Saturday 30 December 2023 Witnesses Unprecedented Divorce Application on Christmas Day

In a striking revelation this Christmas,, a pioneering online platform offering family law services, encountered an unusual yet poignant scenario, a customer chose Christmas Day to initiate their divorce process.

Mark Keenan, the MD of, spoke about this special case, saying, "Our client chose to start their divorce on Christmas Day as a gift to themselves. They mentioned, 'I decided on Christmas Day as a gift from me to me. It will be the best gift to finally get... I thought about my kids at the table, realising they deserve a better life, and it begins with my divorce.'"

This incident highlights a broader narrative often overlooked during the festive season. While Christmas is synonymous with family and celebration, it also presents an opportunity for introspection and life-changing decisions for some individuals. offers a platform that caters to these critical moments with empathy and professionalism.

“Deciding to pursue a divorce is never easy, and doing so on a day like Christmas requires immense courage and clarity,” added Keenan. “Our service aims to provide a supportive and confidential environment that respects the personal journeys of our clients, even on the most festive days of the year.”

This story brings to the forefront the diverse experiences and emotional journeys people navigate in family law situations. remains committed to providing an accessible, respectful, and efficient service for those who find themselves making these difficult decisions, even on days traditionally reserved for joy and celebration.

Friday 29 December 2023

It's STILL looking a lot like Christmas! Some Christmas markets are still open for business!

Reading's Christmas market will remain open until January 7th. Edinburgh is keeping its Christmas Market open until the day before Reading's, January 6th.

Remaining in Scotland, we learn that Glasgow’s Christmas markets will also stay open until after the New Year, closing on January 4th. 

Southampton’s festive markets will also stay open until right up to January 2nd, giving shoppers a whole 48 hours after the turn of the New Year or 8 days to keep the festive spirit alive.

So, if you are within reaching distance of any Christmas Market that is still open, why not pop along and see if you can find yourself a nice festive bargain or two?

That's Christmas would like to thank the Business Name Generator website for helping us prepare this blogpost.

Wednesday 27 December 2023

Trussell Trust reveals new figures on emergency food parcel needs. Learn how you can help

New figures released by the Trussell Trust showed 1.5 million emergency food parcels were provided to people between April and September 2023 by food banks in the charity’s UK-wide network. This is the most parcels the network's ever distributed at this point in the year and represents a 16% increase from the same period in 2022.

Low incomes, especially from social security, debt, health conditions and issues with social security payments such as delays or sanctions were the main reasons people were left with no option but to turn to food banks for help.

A record 540,000 food parcels were provided for over 265,000 children living in families who couldn't afford the essentials. That's an 11% increase compared to the same period last year, reflecting the continuing rise in need for the support provided by food banks.

The new data also revealed 65% of all the parcels provided by Trussell Trust food banks between April and September this year were for families with children.

Furthermore, the charity has reported an alarming 320,000 people have needed to use a food bank for the first time in the past six months, warning food banks are at ‘breaking point’ as more people in communities across the UK find themselves unable afford the essentials.

The Trussell Trust believe the situation is unlikely to change in the coming months with this stark new data leading them to forecast that food banks in their network will distribute more than a million emergency food parcels between December 2023 and February 2024 – the equivalent of providing a parcel every eight seconds this winter.

Jess Holliday, Deputy CEO at Eastbourne Foodbank said: “At Eastbourne Foodbank, our donations are down even as need remains very high. We are deeply concerned about the alarming rise in the number of children needing our support. 

"Last month, 633 of the food parcels we provided were for children. Day after day, people tell us they simply don’t have enough money to buy the basics. A client told me, ‘I have sold my car. I have sold everything and cut everything out. But that’s still not enough. All I want is enough money to pay the basic bills and have some left to buy my own food.'”

In order to reduce these relentless levels of need, the Trussell Trust is calling on the UK Government to use the upcoming Autumn Statement to build on its work to protect households on the lowest incomes.

Emma Revie, CEO of the Trussell Trust said: “These statistics are extremely alarming. An increasing number of children are growing up in families facing hunger, forced to turn to food banks to survive. A generation is growing up believing it’s normal to see a food bank in every community. This isn't right.

“Rising hunger and hardship have devastating consequences for individuals and our communities, damage the nation’s health and hold back our economy. People in work, as well as people who cannot work, are increasingly being pushed into debt and forced to turn to a food bank to survive.

“That’s why the UK Government must build on its work to protect people from increasingly severe hardship and commit to putting an Essentials Guarantee into legislation, to embed in our social security system the widely supported principle that, at a minimum, Universal Credit should protect people from going without essentials."

The Trussell Trust is encouraging people to show their support for people facing hardship by signing a petition urging UK political party leaders to support the introduction of an Essentials Guarantee to ensure that the basic rate of Universal Credit at least covers life’s essentials, such as food and bills.

That's Christmas believes that the spirit of Christmas must be with us all year round. So if you can offer any help to your local foodbank, please do so. Even if it's buying a couple of extra items of food during your regular shopping trips and donating these, as everything helps.

Also, supermarkets such as Morrisons and Tesco offer special schemes to help to ensure food gets to people in need, so do look out for these.

To learn more about The Trussell Trust please visit them here:-

Sunday 24 December 2023

Your Ultimate Christmas Day Checklist: Creating Memories and Magic

The Christmas season is here, and with it comes the joy and excitement of Christmas Day. Whether you're hosting a festive gathering or enjoying a cozy day with loved ones, planning is key to ensure a perfect Christmas celebration. 

To help you navigate the yuletide festivities, we've compiled the ultimate Christmas Day checklist. Follow these steps to create a memorable and magical day for everyone involved.

Decorate with Care:

Start the day by immersing yourself in the Christmas spirit. Deck the halls with festive decorations, hang stockings by the chimney, and don't forget the twinkling lights. A well-decorated space sets the stage for a joyful Christmas celebration.

Festive Feast Planning:

Plan your Christmas menu well in advance. Whether you're cooking a traditional turkey dinner or opting for a unique culinary experience, make a detailed shopping list. Check for any dietary restrictions or preferences among your guests, and ensure you have all the ingredients you need for a delicious feast. (And make sure your turkey is properly defrosted if you have a frozen bird.)

Perfect Presents:

Double-check your gift list and make sure you have thoughtful presents for everyone. Consider adding a personal touch, such as handwritten cards or customized gifts. Don't forget to have a designated area for unwrapping presents, it adds an extra layer of excitement to the day.

Create a Cozy Atmosphere:

Ensure your home feels warm and inviting. Set up a cozy corner with blankets and cushions, and if you're lucky enough to have a fireplace, light it up for added ambiance. Create a playlist of your favorite holiday tunes to play in the background.

Plan Engaging Activities:

Have a plan for entertainment that suits all ages. Whether it's board games, a Christmas movie marathon, or a sing-along session, having a list of activities ensures that everyone stays engaged and entertained throughout the day.

Capture the Moments:

Assign someone the role of family photographer or set up a camera on a tripod to capture candid moments. These pictures will serve as cherished memories for years to come. Encourage everyone to put down their phones and be present in the moment.

Schedule Downtime:

Christmas can be a whirlwind of activity, so schedule some downtime for relaxation and reflection. Whether it's a quiet moment with a cup of cocoa or a stroll around the neighborhood to admire the lights, taking a break will help everyone appreciate the magic of the season.

Spread Holiday Cheer:

Encourage guests to bring a little something for charity, whether it's a canned good, a toy, or a small donation. It's a simple way to spread the holiday spirit and make a positive impact in your community.

