Christmas food and drink directory
There’s no better time than Christmas to support artisan producers and try some new food and drink products. Choose wisely, order from the best and bring sustainable choices into your Christmas planning. This is by no means a definitive list, but featured in this directory are the companies delicious. editorial director Karen Barnes would order from, without hesitation.
Meat & fish
All the suppliers below have the highest sustainability and welfare standards and sell excellent meat boxes. Star items of difference have been highlighted.
Sustainable meat including grass-fed lamb and beef from 40 small family farms in the South West.
Look out for… Free-range poultry including goose, cockerel and confit duck legs (from £7.50); festive trimmings, cheese, charcuterie and gifts; meat boxes (including Cull Yaw mutton and wild venison); dairy, offal (often tricky to get hold of) and homemade pies. Also offers sustainable seafood.
Black Mountains Smokery
One of the UK’s best smokeries, based in Wales. It was the award-winning smoked chicken that drew us in first, closely followed by the smoked duck and fish – ingredients that are great to have on hand for impromptu salads, sandwiches and snacks of the highest order. The Taste For Two hamper (£59.75) includes award-winning oak smoked duck, salmon, chicken and cheddar, plus a jar of dill sauce (epic with smoked fish on blinis or rye bread for a quick canapé).
Look out for… Oak smoked chicken breast, which received a 3 Gold Star Great Taste Award in 2023. Orders need to be made in advance, preferably by the end of November.
Stein’s Online Fishmongers
Rick Stein’s online shop delivers the freshest sustainable seafood to your door, perfect for Christmas – or any time of year.
Look out for… Seafood centrepieces and platters, whole cooked lobsters (£35 for 500g), mixed fish boxes and smoked salmon.
This family run butchers in southwest London stocks everything from wagyu and goat meat to classic charcuterie and iberico pork. They’ve even got a steak club and butchery classes too.
Look out for… Award-winning beef wellington (great taste 2022), spicy sausages perfect for slow cooking (try the wild boar ones!) plus the ultimate Christmas box (£145, serves 4) featuring free range turkey breast, seasonal vegetables, beef dripping, gravy and cranberry sauce.
Using salmon from an independent Scottish farm, this Cotswolds-based smokery – run by three friends – uses traditional Norwegian methods, infusing the fish with beech, juniper and oak smoke. Cut sashimi-style, their thicker, buttery cuts of salmon have a unique flavour.
Look out for… Whisky and soy-glazed smoked salmon (£9.90 for 100g) and salmon subscriptions.
Field & Flower
“Cuts you can’t get in the supermarket”, fully traceable from South West farmers and fishermen.
Look out for… Wild venison, marinated meat and salt-aged steaks; Christmas hub with free-range bronze turkey, hams, pork pies; British charcuterie and cheeses. For the second year running, Field & Flower is championing often-surplus turkey legs (£14.98 for 1kg) and donating a pair to FareShare South West for every turkey crown sold. The Low Impact Box (at the relatively low price of £41.30) is a great introduction to the company’s ethos: highlighting meat by-products and sustainable alternatives to popular cuts, it includes onglet steaks, a sous vide turkey thigh fillet, lardons made from wonky ends of streaky bacon and more. Brilliant.
Formerly known as The Game Cart, Woodmill Game has been sourcing and selling 100% wild Scottish game for over 30 years. Their exquisite selection includes mallard sausages, partridge pies and even stockings for pups! You can also build your own Christmas hamper to discover more unusual products, cuts – and favourites.
Look out for… Venison wellington (from £44), ginger stuffed pheasant with pear sauce (from £11.50), mini pheasant sausage rolls (£9) and apple stuffed pheasant with cider sauce (from £11.50).
Coombe Farm Organic
The farm sells its own beef, lamb, chicken, pork, rose veal and geese, plus organic poultry, salmon, venison and sustainably caught seafood.
Look out for… Meat boxes; wild birds and rabbit; retired dairy beef; nitrate-free bacon and ham; Christmas shop with birds, roasts, trimmings and gifts (including tallow soaps).
Farmison & Co
Sustainably reared heritage breeds from North of England farmers, plus prepared products from its chefs.
