If you've ever had qualms about the size of regular pigs in blankets, this is your year. M&S has launched a foot-long version of the festive classic. Marks and Spencer has joined other supermarkets like Asda and Aldi by adding the extended creation to its line of Christmas treats.
Nowadays they are small, round and can be served hot or cold with a dollop of cream or brandy butter. With not long to go until the big day, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to test a huge variety of brands from the popular London bakery Konditor and Cook to supermarkets like Aldi, Asda and Sainsbury’s. With plenty of flavour and a good ratio of filling to pastry, Konditor and Cook’s mince pies were a total hit with our testers.
When gorging on mounds of festive chocolate in the lead up to Christmas, how much time do you spare thinking about recycling the plethora of plastic wrappers littering your home? With the world becoming far more environmentally conscious as of late, the recyclability of food packaging has become a hot topic of conversation. While many may be making stronger efforts to put their food wrappers in the designated recycling bin, a recent survey has uncovered which of the UK’s most popular chocolates are actually capable of being recycled.
In mid-December each year, search giant Google releases its much-anticipated ‘Year in Search’ report where it rounds up the biggest search terms for the year that’s been. This year, as well as rounding up the most searched-for people and events, Google has revealed the top travel destinations people have searched for in 2018. Using the search terms 'flights to' the football world cup seemed to have an impact on trending destinations with Moscow leading the pack.
Christmas is a time for celebrating, and enjoying food with friends and family remains one of the best ways to do so. As any turophile, or cheese lover, will attest, cheese is a good idea any time of year, but all good festive feasts call for a cheese board. For many people, Christmas has long been the ultimate occasion for over-indulging.
Rioja is a region in north central Spain, about a 2 hour drive from Bilbao, which is further divided into Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa zones. Although Rioja is most commonly associated with red wine, you’ll also see white and even rose styles available. After this you’ll find Crianza and Reserva, finishing with the most mature Gran Reserva.
Researchers who polled 2,000 adults found six in 10 have at some point messed up the main Christmas meal. Over-cooking the carrots, burning the treasured pigs in blankets and ending up with soggy roast potatoes also featured in the top 20 list. It was revealed the average person will cater for around five people at Christmas time and four in 10 admitted they are worse at cooking if there are additional people watching them.
While tawny port for example has a nutty quality due to a process of ageing in wooden barrels, white port made from white grapes is often mixed in cocktails. Overall, we’re looking for sweetness that’s not overpowering, allowing some of the lovely, rich berry of the fruit flavours to come through.
If I had a penny for every time someone asked me what I could actually eat as a gluten-free vegan, I’d be able to buy Christmas presents for a lot of people. With a surge in the number of people adopting a vegan lifestyle – it quadrupled from 150,000 in 2014 to 600,000 in 2018 – and greater awareness of gluten intolerance and coeliac disease, food producers are increasingly catering for people on special diets. Tracking down gluten-free vegan products for this roundup was easy, just proving there is nothing you need miss out on at Christmas.
If you’ve been invited to spend time with friends or family over Christmas and New Year, you’ll be the most welcome guest to the party if you turn up not just with chocolate, but with the most indulgent, luxurious, festive chocolates on offer. For quality of chocolate, variety of choice and flavours, eye-catching presentation and sheer indulgent joy, Hotel Chocolat is the pick of the bunch. A lavish array of delicious chocolates is presented in a luxurious 2-tiered box with a sliding compartment – a definite reusable option once the chocolates are gone.
Which one though, depends on personal taste. Put simply, a liqueur is a sweet alcoholic beverage, made from a distilled spirit, and flavoured, for example, with fruit, spices, herbs, florals, or cream. With its cognac base, and blend of orange bitters from the Caribbean, this French liqueur always has us feeling a little festive.
As the festive season rolls around again, we can be certain of a few things: terrible Christmas jumpers, rowdy office parties and, for many of us, hangovers. According to Dr Matthew Foxton, consultant hepatologist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, hangover treatment should start before the hangover itself. Studies have show the darker the alcohol you drink, the worse the hangover.
Aldi has been upping the ante with low-priced luxury for the past year and this impressive bubbly is a fine example. A crowd pleaser, the Prosecco Superiore DOCG offers a fruity aroma with lots of delicate floral notes. This stylish bottle holds a crisp, delicate prosecco which is a lively blend of citrus fruit flavours combined with floral notes.
The tree is dressed, the lights are up and your Christmas baking is well underway. You’ve nailed your gingerbread recipe and mastered the orange and cranberry shortbread - now it’s time to make them look just as festive as they taste and smell. An edible Christmas tree, of course! This 10-piece cookie set is so easy to use and you’ll be amazed with the professional-looking results.
The UK has been the number one market for Champagne for many years according to Francoise Peretti, Director, Champagne Bureau UK. Food-wise, Champagne is pretty versatile. Champagne should be served well-chilled (between 8-10 degrees) and ideally in an elegant flute.
With prosecco having long-overtaken Champagne in the popularity stakes, at this time of year sales of the fizzy tipple are set to soar. In terms of quality, there is Prosecco DOC. Then there is Prosecco DOCG, a higher quality region where the fruit for the wine is grown on steep slopes between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene.