Page 1


c e l e b r i t y

a n g e l s

Matthew Fort’s



with Matthew Fort



A grand selection of warming cocktails


Santa baby… WINTER 2017


WINTER 2017 | £3.99 ISSN 1758-597X

F I N E FA R E • L U X U RY P R O D U C T S • F E S T I V E C E L E B R AT I O N S • W I N E I N V E S T M E N T

Festive Feast.op5.Rev.indd 1

14/11/2017 11:58

Chadha-Jarritos.indd 2

11/10/2017 09:21

Chadha-Jarritos.indd 3

11/10/2017 09:20

Colour your Pour.

Drink your favourite wines by the glass

After a long day nothing’s better than a glass of wine. Now you can enjoy one without worrying about finishing the bottle. The Coravin System is a unique Wine System that pours wine without removing the cork. Using premium Coravin Capsules to safeguard your wine, Coravin lets you enjoy the same bottle day after day, glass after glass. Because your favourite wines should never be compromised. And neither should your choice of when and how to enjoy them. Available in a variety of colours at

Coravin Europe BV.indd 2

11/10/2017 09:33

without pulling the cork.

Coravin Europe BV.indd 3

11/10/2017 09:33

Contents 16





Matthew Fort’s Festive Feast brings to the table everything from recipes and cooking tips to New Year’s Eve party inspiration for a most resplendent Christmas holiday

Judge on the BBC’s Great British Menu and revered food writer Matthew Fort talks using leftovers, alternative Christmas dinners and nostalgic festive traditions







While it is true that some of the modern-day celebrations we associate with Christmas existed way before Christianity, it was Queen Victoria’s reign that started many of our favourite festive customs

Discover the key to elevating your Christmas experience with high quality seasonal produce

Christmastime is the perfect occasion to treat yourself— and your nearest and dearest—to some luxury food and drink


FF1.Contents.indd 6


14/11/2017 14:28



48 60

Surviving Christmas EASY DOES IT ‘Tis the season of good cheer—and ever-expanding waistbands. Refuse overindulgence this Yuletide with Matthew Fort’s guide to surviving Christmas one light dish at a time

The Main Event HOSTING CHRISTMAS DINNER Tackle Christmas dinner like a pro with our helpful guide for a magical day to remember















Party season has well and truly arrived, and what would it be without the festive canapé?

The perfect side dish can make a festive feast all the more special

Game has been an integral staple of Christmas meals for centuries

Choose between our delicious game recipes for a dazzling centrepiece come Christmas Day

Salmon has long been a staple of festive dinner tables worldwide; wake this classic dish up with a hot harissa paste crust

From nut roasts to meat-free Wellingtons, there are countless excellent dishes to offer your vegan and vegetarian guests this holiday season

Salvaging the leftovers on Boxing Day serves as a minor reprieve for the post-holiday blues



FF1.Contents.indd 7

‘BRING US SOME FIGGY PUDDING’ The Christmas pudding has a history that stretches back to medieval times


14/11/2017 14:29

Chadha-Koh-Kae.indd 1

12/10/2017 10:41

















110 112

FF1.Contents.indd 9


Victorian chef Eliza Acton published the first ever recorded recipe for a ‘Christmas Pudding’ in 1845

From cranberry tart (our cover image) to pistachio cheesecake and stollen, satisfy your sweet tooth this Christmas

It’s no secret that Britons love cheese in every form; we explore the role it plays in Christmas tradition

Almost everybody has suffered from the niggling anxiety of not knowing what to buy their loved ones for Christmas

Watch your guests light up when you present them with a homemade party favour

There is always a building sense of anticipation for New Year’s Eve—here are our tips for hosting the ultimate bash this year

Drinks Hamper FINE WINING While returns in the property equity and high-end jewellery markets routinely fluctuate at auction, fine wine remains a steadfast commodity

WINE FOR EVERY OCCASION We offer our knowledge on wine to suit all manners of festive occasions









Champagne is no longer a bubbly treat reserved just for special occasions

Savvy collectors are beginning to realise the potential of investing in steady commodities such as spirits—find out why

Get in the party spirit with our fabulous selection of festive mocktails and cocktails

Take a look at the products and services Festive Feast loves MATTHEW FORT’S FESTIVE FEAST// 9

14/11/2017 14:34

Festive Feast

Matthew Fort’s


DAMSONMEDIA Publisher & CEO Kevin Harrington Editor Kayley Loveridge Sub Editor Annalisa D’Alessio Art Editor Friyan Mehta Features Writer Phoebe Ollerearnshaw Editorial Assistant Maria Mellor Production Director Joanna Harrington Distribution & Production Coordinator Chloe Adegoke Office Coordinator Adam Linard-Stevens With special thanks to: Matthew Fort EDITORIAL OFFICE Festive Feast Suite 2, 143 Caledonian Road London N1 0SL United Kingdom Telephone: 0044 20 7870 9090 THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS MAGAZINE SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED OFFICIAL OPINIONS OF THE PUBLISHER OR EDITOR. THE PUBLISHER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ACCEPT OR REJECT ALL EDITORIAL OR ADVERTISING MATTER. THE PUBLISHER ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR UNSOLICITED MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOGRAPHS OR ARTWORK. IMAGES ARE SENT AT THE OWNERS’ RISK AND THE PUBLISHER TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR LOSS.




FF1.Contents.indd 10

14/11/2017 14:44

“The Champagne of Health Drinks�

Christmas can be special without alcohol Deliciously dry, satisfyingly complex Replace nutrients that alcohol depletes

17 kCal a glass

Genius Drinks Limited.Rev1.indd 1



c dis





o tc




. E U



E F e


13/11/2017 11:35

Burton McCall Ltd.indd 2

13/09/2017 10:26

Foodie lovers will go mad over the must have kitchen accessory! For more than 60 years, bamix® has been conquering kitchens all over the world. Conceived by Swiss inventor Roger Perrinjaquet, the first bamix® was sold in 1954 and the appliance has since become the trusted companion of food lovers around the globe. Looking at conventional food processors, the inventor of the device clearly saw the advantages of an appliance that could be used directly in the containers in which food is prepared, doing away with moving ingredients from one bowl to another. He called his invention bamix®, brilliantly Simple. Simply brilliant! The bamix® is a faithful companion replacing many kitchen appliances with its numerous accessories. The hand held food processor is compact, simple to use, easy to clean and super quick! Flip between jobs with the easily exchangeable attachments. It cuts, chops and purees both raw and cooked meat as well as vegetables, fruit and even ice cubes. It will blend, beat, whisk, chop, mix, grind, grate and more. It is a kitchen tool designed with universal uses in mind. The 100% Swiss product has attachments which allow fast and professional food processing. They are all stainless and resistant to odour in foods so it doesn‘t affect the taste. This handy tool is easy to use, effortlessly operated and guided with simple movements. Operates with two different speeds up to 23,000 rpm.

Pistachio Cake Recipe Author: Hedi Hearts, Clean Eating Recipes Prep time: 35 mins Total time: 35 mins Serves: 6 - 8 Ingredients:

Chocolate layer:

1 cup dates (Medjool are best, but use any)

1 very ripe banana

1 cup pistachios ½ cup desiccated coconut

1 very ripe avocado 2 tbsp cacao

3 tbsp melted coconut oil

Pinch of coconut sugar or drizzle of date nectar (opt‘)

1 tsp cinnamon


Pinch of salt

Crushed pistachios Freeze-dried strawberries Desiccated coconut

Instructions 1. Line your cake tin with cling film or use a silicone cake mould. 2. Blend all base ingredients together in the bamix® food processor until crumbly and very sticky. 3. Scoop out the mixture into your cake mould, press down firmly with your hands and then place in the freezer. 4. Use the bamix® hand held whisk to blend together the chocolate layer ingredients until creamy. 5. Now it’s time to assemble the cake.

Use bamix® when cooking, baking, prepping and even finishing off a beautiful meal.

6. Take the base out of the freezer and pour the chocolate mousse on top. Sprinkle with crushed pistachios, freeze-dried strawberries and desiccated coconut.

7. Pop into the fridge to set for a couple of hours before devouring.

Burton McCall Ltd.indd 3

13/09/2017 10:27


07/11/2017 13:16


Christmas Comes but Once a Year

Matthew Fort’s Festive Feast brings to the table everything from recipes and cooking tips to New Year’s Eve party inspiration for a most resplendent Christmas holiday

Images: Shutterstock; David Hartley/REX


have an ambition for this Christmas. It’s quite reasonable, modest even. I want to get to Christmas Day actually wanting to eat the festive feast. Of course, we all love Christmas. We treasure Christmas. We may moan about it, grumble that it goes on forever, complain about the tyranny of family and relations, cavil at its commercialisation and that it costs a fortune, but in truth, it’s the one time of the year when we can really get stuck into cheery over-consumption without the probings of a Puritan conscience. But—there has to be a ‘but’, doesn’t there? The trouble with Christmas is that it comes but once a year and seems to go on longer and longer and longer. The warning signs start in June, earlier sometimes, when supermarkets and other retailers send out their invitations to a tasting of their Christmas offerings. June! I’ve hardly recovered from the last Yuletide extravaganza.

FF02.Welcome.indd 15

Then there’s a steady drip, drip of early warnings, and come the end of November/ beginning of December, things begin to get serious—drinks here, lunch there, an office party, a corporate bash. The results are always dire—ballooning weight, bilious attacks, hangovers, fatigue, irritation, guilt, remorse— and that’s before you sit down for lunch or dinner on the great day itself. We consume between 6,000 and 8,000 calories on Christmas Day, depending on your source. According to the NHS website, that’s between 3,500 and 5,500 more than you need if you’re a man and 4,000 and 6,000 more if you’re a woman. Turkey with all the trimmings will weigh in another 1,450 calories, with Christmas pudding and brandy butter adding a further 1,174 calories. That’s around 4,624 so far, before you’ve had second helpings, cheese, chocolates and wine. You see what I mean? Look, I’m not a killjoy; I’m not a Puritan. I love

Christmas, all the fun and folderol, decorating the tree, opening presents, laying the table, the crackers and the decorations. I love the turkey and the trimmings, for heaven sake, and the pudding with brandy butter afterwards. I just think we have to keep Christmas in perspective; we have to keep the festive season under control. I know I’m my own worst enemy. Show me one helping, and I’ll want a second. That’s got to stop. This year is going to be different. This year, I’m going to pace myself. I’m going plan out my consumption like a military operation. I’m going to structure my Christmas—and that includes December as a whole. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and this year I’m going to breast the tape with appetite and calories in hand. That’s the theory, anyway. Matthew Fort Matthew Fort’s Festive Feast Matthew Fort’s festive feast// 15

13/11/2017 12:11

Matthew Fort Interview

‘Tis the Season

Judge on the BBC’s Great British Menu and revered food writer Matthew Fort talks using leftovers, alternative Christmas dinners and nostalgic festive traditions


FF04.Interview.indd 16

13/11/2017 12:20

Matthew Fort Interview

Mexican cuisine: Matthew predicts that this colourful fare will come of age in the UK in 2018

Images: Shutterstock

Q. What projects have you been working on in 2017 and should we expect anything exciting from you in the coming year? MF: 2017 has been a bit action-packed as far as I’m concerned. My latest book, Summer in the Islands (Unbound Books), the story of the six months I spent pottering around the Italian islands on a Vespa, came out in June. I went to Australia to do the Herbert River Gorge Trek, during which I lost a stone (a stone I could well do without, according to some). And now I’m filming series 13 of the BBC’s Great British Menu. Series 13! Who would’ve thought it? Q. Do you have any predictions for 2018 in terms of food trends? MF: Forecasting the future is always on the tricky side, and what with Brexit,

FF04.Interview.indd 17

‘Healthy food is what you might call a captive market, and the food industry will capitalise on it’

global warming and other matters, you’re on a hiding to nothing. However, if I have to stick my neck out, I’d say that in general people will eat less meat and more fish; there are going to be fewer restaurant openings; the exploration of the food of the eastern Mediterranean will continue; there will be more European/Asian crossover eateries and maybe, finally, Mexican food will come of age in the UK. Q. People—especially Londoners— are becoming more health-conscious when it comes to what they put into their bodies. How do you think this impacts the food industry? MF: It already has. Just look online at all the websites promoting the idea of healthy eating. Sugar is the great demon. Once upon a time it was fat, but now, of


13/11/2017 12:21

Tel: +44 (0)1225 742777 LUCKNAM PARK HOTEL & SPA, NR. BATH, SN14 8AZ

Lucknam Park.indd 2

30/10/2017 14:04



Lucknam Park

Valid until 31st March 2018. Subject to availability at the time of booking.

Wiltshire, England

FIVE-STAR INDULGENCE Located near the historic city of Bath, Lucknam Park is a magnificent Palladian mansion dating from 1720. Maintained as a family home until 1988, it then opened its doors as one of the UK’s top country house hotels. Set in 500 acres of listed parkland and beautiful gardens, Lucknam Park has been lovingly restored to the elegance and style of the past era. The distinguished hotel boasts 42 individually styled rooms and suites, Michelin star dining in Restaurant Hywel Jones, casual all day dining in The Brasserie, an award-winning spa, equestrian centre with 35 horses, cookery school, family play facility and a three bedroom country cottage. Lucknam Park is truly one of England’s finest hotels, providing 5-star luxury at every turn. To book call + 44 (0) 1225 742 777 or visit

Lucknam Park.indd 3

30/10/2017 14:04

The Art of Christmas Master the art of Christmas, from the kitchen to the table, with Robert Welch

Make Christmas memorable at

Robert Welch Designs Ltd.indd 1

11/10/2017 09:24

Matthew Fort Interview course, fat has been rehabilitated to some extent. We’re seeing many more foods marketed on the basis of their theoretical benefits for our health. Think of the socalled superfoods—quinoa, blueberries, almonds, oats, broccoli etc. There are health drinks, too—aloe vera juice, pomegranate juice, almond milk, soya milk, tiger nut juice and so on. There’s a tsunami of nutritional information that is only likely to grow. Healthy food is what you might call a captive market, and the food industry will capitalise on it. Q. With the big day ever-approaching, are there any restaurants that you would recommend for Christmas Day dinner for those who are less inclined to cook or host the meal? MF: It depends on what you’re looking for. Most hotels will be serving lunch and dinner on Christmas Day, so you might treat yourself to one of those uber-smart places in London you always promised to go to like Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, the Ritz or Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley Hotel. Or this might be the time to explore somewhere more exotic: The Cinnamon Club? Min Jiang? Som Saa? Or go for something more traditional such as Rules or Dean Street Townhouse. Q. Food wastage is rising in the UK— how do you think people can salvage leftovers during the holiday period and transform them into a sumptuous festive feast? MF: There’s only so much cold turkey a chap can take, even with lashings of Cumberland and other sauces. So why not devil your turkey leftovers (dismantle the remains of the bird into chunks. Slash them and rub them with mustard, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper). My family always went after my mother’s devilled turkey with an eagerness we never showed for the roasted bird. Particularly when served with a hash of leftover Brussels sprouts and roast potatoes mashed together and fried crunchy on the outside. How about cutting up the Christmas pud and frying that gently in butter so that it has a slightly

FF04.Interview.indd 21

crisp crust and is all melty inside and serving it with a chunk of cheese? Stilton goes very well. Q. What advice do you have for hosts looking to put their own stamp on Christmas dinner this year? MF: I’m tempted to say turn Christmas dinner into a crash dietary experience and serve up minimalist portions of something light and healthy. That would be original and shake everyone up, but it really won’t do. Maybe turkey is still the number one choice for most families, in spite of the best efforts of food gurus to

get us to experiment with other meats. But, if you do want to range further afield in search of originality, see what they do in France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Scandinavia. Don’t listen to your family or you’ll end up cooking a dozen separate meals. Q. What top tips and advice would you give to those who are hosting and cooking this Christmas for the first time? MF: Christmas shouldn’t induce a nervous breakdown. The whole point of planning ahead is to minimise the strain

Matthew Fort’s FESTIVE FEAST// 21

13/11/2017 12:21

Matthew Fort Interview

Take away the stress that usually comes with hosting Christmas dinner by delegating tasks to family members, says Matthew

when your guests start arriving. 1. Start planning well ahead (maybe two months). You need to get the essential building blocks in place. 2. Don’t be afraid to delegate. Someone can bring the pudding, someone else the cheese and so on. Finally, on the day, delegate the laying of the table and the pouring of drinks etc. Then everyone will feel part of the celebration. Also, try not to overdo it in the nerve tonic department. Drink is a pleasure, not a prop. Q. What is your one go-to dish that you would present at a dinner party should all else fail? MF: A stew of some kind—game probably at this time of year. You can make it in advance. All stews get better when reheated. They’re versatile and practical in their heart of hearts; most people just love them because they make people feel comfortable. Okay, a stew may not seem very glamorous, but


FF04.Interview.indd 22

change its name to a salmi or daube or stracotto, and everyone will be impressed by your sophistication. Q. Where should would-be hosts begin when entertaining at home during the festive season in terms of delivering a wholesome experience for their guests? MF: By pouring each [guest] a stiff drink or a glass of wine. Q. How important, in your mind, is matching food with the perfect wine for a delectable taste experience come dinnertime? MF: Matching food and wine is an imprecise art at best. You can spend your life trying to come up with combinations that dance over your tongue like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and die still trying. In my life, I’ve come across maybe five or six. And two of those were beers. There have been many more near misses.

All I can say is, it’s been fun trying, and that (surely) is the point. Q. Is there a memory or tradition from your childhood Christmases that inspires your cooking and festive experience even now? MF: When I was growing up, we had very traditional Christmases with loads of family and the odd abandoned stray. My great uncle, Kenneth, would read The Night Before Christmas, Clement Clarke Moore’s imperishable masterpiece, before we went to bed. Then stockings before breakfast; church; main present opening; light lunch; rest; drinks and dinner of turkey, cranberry sauce, bread sauce, gravy, roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, Brussels sprouts—the works, followed by Christmas pudding studded with sixpences and little tin decorations and then cheese and then chocolates. Finally, to bed, overfed, overexcited and overtired. I’m not sure that much has changed. 

13/11/2017 12:21

Crazy Gin Ltd.indd 1

24/10/2017 15:36

Locksley Distilling Company Ltd.indd 1




07/11/2017 09:56


Christmas Tradition

Through the Ages While it is true that some of the modern-day celebrations we associate with Christmas existed way before Christianity, it was Queen Victoria’s reign that started many of our favourite festive customs By Annalisa D’Alessio

Images: Shutterstock


ecorating fir trees, cooking up batches of mince pies and sending greeting cards to our nearest and dearest; many of these British Christmas traditions have fascinating histories dating back hundreds of years. From medieval to modern-day times, Festive Feast will take you on a journey through the different ages of Christmas.

Medieval This era is responsible for the introduction of light, fire and evergreens to our festive

FF05.Christmas Tradition.indd 25

celebrations. In Pagan times, evergreen plants were valued for their ability to stay alive during the cold winter months. Holly and ivy were used to celebrate the winter solstice and gave homes a splash of colour. In medieval times, societies used to cheer up dark days with celebrations of light and fire. The Yule log, a custom in many European countries, was ceremoniously placed in the fireplace on Christmas Eve, lit with the previous year’s log and burnt continuously for the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Elizabethan The Elizabethan period gave rise to festive banqueting. For families who could afford it, Christmas culminated in impressive spreads of sweet and savoury delights—an ostentatious display of wealth and status. Sugar, a particularly expensive ingredient at the time, was present in most dishes and foods were designed to deceive the eye. ‘Collops of bacon’—a great favourite— were made from ground almonds and sugar. Other popular items were walnuts and any foods made from sugar-plate—a

Matthew Fort’s FESTIVE FEAST// 25

13/11/2017 15:14

Christmas Tradition substance consisting of egg, sugar and gelatine. All of this was accompanied by spiced wines and syllabubs.

RESTORATION In 1644—at the height of Puritan England— an Act of Parliament banned Christmas celebrations, which many viewed as an excuse for excess. The restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 brought with it a more openly festive spirit; old customs were revived and Christmas was once again celebrated as a religious and social festival. Through the written accounts of Samuel Pepys, a civil servant, we now know that by 1666, Christmas traditions already involved mince pies, shoulders of mutton, roast chicken and ‘good wine’. Attending theatrical productions, playing music and visiting friends and family was also mentioned.

and greeting cards. In the 19th century, a confectioner’s apprentice in London spent years developing the French bon-bon into the modern-day cracker. Sir Henry Cole, driven by the amount of correspondence he felt obliged to write, created the first Christmas card in 1843 and engaged a friend to design the first coloured lithographs. The lowering of postage rates contributed to the spread of this custom. Popular designs featured Father Christmas, robins, snow scenes and evergreens. In medieval England, Father Christmas merely represented the spirit of good cheer. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that he became the legendary gift-giver he is universally known as today. This is, in part, due to Dutch influences and the legend of ‘Sinterklaas’, who became known as Santa Claus.


‘That more mischief is that time committed than in all the year besides… what dicing and carding, what eating and drinking, what banqueting and feasting is then used…to the dishonour of God and the impoverishing of the realm’ —Philip Stubbes, strict Puritan

By this time, the range of gifts for both children and adults increased dramatically. Much like today, the streets of London were filled with shoppers in the days leading up to Christmas. Manufacturers and shopkeepers capitalised on this;

Gamages, a famous department store in London at the time, offered 500 pages of gifts in their 1913 catalogue. Some of these presents were put under the Christmas tree while others were left in stockings.

WORLD WAR TWO Though money was tight for most during the war, the spirit of Christmas remained strong—even if the festivities were a reduced affair. The war made shopping trips and family gatherings both difficult and dangerous. This period saw a rise in popularity of homemade decorations, tinsel and artificial trees. Rationing and the lack of everyday ingredients meant that food preparation required imagination.

POST-WAR AND MODERN TIMES Magazines like Ideal Home and Good Housekeeping made hosting dinner parties a must during the festive season. During the 1950s, the pressure to produce a perfect Christmas dinner and several days of meals and snacks was enormous—much like it is today. Cocktail parties became the ‘in-thing’, as did inventive nibbles and hors d’hoeuvres. 

and author of The Anatomie of Abuses, c1580 VICTORIAN Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were great advocates of Christmas—thanks to them the glittering fir tree is one of the main symbols of this holiday. Although the Christmas tree custom originated in Germany, Prince Albert is credited with making it popular and spreading it beyond Royal circles. Usually decorated with wax candles, sweets, flags and little ornaments, these trees were generally displayed on tables in pots with gifts underneath. The Victorian period also brought with it the ‘invention’ of Christmas crackers 26 //MATTHEW FORT’S FESTIVE FEAST

FF05.Christmas Tradition.indd 26

13/11/2017 12:22

A Merry Christmas starts at Leonidas. The Preferred Belgian chocolates in a luxury golden gift box. The best you can offer to your loved ones.

Love to give.

Leonidas Chocolates.indd 1

09/10/2017 11:47

Season’s Eatings

Season s Eatings ‘

Discover the key to elevating your Christmas experience with high quality seasonal produce By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw


rom platters of wild smoked salmon and rich cheese selections to boxes of indulgent truffles, it’s undeniable that Christmas revolves around food. Even the lead up to the big day involves preparation with extravagant meals to consider carefully. The mounting pressure of making this year’s feast even better than the last is something we have all experienced. There are various components that help to create the perfect festive feast—each element deserves time and attention.

SUPPORT LOCAL PRODUCERS Local producers rely on business during the festive season—and all year round, for that matter. By supporting them you will contribute to boosting your community’s economy. Another benefit of local producers is the certainty of where your food product has come from and how it has been cultivated. Turkey plays a pivotal role on Christmas Day. Whilst providing delicious sustenance for the family, it also stands as the centrepiece of the feast. While supermarkets offer wide selections, they can be lacking in quality. Seek out an experienced butcher or farmer to guide you through the breed and size to suit your needs. Trying to source the best hot smoked salmon? A quality fishmonger


FF06.Season's Eatings.indd 28

13/11/2017 12:24

Season’s Eatings

When selecting fruits and vegetables, go organic when possible. Organic produce is grown without the use of pesticides or chemicals. Fruits and vegetables should be bright in colour and firm to the touch. Look out for soft areas or blemishes on the skin. Any cuts or punctures in the rind of fruits can cause them to dry out quickly.


should be able to tell you how and where their products have been caught. Similarly, while store-bought cheeses are easy on the wallet, they are often mass-produced, under-matured or overchilled. Consider visiting a specialist deli or cheesemonger; their expertise will aid your selection. The same can be said for fruits and vegetables: a stop at your local market supplier can be a huge advantage—it will allow you to draw upon their knowledge of proper storage practices and seasonality.

Images: Shutterstock

SPOT THE SIGNS OF QUALITY Whether you decide on turkey or another meat such as goose, lamb or gammon, you will get what you pay for in terms of quality. Naturally, pricier joints tend to be of a higher standard. Fresh turkeys with a dry appearance are usually of a better quality than those with

FF06.Season's Eatings.indd 29

a wet sheen to their flesh. Read the label (or speak to the supplier directly) to check how the bird has been stored. A dry bird should be hung and dry-plucked to render the best-flavoured meat. Quality suppliers will usually provide the giblets along with the bird in a separate oven-safe bag. This can later be used for making stock and flavouring gravy. In regards to cheese, aroma is very important. One steadfast tip for selecting cheese is to try before you buy—most reputable establishments should allow you to sample. Look out for a cheese that has a long length of flavour, one that lingers even after the initial bite. Higher quality cheeses tend to be more complex in their taste, hitting various zones of the palate. If possible, opt for a farmproduced cheese; they tend to include bold and standout flavours.

There are multiple reasons why eating seasonally is a smart choice. Seasonal food is usually more cost-effective than the exotic and imported variety. Britain’s best December fruits and vegetables include apple, artichoke, beetroot, celeriac, chestnut, clementine, cranberry, leek, parsnip, pear, pumpkin, red cabbage, swede and winter squash. Try to feature them in your Christmas Day meal. The start of October marks the beginning of Vacherin season, which runs through until March. Vacherin is a seasonal wood-boxed cheese that is rich and soft in consistency. Its flavour is far more robust than Brie, with nutty undertones. Comté, Roquefort, Stilton and Cheddar are also delicious during this period. A multitude of seafood is available over the Christmas months. The British Isles are blessed with stretches of coastline with plentiful freshwater species including salmon, mussels, oysters and clams—all of which are available. By December, game season will be in full swing with grouse, pheasant and partridge in plentiful supply. Try to incorporate these abundant food items into your meals—their seasonality means they’ll be at their very best.  MATTHEW FORT’S FESTIVE FEAST// 29

13/11/2017 12:24

Fine Fare


of the Fare Christmastime is the perfect occasion to treat yourself—and your nearest and dearest—to some luxury food and drink By Annalisa D’Alessio


he holidays have become synonymous with indulgence. Mainly revolving around the consumption of all kinds of food, the festive season brings with it a desire to enjoy the finer things in life. From caviar and tawny port to smoked salmon and oysters, have a read through our list of the finest fare that should not be missing from your dinner tables this Christmas.

Oysters In Britain, the two main types of oysters available are Native and Pacific—the latter being the least expensive. Live, just-shucked oysters offer the best flavour. You can ask your fishmonger to shuck them for you if you wish. Pair them with Champagne—another festive stalwart—for a sumptuous starter to a meal. If you’d like to eat them raw, arrange them on crushed ice and accompany them with lemon juice or a French-style dressing made of shallot vinegar and Tabasco sauce. Alternatively, top with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and herbs and grill for two to three minutes before serving.

Among the world’s most expensive foods, truffles come in two main varieties: black and white. Black truffles grow well in France and are relatively less expensive than their white counterparts, which are typically found in Italy. The most cost-effective ways of consuming this luxury item are in oil, pastes and pâtés. Add truffle to fresh pasta, risotto or scrambled eggs for a lavish meal that won’t break the bank. If shopping around for truffle-infused oils and pastes, look for products without any additional flavourings as these are less likely to be padded with less expensive mushroom varieties. 30 //MATTHEW FORT’S FESTIVE FEAST

FF07.Fine Fare.indd 30

Stilton This particular cheese takes three months to mature to perfection. It is said that autumn milk yields the best Stilton, which explains why the cheese is so widely consumed over the Christmas period. Feature it on your festive cheeseboard accompanied by good-quality honey, walnuts and stone fruits or add it to a salad for a savoury treat. Pair it with a tawny port or a sweet dessert wine for a perfect marriage of festive flavours.

Images: Shutterstock


13/11/2017 12:26

Fine Fare

The charcuterie board This festive season, charcuterie boards are set to give classic cheeseboards a run for their money. Rising in popularity, air-dried and aged meats are quickly becoming known as the ultimate delicacy. Use cured meats from your local deli to create a Mediterranean-style accompaniment to a festive aperitif— from Spanish chorizo and Serrano ham to Italian Finocchiona, the choices for a charcuterie board with a luxurious twist are endless.

Caviar Along with truffles, caviar is regarded as one of the most extravagant foods on earth. Consisting in salted fish eggs, caviar is available all year round but makes a special appearance on our tables when the festive season rolls around. Serve it in a container sat on a bed of ice, spread on thin cracker biscuits or on a lemon slice for an indulgent pre-dinner treat. Look for the Beluga variety; even though it’s the rarest and most expensive, it will more than make up for the extra money spent in flavour.


Made popular in the 1700s, port is, for many, the quintessential Christmas drink. If you’re going to invest in one bottle of fortified wine for the festive season, make sure you choose a good one. Primarily aged in oak barrels prior to bottling, port is a smooth and mellow drink perfect for an after-dinner spread of cheese and good-quality chutney by the fireplace. Novice appreciators will want to invest in a ruby port, while seasoned connoisseurs may opt for vintage port—the latter is an acquired taste.

Champagne Most Champagnes are a harmonious mixture of three grape varieties: chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. The top Champagnes are known as cuvées and are mainly vintage. When choosing the best Champagne, the best years to look out for are 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996 and 1998. When shopping around for Champagne, read labels carefully: check that the product is made in the region of Champagne and in accordance with proper regulations. This particular drink is great when paired with caviar and oysters.

Smoked salmon

This luxurious smoked fish can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes or eaten straight from the pack. While it’s now easy to find great smoked salmon in supermarkets, it’s still important to read the label carefully. Check whether the fish has been farmed, cultivated or caught. Wild salmon will taste better—and contain much less fat—than farmed salmon and will definitely be worth the heftier price tag. Use it to top some toasted English muffins for a decadent, festive brunch or create colourful hors d’oeuvres, sushi bites and a creamy pasta main dish.

FF07.Fine Fare.indd 31


13/11/2017 12:26

Surviving Christmas

Easy Does It


hristmas is never just one day. Whichever way you look at it, even in the most minimalist years, there’s always Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. This year the big day falls on a Monday, which means that the season will go on for four days, from Saturday 23 to Tuesday 26. Make that five if all your nearest and dearest turn up on the Friday ready for the weekend. That takes some significant


FF08.Recipes.indd 32

planning in the catering department, particularly if you don’t want to be popping down to shops along the way— and you really don’t—assuming that they’re open. Then there are the numbers to consider. Well, let’s assume a basic family unit of two. Add to that two sets of adult children, making the total six. Then there are their children, say two each. So we’re up to 10. Then there may

well be the odd spare elderly relative or neighbour who have no family of their own to take them in, and you could easily be feeding 12 on Christmas Day itself, even if not for the full four days, perhaps, but it’s as well to be prepared. It’s a good idea to do a dietary survey while you’re about it. No one is likely to die of undernourishment, but young kids (and some adults) can be very faddy, and their parents tend

Images: Shutterstock

‘Tis the season of good cheer—and ever-expanding waistbands. Refuse overindulgence this Yuletide with Matthew Fort’s guide to surviving Christmas one light dish at a time. What’s more, wine experts at Berry Bros. & Rudd will help wash it all down with their choice pairings to boot

13/11/2017 14:41

Surviving Christmas

to fuss. You don’t want to have to be running a short order café, catering for 12 different sets of tastes. On the other hand, tactful planning can avoid scenes, disappointments and being faced with a mountain of leftovers when everyone has gone away. The whole idea of having a master plan is to reduce the angst and worry that mass catering involves to manageable proportions. Of course, a whole industry dedicated to easing hosts through the onslaught has grown up online. Newspapers and magazines will be crammed with useful advice. Sage TV experts will be flooding us with tips and recipes. Even the saintly Mary Berry has weighed in with her characteristically sensible and down-toearth approach. My own answer is lists—and lists of lists. You can’t have too many lists in my view— lists of dishes for each meal on each day, plus a list of ingredients needed for each dish. There are lists of essentials and store cupboard lists and lists for emergencies. Draw up a timetable list if it gives you peace of mind. As I’ve said, this year, my ambition is to feel at least the stirrings of hunger on Christmas Day itself. Given the two days running up to it, I can control the level of consumption and moderate it where necessary. This isn’t a calorie counting exercise. That would be too boring. But I can see no reason why lighter dishes can’t give as much pleasure as those of greater and more traditional heft and leave your digestive system feeling easier—and you virtuous to boot. Less can be more, when it comes to Christmas.

P.S. a tip... Oh yes, and don’t forget: i) to order your turkey ii) make sure it’ll go into your pan, and iii) most important of all, into your oven Go on, put it on the list.

FF08.Recipes.indd 33

matthew fort’s FESTIVE FEAST// 33

13/11/2017 14:41

Surviving Christmas

Saturday 23rd December C-Day minus two. Shopping done. Master list completed and composite lists all in order. You’re ready. You feel confident, sort of. You square your shoulders. The doorbell rings. They’ve arrived.

Orange, Fennel & Black Olive Salad (SERVES 8) Something of a Sicilian classic. It combines crunch, sharpness, saltiness with the waft of aniseed. Very good for digestion.

INGREDIENTS 2 fennel bulbs 4 oranges Extra virgin olive oil 2 red onions 250g black olives

METHOD Slice the fennel as finely as you can—I do this on a mandolin. Put the slices into a bowl. Peel the oranges right down to the flesh, then cut out the segments from the surrounding membranes by cutting in from the outside towards the centre (it’s easier than it sounds, so do give it a go). Add the orange segments to the fennel slices, then stir in as much olive oil as you like. The orange will provide the acid element in the dressing, in place of vinegar. Slice the red onions wafer thin and sprinkle over the fennel and oranges. Go easy with the onion. You don’t need a lot of it. Decorate with the olives. If you have kept any of the feathery fennel fronds, chop them up and sprinkle them over the top, too.

Pinot blanc


FF08.Recipes.indd 34

Images: Shutterstock

This salad provides something of a cornucopia of strong flavours which a refreshing pinot blanc, with its high tones of orange blossom and acidity, will cut through. Will Wrightson, senior sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd

13/11/2017 14:23

Surviving Christmas

Tonno di Coniglio (SERVES 8) So called because the rabbit prepared in this way takes on the texture of tinned tuna. A specialty from the mountains of Piedmont.

INGREDIENTS 2 rabbits 40-60 sage leaves 20 unpeeled garlic cloves Salt and pepper 1lt extra virgin olive oil (or more)


Loire cabernet franc

Chop the rabbit into pieces, put in a pan and cover with salted water. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the meat is ready to fall off the bones—about 45 minutes. Drain. While warm, pull the flesh off the bones and place in layers in an earthenware container, separating each layer with sage leaves and garlic cloves and seasoning as you build—you should have at least three layers of rabbit. Cover with oil and pop in the fridge overnight, ideally two or three. Serve with a salad—fennel.

Though this recipe has its roots in Piedmont, I think a crunchy cabernet franc from Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil, with its earthy and entirely typical leafy note, would suit well and it is ludicrously wellpriced. Will Wrightson, senior sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd

FF08.Recipes.indd 35


13/11/2017 14:23

Surviving Christmas

Cumin-crusted Quail (SERVES 8)

Marvellous for portion control, quail. It’s easy to eat two, but do you really want to, given what lies ahead?

INGREDIENTS 8 quails 3 lemons Olive oil 5g cumin seeds Salt and pepper

METHOD Spatchcock the quails by cutting down the breastbone with a pair of scissors. Flatten them. Sprinkle them with the juice of two lemons and dribble olive oil over them. Sprinkle them with the cumin seeds, salt and freshly ground pepper and keep in a cool place for about an hour. Turn oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Pop the quail into the oven. Use two roasting trays if you have to. Roast them for 20 minutes. They should be well tanned but not burnt or leathery. Turn off heat. Let them rest for 10 minutes. Serve in a great pile on a plate in the middle of the table with lemon wedges and the Gujarati-style cabbage with carrots salad (on the next page).

Australian pinot noir


FF08.Recipes.indd 36

Images: Shutterstock

Game, cumin and pinot noir; this is a triumph of earthiness. The juicy red fruit of Mornington Peninsula pinot noir will refresh your palate from the warm spices and its earthy character will perfectly complement the generous game flavours. Alessia Ferrarello, sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd

13/11/2017 14:24

For the last 20 years, Caspian Caviar has been making Christmas even better by supplying the best possible range of caviars to our customers across the UK and Europe. We also supply other essential Christmas groceries, such as smoked salmon and truffles, along with hampers and fantastic gift boxes. T: 0845 606 8868 | E: Twitter: @caspiancaviar Caspian Caviar Ltd, Grindstone Mill, Alderley, Gloucestershire GL12 7QT Caspian Caviar.indd 1

26/10/2017 11:11

Surviving Christmas

Gujarati-style Cabbage with Carrots (SERVES 8) I’ve borrowed this from Indian Cookery by the imperishable Madhur Jaffrey.

METHOD Core the cabbage and cut into fine long shreds. Peel the carrots and grate them coarsely. Cut the green chilli into thin long strips. Put the oil in a wide casserole-type pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot put in the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop—this takes just a few seconds—put in the red chilli. Stir once. The chilli should turn dark red in seconds. Now put in the cabbage, carrots and green chilli. Turn the heat down to medium and stir the vegetables around for half a minute. Add salt, sugar and fresh coriander. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just done and retain their crispness. Add the lemon juice. Stir to mix. Remove the red chilli before serving.

INGREDIENTS 350g green English cabbage 350g carrots 1/2-1 hot green chilli Olive oil 1 tbsp black mustard seeds 1 dried hot red chilli 1/2 tsp sugar 5 heaped tbsp fresh green coriander, chopped 1 tbsp lemon juice


FF08.Recipes.indd 38

Mosel riesling Finely balanced riesling has enough zesty lime to cut through spice and the merest hint of sweetness allowing the carrot to shine. Thirstquenching and revivifying in the extreme, this is a wine of pure pleasure. Robert Whitehead, senior sales & spirits buyer (retail), Berry Bros. & Rudd

Images: Shutterstock


13/11/2017 14:27

Surviving Christmas

Braised Pineapple with Ginger & Vanilla (SERVES 8) An old favourite. A particularly happy marriage of flavours.

INGREDIENTS 2 ripe pineapples 100g fresh ginger 2 vanilla pods 250ml ginger wine (Crabbie’s or Stones)

METHOD Peel the pineapple and cut down the length of the fruit into slices so that you have 6 long, fattish portions. Peel the ginger and cut into matchsticks. Stick the ginger matchsticks into the slices of pineapple, 4 to 6 sticks per slice. Cut the vanilla pods down the middle. Put the vanilla pods into a large frying pan. Lay the slices of pineapple flat in the pan. You may need to do this in batches. Pour the ginger wine over the pineapple, place over a low heat and cook until the pineapple is soft. Serve hot or warm with the cooking juices poured over.

Gewürztraminer Gewürztraminer is so beautifully rich and exotic, I cannot think of a bottle I would rather have with this pudding. Will Wrightson, senior sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd

FF08.Recipes.indd 39


13/11/2017 14:27

Surviving Christmas

Sunday 24th December C-Day minus one. So far, so good. You haven’t eaten too much. You haven’t drunk too much. All the members of the family are still talking to each other. The ascetic menu (all menus are relative) seems to be going down well.

Carpaccio of Haddock with Shaved Fennel (SERVES 8)

You can use other smoked fish, but I think smoked haddock and the fennel dance a pretty fancy tango.