Look out for… Free-range turkeys; chef-prepared mains such as beef fillet with porcini mushroom butter; venison, grouse and other game birds; meat boxes. The 45 day dry aged fore rib of beef (£101 for 2.6kg) was awarded three stars from Great Taste in 2023.
London Smoke & Cure
Known for what they describe as ‘smoked goods with character’. If you’re in London, you can learn to make fresh sausages, bacon or an epic salt beef sandwich at a Smoke School workshop, too (good gift).
Look out for… Amazing free-range Gloucester Old Spot pork sausages – we rate the smokiness and sweetness of the maple and bacon (£10.45 for 700g); firm textured smoked salmon; smoked ‘nduja and bresaola (a recent winner at the World Charcuterie Awards).
Forman and Field
Smoked salmon producer H Forman & Son also offers artisan cheese and top quality hand-prepared food, with bestsellers including fishcakes and beef wellington.
Look out for… Truffle-infused royal fillet (£31.95 for 200g) – a take on its classic smoked salmon fillet product for truffle fans – and the luxury Christmas hamper for two (£92.50), including smoked salmon, a pork pie, cheese, mead and Christmas pudding.
Lambton and Jackson
Quality smoked salmon, mackerel and kippers, plus smoked cheddar, blue cheese and cured gravlax.
Look out for… Smoked salmon pâté (£5.95 for 225g) and their luxurious slices juniper-smoked salmon (both awarded two gold stars at the 2023 Great Taste Awards).
Fish for Thought
Sustainable online fishmonger: lobsters are native, salmon is RSPCA-assured and tiger prawns are wild-caught.
Look out for… Choice of whole and filleted fish; recipe kits; dived scallops and sustainably farmed mussels and oysters; prepared food including crab soufflé and seafood canapés.
Chef Mitch Tonks’ online seafood market buys from Brixham’s fleet (catch of the day flagged online) or other sustainable fisheries.
Look out for… Depending on availability, alternatives like gurnard and red mullet, plus prime cuts of plaice, turbot and dover sole; flavoured butters (pair with fillets for easy meals); tinned British seafood such as Mount Bay sardines for gifts or canapés (from £4.95 for 115g). New this Christmas: the family favourites box (fresh fish including pie mix, gurnard and scallops) and tinned mussels in garlic and chilli oil.
Turkey is the timeless Christmas centrepiece, not to mention that a glistening roast turkey gives the most versatile leftovers (almost the best bit: those curries… That turkey pie!). Support British free-range turkey farmers. Here are two go-to free-range producers (order ahead now):
The turkeys come with full cooking instructions, plus a free thermometer to monitor the temperature of the meat (from £103.86).
Look out for… ‘Tomboy’ turkeys (scarred, scratched or bruised from free-range living) are 10 percent off, to reduce food waste. Plus, new for 2023: Kelly’s meltingly soft confit turkey thighs (£6.50 for 400g).
Like Kelly Bronze, Copas turkeys (from £99) are renowned for their quality, succulent meat – and they come with a pop-up timer too. They sell other birds as well.
Look out for… Whole stuffed turkeys and breasts, plus cockerels and goose.
Sadly, Bertinet Bakery mince pies are no longer available by mail order (lucky you if you live near Bath where they’re based), but here are our other top picks for sweet treats delivered UK-wide.
Hobbs House Bakery
Order a bread box – or make your own loaf with a jar of their 68-year-old sourdough starter. See also: pastry, butchery and pie-making courses (good for gifting).
Look out for… Classic crumbly pastry mince pies, gorgeous traybakes and wonderful cheese & jalapeño sourdough (£4.85). And, new in 2023: the ultimate baking kit (£125), including sourdough starter, cane basket, a dough scraper and quality flour.
A family-run business that’s been growing and distilling black mitcham peppermint on their Hampshire farm for over 25 years. Their signature peppermint is known for its pure, bright character and is used to create a refreshing range of chocolates, teas and treats.
Look out for… Peppermint chocolate bars from £3.85 (100g), chocolate creams and bundles of goodies for gifting.
