Uncategorized

Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition

Hello friends,

Check out the youtube video for this blog post below.

As you know, our family are big Harry Potter fans and recently found a great new Harry Potter attraction to explore. Due to the Jubilee weekend, we practically had the entire place to ourselves give or take one family of 3 and another lady.

During the Jubilee weekend, my daughter Hermione and I, made the 1 hour trek into London to see the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition in Covent Garden. The exhibition takes you through the journey of memories captured during the making of these iconic films and tells a behind the scenes story. Fans can see never seen before photographs, original film props and take pictures at the photo opportunities while they learn how the magic was created.

Getting there

It was pretty easy to catch a train to London Bridge and then a connecting train to Charring Cross. It is about a 10 – 15 minute walk from Charring Cross station, in the opposite direction of Trafalgar Square to get to the exhibition.

If you’re early

Because we left early, anticipating the crowds for the Jubilee celebrations, we arrived before the exhibition opens at 10am. We had a coffee across the road at Oree Boulangerie. We had already had breakfast but wish we hadn’t when we saw the gorgeous looking patisserie on offer. We did, however, plan on having a treat at the Butterbeer Bar in the Photographic Exhibition so abstained from a second breakfast!

When you get there

As you walk in, we presented our bags for a security check then headed to the small desk beside the stairs to check in. This took all of a minute and then we were on our way!

SONY DSC

The first unmissable thing to see is the huge powder blue Ford Anglia suspended in mid air against an enchanting backdrop of the night sky and the stream of acceptance letters winding above you down the stairs. The film paper props were created by Mina Lima and can be seen all through the exhibition. The attention to detail is astonishing!

The Original fireplace from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

The opportunities to take pictures are endless on this tour!

What you should know

While there is lots to see for the Harry Potter fan, I would say that younger fans may become impatient. There is a lot of reading to do, as each photograph and prop has a plaque where you can read about how the magic was created.

Paid Photo Opportunities

There are 3 paid photo opportunities. The one we did where you ride a broomstick and the images are superimposed onto a green screen. Images are £15 each or two for £20.

You can have a photograph taken with you popping out of New Scamander’s bag or even get your own ministry of magic pass book made. This costs more I believe but I can’t remember the pricing nor could I find it on their website.

There is so much to see and lots of insider information to learning, particularly from the cast members who are happy to chat and give you the inside scoop.

After lots of reading and magical insights, we made our way into the Butterbeer Bar. It looked a tiny bit like a retro diner mixed with a hobbit’s house – check out some of these booths.

Photograph from GetSurrey website
picture from Third Eye Traveller website

The menu comprised of typical English fare but what most caught our eye was the selection of treats. We had butterbeer and Chocolate frog cupcakes and Gringotts coin cupcakes.

We nabbed a seat in the magical butterbeer bar booth and devoured our treats!

k]

The butterbeer is a unique recipe, made specifically for the Butterbeer Bar and is by far the best formulation yet! Better than Universal Studios, Florida and The Studio Tour in London. £6.95 buys you a bottle of butterbeer and a souvenir tankard. Tankard washing facilities are available so your bag does not get sticky.

We left via the gift shop which, disappointingly didn’t feature any merchandise that I haven’t seen before but we left on a high note having had the best time!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out the video we made on the exhibition, here.

Until next time friends,

Thanks for reading.

Leo

Christmas 2021 · Christmas prep

December Christmas prep: 20th to 25th December

Hello Christmas friends and welcome back to the Christmas prep series. Only a few days left until Christmas! Here’s week four’s prep:

  1. Shop for your perishable items. Don’t forget to add a couple of loaves of fresh bread, milk and eggs to your shopping so that you can make the most of your leftovers after Christmas.
  2. Deliver gifts including edible gifts to friends and neighbours.
  3. Fill up the car for your Christmas travel, check the tyre pressure and oil.
  4. Wipe out the fridge and make space for your last grocery shopping before Christmas.
  5. Do your perishables Christmas shop
  6. Ensure all tablecloths for your Christmas day table are ironed and gather together any other table decorations.
  7. Make a gingerbread house with the kids.
  8. Take out any meat to defrost in the fridge – ideally 2 – 3 days before you intend to cook them. For turkey tips for defrosting and other tips see www.BritishTurkey.org.uk, their calculator’s for defrosting and cooking times are free.

