All the best places to go, food to eat and hampers to buy this Christmas
Easy COOKing this Christmas
The holiday time is approaching and the smell of Christmas food is already in the air (mince pie anyone?). Before the stress begins COOK’s 2023 Christmas Range might be worth a look. The unbeatable classics are making a comeback – the Beef Wellington, Salmon En Croute, Stuffed Chicken Cushion with English Sparkling Wine, and, of course, COOK’s classic Christmas Dinner (also available in Veggie and Vegan versions). The new Caramelised Shallot, Celeriac & Stilton Tarte Tatin is an exciting new vegetarian main and for those meat eaters, the delicious new Duck & Venison Pithivier Pie is the perfect easy centrepiece for a seasonal lunch or dinner with friends.
Christmas Tree Tear & Share Cheesy Garlic Bread
This will be an absolute show stopper for the Christmas table. If you don’t want to knead, use the kneading programme on your food processor or handheld whisk.
Makes 22 portions
Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 30 mins
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 packet fast active dry yeast (7g)
- 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 250ml warm water
- 22 mozzarella cheese pearls
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- Handful of parsley, finely chopped
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring jug/scales
- Baking tray lined with parchment paper
- Small mixing bowl
- Make your dough by combining the flour, sugar, 1 tsp salt and yeast in the large mixing bowl, then add 100g melted butter and 250ml warm water. Bring together to form a dough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes before returning to the bowl, covering and leaving to prove for 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has risen, drain the mozzarella pearls and dry lightly with some paper towels and preheat the oven to 180°C (fan).
- Divide the dough into 22 equal portions (approx 35g each), then take each one and flatten out into disc, place a mozzarella pearl in centre and pull the edges over to seal the doughball. Place one at the top of the baking tray, then continue with the rest of the dough until you have created a tree shape, increasing the dough balls by one as you go down. Your biggest row will be 6 balls and you will have one left to use as the base/stump of the Christmas tree.
- Place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes until risen and golden.
- Prepare your garlic butter whilst your tree is baking, by combining the remaining 150g butter with the other tsp of salt, the garlic granules and 2 generous pinches of chopped parsley.
- When your tree is baked, allow it to cool slightly before brushing with some of the garlic butter and sprinkling with the rest of the chopped parsley.
- Serve with the rest of the garlic butter on the side for dipping.
Recipe from the Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by UK Flour Millers, making baking simple. You can find more Easy Peasy Baking recipes and information on the campaign over on the Fab Flour website: fabflour.co.uk
We love a bit of Alpine fun so we recommend a trip to Tipis on the Green. This Christmas the team are promising exceptional food, fun and festivities from 17th November in the heart of South West London. No entry fee required, but booking is a must. Expect glittering fairy lights, vintage Christmas decorations, retro ski memorabilia, traditional wood panelling and biofuel fire pit tables to gather around with friends. Indulge in comforting apres ski dishes such as tartiflette, wild mushroom arancini, French diot sausages cooked in white wine and more. Warm up at the bar with a Christmas Negroni or Baileys hot chocolate. Mini portions of mac n cheese keep the kids happy.
There will also be a roster of events including Festive Wreath Making, a Bottomless Margarita brunch, a Sustainable Christmas panel discussion and much more all to be announced in the coming weeks. The pop up is presented by Raw Tipis who are committed to reducing environmental impact and have carefully considered every service and product. Electric generators are used across the venue, omitting zero emissions. Compost toilets significantly reduce water consumption. Many of the decorations and furniture are pre-loved and upcycled in Raw Tipis workshop. Food waste and all biodegradable containers and utensils are turned into compost.
For the first time, the UK’s oldest public museum, the Ashmolean Museum, launches a carefully curated collection of Christmas hampers. Within these handpicked boxes you will find a selection of sustainably sourced, british made products from local artisans. The Ashmolean Pantry Gift Box retails at £25 and includes Oxford Blue Oatmeal Biscuits, Lemon Curd, Hot & Spicy Tomato Relish, Strawberry & Marc de Champagne Preserve and Caramelised Onion Chutney.
Terrifically Indulgent Truffles
There’s a reason we’re already heading into the Christmas season with a spring in our step. These Booja-Booja Gourmet Selection of chocolate truffles and truffle longlets were delicious! A great gift for any adult. They’re organic and dairy free (not that you’d know to taste them). £24.
Partridges Christmas Day Joy Hamper
Partridges Christmas Day Joy Hamper is designed to be the perfect present to give to someone on Christmas Day and includes delicious edible treats as well as a family game, Christmas crackers and party poppers, to help the party go with a swing. £185 in red presentation box
When it all gets too much make time for cup of this chocolate tea made with a blend of bright, juicy cacao nibs from South India and malty black tea from the Nilgiri Hills. True to Karma Tea’s sourcing principles, both the tea and chocolate that make up this blend are from a single origin, sourced directly and transparently. The roasted cacao nibs come directly from celebrated cacao producer, Regal Farms, located in the tropical foothills of the Anaimalai Hills of Tamil Nadu.