We may only be a day into August, but some UK supermarkets have already started unveiling their festive food ranges for 2023.
And no, we’re not kidding.
Although we didn’t want to bring up the ‘C’ word nearly five months before the festive season is actually upon us, a handful of UK supermarkets have left us with no choice, because despite the fact August has literally just arrived, and the school summer holidays have only just started, Tesco, Asda, and more have already started releasing details about their Christmas food and drink ranges.
Considering July was a classic Greater Manchester wash-out, though, and the weather forecast for the foreseeable future looks to be much of the same, maybe there’s no harm getting in getting into the festive spirit a little earlier this year?
We’re going to bet at least a few people answered yes to that, and thankfully, there’s some real mouthwatering treats on the menu to make these early releases worthwhile.
Over at Tesco, you won’t just find the traditional turkey and Christmas pudding on the lineup this year, as instead, there’s inventive alternatives like a Slow Cooked Sloe Gin Duck, Pigs in Blankets Topped Steak Pie, pear-shaped Pork Liver Pâté, Monkfish & Chorizo Wellington, Prawn Snowballs, and even a whole range of festive-themed Bao buns.
For those with a sweet tooth, Tesco is serving up a Winter Orange Cheesecake and Mulled Berry Meringue Wreath, both from the ‘Finest’ range.
There’s also a giant Christmas tree-shaped chocolate brownie to tuck into too.
Can Asda rival that? Aside from the classics, the supermarket retailer is also teasing shoppers with a wide range of new festive delicacies this year.
These include Porchetta, a Speciality Cheeseboard, and a Charcuterie Ultimate Grazing Platter, all from the ‘Extra Special’ range, and a whopping 57 new vegan and 35 new Free From products too.
When it comes to desserts and sweet treats, shoppers are spoiled for choice once again, with some of the stand-outs being a Chocolate & Honeycomb Avalanche Dessert, the Brown Butter & Spiced Dark Rum Mince Pies, and a trio of black forest-themed treats.
There’s a Black Forest Yule Log, the Black Forest Stollen Bites, and the undeniably showstopping Black Forest Woodland Cake.
Although the retailer doesn’t have much of a presence in Greater Manchester, Waitrose has also unveiled its 2023 festive food range, and it’s expected that we won’t have long to wait now until the majority of other major supermarket chains also get into the Christmas spirit.
Manchester United issue response after banning Manchester Evening News and select journalists from press conference
The Manchester Evening News (MEN) along with a number of sports journalists have reportedly been banned from attending a Manchester United press conference after publishing a story on an apparent rift at the club, claiming that manager Erik ten Hag has ‘lost the dressing room’.
Citing the reason behind the ban as being due to Chief Man United Writer and well-known sports reporter, Samuel Luckhurst’s recent story, which claimed that ten Hag is “losing the confidence” of his players, he and at least three other journalists won’t be in attendance after Sky Sports went so far as to suggest as much as “50%” of the dressing room.
It is thought that Sky‘s chief reporter Kaveh Solekhol, David McDonnell of The Mirror and ESPN‘s Rob Dawson are among the other individuals to have been barred from joining this afternoon’s presser as per instruction from United‘s Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs, Andrew Ward.
Issuing a statement to The Manc and journalists across the country, the club said: “We’re taking action against a number of news organisations today, not for publishing stories we don’t like, but for doing so without contacting us first to give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise.
“We believe this is an important principle to defend and we hope it can lead to a re-set in the way we work together.” It is unclear how long the suspension is set to be upheld but it is likely they will only serve a one-match ban — pardon the pun.
The MEN reiterated that the initial story was “multiply-sourced”, adding that they had not been banned as a result of previous stories that were largely seen as critical of the Man United head coach and/or his squad, including prior claims players were starting to “doubt” his tactics and managerial style.
Furthermore, the outlet goes on to state that several other journalists have claimed they were prevented from asking questions in press conferences by Ward in the past “over perceived negative coverage”, adding that the club have expressed their “regret” over having to issue the ban. The move has been welcomed by many fans, with several saying it is reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson’s hardline approach to the media.
Man United have made one of their worst starts to a campaign in decades and, despite winning their first trophy in six years under the Dutchman with an EFL Cup win last season, have unfortunately been breaking all manner of unwanted records of late.
ten Hag’s team suffered another disappointing loss against Newcastle at the end of November and now face another tricky task as they prepare to face a Chelsea side who are starting to gather some semblance of form.
Countless Reds and neutrals alike will no doubt now be tuning in for his pre-match press conference at 1:30pm ahead of the mid-week Premier League fixture against the West Londoners on Wednesday night (8:15pm kick-off).
The former Ajax manager has made no secret of the troubles he faced when he first arrived at Old Trafford but is clearly keen to avoid others from airing any of their rumoured dirty laundry.
Featured Images — The Manc Group/Manchester United
Chanel addresses why Manchester has been chosen for its prestigious fashion show
Even though it’s been the talk of the town for months, it feels weird to write that Chanel is bringing one of its prestigious fashion shows to Manchester – and now they’ve explained why our city was chosen.
Chanel will be the first major luxury fashion house to show in Manchester, which is a pretty huge deal.
The world’s most famous designer brand will be using Thomas Street to showcase its prestigious Métiers d’art show, which has previously taken place in settings like a pontoon moored in Shanghai’s Huangpu river and a lavish banquet setting in a Parisian palace.
Plenty of us have made jokes about Jennifer Lawrence in Terrace, Timothee Chalamet grabbing lunch at This n That, or Kim Kardashian doing sambuca shots in Cane & Grain – but now that Chanel has explained its reasons for choosing Manchester, we’re feeling pretty proud.
The brand explained today that ‘creative dialogue is at the heart of every Métiers d’art collection’ and that the show connects ‘artists and friends of the House, cities and cultures’.
It then stated: “CHANEL has chosen to present the 2023/24 Métiers d’art show in Manchester, one of the most effervescent cities of pop culture and an avant-garde one, whose bands, spanning all genres, have changed the history of music.”
Chanel also confirmed that the poster that’s being used was designed by the legendary Manc Peter Saville.
They even chose a New Order song to soundtrack the first promotional video to be released about the show this Thursday.
Early rehearsals are beginning in town today with music blasting across the Northern Quarter along with lighting tests, and what appears to be a red carpet walkway being built.
The brand’s Instagram page has now been flooded with excited messages from fans, with one writing: “ITS ACTUALLY HAPPENING! In OUR city!!!!!!!!”
Chanel’s full statement read: “Creative dialogue is at the heart of every CHANEL Métiers d’art collection. It lies within the work between Artistic Director of the Fashion collections Virginie Viard, the ateliers at rue Cambon, the Maisons d’art at 𝘭𝘦19M, and connects artists and friends of the House, cities and cultures, season after season.
“CHANEL has chosen to present the 2023/24 Métiers d’art show in Manchester, one of the most effervescent cities of pop culture and an avant-garde one, whose bands, spanning all genres, have changed the history of music.
“The film of the show will be revealed on Friday, December 8th 2023 at 9am Manchester time, 10am Paris time.
“‘MCR’ designed by artist Peter Saville on the occasion of the show.”
Now all we’re gagging to know about is which famous faces will be gracing the front row.