What’s hot plus… Five of the best Mince Pies

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Borough Box

An on-line version of London’s famous Borough Market. Boroughbox.com can supply produce from the Borough’s stalls, Christmas treats and boxes of artisanal food and drink. Highlights include: Prosecco and Cheese box (French Comte cheeses, truffle oil, fig jam, £74.99); Foodie Box (products from Nudo, Love Cocoa, Joe’s teas, Smoky Brae and Fox gourmet, £99.99); and the Mini Man Box (mini box, as opposed to mini man, charcuterie and craft beer, £14.95). Visit boroughbox.com


A new Andean superfruit which might be just the thing for the kind of pre-Christmas fatigue not banished by a stiff drink… the Ecuadorean Goldenberry is raw-dried, high in fibre and potassium,Vitamins A and C and is a possible help in the reduction of tiredness. They taste great too.

Goldenberry, £2.59/90g from Waitrose, Ocado or visit naturesheartsuperfoods.co.uk

Taittinger Champagne

The Taittinger story begins with a Château – the  glorious 18th century Château de la Marquetterie at Pierry in Champagne. Pierre Taittinger was stationed here during the First World War and fell in love with the region and the house. He vowed to return after the war and, in the 1930s, he went back to Champagne, bought  the Chateau and founded Taittinger, the iconic Champagne House. This  sumptuous cuvée is made in his memory from the grapes grown in ‘Les Folies’, the vineyard that surrounds the Château. A Chardonnay, Pinot Noir blend, Taittinger is made only in tiny amounts from the first pressings. Depth and finesse are enhanced by a small proportion of the blend being fermented in large oak casks and from extended ageing on its lees. Unusual in that it is a single vineyard Champagne, it oozes style and panache with a little extra weight – made with foodies in mind.  Taittinger was awarded Gold medals in both the Decanter World Wine Awards and International Wine Challenge awards last year.

Available from Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, thechampagnecompany.com, champagnedirect.com Taittinger.com. For local stockists contact info@hatch.co.uk, Twitter: TaittingerUK , Instagram: taittinger_UK

4218582012_413521f7dd_o-1084x650Five of the best… Mince Pies


So sought after are the mini-mince pies from this hipster East London bakery that they’re regularly biked across town. The secret is in the mincemeat – a spicy mix of English apples, candied peel and brandy-plumped sultanas and currants. £14 for 9. To order,  info@violetcakes.com or visit Broadway Market, London E8. Also available at General Store Peckham generalsto.re  

Betty’s Classic Mince Pies

Betty’s mincemeat recipe is a crowd-pleasing combination of vine fruits, golden cherries, almonds, stem ginger and sherry-soaked spices. Cheer up the wan-looking pastry with a 5 min warm through in the oven.  Available to order from 14 December. £10 for 12, bettys.co.uk

Riverford Organic Mince Pies

Endearingly wonky these handmade mince-pies smell as good a they taste. Generously filled with an organic mincemeat of vine fruit, citrus peel, Bramley apples and a good slosh of brandy. £4.99 for 6, riverford.co.uk

M&S Gluten Free Mince Pies

One of the few gluten-free mince pies to avoid an overly-sweet pastry, these zesty mincers have a dedicated following.  Adorned with a seasonal star, and dusted with sugar. Contain milk.  £2.50 for 4  marksandspencer.com

Bertinet Kitchen Mince Pies

Bertinet’s mince pies are hard to beat: a rich shortcrust pastry filled with rum-infused mincemeat and topped with frangipane and flaked almonds. They come packaged in an attractive wooden box. £16 for 12, thebertinetkitchen.com

For Mrs Beeton’s Mincemeat recipe visit breadandoysters.com/recipes