On 23rd

  1. Prepare any desserts for the big day ahead of time and refrigerate.
  2. Cook any vegetables ahead of time. Par boil the potatoes and refrigerate until Christmas day when you want to roast them, roast the parsnips and carrots (until just tender as they will cook slightly when reheating). Sprouts and roast potatoes are best done fresh.
  3. Prepare your stuffing and pigs in blankets if you haven’t already batched them ahead of time. These can then be cooked on Christmas day.
  4. Make fresh mince pies for Christmas day.
  5. Chill any wines or bubbly for Christmas day.
  6. Watch my Christmas dinner video – I will leave the link below so that you can put your nerves at ease!

On 24th

  1. Take out any batched side dishes to defrost in the fridge. If you’ve followed along with my batching recipe videos, the stuffing, bacon wrapped chipolatas, carrots and cauliflower cheese can be cooked from frozen – just allow a few extra minutes of cooking time. The braised red cabbage is already cooked and just requires heating up in the microwave after it has thawed out in the fridge. 
  2. On 24th – make a batch of mince pies (if you are making from scratch)
  3. Prep Christmas eve snacks – as much as you can in advance. Or get a start on Christmas eve dinner.
  4. Check your Christmas dinner plan for tomorrow and see if there’s anything you can do ahead like peeling vegetables or getting dishes ready.
  5. Prep ahead for breakfast if possible.
  6. When the kids have gone to bed – set the table for Christmas day – Christmas breakfast is eaten informally so the table stays nice for Christmas lunch.
  7. Sit by the tree with all the lights off, with your favourite tipple or a bailey’s hot chocolate and relax!

Have a very merry Christmas!

Christmas 2021 · Christmas prep

December Christmas prep: 13th to 19th December

Hello Christmas friends and welcome to week three of December Christmas prep. How are you enjoying the festive season so far? I hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas time and are ready for week three’s prep.

  1. Write up cooking plan for Christmas day – your favourite chef website will have a plan on their website that you can tailor to your own needs.
  2. Set up your Christmas morning toolbox (a shoebox will do) with a set of screw drivers, batteries, black bags and scissors.
  3. Make any edible Christmas gifts.
  4. Set up Christmas eve boxes for the kids.
  5. Get anything grocery wise for Christmas in this week – besides the last minute perishable items.
  6. If you are travelling in your car over the Christmas period, set up an emergency kit for the car including a torch with batteries, water, a fully charged battery power pack, some non-perishable snacks and ensure you have the telephone number of your insurance and recovery service and add these to your mobile phone contacts if you haven’t already.
  7. If you are travelling over the Christmas period, get the suitcases from the loft, place them out of the way and start packing, as you can, for your trip.
  8. Prep the spare room for any guests coming to stay
  9. It’s usually a very long day for parents on Christmas eve because the children are over excited to write down a little plan of action for the day. Previously, we’ve had breakfast, the Christmas eve box contained some colouring in or activities to keep my daughter occupied while I got a few bits ready, we’ve had a lunch out somewhere and a ramble at the local farm, then come home mid-afternoon to decorate our gingerbread house. In the evening we do Christmas party food like canapes, then my daughter has a bath with a lavender bath bomb from her Christmas eve box and gotten into her Christmas pj’s, then we sprinkled reindeer food outside, hung the stockings, left out treats for Father Christmas, watched a Christmas film with hot chocolate, read the night before Christmas and then it was light out!
  10. Get your hair and nails done or if you have your appointment next week, go for a coffee by yourself and read a magazine and enjoy the peace and quiet! 

Until next time friends,

Christmas 2021

December Christmas prep: 6th Nov to 12th Dec 2021

Hello my Christmas friends and welcome to week two of December Christmas prep. I hope you are enjoying the holidays because you have put in the planning before December and can now reap the rewards. Here’s this week’s prep.

  1. Make any edible Christmas gifts if they are able to be made ahead.
  2. Grocery shop for any get togethers or events this week.
  3. Send Christmas cards and presents before the postal cut-off date.
  4. Contribute towards the collection for your children’s teachers or purchase those gifts this week.
  5. Shop for your Christmas groceries – besides those last few perishable items.  Get in your wines or bubbly. Don’t forget the sweets to decorate the gingerbread house.
  6. Have a movie night with your hubby – get your Christmas pj’s on, light the fire, and watch a festive film after the kids have gone to bed.
  7. Give yourself a little pampering – do a face mask and relax in the knowledge that you’ve got Christmas sorted!

