Rich and trendy go for bronze

TIME WAS when the less well off queued for hours to buy their Christmas turkeys, writes Emma Cook. Now, though, the wealthiest shoppers are standing in line until their Gucci-clad feet go numb - all for a succulent bronze or black-legged bird.

By early morning on Christmas Eve hundreds of them will be waiting patiently on the pavements outside some of the country's most exclusive and, it goes without saying, most expensive butchers.

Why? Because shoppers with money to burn just cannot find supermarket birds to their taste, or come to that, any taste. Moen, the free-range and organic butcher in Clapham, south London, expects up to 100 people to queue around the block on Christmas Eve. It is offering its specially bred, free-range bronze for up to pounds 60; so far, 700 customers have placed orders.

At Harrods, the most irresistible bird this Christmas is the Kelly bronze free-range black-legged turkey, which costs pounds 70 for a 16lb bird. Customers have been on a waiting list for up to two months.

Just down the road in Soho's Berwick Street, Fenns is selling free-range turkeys for up to pounds 45 to customers who are willing to queue for an hour to guarantee they get their order.

Strangely the customer willing to pay more has to sacrifice convenience - an irony not wasted on moneyed shopper Francesca, who hopes to purchase a 12lb bronze this Christmas. Francesca placed her order at the end of November and will be up early on Christmas Eve. "You always have to wait outside at 8am. I can't feel my legs by the end of it. This year I'll take a flask of coffee."

Another connoisseur, Jennifer, now feels the wait isn't worth it. "I had to queue for two hours last year and when I finally got to the counter they told me to come back in three hours' time." This year she's settling for Marks & Spencer.

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