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Christmas Treats

We’ve got the decorations up, the tree has arrived and more importantly, festive food has made an appearance on the menus and shelves of our favourite stores. The moment we sniffed out a Gingerbread and Cream latte we knew it was time to go and check what other festive treats are knocking about within the centr

Now Christmas shopping can be a tough job, deciding what to buy, choosing the perfect present and carrying what seems like a sack-full of presents, but nothing beats that smug feeling when you’ve nailed a days shopping. Make sure that you stop for a break to re-fuel and re-energise, that way, you’ll be sure to get that list ticked off in no time. Here are our top recommendations, guaranteed to get you in the mood to shop ‘til you drop! Santa needs to watch his back in the present department,  you mean business.

Costa Coffee
Nothing says Christmas like a Gingerbread and Cream Latte, Costa is guaranteed to give you that caffeine festive boost. There were a few new surprises on the menu, which of course, we had to try out...

The Hazelnut Praline, with dollops of Belgian Chocolate sauce, fresh cream and a crispy chocolate truffle crumb was actual Heaven in a cup.  We also tried the Gingerbread + Sticky Toffee Wreath Cake which almost looked too good to eat- but not quite.

To balance things out and get one of your 5 -a -day, we’d highly recommend the Caramelised Orange latte. (We can’t be sure, but we’re pretty certain the orange counts as one of your 5)

Last but certainly not least, the new and exclusive Pigs & Blankets Mac ‘n’ Cheese. These should really come with some kind of warning as they’re seriously addictive and just so perfect for a quick snack.

Grab it while it lasts people!

Hotel Chocolat
Buying Christmas gifts is always a stressful task, however you know you can’t go too far wrong with something from Hotel Chocolat! The king of posh chocolates.

If you’re really looking to impress, The Classic Christmas Chocolate Sleekster Gift box, will do the trick.  A selection of their finest chocolates, with 15 different flavours to choose from. We think it would be rude not to try them all though.

Now this is our kind of Christmas decoration- a chocolate wreath. The Wreath Box has 40 chocolates and two Grand Snowflakes. Just don’t blame us if you go into a food-coma.

Now if you really feel like splashing out and showing whos boss, the Ultimate Christmas Hamper will serve you well! This ‘mega-gift’ features an extensive concoction of Christmas delights, featuring items such as the Christmas Luxe Collection, Winter Cocktails, Gingerbread Hot Chocolate, vintage 2008 Chateau Chocolat Red, Salted Caramel Vodka, and the list goes on…now that really is the ultimate Christmas present.

Greggs
Household favourite Greggs always smashes it at Christmas and this year is no exception! Returning, is their highly anticipated Festive Christmas Bake, which has its own fan made Facebook page, as well as an online countdown to make sure that eager customers don’t miss out on this special launch date!  Who knew a pasty could become so famous!

Filled with succulent turkey, bacon, stuffing, cranberry and white sauce, and coated in a herbed puff pastry pocket...you can see why there’s so much hype, it’s Christmas dinner that fits perfectly in your hands. This is as festive as it gets.

If the festive bake hasn’t got you festive enough (Pretty Impossible, but you never know) then there’s also the Turkey, Cranberry and Bacon roll,
Pigs Under Blanket Baguette, or the Cheese and Chutney Toastie. Whoever curated the Greggs festive menu deserves a knighthood.

Lindt
Now Lindt are pretty much the kings of Christmas chocolate. Come on, their chocolates are shaped like snowballs.
We got an advent calendar for the office, wish we could show you a photo, but unfortunately half of them have been eaten. (Exhibit A) Don’t worry, we’ve found the culprit though and we’ve assigned them to brew duty every day up until Christmas.

If you’re less selfish than us though and are looking to buy for others instead of yourself, then there’s loads to choose from.
The Maxi Ball Milk Chocolate Ball, the Gold Reindeer Chocolate, the Milk Chocolate teddy bears, or the Gift Wrapped box are all perfect stocking fillers. Just make sure you don’t leave them hanging by the fire. No one wants a melted reindeer for Christmas.

Gino D’Acampo
It’s party time at Gino’s this Christmas  with an exclusive deal for parties of 8 or more guests. So round up the troops!  From 22nd November until Christmas Eve, Gino’s will take good care of you, giving you a taste of authentic Italian festivities including a cheeky glass of Prosecco on the house! Bring on the festa!

If you haven’t been to Gino’s then we’d highly recommend a visit. It’s the perfect pit-stop to relax and refuel after a long day Christmas shopping. The wonderful staff are so attentive and are passionate about delivering the highest service to make sure that you have only the very best experience. Trust us- you’ll think you’re in Italy!

Chef Gino D’Acampo has got something special in store for you with a menu full of passion and vigor. To start your meal off you can taste the Ribollita Soup, a chunky vegetable soup with toasted ciabatta, or the Chicken Liver Pate, partnered with mustard fruits and toasted ciabatta...ooo la la!

For mains, we’d recommend the Turkey Escalopes, with mushrooms and white wine, or if you’re in the mood for something a bit lighter, the Sea Bass is cooked to perfection, bathed in Italian salsa and lemon. Also available is the festive Cannelloni with rocket, spinach and creamy ricotta cheese...our bellies are rumbling just thinking about it!

Luckily, we’d saved space for desert, (Always save space for desert)  the Chocolate Fondant, a beautifully crafted pudding accompanied with stuffed chocolate truffles and vanilla ice cream was our favourite thing on the whole menu.  We went straight back to chocolate heaven again. (Need to stop making a habit of that)

The Baileys Panna Cotta, with a caramel sauce and cantuccini biscuit also deserves a mention, a bit lighter than the Fondant, so the perfect choice for those who aren’t up for the fondant challenge! ...Buon Appetito!

Keep your eyes peeled as more of our outlets release their festive menus. Would be rude not try them!