From the turkey to brussels sprouts, get all the ingredients for your festive feast delivered direct to your door
There’s more than enough on everyone’s to-do list at this time of year, without adding the Christmas Day food shopping into the mix. But these helpful boxes include everything from meat bundles that cover from breakfast to dinner, measured ingredients so that nothing is forgotten, or a plentiful hamper including fruit, veg and all those little extras that you just couldn’t have Christmas Day without – mince pie anyone? Even better, each will be delivered straight to your door so that you don’t even have to step foot in a store, let alone write a shopping list. Most offer a choice of delivery date and even time, but just make sure you don’t miss the order cut-off – we’ve highlighted these for you below.
We had concerns that portions wouldn’t be large enough but that was completely unfounded, with each box providing ample amounts. Quantity didn’t mean quality was overlooked either, ingredients were top notch – high-welfare, organic, handmade, it’s all here. Not only do these bundles cut the stress of shopping out of the equation (we’ve all had those last minute Christmas Eve trolley dashes) but they can also work out as incredibly good value.
Generally, the larger the box and the more people you’re feeding, the cheaper it becomes per head. However, even the boxes for two are far cheaper than if you were to leave it to a local restaurant. Quite simply, this is the easiest way to do Christmas dinner, whether you’re a proficient cook or a complete novice.
Both vegetarians and meat-eaters are catered for, as well as large families or tiny tables of two. The team at Crummbs have spent the past few weeks cooking up Christmas dinners to ensure that your big day goes as smoothly as possible.
Abel & Cole The Christmas Feast Box Organic: £165, Abel & Cole
Not only have these guys thought of every single ingredient you could possibly need this Christmas (even down to flavoured butters), but they’ve also provided fool-proof recipes to follow for a seamless, stress-free feast. Your golden roast turkey will be served with fragrant sage and shallot gravy and lemon, and apple and parsley stuffing. While the accompanying sides will seriously impress guests – honey and orange glazed roast carrots and parsnips, brussels sprouts with browned clementine butter, hasselback roasties, and cider and pear braised red cabbage. The generous magnum of prosecco was the icing on the cake – the only thing we struggled with is finding room for it all in the fridge. This particular box caters for six to eight people and there’s a vegetarian feast available, too. Order now for deliveries from 20th December – your postcode will determine the order cut-off day, so check the website for more information.
Riverford Christmas Dinner Boxes: From £45.95, Riverford
Whether you’re a veggie couple or a meat-eating crowd, Riverford truly has a Christmas bundle for everyone this year. We tried the nut roast, which easily serves two to three adults and includes all the fruit and veg you could possibly want (cabbage, carrots, parsnips, sprouts, potatoes, clementines and so on), a jar of cranberry sauce, a Christmas pudding for dessert, a wheel of creamy brie and salt and pepper cheese biscuits, and last but by no means least, a pack of mince pies, which were genuinely some of the best we’ve had this year. The carrots were lovely, big specimens, arriving still muddy and fresh out of the ground, and the nut roast even managed to impress the meat-eaters. It’s also possible to add on those all-important extras, such as fresh organic eggs for breakfast. Order now for deliveries from 20th December. Again, your postcode will determine the order cut-off date but with bundles already selling out, we’d recommend booking sooner rather than later to secure your feast.
Field & Flower The Christmas Day Box: £146.40, Field & Flower
All the meat from Field & Flowers is high-welfare, free-range and reared by British farmers. The turkey breast couldn’t be easier to cook – pre-wrapped in streaky bacon, we literally just chucked ours in the oven and it came out perfect (if we do say so ourselves). Aside from the must-haves (cranberry sauce, stuffing, pigs in blankets, etc.), there were some extra special touches that we appreciated. These include a rustic olive wooden board to present your cheese on (cheddar and Blacksticks blue are provided), Christmas chutney and smoked salmon, which could be eaten as a starter or at breakfast. Field & Flowers doesn’t offer vegetables though, so you’ll have to get these elsewhere. As well as this Christmas Day box, which feeds between eight to ten people, you can easily add on extras to make the bundle go that bit further. Pre-order by 18th December for delivery on the 20th, 21st and 23rd.
