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The Christmas Countdown

Reduce the Christmas stress with this handy checklist...

Warner's Budgens Taste Club Warner's Budgens Taste Club
Nobody likes to talk about the festive season until at least 1st December, but when it comes to hosting, it really does pay to be prepared.

1. Order your meat

Perhaps the biggest tick for your list is making sure you’ve got the main course covered. We’ve got a great selection to choose from including Adlingtons famous turkey, Cotswold Farmer hams and pigs in blankets, or Todenham Manor Farm beef joints. Click HERE to place your order. The cut off date for ordering meat is 15th December.

2. And the meat-free alternatives

Our frozen range by COOK is a good place to start so get that freezer stocked now, we’d recommend COOK’s Portobello Mushroom Wellington – Taste Approved by The Good Housekeeping Institute.

3. Curate your wine cellar

Or at least get your bottle rack in order! Include a good selection of fine whites, party wines and bold reds. You may like to include a dessert wine or a good port for after. It’s always worth having a good gin and some tonic water on ice, plus a good supply of ice cubes. Take a look at Drink of the Month for 5 great reds from Broadway Wine Company.

4. Alcohol-free alternatives

There’s a great selection of alcohol-free drinks on the market so remember the drivers and those who don’t drink. Take a look at the new alcohol-free botanicals – served with a tonic and ice and a slice, they are dead-ringers for G&Ts – try Cotswold Green’s non-alcoholic spirit for starters. Alcohol-free beers and ciders are also big news – Hogan’s High Sobriety local alcohol cider is superb – as are grown-up cordials and pressés such as those by Bottlegreen.

5. Prepare the freezer

You never know when you might need to feed a crowd over the festive period so get that freezer well stocked. Choose delicious chef-prepared meals by COOK, Cotswold Traiteur and Pegoty Hedge or batch cook easy one-pot meals such as casserole, chilli and Bolognese and freeze in portions.

6. Don’t forget dessert

Again, make use of your freezer and keep pudding simple. COOK do a fantastic range of pavlovas and roulades, many which are naturally gluten free. Take stock of the extras such as vanilla or honeycomb ice cream from Spot Loggins, cans of custard, and a supply of ready-made meringues by Cotswold Handmade Meringues.

7. Keep count of the little things

Stock up now on all those fiddly little accompaniments that it’s easy to forget once the Christmas chaos kicks in – decent rock salt, peppercorns, stock cubes, any chutneys, jellies and sauces – check out the ranges by Kitchen Garden Foods for the ultimate Christmas cheats. Put together a selection of teas, coffee, and hot chocolate. Get your cupboard stocked now with snacks – crisps, nuts and novelty nibbles.

8. Take stock of the essentials

It’s not just food items you need to think about in November. Now’s the time to pick up your festive napkins and crackers, collect a stash of tea lights (make sure you have matches) and get in a good stock of kitchen and loo rolls! And, have a good supply of washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets and washing up gloves – then at least your guests might get the hint!

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