M&S Christmas & New Year Food
Festive food at Marks & Spencer
Christmas & New Year is fast approaching, so I was invited by Marks and Spencers to visit their M&S Foodhall in Wednesbury to check out the fantastic range of festive food and drink. We were firstly given a tour of the store with Manager Chris, who pointed out all the must-have Christmas foods that are flying off the shelves and we were treated to mint hot chocolate drinks from the in-store café, which was gorgeous! After our tour, we were then let-loose with a complimentary gift card so that I could get cooking up a pre-Christmas feast with the family.
You would think a gifted shopping spree would be easy, but there were so many amazing M&S festive foods to pick from we really were spoilt for choice, everything vegetarian looked delicious.
After opening presents on Christmas morning, I’ll always opt for a sweet breakfast and a glass of Bucks fizz. So, for this pre-Christmas occasion, I picked up 8 ready to bake Pains Au Chocolat (£3.40) made with French butter and dark chocolate from the frozen bakery collection. We ate them warm straight out of the oven so that they were flaky, moist and super chocolatey. For the morning, we started on the original M&S Bucks Fizz (£2.75) with a blend of sparkling white wine and orange juice, accompanied with a handful of juicy easy-peel seedless clementine’s (£2.00) to balance the naughty with the good.
My Mom insisted on some prawn & moouse cucumber starters (£4), I’m vegetarian so didn’t try them but she said they made a lovely starter as they were beautifully light ahead of a large dinner. To go with our gold decorations theme for Christmas this year, we took advantage of the 3 for 2 offer and picked up these disposable champagne glasses (£3.00), although we will certainly be re-using them again for other occasions. They come in a pack of 8 with a glittery flute and golden bottom. We also got these lovely ‘just like linen’ star fold napkins (8 pack – £4.00) and the white just like linen tablecloth with a gold print along the edge (£4.00).
The star of the buffet table had to be this Festive Prosecco & Orange Topped Christmas Pudding with a cranberry and Prosecco sauce (£12.00). This rich and fruity dessert had been flying off the shelves in Wednesbury so we were lucky to get our hands on one as they were re-stocking. To accompany the pudding, we poured over a thick and creamy Madagascan vanilla custard (£2.40), it went down a treat with the family.
A buffet table isn’t complete without something moreish and crunchy, so we mixed a bowl of honey roast parsnip crisps (£2.00) and winter berries & sparkling Prosecco crisps (£2.00). The winterberry ones have tiny stars on them and contain sparkling wine with a hint of raspberry and blackcurrant.
Every year M&S have a musical tin of biscuits, so we couldn’t help but pick up this rotating green Christmas tree with tree-shaped shortbread biscuits. It makes a lovely table feature and at just £5 makes a great festive gift too that can be kept for many years to come.
For party food, we decided to go for a fusion of Indian, Chinese and American as they were 3 for 2 and I wanted a variety of flavours to suit everyone. The 12 pieces Oriental vegetable selection (£5) was the most presentable and flavoursome, it contained 4 crispy vegetable balls, 4 spicy sweet & sour wontons and 4 wok toasted sweetcorn cones.
The Wednesbury M&S Foodhall has a fresh bakery at the back of the store so we picked four festive muffins, 2 chocolate with a gooey centre and 2 Victoria sponge with a jam filling. They were £1 each and can be put in a box at the self-serve bakery.
The party food that went down the quickest was the 18 pieces Indian selection (£5) it comes with 6 vegetable samosas, 6 onion bhajis and 6 vegetable pakoras. The samosas were a personal favourite of mine as there was plenty of peas and potato inside and the crispy filo pastry.
To decorate and fit in with our gold theme, we picked this mini Christmas tree (£5) in a decorative plant pot. We didn’t realise it was real, so we are following the instructions by putting it in a room that has natural sunlight and to give it a little water occasionally.
Something that I couldn’t resist getting my hands on was these Salted Caramel pinecones (£10) they have a milk chocolate pinecone shell and a luxurious salted caramel filling. They come in a lovely golden print display box and make a perfect gift for any chocolate lover.
The bottle of Clementine & Cranberry Bucks Fizz (£4.00) made with sparkling wine and cranberry juice got finished in record time. You forget that it’s alcohol as it just tastes like a luxurious sparkling fruit juice, we all absolutely loved it, I know I for sure will be popping back to M&S to buy another bottle or three.. to drink responsibly with plenty of food, of course!
The last of the buffet food was this 18 pieces American selection (£5) of 6 filled cheese & onion potato skins, 6 mac & cheese bites which I really enjoyed and 6 jalapeno peppers filled with cream cheese.
Now onto the Christmas dinner which is my favourite part of any Christmas feast, as I absolutely love a roast dinner piled high with vegetables and cranberry sauce. We picked the frozen Maris piper roast potatoes (£2.50) with a fluffy centre and crispy skin. To add to the crispiness even more we used the roast potato & parsnip seasoning kit (£1.20), which I promise you, you need in your life! It makes amazing crunchy potatoes, with its blend of semolina, sea salt, black pepper and onion.
To replace meat, we chose from the M&S Veggie range and picked the two red cabbage & squash filo parcels (£4.75) with lightly spiced red cabbage and beetroot topped with butternut squash and root vegetables. As well as two mushroom en croute (£3) with a creamy spinach & sherry sauce. Both were a delicious and flavoursome meat-free alternative that my sister and I both agreed beats having a turkey.
We roasted sprouts (£1.20) and baton carrots (£1) drizzled in honey as well as honey parsnips (£2.50) for our vegetables. For stuffing, we made up the M&S Applewood smoked sage & shallot stuffing (£1.20) its vegan and contains ciabatta breadcrumbs, its beautiful soaked in vegetable gravy (£1.20) and cranberry sauce (£1.00).
To complete the roast dinner, we added some delicious potato gratin dauphinoise (£2.75) in a creamy garlic sauce, cauliflower cheese (£2.50) made with mature cheddar cheese and Yorkshire puddings (£1.00). Overall, we all thoroughly enjoyed the roast dinner I’m craving another as I type!
As an extra sweet treat at the weekend we indulged in the M&S triple chocolate cookie pudding (£4.00) it contains milk, dark and white chocolate chunks plus a layer of hot chocolate fudge sauce. To accompany the dessert, we enjoyed it with Cornish chocolate ice-cream (£3.90). To finish off the decorations we used some golden shimmer foliage (£3.00).
If you fancy an M&S Christmas & New Year feast, they have a fantastic range of festive food that can be ordered in-store or online, making the whole Christmas food shopping a whole lot easier, enjoyable and stress-free.
Disclaimer: Complimentary gift card to experience the new festive food range. All photos and words are my own.