METHOD Very carefully cut slices off the haddock fillet, angling the knife slightly downwards and cutting towards the tail. Cut as thinly as you can. It doesn’t matter if some slices are bigger than others. Lay each slice onto the plate you want your lucky guests to eat it off. Just keep on slicing and dividing up until the fillet has all gone. Slice the fennel as thinly as possible (I use a cheap plastic mandolin). Peel the oranges, cutting away as much of the pith as possible. Cut out each segment from the surrounding membrane and then cut up into fine pieces. Mix with the fennel slivers and divide among the 4 plates, piling it up in the middle. Add a little salt and pepper and dribble of olive oil and your work is done. You can carpaccio the fish earlier, then just cover each plate with cling film. Uncover when you need to serve and carry on with the rest of the assembly. Season to taste.

600g smoked, undyed haddock fillet 1 bulb fennel 2 oranges Salt and pepper Olive oil



FF08.Recipes.indd 40

Images: Shutterstock

Whilst not exactly an herbaceous wine, for the purposes of the fennel, Chassagne-Montrachet is both fleshy and taut and will go down a treat paired with the haddock. Will Wrightson, senior sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd

13/11/2017 14:29

Surviving Christmas

Padron Peppers with Prawns (SERVES 8)

In an ideal world, I’d make this with friggitelli, the Italian pepper that looks like Padron peppers but longer, fleshier and milder. But as I’ve never seen them in Britain and Padron peppers are ubiquitous, I suggest using them. It’s still a lively combination.

INGREDIENTS 4 tbsp olive oil 500g Padron peppers 500g raw prawns with the shell on Salt

METHOD Pour the oli into a wok or frying pan. Heat until smoking. Add the peppers. When they begin to wilt, add the prawns and continue cooking until they are pink and slightly caramelised. Tip into a colander lined with kitchen towel to drain off the oil. Tip onto a plate and dust with salt.

FF08.Recipes.indd 41


From the first sip of this spritzy white, you will be transported to northern Spain where dishes like this originate. The grape is txakoli, a lesser known varietal, but one that is emerging as a sublime match for seafood. The wine sings of lemons, limes and salty sea air, which makes it the perfect accompaniment to the juicy prawns and spicy peppers. Tatiana Humphreys, sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd


13/11/2017 14:29

Surviving Christmas

Chicken Dumplings in Ginger Chicken Broth (SERVES 8)

INGREDIENTS 350g cooked chicken 40g breadcrumbs 40g grated parmesan

Soothing, comfortable, pleasing, gentle.

METHOD Mince the chicken finely into a bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, parmesan and thyme leaves. Mix thoroughly. Season. Beat the eggs, add them to the mix and mix again. Cool in the fridge for about 1 hour. Peel and slice the ginger into needles. Add to the chicken broth. Shape the chicken mixture into little balls and reheat gently in the chicken broth. Serve with a squeeze of lime in every plate.

2 tsp thyme leaves Salt and pepper 2 eggs 100g ginger 1.5lt clear chicken broth 2 limes

Wild Soul, Domaine Julien Sunier


FF08.Recipes.indd 42

Images: Shutterstock

This warming ginger chicken broth calls for a wine that will refresh the palate, and wines from Beaujolais will do just that. This red wine is packed full of crunchy strawberries and red cherries with an underlying earthiness that suits this warming dish. Tatiana Humphreys, sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd

13/11/2017 14:31

Surviving Christmas

Macerated Morello Cherries with Walnuts, Honey & Skyr (SERVES 8) Skyr is the Icelandic equivalent to yoghurt, but is naturally low in fat. If you can’t find macerated morello cherries, macerate golden and black raisins in brandy for an hour or so.

10-year-old Boal Madeira

A tricky pairing requires a versatile wine and this Madeira offers the perfect interplay between sweetness and acidity that is needed here. If there’s any left, it’s also a fine partner to cheese. Nicola Giacomelli, senior sales executive, Berry Bros. & Rudd

FF08.Recipes.indd 43

INGREDIENTS 300 morello cherries macerated in alcohol of some kind (or 2 bottles of Hix Fix cherries) 900g skyr 300g walnut halves 8 tbsp runny honey

METHOD Put some of the morello cherries in the bottom of 4 soup plates or bowls. Spoon the skyr over the top. Divide up the walnuts. Drape with honey. Pile the rest of the cherries (or raisins) on top.


13/11/2017 14:31

Surviving Christmas

Lucy’s Californian Fruit Cake (SERVES 8)

I discovered this delight at the birthday party of my friend, Pippa Lewis, who kindly provided me with the recipe.

250g whole stoned dates 250g dried apricots 250g pecans/walnut halves 100g plain flour 1/4 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda 1/4 tsp salt 200g soft brown sugar Cinnamon and nutmeg (optional) 3 eggs 1 tsp vanilla essence


FF08.Recipes.indd 44

METHOD Heat oven to 160C/gas mark 3. Put the dried fruits and nuts into a large bowl (just empty the packets). Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt on top. Stir in the brown sugar. I like to add cinnamon and nutmeg too. Beat the eggs with the vanilla until foamy. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Pour into a buttered loaf tin or one lined with silicone paper and bake for 90 minutes (the original recipe says up to 2 hours but I find that too long). Cut very thinly to serve.

Madeira Madeira’s dark tones of caramelised nuts and dried raisins will perfectly accompany this pudding as a luscious fruit cake requires something equally sweet. Madeira’s high acidity is what sets it apart from other fortified wines, and it’s this quality which will keep your palate refreshed! Tatiana Humphreys, sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd

Images: Shutterstock


14/11/2017 10:52



Our new Gold Edition cookware range encompasses all of the same great features our customers have come to love, from superior multi-layered Cerastone non-stick coatings to perfectly balanced handles, durable bodies and bonded steel bases, ideal for all hob types, including induction.



Multi-Layered Technology • 3 Stone Coating Layers • Forged Aluminium Body • Bonded Steel Base

See the full range at: For more information call: 0333 220 6066 or email us: RKW Ltd.indd 1

21/08/2017 16:22

Surviving Christmas

Monday 25th December C-Day. This is the real test of the new system. You’re calm but focussed. Your sleeves are rolled up, physically as well as metaphorically. You’re ready to roll.

Devilled Almonds (SERVES 12) My mother’s recipe. It is literally impossible to make too many of these divine nibbles.

INGREDIENTS 1kg peeled almonds 1 tsp vegetable oil (preferably almond or peanut) Fine salt White pepper Cayenne pepper


A classic match that never fails, amontillado has rich pumpkin pie-hued notes that should pair wonderfully with the light spices here. Its complex, herbal and caramel-infused finish makes it well worth spending more than you usually do on a sherry. Nicola Giacomelli, senior sales executive, Berry Bros. & Rudd


FF08.Recipes.indd 46

Images: Shutterstock


Turn on oven to 160C/gas mark 3. Spread almonds evenly on a baking tray. Pop into the oven for about 15 minutes. Check after 10 to see if they’re colouring. They need to be a nice tanned colour. Take out and allow to cool. Tip into a bowl. Dribble the oil over them and turn until all the almonds are thoroughly coated. Dust with plenty of fine salt, then plenty of white pepper and finally with cayenne. How much depends on how salty and devilled you like your almonds.

13/11/2017 14:34

Surviving Christmas

Smoked Eel with Mustard Leaves & Pomegranate Seeds (SERVES 12) I prefer the richness, the suave texture and the deep flavour of eel to the ersatz attractions of smoked salmon. It can stand up to fiery mustard leaves and, for once, the pomegranate seeds shine in the mouth as well as on the plate.

INGREDIENTS 1kg smoked eel 1 pomegranate 500g assorted mustard salad leaves Rapeseed oil 2 lemons Salt and pepper


St Joseph blanc Eel is an acquired taste and its oily texture needs a wine with zesty flavours to cut through the richness. This wine from St Joseph marries lemons and verbena with a bitter aftertaste, which is typical of Marsanne. An exotic dish deserves an elegant wine with structure and this ticks all the boxes. Tatiana Humphreys, sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd

FF08.Recipes.indd 47

Cut the eel into 12 equal portions. Bash the seeds from the pomegranate. Divide up the mustard leaves among the 12 plates. Place the smoked eel portions on each, cutting the eel into smaller pieces if you want. Splash each with a little rapeseed oil, squeeze the lemon over them and then scatter the pomegranate seeds for artistic as well as gastronomic effect. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


13/11/2017 14:34

Surviving Christmas

Beef Skirt Braised with Capers & Anchovies (SERVES 12) Beef skirt is humble and it takes a bit of cooking in terms of time, not skill. It may lack the drama of a great, gleaming, roasted turkey, but it more than makes up for it in flavour. And of course, it’s cheap, not a minor consideration when you’re feeding a platoon for several days.

INGREDIENTS 3 tbsp capers in salt Dripping/duck fat 3kg beef skirt 2 tbsp plain flour 3 onions 3 carrots 3 sticks celery Fennel trimmings 1 lemon Black pepper 1 bottle white wine 1 bottle red wine 100ml saba (or cheap balsamic vinegar) 6 anchovy fillets


The flavours of black cherries, bramble fruit and wood smoke present in red Bordeaux are instantly appealing and match perfectly with the smoky flavours of the beef skirt. The salt from the capers and anchovies will soften the tannins in the wine and leave a long, velvety finish. Tatiana Humphreys, sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd


FF08.Recipes.indd 48

Rinse the salt off the capers and let them soak in fresh water. Melt the dripping/duck fat in a casserole dish. Add the beef skirt. Dust with flour. Brown. Add the vegetables and half the lemon. Grind in plenty of black pepper. Pour in the wine (and a little water if needed to cover). Cover, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 1 1/2-2 hours, until the meat is tender. Strain off the liquid into a clean pan and reduce to the desired intensity. Balance the acidity with the saba or balsamic vinegar. Add the anchovy fillets and cook gently until they’ve dissolved. Add the capers. Slice up the skirt and put onto a serving plate. Pour some of the cooking juices over and keep the rest in a jug. Serve with boiled carrots and the butter bean and radicchio dish on the next page.

Images: Shutterstock


13/11/2017 16:39

Surviving Christmas

Roast Radicchio with Butter Beans (SERVES 12)

INGREDIENTS 6 heads radicchio 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp red wine vinegar 3 235g tins butter beans 1 onion 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced Salt and pepper

METHOD Turn on the oven to 170C/gas mark 3. Cut the radicchio heads into quarters. Place them on a roasting tray(s). Splash some olive oil over them and sprinkle with some of the vinegar. Put into the oven and roast for 10-20 minutes. They should be well wilted. Open and drain the tins of butter beans. Slice the onion and garlic finely. Heat the oil in a pan. When smoking, add the onion and garlic, turn down the heat and cook gently until translucent. Add the butter beans and the vinegar. Season well and cook gently until the butter beans are hot. Take out about 3/4 of them and purĂŠe to a cream, adding a little water if necessary. Add the cream to the remaining whole butter beans. Put the radicchio quarters on a serving plate and decant the butter beans over them.

FF08.Recipes.indd 49

Dolcetto 2015 was a phenomenal vintage for the dolcetto grape variety, and the sweet, opulent fruit of this dolcetto will smoothen the typical bitterness of the radicchio. Alessia Ferrarello, sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd


13/11/2017 14:42

Surviving Christmas

Baked Coconut Cream with Caramelised Fruits & Rum Sabayon (SERVES 12)

Borrowed from my good friend, the great Paul Heathcote. It’s taken from Rhubarb & Black Pudding, the book he and I wrote together in the halcyon days of 1998.


METHOD Make a caramel by stirring 300g sugar with 6 tbsp of water in a heavy-based pan, bring to the boil and cook until it becomes a golden caramel. Pour into the bottom of 6 ramekin moulds and leave to set. Preheat the oven to 130C/gas mark 1. In a large bowl cream the eggs and the remaining sugar until light. Put the coconut cream or milk in a pan with a vanilla pod and bring to just below the boil. Pour onto the egg mixture, stir well and then pass through a fine sieve. Skim off the foam and pour the mixture into the ramekins. Place them in a bain marie half filled with hot water. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for about 25-35 minutes. When the coconut cream is cooked, allow to cool slightly before turning them out of their moulds. While the cream is cooking, make the rum sabayon.


FF08.Recipes.indd 50

INGREDIENTS - FOR THE CARAMELISED FRUITS A little vegetable oil 20g icing sugar 150g pear, peeled and sliced 150g apple, peeled and sliced 150g banana, peeled and sliced 150g mango, peeled and sliced 150g papaya, peeled and sliced

METHOD Heat a pan, put in a drop of oil and add the icing sugar. When it starts to froth, add the sliced fruits and toss in the pan (you may have to do this in batches). When they are soft and golden, remove from the heat and allow to cool.


egg yolks tbsp rum tsp caster sugar tsp whipping cream

METHOD Place all the ingredients in a metal mixing bowl and set over a bain marie filled with hot water. Whisk together until the egg yolk is cooked and the mix has almost doubled in size.

Penny Blue rum This glorious rum from the paradise island of Mauritius has all the sweet, nutty character to pair well with the coconut cream. There is spicy complexity and a luscious finish that seem almost destined to intertwine with the sabayon. Robert Whitehead, senior sales & spirits buyer (retail), Berry Bros. & Rudd

Images: Shutterstock

525g caster sugar 6 eggs 6 yolks 1.5lt coconut cream or milk 2 vanilla pods

13/11/2017 16:44


Orders 07932656898 Christmas Cake Ltd.Rev3.indd 1

02/11/2017 15:53

Surviving Christmas

Tuesday 26th December C-Day plus one. It’s all over bar the shouting and, remarkably, there was little of that. Perhaps the fact that no one was liverish, bilious or tired and emotional helped. Yes, you have survived Christmas! Hallelujah! Wait till next year.

English sparkling wine

Salt Cod with Celery, Lemons & Chilli

Due to the high salinity of this dish, which is popular in many parts of the Mediterranean, a fresh and acidic wine is needed to balance the food. English sparkling wine has a consistent structure and an agreeable freshness which will stand up to the flavours perfectly. Alessia Ferrarello, sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd

(SERVES 8) You can make your own salt cod by simply buying a bit of the fish and burying it in salt for 48 hours. Whether you use commercial or homemade salt cod, soak for at least 24 hours in several changes of cold water.


400g salt cod Extra virgin olive oil 2 hearts of celery 4 lemons 2 dried red chillies Salt and pepper


FF08.Recipes.indd 52

Put the soaked salt cod in a pan and cover with olive oil. Bring gently to simmering point and cook for 6 minutes or so. Allow to cool. Chop the celery into bits about 5mm thick. Cut out the segments of the lemons and chop them up into small pieces. Chop the chilli finely. When the salt cod is cool, take it out of the oil, break it up into small pieces. Mix them with the celery, chilli and lemon bits in a bowl and pour a generous slug of fresh olive oil over them all. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Alternatively, you can whizz the whole kit and caboodle in a food processor and serve the resulting delicious glop of bits on griddled foccacia.

Images: Shutterstock


13/11/2017 16:46

Surviving Christmas

Pigeon Breasts with Red Cabbage (SERVES 8) If you’re using wild pigeons, soak the breasts in milk for 6 hours before cooking.

INGREDIENTS 8 tbsp olive oil 16 pigeon breasts

Oregon pinot noir There is an inbuilt meatiness to this wine, not to mention a beautiful plum-like quality that will just fly with the pigeon and cabbage. Will Wrightson, senior sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd

Salt and pepper 8 tbsp cider vinegar 2 tsp caster sugar

INGREDIENTS - FOR THE RED CABBAGE 1 red cabbage 1 red onion, finely chopped 1 sharp eating apple 50g butter, plus extra to serve 1 cinnamon stick 1/4 tsp ground cloves 3 tbsp muscovado sugar 100ml red wine vinegar 100ml cassis 100ml port Salt and pepper

FF08.Recipes.indd 53

METHOD Heat the oil in a frying pan. When smoking, add the breasts. Leave for 3 minutes, then turn and fry for 3 minutes more. Remove from pan, season and keep warm. Add the vinegar and sugar scraping up any residue at the bottom of the pan. Reduce. Pour over the breasts when you serve up. Serve with red cabbage.

METHOD Core and slice the cabbage very finely. Chop the onion and the apple. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Soften in the butter for a few minutes, then stir in the spices and cook for 1 minute. Tip in the cabbage and cook, stirring from time to time. Add the apple, sugar, vinegar and other liquids. Reduce the heat to low, stir well, cover and cook for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick. Season well. Store it somewhere cool for a couple of days, then reheat to serve adding a knob of butter during the reheating. MATTHEW FORT’S FESTIVE FEAST// 53

14/11/2017 08:49

Surviving Christmas

Souffléed Mash (SERVES 8)

2 dried red chillies Olive oil 1kg cooked floury potatoes 4 tbsp tomato purée 4 egg whites 4 tbsp grated parmesan 2 tbsp breadcrumbs


FF08.Recipes.indd 54

METHOD Heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Chop the dried chilli finely and heat the bits in 2 tbsp of olive oil. Purée the potatoes with a potato ricer or a mouli or even pushing them through a sieve. The finer the potato purée, the finer the dish. Stir in the tomato purée and the chilli-infused olive oil. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the potato mixture. Oil the inside of a soufflé dish and then dust with parmesan. Empty the potato mixture into the soufflé dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and some parmesan if you have any left over. Put the soufflé dish into the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until it’s risen and brown on top.

Champagne blanc de noir Champagne blanc de noir has a rich, soft roundness which coats your mouth with pleasure and gourmandise. Basically, the essence of potatoes. Alessia Ferrarello, sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd Images: Shutterstock


14/11/2017 10:56

Surviving Christmas

Consommé de Vin Aux Fruits D’Hiver (SERVES 8) A dish that emerged from a cooking catastrophe. But that’s another story.

INGREDIENTS 2 75cl bottles cheap sweet white wine—Moscatel de Setubal or sweet Asti 2 tsp gelatine powder 2 mangos 2 papayas 4 slices pineapple Rosemary

FF08.Recipes.indd 55

METHOD Pour the wine into a saucepan and place over a gentle heat. It shouldn’t get too hot, or it will lose some of its flavour, but it must be hot enough to dissolve the gelatine. Add the gelatine and stir to dissolve. Pour the mixture into a bowl and put in a cool place to set. Sometime before you need to serve, peel and slice the mango, papaya and pineapple and divide up the slices and other fruit among the plates. Scatter the rosemary needle leaves over the top. Stir the jelly to break it up, then divide up among the plates.


The combination of herbs and fruit in this dessert provides a perfect backdrop to this sweet, golden wine from Barsac. Hailing from a commune of Sauternes, you can expect flavours of saffron, dried fruit and marmalade and the viscous nature of the wine will complement the warming consommé. What a way to end a meal. Tatiana Humphreys, sales assistant, Berry Bros. & Rudd


14/11/2017 08:49

Sponsored Editorial

Reinvent Home Cooking ™ Pro ™ Pr thethe Smart Smart Oven Oven

Gastronomy has reached new heightsElement at home introduction ® Element IQ®with technology IQthe technology movesmoves the power the power around around the ov of Sage™ by Heston Blumenthal kitchen appliances deliverdeliver precise precise cooking cooking temperatures temperatures in thein right the place right at place the at right the tim rig

™ Pro ™ Pro e the Smart Oven Smart Oven

® technology movesmoves the power around the oven ent IQ® technology the Large power around theto oven to Large capacity capacity Pizza Pizza oven oven a at whole whole chicken 30cm (12") 30cm crispy (12")pizza crispy pizza mperatures in the in right at theRoasts right time perfect resultsresults ing temperatures theplace rightRoasts place theachicken rightfor time for perfect

Over 5,000 Over 5,000 * 5-star reviews 5-star*reviewsRATINGS


From two From two Amazon, Product Amazon, Review, Product Review, Independent US Test Independent Labs US Test Labs

oven oven Pizza

crispy m (12")pizza crispy pizza

Up to 23cm Up to(9") 23cm cak(

The world’s The world’s mostmost awarded awarded compact compact ovens ovens †

† Breville Smart Breville OvenSmart Range Oven Range

Perfect rise and low and heat heat Perfect riseeven andbake even bake Maintain Maintain lowstable and stable Up to 23cm cake tincake tin Up to(9") 23cm (9")

Slow cook upcook to 12up hours tender Slow to 12for hours for meats tender meats


t Sage, we know that everyone wants to eat perfectly cooked and baked food, so why wouldn’t you want to bring restaurant-quality cooking to your own home? That might seem like no mean feat, so the award-winning kitchen appliance brand has introduced the Smart Oven® Pro to take the guesswork out of cooking and create the best restaurant quality results, every time.

awarded most awarded ns †

Perfect Perfect rise and riseeve an

The Smart Oven® Pro with Element IQ® is an essential tool for the cook who desires a countertop oven that bakes the perfect pizza, delicious cookies, toasts evenly and roasts succulent meat. The convection setting reduces cooking time by up to 30 percent. With Element IQ®, five independent quartz heating elements move the power where it’s needed most, above and below the food. Each element adjusts automatically for the setting you choose, to deliver the right cooking temperature at the right time ensuring the precise cooking process for the meal you are creating. It features an interior oven light to keep an eye on your cooking. There are 10 pre-set cooking functions include: Toast 6 slices, Crumpet, Bake, Grill, Pizza, Cookies, Reheat, Warm and Slow Cook. The slow cook function automatically turns to keep warm once the slow cook cycle is complete.