This 100-year-old Cambridge bakery rescued by food journalist Tim Hayward and his wife Alison Wright in 2011 has been renowned for 100 years for its chelsea buns.
Look out for… Buttery mince pies, gingerbread man-topped brownies and tear-and-share chelsea buns shaped into a Christmas tree (10 buns for £35).
Handmade in Scotland by patisserie chef-turned-chocolatier Chloe Oswald, Chocolatia chocs are award-winning for good reason: the flavours sing (our most memorable: a chocolate that tastes of fresh coconut and just-squeezed lime juice… How does she do that?). The melt on the tongue is expertly smooth, each chocolate is a mini work art, and the chic ribbon-tied boxes are almost too pretty to open. Almost.
Look out for… The 3 Great Taste star winning collection box (£19 for nine) and their seasonal Christmas collection of hand-painted, festive-themed chocolates.
Founded a century ago by a Swiss chocolatier, Bettys’ famous Yorkshire cafés offer fine teas and coffees, cakes, chocolates and biscuits from the company’s craft bakery, as well as a beautiful range of hampers and gift boxes.
Look out for… Classic iced Christmas cakes, award-winning mince pies, stollen and Christmas puds, plus the sweetest little chocolate owls (£9 for 70g).
Cutter and Squidge
Expert makers of decadent bakes, chocolate treats and hampers.
Look out for… The post-friendly Christmas gingerbread cake (£29.95) with spiced sponge, buttercream and a layer of Biscoff is prettily decorated and offers something different – plus, it’s vegan.
Here’s our pick of top-notch online companies selling a broad variety of goods.
This 55-year-old award-winning farm shop champions produce from local artisan makers as well as from their own farm. Find everything from meat and veg to chocolates and sparkling wine from the family’s own vineyards.
Look out for… The Christmas Tuck In selection (£69), a hamper packed with treats including honey roast ham, Cornish coppa charcuterie, sourdough bread, antipasti, mulling spices and mince pies. A festive feast.
Abel & Cole
Organic fruit and veg boxes plus meat, fish and groceries; for Christmas, feast boxes with portioned ingredients to cut down on waste.
Look out for… The vegetarian Christmas box (£120) with everything you’ll need for a spectacular, veggie-friendly Christmas dinner. And, new in 2023: the festive breakfast hamper (£77) and mulled spice smoked salmon (£18 for 200g).
Spanish ingredients from jamón, tinned fish, cheeses and olives (enjoy with its wines and cava) to pulses and spices for cooking. Excellent hampers, too.
Look out for… Turrón and chocolate and orange panettones (£29.95), feast boxes with hand carved Iberico Jamon, Perello Gordal olives, Manchego and more (£100) and an epicurean hamper featuring divine olive oil and butter beans amongst other delights (£115).
delicious. has long been a fan of the preserves produced by Yorkshire Dales-based Rosebud.
Look out for… The mince pies, launched in 2023 (£12 for 8). Two reasons why they are standout: first, the buttery, oh-so-tender shortcrust pastry; second, the almond and orange mincemeat within is rich in plump vine fruits, apple and citrus, laced with brandy (no cheap vinegary taste here). The pies come beautifully boxed, too. Want to make your own? You can buy the mincemeat in a regular jar or Kilner jar instead (£6.95 for 340g; £11.95 for 450g). Also good: award-winning lemon & ginger marmalade (£4.95 for 227g) and gooseberry and elderflower jam (£4.95 for 27g2).
When cooking isn’t happening (or you need a hand), Cook has a wealth of frozen dishes for many or one, from dinner party fare and puds to favourites like its seasonal venison casserole and a great roasted veg lasagne – plus buttery mince pies to stash in the freezer until needed.
Look out for… New products including a caramelised shallot, celeriac and stilton tarte tatin (£16 for 900g, and Cook development chefs’ top pick), a fabulously rich and tender duck and venison pithivier pie (we’ve tried it; £35 for 1.2kg, serves 6) and venison en croute (from £30). Check out the festive puddings, too: the moist apricot and almond torte (£8.95 for 530g, serves 6) with sharp citrus syrup is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. So useful.