Stay Flexible:

While planning is essential, be prepared to adapt. Christmas is about spending time with loved ones, so if things don't go exactly as planned, embrace the spontaneity and enjoy the day for what it is.

Express Gratitude:

Before the day comes to an end, take a moment to express gratitude. Whether it's through a heartfelt toast or a round-the-table sharing session, acknowledging the love and joy in the room adds a meaningful touch to your Christmas celebration.

By following this comprehensive Christmas Day checklist, you'll be well-prepared to create a festive atmosphere filled with love, laughter, and cherished memories. From decorations to delicious food, thoughtful gifts to engaging activities, each element contributes to the magic of the season. Embrace the spirit of Christmas and enjoy the company of your nearest and dearest as you celebrate this special day together.

And That's Christmas would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry and Happy Christmas and a joyous New Year.

Also, thank you to all the PR firms and companies who have helped us to make That's Christmas such a joy to publish.

Saturday 23 December 2023

Christmas gifting disaster? That's Christmas has it covered!

Sometimes Christmas gifting can go awry for a variety of reasons. And they're usually not your fault, either. 

A warehouse burns down, a delivery firms goes bankrupt, a Royal Mail Sorting Office goes on strike, a retailer promises to deliver but, in reality, they never had them in stock are only a short list of the problems that can result in a gift going AWOL.

No matter what the reason or excuse for you being let down, you will probably feel guilty, even though it's not your fault. You probably think "It's not my fault, but it is my responsibility."

So, what can you do to make sure that the person who should have been the recipient of your gift doesn't go without a present on Christmas Day?

Amazon Gift Vouchers which you can send electronically or print off, depending on how you want to deal with it.

Also, how about a Wetherspoon gift voucher which they can exchange for meals and/or drinks?

There are also other retailers who offer electronic gift vouchers and All4One (and similar companies) offer physical or electronic gift vouchers that can take the place of the missing gift. And after the New Year you can get on to the retailer or delivery company who let you down to see how they intend to make things right for you. 

(Image courtesy of Gerd Altmann and Pixabay)

A positive experience for temporary retail staff will boost the Christmas spirit, says expert

With retailers expecting an uptick in footfall this Christmas and increasing temporary hiring as a result, employment screening and identity verification expert, Sterling, has urged employers to use this opportunity to create better relationships with workers.

According to the latest Barclays Business Barometer, 60% of retailers are expecting to see more customers instore compared to online shopping estimates, with 82% planning to rely on temporary resources. With the data also showing that almost a third of retailers are hiring in greater numbers than previous Christmases, Sterling has highlighted that now is the time to invest in improving the hiring experience for workers, including temporary staff.

Steve Smith, President International at Sterling commented: “Seasonal workers have always played a significant role for retailers during Christmas, but it would seem as optimism grows across the sector, many firms are increasing their reliance on those not currently in full-time employment. However, these temporary workers aren’t just valuable in December. It’s important for employers to treat them as the longer-term commodity they really are."

He went on to say: “Retailers will often welcome the same short-term employees back time and again, and not just around the December rush. Temporary staff are increasingly being used as the backbone of the retail sector. However, to ensure they want to return, employers are having to provide the best experience for these workers, and that includes getting them through the screening process quickly. 

"With competition for this segment of the workforce increasing, it will be the brands able to screen and onboard temporary workers quickly that win both now and in the long run. In order to deliver this on the scale that’s needed, retailers are going to have to increasingly rely on remote screening and digital identity verification that’s quick, seamless for the end user and, perhaps more importantly, allows for the reuse of certifications in the future.”

(Image courtesy jacqueline macou of Pixabay)

Friday 22 December 2023

The ideal Christmas gift for a foodie. Tickets for the National Geographic Traveller (UK) Food Festival

The National Geographic Traveller (UK) Food Festival is back for 2024, returning to London for its fourth installment with a host of new features and a fresh line-up of big-name contributors, including headliner Nadiya Hussain.

The TV chef, best-selling author and winner of the sixth series of The Great British Bake Off, will appear on the Main Stage on Saturday 20 July, where she’ll be treating visitors to a live cooking demonstration peppered with tales from her own kitchen.

The Main Stage

Nadiya will be joined by a host of big-name chefs, cooks and food personalities on the Main Stage, who’ll be cooking up some of their signature dishes. Visitors can look forward to demonstrations by the likes of Nisha Katona, Matt Tebbutt, Ravneet Gill and Richard Corrigan. Expect further announcements over the coming months.

Authors’ Area, Masterclass Theatres & More

In the authors’ area, visitors can catch interviews with writers behind some of the most exciting recent food releases. Elsewhere, the Masterclass Theatres offer attendees the special chance to pick up cookery tips from guest chefs representing cuisines from all over the world, while the newly expanded Wine & Spirits Theatre will host a programme of expert-led tutorials and tasting sessions.

Looking ahead to next year’s show, Glen Mutel, editor of Food by National Geographic Traveller (UK) says: “It’s great to be back on the festival calendar and I’m confident the 2024 edition will be our best ever. Not only will we welcome some of the food world’s most exciting talent to our stages, but we’ll be combining new ideas and fresh features with all the elements that have made the festival so memorable in previous years.”

Festive Ticket Offer

Tickets are on sale now, just in time for Christmas gifting to the foodies in your life. It's the perfect Christmas gift for food lovers and travel enthusiasts, single day tickets are currently £10 plus booking fees- and that’s a third off the full ticket price.

Find them on Facebook:



The National Geographic Traveller (UK) digital edition is available for Apple, Android and Kindle devices:

Baileys crowned as Brits' favourite tipple and Christmas pud pairing

Baileys is declared to be the nation’s favourite festive tipple, with 47% of Brits naming it as their Christmas drink of choice.

The results form part of a survey of over 1,000 people by liquor infused ice cream company LiQ, with Baileys beating the likes of prosecco, mulled wine and seasonal coffees or hot chocolates to take the top spot.

The study also found Christmas pudding to be Brits’ festive dessert of choice, garnering 31% of votes. And, not content with just enjoying the popular Irish cream brand as a drink, over a quarter of respondents stated they prefer Baileys infused cream as their Christmas pudding accompaniment of choice, second only to the traditional option of custard.

The festive survey follows the launch of LiQ’s new range of ice cream pralines which bring together two British Christmas favourites, Baileys and ice cream.

Jorgo Struyve, co-founder of LiQ, said: “Baileys has become synonymous with the festive season for many Brits over recent years, so it wasn't a surprise when it claimed the top spot. It’s become an iconic part of many people’s festive celebrations, whether they prefer to have it poured over some ice while sitting by the fire, a splash in their hot drink or drizzled over their Christmas pudding, there are so many ways to enjoy Baileys. That’s why we couldn’t think of a more perfect combination for our new pralines.

“Our new Baileys ice-cream pralines, offer another exciting way for Brits to enjoy their favourite tipple this Christmas. They can be enjoyed on their own or as an accompaniment to their Christmas pudding or favourite dessert, making them the perfect way to celebrate the festive season.”

The results of LiQ’s festive survey are also backed up by Google data which found searches for Baileys recipes peak around the festive months, with 12,100 searches for Baileys recipes last December, compared to an average of 2,100 searches each month. Last December also marked an increase in searches by 17%, compared to December 2021 which saw 9,900 searches for Baileys recipes, showing Brits still can’t get enough of the creamy and dreamy Irish cream drink.

