The traditions of a British Christmas dinner party

The British Christmas dinner party is a cherished occasion deeply embedded in history and cultural practices. It serves as a festive gathering, bringing together families and friends to share a hearty meal and celebrate the holiday season. This article explores the various elements that define the British Christmas dinner party, from planning and preparation to the customs that make it unique.

festive cheer family Christmas party

Planning and Preparation

Planning for a British Christmas dinner party typically begins weeks in advance. Families meticulously organise the menu, considering both traditional dishes and personal preferences. The centrepiece, often a Christmas turkey, requires careful selection and preparation. Accompaniments like roast potatoes, stuffing, and various vegetables complement the main dish. Essential sauces, such as cranberry and bread sauce, are included, while puddings, both savoury and sweet, add a delightful touch to the meal.

Christmas Table Setting

The British place great emphasis on the presentation of the British Christmas dinner table. A well-laid table is considered an art form, with meticulous attention given to the arrangement of cutlery, crockery, and festive decorations. Christmas crackers, a British invention dating back to the 19th century, are a staple, providing entertainment and small trinkets for guests.


British Christmas Dinner Traditions

Pulling a Christmas cracker is a beloved tradition that adds an element of surprise and amusement. The paper crowns found inside are worn throughout the meal, contributing to the festive atmosphere. Toasting with mulled wine or champagne is another integral part, fostering camaraderie.


The serving of Christmas pudding is a climactic moment, often accompanied by the ceremonial lighting of the pudding. This rich and fruity dessert, sometimes laced with alcohol, is a quintessential part of British Christmas cuisine.

Post-Dinner Customs

Following the hearty meal, British Christmas dinner parties transition into post-dinner customs. The exchange of gifts is significant, with carefully wrapped presents placed under the Christmas tree. Carol singing adds a musical touch to the evening.

The unwinding process may involve board games, charades, or watching the Queen’s Christmas Speech, a tradition observed since 1952. The focus is on shared experiences and quality time spent together.

Regional Variations

While the overarching elements of a British Christmas dinner party remain consistent, regional variations and personal preferences contribute to a diverse tapestry of celebrations. Different regions across the UK may introduce unique dishes or variations on traditional favourites, reflecting local culinary influences.

Product Recommendations

As Christmas approaches, Tesco introduces a delectable lineup of pigs in blankets, transforming them from mere trimmings into festive centrepieces. Explore Tesco’s diverse range, catering to various tastes and preferences, including meat lovers, fans of plant-based options, or those seeking gluten-free alternatives.


Tesco has something for everyone:

  • Tesco Pigs in Blankets Topped Steak Pie (£5.00)
  • Tesco Cheesy Pigs in Blankets (£2.50)
  • Tesco Finest 10 Pigs in Blankets (£3.25)
  • Tesco Finest Chipolata Pigs in Blankets (£3.25)
  • Tesco 12 Pigs in Blankets (£3.00)
  • Tesco 20 Pigs in Blankets (£4.00)
  • Tesco Finest Pigs in Blankets 30 Pack (£10.00)
  • Tesco 12 Pork, Apple & Cranberry Pigs in Blankets (£3.00)
  • Tesco 12 British Pigs in Blankets (£2.80)
  • Tesco Plant Chef Meat Free Bangers in Duvets (£2.80)
  • Tesco Pigs in Blanket Flavour Sausage Rolls 60g (£1.25)
  • Tesco Finest Festive Bangers (£3.25)

Christmas Dining Tips

For a royal-inspired Christmas feast without breaking the bank, consider these expert tips:

  1. Baked Tomatoes on Toast: A lighter breakfast alternative that’s both delicious and cost-effective.
  2. Seafood Delights: Opt for affordable seafood options like salmon and salted codfish for a touch of luxury without the hefty price tag.
  3. Turkey Crown or Roll: Choose a turkey crown or roll as a budget-friendly and time-efficient option, reducing both cost and cooking time.
  4. Vegetable Variety: Roast vegetables for a colourful and nutritious addition to your Christmas plate, catering to various preferences.
  5. Healthier Yule Log: Opt for darker chocolate and low-fat Greek yogurt with fruits to create a healthier yule log without compromising on indulgence.

