What’s New plus… Five of the Best Mince Pies

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Tree-ly scrumptious

For those seeking to extend their bauble repertoire, Fortnum & Mason have introduced a whole new world of culinary tree decorations: lobsters, hampers, tea caddies, tea trays and cake stands, pheasants, teapots, champagne bottles and Christmas puds

Christmas tree baubles from £15, available at Fortnum & Mason, fortnumandmason.com

Vallebona’s Panettone

Terrific Panettones made to a secret recipe by a family company based in Turin. The panettone are made with natural yeast, loaded with butter and oozing chocolate. Vallebonna hand-wrap them in a branded box decorated – if that’s how you like your panettone dressed – with an optional homemade wool pom-pom. Perfect gifts

Panettone from [email protected] from £15 for a plain panettone, from £16 for chocolate, visit vallebona.co.uk

Christmas Box

Field & Flower, purveyors of high-welfare British meat since 2011, have launched a new Christmas range. Products include a bespoke Christmas Day Box (from £65), a game box sourced in Somerset, largely from the Mells Estate, the Barrow Farm Shoot, and Castlemead Farm (£49), a cheese and charcuterie box (£59). Top Christmas items this year include free-range turkeys and geese (from Castlemead Farm, Somerset), honey-glazed hams, three-bird roasts, luxury pork pies, cranberry and clementine stuffing.

Christmas boxes from Field & Flower, last orders 9pm, Sunday, 16th December, visit fieldandflower.co.uk


Stop press:

A proper Christmas treat awaits those who stop by for a cocktail at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair – this year’s Connaught Christmas tree is designed by Royal Academician Sir Michael Craig-Martin CBE. The nine-foot tall Norway Spruce has been decorated by Sir Michael with a single strand of 12,000 bulbs which perform a magical light show of changing colours that glow, fade, sparkle and pulse. It’s simple, unexpected and totally mesmerising

The Connaught, Carlos Place London W1. The Christmas tree will be lit until the first week in January


Plus… Five of the Best Mince Pies

Konditor & Cook

All butter pastry, vegetarian mincemeat, good mix of fruit, orange notes

Box of 12, £16, visit konditorandcook.com/box-of-12-mince-pies.html

Marks & Spencer

All butter shortcrust pastry, deep filled with citrus flavoured mix of sultanas, currants, cranberries, Clementine cherries and brandy, decorated with pastry star and sugar dusting

Collection Mince Pies, box of 6, £2.50 visit marksandspencer.com

Betty’s of Harrogate

All-butter pastry, in-house mincemeat recipe using a mix of vine fruits, golden cherries, almonds, stem ginger and seasonal spices, soaked in sherry. The speciality box contains six continental Frangipane Mince Pies and six Ricciarelli Mince Pies

Speciality mince pies, box of 12, £12.50 visit bettys.co.uk/speciality-mince-pies-box-of-12

Highgrove

Organic mini mince pies, good pastry, brandy-soaked fruit made in the UK to Highgrove’s own recipe. Packaging adorned with the Prince of Wales’s feathers

Mini Mince pies, box of 12, £9.95 visit highgrovegardens.com/mini-mince-pies.html

Morrisons

Rated Number One mince pie by Good Housekeeping in their 2018 taste test. These traditional deep-filled pies with notes of brandy, cinnamon and cloves, in a sweet and sticky mince meat with a slightly ‘boozy flavour’, scored 83/100

Morrison’s mince pies, box of 6 £2 visit groceries.morrisons.com


Mince pies photo credit: neil cummings on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA