Christmas at Home with The AC
Our tips for this year’s Christmas food and drink
Whether you have family joining you for Christmas or you are inviting friends for a glass of bubbles and some tempting treats, at The AC we want to help you prepare for the festive season. In this blog you will find top tips from our in-house party planning experts and talented Head Chef, so you can provide the best Christmas food and drink. Our MD, Ruth Lawton-Owen has been interviewed by The Telegraph about this subject too, so look out for its publication during the week of 11th December.
Although we look to new ideas and trends each year, there is no escaping the traditional British dishes that bring back fond memories of our childhood. At The AC we love adding a twist to these firm favourites, not only to modernise a dish but to also make a party unique. Our Head Chef, Andy Ritchie, shares with us some of his favourite dishes for the holiday season.
“My childhood holidays were occasionally spent with my granny, who apart from making the best pancakes in the world, also used to make an old favourite of mine, iced gems, homemade shortbread with sugary icing on top. I have done a little take on this by creating savoury canapés using parmesan and rosemary mini shortbreads, topped with goat’s cheese in different pastille colours piped as the icing. A fun addition to a canapé party, which can often fool unsuspecting diners.”
Brunch is becoming more and more popular, offering a causal stress-free option to entertain at home and younger families always appreciate a relaxed pre-lunch invitation. Andy suggests a quick and easy crowd pleaser.
Quick Brunch Recipe
“This dish takes no time at all; In an over-sized earthenware dish, crack a couple of eggs, add spinach, mushrooms, bacon, even fried bread, leftover sausage etc and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes till the eggs cook. Take straight from the oven and place in the centre of the table for all to enjoy.”
Brunch also offers the perfect excuse to revamp leftovers. Andy suggests using leftover meat and vegetables to create a delicious, aromatic, Biriyani dish. If you have one, simply put everything into a rice cooker at once, sprouts and all! Use two cups of basmati rice, curry spice and double the cups in water, even leftover gravy. Cook for 25 minutes, top with some natural yoghurt and cranberry jelly. If you don’t have a rice cooker, this can be done on top of the stove instead.
The Big Meal Centre Piece
This year the shops are full of high quality, prepared alternatives to the traditional turkey. There is so much choice it may be hard to decide. Whatever you choose, Andy suggests you select the best quality meat you can afford and remember that often the simple things are the best.
Vegetarians, Vegans, Gluten Free and More
For those with special dietary requirements, this year we see a big rise in quality and variety. Many of the supermarkets are offering enticing looking alternatives to the usual nut roast, such as three-fish-roasts and many stuffings and fillings used in prepared meats are now gluten-free which is a huge bonus for those who either choose not to eat gluten or are unable to do so.
Our top pick for Champagne at events this Christmas is either The AC’s house Champagne or Andre Clouet
AC House Champagne
A careful blend of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes creates a light, fruity, lively Champagne. Created exclusively for The AC, the grapes grow in a vineyard immediately adjacent to Tattinger vines.
A Blanc de Noirs made exclusively from Grand Cru Pinot Noir. Rich and biscuity with stone fruit aromas and a citrus lift. It is the perfect accompaniment to any canapé party.
At home, the major players will tempt us with offers of sparkling deliciousness. We suggest you look out for British, Nytimber rosé or classic Cuvee or Tesco Finest Premier Cru is delicious if you are looking for something under £20.
The big story in spirits this year has been the rise in craft Gins. With the ability to add so many types of ingredients, there is an endless choice of flavours available to us. Whether you sip it neat, mix it with tonic or stir it into a classic cocktail, treat your guests to one of the many British craft gins available this Christmas. Charlotte Humphrey, the AC’s Event Logistics Manager, suggests:
6 O’Clock Brunel Edition
Created to celebrate the life and achievements of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, 6 O’clock Gin has introduced six new botanicals (including Cassia, Cardamom & Cubeb Pepper) into this wonderfully complex gin. Each bottle has been carefully distilled for a more intense flavour with light citrus freshness and a dry spicy finish.
King of Soho
The King of Soho is a London Dry Gin distilled in the heart of London using traditional methods; a complex spirit crafted with 12 botanicals to their unique flavour profile.
Let us help you create the perfect Christmas party for your home. To chat about your ideas with a dedicated party planner, contact us today
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