Organic fruit and veg boxes and more besides, including meat and recipe boxes.
Organic meats, deli treats, bakes, confectionery and its own cheeses, with chic homewares and hampers (for every one sold, a native British sapling will be planted).
Look out for… Special gifts like elderflower liqueur – fragrant with elderflowers and just-right sweet. Great neat over ice or used as you would cassis in a sparkling wine cocktail (£20 for 35cl).
Traditional ham, cured meats and charcuterie, which they sell individually as well as packed into hampers with treats from other producers.
Look out for… As well as the meats mentioned above, the online food hall has deli favourites, smoked fish, cheeses and condiments, puds and cakes – everything for a spread. New for 2023: a luxury hot chocolate gift box (£45) and cranberry glazed ham with pork & cranberry stuffing (from £80).
Renowned Kentish food halls, with produce smartly bundled together online: fruit, veg and meat boxes, Kentish cheese or wine selections, speciality Italian products (think panettone and mostarda) and hampers including vegan and gluten-free options.
Look out for… The speciality coffee hamper (£35).
Melrose and Morgan
A deli well known for its broad range of British and European charcuterie, cheeses and drinks, plus biscuits, loaf cakes, granola and preserves made in-house, all with stylish branding.
Look out for… The ginger and cranberry iced loaf cake (£16.50), a subtle twist on the classic.
No Christmas spread is complete without it – and these are the delicious. team’s favourite online suppliers:
Award-winning cheese shop of dreams in the Yorkshire Dales, with a broad and impressive range. Well worth making a detour to visit the shop if you’re in the area, but (joy) they deliver, too.
Look out for… Every quality British cheese you can imagine, but do try the Wensleydale-inspired Stonebeck or mix things up with stilton alternative Young Buck blue (£8.95 for 250g) a winner of the James Aldridge Award for best raw milk cheese. Also:
Paxton & Whitfield
British and European cheeses plus cheeseboard selections, accompaniments, accessories, a cheese club, plus day courses with partner the Academy of Cheese (good for gifting)
Look out for… Hampers at a variety of price points.
Neal’s Yard Dairy
Specialising in British and Irish cheeses, Neal’s Yard Dairy age special cheeses from around 40 British cheesemakers, with an emphasis on quality milk.
Look out for… Christmas selections with optional accompaniments. The subscription makes a great gift – monthly deliveries of three different cheeses (£36 per month for minimum 645g).
A family-run cheese company in Yorkshire, now run by sisters Katie and Caroline Bell. They make a range of speciality cheeses from local cow’s milk, ewe’s milk and water buffalo milk.
Look out for… Their hero product, Mrs Bell’s blue (£50 truckle), a ewe’s milk blue cheese that’s won multiple awards, including a coveted three stars at the 2023 Great Taste Awards. Editor Karen was on the final judging panel and describes the cheese as “creamy and complex – one of the best blue cheeses I’ve tasted.” Available online and on Waitrose counters nationwide.
Snowdonia Cheese Company
Award-winning cheeses, gifts and hard-to-resist festive treats. We’re long time fans of their powerfully tangy cheddars, and now its Rock Star cave-aged cheddar has been made into an irresistible fondue in a little clay pot. It takes 20 minutes in the oven or two in the microwave. There’s a debate in the delicious. office as to whether ‘unexpected guests’ at Christmas are a thing, but if someone does turn up at your door, this is great to pull out and serve with a fruity white wine and good things to dip (crusty bread, cornichons, a big spoon…). £6 for 150g.
The Whisky Exchange
If you haven’t discovered The Whisky Exchange, the lead-up to Christmas is the time – both for home and for gifts. Yes, of course the whisky selection is outstanding, but they also sell a broad range of other spirits, as well as wine, champagne and ready-mixed cocktails. Every bottle has a star rating and reviews, and prices are competitive.
Or check out our list of the best bottles to buy this Christmas.
There’s so much good stuff being made right here in the UK – three cheers for that. Here are my three favourites, all award winning:
On the hunt for gifts for food lovers? Check out our selection of the best hampers to give as gifts this year.
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