6 6

Element IQ: Element IQ® technology moves the power SLICES SLICES around the oven to deliver precise cooking temperatures in the right place in the right time for perfect results. Convection Powered: An inbuilt fan that circulates the hot air within the oven. It speeds the cooking process by stripping away the cold air that surrounds your food. Non-Stick Cavity Coating: The walls on the inside of the oven feature a non-stick coating for easy cleaning. Capacity: 6-Slice Toaster, 13” Pizza, 21 Litres. Settings: 10 Preset Functions: Toast, Crumpet, Bake, Grill, Roast, Pizza, Cookies, Reheat, Warm and Slow Cook Dimensions: 28(H) x 47(W) x 32(D) Warranty: 1 Year Replacement Warranty Construction Materials: Brushed Stainless Steel

For more information, visit

BRG Appliances Sponsored Ed.indd 2

13/11/2017 15:38

BRG APPLIANCES (Sage).indd 1

14/11/2017 10:35

The Main Event


Christmas Dinner

Tackle Christmas dinner like a pro with our helpful guide for a magical day to remember By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw


olunteering to host Christmas dinner may have seemed like a good idea—initially—but as December draws in, so does a looming sense of dread. Advanced planning is crucial to ensure the meal runs harmoniously; even the most seasoned chefs can misjudge cooking times. Here, we’ll assist you in organising the ultimate Christmas feast without the stress.


FF09.Hosting Christmas Dinner.indd 58

CHRISTMAS EVE Begin on Christmas Eve by drawing up a cooking schedule for Christmas Day—give yourself an hour’s leeway, just in case. The two most important factors to consider are: what time you wish to eat and how big your turkey is. Calculate the cooking time by weighing your turkey. More complex side dishes should be assembled and prepared today; this includes the stuffing, red cabbage and the

base of the gravy. Anything that requires setting in the fridge should also be completed, such as desserts and traditional sauces. Now is a good time to peel, trim and parboil vegetables like parsnips, carrots and sprouts. Also peel, parboil and fluff the potatoes so that they are ready for the oven whenever you’ll need them. Once these tasks are complete, dress the dinner table with place settings, confetti and decorations. Before you go to

13/11/2017 12:27

The Main Event

Top tip

Although there will be multiple people to please, try to not overcomplicate your meal. Select dishes that you are comfortable in making—this will leave you with less room for error and fewer elements to juggle. the bird is cooked with a thermometer or a metal skewer. Insert into the thickest part of the thigh for the most accurate reading. Ensure that the juices are running clear rather than pink—indicating that the turkey is cooked properly.

WHILE THE TURKEY RESTS bed, remove the turkey from the fridge so it warms to room temperature.

Images: Shutterstock

CHRISTMAS MORNING Christmas lunch tends to be served between one and two o’clock. Wake up early to preheat the oven—this will usually take around 45 minutes. This should give you enough time to wolf down some breakfast and have a quick glass of bubbly. Prepare the bird by removing the wishbone with a small, sharp knife; this will make carving far easier. Loosen the skin from both ends of the turkey and stuff with seasoned butter (add lemon, parsley and garlic for extra flavour). Massage the rest of the butter mix into the top of the bird, including the legs. The butter will ensure the turkey doesn’t dry out. This is also an ideal time to begin steaming your Christmas pudding on a low heat.

FF09.Hosting Christmas Dinner.indd 59

COOKING THE TURKEY Roast the turkey on a high heat for 15-20 minutes, and then remove from the oven to add rashers of streaky bacon to the breast—this will keep it moist. Return to the oven, adding some halved onions to the roasting tin. Reduce the heat and cook for the calculated time that your bird requires. Set a timer to baste your turkey regularly. While the bird roasts, pour drinks and open a few presents. After sharing some quality time with the family, turn your attention to your side dishes. Make sure all sauces are on the table, then manage the stuffing, pigs in blankets and other accompaniments. For the last 30 minutes of cooking time, increase the heat to crisp the turkey skin. At this point, put a couple of roasting tins in the oven to heat up. These will be used to cook the potatoes and vegetables. Check

Once cooked, leave the turkey to rest on a warm plate, covered in foil for around 45 minutes. In the meantime, add potatoes and vegetables to your preheated oven trays and pop them into the oven. Then make up your gravy using the turkey juices, your pre-prepared base stock, roasted onions, extra herbs, marsala and flour. Season, whisk and then strain if necessary. Most of the remaining vegetables (i.e. sprouts, peas, carrots) will need a quick boil to heat them through. Once the potatoes are golden on the outside and fluffy in the middle, they are ready. Remove all the roasting items and assemble all of your side dishes on the table, gathering the family as you do so. Allocate somebody to carve the turkey for the finale. Lastly, don your paper crowns obtained from your crackers, propose a festive toast and tuck into your delicious meal together.  MATTHEW FORT’S FESTIVE FEAST// 59

13/11/2017 16:40

The Main Event


for Christmas Party season has well and truly arrived, and what would it be without the festive canapé? By Kayley Loveridge


will determine how many you should prepare. For the former, anticipate an average serving of six appetisers per guest.



Ready-made pastry cases, crostinis and blinis straight from the packet are excellent time-savers and provide consistency in appearance and taste. For something a little healthier, opt for lettuce leaves to cradle your chosen topping. Use these bases to prepare both meat-based and vegetarian aperitifs a few hours prior to the party. Whether the canapés will simply be a starter to the meal or the focal point to the evening

Simplicity is the name of the game, and many chefs would agree that good, high quality ingredients for classic flavour combinations trump a complex recipe. Top a savoury pastry case with a generous dollop of cream cheese, a curl of wild salmon and garnish with chopped chives for a retro appetiser. Stuck for ideas? Bring this summer favourite to the festive table and spread smashed avocado onto crostinis and


FF10.Canapes.indd 60

A sparkling companion Champagne or sparkling wines are the go-to pairing for canapés; their light, acidic taste is the perfect palate cleanser before a main meal. garnish with prawns and shaved red chilli. For something adventurous and colourful, top blinis with a whisked beetroot and crème fraîche mixture and slices of fried button mushrooms. Finish with tiny sprigs of thyme for an extra decorative flair. 

Images: Shutterstock

anapés are a type of hors d’hoeuvre that typically consists of a firm bread base and a savoury topping. They usually have a spread of mayonnaise or cream cheese that is topped with meat or fish and are garnished with herbs, minced spring onions or finely chopped vegetables. 2017 saw a new wave of trends in the amuse-bouche arena from small titbits served on spoons to tiny, bite-size versions of main meals like beef wellington with mashed potato toppings. The very point of these aperitifs is so that guests can eat them in a single bite with one hand, whilst holding a glass of Champagne or something similarly sumptuous in the other—priorities, naturally. One of life’s greatest deceits is that this posh party food is reserved exclusively for the sophisticated consumer, but they are actually very simple to replicate. Also a decorative statement, canapés should be uniform in size and bold in colour. Use interesting trays or platters with reflective surfaces for displaying and include some sweet, fruity options, too.

13/11/2017 16:41

The Main Event

Courgette Bites with Granny's Secret Ajvar (Roasted Red Pepper Relish) and Mozzarella SERVES 15

Inspired by Japanese sushi, this modern, gluten-free and vegetarian courgette canapé is perfect for surprising guests at dinner parties. Ingredients • 4 young green courgettes • 200g Granny’s Secret Ajvar • 100g mozzarella Method 1. First wash the courgettes, peel and cut them in 4cm-long pieces. 2. Hollow out each piece, and fill with Ajvar. 3. Top with mozzarella and bake for 10 minutes at 200C/gas mark 6. 4. This recipe can make 15 courgette bites. * Where to buy Ajvar: Holland & Barrett online and Ocado. For more information, visit

Filo Pastry Granny's Secret Ajvar (Roasted Red Pepper Relish) Triangles SERVES 12

Ingredients • 200g of Granny’s Secret Ajvar • 50g feta cheese • 2x 320g sheets of ready-rolled filo pastry • 1 egg, beaten Method 1. To make the filling for the triangles, empty the contents of the Ajvar jar into a separate bowl and crumble feta on top. 2. Lightly fold the two ingredients ready for inserting into the pastry. 3. Unroll each pastry sheet and cut squares to size preference. The recommended size is 9 x 8cm. 4. Once cut, fold over into a triangle twice. 5. Insert 2 tbsp of filling into each pastry, allowing enough room to close each triangle at the sides. 6. Before baking, seal each triangle by pinching the edges. Lightly brush the tops with beaten egg. 7. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6 (180C fan oven) and bake for 20 minutes until golden and crisp. * Where to buy Ajvar: Holland & Barrett online and Ocado. For more information, visit

FF10.Canapes.indd 61


14/11/2017 08:49

Sponsored Editorial

Go Back in Time with Historic Royal Palaces This Festive Season


ndependent charity Historic Royal Palaces cares for six of the most spectacular historic venues in the UK—the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. Each venue provides the perfect balance between elegance, luxury and history, which ensures the most exquisite setting for festive parties and banquets. An ancient fortress, the Tower of London was built over 900 years ago. Intimate celebrations often take place in St Thomas’s Tower with receptions in the authentic setting of the tower’s hall, a fascinating archaeological record of the building’s history, with dinners in the King’s colourful bedchamber. Larger events can be held in the versatile New Armouries or the oldest and most recognisable building, the White Tower. No experience at the Tower is complete without seeing the world’s most famous Crown jewels, so a visit to the Jewel House is a must. Hampton Court Palace has hosted lavish parties for centuries and provides the perfect setting for sumptuous banquets with the Great Hall one of the most spectacular spaces in Britain. Additionally, the Great Watching Chamber welcomes round tables of banquet-style arrangements for dinner. Festive parties can take place in the palace’s Garden Room, a 1920s Orangery-style building which is set in the beautiful Tiltyard Gardens, and will this year be transformed into an Ice Palace. To add to the festivities, guests can opt to ‘skate back in time’ at the palace’s Ice Rink.

Historical Palaces Sponsored Ed.indd 2

One of the most extravagant venues in London, Banqueting House offers a space purpose-built for entertainment. The Main Hall is perfectly suited to festive banquets with the option to seat guests at long tables, whilst dining beneath Rubens’ inspiring masterpiece ceiling. The intimate Undercroft, originally designed as a drinking den for James I, serves as a wonderful space for dinners, and late night parties. Few settings run as rich in allure as Kensington Palace. Located within tranquil Kensington Gardens, the palace’s inspiring venues are some of the most beautiful in London. Built in 1704, the Orangery is the perfect cosy venue for winter functions. Its white walls make it a perfect blank canvas space to fully embrace a wintery or traditional ‘Victorian Christmas’ theme by dressing the space with elaborate decorations. At Kensington Palace, guests can enjoy the added extra of a private viewing of Diana: Her Fashion Story exhibition. Reflecting its history as the family home of Georgian Royalty, Kew Palace is both regal and intimate, perfect for family celebrations. Dinners can be held in the King’s Dining Room, a space hosted lively dinners for the King’s friends, famous subjects and society’s leading lights. Today, a long, graceful table can seat 24 family members or friends for a festive feast. The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, so what better setting for a Christmas celebration than the Royal Kitchens? Visit or call 020 3166 6399 to start planning your Christmas event today.

31/10/2017 15:54

The Main Event

Mini Yorkshire Canapés with Beef

Parsnip and White Bean Soup SERVES 4


*This recipe uses the bamix ® food processor. If you don’t own a bamix ®, adjust according to your own appliances.

Images: Burton McCall; Recipes courtesy of Jack Williams,

Ingredients - For the Yorkshire puddings • Vegetable oil • 2 large free-range eggs • 100g plain flour

• 100ml milk • Sea salt • Freshly ground black pepper

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 225C/gas mark 9. Get yourself a mini Yorkshire pudding tray and add a tiny splash of vegetable oil into each of the 12 compartments. Pop into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes so the oil gets really hot. 2. Meanwhile using the bamix ® beater blade, mix together the eggs, flour, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper together in a jug until light and smooth. 3. Carefully remove the tray from the oven, then pour the batter evenly into the compartments. Pop the tray back in the oven to cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until risen and golden. For the horseradish cream • 2 tsp horseradish • 1 tub crème fraîche • Chopped tarragon • Salt and pepper Method 1. In the bamix ® jug add the horseradish, crème fraîche and chopped tarragon. Using the B Blade combine all the ingredients and season well. For the beef • 200g beef fillet, cooked medium rare • Chives, to garnish Method 1. Thinly slice the beef and arrange on top of the Yorkshire puddings, add a dollop of horseradish cream and decorate with chives.

FF11.Sides Recipes.indd 63

*This recipe uses the bamix ® food processor. If you don’t own a bamix ®, adjust according to your own appliances.

Ingredients • 3 parsnips, peeled • 1 white onion • 50ml olive oil • 3 garlic cloves • 2 bay leaves

• • • • •

1 tin of cannellini beans 1 bunch of sage 800ml chicken stock Salt and pepper 150g cubed smoky pancetta

Method 1. Attach the slicing blade to the bamix ® SliceSy. 2. Slice the parsnip and onion and remove from the bowl. 3. Heat 50ml of oil in a pan over a medium heat, then cook the onion and parsnips for 10 minutes or until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. 4. Add the bay leaf, beans, sage (leave a few leaves aside to garnish) and stock. Season and simmer for 15 minutes. 5. In a separate pan, add the cubed pancetta and cook until crispy. Remove the pancetta using a slotted spoon ensuring you keep the excess oil. Fry off the remaining sage for about 15 seconds turning occasionally with a slotted spoon or tongs—don’t let the leaves brown or they will become bitter. Transfer the leaves onto a paper towel until ready to garnish. 6. Remove and discard the bay leaves and sage and purée or blend the soup using your bamix ® with the C blade until smooth. 7. Serve with the crispy pancetta, fried sage and extra virgin olive oil (optional).


14/11/2017 11:00

The Main Event

Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts (SERVES 6-8) Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a side of Brussels sprouts, would it? Brits seem to have a real love/hate relationship with this staple, however. With no real attention given to these hearty winter vegetables, they are often served uninspired and bland. Liven up Brussels sprouts this year with this bold recipe.

INGREDIENTS 2 1/2 tbsp honey 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce 2 tbsp lime juice 675g Brussels sprouts 2 tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the honey, Sriracha and lime juice. Set aside. Gently cut off the very end of each Brussels sprout, leaving most of it intact (this will keep the sprouts from falling apart while they are being cooked). Next, cut each one in half length-wise. Add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Place the cut Brussels sprouts flat side down for about 5 minutes and let them brown. Be sure not to overcrowd. If all the Brussels sprouts don’t fit in the pan, you can sauté them in batches. Season with salt and pepper, then rotate the Brussels sprouts onto their other side in the pan and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3 more minutes. Drizzle with the honey, Sriracha and lime mixture and cook for 2 more minutes in the pan. Slide the Brussels sprouts onto a serving dish and dig in.


FF11A.Side Dish Recipes.indd 64


The Brussels sprouts should be a little crunchy. If they cook too long they will turn bitter.

Images: Shutterstock / Recipe courtesy


14/11/2017 08:50

The Main Event

Tofu Stuffed Peppers (SERVES 4) Add a touch of the Mediterranean to your festive feast with tofu stuffed peppers.

INGREDIENTS 1 medium onion

Images: Shutterstock / Recipe courtesy

2 garlic cloves 55g coriander, roughly chopped 55g parsley, roughly chopped 300g tofu, cubed

METHOD In a food processor, grind together the onion, garlic, coriander, parsley, tofu, cumin, salt and pepper. Cut the top off the peppers and remove the seeds. Arrange the peppers on a baking dish and stuff them with the tofu mixture. Drizzle olive oil on top and bake in the oven at 180C/gas mark 4 for 30 minutes. After baking, let the peppers cool for a few minutes, then serve warm.

1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp salt 1 tsp ground black pepper 4 red peppers Olive oil

FF11A.Side Dish Recipes.indd 65


13/11/2017 16:44

Farming the same land for 300 years Orders now being taken for Your Complete Christmas Feast from the lush Pastures of Somerset. Free range Bronze & White Turkeys, Geese. Aberdeen Angus 21 day dry hung beef, Gloucester Old Spot Pork. Welfare friendly Veal. Gluten Free available. Next day delivery across UK

Happy to discuss bespoke requirements Meat Hampers, prepared to order by our Master Butcher. Monthly subscriptions available to treat yourself or a loved one. | | 01963 33177 Kimbers’ Farm Shop, Nr Bruton, Somerset BA9 8HD

For more Christmas recipes, food news and features, visit Kimbers Farm / Filler.indd 1

10/11/2017 11:56

The Main Event

Christmas & Game: A History

Game has been an integral staple of Christmas meals for centuries—journey with us from medieval banquets to modern feasts

Images: Shutterstock


hristmas dinner is widely considered to be the most quintessentially British meal—a beacon of long-standing convention. In fact, the feast served today is unrecognisable from the one consumed centuries ago. Nowadays, our ‘traditional’ Christmas banquet reveals influences of fashions and cookery styles from various regions across the globe. While some Yuletide dishes have been carried forward, others have been lost to the pages of history. One of the most notable elements to have been cast aside is the serving of game. Today, we Brits gorge on approximately 10 million turkeys at Christmas each year. Interestingly, the first turkey didn’t come to Britain until the 1600s. It was an exotic treat from the New World that very few could afford or even obtain. The Christmas period was traditionally celebrated over 12 days. Wealthy folk would flaunt their riches and try to top one another

FF12.Game.indd 67

By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw with the most outrageous spreads. The rich displayed their affluence through large open fireplaces, often laden with four or five varieties of spit-roasting meats. In an upper-class household it wasn’t uncommon to see a wild boar’s head surrounded by an array of sweet puddings. Goose was among the most popular meat options on the Christmas table. In richer homes, goose would be accompanied by other roasted birds like partridge, peacock, woodcock and—with the king’s permission— swan. The birds were basted with butter and saffron or nutmeg and cloves. As trends evolved, Queen Victoria championed the concept of cold side dishes and game pies to celebrate the festive season. The rich man’s interpretation was the Yorkshire Christmas pie; coated in lavish pastry and stuffed to the gunnels with boned birds. Those less fortunate would use offal or any animal parts they had access to.

‘Brits gorge on approximately 10 million turkeys at Christmas each year’ Recipes dating back to the 1700s suggest that venison leftovers were given to servants or poor people. The offal was combined with available pantry ingredients to make a ‘humble pie’. Most historical sources merit Henry VIII as the first king to eat turkey on Christmas Day. Even so, it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that turkey overshadowed the more traditional goose. Turkeys were steadily sourced and shipped from America in bulk, providing a more affordable option for large modern families. 


14/11/2017 08:51

Homedics Group Ltd.indd 1

25/10/2017 11:39

The Main Event

INGREDIENTS for the filling 1 tbsp olive oil 10g butter 500g mixed game, diced: venison, rabbit, pheasant, partridge and wood pigeon Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 large onion, finely chopped

Game Pie (Serves 6) This rich game pie is filled to the brim with hearty meats, fruits and chestnuts—a delightful meal for the whole family.

