Christmas is coming to Waitrose

In the height of a heatwave, Christmas may seem a world away, but Waitrose has unveiled its Christmas range for 2020, kicking off the countdown to the festive season.

Although it’s uncertain how the nation will be celebrating this year, the supermarket has given its customers food for thought with its Christmas collection – which includes everything from a British Venison Wellington to Chocolate Candles created by Heston Blumenthal.

Anni Ludhra-Gent from the Waitrose Christmas Brand Team says, “We know our customers get really excited and love to plan what they’ll be serving on Christmas Day months in advance. Last year searches for Christmas started in August on Waitrose.com and Christmas mince pies proved a popular search, up over 300% between July and September, so we’ve announced some of our range to help customers start planning for the big day.”

For the main event, Waitrose predicts the trend for alternative meats is set to move mainstream in 2020. Last year, demand for venison rocketed on waitrose.com, with Waitrose Entertaining orders doubling compared to the previous year, and sales of venison were up more than 60%.

A new centrepiece this year is the No.1 British Venison Wellington – a real showstopper, with tart flavours of juniper and blackberry. Other alternative mains include Slow-Cooked British Beef Shin – ideal for creating a beef ragu with leftovers; Duck with Pear, Chestnut & Rum; a 10-Bone Rack of British Pork produced from free-range pigs that spend their lives in woodland, Moroccan inspired Vegan Festive Filo Swirls and a Free Range Bronze Turkey Crown with Thighs – with the thighs already slow cooked to perfection and perfect for turkey pies and curry on Boxing Day.

It’s all about playful illusions in its selection of Christmas confectionery. Ornate Chocolate Spoon Stirrers can be stirred into hot milk or eaten straight from the stick. Santa and Rudolph might be pleasantly surprised by their Christmas Treat Box this year – a milk carton, cookies and carrots all made from chocolate – while Heston from Waitrose Chocolate Candles make a delightful dinner party table centrepiece… which double up as dessert!

Starters and canapés include Heston from Waitrose Citrus Gin Smoked Salmon – silky Scottish salmon infused with Heston’s Citrus Sherbet Lazy Gin finished with gold lustre which makes a sumptuous starter or an indulgent brunch; decadent Lobster Thermidor Vol-Au-Vents and spicy Pork and ‘Nduja Croquettes.

The supermarket also has a selection of delicious desserts too such as a re-invention of the traditional trifle – layer upon layer of sherry soaked sponge, vanilla custard, jelly, meringue and pistachio crumb features in the Queen of Trifles. The dessert serves six so has been designed with smaller gatherings in mind, with larger desserts such as the Cherry and Amaretti Tiffin and Giant Jaffa Cake Bar also available.

For a magical Christmas Eve, Heston Blumenthal has created a special treat to speed Santa and Rudolph on their way with his The Night Before Christmas Mince Pies – carrot and caraway shortcrust pastry combined with vine fruits and cream sherry topped with smoked sugar.

Another playful take on tradition is the Cheese Nougat – a Wensleydale cheese dotted with Madeira-soaked raisins and berries designed to look just like a sweet treat.

Anni comments on Christmas 2020, saying “This year may look different to what we all envisioned, but it was important to make sure we had a variety of new and traditional flavours and dishes, as well as options for all types of gatherings and main courses that could also be used for leftovers. We are certain our customers will love our selection of festive food and drink which will make sure Christmas still feels like a really special celebration, no matter how many people are around the table.”

More details about the Waitrose Christmas range are available on Waitrose.com.

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