We start testing the finest Christmas food in July, to ensure we bring you the best the shops have to offer. We think we’ve managed to whittle it down to some real contenders for Christmas dinner and a Boxing Day feast.

Donald Russell Connoisseur’s Steaks

d47e2bb6-01a4-4232-bfdc-7fd842ae31c4The Donald Russell Connoisseur’s Steaks are aged for 35 days and are perfect for a romantic meal for two. The richly marbled and exclusively picked steaks contain beefy grass-fed flavour and pair well with Donald Russell’s new Alpine Fries. The classic combination of steak and chips is elevated to new gastronomic heights with Alpine Fries that deliver a satisfying crunch with a soft fluffy interior. We loved the fries, although crunchy on the outside, they somehow soaked up the peppercorn sauce without losing their bite.

Donald Russell’s Turkey Crown

The generously porportioned turkey crown is moist, succulent and delicious, even when cooked in a temperemental AGA. We highly recommend this for a family of four, there’s just enough with zero wastage.

Debbie & Andrews Trimmings

garnish-boxDebbie & Andrew’s have recently launched a new Christmas selection box containing Perfect Pork Cocktail Sausages, Perfect Pork Bacon Wraps and Caramelised Red Onion Stuffing Balls.

The 24-piece selection box is designed to make Christmas entertaining easy (and delicious!) by combining three classic British Christmas favourites into one convenient package. All three varieties are made from only the best cuts of prime British pork, and best of all every piece is gluten, wheat and dairy free, to make catering for family or friends on restricted diets just that little bit easier!

The garnish selection box will be on sale from Morrison’s during December.

Nandos Gift Pack

For condiments with a difference you can’t go far wrong with Nandos. Every person under 30 seems to fall in love with this pastedgraphic-2restaurant chain and so this makes a great gift or a welcome addition to the Boxing Day table.

PERi-PERi fans are in for a fiery treat under the Christmas tree this year, with Nando’s brand new ‘Have a Very PERi Christmas!’ gift pack

Nando’s gift packs are available to buy at all Nando’s restaurants in the UK and Northern Ireland. 

Morrisons Finest

image001-11Morrisons have a wide range of finest foods that make the mouth water and are absolutely delicious – we’ve tried them. From the cold meat platter to the stilton, from the goose fat roast potatoes to the sweet baby parsnips, you won’t be disappointed this Christmas.

The cheeses are divine and come generously sized in wheels, while the ready prepared vegetables are sure to make Christmas a breeze.

If you love to spend less time in the kitchen at Christmas, choose Morrisons for all your snacks, sides and cheese, you won’t be disappointed.

We also tried the chocolate covered dates and finest nut selections, we’re looking forward to offering these posh nibbles over Christmas.image004-1

 

Piacha Tea

Piacha has some tasty offerings for lovers of tea-lovers this Christmas including Premium Gift Boxes (three large bags of loose tea) form £21.50, Taster Gift Boxes (one cup of all 26 teas and a diffuser) at £24.50, Christmas Tea Hampers starting from £34.50, Tea Tasting at £34 and much more.

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Cheeses from Around the World – At Your Local Supermarket

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We constructed a cheeseboard with the best cheeses we could find. Along with those on offer from Morrisons, we also discovered these below that are all tasty in their own right. Jarlsberg is our favourite and one you should definitely include in your after dinner cheeseboard this Christmas.

  • Jarlsberg® 190g wedge, available from Tesco and Morrisons with an RRP of £2.00
  • Applewood® 200g wedge, available from Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda with an RRP of £2.00
  • Mexicana® 200g wedge, available from Asda and Sainsbury’s with an RRP of £2.00
  • Ilchester® 210g range available in Asda with an RRP of £2 each or 3 for £5
  • Cheddar Cheese with Spring Onion
  • Five Counties® (200g) has an RRP of £1.90, or two packs for £3.00, available from Asda stores
  • Applewood is a smoky, creamy cheddar, perfect with a caramelised onion marmalade, Mexicana is a spicy cheese with chilies, amazing with a tomato chutney, and nutty, Norwegian Jarlsberg is delicious with a sticky fig relish – all perfect for the post-dinner Xmas cheese board!

A Judge Serving Platter in Slate

With all of these cheeses you need a serving platter and we’ve found the perfect one in slate from Judge. We’ve tested a variety of Judge products over the years and are always delighted by the quality. This platter is no different.

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The Best Christmas Chocolates

Monty Bojangles

monty-bojanglesMonty Bojangles are adding a deliciously scrumptious new truffle flavour to their range of Merry Gift Boxes; introducing Milky Mischief, a milkier and lighter truffle. The new flavour complements the existing four in the delicious range including Scrumple Nutty, Flutter Scotch, Berry Bubbly and Choccy Scoffy. The perfect stocking filler or Secret Santa gift, the Monty Bojangles Merry Gift Boxes are curiously moreish for the festive season.

