Members of Girlguiding Isle of Wight have certainly got into the Christmas spirit recently. Although the Newport Christmas Carnival was cancelled, due to bad weather, 11th Newport Rainbows wanted to show off their excellent Penguin costumes to Newport shoppers and marched proudly around the town one evening with their leaders.

A visit to Morrison’s supermarket made for a stop-over with all the Rainbows enjoying the fun as Penguins do.


Meanwhile at Ryde, 1st Ryde Brownies joined with the Friends of Guiding Ryde for the annual Carol Service and Nativity presentation.  Guides, Brownies and Rainbows from the Ryde area also joined in the service at All Saints Church, Ryde where they were welcomed by Rev.Jane Isaacs. Parents and friends of Girlguiding in the Ryde area also witnessed the 1st Ryde Brownies deliver the Christmas Story in a modern but traditional manner with older girls taking the traditional parts and the Rainbows dressed as angels.Prayers were led by Brownies, Guides and Guiders, the Nativity was directed by Sharon Winter(Leader 1st Ryde Brownies) and Canon G. Morris was at the piano.

When asked to name Christmas favourites, some Brownies and Rainbows came up with presents and Christmas parties but others suggested helping others and praying for a safe World.

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Following the Nativity and Carols, Island Commissioners Shirley Saunders and Lesley Clifford presented Rose Walls of Ryde with her 50years Service Badge.

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Soon some thoughts will turn to Christmas food. Here are a few ideas:

Nyetimber and Christmas Pudding.
When Iain Robb from Nyetimber (English Sparkling Wine) suggested that sparkling wines went well with desserts it posed the question: What desserts are traditional with this fine sparkling wine?

This is a classic for romantic occasions, but it only works with very sweet sparklers. All you need are a pair of flutes to clink, and a serving of strawberries to savour. Ideal for when strawberries are in season. Imported ones are often available for Valentine’s Day- 14th February.

Tarts & Crumbles
Fruit dishes that are fresh and light work perfectly well with sparkling wines such as an apple tart or a pear crumble.

Dried Fruit Puddings
Another great dish with sparklers is Christmas Pudding providing that other alcohol in the pudding has not got too strong a flavour. Mince-Pies also work well and having these works perfectly for Christmas holiday/New Year celebrations!

Shortbread and Almond Cookies
Choose light, delicate shortbread to match well with special bubbles. Sweet classic almond cookies can make the perfect match.
If however, you do not want to serve Nyetimber with desserts a rich fruit cake such as Christmas Cake or Traditional Wedding Cake will complement it well.

History and Grape Varieties.
Nyetimber wines get their name from the estate on which they are grown. In Sussex this estate is mentioned in the Domesday Book and the present vines were planted in 1988 with the first harvest coming four years later. As with Champagne, the Nyetimber estate grows three classic grape varieties- Chardonnay, a white grape used exclusively in the Blanc de Blancs which are demi-sec non vintage sparkling wines, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The first Blanc de Blancs aged for five years and were first released in 1997. At harvest time a team of 400 pickers is employed to gather the crop. All the grapes are hand-picked.
The last two mentioned are both red grapes. When used to produce the classic Cuvee the juice is extracted before the red skins have a chance to colour the grape juice. Obviously the Rose benefits from the presence of colour and during production of red wine it is initially made before white wine is added to arrive at the right shade.