The bitesize treats are indulgent bites of smooth vanilla ice cream, infused with Baileys and enrobed in crisp Belgian milk chocolate, with an Irish cream heart.

Made to be enjoyed on their own or as a special dessert accompaniment, the ice cream pralines are ready to eat straight from the box for the perfect festive treat.

Launched in 2017 by co-founders Jorgo Struyve and Nicolas Destoop when they were students, the idea for LiQ’s ice cream pralines came from the pair wanting to market an ice cream experience designed for adults. The brand focuses on offering indulgent experiences through its strong partnerships with global alcohol brands like Baileys.

Since its launch, LiQ has enjoyed immense success internationally, with its pralines stocked in over more 6,000 shops across eight countries, cementing the brand as one of the leaders in the alcohol infused ice cream market.

LiQ Baileys pralines are currently available in over 300 Morrisons stores across the nation, as well as all COSTCO stores and via delivery service Ocado.

To learn more about LiQ, including a full list of all Morrisons stores its ice cream pralines will be available at, visit:

Incidentally this survey disproves at least one other survey that claimed pudding was on the way out! Perhaps the secret is to serve it with Baileys and some LiQ Pralines? 

And they are available at the Morrisons store nearest to us! That's good to know!

Pope Francis backs Snoop Dogg Christmas song to end homelessness now

In the UK over 160,000 people are homeless. Just off London's Oxford Street, in fashionable Mayfair village, a homeless film director and London band teamed up with Rapper Snoop Dogg to end homelessness now. 

When the hip hop beats of Hard Times and Snoop Dogg's inimitable flow reached the ears of 87 year old Pope Francis he loved it so much he issued, there and then, a Papal Blessing for the charitable endeavour.

Hard Times ft Snoop Dogg

Homeless film director, David Fussell, met London musicians Ooberfuse at the Homeless Restaurant which provides restaurant style meals to Oxford Street's rough sleepers. After a few jamming sessions Hard Times was born. 

Fussell says "the searching lyrics tell the homeless issue from a new point of view. The story isn't told from an on-looker's point of view like the great Phil Collins song Another Day in Paradise. Rather, Hard Times tells the story in the first person, drawing on real pain 'shivering in the cold and the rain'. Hard Times makes it clear being made homeless could happen to anyone of us. It starts 'I never thought that it would be like this / Sleeping in a doorway on the streets like this....'"

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, emphasises "the importance of caring for the most vulnerable in society' and urges that we seize opportunities like this 'to build a more fraternal world."

Twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday, a group of volunteers from Central London Catholic Churches distribute food donated by Mayfair eateries like The Connaught and The Mayfair Chippy to the tables of London's rough sleepers in Farm Street's Arrupe Hall.

Hal, a musician from ooberfuse, says "the guy who runs the project, Dominic Robinson is like a modern day Robin Hood! 

"He literally goes to the swankiest restaurants in Mayfair and takes food destined for the sophisticated palettes of the super-wealthy and puts it on the tables of the homeless in Arrupe Hall. It's next level wealth-redistribution!"

(Image courtesy of Myriams-Fotos of Pixabay)

Recycle your Christmas tree with Francis House Children's Hospice

The event provides an easy and convenient way for people to donate to their local community.

In an exciting new partnership with JustHelping you can recycle your Christmas tree and support a worthy cause.

Francis House Children’s Hospice will be collecting and recycling Christmas trees in partnership with national charity JustHelping and St Ann’s Hospice. 

Anyone living in Manchester, Stockport, Trafford and Salford can register their Christmas tree for collection up until midnight on January 7.

The trees will then be collected between Thursday, January 11 and Sunday, January 14 by a team of volunteers and recycled at Wythenshawe Park where the chippings will be used in local parks.

For the last ten years, JustHelping and St Ann’s Hospice have run the popular collections which last year raised almost £65,000 for local charities from the collection of 5,000 trees.

With the expansion of the scheme into even more postcode areas, JustHelping invited Francis House Children’s Hospice to join the campaign and the charity is hoping to benefit from the donations made to collect the trees.

Kate Puć, fundraising officer at Francis House Children’s Hospice said: “We're absolutely delighted to be on board this year with the Christmas tree collection and thank JustHelping for asking us to be a part of this campaign. We hope many of our supporters will ask for their tree to be recycled and help raise much needed, vital funding for their local children’s hospice.

“We support families from all the areas participating in the scheme. Every bit of support and each donation helps keep the doors of Francis House open. We're also reaching out to our supporters to help with the collections and for anyone with a van to come forward with offers of help.”

JustHelping supports volunteers, businesses and charities to contribute to their community and the environment. The national Christmas tree collection raises essential funds for hospices and communities through the income raised from donations.

Tom Laverty, development manager at JustHelping said: “JustHelping are delighted to welcome Francis House to the MCR Christmas Tree Collection. The event provides an easy and convenient way for people to donate to their local community and we are excited to be offering more households the opportunity to support both children and adult hospices in Greater Manchester.”

Based in Didsbury, Francis House provides a home from home where the families of children with life-limiting conditions receive professional care, support and friendship. Services include respite care, day care, homecare, sibling support groups, end of life care and symptom control, and emotional support and bereavement support.

Kate said: “Register your tree before the 7th of January to make sure you secure your slot and enjoy your Christmas knowing that you won’t be queuing at the recycling centre to dispose of your tree in the New Year!”

Anyone wishing to find out more about the scheme or to book a collection can visit

Please note that the scheme is also available in other parts of the UK to support other good causes that are local to you.

(Image courtesy of Oleksandr Pidvalnyi of Pixabay)

Asda customers can snap up Christmas veg for the lowest ever price of 15p!

Good news for Christmas dinner veg lovers and bargain spotters! 

Asda has announced customers can bag last minute Christmas veg for the lowest ever price of 15p, as the supermarket reduces the price of key Christmas dinner staples just in time for the big day.

Customers heading to Asda or shopping online to get their last bits for their Christmas dinner, can bag 1kg carrots (usually 60p), 500g sprouts (usually £1), 360g broccoli (usually 75p) and 500g parsnips (usually 65p) for the lowest ever price of 15p each until Tuesday 26th December.

The move, which sees Asda match Aldi and Lidl prices on the shelf, comes after Asda was crowned the lowest-priced major supermarket for premium Christmas food and drink products by trade magazine The Grocer.

The supermarket topped the Grocer’s prestigious festive price comparison survey which tracked the cost of 33 premium Christmas products including turkey and all the trimmings, pigs in blankets and mince pies at Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose.

Asda’s festive basket totalled £154.41 and was £19.48 cheaper than the average basket price across the other supermarkets featured and offered the lowest price on 19 of the 33 festive products featured, including smoked salmon slices, mince pies and pigs in blankets.

Kris Comerford, Asda’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Throughout the year we've focussed on improving the quality of our products while continuing to keep prices in check for our customers. This is especially vital at Christmas when family budgets are under extreme pressure. We're confident our customers can treat themselves and family members to the best quality festive food and drink without having to break the bank when they shop with us at Asda.”

Asda's also urging customers who haven’t already done so, to join the 1.2 million savvy fellow shoppers who've already created vouchers from their Christmas Saver Cashpot on Asda Rewards, before it expires on Sunday 31st December.

Any new customer who signs up for an Asda Rewards account before Monday 25th December will receive a £5 off coupon for their first shop. They then have until Sunday 31st December to complete their second shop to receive an additional £5 in their Cashpot.

