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.
The platform splits into two areas, a bar space and a family-friendly, zero-alcohol viewing platform.
The evening will consist of DJ sets and a countdown to midnight displayed on a big screen.
In previous years, the Council has arranged a huge fireworks display, previously at the Town Hall but in more recent years at the Cathedral.
But this year they say they ‘simply cannot justify’ the expense when budgets are stretched so thin.
Instead, the council plans to use its limited resources for free community events year-round, like the recent Christmas Parade.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “We know that New Year’s Eve is a special night – one that everyone looks forward to – and we are all disappointed that we can’t go ahead with our usual fireworks this year.
“Unfortunately, we simply cannot justify the increasing costs of putting on a big display while also worrying about funding essential Council services.
“We believe that we should use the limited funding we have to put on free events in communities throughout the year and we look forward to seeing more of this in the coming months.
And this year’s instalment was even more impressive, with a target of 16 (SIXTEEN!) cans in his sights.
Once again, what starts off as a fairly ordered and logical Twitter thread soon descends into madness, including dancing videos, puns, swearing, and plenty of typos.
Rob’s tradition, now coined ‘Boddmas’, has even drawn support from Ed Gamble this year.
And for 2022, he worked out how to set up a crowd-funded hangover recovery fund, with more than 100 people donating to get him through his Boddingtons hangover.
Highlights from this year included an impassioned rant about Declan Rice (‘a sound as f*ck geeza, heart of gold, wonderful sprit, we can’t get enough’), a break for hoisin duck pancakes, and a desperate bid for the attention of whoever manages Boddingtons’ social media channels.
The ‘official’ rules of Boddmas include sticking to a 12pm-12am window for the binge-drinking marathon, tweeting an update each time a can is opened, and ‘having fun’.
Reaching the halfway mark, Rob tweeted: “Number 8 is making me sentimental, how far we’ve come how far we have to go. It’s all the same when you’re rushing on Boddingtons.”
The typos really kicked up a notch after this, with him adding: “Feeling cockey about how fine I feel after 10… but then realised I’ve got 6 to go… Have a feeling I might be humbled in the final striaght.”
As things went on, he posted: “No13! Come at me! Like Ally McOist I’m mosit for it! I hope to have a face so red and booze bitten one day. One can only dream. We love you Ally!” – which is… definitely words.
The mental no-context celebrity mentions continued after that, including this: “Fifteen. Reckon I could beat 50 cent in a wrestling match at this point. He must be old by now no? Get rich for die wrestling the Boddingtons guy! What’s his name Curtis Jackson right? Bring it on Curtis!”
And then this morning? Rob says he ‘woke up sweating yellow’.
During the Boddmas celebrations, one person Photoshopped Rob’s head into a World Cup photo as a mark of encouragement, writing: “You are Messi and number 16 is your World Cup Final.”
Someone else said: “If you only do one thing this Boxing Day, make sure it’s watching @Robertdcopland drink a mountain of Boddington’s (16 cans). Last year’s 15 cans was utterly glorious. #BODDMAS2022”
Another person posted: “For the second year in a row i am fully emotionally invested in @Robertdcopland trying to drink 16 cans of boddingtons.”
Dozens more shared photos of themselves watching along with a can of their own in their hands.
Here’s hoping this is a tradition that never ends – and we’re looking forward to the 17 can mission in 2023.