What is Christmas if not a time to indulge in delicious festive food? Whether you are a dab hand at all things culinary or you take a more 'ready-made' approach, every household will enjoy this selection of appetising bites and beverages. From sweet snacks to savoury delights, fill your cupboards with these traditional, mouth-watering treats this season.
Surely the first item on every festive grocery list, mince pies are a fruit pudding that we simply never tire of. Luxurious, aromatic and the perfect size to snack on at any time of day, a plate of mince pies will disappear as quickly as you put it down. Serve warm with brandy butter.
What could be better than warming your hands around a cup of mulled wine? A rich blend of fragrant spices and sweet fruit, it is a festive staple. For family gatherings, cranberry punch is a delicious, alcohol-free alternative for children.
A cheeseboard provides the perfect savoury break from the myriad of sweet treats on any Christmas table. The trick is in the timing, so group cheese in with those other last minute purchases. And for the selection most chefs agree less is more when it comes to choice, so opt for larger servings of a small selection of different flavours.
This German import has become a regular among English Christmas spreads and serves as an alternative to Christmas cake for those with varied palettes. The dense bread is scattered with nuts, dried fruit and cinnamon. It can be flavoured with a rope of marzipan through the centre and dusted with icing sugar for an extra hint of sweetness.
Whether it comes in house form or not, gingerbread is a delectable blend of sweet and spicy and a must-have for festive feasts. It is also simple to make; a wonderful baking project for over the Christmas period. Hang gingerbread biscuits from your tree as edible decorations for a rustic touch.
Roasted chestnuts are a much overlooked but tasty Christmas snack. It is as simple as slicing into each nut and popping them into the oven to roast for 30 minutes. Let the aroma fill your home and peel back the skin to reveal the delicious delicacy inside.
No festive meal is complete without a flaming Christmas Pudding at the table. Full to bursting with fruit and flavour, it is ideal for early preparers as it matures beautifully; the flavours becoming richer as it ages for up to a month. Serve with brandy butter for an extra layer of indulgence.