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The 12 tastes of Christmas

Christmas cake

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a traditional fruit cake. It’s what festive afternoon teas are all about… or at least, they should be.

Posh treat: The Collection Six-Month Matured Golden Shimmer Tree Christmas Cake is deliciously festive and serves 22. £20, marksandspencer.com

Great value: Flavoured with oak-aged cognac, Lidl’s Deluxe Handcrafted Winter Wonderland cake serves 24. £9.99, in-store

For vegans: No animals were harmed in the making of the Christmas Vegan Iced Fruit Cake, made in association with Fiona Cairns. £7.50, waitrose.com

Biscuit selection

Put your feet up with a fresh brew and our selection of the best festive biscuits.

Posh treat: Christmas treats don’t come any better than this all-spice iced Christmas luxe tin. £40, biscuiteers.com

Mid-range: Troubled by secret biccie-nickers? Fear not: this retro-styled Jive Talkin’ tin of shortbread rounds plays a tune every time you twist the base. £15, crabtree-evelyn.com

Great value: The Belgian Biscuit Selection from Asda’s Extra Special range packs in flavours from praline to salted caramel ganache. £4.50, asda.com

Panettone

Channelling a chic, Italian vibe with thick slices of panettone. Buon Natale!

Posh treat: Perbellini’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Panettone swaps traditional candied fruit for Reese’s peanut butter cups. Toast and eat warm for a slice of panettone paradise. £27.99, selfridges.com

Mid-range: Festive flavours combine in The Best Brandy, Chocolate & Orange Panettone. £7, morrisons.com

Great value: Crosta & Mollica’s Mini Panettone Variety Pack is made for sharing… or keep it all for yourself. £4 for a pack of three, ocado.com

Mince pies

Too tasty to leave out for Rudolph? Too right: we’re keeping these mega mince pies all to ourselves.

Posh treat: Christmas Mince Pie Mini Medley in four flavours. Bitesize heaven. £19.95 for 32, fortnumandmason.com

Mid-range: Heston from Waitrose chocolate and cherry mince pies offer a new twist on a festive favourite. £3 for six, waitrose.com

Great value: Crumbly pastry. Tick. Spiced mincemeat. Tick. ‘Sweet snow’ dusting. Tick. Morrisons The Best Deep Filled Mince Pies meet all our requirements for just £2 per pack of six.morrisons.com

Chocolate

Take after-dinner sweet treats up a notch with our choice of chocolate boxes.

Posh treat: Triple box of 50 fresh Christmas chocolates including festive fizzy pudding, marzipan and mulled wine. £45, chococo.co.uk

Mid-range: Get your hands on Clemente in Camicia: the best candied clementines coated in rich, dark chocolate. £17.95, carluccios.com

Great value: Co-op’s Irresistible Winter Dessert Collection includes flavours like jam roly-poly. £6 for 15, in-store only

Christmas pudding

Christmas puds that are worth putting on a pound or two for. Pass us the brandy butter…

Posh treat: This plump Organic Christmas Pudding is made by hand to a family recipe includes stout and rum, that is wrapped in organic muslin, and comes with its own silver sixpences. £20, daylesford.com

Mid-range: If you want luxe on a reasonable budget, try this classic Christmas pudding from Harrods — but at 200g it’s only enough for one. £6.50, harrods.com

Great value: Extra Special Nine Months Matured Luxury Christmas Pudding: so good we’re tempted to buy two. £4.50, asda.com

Christmas chutney

Upgrade your cheese and crackers with a tantalising chutney.

Posh treat: This Ale Chutney adds gravitas to your platter. £6.95, libertylondon.com

Mid-range: How can you possibly enjoy December 26 more? Why, with this rich, fruity Boxing Day Chutney on your leftovers. £3.40, rosebudpreserves.co.uk

Great value: Spicy yet subtle Hot Gooseberry Chutney by Wilkin & Sons — perfect for adding to cheese and fish. £2.29, tiptree.com

Christmas coffee

Spot-on for festive brunches and lazy breakfasts in bed, the best Christmas coffees for a seasonal pick-me-up…

Posh treat: Smooth and full-bodied with a hint of chocolate, it’s a limited-edition blend in a nice tin caddy. £10, bettys.co.uk

Great value: Cafédirect’s organic Christmas Blend has festive notes of praline and brown sugar with over half the profits going back into farmer communities. £4, ethicalsuperstore.com

Tea, please: Not a coffee lover? Then try these Christmas Tea Bags for a festive infusion of ginger and chocolate on a rooibos base. £9.95, harveynichols.com

Cranberry sauce

Tangy-sweet cranberry sauce is our Christmas go-to for pepping up turkey or slathering onto a baked Camembert.

Posh treat: This luxe Cranberry, Port & Orange sauce gets a festive kick from those ingredients, plus honey, cinammon and ginger. £6.99, selfridges.com

Mid-range: The Jules & Sharpie Hot Cranberry Jelly is a fiery festive must-have if you like to add a little life to your meat and cheese. £3.25, tiptree.com

Great value: Co-op’s Irresistible Cranberry and Port sauce is luxuriously rich with whole cranberries. £2.29, in-store

Christmas cheese

A cheese board can make or break the festivities, so choose your wedges wisely.

Posh treat: This artisan board of five cheeses from England and France will impress all the guests at your Christmas get-together. £42, paxtonandwhitfield.co.uk

Dairy-free: The Vegan Cheese Collection Taster Box offers plant-based alternatives, so everyone can enjoy the final course. £23.40, yumbles.com

Great value: Taste The Difference Cheese Selection offers a delicious and foolproof classic assortment. £8, sainsburys.co.uk

Christmas conserve

Make toasted crumpets, glazed sausages and breakfast muffins the food of royalty.

Posh treat: A chunky Bloody Orange Marmalade with a spirited ingredient. £5.95, harveynichols.com

Mid-range: Tiptree’s dark plum Christmas Conserve with warm, mixed spices smells like a glass of mulled wine. £2.99, tiptree.com

Great value: Marmalade fans and whisky drinkers will love the Thursday Cottage Christmas Marmalade made with Seville oranges and Scotch Whisky. £1.80, tiptree.com

Showstopper dessert


Impress guests with one of these wow-factor cakes and fancy desserts. Almost too good to eat. Almost…

Posh treat: As it’s a Christmas log worthy of a GBBO showstopper, buy The Collection Santa’s Rooftop Chocolate and Caramel Yule Log before it sells out. £15, marksandspencer.com

Mid-range: Kids of all ages will adore Co-op’s jolly Ruby The Reindeer Cake, a chocolate sponge with caramel buttercream frosting and chocolate antlers. £7, in-store

Great value: Aldi’s Luxury Topped Stollen has a sweet apricot glaze and drizzle of Black Forest cherry kirsch. £3.99, in-store