ceramic mugs) with few raisins and almonds. If desired, skip the sugar cube process, and sweeten the glögg by adding sugar just before serving.

Glögg may be made several days in advance and cooled and stored in well-corked bottles. Reheat just before serving, but do not boil.


Mr Rathbone’s Station Factoids

This grand station, with its art deco curves and it’s ‘kneeling archer’ statue was built as recently as 1939 and designed in part by Charles Holden, whose functional, modernist style graces many stations on the Piccadilly, District and Northern Lines.

It stands on the site of the previous East Finchley station, originally opened in 1867 but completely rebuilt to accommodate the new tracks of the Northern Line’s extension from Archway, that emerge from under Highgate a short distance from the station itself.

From this point northwards, all of the existing High Barnet branch (as well as what remains of the original line to Edgware, via Mill Hill East) was originally part of the Great Northern Railway and was initially served by steam trains. 

And that famous archer with his bow aimed southward to Central London? He stands – or rather kneels – as a symbol of the rapid transit of new electric trains, but is also thought to commemorate Finchley’s ancient association with hunting in the nearby Royal Forest of Enfield.

Monthly movie star menus direct to your inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!