Skip to main content

Homemade Festive Treats – Our Chef’s Recipes

16 December 2016

With Christmas around the corner, add a little Christmas sparkle to your taste buds with these homemade recipes. We spoke to three of our hotel chefs and asked them to serve up their favourite festive treats at Christmas time. 

Dave’s Mulled Wine Recipe

Dave Clifford is the Head Chef of the TLH Victoria Hotel and has worked for TLH for 30 years! Dave gave us his recipe for his warming mulled wine, the perfect spirit raiser on a cold winter’s day.


  • Red wine- 1 bottle (Wine of choice)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 lemon zest
  • Granulated sugar to taste


  1. Pour wine into a large sauce pan, set on a low heat
  2. Add cloves and cinnamon sticks
  3. Grate lemon zest and add to the pan
  4. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze juice out
  5. Add granulated sugar
  6. Keep on a low heat until warm through being careful not to let the wine boil
  7. Once warm, strain out and serve
Mulled Wine at TLH
Mulled Wine at TLH

Lee’s Berry Pavlova surprise

Lee Johnston is the Head Chef of the TLH Carlton Hotel. Lee has worked with us for 25 years, starting as a kitchen porter years ago. Lee decided to choose his favourite dessert, Berry Pavlova surprise, a sweet and fruity treat.


  • 4 egg whites 250g
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 500g strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 200g redcurrants, stalks removed
  • 3tblsp icing sugar
  • 200g strawberry jam – slightly melted
  • 350ml double cream


  1. Preheat oven to 150˚C (130˚C fan)
  2. Whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer until they form stiff peaks. Slowly and carefully fold in the caster sugar, followed by the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract
  3. Put the meringue in a piping bag and pipe small circles onto an oven tray lined with greaseproof or baking paper. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside to cool completely (approx 3 hours or so)
  4. To serve – whip the cream until fairly stiff
  5. Blend together the strawberries and redcurrants with the runny jam
  6. Make a hole in the base of the meringues by gently pushing in the handle of a large wooden spoon (or a clean thumb)
  7. Fill the hollow meringues with the fruit and pipe in some cream to act as a plug
  8. Place the Pavlova on a serving plate, pipe a small amount of cream on top, decorate with the remaining strawberries and dust with icing sugar
Berry Pavlova Surprise
Berry Pavlova

Nick’s Fruit and Nut and Chocolate Christmas Fudge

Nick Coombes is our Head Chef of the TLH Toorak Hotel and in January will celebrate 30 years of employment with us as one of our chefs. Nick is making his famous fruit and nut chocolate Christmas fudge, which he serves nightly in the Toorak’s Abbey Restaurant. This recipe makes a tray of fudge 15” by 12”.


  • 800g granulated sugar
  • 300g glucose
  • ½ litre double cream
  • 80g butter
  • 600g dark chocolate (broken)
  • 100g hazel nuts (broken)
  • 75g raisins
  • 75g sultanas


  1. Place sugar, glucose and cream into a saucepan. Bring to boil until 116c is reached. Make sure you use a jam thermometer to get it to the correct temperature. (Very important)
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk in butter and chocolate until melted
  3. Stir in fruit and nuts
  4. Pour fudge into the tray being very careful not to burn yourself
  5. Carefully place tray somewhere cool to set
  6. After 24 hours tip the fudge out and cut. If you are going to keep the fudge, wrap up in cling film and leave in the fridge. Take fudge out 2 hours before required
TLH Hotels Christmas Fudge
Christmas Fudge

If you like these recipes, check out our Christmas leftovers blogs, where you’ll find more festive recipes from our hotel chefs.

Latest posts

Things to Do in Torquay – Occombe Farm

Occombe Farm is a mix of visitor attraction with indoor and outdoor play, animal encounters barn and animal paddocks trail; a farm shop and a farm cafe.
Read more

Art on the English Riviera – Artizan Gallery

Artizan Gallery is an independent fine art gallery dedicated to championing the work of local artists in the South West.
Read more


Reflexology is a technique that applies gentle pressure to your feet or hands. It aims to bring about a state of relaxation and help the body's own healing process.
Read more