John Lewis Partnership offering Christmas support

For the second year running, the John Lewis Partnership is supporting Care Leavers attending Christmas day lunches, by presenting 3,510 food parcels to continue helping them after Christmas. 

The lunches are run by selfless community volunteers across the country for Care Leavers who would have otherwise been alone at Christmastime, and are coordinated by Lemn Sissay’s Foundation, The Gold From The Stone.

Sarah Dayananda, Sustainability & Ethics Manager, Social Impact at the JLP, said: “We’re thrilled to again be working with The Gold From The Stone Foundation, and the wonderful volunteers who organise Christmas lunches for Care Leavers. Support is needed beyond the ‘big day’, so we hope the Care Leavers feel appreciated and considered in a time of isolation for so many.”

She went on to say: "This year, we’re donating three bespoke food parcels each to 1,170 people, so they'll have some necessary shopping to last them beyond Christmas and into the New Year (plus some treats, too). They’ll contain items like tea, coffee, soup, sweet and savoury biscuits, mince pies, pasta and pasta sauce, chocolate and crisps."

The Foundation, founded by Author, Poet and Broadcaster Lemn Sissay OBE, believes no Care Leaver should feel alone on Christmas day. They help to coordinate communities across the nation making Christmas day special for people who would otherwise be alone.

Lemn Sissay, OBE said, “The Christmas Dinners are for young adults who have been in care who feel alone on Christmas Day. I'm utterlyover the moon Waitrose and the John Lewis Partners are supporting The Christmas Dinners throughout the country. 

"Waitrose are providing incredible Christmas Hampers filled with goodies for the young care leavers to take home after the Christmas Dinner. This support is crucial in winter time. It means the care goes beyond the dinner into the homes of vulnerable young people. 

"It's the tenth year of The Christmas Dinners and your support is a Christmas present in itself. I feel emotional. The Christmas Hampers from Waitrose and John Lewis are immensely important to everyone involved and brings added magic to the day. I know the hampers aren't for me, but as the person who started this enterprise this feels like my first Christmas present.”

A further 600 food parcels will be given to 200 Care Experienced guests at Christmas day lunches hosted by Who Cares? Scotland - one of the John Lewis Partnership’s charity partners, for our Building Happier Futures programme.

Record demand predicted for no and low drinks this Christmas at Tesco

It's reported shoppers are ready to create record demands for no and low alcohol beer, wines and spirits over Christmas.

That’s the prediction from Tesco after the supermarket saw its strongest ever sales in 2023 with high demand sustained across the entire year.

Demand for no and low alcohol beer at the supermarket this year has soared by over 20%, while sales of no/low wine rose by almost 15% per and demand for alternatives to spirits grew by nearly 10% per.

To give some indication of how strong the thirst for no and low drinks has been throughout this year, during the first three weeks of the June heatwave, demand at Tesco was over 25% higher than it was for the first three weeks of Dry January.

Another massive success has been pop star Kylie Minogue’s 0% Sparkling Rosé which launched in Tesco last year and which has now become the UK’s top selling premium no alcohol wine

As a result, Tesco prepared itself for its strongest ever demand in December and ordered in extra stock.

Tesco says that the main reasons for the no and low alcohol boom are:

New found shopper confidence in the quality of the drinks, often driven by recommendations from family and friends

Greater interest in health and moderation

An increase in product choice

Ease of selection in its stores with all products sitting in their own fixture

Tesco no and low alcohol wine buyer Joe Olding said: “Based on the massive demand throughout the year we're anticipating this festive season to not only be bigger than this year's Dry January, but to be the biggest Christmas ever for no and low drinks.

“A few years ago no and low alcohol drinks might have been a consideration to have on hand for special occasions but, as our latest sales data, shows they’ve become mainstream and are now popular all year round.

“We’ve also made it easier for customers to find no and low alcohol drinks as they all sit alongside each in the same aisle.”

Among the top brands driving the no and low boom are Lucky Saint, Athletic Brewing and Guinness 0% in beer; Gordons 0% Alcohol Free Gin and the Clean Co brand in spirits; and Nozeco, Not Guilty and Kylie 0% Sparkling Rosé in wine.

The rise in demand for Kylie Minogue’s no alcohol wine has been spectacular with demand rocketing throughout the year with one million bottles sold across all UK retailers.

The drink uses a unique filtration process in order to make it less sweet and retain more of the original wine taste but without any of the alcohol.

Kylie Minogue said: “When we launched our 0% Sparkling Rosé last year we knew health and wellbeing was becoming more and more important in people’s lives and so many of us are leaning toward more self-care.”

Drinkaware, an independent UK alcohol education charity which helps people make better choices about their drinking was happy to hear the news.

Karen Tyrell, CEO of the charity Drinkaware said: “It’s good people across Britain are more open to trying no and low alcohol drinks this year. 

“Drinking lower strength and alcohol-free products can be a helpful way for people to moderate their drinking and stay within the low-risk guidelines of 14 units a week. If you are unsure about how much you’re drinking, take our simple Drinking Check on the Drinkaware website."

Lidl has top wines for Christmas. At affordable prices

Lidl GB has revealed that it has the bestselling wines across three categories1: Montepulciano, Saint Emilion, Nero D’Avola, with prices starting from just over £5.

New research shows 27% of Brits are opting for high-end labels, but Lidl is redefining expectations. 

With its unwavering commitment to delivering premium wines at refreshingly affordable prices, it’s challenging the conventional belief that superior quality must come at a premium price.

As we near Christmas Day Lidl reveal a surge in demand for its wine as people gear up for festive celebrations. Over the last few months alone, sales of its new world white wines have soared by a fifth, underscoring the rising popularity of wines from non-traditional regions.

And sales of traditionally beloved European red wines have seen an uptick of over 17%, while white wine sales from the same region have experienced an increase of over 5%. Even the sales of European rosé wines have defied seasonal expectations, with a notable rise of over 9%, challenging the perception that rosé is exclusively a summer indulgence.

Richard Bampfield, Lidl GB’s Master of Wine, pointed out: “Here at Lidl we like to think we go beyond selling wine; our points system and tasting notes make the notoriously hard and difficult job of selecting the right wine that much easier. I am particularly excited our Montepulciano, Saint Emilion and Nero d’Avola are the most popular wines in the country in their categories, proving that it's possible to find quality at all price points. And our recent national Châteaux Noir events demonstrated premium quality wines needn't break the bank. From robust reds to crisp whites, not forgetting some award-winning sparkling wines and rosés, Lidl offer wines for every palate and all occasions.”

Lidl’s unique model, from everyday selections to Deluxe bottles, allows its British customers to access their favourite wines at some of the most competitive prices available. The buying teams, strategically stationed all over Europe, including the renowned wine regions of France, Spain, and Italy, collaborate closely with a select number of local suppliers. This meticulous curation ensures wines available at Lidl stores are handpicked by the industry's best.

Recognised for its excellence, Lidl has garnered Bronze and Silver at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2023, plus accolades at the 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards. Its recent finalist position at the 2023 Drinks Retailing Awards solidifies its standing as an industry-recognised leader.

To dispel the misconception quality wine comes with a hefty price tag, Lidl has been hosting a series of pop-up wine tasting events in the dark, known as Chateaux Noir. Led by Master of Wine, Richard Bampfield, thousands of people from across London, Liverpool, and Glasgow had the chance to directly compare Lidl's wines to big-brand competitors.

Thursday 21 December 2023

Calendars, diaries and more from Danilo

If you want high quality calendars, diaries and more for your Christmas gifting look no further than Danilo.

