Christmas in October. It sounds absurd, maybe even blasphemous. I personally revelled in the idea of celebrating Christmas early and so I headed along to my nearby Booths store to celebrate the release of the new Booths Christmas Book.
The evening kicked off with a welcoming prosecco (or a fresh OJ in my case) and a slice of Booths rum-steeped and citrusy Christmas cake. The sound of Christmas carols sang over a saxophone filled the room as everyone got into the festive spirit seeing what yummy wonders Booths had to offer.
One thing that makes Booths stand out from their competitors is their true Northern roots. It’s a store that holds strong pride in being Northern and that’s something I can get on board with. They’re a supermarket that supports local suppliers and cares deeply.
Once our appetites had been whetted by welcome drinks and cake we were ready to get stuck in. We eased in with some champagne truffles. A smooth vanilla truffle encased in thick milk chocolate and infused with champagne – Dare I say, they were the nicest champagne truffles I’ve ever had?
So far, it was seeming to be quite a boozy event. Though I guess Christmas is associated with alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. Whilst I don’t really drink alcohol and don’t plan to have a boozy Christmas, I still enjoyed tasting all those alcohol-filled Christmas treats.
While on the topic of alcohol, we next drifted towards the Batch Gin stall to find out about this premium handcrafted Lancashire gin. Next thing I know, we were tasting the warmth of gin with notes of liquorice and honey. Though, the poor guy hosting for Batch could probably tell I’m not much of a drinker by how small a sip I took and the way my face scrumpled up. But hey, while I may no longer drink my family certainly make up for that so it was only fair that I tasted the gin goods on their behalf.
With tummies lined with boozy treats, it was time to enjoy some less alcoholic foods. Naturally, we made a beeline for the cheese stand.
When it comes to Christmas food I’m all about the cheese platters. With plans to (hopefully!) host Christmas at my house this year, I’ll be making it my mission to have the best cheese platter possible. From the selection of cheeses on offer at Booths, I’ll definitely be adding their Cranberry coated Brillat and Nettle Cornish Yarg to my Christmas list. They both just screamed wintery nights in and tasted delicious.
Everybody knows you can’t have cheese without crackers. The Peter’s Yard crackers did not disappoint and I made another mental note to add those to the Christmas food shop. Their charcoal and rye crackers will 100% be proudly sat on my table this Christmas. Well, if I hurry up and buy a dining table that is…
As we worked our way around the stands we got the chance to chat with some lovely people and sample some of the yummy items available in the Booths Christmas Book. Working with local Northern suppliers allows Booths to offer some truly delicious food and drink. In my eyes, it helps them stand out from the other supermarkets who tend to churn out the same branded foods (no offence to my other beloved supermarkets).
A Christmas event wouldn’t be complete without a mince pie and the mince pies by Bells of Lazonby are the perfect ones to start with. For Christmas this year, Bells also have a selection of other small Christmas treats including salted caramel brownie bites and classic stollen bites. It doesn’t surprise me that they won the ‘Food and Drink Producer of the Year’ award at the Cumbria Family Business Awards.
Sticking to a dessert theme, is it possible to have a Great Northern Christmas without some cakes by Lathams of Broughton?
Lancashire-based Lathams offer some of the best cakes which just have such a traditional, homemade feel to them. From banoffee meringue roulade to chocolates profiteroles to mulled wine cheesecake – Lathams have cakes to keep the whole family happy!
Whatever you’re thinking of having for Christmas, Booths are bound to have the food and drink you desire. They even have gin and tonic smoked salmon! With Booths you can buy all the ingredients to make your own Christmas dinner or you can choose a hamper to help take the stress out of the day.
Sure it may be a little early to be talking all things Christmassy on the blog but if you are in the mood to get organised for Christmas then I highly recommend you flick through the Booths Christmas Book for some tasty inspiration (and recipes!).
Oh and although Booths may be a proudly Northern supermarket, they do deliver nationwide. So, take a peek at the Christmas Book, trust my word when I say the food is incredible and get your Christmas orders in by December 15th so they can take care of you this Christmas!