Choco Leibniz Gifting Tin

This year, Bahlsen is delighted to announce the launch of its brand new gorgeous Choco Leibniz Gifting Tin. Not only is the tin filled with a selection of delectable Choco Leibniz biscuits, but the beautiful artwork makes it a tin for keeping. Whether as a gift, to pass round the table for family and friends to munch on, or even to keep hidden away for your own indulgent treat, it’s the perfect addition to your celebrations.

Willie’s Cacao Brand New Bars

Willie Harcourt-Cooze has added a trio of fabulous new chocolate bars to the Willie’s Cacao range. Renowned for its premium chocolate, which only uses natural ingredients and celebrates the unique flavour of the cacao beans used, Willie’s Cacao has introduced three brand new bars this autumn:
The silky, sublime Milk Of The Stars 54
The dark, intense Los Llanos 70
The deliciously decadent Raspberries and Cream
Ranging from smooth dark chocolate with luxurious berry notes to intense milk chocolate with a hint of caramel, and a creamy white chocolate bejewelled with raspberries, you’ll melt into a world of adventure with every bite.

Elizabeth Shaw

image004-6Elizabeth Shaw -Merry Christmas Mini Gifts – The perfect stocking filler or festive treat, each box is designed with a stand out gift tag and satin ribbon.  A combination of delicate mini flutes and moreish chocolate bites with 100% natural toppings.  Available in three delicious flavours of Dark Mint Flutes and Dark Mint Bites, Milk Amaretto Flutes and Milk Almond Bites and Dark Orange Flutes with Milk Orange Bites.  Available from independents nationwide with a RRP of £2.59 for 75g.

Just Chocolate

image013-1Kinnerton Confectionery launches three new tasty chocolate products to the Just Chocolate range, free from dairy, egg, gluten and nuts. Unlike most free from products, the new range contains no artificial colours, preservatives or flavours, it’s just real, delicious chocolate.

With convenient snack bars for on-the-go and a luxurious box of chocolate mint discs perfect for any host, there is something to please all chocolate lovers.

Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolate know their cocoa and provide some of the best chocolates in the world. It’s easy to see why these are often expensive as so much thought has gone into each chocolate. This year we adore the chocolate fondant log. We think this could easily serve 6. It’s small but perfectly formed and very indulgent and rich, you don’t need more than a small slice of it.

Paxton Chocolates

These thins are beautiful, melt on the tongue chocolates with a variety of flavours. There are also larger discs that can be hung on the tree and make wonderful stocking fillers. It’s our first time trying Paxtons but we’re in love.

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Ferrero Rocher

It’s a staple now in our home, as no matter how luxurious the chocolate on offer is, I’ve never tasted a better chocolate than the original hazelnut crisp from Ferrero. There are bound to be people in your family who feel like this, and who will be looking for these chocolates no matter what you give. Every year there are new designs and packaging to please the eye, making Ferrero the first choice for chocolate gifting (to me!)

The Best Wine and Spirits

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc

Starting with a delightful Sauvignon Blanc from Giesen. Full and crisp, a little fruity and refreshing this will pair well with a seafood starter.

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Cabernet Sauvignon for Boxing Day Beef

The Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular wines you will come across, bar none. The full bodied palate shows Cabernet Sauvignon’s character with blackcurrant flavours that go down very smoothly, an earnest drop to match the earnest gent. The product would make a wonderful suggestion as a potential gift for male partners, friends and other family members as well as can acting as either a stocking filler or gift for dinner parties. This bottle looks amazing while the wine lives up to expectations. It’s also a great price too, all from the Gentleman’s Collection.gc-cabernet-sauvignon-be-mostly-honest-v01-05

A Bit of Bubbly Prosecco for the Main Event

As demand for Prosecco continues to soar, 1882 was innovatively produced with a blend of 75% prosecco (glera) grapes and 25% Chardonnay grapes to offer an equally delicious taste profile to the popular Italian sparkling variety.

Cultivated in the cool climate and sea-fossil soils of Triveneto, including the traditional prosecco regions of Veneto and Fruili, Piccini retains its authentic Italian roots in winemaking by using the traditional Charmat production method to give 1882 its uniquely delicate fizz. Undeniably fruity, with zesty citrus and tropical fruit flavours.

Named after the year the Piccini family first began wine production, the launch of 1882 continues to establish Piccini as an innovative, exciting Italian brand that combines authenticity and heritage with industry innovation.