Everyone who you know in your family and your wider circle of friends is covered! Royal Horticultural Society tie-ins, a Musical Star Wars Calendar, A Liverpool FC boxed set, a Disney Baby's First Year Calendar, Children's Activity Sets, a BBC Frozen Planet II A5 diary and a whole host of TV and a host of  film/movie tie-ins including Barbie, Mrs Brown's boys, Yellowstone, Peppa Pig, Baby Shark and many more besides, including gift wrappers and bags. 

Looking for a more organised life during 2024? Then they have special family organisers, too! Ideal for your cousin or for a spot of self-gifting, perhaps? Gamers or Anime fans you need to buy for? They are covered, too! Also, look out for their greeting cards, music collector's specials and much, much more!

And you'll be able to make your gifting purchases safe in the knowledge that not only are Danilo products absolutely perfect, but that the company is 100% dedicated to making a firm, genuine commitment to prioratising sustainability in all areas of their business operations.

This includes implementing a carbon reduction and offsetting plan, reducing the use of plastics and making certain that, once their products have been finished with, that recycling or reusing them will be much easier. Plus they are also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and have clear recycling labeling on all of their products. 

Danilo also operates a nifty tree planting programme in partnership with Ecologi, whereby for every £10 spent on their site, they plant a tree. 

So the more gifts you buy from Danilo, the more trees you and they  can plant together. 

You can view the progress of their virtual forest by clicking visiting here

To learn more and find out what you'll want to buy, visit

Alcohol free Christmas cocktails with Fever-Tree?

43% of consumers now opting for non-alcoholic alternatives. Fever-Tree's new Cocktail Mixers are perfect to shake up your Christmas drinking by helping you swap your favourite cocktail for a mouthwatering mocktail!

Fever-Tree's cocktail mixers are ideal for creating a super easy mocktail, simply by switching out the spirit for a non-alcoholic version. Fever-Tree recommend Everleaf's non-alcoholic spirits range as a perfect pairing!

Jazz up your Christmas and treat yourself to a booze-free Mojito or Margarita to kick start the New Year in a mindful, indulgent way.

The lineup:  

Fever-Tree Classic Mojito Mixer: Fresh Mexican Limes meet Moroccan Mint for a zesty, refreshing twist. Just add non-alcoholic rum and ice for a mojito masterpiece. 

Fever-Tree Classic Margarita Mixer: Packed with fresh Mexican limes, sweet Italian Blood Orange, and a hint of sea salt. Add a non-alcoholic tequila alternative, shake or stir, and enjoy an authentic margarita.  

Available now at Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, and online at Ocado, for just £4.50.

Say goodbye to the hassle of squeezing limes and adding multiple complex ingredients! Just mix, shake and serve!

How to make the perfect mocktail at home:

Simply add ice to a glass.

Pour in 50ml of your chosen non-alcoholic spirit and top it off with Fever-Tree's mixer.

A quick stir, and it's ready to sip and enjoy. Ideal for an evening with friends or a night in front of the telly during the winter nights.

And don't forget, next month is Dry January and you can ramp up you mocktail mixing abilities then.

Still time to get shopping at the UKs Christmas Markets!

There's still time to do your Christmas shopping at the UKs special Christmas markets. In fact, the very useful website Business Name Generator has compiled a list of those that are not only still open for business but that remain trading into the month of January.

No UK Christmas market will remain open for longer than Reading’s, which will continue to operate until as late as January 7th. However these markets are only open for an average of 11 hours per day, compared to the 12 in other cities.

The Scottish capital city of Edinburgh is keeping its stalls open right up until January 6th, keeping any Scottish shoppers with a fondness for festivities feeling very satisfied, indeed.

Glasgow’s Christmas markets will also stay open until after the New Year, officially closing on January 4th. However, Glasgow’s markets only stay open for an average of 9 hours per day, with opening hours varying massively between weekdays and weekends.

Southampton’s festive markets will also stay open until right up to January 2nd, giving shoppers a whole 48 hours after the turn of the New Year - or 8 days after Christmas Day - to keep the festive spirit alive and well.

To learn more visit

Signature Cocktails by Amanda Schuster

Phaidon ( is pleased to announce the publication of Signature Cocktails, which is a stunning, landmark volume that showcases 200 iconic drinks from around the globe and throughout history. 

What is a signature cocktail? It's a special, bespoke drink that expresses the nature of the time, person, venue, city, or country for which it was originally created. 

This stunning compendium serves not only as a recipe collection but as an unprecedented history of these legendary drinks, too. 

Signature Cocktails spans in excess of 500 years, uniting everything from the classic Mimosa to the Brittany Spears-inspired Hit Me Baby One Mai Tai to create surprising juxtapositions and a fresh overview of the subject.

Curated by New York-based cocktail connoisseur Amanda Schuster - in consultation with regional experts across the globe - Signature Cocktails is a satisfying collection of drinks, all of which are remarkable in their breadth and character. Each entry is accompanied by the name of the creator, place and date of invention, and spirit type, alongside the original recipe and a specially commissioned contemporary image of the drink.

It's in hardback at £29.95, and will be an excellent gift for the professional or amateur mixologist in your life.

Charcuterie trees to baked Cambozola how to throw the perfect Christmas party with Asda

It's officially Christmas party season! Asda shoppers can enjoy the full festive season with unmissable offers on a delicious selection of grazing and party food - tis' the time to be merry after all.

Grazing dishes are perfect for those who want to curate a plate and get creative with their presentation. This year, influencers are crafting charcuterie trees, chalets and wreaths from a selection of snacks, with the hashtag #charcuterietree gaining 27million views on TikTok.

Asda is encouraging their shoppers to get creative this year, with the Build Your Own Festive Antipasti Board. For just £5, shoppers can enjoy a selection of cheeses and salamis, sweet cranberries, apricots and semi-dried tomatoes. The board comes with instructions on how to build your Christmas tree, so shoppers can impress as the host with the most.

Asda’s Build Your Own Festive Grazing Cones (£6) pack includes a selection of pitted green olives and pepper drops, Iberico cheese, semi-dried tomatoes, air-dried meats and baked breadsticks – plus shoppers can turn the box into a cone stand to create a display centrepiece!

The Mezze Grazing Selection (£4) features a Provolone Piccante cheese, amongst a mouth-watering selection of meats. Racking up five-star reviews on, the Party Snack Platter (£5) brings the heat with a selection of spicy cheddar cheeses and is a “great snack to have at a party” according to one delighted customer.

With a sweet and delicate prosciutto, rich and garlicky salami and smoky chorizo, the Continental Sharing Selection (£2.95) is perfect for the meat-lovers, whilst the German Style Salami & Cheese Selection (£2.95) features a Beechwood smoked cheese - for a continental taste of Christmas (think Christmas markets!).

Get this party started! The buffet is open...

Mini foods have been trending in recent years, and the novelty hasn't worn off when it comes to miniaturising party favourites.

Asda’s Mini ‘Mac’ Burgers (£5) with cheddar cheese and diced gherkins are served in mini brioche buns and finished with their own take on the famous burger sauce. Serve alongside Mini Hot Dogs (£5), for the ultimate selection of finger food. Sure to make any party less messy, the Mini Cheese & Pepperoni Parcels (£3.50) are packed with delicious mozzarella cheese, diced pepperoni and tomatoes. Rounding up the selection of minis, the vibrant Oriental Money Bags (£2) are filled with 3 different flavours - tangy hoisin mushroom, sweet and sour shredded vegetables and soy and chilli jackfruit.