Until next week friends,

Christmas 2021 · Christmas prep

December Christmas prep: 29th Nov to 5th Dec 2021

Hello my Christmas friends,

Christmas preparations will be in a weekly format during December to help you stay on track and get things done in small manageable chunks.

  1. Keep up with the Christmas savings and don’t be tempted to dip into your Christmas savings fund for non-Christmas related items! Yes, this does mean that you should save Christmas money this month because whatever cash you have left over from your Christmas savings – can be used in the January sales!
  2. Get the last of your presents wrapped – asap!
  3. Finish writing any Christmas cards.
  4. Grocery shop for any get togethers or events this week.
  5. Grab a couple of gift cards/boxes of chocolates/Boxes of biscuits or bottles of wine to keep on hand, just in case you are given a gift and need to reciprocate in a hurry!
  6. Test smoke alarms and replace batteries if you cannot remember the last time you changed them. This is not a Christmas related thing, however, this is when my calendar reminds me to check my smoke alarms because once upon a time I tested them in the first week of December. I see no reason to change what has become a tradition!
  7. If you haven’t yet, put up your Christmas tree -Have fun with this and let the family help as this creates wonderful memories.
  8. If you haven’t yet, complete your menu plan and shopping list for Christmas week and start buying those items in when you go grocery shopping.
  9. Pamper yourself this week – get yourself a Christmas themed noel and have a lovely bubble bath with a glass of wine – You deserve it!

Until next week friends,

Christmas 2021 · Christmas prep

November Christmas Prep

  • Gifting – our aim is to done with our Christmas shopping and have all presents wrapped by 30 November!
  • Get shopping for the kids Christmas gifts now that they’re written their letters to Father Christmas.
  • Put batteries in the toys that require them before you wrap them. That way they are ready to play with on Christmas morning.
  • If there’s a collection going around for your child’s teacher, consider contributing or add a gift card or bottle of wine to your shopping list.
  • Work Secret Santa names should be out – buy your Secret Santa gift.
  • Plan in when to make edible gifts, write a list of ingredients and write dates of when they need to be made on your calendar.
  • Did you get your advent calendars last month? If not, get them asap!
  • Book in any hair, nail, waxing appointments asap. Bookings go crazy around Christmas and you want to make sure you are looking your best. Not to mention the fact that you deserve a pampering with all the Christmas prep you are doing.
  • Remember those new traditions you had visions of implementing this Christmas? Plan them in now and add anything you need to buy onto your shopping list.
  • Christmas cards:
  • Get Christmas cards printed using one of the family photographs you had taken.
  • Complete your Christmas newsletter and print out ready to send with your cards.
  • Write in all Christmas cards and either buy postage online for each card or buy stamps.
  • Check the Christmas postal cut off dates nationally and abroad (if needed) and mark them on your calendar and in your diary.
  • Plan to double at least three dinners so that you can freeze half for a December night when you are home late or too tired to cook. Things like spaghetti sauce, stews and curries freeze well.
  • Do a clear out of the kid’s rooms to not only recycle or toss old broken toys but look for gently loved toys that your children are happy to donate to charity. Places like doctors rooms or the local playgroup may be very grateful for these.
  • See which charities you would like to support during this time. You might like to make an online donation or take advantage of supermarket collections of toys or food for those less fortunate.
  • Christmas food
  • Continue adding a few non-perishables towards Christmas to your weekly grocery shopping.
  • If you order in any pre-made foods from supermarket catalogues get your order in.
  • Is there anything you can make ahead and freeze towards the North Pole Breakfast?
  • Add disposable oven trays to your shopping list to cook your Christmas meats in! Nobody wants to be scrubbing oven dishes on Christmas day!
  • Decorating:
  • Start putting away any normal home décor in preparation for Christmas decorating.
  • Schedule in any cleaning duties you like to do before you start decorating.
  • Get down the Christmas decorations down. Double check the lights still work!
  • If you are travelling over Christmas, make plans for pet care for pets.
  • Set a Christmas ring tone for your phone if you haven’t already done so!
  • Finalise your Spotify Christmas playlist.
  • Get a festive date night booked into your calendar for you and your partner. It doesn’t have to be to go out-out but at least if it’s in the calendar you are more likely to do it.  You could get a cheeky take away or do a cheese and wine night with a Christmas film.
  • Add medications like antacids, anti-nausea meds, hangover/stomach upset remedies like Lucozade and pain medication to your shopping list.   We once had food poisoning on Christmas day from funky eggs and it’s forever etched in my memory as the most wretched Christmas ever! Be prepared!
  • Set an alarm on your phone to help the Elf on the Shelf with any of his elf antics before you to go to bed.
Christmas 2021

October Christmas Prep 2021

Shopping:

  1. Get the children writing letters to Father Christmas. Tell them the cut-off date is 1 November or Father Christmas cannot guarantee the elves will have time to make their gifts.

