It might not seem the most imaginative thing to serve up at a party, but these sausage rolls are a cliché worth buying into. No word of a lie, they are the best ever and you can easily get away with pretending you made them. Best of all, you can keep them frozen until you need them.
£4.75 for 8, www.donaldrussell.com
Rich Belgian chocolate ganache is topped with spiced clementine cream in a sweet tart and each mouthful is to die for. It also looks incredible. It’s not cheap, but it does come from a very posh bakery and it’s rich, so you easily get away with serving it in thin slices.
You simply bung these in the oven for 25 minutes and hey presto, you have gorgeous, warm and tasty canapés that will go down equally well as a pre-dinner nibble or at a drinks party as part of a wider selection of small eats. You get plenty per pack, which always helps.
£5.49 for 10 (in store only), www.booths.co.uk
Just because Christmas Day is out of the way doesn’t mean you can’t continue to enjoy the taste of turkey. New for this season, these Turkey, sage and onion crisps are made from high-quality potatoes, fragrant herbs, punchy onion and the unmistakable taste of our favourite festive bird.
£1.29 for 40g, www.fairfieldsfarmcrisps.co.uk
These little bites of heaven are so moreish that the only problem you’ll have is wishing you’d bought more. The tender applewood and chestnut wood smoked pork belly is seasoned with smoked sea salt and pepper, then cut into squares. For the last five minutes of cooking, you pour over the sticky barbecue glaze.
£6 for 395g (in store only), www.marksandspencers.com
This award-winning company’s five new nut recipes having proved a huge hit this year. Flavours include French Rosemary Almonds, Moroccan Spiced Almonds, Mexican Sweet Chilli Mixed Nuts, Italian Herb Peanuts & Hazelnuts and our favourite - Peruvian Pink Peppercorn Cashews & Peanuts.
£2.79 for 120g, www.mrfilberts.com
Fresh from the most northerly loch in Scotland, these salmon are dry-cured in salt and dark brown sugar, then smoked in the Somerset Levels over oak. It melts in the mouth, yet is firm enough to be the perfect party food. Simply roll some up with some lemon juice or make mini sandwiches.
£16.50 for 200g, www.fortnumandmason.com
You can always count on Heston to come up trumps with something a bit different for the buffet table and his Heston from Waitrose range this year is, frankly, genius. These are the best though - prawns in mini pots are topped with Marie Rose sauce and a dusting of tomato powder.
£5.99 for 8, www.waitrose.com
Most of us love a mince pie at Christmas, but they can be too big to serve up at a party. These bite-sized morsels of festive fare are just the job for after a dinner party or served with a glass of mulled wine at a drinks party. The pastry is buttery and the centre fabulously rich.
£5.99 for 12, www.lakeland.co.uk
You get two outstanding pâtés for less than a fiver in this box, both of which go a long way, particularly if you use them to make some crostinis. The first, chicken liver and pork pâté is made with mushrooms and chardonnay, while the second, pork liver and pork pâté is made with Madeira wine.