Marks & Spencer, aka M&S, has pulled on our heartstrings once again this year and delivered the most spectacular spread of Christmas party food.
At this time of year, if it’s not a table full of picky bits, we don’t want it.
We want every single meal presented in buffet format, and every single plate to feature a tiny portion of pastry, something on a cocktail stick, something else on a skewer, something with a piece of fruit jammed on top and some sort of novelty cheese.
Every year the supermarkets clear out space in the fridges for their selection of Christmas party food – but we all know that M&S is king when it comes to completely excessive creations for the festive season.
And the best bit? It’s all priced on a 4-for-3 offer, so you can get a free extra when you buy three items.
Here are some of the best party food items we found in store.
This is not just any picky tea… this is an M&S picky tea.
Party food? Sorry, I thought you said pâté food
Has Heston Blumenthal got a side-hustle at M&S that he’s not telling us about?
This year’s Christmas party food features duck live parfait cleverly disguised as little clementines – adorable.
And on the same theme as unnecessarily-shaped party food, M&S also has a ‘picture perfect antipasti wreath’, which as far as we can tell is just a normal antipasti platter but in a circle.
The show-stopping party-winners
You know the sort of family buffet where everyone’s asked to contribute a special item? These are the ones that will get your Aunt Linda absolutely seething with envy.
Imagine being the smug git who rocks up with steamed bao decorated in immaculate reindeer faces, or a cheesy garlic doughball sharer in the shape of a literal Christmas tree?
Not to mention the one M&S picky bit item that set our literal hearts racing – the pulled ham and rarebit crumpets.
Sign us up for those brownie points.
Battered cheese… chedd-are you listening now?
We can all agree that a cheeseboard is one of the best bits of Christmas – but imagine it all being BATTERED.
M&S has got arancini balls laced with cheddar cheese and a creamy sauce, all rolled up in breadcrumbs, plus halloumi fries with a sweet chilli sip, and even melt-in-the-middle profiteroles made with cheddar instead of cream.
This is how I would like all my profiteroles to be from this day forward thank you.
This is how M&S views a take-away and it is, naturally, *fancy*.
There are teeny chip-shop style sausages in a salt and vinegar batter, with proper chippy curry sauce for dipping.
There’s also spring rolls stuffed with normal burger fillings – British beef, gherkins, and caramelised onions.
Plus chicken doughnut dippers, which are… well, chicken dippers but round with a hole in the middle.
Nice to meat you
Oh yeah of course M&S has gone extremely high-brow with its charcuterie bits. What did you expect?
You can buy an entire joint of Spanish serrano ham, and just feel like an absolute boss carving tiny slithers off it in its wooden stand and special knife (included).
Or you can cheat a little and buy an entire board, beautifully assembled for you so you just whip the clingfilm off and pretend you’re an Insta-goddess.
And then there are cheeses in the shape of snowflakes. Obviously.
Featured image: The Hoot Leeds
The Oast House confirms return of legendary Christmas tipi with twinkling lights and festive cocktails
The Oast House has confirmed that its legendary Christmas tipi draped in twinkling lights is set to return for the festive season.
And there’s really not long left to wait now before the magic arrives.
The popular Spinningfields venue’s winter tipi has played its part in brining the festive spirit to Manchester for the past 11 years now, so it’s fair to say it’s become something of an institution – and now, with the air getting nippier by the day, The Oast House has given Mancs the news they’ve been waiting for.
That’s right, The TeePee is back once again for another year, and it’s set to open for the festive season in just a couple of weeks time.
Complete with two roaring fires, twinkling fairy lights, faux fur throws, The Teepee will be made up of three tents joined together with a huge open hub, and is all sounding set to be a popular spot for locals and those who’ve finished a hard day at work during the colder months.
Set to reopen on Wednesday 11 October, and then staying open to festive revellers every day of the week throughout the winter, The Teepee is famed for its free live music, house-cooked food, and laidback warm and welcoming atmosphere.
There’ll be a mouthwatering street food menu, a selection of limited-edition winter cocktails, mulled wine, and festive hot chocolates, and, of course, a stage area set up for guests to dance the night away – with a packed lineup of live gigs all planned over the next few months.
Katsu chicken fries, Northern poutine with bone marrow gravy, Shorrock’s Lancashire cheese, chicken, or plant-based gyros, stacked burgers, hot wings, and hanging kebabs, are just some of the warming dishes you can tuck into from the street food menu.
There’ll also be a wide range of festive tipples also on offer to wash it all down with.
The TeePee reopens for 2023 on Wednesday 11 October.
The Oast House and The TeePee are then open every day 12 noon until late throughout the winter, and will continue hosting a packed roster of live musicians covering a range of genres – from pop and rock, to funk and soul, and so much more.
30% of Brits have apparently already started doing their Christmas shopping
A new survey has revealed that 30% of Brits have apparently already started doing their Christmas shopping this year.
As much as many of us find ourselves running around the shops like headless chickens on Christmas Eve in a bid to buy all those last-minute gifts we forgot, on the flip side of that, we all know a few organised people who like to get their presents bought and wrapped well in advance so they can enjoy a relatively stress-free festive season.
But is September just a bit too early to start? Apparently not for three in 10 Brits.
According to a new survey by American Express – of which some 2,000 people nationwide took part – a surprising 30% of adults who celebrate or shop for Christmas in the UK have already started buying things for the festive period.
Presents for others were the most-common items already in the basket, but while gifts may be the obvious one, that’s not all.
As well as this, some have also admitted to grabbing things like wrapping paper and gift bags, Christmas cards, and decorations too.
Not only that, but as festive food and drink becomes a more common occurrence on shop shelves nationwide, and with many of the UK’s leading supermarket chains having already released their Christmas menu offerings this year, a good chunk of the survey respondents have also owned-up to buying themed snacks with long sell-by dates.
Nearly four-fifths (79%) also say they feel it’s important to support local businesses when doing their shopping for the festive season.
And when it comes to money, among those survey respondents who have started their seasonal spending, it was revealed that they have already spent an average of £94 on gifts, but closer to £110 when taking into account everything else they’ve bought.
Speaking on the survey results, Andrei Ciripitca – who is the Vice President at American Express – called the festive period “an important time for businesses and shoppers alike”.