2. By now, you should have a nice Christmas fund and Christmas lists from your children and significant other. If you haven’t already, start buying gifts.  Keep a running list of what gifts you’ve bought and where you’ve hidden them in your planner or on your phone. If you have been buying gifts all year long, well done! Finish off any gift buying this month.

3. If you get your groceries delivered weekly because you shop online, check out your supermarket’s online deliver saver policy and consider signing up. Some stores offer a priority Christmas delivery slot which might interest you. Read the small print to ensure you do get a priority Christmas slot!

4. Before meat prices inflate for the festive season, buy any roasts such as pork, beef and even gammon and freeze them.

5. Order your turkey or Christmas meats. Please make sure your turkey fits your oven!  And remember, you don’t need a turkey the size of small cow to feed 6 people. You don’t want to be left with a mountain of turkey after the big day and land up eating it indefinitely. Ask the butcher for advice on what size turkey you will need and how long it will take to defrost said turkey. Also, consider if you have oven dishes or tins big enough to cook the turkey. If not, list down what you need and add it to your master shopping list.

6. Make a list of any events that you will all require special outfits for such as Christmas day.  Add these items to your list and keep a look out when you go shopping.

7. Buy your stamps and start writing Christmas cards.

8. If you need a new tree, order a new Christmas tree if you did not pick one up at the sales.

9. Start buying advent calendar stuffers if you have a reusable advent calendar or shop online for those desirable Lego, perfume, make up, candles, posh stationery, gin and tonic advent calendars that always sell out.

10. Purchase travel insurance if you are travelling over the festive period and book a car if necessary.

Food:

  1. Finalise your Christmas menu plan.

2. Have a freezer clear out! Toss all those lumpy bags of ‘who-knows-what’ because you didn’t label and date them. You’re making way for all the Christmas goodies you intend to buy or make to freeze.  While you’re at it, if your freezer is competing with Jack Frost, defrost it and give it a good wipe down.

3. When your Christmas menu plan is all done and your freezer is cleared out, you can now start baking/cooking and freezing to get ahead with your Christmas food prep.  If you decorate your tree with gingerbread men and stars, make your gingerbread dough and freeze. Make and freeze mince pie pastry and cookie dough too. Make those chipolatas wrapped in bacon and stuffing balls ahead of time and freeze them. Get your Christmas cakes and puddings made. Perhaps arrange to bake with a friend or maybe have a virtual Bake and Banter to get these made.  Mark on your calendar when to feed the cakes over the coming weeks.

Bookings:

5. Start working on your Christmas Elf antics and make a list of anything that needs to be bought to bring your elf plans to life.

6. Book family days out such as visits to see Father Christmas, the local Pantomime or other such concerts and events.

7. Book an oven cleaner for November. If you clean your own oven, place the date down on your calendar and in your diary for the last week of November.

8. If you’re having professional Christmas photos taken, book a date with the photographer.

Planning:

  1. As dates for nativity concerts and local events come in, put them into the calendar to make sure you don’t miss an opportunity to make merry and enjoy the season.

2. Schedule when you want to cook, batch, bake and freeze, make your Christmas cake into your calendar and stick to your plan.

3. Make a list of any special crafts or baking you want to do with the kids over the Christmas festive period and note down any supplies that need to be purchased in your Christmas planner. Schedule in when you want to do these in your planner.

4. Mark the date to remove the turkey from the freezer on your calendar so you don’t forget. It may take several days to defrost in your fridge.

5. Continue adding a few non-perishables towards Christmas to your weekly grocery shopping.

Other:

  1. If you’re decided to go for a whole new colour scheme for Christmas this year, look through your Christmas decorations and see what you can reuse.

2. Wrap any presents you bought in the sales and label clearly. If you are using gift tags instead of those gift label stickers, make sure they are on good and tight! Nothing worse than finding a gift without a tag and not knowing who it was for.