Add a touch of nostalgia with the Extra Special Lobster and King Prawn Vol Au Vent Selection. Partygoers can choose from Canadian lobster in a rich thermidor sauce, or king prawns in a creamy beurre blanc sauce - both of which are encased in crisp puff pastry.

Guaranteed to be a talking point at any buffet, the Extra Special Brown Butter & Spiced Dark Rum Stuffing Wreath with Brûléed Pigs in Blankets is an eye-catching pork stuffing wreath, made using only British prime pork cuts. Infused with this year’s signature flavour, this stuffing wreath contains notes of rich brown butter and spiced dark rum and has been hand-decorated with their Extra Special Pigs in Blankets.

Make your party extra special with Asda’s specialty cheeses. It is Christmas after all!

A classic cheeseboard is a must-have at any festive gathering. The Extra Special Cheeseboard (£12) is served on a proper slate board with a tasting card and a wine pairing suggestion from Asda’s wine expert for each of the cheeses. Four new cheeses; Vintage Cheddar, Leicester Gold, 16-month Iberico Reserva and a French Mon P’tit Creamy Brie, join last year's favourite; the Vintage Red Fox.

Bring some festive theatre with the Baking Cambozola with Cranberry Glaze. A first-to-market product, it combines a mild creamy blue cheese with a sweet cranberry glaze, made by a top award-winning glaze maker.

Recent stats have revealed cheddar is the UK’s favourite cheese, so customers are set to love the Extra Special Wyke Farms Vintage Cheddar Bake with Caramelised Onion Chutney (£12). Rich and indulgent and topped with a caramelised onion chutney, party hosts can keep this cheese hot and oozing at the table, as it comes with a stand and candle.

Adding a touch of sweet, the Extra Special Camembert & Cranberry Savoury Profiteroles (£5.50) are indulgently filled with a creamy camembert sauce, and topped with a cranberry, cheddar and parsely crumb for a sweet and crunchy finish.

Fill the freezer now!

Pick and mix all your favourites with Asda’s much-loved multibuy offer on frozen products. Fill the freezer, then the table, and let the party begin! Ending on 2 January 2024, shoppers can shop four products and get the cheapest item free of charge.. The offer includes seasonal favourites like Party Cheesy Stars (£2.50), Party Salt and Pepper Prawns (£2.50) and Party Sticky Chicken Skewers (£2.50).

As always – customers are advised to save some room for dessert. A crowd pleaser is the Tempting Trifle Gateau Bar (£3.50), with fluffy layers of sponge, a smooth cream mousse, strawberry sauce and a shower of coloured confetti sprinkles. Kids are set to love the Jingle the Reindeer Ice Cream (£2) – a chocolate and marshmallow ice cream, rippled with a chocolate sauce and topped with red sugar pearls.

12 days of M&S: Over six million doors opened in nations biggest digital advent calendar

Over six million digital doors were opened on the M&S app in just five days.

Hundreds of thousands of new customers have downloaded the app, pushing it to number one in the app store over the first weekend.

Over half a million free gifts and savings were redeemed– with over 10 million still up for grabs in the remaining week, including Christmas light up Liqueurs and bottles of Prosecco.

 In just the first five days, more than six million doors were opened since ’12 Days of M&S’, the retailer’s popular digital advent calendar, launched on 1 December.

Previously known as ‘12 Days of Sparks’, the digital advent calendar returned this month for its third year, bigger and better than ever before, pushing the M&S app to number 1 in the app store over the first  weekend, as hundreds of thousands rushed to download the app.

In the first five days, over half a million customers redeemed their free gifts or festive offers which included everything from Christmas decorations, pyjamas, slippers to chocolates and boxes of biscuits.

Over 10 million other free gifts were also available, sincluding the hugely popular Christmas light up Liqueurs and bottles of Prosecco, plus a special saving on Christmas Jumpers, just in time for the big day.

Customers who opened all 12 doors, were automatically be entered into the draw for the chance to win a magical M&S Christmas with a £10k M&S Gift Card, plus thousands of other prizes up for grabs, too.

Sharry Cramond, Director of M&S Food Marketing and M&S Loyalty said: “We wanted to make 12 Days of M&S bigger, better and more festive than ever before and the response was absolutely incredible, with hundreds of thousands of customers picking up their free gifts from stores and making savings using their festive offers."

Asda urges customers not to miss out on their Christmas Cashpot

Asda is reminding customers they need to convert their Asda Rewards Christmas Saver Cashpot into vouchers before this expires on 31st December.

The Christmas Saver Cashpot feature launched in August and rewarded customers with a bonus for saving their Asda Rewards pounds to spend during the festive period.

Rewards users can convert this Cashpot into vouchers to spend either in an Asda store or online until Sunday 31st December 2023.

Asda is urging any customer who hasn’t already done so, to join the 1.2 million savvy shoppers who have already created vouchers before their Cashpots expire.

So far, the average voucher created is £20 which customers have been redeeming to reduce their grocery bill and help them to prepare for the big day.

To create a voucher, customers must go to the wallet section of the Asda Rewards app and select "Create Voucher” and then confirm the amount they’d like to spend from their Christmas Saver Cashpot.

Any new customer who signs up for an Asda Rewards account before Monday 25th December will receive a £5 off coupon for their first shop. They then have until Sunday 31st December to complete their second shop to receive an additional £5 in their Cashpot.

Throughout the year, customers have been completing Missions and buying Star Products to help grow their Cashpot. Asda has also launched a number of seasonal giveaways and coupons to enable customers to make big savings. Highlights for this year include:

More than seven million customers have used the Asda Rewards app since launch and have earned over £300m in their Cashpots.

Asda customers have earned 12m entries into a Christmas instant win prize draw through the latest ‘Scan to Win’ and have won over £6m in their Cashpot.

More than 4m money off coupons across a wide range of products have been given away to customers.

15 lucky Asda customers have won £5000 in their Cashpot with over 100,000 customers winning a value above £10.

1.7m have earned over £4m in bonus payments for saving Asda Rewards pounds in their Christmas Saver Cashpot.

To get started on Rewards, customers need to download the Asda Rewards app and log in with - or create - an Asda Groceries account.   

Terms and conditions for ‘Scan to Win’ and a full list of products excluded from Asda Rewards can be found on Asda's website -

Run, run Rudolph all the way to Morrisons for your free carrots!

Rudolph and all the other hard-working reindeer who haul Santa's sleigh should visit Morrisons stores to pick up their free carrots. Or if they are too busy they can send a human friend to collect them on their behalf.

Morrisons is spreading the festive cheer by giving away over 175,000 wonky carrots across all its supermarkets to help customers prepare for Rudolph’s visit. 

British wonky carrots are oversized or misshapen but still taste absolutely delicious, and these free, festive favourites are available to collect for free from the front of all 496 Morrisons stores between tomorrow, the 22nd until 24th December. 

By giving the carrots away, Morrisons hopes to encourage families to choose wonky vegetables more often to help cur down on food waste as this produce would have otherwise been discarded.

During the festive period, Morrisons carrot sales more than double in the week before Christmas compared to the previous week, showing the Norse tradition of leaving food and drink out for Father Christmas and his reindeer is still as popular as ever.

