The 12 food trends of Christmas: From mince-pie cocktails to deep-fried crackling

Flavourless white turkey and mushy sprouts with a cava chaser? No more! Make this year’s celebrations the foodiest ever...

Florence Knight's edible Christmas treats: Polpetto's head chef reveals how to make ginger snaps, quince jelly and bay leaf caramel

Save yourself from the madness of the shops and prepare your presents at home in the kitchen...

The 10 best Christmas gifts for the drinks connoisseur

Whether you're a coffee love or a cocktail fan, we've got something for everyone

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Whether it's a nifty new kitchen gadget or a gourmet treat to taste, food lovers will love these great gifts

Herb-roasted sirloin with carrot and horseradish salad

Let's get the party started: Mark Hix's simple recipes for a relaxed Christmas Eve dinner

The night before Christmas can be a great time to get a few friends around for a gentle knees-up, before or after midnight mass (if you go, that is). I always think that a really good Christmas Eve sort of rolls into Christmas Day, in the sense that the festive spirit is well and truly upon us by then.

How to cheat at Christmas lunch

Striving to produce the perfect festive meal is a recipe for frayed tempers in the kitchen. Gillian Orr gets advice on cutting a few corners on the big day.

Christmas turkey? Why not go for a goose

The traditional Christmas bird may not be cheap, says Anthea Gerrie, but with its uniquely delicious fat and crispy crackling, it’s a festive feast that keeps on giving

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Starting to fill up the cupboards for the Christmas hordes? Get started with a few boxes of these buttery treats...

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From fine champagne to the perfect party plonk and a few cheeky spirits, Anthony Rose selects his festive favourites

Egg - for Tristan Welch's special egg and soldiers
By the 1920s, toasts were being written for every event from christening to funeral

To health, prosperity and settled hearts! Raising a glass to the hearty toast

Fans of A Christmas Carol will recall that the story ends with a slap-up dinner at the Cratchit household, a half-circle around the hearth and the salutation: "God bless us every one!" from the crippled-but-plucky Tiny Tim. Modern-day parishioners of the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, know that his usual Christmas card salutation is "Health, prosperity and settled hearts." In Scotland, every household on New Year's Eve promises to "take a cup of kindness yet" in memory of long ago.

Bottoms up: Everyone likes something bubbly at Christmas, so it’s worth seeking out seasonal bargains

Party drinks: How to find the best bargain bottles

A vicious price war on wines and spirits is good news if you're stocking up for Christmas. Jamie Merrill finds out what's on offer.

<p>1. Hale and Hearty</p>
<p>£8.99 (454g), hollandandbarrett.com</p>
<p>Anyone on a gluten-, wheat- or dairy-free diet can enjoy this indulgent award-winner.</p>

The 10 Best: Christmas puddings

1. Hale and Hearty

£8.99 (454g), hollandandbarrett.com

Anyone on a gluten-, wheat- or dairy-free diet can enjoy this indulgent award-winner.

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