Images: Shutterstock /Recipe courtesy

METHOD In a deep frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the butter. When the butter is frothy, add the game and sear over a high heat. Season with salt and black pepper. When 2 or 3 sides of the meat are coloured, remove and put into an ovenproof casserole dish. Add the chopped onion, garlic, carrot, celery and bacon to the pan. Fry over a moderate heat until the onion is transparent and the bacon fat has begun to render. Add the whole shallots and button mushrooms and increase the heat. Fry for a further 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves, rosemary and crushed juniper berries and stir through. Add the red wine and tomato purée, stir through and allow to boil rapidly for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the beef stock and the water. Stir through again to ensure the stock has melted properly. Simmer for 10 minutes, then taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper, as necessary. Add the prunes and chestnuts. Decant into the casserole dish and gently stir to mix the game through. Cover the casserole dish and place into a pre-heated oven at 180C/ gas mark 4 for 2 hours. Once cooked, pour contents into a pie dish and set aside to cool. Gather pastry ingredients (except water and egg) into a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour and suet, until you reach a flaky consistency. Add 100ml water and combine until dough is moist. Wrap the dough tightly in cling film. Rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Remove dough and roll out. Brush egg yolk around the lip of the pie dish. Carefully place the pastry on top of the pie, so that it overhangs the edge. Using the tip of a knife, press down all around the edge then trim off the excess. Brush all but a small amount of the remaining egg yolk over the surface of the pastry, taking care to go right to the edges. Using a sharp knife, slice some holes into the pastry to allow the steam to escape. Place into a preheated oven at 180C/gas mark 4 for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling hot. Serve with buttered new potatoes and vegetables of your choice.

FF12A.Game Pie.indd 69

1 large garlic clove, finely chopped 1 large carrot, finely diced 1 stick celery, finely diced 2 rashers back bacon, diced 10 small round shallots 150g small button mushrooms, whole 3 bay leaves 1 tsp fresh rosemary 8 juniper berries, crushed 200ml red wine 1 heaped tsp tomato purée 1 cube rich beef stock 500ml water 10 semi-dried prunes, halved 100g chestnuts

For the pastry 150g plain flour 50g vegetable suet 50g cold salted butter Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 100ml water 1 egg yolk, to glaze

Matthew Fort’s FESTIVE FEAST// 69

13/11/2017 12:36

The Main Event

Quick Roast Turkey (SERVES 10-12) Spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your loved ones on Christmas Day with this super-quick traditional main that cooks in just 45 minutes.



1 large turkey

Heat the oven to 230C/gas mark 8. Put the turkey on a stable cutting board, breast side down, and cut out the backbone (use a heavy knife to cut on each side of the backbone, cutting from front to rear). Turn the bird over and press on it to flatten. Put it breast side up in a roasting pan that will accommodate it (a slightly snug fit is okay). The wings should partially cover the breasts and the legs should protrude a bit. Tuck the garlic and the thyme under the bird and in the nooks of the wings and legs. Drizzle with the olive oil or melted butter and season liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, undisturbed. By this time the bird should be browning; remove it from the oven, baste with the pan juices and return it to the oven. Reduce the heat to 200C/gas mark 6 (or 170C/gas mark 4 if it seems to be browning very quickly). Begin to check the bird’s temperature about 15 minutes later (10 minutes if the bird is on the small side). The turkey is done when the thigh meat measures 60–75C on an instant-read meat thermometer; check it in a couple of places. Let the bird rest for a few minutes before carving, then serve with the garlic cloves and pan juices.

10 or more garlic cloves, lightly crushed Several sprigs fresh thyme 240ml extra virgin olive oil or melted butter

Images: Shutterstock / Recipe courtesy

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


FF13.Christmas Turkey.indd 70

14/11/2017 11:03

The Main Event

Roasted Whole Pheasant with Herb & Maple Syrup Glaze (SERVES 6) INGREDIENTS FOR THE MARINADE 235ml cider vinegar 235ml dry white wine 4 tbsp dried thyme 4 tbsp dried oregano 4 tbsp dried rosemary 6 cloves garlic 4 tbsp maple syrup Images: Shutterstock / Recipe courtesy

2 tbsp salt 2 tsp black pepper 6 bay leaves

FOR THE PHEASANT 2 pheasants 10 dried apricots 220g dried cranberries 1 onion, peeled and chopped 20 slices of bacon

FF15.Roast Pheasant.indd 71

Pheasant offers a flavourful yet cheap alternative to Turkey; try this sweet-tasting roasted pheasant recipe for something different this Christmas.

METHOD Combine all marinade ingredients. Place the pheasants in a large, deep bowl that is non-reactive (not metal or plastic) and pour marinade over the birds and in the cavities. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 to 2 days. Turn occasionally so birds marinate evenly. Preheat oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Place pheasants on a rack in a roasting pan and reserve the marinade liquid. Stuff the pheasants with the dried fruit and onion and wrap the birds in bacon so the meat stays moist during cooking. Truss the birds and place them breast side down before putting the pan in the oven. After 20 minutes, decrease the temperature to 160C/ gas mark 3. Roast for approximately 2 hours, checking the temperature using an instant-read thermometer after 1 1/2 hours. While the pheasants are roasting, place the reserved marinade in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the liquid. About 15 minutes before the roasting is done, pour the liquid over the pheasants. When the pheasants reach 71C, remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove bacon, fruit and onions from the birds and carve into serving-size portions. Reserve fruits and onion to garnish. Serve with homemade gravy made from pheasant stock.


14/11/2017 11:04

The Main Event

Harissa Roasted Salmon (SERVES 8) Salmon has long been a staple of festive dinner tables worldwide; wake this classic dish up with a hot harissa paste crust.

INGREDIENTS 5 garlic cloves, minced 32g harissa paste 1 lemon, juiced 3 tbsp honey 2 tbsp olive oil

METHOD Combine all ingredients and pour over the salmon in a 9 x 13in baking dish. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Dab off some of the marinade from your salmon so it isn’t too wet. Lay the salmon fillet on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, or until just cooked through but still moist. Serve over wilted spinach with lemon wedges and chopped coriander.

1 tbsp coriander 1 tbsp smoked paprika 2 tsp salt and pepper

Images: Shutterstock / Recipe courtesy

1 whole salmon fillet


FF16.Fish Recipe.indd 72

14/11/2017 09:22

The Main Event

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie (SERVES 6-8) If you’re looking for a vegan substitute for the quintessential festive turkey roast, this ‘pie’ may be just the ticket—it’s comforting, healthy, delicious and really easy to make.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING 1 tbsp coconut oil 1 white onion, chopped 1 red onion, chopped 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, grated 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tbsp cumin 1 tbsp nutmeg 600g cooked lentils 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes 350ml vegetable stock

METHOD Preheat the oven to 175C/gas mark 4. Start making the filling by adding coconut oil to a saucepan and gently frying the onions, ginger, garlic and spices until soft and tender. Add in the rest of the filling ingredients; bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Season to taste. While it’s cooking, start making the mash. Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water, bring to the boil then leave to simmer for 20 minutes, or until softened. Drain the water from the pan of potatoes, add the rest of the mash ingredients and mash until smooth. Add the filling to a large baking dish (or 4 small dishes), then add the mash on top. Top with nutritional yeast if desired. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then serve with fresh thyme.

Salt and pepper, to taste

FOR THE MASH 735g potatoes, peeled and chopped 1 tsp cumin 100ml coconut milk Nutritional yeast, optional

Images: Shutterstock / Recipe courtesy

Fresh thyme, to garnish

FF16A.Vegan Shepherds Pie.indd 73


14/11/2017 12:04

The Main Event

Vegan & Vegetarian Festivities

From nut roasts to meat-free Wellingtons, there are countless excellent dishes to offer your vegan and vegetarian guests this holiday season By Annalisa D’Alessio


hen picturing the quintessentially British Christmas meal, many will automatically think of turkey, lamb, gammon or mutton accompanied by copious amounts of cheese and wine. Though

delicious, this version of the modern festive feast might not be suitable for everyone. The last few years have seen a steady rise in popularity of meat-free diets; this has brought with it a boom in demand for vegan and veggie-friendly menu options—being

vegan and vegetarian has never been easier than it is today. Whether you’ve got veggie friends coming over or are trying a new diet yourself, here is some vegetarian and veganfriendly food inspiration that’s guaranteed to be a hit on the big day.

Vegan nut roast

Being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean having to compromise on flavour—nut roasts certainly don’t skimp out on any. Construct your own: a great, basic recipe calls for pine nuts, sunflower seeds, chestnut purée, mushrooms, spinach, sweet potato and tofu. Shape it as a meatloaf or place it on a bed of vegan suet pastry for an added crunch. Serve with all your favourite roast trimmings, including roast potatoes (take care not to cook them using animal fat, butter or honey) and vegetables.

Vegetarian Wellington


FF17.Vegetarian Options.indd 74

Images: Shutterstock

Packed with fresh vegetables as well as festive chestnuts, this vegetarian main dish can be the centrepiece of a Christmas Day meal as well as a Sunday roast. Substitute the beef fillet with a mixture of sweet potatoes, onions, kale, spinach and nuts and wrap the filling in a puff pastry parcel. Alternatively, try stuffing veganfriendly suet pastry with beetroot, squash and pesto for an even healthier main. Serve with mash or roasted carrots and parsnips and a generous serving of vegetarian gravy.

14/11/2017 09:33

The Main Event

Baked Camembert

Gooey baked cheese with plenty of crusty bread for dipping is not only a popular vegetarian-friendly dish but a popular—and tasty—offering for meat lovers too. Many supermarkets sell Camembert that comes with an ovenproof ceramic container, making this an even simpler dish to cook and serve. For a Christmassy twist on this classic, chop some dried cranberries and mixed nuts and sprinkle them onto the melted cheese.

Starters and nibbles Every holiday and get together needs a wide range of appetisers, nibbles and starters to get the party going. One of the easiest vegan-friendly offerings is bruschetta. Top French or Italian slices of toasted bread with anything from creamy spinach dips and mushrooms to sundried tomatoes and truffle paste. Another creative and visually pleasing snack or starter, bread rolls are suitable for almost everyone’s dietary preferences. There is little more to them than flour, water, yeast and salt. Fill them with a homemade black olive tapenade, pesto sauce, artichoke paste or spiced hummus. For a gluten-free option, take care to use the right kind of flour.

Vegan and vegetarian desserts Chocolate truffles are a true Christmas staple in most British households. All you’ll need to make vegan-friendly versions are dates, cocoa powder and orange juice. Egg-free and dairy-free, these treats can be consumed as an after dinner treat or given away as gifts. Similarly, no Christmas would be complete without the odd bit of fudge. By using unprocessed and plant-based ingredients, you’ll be able to create moreish treats suitable for everyone. Mix coconut butter, creamy peanut butter and pure maple syrup until glossy and chill for a few hours to set. Cut into squares and you’ll have a delicious vegan treat to share with your guests.

FF17.Vegetarian Options.indd 75

Veggie and vegan-friendly tipples According to the UK Vegan Society, it is not uncommon for beer and wine to be clarified using animal products including gelatine, casein and egg albumen. Distilled drinks like vodka, whiskey and rum are generally suitable for restrictive diets, as the distillation process requires no clarification. However, make sure to check the label; if the liquor is coloured, there is a good chance the manufacturer used artificial—or animal—products to achieve the hue. As for wine, prosecco, beer and cider, there are makers in Europe that produce specialised drinks suitable for vegans and vegetarians.


14/11/2017 09:33

The Main Event


Christmas Day Leftovers Salvaging the leftovers on Boxing Day serves as a minor reprieve for the post-holiday blues—get inspired by our delicious leftover meal concepts By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw


s a result of frantic Christmas preparations, it isn’t uncommon for us to over-cater for our guests. Our rationale: surely overcatering is preferable to under-catering? Imagine the awestruck expressions on the family’s faces when you explain that their favourite side dish has run out. Unthinkable. Instead, we pack our fridges to breaking point and prepare a meal fit to feed an army of ravenous soldiers. But what to do with the remnants of your festive banquet? Leftover recycling has become increasingly popular in the last few decades. In fact, many people consider it as much a part of tradition as Christmas Day itself. Allow us to inspire you with our ingenious tips and tricks for making sure none of the food you have carefully sourced goes to waste.

Use leftover cranberries for a twist on the classic banana loaf. Add washed cranberries along with chopped walnuts to your usual banana loaf batter. Bake and slice once cooled. Decorate with icing and garnish with whole cranberries on top. Scoff with a warming mug of mulled wine—perfect for winding down after Christmas.


FF18.Leftovers.indd 76

Caring for your kitchenware Caring for your saucepans and frying pans is imperative to maintaining their quality and extending their lifespan. Firstly, you should never boil dry your saucepan; the heat from the hob or cooker can cause permanent damage to the aesthetic of the base—making it unpleasant to use. Always begin cooking on a low heat, increasing it gradually. This will ensure the temperature is evenly distributed through the pan’s material and your food is cooked all the way through. Use non-metallic utensils when stirring the pan to avoid scratching the base of your kitchenware. Lastly, always aim to hand wash and cloth dry your pans, to better preserve the cooking surface.

Images: Shutterstock

Cranberry & walnut banana loaf

13/11/2017 12:48

The Main Event

Leftover turkey chilli

If you are left with a sizeable amount of turkey, you may wish to use it for a more substantial meal. Strip the turkey and shred the meat with a fork. Use any root vegetables that remain, combine them with kidney beans and chillies. Add a tin of tomatoes and extra chilli powder to taste along with a cinnamon stick and bay leaves for fragrance. Stew the mixture for an hour or two. This can be accompanied with rice or mashed potato. Substitute another meat in place of turkey if you wish, or make a vegetarian version with some extra vegetables or tofu. Sit back and relish this perfect winter warmer.

Warming Boxing Day soup

There aren’t many solutions to your leftovers conundrum that are quite so straightforward as making a soup. Soups are quick, easy and delicious. Use the remaining meat you have (whether that is turkey, gammon, goose or lamb) and cut it into bitesized chunks. Pool together the remaining vegetables and use them to fill out the mixture. Combine with stock, some fresh herbs and a few extra spices. You can opt for a broth-style soup or blitz the mixture for a thicker consistency.

Christmas croque monsieur If you are feeling particularly indulgent, why not make yourself a Christmas croque monsieur? Include all of the scraps of turkey or gammon meat you can find. Combine with stuffing and cranberry sauce and layer with any aged cheeses that have been left over from your cheeseboard. Gruyere, Stilton, Camembert and Brie work best. Whip up some béchamel and spread a thin layer of mustard on the bread—pop under the grill and enjoy. Add a fried egg on top to morph it into a croque madame.

FF18.Leftovers.indd 77

Festive bubble & squeak fritters Fritters are a perfect solution if you have a varied mix of leftovers; squash, cabbage, stuffing, turkey, ham, peas and any other sides work well. The core ingredient is mashed potato—if you have none left, fix up a quick batch and add in all the other ingredients you wish to include. Each batch can be customised to the chef’s taste—feel free to include cranberries or cheese if desired. Flatten into small round patties and fry in a pan with a little oil. The fritters should be crisp on the outside and piping hot in the middle. MATTHEW FORT’S FESTIVE FEAST// 77

13/11/2017 12:48


‘Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding…’ One of the most perennial symbols of the festive season, the Christmas pudding has a history that stretches back to medieval times


hristmas puddings are the brandy-drenched, blazing flourish that round off the traditional British Christmas dinner. However, this Yuletide staple was not always the bowl-shaped sweet dish we know it to be today. Dating as far back as the Middle Ages, the pudding appeared to have had two main ancestors; the first were mince pies which were made with meat, dried fruits, alcohol and spices. The other was pottage, a soup-like savoury dish with grains, fruits and spices that was ladled onto the plates of guests as a starter to a meal. During this period, animals were slaughtered in the autumn as they often would not survive the harsh medieval winters. The fruits, spices and alcohol involved in these eclectic recipes helped to preserve the meat for months to come. With an abundance of dried fruit available after the 16th century and the development of better preservation methods for meat, the pudding made its shift from a savoury dish to a sweet one. It was cooked into something similar to a pie and was either boiled in a cloth or steamed in a bowl. People began to thicken the mixture with ground almonds, breadcrumbs and suet and binding it with eggs. It became known as plum—or figgy—pudding. The word ‘plum’ was a generic term used to 78 //MATTHEW FORT’S FESTIVE FEAST

FF19.Figgy Pudding.indd 78

‘The plum pudding is a national symbol—it does not represent a class or caste, but the bulk of the English nation. There is not a man, woman or child… that does not expect the taste of plum pudding of some sort or another of Christmas Day’ —news article extract, London Illustrated, 1850 describe dried fruits; most commonly grapes or raisins. The plum pudding’s association with Christmas Day rose to prominence during the Victorian era. Charles Dickens, in his beloved novel A Christmas Carol (1843), described the dish as central to Christmas tradition: ‘In half a minute Mrs. Cratchit entered: flushed, but smiling proudly: with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of a half-a-quartern of ignited brandy and

bedight with Christmas holly stuck in the top.’ Not only a topic visited in English literature, the figgy pudding is a key subject in age-old carols we sing year on year. The lyrics ‘Now bring us some figgy pudding’ and ‘We all like our figgy pudding’ proceed the first verse in the world-renowned Christmas carol, We Wish You a Merry Christmas. The pudding brings with it a rich heritage that is also set with longstanding traditions. Families during the Victorian period prepared the pudding on Stir-up Sunday—the first Sunday before Advent—to allow it to develop and mature before the big day. Each member of the family would take turns to stir the mixture; a practice that was thought to bring good luck in the new year. Most recipes for Christmas pudding involved 13 ingredients, each representing Christ and the apostles. The sprig of holly used to decorate it represented the crown of thorns worn by Jesus and the lighting of the pudding symbolised the passion of Christ. People would also cook a sixpence coin into the mixture which was thought to bring luck to whichever person found it on their plate on Christmas Day. Nowadays, the religious symbolism associated with the pudding has waned, but its place in our festive repertoire steadily remains. 

Images: Shutterstock

By Kayley Loveridge

13/11/2017 12:52


Eliza Acton’s Christmas Pudding Source: Modified for a contemporary audience from Modern Cooking for Private Families, Eliza Acton, 1845 (extract taken from

(Serves 6-8)

INGREDIENTS 450g breadcrumbs 450g flour 900g raisins 900g currants 900g suet 450g sugar 225g candied peel (orange) 1 nutmeg 15g mixed spice 2 lemon rinds, grated 16 eggs 960ml brandy

FF19.Figgy Pudding.indd 79

Victorian chef Eliza Acton published the first ever recorded recipe for a ‘Christmas Pudding’ in 1845 in her cookbook Modern Cookery for Private Families. The dish as we know it today has looked very much the same ever since.

METHOD Mix very thoroughly 450g finely grated bread with the same quantity of flour, 900g raisins stoned, 900g currants, 900g suet minced small, 450g sugar, 225g candied peel, 1 nutmeg, 15g mixed spice and the grated rinds of 2 lemons; mix the whole with 16 eggs well beaten and strained, and add 4 glasses of brandy. These proportions will make 3 puddings of good size, each of which should be boiled six hours. Obs.—A fourth part of the ingredients given above will make a pudding of sufficient size for a small party: to render this very rich, half the flour and breadcrumbs may be omitted and a few spoonsful of apricot marmalade well-blended with the remainder of the mixture.* * Rather less liquid will be required to moisten the pudding when this is done, and 4 hours and a quarter will boil it.

Matthew Fort’s FESTIVE FEAST// 79

14/11/2017 11:10



Pistachio Cake

Cheats Cheesecake SERVES 6-8

*This recipe uses the bamix ® food processor. If you don’t own a bamix ®, adjust according to your own appliances.

For the chocolate layer • 1 very ripe banana • 1 very ripe avocado • 2 tbsp cacao • Pinch of coconut sugar or drizzle of date nectar (optional)

*This recipe uses the bamix ® food processor. If you don’t own a bamix ®, adjust according to your own appliances.

Ingredients – For the cheesecake • 200g shortbread biscuits • 200g cream cheese • 100ml whipping cream • Zest and juice of 1 orange • 1 vanilla pod

For the garnish • Crushed pistachios • Freeze-dried strawberries • Desiccated coconut

For the berry coulis • 125g fresh raspberries • 125g fresh blackberries • 20g icing sugar • 50ml port

Method 1. Line your cake tin with cling film or use a silicone cake mould. 2. Blend all base ingredients together in the bamix ® food processor until crumbly and very sticky. 3. Scoop out the mixture into your cake mould, press down firmly with your hands and then place in the freezer. 4. Use the bamix ® B blade to blend together the chocolate layer ingredients until creamy. 5. Now it’s time to assemble the cake. 6. Take the base out of the freezer and pour the chocolate mousse on top. Sprinkle with crushed pistachios, freeze-dried strawberries and desiccated coconut. 7. Pop into the fridge to set for a couple of hours before devouring.