Andy Todd, Carrot Buyer at Morrisons said: “The spirit of giving is what Christmas is all about, and we’re thrilled to help add a little bit of magic to our customers’ celebrations by giving them a delicious wonky carrot to leave out for Rudolph. Our tasty wonky range helps our British farmers reduce waste and offer customers a delicious alternative at a fraction of the cost, too"

Launched back in 2015, Morrisons Naturally Wonky fruit and vegetables helps to minimise food waste and offers affordable produce to customers. The range includes 24 wonky varieties including potatoes, carrots and parsnips. In the last 12 months, nearly 27,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables were sold this way. (I have admit my wife and I are partial to their wonky grapes!)

Red wine over Christmas might be good for you, says expert

A top testing expert says moderate wine consumption over Christmas could actually reduce your risk of heart disease. Scientists call this the ‘The French Paradox’. It could also balance your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes and dementia, too.

Every Christmas, there are numerous warnings in the press and on social media about the dangers of consuming too much food and alcohol. However, a leading medical expert says red wine not only contains a range of vitamins and minerals, but moderate consumption may potentially reduce your risk of many serious health conditions, including heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes and dementia.

Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: ‘Research published in the journal “Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases” reveals moderate consumption of red wine has a number of health benefits. 

"Perhaps most interestingly, moderate alcohol consumption in healthy adults and in cardiovascular patients protects against “total mortality”. In other words, the risk of death from all causes is reduced for moderate drinkers of all alcohol (including wine) compared to abstainers or heavy drinkers. The precise cause and effect is open to interpretation but we can consider moderate amounts of alcohol may have a potentially health-protective effect."

Cholesterol levels: "Many people still think of all cholesterol as harmful. It’s true LDL “bad” cholesterol transports fats to your arteries, leading to a build-up of plaque, resulting in the vessel disease “atherosclerosis”. But on the other hand, HDL “good” cholesterol, at healthy levels in your blood, navigates fat molecules away from blood vessels, preventing plaque build-up in your arteries. 

"A paper published in the journal Molecules reveals that several studies show evidence that light–moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a higher level of HDL cholesterol. It also helps prevent artery damage from high levels of LDL cholesterol. Red wine may also improve the function of cells lining the blood vessels, keeping blood circulation flowing smoothly."

Heart: "The same paper also reveals light to moderate drinking of red wine has been proposed as a possible explanation for the epidemiological phenomenon known as “The French Paradox”.  The French Paradox is that France’s population shows lower coronary heart disease incidence and mortality rates compared with other Western populations, despite the fact their diets contain higher amounts of total fat and saturated fatty acids. The study concludes that “a moderate intake of red wine may produce cardioprotective effects”.

Cancer: "Red wine is a good source of antioxidants. A study in the “International Journal of Molecular Sciences” confirms the theory antioxidant compounds in red wine called “polyphenols” can block the formation of cancer cells and inhibit the growth of tumours. Sadly for white wine drinkers, it also confirmed a previous hypothesis that red wine has stronger anti-cancer activities than white wine."

Diabetes: "Moderate alcohol consumption is thought to specifically lower the risk of type-2 diabetes. Randomised clinical trials show that moderate alcohol intake has beneficial effects on insulin concentrations and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic patients, suggesting that moderate alcohol consumption decreases the risk of type-2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity. Research published in “Diabetes Care” shows that moderate alcohol consumption significantly decreased glucose levels amongst participants tested after fasting."

Dementia: ‘There are many studies showing moderate drinking reduces the risk of dementia. Research in JAMA – the Journal of the American Medical Association – reveals, compared with abstention, consumption of 1 to 6 drinks weekly is associated with a lower incidence of dementia among older adults. A major cardiovascular health study of 5,888 men and women aged 65 years or older found abstainers had twice the risk of dementia compared to those who drank between 1 and 6 drinks per week.

Vitamins and minerals: Whilst no one is claiming a swift Merlot counts towards your “five a day”, but a glass of red wine does provide 0.2 mg of manganese, or about 10% of your daily recommended needs. You'll also get small amounts of iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium from red wine, too.

"Obviously, the key word when talking about the consumption of wine, or any other alcohol, is “moderation”. Every benefit I’ve discussed is counteracted by too much alcohol. Long-term heavy drinking can lead to heart disease, liver disease and increased cancer risk. Similarly, Diabetes UK says excess alcohol intake is associated with an increased risk of type-2 diabetes, and complications in people with pre-existing diabetes. 

"The Alzheimer’s Society warns regularly drinking too much alcohol over many years can lead to alcohol-related “dementia”, a type of alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD). Finally, heavy alcohol consumption compromises bone health, reduces bone density and increases the risk of osteoporosis, warns America’s National Institute of Alcohol Abuse.

"If people are concerned about their cholesterol levels as we approach Christmas, it’s best to get them checked. With GP surgeries extremely busy at this time of year, it’s vital to recognise there are alternatives. London Medical Laboratory’s revolutionary and convenient home finger-prick Cholesterol Profile test measures total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, HDL “good” cholesterol, non-HDL (a newly adopted, more accurate, measure) and other key markers. It can be taken at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores. For full details, see:

(Image courtesy of Circe Denyer of Pixabay)

Looking forward to the Boxing Day sales? An expert tells you what to look out for

Newly published research by PwC has learned that of the 200 online retailers analysed, the majority of Black Friday discounts were not as significant as previous years, resulting in a higher volume of seasonal stock across many retailers. 

As a result of this, it's predicted many of these retailers will ramp up Boxing Day sales activity this year, offering greater discounts in an attempt to incentivise shoppers keen to bag the best of deals.

Nick Drewe, Discount Expert and founder of online coupon platform, Wethrift, has provided his savvy shopping tips that will help people to shop smarter and secure the best deals during the Boxing Day sales. 

Find products before you shop 

“Savvy Boxing Day shoppers know the best way to secure deals is by finding the highest quality products before the big day. It’s vital to do some research before the sales begin, taking into account which products and brands have the best reviews on your wishlist items. 

“Many brands will add their best deals well before the Boxing Day event, making grabbing yourself a bargain even easier. For that reason, you’ll want to start your shopping as early as the start of November. It's easy to get carried away and buy things that you don’t really need, so create a list ahead of the sale event, to avoid any temptation on Boxing Day bargains. 

Price match on rival sites 

“Always scope out offers in advance, to ensure you’re getting the best deal that you can. Many retailers will be offering Boxing Day deals, so check the store website in advance to see which is providing the biggest discount on your selected items.

“To save yourself the largest sum, download a product price tracker that monitors the price of different items in your wishlist. This notifies you which brands, including Amazon, Groupon, Very and more have the most significant discounts and when the prices drop. 

“Google Shopping is the simplest and most effective way to compare prices of products across multiple different websites. 

Load your basket before the day

“Products are likely to sell out quickly this Boxing Day, as more people hunt for Christmas bargains. To avoid disappointment, place all your items on your wish list ahead of the big day, ready to go directly into your basket as soon as the sale hits. 

“Have a backup plan at the ready. If your product is likely to sell out this Boxing Day, have your items saved in a wishlist on multiple sites and leave the tabs open. Don’t leave it till the day of the sale to find other sites that list your wishlist products.

Shop earlier 

“Often, many major retailers will launch their Boxing Day sales online a day or two early, meaning  you could bag the best deals as early as Christmas Eve. Take the time to look at your favourite retailers’ websites ahead of the 26th to see if any sales are already live. This is an ideal way to avoid disappointment if items were to sell out on Boxing Day.

Sign up for newsletters 

“Ahead of the big day, follow retailers on social media and sign up for their email newsletters to be among the first to find out about their big deals. Some brands even provide members with early access to the sale and show exclusive deals that you’d otherwise miss out on. 

