The best food and drink for Christmas 2014
Christmas is less than a month away and to celebrate the festive season I’m sharing my favourite food, drink and gifts in this huge bumper post. I love Christmas and in my house Christmas is the time when we try new foods and enjoy all the yummier items which are bought out for the festive time. I think Christmas and spending time with family and friends is a brilliant excuse to push the boat out a little and buy, and make, luxury items. And by luxury I don’t mean expensive, I mean luxurious in taste. There are lots of great products available which do not cost the earth but taste like they should.
Here are my favourite things for the festive season;
First up here are the gorgeous Christmas jam and marmalade from Mackays. The jam is gorgeous for breakfast and would be lovely to have on the Christmas day table. The marmalade is very special too and completely addictive. They are exclusive to the Mackays website but at an amazing price of £1.50 (jam) and £1.40 (marmalade) it’s worth ordering some quickly. It’s so tasty I’m sure they will sell out soon. It also works incredibly well as the filling for a cake!
For a sweet treat the gorgeous bags of sweets from Hope and Greenwood tick the box. They have fabulous and unusual flavours but of course are entirely addictive! The cranberry and orange jigger sweets are my favourite but for the more adventurous sweet fan the chilli and ginger sweets are rather fun. Their packaging too is so cute it would make a wonderful present for friends and family but also a nice present for yourself. I love Hope and Greenwood as I used to visit their shop a lot when I was little and have some lovely memories of going there and the yummy things I bought with my pocked money.
As you know I love my tea but of course I know there are people equally addicted to their coffee. As I like a Christmas spin on my food this Christmas coffee from Tate really hits the delicious spot. Their Christmas blend features flavours of chocolate, nuts and red fruits. I know it sounds weird to have those with coffee but it really works. The coffee of course is the strongest flavour but the hints of Christmas peek through and are very pleasing. Plus at £5.50 a bag it is an affordable drink and I’ve ordered some for my coffee loving relatives.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a party and the frozen party food from Sainsbury’s is fantastic. I bought mountains of the Sainsbruy’s frozen party food for my mum and dad’s wedding anniversary party in June and everyone loved it and no one believed it was from the supermarket. I love that it goes in the freezer and cooks from frozen. There is a huge range and I would really recommend the spring rolls and the satay skewers. Plus they are doing a fab offer of 3 packs of food for £5. Tasty and affordable. As well as chicken and spring rolls they also have Indian style bites, burgers, chocolates, puddings and vegetarian options too.
For a foodie present I’d recommend this gorgeous Christmas air-fix apron from Victoria Eggs. It is so adorable and the design is so cute. Plus the cotton fabric is incredibly thick perfect for keeping my clothes clean. I’m such a messy baker! I’ve noticed I’m being more cautious while baking as I don’t want to get anything on this pretty apron. Expect to see this a lot in the run up to Christmas.
What is Christmas with the pudding! I love Christmas pudding and come from a family of addictive Christmas pudding eaters. We would it all year if we could! This gorgeous pudding from Figgy’s is a treat. They have won loads of awards and with one taste you can see why.
I’m sure that steaming puddings on Christmas day might seem a bit long winded but the difference in taste from a steamed pudding to microwaved one is noticable. Steaming isn’t hard you just have to keep an eye on it to make sure it’s not boiling dry but you can get on and do other bits and bobs while it steams. Plus steaming makes the house smell amazing! This pudding was delicious and getting to enjoy it a month early was pleasure.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without mulled wine and this year I’m in love with the PG tips version of mulled wine. It’s brilliantly warming, tasty and easy to make plus it’s non alcoholic. I’ll put the recipe up this week. For a more tipsy making mulled wine I would really recommend the Sainsbury’s own brand bottle. Both work so well with warmed up with lots of fruit. Mulled wine and a panettone is a gorgeous Christmas treat.
I don’t know why but nuts are always so popular at Christmas but it’s a tradition I’m happy to take part of. This gorgeous collection comes from the foodie website at the moment Yumbles. It’s a great website filled with makers and bakers who sell their edible products online and ready to order. This jar comes from The Nutty Lady seller at Yumbles and is made up of a mix of sweet and spicy almonds, walnuts and pecans. The chilli is certainly there as is the gorgeous caramel taste. I’m nutty about this mix.