Method 1. Crush the shortbread biscuits using either the bamix ® food processor or C blade and divide between ramekins or small glasses. 2. Using the Beater blade, whip the cream cheese and whipping cream until thick and holding its shape. Add the zest and juice of the orange (keeping some of the zest aside to garnish) and the vanilla pod seeds and mix well. 3. For the berry coulis, tip all the ingredients into a beaker and blend using the C blade until smooth. If you want an even smoother coulis, you can pass this mixture through a sieve to remove the pips. 4. Spoon the coulis mixture over the biscuit base, spoon over the cream mixture and repeat the process to create layers. 5. Serve with the remaining orange zest.


FF20.Dessert Recipes.indd 80

Images: Burton McCall; Pistachio Cake recipe courtesy of Hedi Hearts, Cheat’s Cheesecake recipe courtesy of Jack Williams,

Ingredients - For the base • 175g dates (Medjool are best, but you can use any) • 100g pistachios • 50g desiccated coconut • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil • 1 tsp cinnamon • Pinch of salt

14/11/2017 10:42


Dusty Chocolate Truffles (SERVES 6) Decadence is synonymous with Christmas feasting—add these dusty chocolate truffles to your festive repertoire.

INGREDIENTS 230ml heavy cream 185g high quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped 1 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature

Heat cream in a saucepan to a simmer and add the chocolate until melted. Add the butter until melted. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let it sit at room temperature until it sets—this may take several hours. The mixture should be thick enough to scoop with a truffle scoop or hand roll into balls. To finish, roll truffles in cocoa powder and shake off the excess.

Images: Shutterstock / Recipe courtesy of

Cocoa powder


FF20A.Chocolate Truffles.indd 81


13/11/2017 14:06

Join our mailing list Our weekly newsletters contain details of our great free to enter competitions & prize draws, deals & offers, news & option on a range of health, and property related issues, exclusive celebrity interviews and digital editions of our great magazines.

Don’t miss out! Sign up at

CA Mailing list half page.indd1 1 Remeo Gelato / Filler.indd

27/03/2017 11:58 15:13 10/11/2017


Festive Cranberry Tart with a Dusting of Icing Sugar (Serves 8)

INGREDIENTS For the Crust (Makes a 10in tart case)

135g all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp salt

Images: Shutterstock / Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 60-125ml ice water

For the filling 60ml cold water 2 sheets unflavoured gelatine 500g fresh cranberries 85g red currant jam 170g sugar Icing sugar, to garnish

FF21.Cranberry Dessert.indd 83

Wow your guests with this delightfully sweet and colourful Christmas showstopper.

METHOD To make the crust, put flour and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until you reach a flaky consistency. Slowly pour 60ml cold water onto the mixture and combine until the dough is crumbly but still holds together. If the dough is too dry, slowly pour the remaining water until desired consistency is reached. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a disc. Cover in cling film and place the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Once set, remove and roll out into a 13in round and press into a fluted tart pan. Cover with cling film and freeze until the shape has taken form—about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5 and bake the crust until golden. Remove and let cool. For the filling, put cold water into a bowl with gelatine and let stand until dissolved. Combine cranberries, jam and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat until soft for around 12-15 minutes. Cranberries should be soft but not bursting. Remove from heat and stir in gelatine mixture. Leave to cool. Finally, pour cranberry mixture into the tart case and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Dust sugar icing over the tart to serve. Matthew Fort’s FESTIVE FEAST// 83

14/11/2017 11:12




580g all-purpose flour 1 tsp package active dry yeast Âź tsp ground cardamom 300ml milk 64g butter 32g granulated sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1 egg 150g raisins or dried currents 32g mixed candied fruits and peels, diced 32g slivered almonds 1 tbsp orange peel, finely shredded 1 tbsp lemon peel, finely shredded 128g icing sugar, sifted 2 tbsp hot water 1 tsp butter


FF21A.Stollen.indd 84

METHOD In a large mixing bowl combine 256g of the flour, the yeast and cardamom. Then, in a medium saucepan, heat and stir milk, butter, granulated sugar and salt until warm and the butter almost melts. Combine with the flour and yeast mixture. Set aside for 5-10 minutes and then stir in the egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly then beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining flour. Stir in raisins, candied fruits and peels, almonds, orange peel and lemon peel. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough. Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour. Once risen, deflate the dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into thirds. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and set aside 2 large baking sheets. Roll each dough portion into a 10 x 6in oval. Place onto the prepared baking sheets. Cover; let rise until nearly double in size (4560 minutes). Bake in preheated oven at 190C/gas mark 5 for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheets. Cool for 30 minutes on wire racks. In a small bowl, combine icing sugar, hot water and the 1 tsp butter; brush over warm bread and sprinkle liberally with icing sugar to serve.

Images: Shutterstock / Recipe courtesy


Christmas pudding not for you? Stollen may just be the perfect replacement.

13/11/2017 14:15


Puff Pastry Apple Tartlets with Salted Caramel Sauce (SERVES 9) A simple yet delicious treat for your party guests this Christmas.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL 130g sugar 2 tbsp water 1/2 tsp lemon juice 230ml whipping cream 2 tbsp butter Pinch of sea salt


Images: Shutterstock / Recipe courtesy

METHOD In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice to make the salted caramel. Cook over medium heat until the sugar starts to caramelise and turn golden brown. Carefully pour in the whipping cream. Add in the butter and sea salt and stir until combined. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice to make the filling. Add the flour and lemon zest. Mix until smooth. Thinly slice the apples. Coat with lemon juice and sprinkle with sugar. To make the tartlets: Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Line 2 baking sheets or silicone baking mats with parchment paper. Cut the puff pastry sheets into 9 equal squares. Dab a little bit of water along the sides of each square and fold about 1/4in inward. Press and seal the edges. Sprinkle with natural brown sugar. Dock the puff pastry with a fork and spread about 1 tsp of filling in the centre. Layer the thinly sliced apple slices over the filling. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before spreading about 1 tsp of salted caramel over the sliced apples. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the caramel if desired.

FF22.Apple Tartlets.indd 85

50g cream cheese 32g sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp lemon juice 32g flour 1/2 zest of a lemon 4 apples, peeled and cored 2 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp sugar 2 sheets ready-made puff pastry Natural brown sugar Sea salt (optional)


14/11/2017 09:47


The Master chefs for the latest in fine food and drink

The masterchefs.FINAL.ADS.indd 45

06/11/2017 10:54


A Bloomy Affair It’s no secret that Britons love cheese in its every form; we explore the role it plays in Christmas tradition and share our tips on creating the ultimate cheeseboard By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw


heese has been an integral part of the British Christmas menu since the medieval period. Over the centuries, our knowledge and repertoire of cheeses has steadily grown. Today, we adorn our tables with sumptuous selections, drawing inspiration from other cheese-loving nations. But what has sparked the fervent obsession Britons have with this bloomy treat?

Cheese & Christmas tradition

Images: Shutterstock

Ceremony of the Christmas Cheeses In 1692, a local cheesemonger was asked to donate their cheese to old war veterans at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. The gesture was intended to mark their admiration and sustain the pensioners throughout the Christmas period. For the 300 years that followed, cheese makers continued the tradition of offering their produce to the institution. Now, local cheesemongers from all over the country congregate for this annual age-old ritual, which has been coined the Ceremony of the Christmas Cheeses. Impressive pieces of fromage are ceremoniously cut for the occasion. The Dairy Council has supported the event for 55 years and they intend to pass the torch and promote the event for many Christmases to come. Calennig custom Calennig refers to the Welsh custom of gift giving on New Year’s Day, which is sometimes accompanied by festivals in larger cities. It is an ancient tradition

FF23.Cheese.indd 87

that once involved children going from door to door reciting good wishes to the neighbouring families. They would receive gifts of food or money for their troubles—the main components of which were cheese and bread. The tradition has trickled down into modern-day life—some families still present their neighbours with local cheeses and bread as a gesture of good will.

Did you know?

In Yorkshire (and other northern counties) it is common to pair cheese with Christmas cake. Wensleydale is the preferred choice, although Cheddar and other crumbly cheeses are also favoured.

Matthew Fort’s festive feast// 87

14/11/2017 10:29


The cheeseboard For many people, the cheeseboard is a symbol of the Yuletide season. It also acts as a grand finale for the Christmas Day meal. We guide you on how to assemble the ultimate cheeseboard—from classic to contemporary.

Classic A classic cheeseboard will aim to include one cheese from each of the main styles. Mingle a bloomy-rinded cheese—such as a Camembert or Brie—with a hard cheese —like Cheddar—alongside a young goat’s cheese and a punchy blue. For a boldly flavoured addition, include a washed-rind cheese (bear in mind that these are an acquired taste). Such cheeses are bathed in brine to mature their flavour. They can be identified by a sticky orange appearance on their surface that darkens with age. Examples of a washed-rind cheese include Taleggio and Stinking Bishop. Classically, these would be arranged on the cheeseboard clockwise in order of strength. Pair with a tawny port, crisp grapes and onion

88 //MATTHEW FORT’s festive feast

FF23.Cheese.indd 88

chutney. Counteract the more sharptasting cheeses with quince jelly. Provide crusty French bread and assorted crackers for a truly decadent display.

Contemporary While the classic cheeseboard formula is tried and tested, adventurous cheese lovers may be inclined to try a more modern ensemble. Think outside the box for an exciting twist on the usual cheeseboard. Why not arrange a cascading tower of cheeses? An alternative approach might involve presenting cheese on a chic slate, a series of tiles or a glass dish. Provide instruments to shave or scoop the cheese depending on its consistency.

Try cheeses from different countries or opt for an animal-led theme (cheeses made from goat’s, cow’s or sheep’s milk). Select products that push the boundaries and offer your guests a wealth of stimulating flavours. We suggest pairing Casa Matias—a soft ewe’s milk cheese with a unique sweetness—with Capra Nouveau, whose spruce band is washed in cider. Add a soft Vacherin or a blue-veined Morbier and finish with a hard variety. It may be a good idea to provide labels and brief descriptions of each cheese and accompany them with fresh figs and interesting relishes. Consider a plum purée, a hazelnut paste or preserved fruits for a final flourish. 

14/11/2017 10:30

St. Helen’s Farm Ltd.indd 1

07/11/2017 11:11

Gift Inspiration


Gift Inspiration

Almost everybody has suffered from the niggling anxiety of not knowing what to buy their loved ones for Christmas. We illuminate the possibilities to suit all manners of tastes By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw


ith so many relatives and friends to satisfy at Christmas, it can be easy to run out of creative gift ideas. Finding a present that is thoughtful, yet fun

and affordable can be a treacherous balancing act. Consider the recipient’s hobbies and interests; use this knowledge as a basis for their gift. Try to avoid selecting something solely because

you would like it yourself. Instead of choosing something generic, buy an item or activity that is unique to the recipient. Read on for some gift ideas that are sure to make your loved ones feel special.

For the…cultured

For those with a taste for the finer things in life, consider gifting a pamper day in a luxury spa. Pay for a friend or family member to get a relaxing massage as they wind down in a secluded location in the country, far removed from the stresses of everyday life. Otherwise, organise a trip to marvel at the view of the city from atop of The Shard—the 95-storey skyscraper in Southwark, London. Combine with a deluxe afternoon tea in one of the building’s fine restaurants for the ultimate day out.

For the…thrill-seeker


FF25A.Gift Ideas.indd 90

Images: Shutterstock

Most of us know somebody who pursues bold, thrill-seeking experiences. Keep them on their toes this year with an activity-filled day spent driving their favourite sports car around a professional racetrack. Alternatively, look skywards and watch them plummet from heights of up to 15,000ft as they embark upon a thrilling skydive. Skydive experiences are available from a number of stunning locations across the UK, including the Lake District, Kent and Devon.

13/11/2017 14:50

Gift Inspiration

For the…collector Is the recipient of your present particularly house-proud? Perhaps they are a frequent attender of antiques auctions or hobbyists that collect certain items? Identify their particular point of interest and choose their gift accordingly. For example, if they are attempting to build upon their assortment of crystal decanters, find a beautifully shaped one for their collection. Pay attention to their habits: have you caught them admiring antique clocks? If so, hunt out a particularly striking one they may have had their eye on. A knife set works well for gourmands, as does a vintage set of champagne glasses.

For the…sentimental

For the…happy-go-lucky For a present that is fun yet a little different, consider organising a day of zorbing. Zorbing is the recreational sport of rolling downhill while harnessed within an inflatable orb. Another pastime that is gaining popularity is immersive theatre. Rather than simply watching a theatre production, you will be part of the action. Such events usually involve dressing up and conversing with actors as the scenes unfold. If puzzles are your forte, you could arrange to participate in an escape room. The interactive nature of the experience accompanied with the mind-bending tasks will prove to be a crowd pleaser.

FF25A.Gift Ideas.indd 91

Coming up with a sentimental gift idea can be challenging, but it’s worth it if you’re able to pull it off. Tune into the little hints your loved one has consciously or subconsciously dropped. They may have mentioned an art movement they are particularly fond of; this could translate into a personalised art piece that you source for them. Is there an item that would work well within their decorative scheme at home? Try to adhere to their personal taste: is it modern and minimalistic, whacky and eclectic or vintage and weathered? A rug, lamp or ornamental piece of homeware makes a fantastic gift. Alternatively, if you have shared a travel experience together, collect photos and memorabilia from the trip and frame them.


14/11/2017 10:31

New Year’s Eve


Party Favours Watch your guests light up when you present them with a homemade party favour—a heartwarming offering to welcome in the new year By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw


he general merriment during the holidays is almost infectious, so much so that it lingers on into the new year. Despite the cold weather, everybody is in the highest of spirits. A


their guests with a party favour. While a generic present is fine, a homemade gift can be thoughtfully designed to suit the tastes of the recipient. Get inspired by our creative homemade party favour ideas.

Jams & chutneys

Jams and chutneys make a fantastic addition to a gift hamper. They are easy to cook and, with a little care, can look very charming. We suggest making a large batch to fill a handful of jars for friends and family. You could opt for a warming winter jam with plum, cranberry and cinnamon. Alternatively, stray from tradition and fashion a spicy chilli and green tomato chutney. Use patterned cloth and a piece of ribbon on jar lids for a rustic effect.

Images: Shutterstock

If you know somebody who is partial to a scented candle, why not make them one from scratch? It is far less complicated than you might think. Only a handful of equipment is necessary: a candle wick, soy candle wax, essential oil, food colouring, glue and a mason jar or a candle mould. The process is simple and certainly worth the effort. Use some leftover pine needles and combine with a fresh scent to help your guests cling on to the festive season.

New Year’s Eve soirée is the perfect excuse to polish off the remaining alcohol, which was grossly over-stocked in a hasty preChristmas dash to the shops. An emerging trend for hosts and hostesses is to provide


FF25.Party Favours.Rev1.indd 92

13/11/2017 14:52

New Year’s Eve

Ginger biscuits

Ginger biscuits simply scream New Year’s Eve spirit— whip up a few batches and see how well they go down. Biscuits look appealing and can be oodles of fun to make. This is an ideal activity for children and parents to share together: creating, designing, baking and ideally eating any leftovers. Cut into traditional stars or another creative shape—the choice is yours.

Fudge Fudge is one of those delightful indulgences that begs to be eaten—it can be difficult to have just one. If your guests have a sweet tooth, consider making them a tasty batch of fudge. The main ingredients needed are golden caster sugar, double cream, butter and glucose syrup. Try added flavour pairings such as clementine and cloves or banana and peanut butter. The whole process should take no longer than an hour to complete. Cut the fudge into chunks and put inside an attractive box for the most delicious party favour.

Memorable gifts


Another versatile party favour is a customised bar of soap. There are various recipes for soap-making but one of the most straightforward involves a shea butter soap base, soap colourant, essential oils, herbs (if desired) and a soap mould. Select soothing flavours that cleanse the skin—orange zest and basil is a lovely choice, as is lavender and aloe vera. Add petals and fresh herbs into the mould for a unique result. Finish by tying your soaps with twine and attaching a homemade label.

FF25.Party Favours.Rev1.indd 93

Make Christmas sparkle this year with beautiful, useful and timeless gifts from British design brand, Robert Welch. Visit their website and discover award-winning kitchen knives for preparing the perfect festive feast, elegant cutlery and tableware for effortless entertaining, and truly memorable gifts for sharing with loved ones this Christmas. Whilst renowned worldwide for their cutlery, Robert Welch have been designing products for use, from the kitchen to the table, since 1955. Every Robert Welch product is designed in the Old Silk Mill at Chipping Campden by the Robert Welch design team. The Mill, nestled in the English Cotswold hills, is where the founder Robert Welch began designing in one tiny room over 60 years ago. All Robert Welch products are supplied with a 25-year guarantee.


13/11/2017 14:53

New Year’s Eve

New Year s Eve Party Inspiration

There is always a building sense of anticipation for New Year’s Eve—here are our tips for hosting the ultimate bash this year By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw


fter the frivolities of Christmas have subsided, the fast approach of New Year’s Eve celebrations pose as a substantial consolation. Hosting a New Year’s Eve party may seem like a cinch but, in fact, it requires thoughtful planning. To avoid the bustling crowds, overpriced drinks and excessive queueing, most people opt for a gathering at home. Discover our guide for throwing the best party imaginable to usher in the new year with a bang.

DÉCOR Whether you decide on a low-key get together or a formal soirée, start by planning the décor for your event. New Year’s Eve is a time to pull out all the stops; be bold in your decorative choices. If you are feeling especially creative, try your hand at origami—fold your own shapes to hang from the ceiling in vibrant colours. These can also be used as place setting ornaments on your dining table. Consider your lighting scheme carefully—try to select light sources that aren’t too imposing. Spiral fairy lights around pillars, across the ceiling or over any feature of the room you wish to emphasise. Position vibrant tassels, bunting or glowing lanterns across the doorways for a magical effect. You may want to create a feature wall; this could be covered with gold streamers, polka dots or a welcome message. If your location involves a nook or secluded area, convert it into a point of interest with a memories board.


FF24.NYE.indd 94

Arrange a medley of photos taken over the past year with your friends and family—a nostalgic touch and a perfect talking piece.

ENTERTAINMENT Keeping your guests amused for an entire night is no easy task. You may want to consider planning entertainment and activities to avoid any lulls in the evening. Try to include static areas of amusement where guests can please themselves. Consider a photo booth with props for your attendees to snap

their own comical photographs. This is perfect for social media fiends and individuals hoping for a memento of the event. Think of some inclusive games that adhere to the tone of your party. If you have organised a cosy affair, host a quiz covering topics and happenings from the past year. Alternatively, if you have a considerable budget, you may want to hire a live band or a performer to keep your guests entertained. For a lighthearted atmosphere, include a karaoke machine or organise a lip sync battle.

13/11/2017 16:55

New Year’s Eve DRINKS & NIBBLES Food plays a significant role in New Year’s festivities. Visitors will expect to be fed during the evening, so be sure to stock enough to satisfy their appetites. Serving bite-sized snacks and canapés is usually the preferred choice at such an event. Think sophisticated mouthfuls to kick-start the evening followed by more substantial offerings later on. This way the food can be pre-arranged; guests will be able to serve themselves and you’ll be able to devote your time to serving drinks and mingling. Consider food that is easily eaten without the use of excessive cutlery. This will also save you a mountain of washing up the next day. Unlike Christmas, you aren’t restricted in regards to the cuisine you serve. Try something daring such as Polynesian, Moroccan, modern British or South American food. You could even include a fondue (sweet or savoury) for guests to dip into. If you want to make a real impression, reveal a show stopping dessert after midnight. Although some may prefer to go teetotal for a change, New Year’s Eve is usually a boozy affair. Try to cater to all tastes—provide a mixture of soft drinks and tasty alcoholic tipples. Champagne is customary on New Year’s Eve, although prosecco is a good substitute for smaller budgets. Why not create a prosecco station? Position a bar area for attendees to serve themselves a glass with different fruits, liqueurs and syrups to add. To mark the occasion, consider sourcing locally brewed spirits or ales for those who aren’t keen on wine—these thoughtful touches will be sure to impress your guests.