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After Dinner with Union Coffee

Flavour discovery

A special selection of four coffees with taste profiles typical of the different spectrums of coffee. Speciality coffee has naturally occurring wide range of flavours, and this pack showcases four distinctive flavour profiles. Liberacion from Guatemala has notes of chocolate and caramel, Bobolink from Brazil nuts and spices, Emporium Catuai from Panama has sweet berry notes, and Yayu Wild Forest coffee from Ethiopia is floral with citrus notes. All coffees are freshly hand-roasted and can be chosen as wholebean or ground. RRP £23.

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TeaPigs Winter Spice

The tin is suitable for sitting in the larder all year round but the blend is festive and leaves a gorgeous aroma around. We’re seeing teapigs all over right now and we championed them back in the beginning. It’s great to see a small, thoughtful brand do so well, and easy to see why they are!

Walkers for the Best Biscuits

All butter shortbread, all butter shortbread mince pies, all butter shortbread in a fancy presentation tin. These are just a few of the delicious offerings from Walkers and we love it.

We tasted them all and they are divine, perfect as gifts or to keep for yourself.

Go get it.

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Walkers Shortbread Luxury Miniature Mince Pies – £2.95
– Walkers Shortbread Cranberry & Orange Mince Pies – £2.70
– Walkers Shortbread Christmas Tree Tin – £8.90
– Walkers Shortbread Carton Festive Shapes Shortbread – £2.75

Sweets for Stockings

Whether you’re filling the stocking of a six year old or a sixty year old you can’t go wrong with Champions sweets. These have been around for decades and are still loved by everyone in my family. The tin, unlike others, is generous, meaning you’ll have some spare for yourself, and there’s such a selection no one will be left out.

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For Christmas Eve Movie night, mix it up a little with these great new flavours from Butterkist. Reassuringly sweet and sticky, they add a touch of decadence to any Christmas movie.

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Naughty but Posh Nibbles!

The geese are plump, the halls are decked and the festive celebrations are upon us once more! As the Christmas revelries get underway, Tyrrells, the premium English snack brand, is on hand with a sleigh-full of delightful snacks fit for all manner of yule-tide celebrations. Alongside its much loved classics such as the ever-popular Tyrrells Mixed Root Vegetable Crisps range, Tyrrells is rolling out two new down-right delicious seasonal snacks – the very merry Three Bird Roast crisps and the rather ravishing Bellini Poshcorn.

image004-10Three Bird Roast

Seasoned to perfection, Tyrrells is giving traditional roast turkey a splendiferous twist, with the traditional Christmas trio of roast chicken, duck and turkey brought to life on a characterfully curly Tyrrells crisp. Avoid ‘foul-tempers’ at Christmas and fill up your bowls with this entertaining sharing-sized pack!
image006.pngHand-cooked in small batches, using locally-grown Herefordshire potatoes, Tyrrells Three Bird Roast is available from Waitrose, Ocado and quality independents nationwide, RRP of £2.19.

Bellini Poshcornimage006-1

It’s Tyrrells Poshcorn Cocktail hour! Put the glamour into Christmas with this fun, frivolous and ever so slightly fizzy cocktail delight from the popconnoiseurs at Tyrrells. Available in generous sharing sized 75g packs, Bellini Poshcorn is carefully popped in small batches at Tyrrells Court Farm using gold standard kernels, Tyrrells Bellini Poshcorn is available from COOP, Ocado and Independents nationwide with and RRP of £1.59

Bonne Maman Madeleine Christmas Cake

image004-8Recipe by Eric Lanlard

Add a French moment to your Christmas with this glamourous take on the classic French Christmas cake “La Buche De Noel”. Featuring layered Bonne Maman Madeleines soaked in rum with a touch of chocolate mousse and chestnut cream, you’ll be guaranteed to impress friends and families this festive season.

Serves: 8

Preparation time: 25 minutes, then set overnight

Decoration time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

         400g dark chocolate, chopped

         400ml whipped cream

         20 Bonne Maman Madeleines

         5 tbsp dark rum

         5 tbsp water

         200g of sweet chestnut cream

         1tsp ground ginger

         1tsp mix spices

         100g icing sugar

Method:

         Line a 20cm long loaf tin with baking paper and keep aside

         Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water

         Add 8tsp of water to the chocolate, mix until smooth and glossy, add the spices and leave to cool

         Whip the cream to a soft peak, and gently fold into the chocolate mixture and keep aside

         Take 3 Bonne Maman Madeleines, slice them horizontally and cover the bottom of the tin

         Mix 7 tsp of water with the rum, then using a pastry brush soak the Madeleines slices

         Cover with a layer of the chocolate mix, then cover with 5 more horizontally sliced Madeleines

         Spoon the chestnut cream evenly on the top, and then cover with the rest of the chocolate mix

         Place another layer of 5 sliced Madeleines on top, press well and place in the fridge overnight.