I love Christmas for its spirit of togetherness – the excuse for long (sometimes quite rowdy!) lunches with loved ones, lots of catch-ups and, of course, time spent sharing and enjoying amazing food.
I’ve hosted more than a few of those long Christmas lunches over the years, and one thing that has always served me well, is keeping it simple. I always like to build a relaxed menu around a few of the classics – for me, that always starts with a beautiful glazed ham or a perfectly crispy pork – then I add a variety of sides and, of course, a show-stopping dessert that’s as easy as it is impressive. This issue is packed with ideas to help you through what we all know can sometimes be a stressful day. Our recipes for the best-ever ham, roast chicken and pork, plus our stunning selection of side dishes (page 121), are guaranteed crowdpleasers you can rely on, even when the festive season is at its most frantic. I’m also loving our Quick Fixes this issue (page 45), with the easiest dips and nut mixes you can throw together in a snap when entertaining – they’re perfect to take to parties, too. For me, the best celebration is always topped off with a spectacular dessert, and you need look no further for your next sweet masterpiece than our luscious trifle feature (page 158) – these treats are all set to steal the scene at your festive table (and I guarantee your guests will be talking about them for years to come!). Then, all that’s left to do is keep the drinks topped up and settle in to share an enjoyable feast with all the ones you love. Thanks for spending another year with us – we have some exciting and innovative changes planned for 2016 that I can’t wait to share with you but, for now, I’d just like to say a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays