Christmas dinner winners: What to bring to the festive table
Published 08 December 2023

Credit: Toklas

Preserves and pies, single-origin hot chocolate, Christmas pudding with Pedro Ximénez and Alsace bacon. Whatever you're planning to bring to the Christmas table this year, we've collected a list of our favourites from top restaurants and their suppliers, from the pantry all the way through to the after dinner mints.

All items are available for national delivery unless otherwise specified.


Christmas tableRestaurant Story An Apple a Day Vinegar
If there's ever a time to spend £35 on vinegar, it's at Christmas. A collaboration between Tom Sellers and top Canadian vinegar makers Minus 8, this is a concotion of fermented frozen apples and Canadian maple vinegar. The Good Food Guide's editor Elizabeth Carter is on her second bottle: 'Use it in dressings, to cut rich buttery sauces, or for anything that needs a gentle acidic hit.'
£35; restaurantstory.co.uk

Rooted Spices Christmas Trio
For anyone with ground ginger languishing in their cupboard from 2004, this little trio of concientiously sourced single-origin spices is a guaranteed blast of flavour for Christmas baking and cooking.
£14.95; shop.rootedspices.com
christmas tableSimon Rogan Fig Leaf Syrup
It’s hard to choose just one thing from Simon Rogan’s tempting online larder, most of which comes from his 12-acre farm just outside Cartmel. This grassy, fragrant fig leaf syrup will add a sophisticated accent to desserts or will jazz up your cocktail repertoire.
£4; simonrogan.co.uk

christmas tableDorset Pastry Organic Puff Pastry
Another secret ingredient in editor Elizabeth Carter's pantry is this restaurant-grade all-butter puff pastry. Once you've made your mince pies and salmon en croute with it, there's no going back to Jus-Rol.
£5.50; dorsetpastry.com

Christmas table

Dishoom Cranberry-Chilli Chutney
Spice up your turkey sandwiches with this limited edition jammy cranberry and chilli chutney from Dishoom. Also suitable for homemade bacon naans and the Christmas cheeseboard.
£6.80; store.dishoom.com

Poon's London Extraordinary Chilli Oil
Star Ottolenghi recipe developer Helen Goh was so enamoured with this aromatic chilli oil from the Poon family of restaurateurs that it’s now jarred and sold to a dedicated fan club, and was this year was awarded two stars from The Guild of Fine Foods.
£6.80; poons-pantry.com


christmas tableGothelney Farm The Nose to Tail Pork Box
One of the country’s best pig farmers, Fred Price, rears his animals on diverse herbal leys at his small family farm in Somerset (follow @gothelneyfarmer on Instagram for cheering piglet content). The quality of the meat is favoured by Super8 restaurants (Mountain, Brat, Smoking Goat, Kiln) but is also available for home delivery. The Nose to Tail box includes 4kg of pork ranging from gammon joints to belly strips, copper steaks and mince.
£60; gothelneyfarmer.co.uk
christmas tableBowhouse Organic, Fully Pasture Fed Beef
'Grass-fed' can mean grass makes up as little as 51% of an animal's diet. For the best flavour and optimum nutritional content - not to mention a better environmental impact - look for fully pasture fed meat. One excellent source is the Butchery at Bowhouse where organic, slowly reared, rare breed stock comes directly from the Balcaskie Estate in the East Neuk of Fife. If it's good enough for The Kinneuchar Inn, it's good enough for your Christmas table. Extra aged (hung for 12+ weeks) rolled beef joints are available from £25.

christmas tableCadet's Pâté En Croûte
Unless you're a chef, a croûte nut or a regular at Cadet, you might not have heard of George Jephson, the master charcutier who recently represented the UK at the Pâté-Croûte World Championship in Lyon. Jephson's impeccable pies, parfaits, sausages and hams are available for home delivery, as are a selection of matching prints from his partner, the musician and artist, Laura Marling.
From £38; meatfishcheese.com

christmas tableSally Clarke Chicken, Mushroom and Leek Pie
Clarke's Notting Hill bakery is known to turn out tens of thousands of mince pies at Christmas, but we're partial to picking up one of the beautiully turned out pies. (Available for collection and local delivery only.)
£36; sallyclarke.com

Crab Claws from Wright Bros Ltd
Avoid the murky waters of the farmed salmon versus wild salmon debate and go for an altogether classier canapé of sustainably caught Devon crab claws. Also excellent for a starter or in a pasta dish.
£37 for 1kg; thewrightbrothers.co.uk