Images: Shutterstock

Sophisticated canapés Mini lobster rolls—New Year’s Eve is a time to pull out all the stops. Provide luxurious lobster dressed with lemon juice, crème fraîche and chives all wrapped up in a miniature brioche bun. Fig and goat’s cheese puffs—this delicious finger food involves the tang of warm goat’s cheese counteracted by sweet, caramelised fig, neatly pulled together with puff pastry. Spiced ox cheek croquettes with harissa dip—with braised ox cheek in a crispy croquette alongside a tangy harissa sauce, these moreish delights will certainly get your guest’s taste buds tingling.

FF24.NYE.indd 95


13/11/2017 16:55

New Year’s Eve THE COUNTDOWN The defining moment of every New Year’s Eve party is the countdown. Be wary of this as the evening progresses and prepare something extra special for when the clock strikes 12. Fill boxes with confetti and supply them to your guests to toss in the air in celebration. Or if you are feeling particularly whimsical, set off a glitter cannon to flood the room with colour when the clock strikes midnight. You could even make your own countdown clock with gold numbers and glittered details. Alternatively, keep it simple and pop open your best bottle of Champagne to make a toast. The fine details will allow you to shape an unforgettable evening, launching you into the new year alongside your closest friends and family.


FF24.NYE.indd 96

13/11/2017 16:56

New Year’s Eve

Something a little different While the majority of people enjoy New Year’s Eve celebrations, there are still some who dread them. As a refreshing alternative, try something a little out of the ordinary this year. Seek the stars—seek out nature and find a quiet spot in the wilderness with your closest friends. Pitch up a tent and spend the evening stargazing and roasting marshmallows by a campfire. Host a cook off—instead of a glitzy party, try hosting your own cook off. Everybody can bring a course for a sit-down dinner and rate one another with voting cards. Organise a prize for the winner. Create a home cinema—build a comfy zone in your home with beanbags and lounging furniture. Dim the lights, grab the popcorn, invite your closest friends and settle in for a movie marathon.

An opulent New Year's Eve celebration Leave the organising to the experts and enjoy a hassle-free New Year’s Eve with all the trimmings. Five-star country hotel, Lucknam Park, hosts a two night celebration break to see in the New Year in style. The celebrations kick off with afternoon tea in the elegant drawing room or library, a Champagne reception followed by a Michelin star gala dinner and dancing. During the stay, guests can make use of the spa facilities including wellbeing treatments such as Haslauer Sunlight Therapy or Dry Floatation (stimulates deep relaxation). For the adventurers, the equestrian centre offers a unique way to explore the 500acre estate. The New Year begins with brunch in the former ballroom of the house and a treasure hunt for adults and children before getting dressed up for an evening of jazz and fine dining.

FF24.NYE.indd 97

Luxury NYE events If hosting isn’t your forte, you may wish to consider a luxury venue with an attractive New Year’s Eve package—food, bubbles and dancing are usually included within the ticket price. London’s Corinthia Hotel is set to host a lavish evening of revelry this year. Also, the Ritz’s New Year’s Eve black-tie gala dinner promises an opulent arrival into 2018.


14/11/2017 10:32

Win prizes! Visit the Celebrity Angels website to enter exclusive free to enter competitions

Enter the competitions at

CAAustell Competitions page.indd 1 1 St Breweryhalf / Filler.indd

06/11/2017 12:00 10:52 10/11/2017

Drinks Hamper

Images: Shutterstock

Take a peek inside our special Drinks Hamper supplement for a fabulous selection of must-try cocktail recipes for the festive season. Plus, keep up to speed with the latest in wine trends and spirit investment

FF26A.Drinks Hamper Opener.indd 99

13/11/2017 14:55 Suppliers of the finest Caviar, selected only from sustainable sources around the world. Serving Sevruga Osietra and Beluga Caviars to the discerning connoisseur. Full range on offer in sizes of 30g to 1 kilo from ÂŁ35. Depuis 1991 Chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Michelle Roux Jr, Raymond Blanc, Simon Rogan, Phil Howard, Helene Darroze, Jean Georges @ The Connaught, The Savoy, The Langham & Lanesborough hotels as well as Zuma restaurant, Oblix, Roka and Nobu restaurants and Wolseley, Arts Club all believe our Caviar to be the finest Caviar available. Our Caviar offering is accessible at also at Harvey Nichols foodmarket under Imperial Caviar, as well as on the Selfridge counter under the Selfridges own label. | +44 (0)1932 830252

Imperial Caviar.indd 1

13/11/2017 14:01

Drinks Hamper

Fine Wining While returns in the property equity and high-end jewellery markets routinely fluctuate at auction, fine wine remains a steadfast commodity By Kayley Loveridge

Images: Shutterstock


nvesting in wine can be a lucrative venture for those committed to the hefty expenditure; an auction of fine and rare wines held by Christie’s this September in London realised a total of £1,342,644 alone. In October, Sotheby’s finest and rarest wines auction fetched a staggering $2,252,738 in New York—ready to dig deep yet? Since 1988, compound annual returns for investablegrade wine has sat at just above 10 percent. Because of the consistent increase in demand of the rare, finite cases of wine produced from classic winemaking regions like France (in particular), investors can generally expect a predictable and steady growth in the market. The drop in value of sterling since the vote for Brexit in 2016 has also delivered an unexpected silver lining in the form of market returns for the resolute oenophile. International investors—particularly buyers from Asia—are responding to the lower

FF26.Wine Investment.indd 101

conversion rates to take advantage of UK wine holdings priced in pounds. A 2016 Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction fetched an astonishing $4 million in sales from prestigious vintages including a MoutonRothschild and Cheval Blanc from 1945 and 1947 respectively. Fine wine is an alternative to mainstream assets such as equity and bonds—which carry higher risks—making it a precious commodity in the post-Brexit environment. While the recent boom in wine sales is both impressive and exciting, it is important to remember that just one percent of wine produced constitutes as investablegrade. Reds from Bordeaux, France, tend to dominate the market, but merchants recommend investing in a diverse portfolio that includes whites and wines from both Old and New World vineyards. Wine specialists use these terms to refer to the regions in which the grapes are grown. Old World wines are categorised as

those from classic winemaking regions in Europe including France and Italy, while New World wines are from everywhere else. Although New World wines have seen a recent surge in growth—45 percent in the last five years, according to—in the market, their value pales in comparison to the provenance associated with their European counterpart.

TRENDS IN NATURAL WINE Natural wine is a controversial subject in the wine investment arena, with opinions about its place in the market hugely polarized. Difficult to define, natural wine tends to refer to grapes that have been harvested organically with little interference or manipulation in the production process. It is fermented with indigenous yeasts and has few or no additives. Some vintners argue that it lacks the character of traditional wine whose


13/11/2017 14:54

Drinks Hamper grape varieties and fermentation processes are so inherently linked to their place of origin. Nevertheless, this niche market is gaining momentum; food, drink and lifestyle communications and marketing agency Sopexa predicts a whopping 38 percent increase in global sales of natural wine by 2018.

KEEN ON VINTAGE Strong vintages tend to see heady returns at auction, so research is key when building a portfolio. Experts agree that investors are more likely to see a profitable return on wine from a good vintage from any winemaker than with a bad vintage from reputable vineyards. Keep an eye out for a Bordeaux 2015 vintage when it is released, say experts; this year yielded good results from both sides of the bank.

STORING WINE One of the most desirable aspects of fine wine is that it tends to appreciate with age. Aromas and flavours developed in the fermentation process mature as time goes on and add layers of complexity that make them well worth the wait. For this reason, adequate storage is key to maintaining premium quality. Storing wine in bonded warehouses or cellars ensures controlled temperatures and correct handling. Many wine merchants offer this facility for a small annual fee and in some circumstances will provide monthly statements on the value of the assets. The length of time wine should be kept in cellars varies depending on vintage, but value can be added from anything between one to 20 years in storage. 

Keep it for longer Coravin is the one and only tool in the world that allows you to pour a glass of wine without pulling the cork. This means you can finally enjoy your favourite wines by the glass without worrying about waste. With friends at home, with your partner or all by yourself, Coravin brings you the freedom to pour one glass of wine while keeping the rest of the bottle fresh until the next pour. All Coravin devices are available at


FF26.Wine Investment.indd 102

‘Enjoy your favourite wines by the glass without pulling the cork!’

14/11/2017 10:32

UNCORK YOUR PROFITS IN 2018 With Our Award Winning Investment Service

To learn more about our unique investment service and get your copy of our free guide please visit: +44 (0)207 1000 950 | | Cult Wines Ltd, The Clockwork Building, 45 Beavor Lane, London W6 9AR Company Reg No. 06350591 | VAT No. GB 129 9514 84 | AWRS Reg No. XVAW00000101625

Cult Wines Ltd.indd 1

13/10/2017 11:39

Drinks Hamper


for Every Occasion We offer our knowledge on wine to suit all manners of festive occasions; from intimate evenings spent by the fire to stylish get togethers By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw


he festive season brings with it a wealth of gatherings; suddenly our diaries erupt with occasions to mingle with family and friends. A busy social calendar is the perfect excuse to replenishment one’s wine stock. If chosen

thoughtfully, the multifaceted nature of wine can enhance the experience of any social soirée. The multitude of labels that now exist on the market can be difficult to navigate, especially for those who aren’t

as well versed on the intricacies of wine selection. Luckily, we are here to assist. Allow us to guide you through vintages, aromas and finishes—helping you to select the perfect wine for every occasion this winter.

Fight the winter chill Winter walks around Christmastime can be magical. Feeling the crunch of the frosty leaves beneath your shoes, seeing the plume of breath as it leaves your lips and slowly fades into the air—all while you are wrapped up in a comforting scarf. Each city is lit up with dazzling lights, with merry motifs strewn across every shop window. What could be more perfect for this setting than a steaming mug of mulled wine? Or if you are feeling more adventurous, glögg— Scandinavia’s boozier take on the Christmas tipple.

Our top picks


FF27.Wines for every occasion.indd 104

Images: Shutterstock

— Lindisfarne Mulled Wine, 13.5%— for a pre-spiced delight on a cool evening, this is the ideal choice. The unmistakable citrus tang is surprisingly moreish. Saturnus 1893 Vinglögg, 10%— for those wanting to join the new glögg craze, we suggest sampling Vinglögg’s offering. Consume it the traditional way; served hot with raisins and flaked almonds.

14/11/2017 11:24

Drinks Hamper

Laid-back social

Huddle by the fire There’s nothing better than curling up on the sofa in front of a roaring fire when it’s cold outside. The rooms are filled with the fragrant smell of pine as the last few needles cling to the tree. Winding down with a wholesome glass of red wine can be just the ticket, permitting the stress of the last-minute present buying to slowly ebb away. Taste in red wine can be very subjective—what satisfies one person may not tantalise another. While preferences vary, many options are suitable for relaxation purposes.

Our top picks

During the winter months, the inevitably icy weather prompts many of us to revert back to indoor activities. Cosy evenings spent playing rounds of cards are the preferred approach for catching up with friends. Such an occasion calls for a sipping wine, one with a smooth finish. Fortified wines such as port or sherry are only a few of the tipples that meet these criteria.

Our top picks Sandeman 20 Year-Old Tawny Port, 20%—a rich and elegant combination of dried fruits makes up this port’s bouquet. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a cheeseboard. González Byass Fino Tres Palmas Sherry, 16%—the mineral quality and subtle sweetness of this sherry make it ludicrously easy to sip.

Aldi The Exquisite Collection New Zealand Pinot Noir, 13%—this fragrant red by Aldi has been hailed for its smooth quality and fantastic value for money. El Enemigo Malbec, 13.9%—this robustly tannic Argentinian wine offers smoky flavours to the palate accompanied by hints of blackberry and vanilla.

Trendy gatherings The lead up to Christmas almost always involves a glitzy get together. An evening where you and your closest friends throw caution to the wind: donning your best party dresses and creating a spread of the most affluent edible delights. Champagne or sparkling wine is usually the obvious choice—both provide an overall air of sophistication. When entertaining a crowd, selecting the right fizz can be a balancing act—the difficulty lies in finding the right balance between sweet and dry.

FF27.Wines for every occasion.indd 105

Our top picks Marques Del Norte Cava Brut, 11.5%— with crisp notes of apple, this Cava marries itself wonderfully with cheese, pasta or tapas and is fantastic with a splash of orange juice. Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut NV Rosé —if you are catering Champagne, 12%—if to a small group, you can justify splashing out on something extra special. This label is an easy-drinking aperitif with delicious raspberry and redcurrant flavours.


14/11/2017 11:25

Celebrating 25 years of

Mount Gay XO

The embodiment of both quality and luxury, MOUNT GAY®’s roots can be traced back over three centuries to the processing of Barbadian sugar cane, making it the oldest and continuously produced rum in the world. Through centuries of experimentation, the blending of single and double distillates has become an art form for MOUNT GAY®. This year also marks a major milestone in Mount Gay’s history, as it celebrates 25 years of MOUNT GAY XO, originally known as MOUNT GAY ‘Extra Old’.

XO Old Fashioned >

In a mixing glass, lightly muddle the orange peel with 50ml of Mount Gay XO and a teaspoon of sugar. Remove peel. Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and ice; stir until chilled. Pour over fresh ice in an old-fashioned glass.

Garnish with a zest of orange.


Mount Gay XO Neat

A quarter of a century in the making, MOUNT GAY® XO is an opulent blend of the finest spirits aged for eight to 15 years. Where the original blend is floral and fruity, Extra Old blends significantly older barrels of mainly double pot distillates that have rounded the crisper notes of the spirit into a subtler balance. It exudes the finesse that only time can bring while offering a true taste of paradise - the recommended serve for XO is neat or on the rocks. Remy-Cointreau.indd 1

30/10/2017 08:43

Drinks Hamper

A Sparkling Investment Champagne is no longer a bubbly treat reserved just for special occasions. Newfound interest in this sparkling wine could see it becoming a stable investment By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw

Images: Shutterstock


hampagne is a sparkling wine that is produced in the Champagne region of France. While many people would happily refer to any kind of fizz as Champagne, only producers adhering to exacting codes in this appellation may label their wine as such. There are four distinct Champagne varieties: Rosé, Brut, Blanc de Noirs and Blanc de Blancs. For oenophiles that are considering investing in wine, Champagne is a logical choice. Since Britons decided to leave the European Union back in 2016, various UK markets have been plagued with financial instability. However, a glance at the sparkling wine arena would suggest otherwise. Prosecco sales continue to climb as restaurants and pubs begin to latch onto the ‘bottomless brunch’ concept. Yet bargain fizz isn’t the only wine to see a surge in popularity. Top Champagne brands remain in high demand, reflecting the importance of prestige to fine wine buyers. Recent research published by Cult Wines has suggested that a quarter of wealth managers expect wine investment to increase significantly over the next 12 months. For investment purposes, the most revered luxury Champagne brands are Dom Perignon, Cristal, Krug and Salon.

FF27A.Champagne.indd 107

Additionally, brands such as Armand de Brignac—also known as Ace of Spades— have stepped into the spotlight as a result of celebrity endorsement. Jay-Z’s procurement of the company in 2014 drew a huge amount of media attention, boosting the drink’s reputation and its appeal to the general public. Its growing media presence gives investors even more of a reason to capitalise on this flourishing commodity. Gareth Birchley, fine wine buyer at Berry Bros. & Rudd, stipulates that one of the

reasons for Champagne’s longevity in the wine market is credited to a newfound interest in its properties. ‘Over the past five years we have seen people treating Champagne more like a wine, dispelling the myth that it is just for celebrations or for drinking as an aperitif. People no longer accept that Champagne is simply magic in a bottle. They want to learn where it comes from, why it differs from one place to the next, how it’s made and how it ages,’ he said. 

Rose Champagne Rosé wines were the toast of 2017 with popularity soaring over the summer. So why not continue the party with a Rosé Champagne this Christmas? Champagne PIAFF Brut Rosé is made by resting the wine on the black grape skins, bringing out a deep pink colour and notes of red fruit. While still a Brut, which will appeal to the drier palates, the fruity notes will please those who like a bit more sweetness. That said, don’t relegate the bubbles to the toast or aperitif. Try a full-bodied Champagne to pair with smoked salmon and seafood starters or the roast turkey. Look for one that has stayed on the lees for longer than the standard twelve months, extracting more flavour from the yeast and creating a more complex flavour profile.


13/11/2017 15:08



I am pleased to present our fine collection of premium champagnes for the Christmas season. It is very special for me to bring the terroir of the Marne Valley to your celebrations. This beautiful valley southwest of Epernay is where our grapes are grown and where I handcraft Champagne PIAFF for you. The team here enjoys champagne throughout the holidays and so we have put together a special case that can take you from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve, each with a different champagne. Maxime Mansard, Fifth Generation Champenois




Champagne PIAFF Blanc de Blancs

Champagne PIAFF Brut Rosé NV

Champagne PIAFF Brut NV

On Christmas Eve there will always be the chasing around, last minute presents, items of food, and arrival of family. It is also the time to celebrate the start of Christmas and open something very special, Champagne PIAFF Blanc de Blancs. This creamy champagne is made entirely from the chardonnay grape and is perfect to create that Christmas magic as you finally relax around the tree.

The next morning, we recommend getting your sabre and opening a bottle of Champagne PIAFF Brut Rosé NV. This fruit forward, yet dry champagne has notes of strawberry and a hint of cassis. It is many of our fan’s favourite and pairs beautifully with breakfast treats, starters, and even the bird. Don’t forget to save an extra glass for the one who spent the longest in the kitchen — they deserve it.

For New Year’s Eve, we have saved the elegant, yet lively Champagne PIAFF Brut NV. Whether you take it to the party, or enjoy it at home, our Brut is a real crowd pleaser, whatever your crowd. The complex vanilla finish and hint of oak ensure enough complexity to pair with food, or to enjoy on its own. What better way to start 2018 than to sabrage a chilled bottle of Champagne PIAFF Brut?

NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UK From our cellar to your door

Champagne Piaff.indd 2

08/11/2017 10:09


New Year

WWW.CHAMPAGNEPIAFF.COM Enter online to win a PIAFF experience

Champagne Piaff.indd 3

08/11/2017 10:09

Drinks Hamper

In High Spirits Savvy collectors are beginning to realise the potential of investing in steady commodities such as spirits—find out why By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw


he Christmas holidays consist in a packed calendar of social events, most of which involve an alcoholic element. Christmas markets pour warming mugs of hot chocolate spiked with Amaretto; family gatherings are enhanced with eggnog and hot whiskey toddies enrich the crisp evenings spent by an outdoor fire pit. Recent reports from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have confirmed that Britain’s spirit industry is booming, with sales overtaking those of beer last year. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association believe that the freeze in spirit duty in the 2016 budget may have spurred the surge in sales. As tastes for luxury brands intensify, there has never been a more opportune time to invest in such products.


FF28.Spirits.indd 110

COVETED SPIRITS Whiskey World whiskeys produced in countries such as France, Sweden, Japan and Australia are stealing the spotlight and are set to revolutionise production techniques. While single malts continue to be a firm favourite with connoisseurs, blended variants are set to come of age—so to speak. Investing in whiskey is said to be far easier than wine, mostly because it doesn’t require the cool cellar-like storage conditions. Whiskey can be kept in almost any environment as long as it’s upright. Our top pick: Laphroaig Cairdeas 2014 Amontillado Edition, 51.4% The Islay-based single malt producer, Laphroaig, is notorious for its bold and

smoky flavours. Once a year they create a special ‘one-off ’ edition for exclusive customers. This edition is finished in Amontillado sherry casks for a rich sweetness that is hard to beat. Gin Lately, this botanical-infused spirit has seen an astronomical revival in the UK. This recent ‘ginaissance’ has sparked artisanal brewers to pop up all over the country. According to HMRC, British drinkers consumed recordbreaking amounts of gin in 2016. Britain, in particular, has taken notice of the trend with brands such as Dodd’s Gin Ltd seeking investment from the public. Collectors are now beginning to source the finest bottles for keepsake and investment purposes.

13/11/2017 15:02

Drinks Hamper

Images: Shutterstock

Our top pick: Skin Gin, 42% Adopting the dry London style of gin making, this luxurious brand encapsulates notes of Moroccan mint and citrus fruits. Its smooth taste is enhanced by the chic flask-style packaging—an ideal Christmas gift. Vodka Recent production techniques may be changing the way vodka is consumed and regarded by investors. Cask-aged vodka— also known as starka—was popularised in eastern European countries 500 years ago and is beginning to catch on elsewhere. Ageing the vodka in wooden casks adds rich, complex flavours to the spirit. However, modern trends are veering towards Scandinavian produced varieties that embody crisp and light characteristics. Our top pick: Karlsson’s Gold Vodka, 40% This vodka stands out amongst the crowd because it is unfiltered and only once distilled—perhaps accounting for its robust, earthy notes.