Rhug Complete Christmas Meat Box with Garnish Pack: £225, Rhug
The Rhug Estate is a safe bet for when only the best will do. Spanning 12,500 acres across the Welsh countryside, animals are left free to roam and fed the finest organic oats, enjoying a stress-free life. This Christmas box aims to provide all the meat you’ll need on the big day, but you’ll have to buy your sprouts and the like separately. The organic turkey is a whopping 6.5kg and will feed between 10 to 13 people – ideal for bigger families. It doesn’t need basting and cooks quicker than conventional turkeys due to its upbringing. Aside from that, you’ll find a 2kg beef and gammon joint, a 2kg lamb leg, cocktail sausages, streaky bacon, sausage meat and the all-important cranberry sauce. It’s enough meat to keep you going for weeks, let alone one day. All you need to choose is your stuffing flavour – plain, sage and onion, or pork and chestnut sausage meat. You’ll save yourself 10 per cent compared to if you were to the buy items separately. The last day to order a box online will be 14th December, while the closest delivery date to Christmas will be 20th December.
Muscle Food Ultimate Luxury Christmas Turkey: £49, Muscle Food
As the name suggests, Muscle Food focuses on high-quality, protein-rich meat boxes that can be delivered all year round. This Christmas, it’s targeting hungry rabbles with this whopping meat feast. Each hamper includes a large turkey, six meaty breakfast pork sausages, ten breakfast bacon medallions, ten slices of unsmoked streaky bacon, 16 chipolata sausages, pork sausage meat, ten pigs in blankets, 12 sage and onion stuffing balls, 2kg of potatoes (perfect for roasting), 1kg of carrots, 500g of unpeeled brussels sprouts, a big whole red cabbage, and luxury turkey gravy. This lot will feed up to 12 hungry guests and works out at just £4.09 per head, which quite frankly is a bargain. For guaranteed Christmas delivery you’ll need to order before the 19th December. And boxes will be delivered between 19th – 22nd December.
Cook Christmas Lunch Bundles: From £26.75, Cook
Frozen food specialist Cook provides restaurant-quality dishes that simply need heating through. The seamless lunch timings are available to download and print off, and there’s even a video to show you just how simple it is to make dinner for eight people. Helpful reminders include taking your turkey out of the freezer 48 hours before the big day and are detailed enough to ensure nothing is forgotten. Your box will include an award-winning turkey crown, stuffing, potatoes roasted in rapeseed oil to make them lovely and golden, parmesan parsnips, pigs in blankets and gravy. Once defrosted the cooking time is just three hours, what could possibly be simpler? For extra flexibility you can build your own box and add on dessert. Cook offers both a delivery option and a store collection service, just order before 23rd December.
British Fine Foods Christmas In A Box: From £150, British Fine Foods
The award-winning British Fine Foods Company was set up to support British artisan food producers up and down the country, whether that’s cheese, wine or meat. And its Christmas-in-a-box offering delivers a four course meal straight to your door. You’ll begin with elegant smoked salmon mousse cups from the award-winning Inverawe smokehouse (our personal favourite). Your main course will include turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing and cranberry sauce (but doesn’t include the veg). Keeping it traditional, dessert is a luxury Christmas pudding with brandy butter, and you’ll finish with a complete cheese board including chutney and crackers from Paxton & Whitfield. Each box can serve either six, eight or ten people. The order cut-off date is 14th December, while deliveries take place on 22nd December.
Hello Fresh Christmas Box: From £69.99, Hello Fresh
For those of you that rely on Hello Fresh for midweek meal inspiration, you’ll be pleased to hear it has come to the rescue for Christmas Day too. Following the same step-by-step process, Hello Fresh will provide the pre-measured ingredients to prepare a feast for the whole family. On the menu is a butter basted turkey with gravy, pigs in blankets, honey and thyme roasted carrots and parsnips, rosemary potatoes, creamy brussels sprouts with pancetta, and spiced red cabbage with apple. Catering for up to ten people (with a minimum of four), we suggest adding on chocolate range pots for dessert. Cooking prep is split into “the night before” and “the day of” and will take 6 and a half hours in total. You have until 17th December to order your box and it will be delivered on 22nd December.
The Verdict: Christmas food boxes
We adore the Abel & Cole box, which has thought of everything. If you’re a confident cook who wants to create something special this year, you’ll appreciate the helpful recipes provided. Our Field & Flowerturkey crown was incredibly easy to cook and tasted delicious, so that would be a good choice if you don’t mind getting your veggies elsewhere. Riverford also impressed for its excellent produce and huge range, offering something for every family size and diet preference, and starting out at very purse-friendly prices – although we think it’s worth ordering for the mince pies alone. If the thought of the in-laws descending on you and rumbling your lack of kitchen skills fills you with fear, the Cook box will get you through the day in one piece.
by Stacey Smith – independent.co.uk