3. Keep up with your Christmas newsletter if you’re doing one.

Christmas prep · The Best Christmas Yet

September Christmas Prep 2021

  1. Keep up with the Christmas savings and don’t be tempted to dip into your Christmas savings fund for non-Christmas related purchases!
  2. If you are spending Christmas abroad of somewhere that requires flights or train tickets, then get these booked as soon as possible.
  3. Ensure your passports are still in date for any travel over the festive season.
  4. With the kids back at school, give the family that you usually spend Christmas day/Boxing day with a call and decide between you who will be hosting. Get a rough idea of who will be bringing what part of the meal.  If you are hosting, you might like to do the starter, turkey and roast potatoes, while others might like to bring pre-cooked side veggies or desserts. 
  5. Add dates when family or friends will be staying with you to your calendar and schedule time in a week before they arrive in your diary to freshen up your guest room. Decide if you need to buy new bedding or towels? If so, add these to your master shopping list.
  6. Start getting a rough idea of your Christmas menu plan. It may be the same from year to year with little variation but if not, jot down a rough idea of what you’d like to prepare. You can borrow recipe books from the library or keep a look out for Christmas magazines for inspiration.
  7. Start adding a few bits of non-perishable food items towards Christmas (for a hand list check out this post) to your weekly grocery shop to spread the cost of your Christmas grocery items. You can pay for these items separately using your dedicated Christmas fund.
  8. Finish up with any homemade Christmas cards, tags, crafts and gifts.
  9. Check websites for places you would usually go to for pantomimes, visits to Father Christmas/Santa and diarize when bookings open. If bookings have already opened, book what you can using your dedicated Christmas fund.
  10. Keep up with your Christmas newsletter if you are doing on this year.
Christmas 2021 · food

Tesco Christmas Food Range 2021

Hello Christmas friends,

I love a little sneak peek and grocery store Christmas foods always excite me. The possibilities and menu options seem to be endless and I love to mix and match items from various stores. Today we’re looking at good ol’ Tesco.

I’ve had to do my scouting on the internet to find out what’s available but one of these days, since The Best Christmas Yet is THE place on the internet for all things Christmas related, I will be invited to all the sneak peek events in July. But for now, I will have to play Inspector Gadget and do my own sleuthing.

Let’s start with some appetizers.

These TESCO FINEST TRUFFLE MAC & CHEESE balls are a must for all mac & cheese lovers and will be available from 11 October. They’re nuggets of truffle infused mac & cheese rolled in crispy breadcrumbs and a pack of 12 will set you back £4.

Mac and cheese with a hint of truffle and topped with golden breadcrumbs.

Cheese? Yes please! Available on 15 November, this TESCO FINEST BAKING BRIE with festive fruits like fig and citrus peel, walnuts and brandy glaze will be sure you go to bed on Christmas eve with visions of sugar plums dancing in your head. Anyone else get crazy cheese dreams? This gorgeous looking delight will set you back a mere £6 and would be very welcome on a festive buffet.

Brie garnished with festive fruits, walnuts and a brandy glaze.

Move over stuffing balls and make way for a stuffing wreath! TESCO FINEST PORK, DARK CHEERY & SMOKED CHESTNUT STUFFING GARLAND £6 available from 22 November is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Port infused pork stuffing with smoked chestnuts, dark cherries and dates
Port infused pork stuffing with smoked chestnuts, dark cherries and dates

This pork based wreath is made with pork, port, smoked chestnuts, dark cherries, dates, orange zest and herbs and will have your family thinking you slaved all day in a hot kitchen. It serves 10 people, looks fantastic and proves you don’t have to work hard if you work smart this Christmas.

Moving on to puddings…

Anybody else love a little bit of speculoos? Affectionately known in our house as hairdresser biscuits? Tesco is doing a £4 SPECULOOS PROFITEROLE GATEAU that promises to get your tastebuds going gaga.

It’s a a speculoos spiced sponge layered with sauce and topped with profiteroles and topped with more crunchy speculoos. Sounds like a winner to me.

Available 1 November.

The sponge of this tart is flavoured with shortbread biscuit

I couldn’t find any info about that cute as can be rudolph cake in the background but keep your eyes open for him to delight the kids.

Let us feast our eyes upon this glimmering gold pudding for a moment.

