Christmas may look a little different this year, but some traditions will never change.
As the fourth and fifth generation in this family business, this year, family is more important than ever. We are delighted to share some Temple family traditions, unsurprisingly for Christmas a lot of them involve food!
Since Design Director Charlotte was a child, she always loved picking and decorating the Christmas tree. Now, with small children at home it’s a very exciting time. “They are great little decorators and untangling lights and breaking a few baubles is all part of it.” Says Charlotte. “Listening to the Michael Buble Christmas album is obligatory and a vodka, fresh lime and soda helps with the happy chaos that unfolds.”
Charlotte’s Winter Salad
Stilton broken into small pieces
Walnuts caramelised with brown sugar
Arrange the leaves on a serving plate, crumble over stilton and caramelised walnuts. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over salad and some cracked black pepper.
CEO of Magee Weaving, Patrick loves Christmas Eve “We are very lucky to have a local fisherman George who come wind, snow or rain always appears with lobster – so fresh lobster is on the menu for a fun family dinner with homemade mayonnaise and some asparagus, peas and beans.”
Rosy, CEO of Magee Clothing & Retail, loves the outdoors and never misses her Christmas Day swim, no matter how icy!
No Christmas in the Temple house would be the same without Lynn, family patriarch and Magee Chairman’s famous mulled wine. Although he rarely sticks to the recipe himself, he’s shared it here as an early Christmas present.
Lynn’s Mulled Wine
1 bottle of red wine
½ glass brandy
½ glass of Cointreau
1 pint water
Brown sugar to taste
Lemon or orange studded with cloves
Teaspoon of mixed spice
Over a low heat, gently warm the wine and water, add brandy, Cointreau, mixed spice, cinnamon and lemon/orange. Simmer (don’t boil) to let the flavours mingle together, add sugar to taste.
Serve in heatproof glasses or mugs garnished with an orange slice and enjoy. (Especially good after the Christmas swim!)
And if you were to ask what’s on the family’s wish list this Christmas, Lynn picked the new Erne Coat with its rich autumnal checks – the raglan sleeves make it easy to style over a suit or jacket for chilly days. Paddy likes to layer so loves the Mullans ¼ zip lambswool knit, Rosy will be styling the Georgie gilet over a knit and chinos and Charlotte loves the Houndstooth Clooney Coat for its luxuriously soft cashmere-rich fabric.
This holiday season may well be different for you and your family, but from our family to yours we wish you a very Happy Christmas and New Year. Thank you for all your support in 2020 and look forward to seeing you again in 2021.
Growing up with the family business, taking two very different paths, and finding themselves drawn back home to workalongside their father and brother at the helm of Magee 1866, we caught up with Charlotte and Rosy Temple on sustainability, slow fashion and siblings.
As the fourth and fifth-generations behind Magee, since being founded by John Magee over 150 years ago, the business is literally in the family’s DNA with Charlotte as Design Director, Rosy as CEO of Magee Clothing & Retail, brother Patrick as CEO of Magee Weaving and their father Lynn Temple as Chairman.
Everyone brings their individual talents to the table “Dad had never put any pressure on either myself or my two siblings to join Magee 1866, we all went off in different directions and in time all then felt the atavistic pull to come back! For me it took working in different environments to truly appreciate how fortunate I was to have a family business and one with an exciting future.” says Rosy.
Although their mother Elizabeth has never worked in the business, “she is a solid sounding board for us all and has been for years” noted Charlotte. Both sisters praise the family home as a haven, with Elizabeth’s Salthill Gardens – a walled-in acre of secret paths and little follies, vegetables, trees, shrubs and flowers – the backdrop to many photoshoots, and a source of inspiration over the years.
Charlotte and Rosy have very different personalities but share a similar appreciation for the outdoors. “We have grown up in in the wilds of Donegal with the Atlantic Ocean and the Bluestack mountains on our doorstep – many happy hours spent swimming, sailing, running, riding, cycling and rowing to name just a few of our activities. Our home is surrounded by woodland providing endless adventures for us as children. Mum and Dad always encouraged a deep respect for where we grew up – surrounded by the sea and a magical landscape and to tread with care. We now really appreciate how lucky we are and how much we need to do to protect our natural environment. Sustainability is very much part of our family values and what we do at Magee 1866.”
“We have always been about ‘slow fashion’, the finest of natural fibre yarns like wool and linen, which are biodegradable and renewable, are used to produce our sustainable fabrics and garments.” explains Rosy. “We want to create styles that will endure for years, pieces that will always have a home in your wardrobe.” adds Charlotte. “We’re particularly proud of our newly launched 1866 CLASSICS collection. This collection has been refined over the years and is made up of staples that are inspired by our heritage, designed for everyday and with longevity in mind.”
On Charlotte’s visions for the future – “when I first started at Magee, we specialised in good quality men’s suits and jackets. Today, while we have some way to go, we are starting to capture the essence of an Irish family lifestyle brand across our home, men and women collections. The focus is luxury fabrics (many which are still woven by us in Donegal) and design, steeped in our heritage with contemporary styling.”
Acknowledging the unprecedented year have found ourselves in, Rosy states that “It has been an incredibly challenging and difficult few months with the situation surrounding COVID-19 and not to mention the uncertainties of Brexit. While we are still very much in the middle of both these external and uncontrollable factors, we have a very clear vision for our future and look forward to the next 150 years!”
What’s your favourite Magee piece in your wardrobe?
What new arrivals are you most looking forward to this season?
Rosy: The Donegal tweed salt & pepper Georgie gilet.
Charlotte: The Clooney coat – in a soft grey and white cashmere houndstooth.
What’s a piece of advice that you’ve carried with you and who is it from?
Rosy: Mum has always told each of us since we were little to ‘be true to yourself’ and ‘to follow your own path’. Sometimes this might mean going against the grain, I’ve had a fairly un-conventional career from working at Christie’s Auction House to a food start up to cycling solo in Patagonia but it’s always worth daring to explore and to return all the better for the experience gained. And as siblings now working together, we all respect our very ‘individual’ characters!
Charlotte: Rosy has always been black and white and takes emotion out of a situation. I have a lot to learn in this area, I am very like Dad in that I can get pretty passionate about getting my point of view across. I am trying to take a ‘calm’ leaf out of Rosy’s book with mixed results!
What excites you about the future? / What are you passionate about?
Rosy: I’m so glad to see that amidst the real challenges of Covid-19, sustainability is becoming an urgent conversation. I am hopeful that conversations will translate to much needed action around improving how we treat the planet. At Magee, we are set on building on our heritage of slow fashion and to make sure we leave a brand fit for the next generation.
Charlotte: For the last few months we have been firefighting with COVID-19 but I am lucky now to be fully immersed in the creative and direction of the brand, which is a welcome distraction. I am really excited about our collections evolving into something that we as a family love to wear and use and cannot wait to share this.
Cheeky last question – What’s it really like working with your siblings?
Charlotte: We try to keep emotion to a minimum with business but it creeps in on occasion! However siblings are always there – day or night to talk through both the good and bad, this is very reassuring and invaluable for me, especially on the more challenging issues we might face.