WHAT’S AHEAD? Age is just a number The age of a spirit is apparently becoming less important to consumers. According to

FF28.Spirits.indd 111

The rules of spirit investment Do your research. The spirit investment sector naturally draws in fraudulent sellers. Conduct your own thorough research on products and ensure you work with a trusted vendor. Be down with the times. While alcohol investment doesn’t tend to be adversely affected by economic slumps (people tend to keep drinking despite the state of the economy), tastes are always open to change. Keep an eye on spirit trends and what varieties are sought after. Only spend what you can afford to lose. While spirit investment is a fun pastime, it is a risky business. Physical investments can be hard to sell on, especially as tastes continuously change. Buy for the pleasure of stocking your cellar rather than building your bank account.

Sukhinder Singh—co-founder of The Whisky Exchange, an internet retailer of whisky and fine spirits —young scotches and whiskeys are being warmly welcomed into the market. ‘I do not care about age, it’s about whether I like a whiskey, then price, then how quality versus price compares,’ he said. Keeping it local Whether you voted in or out, it is widely agreed that the referendum, commonly coined ‘Brexit’, will have a huge impact on the UK’s spirit industry. Many predict a

boom in local production in the upcoming years—though only time will tell. Hold the sugar The UK’s impending sugar tax is set to influence a handful of industries, spirits being one of them. Wine producers have already begun creating ‘non-dosage’ sparkling varieties and Champagne. Now, predictions have outlined a clampdown on sugar in certain spirits—especially spiced rums and gins known for their use of sugar in the post-distillation process. 


13/11/2017 15:02

Drinks Hamper

MOCKTAILS Hosting festivities with guests who prefer not to drink alcohol? We have carefully chosen a selection of tasty and refreshing mocktail recipes everyone can enjoy this holiday season.

Brain Teaser (SERVES 1) Ingredients • 170g strawberries, thinly sliced • 1 tsp honey • 14ml fresh lemon juice

• Pinch of minced ginger, to taste • Ice cubes • 115ml lychee juice • 55ml pineapple juice

Method 1. Combine strawberries, honey, lemon juice and ginger in a shaker and shake well. Then add ice with the lychee and pineapple juice. Shake well. 2. Strain into a glass filled with ice and remaining sliced strawberries.

Grapefruit Ginger Spritzer (SERVES 1) Ingredients • Ice cubes • 1 part grapefruit juice • 2 parts ginger beer • Lime wedge and mint leaves, to garnish


FF30.Mocktail Recipes.indd 112

Images: Shutterstock / Recipe courtesy

Method 1. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes, and fill 1/3 full with grapefruit juice. 2. Top up the glass with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge and mint leaves.

14/11/2017 09:19

Drinks Hamper

Botonique Sterling Serve A sophisticated and crowd-pleasing drink, the Botonique Sterling Serve also makes a great base for a whole range of other mocktails. Ingredients • Ice • 1/2 lime, sliced in wedges • 4 fine slices cucumber • Small sprig of mint • 150ml Botonique Method 1. Fill a large wine glass to halfway with ice. 2. Give lime wedges a squeeze as they go in, muddle the cucumber and mint. 3. Top with Botonique and garnish with more mint and cucumber.

Botonique White Christmas For a White Christmas, add 5 parts Botonique to 1 part home-made mulling syrup, made as follows.

Optional Add a dash of cordial of your choice, or make a little alcohol go a long way with a splash of gin, bourbon, tequila or aged rum...the list goes on—but use just a splash. The idea is to cut back, and Botonique will make the drink taste more alcoholic than it actually is (as well as replacing nutrients that the alcohol depletes).

Ingredients • 500ml water • 100g sugar (use more or less to taste, or omit and add honey later) • 10cm stick of cinnamon • 6 black peppercorns, optional • 15 cloves • Zest and juice of half a lemon • Zest and juice of half an orange or a whole mandarin • 100ml Botonique Method 1. To make the syrup, put the sugar and water to boil in a heavy-based pan. 2. Break the cinnamon stick into smaller pieces, lightly crush the peppercorns if using, add to pan with the cloves and simmer for 30 minutes. 3. Peel the zest from the citrus fruit, taking care to avoid the white pith, and extract the juice using a citrus juicer, leaving behind the pulp and pips. 4. After 30 minutes add the citrus zest and simmer for another 20 minutes. 5. Add the juices for the last 5 minutes. 6. Strain through muslin and bottle the clear syrup. Makes about 250ml after evaporation. 7. Chill. How long it keeps will depend on the sugar content. 8. Put 20ml of the homemade syrup in a Champagne flute and top with chilled Botonique. Also delicious served hot. For a 6% abv alternative that feels like 12%, mix one part LBV port with two parts Botonique. Christmas in a glass.

FF30.Mocktail Recipes.indd 113


14/11/2017 09:19

Drinks Hamper

Aviation Ingredients • 40ml Silent Pool Gin • 20ml maraschino liqueur • 20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice • 2.5ml crème de violette Method 1. Shake and strain ingredients into a chilled cocktail glass.

Chamomile Collins Ingredients • 50ml Silent Pool Gin • 25ml chamomile syrup • 25ml lemon juice • Top soda Method 1. Build and stir ingredients over ice in a collins glass. 2. Garnish with a lavender sprig.


FF29.Cocktail Recipes.Rev1.indd 114

14/11/2017 11:27

Drinks Hamper

Cherry Spritz Ingredients • 50ml English Rose Gin • 150ml Fever Tree Naturally Light Tonic Water • 15ml (approx.2 bar spoons) maraschino cherry syrup Method 1. Build and stir over ice in a tall glass. 2. Twist of lime peel and one maraschino cherry dropped in.

Silent Pool G&T Ingredients • 50ml Silent Pool Gin • 125ml premium tonic water

FF29.Cocktail Recipes.Rev1.indd 115

Method 1. Serve over cubed ice. 2. Garnish with a large strip of orange zest snapped over the top.


14/11/2017 11:27

The Next Big Thing In Your G&T


Available in most major supermarkets

Other products in the range


Iceco Ltd.indd 1


24/10/2017 10:35

Drinks Hamper

Lassi 2017 Ingredients • Whole cumin, to garnish • Ice cubes • 50ml Crazy Gin • 125ml tonic water • Anardana powder (pomegranate powder), to garnish Method 1. Gently dry roast whole cumin to release oils and grind to a fine powder. Set aside. 2. Fill a chilled glass with ice cubes (lots of ice cubes!). 3. Add 50ml of Crazy Gin. 4. Add 125ml of tonic water and stir gently. 5. Garnish with a dusting of the dry roasted cumin (prepared earlier) and anardana (pomegranate) powder. They will fizzle and give the drink zesty notes and an extra kick of flavour.

Crazy Gin Martini

Crazy Gin Martini Cocktail created by Tom Byrne from Charlotte’s Bistro in Chiswick (@tbyrne4) Lassi 2017 Cocktail created by Maham Anjum (@mahamx)

Ingredients • Ice cubes • 1 tbsp dry vermouth • 70ml Crazy Gin • Orange peel, to garnish Method 1. Fill a mixing glass with cubed ice (or any glass if a mixing glass is not on hand). 2. Add 1 tbsp of dry vermouth. 3. Add 70ml of Crazy Gin. 4. Stir down with a mixing spoon for 12-15 seconds, until the outside of the glass is frosted and cold to the touch. 5. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 6. Garnish with a piece of orange zest, making sure to express the orange oils all over the drink.

FF29.Cocktail Recipes.Rev1.indd 117


14/11/2017 11:28

Drinks Hamper

Black Barrel Black Storm Ingredients • 50ml Mount Gay Black Barrel • 125ml ginger ale • Orange wedge, to garnish • Ice Method 1. In an iced-filled high ball glass, add 50ml of Mount Gay Black Barrel. 2. Top up with 125ml ginger ale. 3. Garnish with an orange wedge.

Mount Gay XO Rum Negroni Ingredients • Mount Gay XO Black Barrel • Sweet vermouth • Campari • Ice Method 1. In an ice-filled mixing glass add equal parts of Black Barrel, sweet vermouth and Campari. 2. Stir well and strain into an ice filled rocks glass.


FF29.Cocktail Recipes.Rev1.indd 118

14/11/2017 12:04

Drinks Hamper

Warm Earl Grey Sour Featuring Sir Robin of Locksley Gin If you’re looking for an alternative hot cocktail to a mulled wine this festive season, try this warming Earl Grey Sour. Ingredients • A pot of freshly steeped Earl Grey • 50ml Sir Robin of Locksley Gin • 50ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed • Caster sugar, to taste • Cinnamon stick and lemon wheel, to garnish Method 1. Make a pot of Earl Grey tea and let it steep until sufficiently brewed. 2. Combine the gin, lemon juice and tea in an Irish coffee glass and stir. Add caster sugar to taste, but don’t be shy—it’ll be sour. Continue stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and lemon wheel.

Rob Frost White Negroni Featuring Sir Robin of Locksley Gin This cocktail is inspired by a favourite winter poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost. Sipping our gin, in combination with Giuseppe Gallo’s Italicus, a delicious Bergamot Aperitivo, could whisk you off on a sleigh ride through winter woods if you close your eyes! Ingredients • 50ml Sir Robin of Locksley Gin • 20ml Italicus • 10ml Dolin Blanc • 5ml Génépi Traditional, If you like a more spicy Negroni • Ice • Pomegranate seeds and edible gold spray, to garnish Method 1. All ingredients are stirred over ice in a mixing glass, then strained into a rocks glass over fresh ice. 2. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and edible gold spray.

FF29.Cocktail Recipes.Rev1.indd 119

Matthew Fort’s FESTIVE FEAST// 119

14/11/2017 11:30

Drinks Hamper

Winter Gin Fizz Ingredients • Cubed ice • 25ml gin • 1 bottle of Pedrino, chilled • Lemon wedge, to garnish

Ingredients • Cubed ice • 25-30ml of golden or spiced rum • 1 bottle of Pedrino, chilled • Orange and cinnamon, to garnish Method 1. Add some cubed ice to a large whiskey tumbler or a similar wide glass. 2. Pour in 25-30ml of golden or spiced rum. 3. Pour in a chilled 200ml bottle of Pedrino. 4. Peel or slice a fresh orange and stir. 5. Stir in a cinnamon stick to marry all the flavours.

Images: Melius Drinks

Method 1. Add cubed ice to a frosted highball glass. 2. Pour in 25-30ml of quality dry gin. 3. Pour in a chilled 200ml bottle of Pedrino. 4. Slice a thin, fresh lemon wedge and gently stir into the glass.

Festive Rum Spritz


FF29.Cocktail Recipes.Rev1.indd 120

14/11/2017 09:02

One great taste deserves another A refreshing combination of Sherry and tonic water in a ready to drink spritz. What more could you want to get your party started?

Please drink Pedrino responsibly

Melius Drinks Limited Ad.indd 1

25/09/2017 09:27

Drinks Hamper

Cuba Libre Ingredients • Ice • 60ml white rum • 15ml lime juice • Pinch of salt • Jarritos Mexican Cola • Lime, to garnish Method 1. Fill glass with ice, rum, lime juice and a pinch of salt. Top off with Jarritos Mexican Cola and stir with a spoon. Garnish with lime and serve.

Citrus Bay Cooler Ingredients • Ice • 45ml coconut rum • Jarritos Lime • Strawberries, to garnish Method 1. Fill a tall glass with ice, add coconut rum and top off with Jarritos Lime. Stir with a spoon. Taste for balance. Garnish with strawberries and serve.


FF29.Cocktail Recipes.Rev1.indd 122

14/11/2017 09:02

Drinks Hamper

‘Jarritos also make the perfect cocktail and mocktail mixer. And with seven Jarritos flavours, there is no limit to the tastes that can be created and enjoyed’ —Mark Walton, Bloomsbury Drinks, Jarritos UK Distributor

Pineapple Express Ingredients • Ice • 45ml coconut rum • Jarritos Pineapple • Cherries, to garnish Method 1. Fill a tall glass with ice, add coconut rum and top off with Jarritos Pineapple. Stir with spoon. Garnish with cherries and serve.

Jarritos Mango Float Ingredients • Cajeta syrup • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream • Jarritos Mango Method 1. Add the Cajeta syrup into the bottom of a large cup. Add 2 large scoops of vanilla ice cream. Top off with Jarritos Mango.

FF29.Cocktail Recipes.Rev1.indd 123


14/11/2017 11:30

And Union Mordernist Bavarian Craft Beer.indd 1

07/11/2017 09:28

Drinks Hamper

Bandido Ingredients • 45ml tequila • Jarritos Mandarin • Ice

• 1 dash orange bitter • Mandarin peel, to garnish

Method 1. In a short spirit glass mix tequila and Jarritos Mandarin with ice and add a dash of orange bitter. Garnish with mandarin peel.

Paloma Ingredients • Salt • Lime wedge • Ice • 10ml lime juice • 45ml white or silver tequila • Jarritos Grapefruit Method 1. Add salt and lime to the rim of a cocktail glass. Fill glass with ice, squeeze in half a lime, add tequila, top off with Jarritos Grapefruit and stir.

FF29.Cocktail Recipes.Rev1.indd 125


14/11/2017 11:34

Drinks Hamper


Ingredients • Salt • Ice • 45ml white or silver tequila • 15ml cointreau • 60ml Jarritos Mango Method 1. Rim margarita glass with salt. Add ice, tequila, cointreau and Jarritos Mango in a shaker. 2. Lightly shake and strain into glass over ice.

Pink Passion Ingredients • Ice • Jarritos Guava • 45ml vodka • Slice of orange, to garnish Method 1. Fill a tall glass with ice and Jarritos Guava. Add vodka and stir with a spoon. Garnish with a slice of orange and serve.


FF29.Cocktail Recipes.Rev1.indd 126

14/11/2017 11:31

Products & Services

Decadent Dining SWEET ESCAPES Set in 500 acres of parkland, Lucknam Park is a magnificent listed Palladian mansion dating from 1720. The hotel boasts 42 individually styled rooms and suites, Michelin

star dining, an award-winning spa, equestrian centre, cookery school and a family hideout. Go for a holiday or treat someone to a pamper session for Christmas.


Images: Shutterstock, St Helen’s Farm, Lucknam Park, Chadha Oriental Foods Ltd., Leonidas

Handmade from fresh British goats’ milk, this goats’ Brie cheese has a deliciously mild and creamy flavour. Mould-ripened with a soft texture that changes over time. It’s perfect for sharing, try it either hot or cold.



Originated in the early 1960s, Koh-Kae has become Thailand’s number one snack food. Now enjoyed throughout the world, Koh-Kae has become a must-have snack that is enjoyed by children and adults alike. Each cylindrical 240g container is filled with Koh-Kae’s star product—peanuts coated in a crunchy, addictive, flavoured shell. Available to British consumers are seven tongue tantalising flavours: Nori Wasabi, BBQ, Thai Green Curry, Tom Yum, Sriracha Chilli, Chicken, Coconut Cream together with Wasabi Green Peas and a 110g offering of Thai Mixed Flavour that consists of nuts, peas and dried chillies.

With a great box of chocolates it’s always a struggle deciding whether to give it as a gift or to treat yourself! To celebrate Christmas, Leonidas special edition gift box invites chocolate lovers for a festive moment. Be tempted by its selection of delicious creations, including smooth pralines, creamy ganaches and fresh cream as well as soft caramel fillings,

FF31.Product Page.indd 127

which have been especially selected by our Maître Chocolatier to be part of the celebration. This decadent selection is bound to satisfy—the only problem is deciding which one to eat first!


14/11/2017 14:09

Products & Services

THE MULTITASKER bamix® is the smallest, most efficient and versatile all-in-one kitchen appliance. It is the ideal helper for a huge range of tasks; it can be used to chop, mince, purée, emulsify, mix, blend, froth, grind, pulverise, grate and whip food.



FF31.Product Page.indd 128

Images: Burton McCall, Homedics, Shutterstock

Capture and convert your favourite recipes to create your own personal cookbook this Christmas with the free Salter Cook app. Adjust portion sizes with ease for extra guests. Create categories to group all of your favourite Christmas recipes together. Edit details such as ingredients to make the recipes your own and so much more! Connect the app to the Bluetooth scales and thermometer to set targets direct from your recipe and keep track on your smartphone or tablet. Simply set a target temperature for your turkey and you will receive a notification when it is done, leaving you with more time to concentrate on entertaining your guests and opening presents. Have a merry Christmas with Salter Cook.

14/11/2017 14:18

Products & Services


In 1950, Francisco ‘El Guero’ Hill in Mexico started to create Jarritos sodas using fresh fruits and real sugar. So popular were his drinks, the Jarritos range quickly expanded to 11 unique and colourful flavours. He worked closely with local fruit growers to ensure only the best fruits are used in Jarritos—and now they even have their own secret mandarin groves, but they won’t tell you where! You may have heard of most of the fruits Jarritos use to make their delicious exotic flavours and all of them come from Mexico: their limes from Colima, grapefruit from the Gulf, hibiscus from Guerrero, tamarind from Oaxaca, guava from Calvillo, pineapple from Tabasco and mangoes from Chiapas. By 1960, Jarritos had become the best selling soft drink in Mexico—this, they believe, is because they only have the most natural flavours.


Images: Genius Drinks, Chadha Oriental Foods Ltd., RKW, Spiritmen, Remeo Gelato

Images: Burton McCall, Homedics, Shutterstock

What a fabulous way to survive Christmas. Not only does Botonique’s uniquely sophisticated taste and look make it easy to go without alcohol, it also replaces the nutrients alcohol depletes. So we can have fun AND look after ourselves! Genius.

PAN FOR GOLD The 3 Piece Cerastone Pan Set is the ideal gift for any person looking to replicate five-star quality meals from your kitchen. The superior Cerastone technology provides ultimate non-stick protection for an easy clean after use.


THE GIFT OF GIN Silent Pool Distillers have just released a stunning presentation gift box containing a 70cl bottle of their award-winning Silent Pool Gin and two of their beautifully designed copa glasses—the perfect gift for someone special.

FF31.Product Page.indd 129

Remeo delivers the authentic Italian Gelateria experience in a jar. A world apart from traditional ice cream, Remeo Gelato is naturally lighter and smoother, and is made from 100 percent natural, strictly sourced, premium ingredients. There are seven indulgent flavours to choose from.


14/11/2017 15:56






Our Christmas Gin is distilled with a unique array of botanicals. Defined by spiced, aromatic notes of frankincense, myrrh and classic juniper, this is true spirit of the festive season.

A trio of favourites, with our classic Edinburgh Gin accompanied by two of our luscious fruit liqueurs. Contains three 20cl bottles.


Ian Macleod Distillers Limited.indd 2



01/11/2017 16:19



exclusive to john lewis

exclusive to john lewis



Paired with two stylish Martini glasses, Edinburgh Gin’s sweetly-spiced Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur is delightful on its own, or in a variety of cocktails.

A treat for cocktail lovers, this elegant set includes a gold-coloured shaker and measure, two etched glasses, and a 70cl bottle of classic Edinburgh Gin.





The perfect accompaniment to sparkling wine or cocktails, these 20cl twin packs of Edinburgh Gin’s much-loved fruit liqueurs come in a variety of combinations.

A 20cl bottle of Edinburgh Gin fruit liqueur paired with an etched rocks glass makes a beautiful gift. Perfect for a liqueur over ice, or a classic G&T. Various flavours available.

Ian Macleod Distillers Limited.indd 3

01/11/2017 16:19

Magnificent royal palaces, for your prestigious events 020 3166 6399 Tower of London • Hampton Court Palace • Banqueting House • Kensington Palace • Kew Palace • Hillsborough Castle

Historical Royal Palaces.indd 1

27/10/2017 10:06

Matthew Fort's Festive Feast 2017  

The No.1 Consumer Guide to Food & Drink for the holiday season. The publication features Surviving Christmas with Matthew Fort, Delicious F...

Matthew Fort's Festive Feast 2017  

The No.1 Consumer Guide to Food & Drink for the holiday season. The publication features Surviving Christmas with Matthew Fort, Delicious F...