Moor Hall's Pecan, Maple Syrup and Alsace Bacon Christmas Pudding
A world class Christmas pudding from a World Class-rated restaurant. This creation, handmade by Mark Birchall and his team, incorporates orange, pecan, Pedro Ximénez and Alsace smoked bacon before being matured for 18 months. Every pudding sold includes a donation to local charity Sandy Park Café and one lucky pudding recipient will find a golden ticket enclosed, inviting them for a dinner for two at Moor Hall.
£65; shop.moorhall.com

Panettone Galup via Natoora
For a truly Italian panettone, consider buying yours from the Ferrua family who have been using the same mother yeast for the past 100 years.
£30; natoora.com

Pollen Bakery Basque Cheesecake
Manchester's cult bakery is hawking an incredibly tempting array of Christmas confection on their webshop. This silky, creamy cheesecake is guaranteed to be an understated star of the table.
£45; pollenbakery.com

Florian Poirot Macarons
Malton-based master patissier Florian Poirot turns out a selection of classic French confectionary but is best known for his exceptionally good macarons. Current seasonal specials include chocolate-mandarin, ginger, and orange blossom.
£20; florianpoirot.com
Honey & Co Mini Chocolate & Hazelnut Babka
Their online shop is fit to burst with festive Middle Eastern treats but perhaps the best to bring to the table (or send a friend) is their rich brioche-like babka, generously laced with chocolate and hazelnuts.
£15; shop.honeyandco.co.uk

Hill St. Gourmet Christmas Selection Box
Jamie Oliver selected Saffron Walden-based chocolatiers Hill St to supply the after-dinner chocolates at his new Catherine St restaurant and having sampled a few, filled with fresh mint ganache, we can confirm they are superb. The jewel-like selection boxes will arrive gift wrapped and beautifully presented.
£52.50; hill.st

Makan Malaysia Sambal & Snack Gift Box
Duo Kat and Sue cook excellent small-batch authentic Malaysian dishes for home delivery. For Christmas, their gift box of sambal treats from pineapple tarts to their jar of fiery sambal is perfect for perking up the festive snack selection.
£26; makanmalaysia.co.uk

Toklas Festive Hamper
Filled with chocolate-dipped pomelo, ginger molasses cookies, Todoli citrus marmalade and quince-filled mince pies, this spectacular hamper from Toklas bakery is as interesting as it is delicious.

£60; toklas.slerp.com

The Courtyard Dairy Christmas Cheese Selection
This Christmas selection from one of the country's top British cheese purveyors includes a tangy 14-month-old cheddar, buttery Baron Bigod brie, a fudgy Sparkenhoe Blue, a rich Lancashire, and a light Cumbrian goats' cheese.
£46; thecourtyarddairy.co.uk


Tayer + Elementary Bottled Christmas Cocktails
This ready-to-drink selection box from award-winning cocktail bar Tayer + Elementary may look minimalist, but it's what's inside that counts. The trio includes a mince pie negroni, xmas pudding sour and gingerbread old fashioned.
£35; tayer-elementary.com

A distillation of 14 Scottish botanicals from blackcurrant leaf to sugar kelp lends depth and interest to this genuinely great gin alternative. It's favoured by tastemaker and non-drinker Jackson Boxer and can be found on the drinks menu at his restaurant Orasay.
£26.35; feragaia.com
Zingi Bear Organic Ginger Switchel
This gently fiery switchel is one of the few soft drinks to keep things interesting for non-drinkers. Not too sweet and without preservatives, flavourings or additives, it’s great served over ice with fresh lemon or ginger (or both).
£42 for 12; zingibear.com

Round Hill Roastery La Claudina Coffee
'I've never had a bad coffee from Round Hill,' says The Good Food Guide's resident coffee expert. 'Gentle, nuanced flavours and roasting for filter or espresso make them more accessible than most speciality purveyors.'
£15; roundhillroastery.com

Be-oom Black & Cinnamon Tea
Be-oom is a Korean teahouse sourcing carefully from small, family-run tea farms in Hadong and Boseong, home to unique terroirs and a long history of tea production. The smoky, woody black and cinnamon tea blend is a perfect winter tea and a much-needed digestive aid after all the feasting.
£22; be-oom.com

Bare Bones 70% Madagascan Hot Chocolate
This micro-batch Glasgow chocolatier, run by young couple Lara and Cameron, specialise in single origin bean-to-bar creations with exceptional flavour. The 70% Madagascan hot chocoloate flakes have picked up awards but there's also a Christmas special with 70% Peruvian flakes giving off notes of deep chocolate, salted caramel and hazlenut.
£11.25; bareboneschocolate.co.uk