Tesco has pulled out a showstopper this year with this BLACKFOREST CHRISTMAS PUDDING that’s packed with fruit, cherries and chocolate chunks.

Image Of Tesco Finest Black Forest Christmas Pudding

For those free from customers, never fear, Tesco free from is here!

TESCO FREE FROM CARAMEL FLAVOUR CHOC SMASH BAUBLE is filled with white and milk chocolate buttons and looks like a kid friendly treat. I’m wondering if I can find a mug big enough because that looks like it will make a wicked hot chocolate!

TESCO FINEST FREE FROM CHRISTMAS PUDDING is a matured Christmas pudding with boozy brandy-soaked cherries infused with cider. It’s another yes from me.

Tesco Free From Caramel Flavour Choc Smash Bauble - Christmas 2021

I went and saved the very best for last. If you’re anything like me, you love a little bit of Baileys at Christmas, but look what I found!

Tesco has upped their game this TESCO FINEST GINGERBREAD LATTE CREAM LIQUEUR that is available in stores RIGHT NOW!

*jumps in the car and goes straight to Tesco for 3 bottles*

Tesco Finest Gingerbread Latte ICL - Christmas 2021

What have you got your beady eye on from the Tesco range this year?

Christmas 2021 · food · Sneak peek

Waitrose Christmas Food Range 2021

Hello Christmas friends,

I don’t know about you but I love a little moo moo sharoo sneak peek. Someone on the Best Christmas Facebook group posted that Waitrose has released details of some of their Christmas food for 2021 and I for one am extremely excited! I love knowing what’s coming, and if I like the look of the products, I add them to my Christmas food menues.

Waitrose is known in the industry for offering top quality products and as their Christmas food selection; particularly the desserts and bakery section; is in conjunction with the renowned British Chef Heston Blumenthal, you can almost guarantee some sort of spin on quintessential British classics. This year’s selection does not disappoint!

Going through the list, my mouth is watering and I can’t decide what to put on my list. Let’s begin with the appetizers that have caught my eye.

Always struggling for vegetarian appetizers that look the part for Aunt Mabel’s annual visit? This selection of SAVOURY VEGETABLE TARTS are vegan and made with mushroom and leek in puff pastry will leave her wanting more. £5

WaitrosePartnersPressPack_Christmas2021_12SavouryVegetablePiesVegan_HIGHRES

For the more adventurous among us that want something a little different, how about the MIXED DIM SUM WITH A SPICY SOY SAUCE. At £6, you can enjoy authentic flavours without the restaurant price tag.

The colours are jewel toned and perfect to pile high for a sumptuous platter and include purple king prawn har gow, green vegetable gyoza and four king prawn siu mai dim sum served with a spicy soy based dipping sauce. A far cry from the usual limp looking samosas and beige chicken nuggets.

WaitrosePartnersPressPack_Christmas2021_12MixedDimSumwithaSpicySoySauce_LifestyleHIGHRES

The Christmas eve or Christmas day centre pieces are sure to be a crowd pleaser. They have a venison, fish, lamb and even a vegan option; something for everyone.

Some countries celebrate on Christmas eve with a fish supper known as the feast of the seven fishes. This first dish, at £30 will take care of at least three of those fishes. Known as the THREE FISH ROAST, this incredible looking dish features an outer layer of Scottish salmon fillet surrounding cod and smoked haddock with spinach in lemon and dill butter. It’s the perfect light option to serve on Christmas eve before the excess of Christmas day.

WaitrosePartnersPressPack_Christmas2021_ThreeFishRoast_HIGHRES

This VEGAN JEWELLED ROAST WITH A FRUITY CENTRE caught my eye as it is perfect to accompany a meat dish if you fancy a more substantial veggie side dish, or, serve to your family vegetarian and make their heart sing. The humble nut roast got a glam makeover!

WaitrosePartnersPressPack_Christmas2021_VeganJewelledRoastwithaFruityCentre_LifestyleHIGHRES

It not only looks the part with the jewel toned cranberries but the savoury mushroom based roast with sweet caramelised onions, chestnuts and Christmas spiced apricot centre looks delicious. The topping is a crunchy dream of apricots, cranberries, chestnuts, sunflower seeds and pine nuts. At a very reasonable £5.99 it won’t break the bank.

Never fear! Our meat eaters have not been forgotten!