I love tea and cinnamon tea is my Christmas favourite. Higher Living, Tea Pigs and Whittard all have gorgeous Christmas cinnamon tea flavours which are just incredible. If you like tea and cinnamon you are in luck. The apple and cinnamon tastes like what Christmas candles smell like. The gorgeous Christmas mug is from The Caravan Trail and takes such a huge portion of tea and the mug stays warm for a long time too. Delicious tea in a huge mug. Life is good.
I have a lot of posh wine and cheese family who love a good bottle red and a cheese platter. The company Entwine have bought out these fabulous gift boxes full of these two delicious things to make the perfect gift. The wine is beautiful and the cheese delicious. The bottle and cheese arrived in a fabulous carboard box which was printed to look like a wooden box. I loved that detail! It is a made to look and contain quality items which would work as a fabulous gift.
Plus there is 15% off all their boxes online this Christmas!
I love cocktails and will take any excuse to have one. Funkin cocktail mixers are a fabulous find for cocktail loves like myself. I’ve tried making cocktails but they’ve never been as amazing as ones made at cocktails bars. This brilliant mixer made incredible cocktails and it was so simple. Along with the mixer we added some lemonade and a measure of gin. Wow! They were amazing. Funkin have a good range of mixers and I’m looking forward to trying more.
Fudge is a special treat for me and having now tried the artisan fudge by Totally Fudged I am now a lot more addicted. This gorgeous fudge is a handmade masterpiece. It tastes so good and if you love fudge you have to order some. I’ve already got my next order sorted.
Keep warm with a cup of tea and in this huge mug from The Caravan Trail. I love the design and everyone who has seen it has loved it too. I love a big mug of tea and with this I certainly get it.
I absolutely love this personalised chopping board from Smiley Bum. I’ve gone for a simple design which will be featured a lot in future blog posts and photos. This is a great present for foodies especially with being able to write what you want on it. Lovely product, good price and great gift.
Whittard’s do make lovely gifts and these containers of tea, coffee and hot chocolates and brilliant to giveaway this Christmas. They are also very nice to enjoy for your self too. The Christmas tea is delicious and smells incredibly tempting.
Like I said earlier in the post I really like how easy frozen food is for parties. These gorgeous little cakes are all frozen and left to defrost and then served. There are little chocolate brownies from Sainsbury’s and chocolate cheesecakes from Marks and Spencer. These were a treat. The brownies can we heated in the microwave too, to make them warm and gooey to enjoy. I loved these a lot. I would suggest that if you get them to take them out of the packaging before they defrost too much. When they go soft they are so hard to release but frozen easy peasy.
This plate of sweet treats is a wonderful collection of tasty items and makes a wonderful centre piece. The incredibly wonderful cake pops are made by Definitely Cake and are edible works of art. They are so detailed it seems almost criminal to eat them. I love the penguin and cheeky fox. On the plates we have the gorgeous cranberry and orange jigger sweets from Hope and Greenwood, fudge from Totally Fudged, the World War I chocolate bar from Sainsbury’s and mini Christmas pudding carrot cakes from M&S. This is a wonderful selection of treats and one that will be recreated a few times in the run up to Christmas.
A fabulous Christmas present for foodies this year has to be the brand new chocolate kits from Chocolate at Home. There is a wonderful collection available and they have kits for children and big bakers too. The kit has everything in it you will need and very easy to follow instructions. Check back on my blog soon for a review of these in full.
Back to the Hope and Greenwood again for this very cute Princess Shake sweet container. This is a gift that I would love to receive and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I love sweets!
Last but not least Christmas needs mince pies and these from M&S have to be my favourite this year. Served with a cup of tea or glass of milk a mince pie is a very magic part of Christmas. Remember to leave one out for Father Christmas x
Where to shop;
Mackays jam and marmalade www.shop.mackays.com
The Caravan Trail www.thecaravantrail.com
Hope and Greenwood www.hopeandgreenwood.co.uk
Tate Shop www.shop.tate.org.uk
Victoria Eggs www.victoriaeggs.co.uk
Higher Living Tea www.higherlivingherbs.com
Funkin Cocktails www.funkincocktails.co.uk
Smiley Bum www.smileybum.co.uk
Totally Fudged www.totallyfudged.co.uk
Marks and Spencers www.marksandspencer.com
Definitely Cake www.definitelycake.com
Chocolate at Home www.chocolateathome.co.uk
Some of these items I was given or lent to review and others I bought. All opinions are my own. I only feature items I really love and have tried 🙂