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What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas

“So here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun…”

I know, I know, I should be arrested (or even put in a straitjacket) for mentioning the C-word this early, but bear with me for just a few minutes.

I could not possibly not share the delights Waitrose have put together for us all. I have been hanging on to this for months, so hear me out, lovely people!

Christmas with Waitrose is stylish and undeniably refined, with European flavours sipping through here and there, glitter disseminated all around in a joyful glitzy touch, yet discreet, understated almost. It is sophisticated yet back to basics. I am simply and utterly in love with it!

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Scandi Christmas Tree Ornament

The gorgeous Christmas ornaments definitely have a Scandinavian influence, with bare wood, whites hues, understated designs all about elegance and simplicity. Less is more and Waitrose is once again spot on!

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Lights

Even the crackers are something else. The people at Waitrose have worked hard to bring us crackers that are top of the range, innovative, with goodies in the likes of a selfie stick, a wine pourer, a stylus you can use on your phone or tablet, an atomiser or headphones, to name just a few. I know where I am getting my crackers this year!

The children’s section has a playful air about it, a retro feel that makes me feel all fuzzy inside. Imagine a ‘back to basics’ Christmas spent playing with real games, a Christmas stripped of modern technology, phones and social media, a Christmas to bond with your loved ones again.

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - A retro Christmas

The games you can get from Waitrose this Christmas are simple, the kind of games our parents and grandparents used to play. They are not ridden with rules or complicated operating systems. They are bare, fun and oh so pretty!

The gingerbread house kit looks sturdy enough for little hands to build without creating too much mess or the huge disappointment that their edible artwork might collapse after five minutes.

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Gingerbread House

As for the reindeer baking kit, it can become a gingerbread man kit after the festive season has ended. Talk about reusable!

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Gingerbread Men
Let’s swiftly move on to food, shall we?

I had a good chat with Stuart Owen, product developer in the bakery and biscuit session.

Gluten-free diets are catered for with some Coeliac-friendly food, including a ‘free from’ Christmas pudding. Disappointingly, very little is available for multiple food allergy sufferers.

The bejewelled fruit cake has a spectacular air about it although dried fruit is not my cup of tea.

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Fruit Cake

If like me, you cannot face a slice of Christmas pudding, you will have a range of options when it comes to dessert. Look at this red velvet chocolate cake shaped like a tree stump!

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Red Velvet Cake

How about this stunning Ombré Chocolate Cake with salted caramel icing sandwiched between the layers of sponge?

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Ombré Chocolte Cake

My favourite? A refreshing white forest semifreddo made with white chocolate, kirsch and black cherry.
The Kir Royal Meringue Stack also looks right up my street.

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Kir Royal Meringue Stack

Continental influences are obvious in the bakery section, with Chocolate Panettone, Cranberry & Orange and even Prosecco-flavoured Panettone.

Granted, the Speculaas Biscuits might not look terribly appetising or as pretty as mince pies, but give them a go: they are scrumptious!

The Piñata Christmas Cake hides a decadent chocolate sponge.

As for this trio of Baubles, it is 3 cakes in one: a chocolate bauble, a fruit one, and a vanilla sponge, to make everyone happy on Christmas Day!

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - A Trio of Baubles

The Tropical Buche is refreshingly different, with its citrusy undertones and tropical flavour. Listen to this: passion fruit mousse, mango and lime curd on a white coconut blondie. How tempting does that sound? Believe me, I tried it and I would have gone home with one had it been available to buy there and then.

Here are a few of the savoury delights on display:

– Ginger, clementine and star anise ham

– Gammon with bourbon glaze

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Gammon with Bourbon Glaze

– Turkey paupiettes (oh so French!)

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Turkey Paupiettes

– Golden Turkey crown

– Clementine and cranberry glazed salmon side

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Salmon Side

– an impressive array of cheeses. This goat’s cheese Camembert would give another dimension to the Vegetable Tatin.

As I was about to leave the press event, I spotted the pop up Waitrose restaurant serving 3 course meals to guests. I could not refuse, could I? I went for the vegetarian option, and wow, Waitrose have really upped their game when it comes to a meatless Christmas.

The starter, Red Fox Leicester Cheese and Quince served with Waitrose 1 Roast Fennel and Parmesan Foccacia was perfectly balanced, full of flavours yet not overpoweringly cheesy in the slightest.

The main course was my absolute favourite, and I hope Waitrose make the wise decision to offer it all year round. The Roasted Beetroot, Carrot and Red Onion Tarte Tatin was made of a thin layer of flaky puff pastry topped with perfectly cooked vegetables and slightly caramelised red onion. It was served with all the trimmings and I ate every last crumb.

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Veggie Tarte Tatin

Although Christmas Pudding is normally something I run away from, I tried Remy Martin’s version and rather enjoyed it.

What to Expect from Waitrose this Christmas - Christmas Cake

The passion Fruit, Mango and Lime Yule Log did not disappoint. The sponge was light, the fruit purée full of zing and the creamy topping dreamy without being over sweet. It would without the shadow of a doubt be my dessert of choice for a Christmas get-together.

Disclosure: I was invited to a Christmas Press Event organised by Waitrose and thoroughly enjoyed everything that was on offer. I had planned to spend under an hour there but ended up tasting all the innovative treats that had been lined up for us for just over three hours.


  1. Claire
    08/11/2016 / 10:41 am

    I’m prepping my Christmas in July write-ups too! So many lovely things to share.

    • Mel
      09/11/2016 / 2:16 am

      I know, soooo nice!

  2. Stephen
    08/11/2016 / 11:06 am

    Everyone seems to go crazy over Waitrose at Christmas, I remember when Heston Christmas Puds went on eBay for really high amounts!

    • Mel
      09/11/2016 / 2:17 am

      Their stuff is so tasty! You can’t beat Waitrose.

  3. Annie B
    08/11/2016 / 11:14 am

    I cannot wait for Christmas! I am already humming Christmas tunes and planning my festive shopping. Food at Waitrose is the best for Christmas

    • Mel
      09/11/2016 / 1:39 pm

      It really is!

  4. Melissa major
    08/11/2016 / 7:56 pm

    O wow the Christmas food in Waitrose looks amazing! Those cakes look lovely

  5. nicol
    08/11/2016 / 10:33 pm

    i don’t really shop at waitrose for christmas but my oh my, that gammon looks amazing. i definitely need to go in store!

    • Mel
      09/11/2016 / 2:17 am

      Check it all out: it tastes heavenly!

  6. Georgia Colloff
    09/11/2016 / 1:01 pm

    I’ve just been into Waitrose and drooled over their selection for Xmas! Their Christmas decorations are so tasteful and have that “scandi” vibe that everyone is listing after this year. I am going to pick up one of their wreaths as they are quite small and reasonably priced for what you get.

    And I don’t mind people getting excited prematurely for Christmas because it’s my favourite time of the year.

    • Mel
      09/11/2016 / 1:35 pm

      There are so many new decorations I want to buy from Waitrose. Their collection really is to die for!

  7. Rachel
    10/11/2016 / 1:09 am

    I wish I lived closer to a Waitrose as it looks like there is some lovely thing in this Christmas! xo

  8. domesstique
    10/11/2016 / 11:15 am

    Oh my all of these looks divine especially that Passion Fruit, Mango and Lime Yule Log. <3

    • Mel
      10/11/2016 / 11:45 am

      It was my absolute favourite thing!

  9. 12/11/2016 / 11:03 pm

    I always love Waitrose, but they seem so far behind when it comes to GF and allergens! Shame really!
    The Christmas crackers sound like they will be expensive…. head phones and atomisers????

    • Mel
      15/11/2016 / 12:31 am

      I know, that’s the exact discussion I had with them. They had very little Jumpy could have and as I spoke to the various people there, that’s what I said to them: with their reputation, they should strive to achieve what Sainsbury’s have done with their investment in ‘free from’ food. x

  10. Zoë IKIWN (@ikiwn)
    21/11/2016 / 8:09 pm

    This all looks right up my street! I absolutely love the christmas decs, the little minimalist stars are gorgeous. And that chocolate cake… wow! x

    • Mel
      22/11/2016 / 10:58 pm

      I want all those cakes!

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