WaitrosePartnersPressPack_Christmas2021_BonelessLegOfLamb_HIGHRES

The BONELESS LEG OF BRITISH LAMB WITH APRICOT AND ROSEMARY served on Christmas day will help you look like you slaved the day away. At £22, the whole boneless leg of lamb with orange and apricot stuffing is a reasonably priced indulgence and even comes garnished with dried apricots and rosemary.

If lamb isn’t your thing, this ULTIMAT SLOW-COOKED BRITISH PORK BELLY FEAST WITH CRACKLING £30, will hit the spot.

WaitrosePartnersPressPack_Christmas2021_UltimateCracklingSlowCookedBritishPorkBellyFeast_SquareHIGHRES

Of course it’s British pork with bone-in and has been slow cooked for 10 hours to create mouthwatering meat with a crisp crackling. Of course you can add gravy, but the dish is served with a spicy apple and cider sauce so you definitely won’t need the apple sauce.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Whether you do cheese as a cheese and wine meal or after the Christmas roast, Waitrose won’t let you down. We have two different Camembert selections this year!

If you’re a Camembert fan, you won’t want to miss this BAKING CAMEMBERT WITH TRUFFLE AND ACACIA HONEY. At £3.75, it’s a steal. Serve with fresh baguette or vegetable crudités and you’re on to a winner.

Or, skip the crudités and try this BAKING CAMEMBERT WITH GARLIC DOUGHBALL WREATH at £6.50.

Perfect for sharing, just bake this tear & share doughball wreath and let the olive oil, garlic and parsley scent waft through the house luring the hungry to the table and let them dip the cheesy, doughy goodness into the caramelised red onion and sherry vinegar chutney.

Anybody for a MOCHA CHOCCA WENSLEYDALE? It’s only £3 and if you’re a Wensleydale fan, or indeed a coffee fan, you’re definitely going to want to scoop a few of these up.

I can’t remember ever having heard of a coffee Wensleydale but it’s sure to jazz up your cheese platter and possibly negate the need for a coffee with an After Eight mint? Or not!

And moving swiftly on to desserts.

Each year, I wait patiently to find out what Heston Blumenthal has up his festive sleeves and once again, I am not disappointed. Feast your eyes on these!

It’s called the HESTON FROM WAITROSE ESPRESSO MARTINI CHOCOLATE TORTE £12 and all I can say is, “Oh, Heston, you had me a espresso!”

This indulgence is a wafer biscuit base, topped with chocolate sponge soaked in espresso martini and topped with salted caramel ganache. Just take my money!

Another Heston creation, the HESTON FOR WAITROSE GIANT CRACKING PENNY £20 is sure to be a hit with the family.

Inspired by the the golden chocolate coins found in Christmas stockings up and down the country on CHristmas day, this glimmering Belgian chocolate crisp outer shell surrounds a chocolate mousse, hazelnut ganache with snuggling up to a chocolate hazelnut base. Don’t mind if I do!

If you’re not a chocolate fan then don’t worry, there’s something for you too. How about this RASPBERRY AND VANILLA PANNA COTTA STAR (price TBC).

Indulgent vanilla panna cotta crowned with raspberry jelly is sure to be just what busting bellies need after Christmas lunch.

But what about all those opportunities before Christmas day? You know the elevenses and teatimes and breakfast times that can’t be bothered with toast. Waitrose has your back!

I have been impressed by the continental selection of treats that Waitrose has to offer each year and this year is no different.

How about this NO. 1 SICILIAN ORANGE NOCCIOLATO PANETTONE for £14? Would you just look at the crispy topping on that.

I can just imagine the flavour of this lightly toasted candied peel and Arancia Rossa di Sicilia IGP Sicilian blood orange paste with the crunchy hazelnut, almond and sugar strand topping. Anybody want a cuppa with that?

It’s not a party without a cake, right? For a touch of Italian flare, this GIANDUIA TORTA DE FESTA for £8.50 is the perfect thing to take along as a hostess gift, for the staff room on the last day of school before the Christmas holidays or for breakfast on Christmas morning.

If you’ve never heard of a Gianduia Torte de festa, it’s the difference btween a panettone and a pandoro and has a hazelnut and chocolate filling with a dark chocolate topping covered in chopped hazelnuts.

Of course these are only some of the festive treats that will be on offer at Waitrose this festive season. I will be doing videos and updated on the Best Christmas Yet channel to show you the range as soon as it hits stores in November.

I know which if these are on my shopping list! What’s caught your eye?