yule log

Mince Pies – Frangipane Mince Pies

The mince pies feature all-butter pastry cases filled with mincemeat infused with brandy and port, layered with rich citrus-infused mincemeat, sweet and nutty frangipane sponge, topped with flaked almonds, and finished with a gentle sweet dusting.

tesco-finest-frangipane-mince-pie (1)

Tesco Finest Frangipane Mince Pies [£2.25]. A twist on the classic treat, these mince pies have a buttery, shortcrust pastry with a fluffy almond filling that’s topped with sliced almonds and dusted with icing sugar.

Cheese Selection

Tesco has added new flavours to traditional cheeses for a memorable Christmas. The Tesco Sticky Toffee Cheddar Truckle [£1.10] infuses mature cheddar with a tantalising twist of sticky toffee sweetness. Also available is the Tesco Wensleydale with Cranberry Hidden Centre [£4.00], a creamy Wensleydale cheese with cranberries and filled with a delightfully sweet centre of oozing cranberry sauce.

Fish and Pea Rosti Basket

Decadent & Delicious Basa, coated in crispy salt & vinegar batter and soft mushy peas on a delightfully crunchy potato rosti basket. 

Belgian Chocolate Yule Log


The Tesco Finest Chocolate Log Cake [£17.00] is a guaranteed showstopper. A decadent cake filled with chocolate buttercream, covered in milk chocolate and finished with a milk chocolate ganache and flakes. Shaped like a tree trunk with a topping of edible chocolate pine cones and holly leaves reminiscent of a fairy-tale wonderland.

Tesco Build Your Own Christmas Olive Tree


The Tesco Build Your Own Christmas Olive Tree [£7.00] is a festive twist on the graze board, featuring Mediterranean olives and sun-dried tomatoes arranged in a tower resembling a Christmas tree. This is possibly my favourite product and it had a wow factor amongst my guest.

Banhoek Chilli Oil

Banhoek Chilli Oil – A Culinary Game-Changer for Your Christmas Feast

If you’re on the lookout for a kitchen essential that adds a kick to your Christmas dinner, Banhoek Chilli Oil might just be the secret ingredient you’ve been searching for.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Hand-made Excellence: Banhoek Chilli Oil is hand-made in small batches in the Banhoek Valley near Stellenbosch, South Africa. Crafted with care, the oil undergoes induction heating to gently infuse sun-dried, hand-crushed bird’s eye chillies with premium rapeseed oil.
  2. Consistent Heat and Flavour: Achieving its consistent heat level and perfect balance of flavour, Banhoek Chilli Oil expertly filters the chillies from the oil after infusing. This meticulous process ensures that every drop delivers the desired kick without overwhelming your taste buds.
  3. Versatile and Vibrant: This condiment is a versatile addition to your kitchen arsenal, adding depth, complexity, and a touch of heat to a variety of dishes. From pizza and pasta salads to stir-fry, breakfast, fish, meat, marinades, and even chocolate-based desserts – Banhoek Chilli Oil is your go-to flavour enhancer.
  4. Award-Winning: Recognised for its excellence, Banhoek Chilli Oil clinched a Great Taste Award in 2019. This accolade is a testament to the oil’s quality and its ability to elevate your culinary creations.
  5. Health Benefits: Beyond its flavourful punch, Banhoek Chilli Oil boasts health benefits. It is 100% natural, vegan, non-GMO, halal, and kosher. Low in saturated fats and high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, it is also a potent source of brain-building omega-6. Additionally, it contains vitamins E and K, contributing to skin health and fighting the effects of ageing.
  6. Availability: Priced at £8.50 for a 250ml bottle, Banhoek Chilli Oil is readily available on Amazon and in leading stores such as Ocado, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Daylesford Organic, and various independent delis, butchers, and restaurants across the UK.

For a full list of stockists and to bring the Banhoek Chilli Oil magic to your Christmas dinner, visit Spice up your festive feast with this culinary gem!


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