21st December 2022

#Christmas #Food & Drink

Passing on the Poultry

21st December 2022

With the holiday season upon us, everyone is starting to plan their Christmas dinners. For many, this means a traditional feast featuring a turkey, potatoes, gravy, and all the trimmings, such as Brussels sprouts, parsnips, and stuffing. The nations favourite turkey is here to stay during the holiday season. Whether it’s roasted, stuffed, or sliced up for sandwiches for the next day, turkey is a staple of the Christmas day feast.

But what if you just don’t like turkey? Have you decided to start your Venaguary early, or just want to mix things up this year? Do you have to stick to the same old thing?

Fortunately for you, no! One popular alternative is to go for a more modern take on the traditional meal. This could mean serving dishes like turkey wrapped in bacon, roasted vegetables with balsamic glaze, mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. Or, you could go all out and create a fancy feast, with dishes like venison Wellington, black truffle mash, and red wine jus.

There are so many different options that you can have instead of the Christmas turkey. If you’re struggling for some inspiration we have put together a few options that will go down great this year.


Lamb’s preparation is notoriously a little more difficult than other meat options. Nonetheless, if you give it a go this Christmas, the prize can be a delicious, scrumptious highlight for your festive dinner. Cooking lamb slowly at a low temperature can help maximise the tenderness and flavour of the lamb.

If you decide to serve lamb, why not try serving some unusual side dishes that you might not be able to serve at other Christmas dinners as well. Adding tangy flavours like lemon to things such as potatoes, asparagus, beets, and a green salad, can give your side dishes a real zing that will go well with your lamb and help cut through that richness.



Want your holiday table to look a bit more opulent? You should think about roasting a goose! While not a contemporary Christmas highlight, the goose has a long history as a Christmas bird and will be welcome on your table.

The fat in the goose gives it a rich, tender meat that is hard to overcook and makes it especially delicious. You can also use that fat to make a delicious gravy.



A pork loin can also be a delectable dish to serve at Christmas. Add maple, cranberry, or apple to the pork to give it a holiday flavour. Similar to roast lamb, pork cooks well with longer cook times and lower temperatures. Almost any side goes well with this versatile and tasty cut of meat.


Pheasant can be a great way to mix things up for Christmas dinner. With it’s more gamey, smoky flavour than other, more traditional birds, Pheasant can be used as an easy substitute for the classic Christmas roast. Or you could use in something completely different, like our Hampshire Pheasant Breast, Girolle Mushrooms & Sorrel Cream shown here.



Despite very few people regularly roasting duck, the bird can make a delicious Christmas dinner. You can achieve the desired texture and appearance in your duck by poking it prior to cooking to release excess fat and ensure a crispy skin.


Nut Roast

Why not skip the meat all together this year with a Vegetarian nut roast? Pair that with some stuffed squash or peppers, or a variety of individual dishes like roasted root vegetables, green beans in a garlic-herb sauce, and a mixed greens salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. Some people also enjoy creating a festive charcuterie board with a variety of cheeses, breads, and pickled vegetables, or making a big batch of hearty vegetarian soup to enjoy on Christmas Day.



Fancy some fish? Why not take some inspiration from the The Feast of the Seven Fishes, an Italian-American Christmas Eve tradition that originated in southern Italy. With it normally including seven different types of seafood dishes you can create a real Christmas feast for you  and your family this Christmas. Our rod and line caught Hake shown here is a great way to show off seasonal ingredients and mix up your Christmas dinner. Our Hake is only caught from two small day boats this year, with Skipper Ryan Davey and Skipper Alan Dwan fishing the waters around the isles of Scilly and landing into Brixham and Newlyn with their catch.

Or, you could even take inspiration from other cuisines and serve up a multicultural feast, with dishes like French onion soup, Italian risotto, or Middle Eastern lamb kebabs


Another option is to embrace the flavours of the season without sticking to a traditional English Christmas dinner. This could mean serving dishes that are typically associated with winter, such as hearty stews, soups, and braises.

Ultimately, the important thing is to have fun and enjoy the holiday season with good food and good company. So whether you stick to the classics or try something new, the most important thing is to celebrate the season in your own way. Happy holidays!

Looking for some more inspiration? You can find all of our seasonal ingredients we are using in our Pubs and Hotels here


Your enquiry has been successfully sent and our team will be back in touch with you soon to confirm your booking.

If you need to speak to speak to us sooner, give us a call on and a member of the team will be happy to help.