10 amazing Christmas food and drink ideas
From traditional Welsh cuisine and caviar gift boxes to premium wine and whisky, here are some great ideas to make your Christmas delicious
The world is a rather stranger place than many of us imagined at the beginning of the year, making the time we spend with our families and close friends this Christmas all the more important. Pull out all the stops this year with the most festive food and drink you can, making use of these fantastic ideas.
1. Indulge in the luxury of caviar
This Christmas dinner calls for some extra indulgence. Consider adding some caviar to canapes or starters for a sophisticated treat. Caviar also makes for an excellent gift – Caspian Caviar offers gourmet and caviar gift sets, special hampers and bespoke gift boxes. The company offers one of the largest ranges of caviar in the UK, from classic varieties to more unusual offerings, and has been supplying top-quality caviar to private clients, restaurants, food halls and hotels for more than 20 years. Get 10% off by using the discount code CASPCAV10 when ordering online. Offer valid until 15 December 2020. Visit caspiancaviar.co.uk.
2. Enjoy Welsh flavours this winter
Learn how to cook some delicious winter meals with a free selection of Welsh recipes. Main courses range from hearty, slow-cooked PGI Welsh Beef with leek rarebit scones to Pembrokeshire turkey with sweet potato rosti. There are even simple, tasty snacks, such as Welsh sweet and smoky nuts. We all know Wales offers delicious sweet treats, but for an alternative to Welsh cakes and bara brith, try a warm and comforting pear and gingerbread pudding or a vegan beetroot and chocolate cake. To discover a wide selection of fresh Welsh dishes, along with some classic favourites, visit Food & Drink Wales recipes.
3. Give the lifelong gift of a whisky cask investment
The die-hard whisky fan in your life may have amassed a collection of rare single malts. They may even have visited their favourite distillery. It’s time to buy them the ultimate gift this Christmas – an invest-grade whisky cask. From an investment perspective, the popularity of whisky continues to make it a healthy proposition: according to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index 2020, rare whisky has given returns of 586% over the past decade. VCL Vintners is a London-based brokerage specialising in the sourcing and managing of investment-grade Scotch whisky casks, with over £60m currently under management. For further information on how to start a whisky investment journey for yourself or a friend from just £8,000, visit vclvintners.london.
4. Uncover the secrets of natural single malt whisky
This festive season, why not explore whisky as it’s meant to taste, with the Bruichladdich Classic Laddie single malt whisky? It’s a natural whisky, non-chill filtered and colouring free so you can enjoy the floral, unpeated and complex flavours – which changes with each batch, as an evolving range of casks are used for the 100% Scottish-grown barley spirit. Bruichladdich Distillery, a certified B Corporation, believes in sharing the details of every ingredient in each bottle – to find out about the quantity, type and provenance of every cask, all you need to do is enter your bottle’s unique code on the distillery’s website, and the recipe will be revealed. Visit bruichladdich.com or buy Classic Laddie at Waitrose.
5. More ways to enjoy cognac this Christmas
Cognac might be a traditional festive tipple, but it’s considerably more versatile than many of us realise. For example, smooth and warming Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal is great paired with food – sip it with a hard cheese such as mimolette, dark chocolate truffles or warm, freshly baked madeleines. You can also enjoy it neat with frozen grapes replacing ice, which slowly chills the cognac to a perfect temperature without diluting it, or in a classic cocktail like the royal sidecar (shake 35ml of Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal with 30ml of Cointreau and 15ml of lemon juice with ice). Buy Rémy Martin 1738 at Waitrose.
6. Fresh and easy pasta in the post
With so much cooking to do over the Christmas period, make sure you have some quick, easy meals on hand. Pasta Evangelists offer fresh, authentic, restaurant-quality Italian dishes that take just five minutes to prepare. There’s a new selection of 15 to choose from each week, with options such as beef shin ragu, nduja and burrata tortellini and black truffle triangoli. What’s more, you can get 30% off your first purchase when you use code IDEA30 at checkout – and you’ll even get a free cocktail added to your order, too. Place an order today at pastaevangelists.com. Offer valid until 9 December 2020.
7. Feast on award-winning curry this Christmas
Christmas might be a little different this year. If you feel like doing away with tradition completely, why not have fabulous Indian food for lunch? Mandira’s Kitchen is an artisan producer of award-winning ready meals. Choose from individual portions or set menus for two, four or six – including a lockdown feast with all the Indian trimmings. Its handmade artisan freezer meals are made with fresh produce, using family recipes – they contain no gluten and include vegan and dairy-free options. Choose from one-off orders or a monthly subscription. Order online at mandiraskitchen.com for delivery to any mainland UK address.
8. Give twice with ethically sourced homeware
Whether you want to upgrade your kitchenware ahead of the big day or find the perfect gift, with So Just Shop you can give to a good cause at the same time. The online shopping hub works with women-led artisanal workshops in vulnerable communities across the world to design and manufacture beautiful, socially conscious, ethical homeware and accessories. Options range from a selection of stylish dishwasher- and microwave-safe ceramic crockery, handcrafted and hand-painted by a Palestine-based Fairtrade organisation, to bowls hand-carved in Nairobi from soapstone sustainably sourced in the country. Shop ethical, sustainable accessories and homeware at sojustshop.com and get 10% off using code AMAZINGXMAS10 until 30 November 2020.
9. A premium red wine for Christmas dining
When selecting red wine for festive meals, Faustino I Gran Reserva Rioja is an award-winning choice that’s sure to keep everyone at the table happy this Christmas. The 2009 vintage is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of 26 months, then refined in the bottle for a further eight years. A blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo grapes, it has sweet notes of vanilla, spice and ripe fruit to match perfectly with roast meat (particularly lamb) and also pairs beautifully with game, stew, ragu and hard cheeses. Available nationally at a wide selection of retailers, including Ocado, Asda and Tesco, and available online from masterofmalt.com.
10. Get outside with an outdoor oven
With restrictions tightening, we might find ourselves indoors for much of the coming months. Installing an outdoor oven is a great excuse to get out of the house, and stay warm while you’re at it. They’re ideal not just for cooking, but keeping you snug and comfortable when dining with the family al fresco. Pizza Oven Supplies offers a wide range of outdoor options, and the newly launched Milano 750 is one of the easiest to build. Designed with a round brick base, it can be extended to include a barbecue, sink and serving side, ensuring everything you need to entertain outside is within reach. To order your Milano 750 pizza oven now, and get free mainland delivery worth up to £140, visit pizzaovensupplies.co.uk. Offer valid until 31 January 2021. Delivery is FREE on orders of £500 and above within mainland UK (excluding Highlands, Offshore Islands, Northern Ireland and Europe. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote to these destinations).