“Check before you purchase any items ahead of the big sale event, as some retailers provide price adjustment guarantees on products. They will also refund the difference if the price reduces further on Boxing Day and Cyber Monday. 

Use Alexa to find Amazon deals 

“If you have an Amazon Alexa you’ll be able to bag yourself some exclusive Boxing Day deals this November. Alexa will notify Amazon Prime members when products in their wish list shopping cart go on sale. You need to enable deal recommendations in your settings and add your wishlist products to your shopping cart. 

“Once you are all set up, ask Alexa “What are my deals” and the bot will bring up Amazon's hottest savings on all your products. 

Find extra coupon codes 

“Once you’ve found the biggest savings, have a look to see if you can find any additional vouchers that will give you an extra discount. 

“Also, if you sign up for newsletters and become a store member of brands in advance, you are likely to receive introductory offers on your first purchase. 

Make sure you're getting a genuine deal 

“To ensure you’re getting a great deal this Boxing Day, it's important to track the price of products to see how much you’ll be saving. 

“Price history tools such as PriceSpy, Alertr and CamelCamelCamel lets you check to see how the cost of the product has changed. This will help you decide if it's really a good Boxing Day deal or just made to look like one.”

That's Christmas would like to thank Nick for helping us with this feature.

How to pair your Christmas wine and cheese like an expert with the help of the House of Townend

Most of us love indulging in wine over the festive period. Indeed, 20% of us are looking forward to a glass of red with our Christmas dinner, while 18.8% will be opting for a white (wine) Christmas. 

Ultimately, there’s no better partner for your favourite tipple than some gorgeous cheese. TikTok has seen an explosion in cheese-related videos, with the hashtag #cheeseboard garnering over 901 million views and the festive hashtag #christmascheeseboard receiving over eight million views. 

The hashtag #cheeseandwine has over 36 million views, highlighting how many of us are looking for great pairings to share with friends and family. But how to select the cheese that will pair perfectly with your selected wines? 

Susie Townend of fine wine merchant House of Townend, has some top tips for creating that perfect Christmas pairing to ensure your festivities go off without a hitch. 

Key findings 

    • 20% of us are looking forward to a glass of red wine with our Christmas dinner. 

    • 18.8% will be opting for white wine this Christmas. 

    • The hashtag #cheeseboard has over 901 million views on TikTok. 

    • The festive hashtag #christmascheeseboard has over 8 million views on TikTok. 

    • The hashtag #cheeseandwine has over 36 million views on TikTok. 

    • 35% of respondents to a 2023 survey claim Stilton is among their most-hated foods. 

    • Gorgonzola is aged for around three to six months to give it that distinctive tang. 

What to pair with Stilton? 

Many people turn their noses up at Stilton cheese because of its distinctive blue striations, with 35% of respondents to a 2023 survey claiming Stilton is amongst their most-hated foods. But this cheese is beautifully rich and mellow. One of the more pungent cheeses, Stilton does carry a strong smell but this only enhances the intensity of the flavour! 

Those blue veins are actually Penicillium mould spores. While this may sound off-putting initially, the mould itself – Penicillium roqueforti – is not harmful to humans and works to give the cheese its distinctive creamy taste. 

Gewürztraminer 2021, Dopff & Irion

This dry white wine is zesty and aromatic, with notes of lychee and grapefruit, as well as a lick of ginger and spice. 

Susie says: “Thanks to its round, soft palate, this well-balanced wine brings out the flavour of Stilton beautifully. The lychee flavours of the Gewürztraminer balances perfectly the saltiness of the Stilton for a truly stunning flavour profile.”  

Sauternes 2020, Grand Vin de Bordeaux, Sichel

This French dessert wine is rich and indulgently sweet, balancing well with the tang provided by Stilton. 

“A Sauternes is often full-flavoured and stunningly sweet,” Susie comments. “You may be able to taste a fruity undertone with such wines often carrying mango or pineapple notes,  providing the perfect foil to the salty tang of your Stilton.” 

What to pair with Gorgonzola? 

Gorgonzola is another blue cheese, but one with a much creamier texture than Stilton. Its blue veins are much lighter and it has a much milder taste, too. It’s aged for around three to six months to give it that distinctive tang. 

Gorgonzola is available in two varieties: dolce and piccante. Dolce has a sweeter, creamier taste and is soft enough to eat with a spoon, while piccante Gorgonzola has a stronger taste, with clearer sections of blue striations. 

Chianti 2021, Duca di Saragnano, Barbanera

This wine is soft, fruity and smooth. Susie says: “Red wine pairs well with the bold flavour of Gorgonzola cheese, offering a delightful flavour combination.” 

Chiantis are often bright red in colour and carry a distinctive savoury flavour, endearing them to stronger flavours, such as piccante Gorgonzola. 

Verdicchio di Castelli dei Jesi 2022, Pontemagno

Susie also recommends a lighter, white wine to pair with Gorgonzola cheese: “The fruitiness of the elegant and crisp Verdicchio truly works to complement the salty taste of the Gorgonzola.” 

Although the Verdicchio has a delicate flavour, it is also rich with great character, making it the perfect partner to tangy blue cheese. 

What to pair with Brie? 

Brie is another gorgeously creamy cheese, with a buttery, smooth texture and a gorgeous   melt-in-the-mouth middle. There are many different varieties on the market, each with different levels of creaminess. An aged Brie will have a stronger, fuller flavour profile, while a young Brie has a milder taste. 

The rind of this particular cheese is also edible and carries a distinctive, tangy flavour that enhances the overall indulgent experience. Always make sure to check the rind for signs of cracks and mould – a quality Brie should have a creamy, white rind. 

Beaujolais Villages 2022, Domaine Pardon

Susie recommends pairing your Brie with a juicy Beaujolais: “Soft and ripe with an undertone of berries and bramble, this delicious red wine will offset the buttery profile of your Brie perfectly.” 

Some Beaujolais also carries flavours of violet and raspbery, making for an interesting flavour combination, especially if you’re indulging in the mushroom-like taste of the Brie rind. 

Chardonnay 2022 Les Argelieres 

This versatile white varietal encompasses a wide variety of flavours and finishes, but Susie recommends choosing a bottle that has undergone the ageing process with oak: “This process brings sweet notes of vanilla to the wine, helping to bring out the subtle creaminess of a younger Brie.” 

A Chardonnay is generally a full-bodied wine with buttery undertones that pair well with both younger and older Brie cheeses. The recognisable flavours of apple and citrus fruits can evolve into more exotic notes of papaya and pineapple! 

What to pair with goats cheese? 

Goats cheese is well-known for its distinctive smell – like Stilton, this particular cheese has a bit of a bad reputation. But when paired with the right wine, it can offer a fresh and exciting tasting experience! 

Although many goats cheeses are soft, you can find firmer varieties with different flavour profiles. Depending on how the cheese is produced and for how long it is aged, goats cheese can be tangy, mild and even quite sweet. 

Sauvignon Blanc 2022, Le Charme

A classic pairing for goats cheese, Sauvignon Blanc is crisp, bright and juicy. Susie explains: “This pairing works so well because the acidity and citrus flavour of the wine brings out the earthy, herbal taste of the goats cheese.” 

The aromatic notes of the Sauvignon Blanc balance out the rich, gamey flavour of the goats cheese, creating the perfect match. 

What to pair with Manchego? 

This fragrant Spanish cheese has an intense, creamy flavour profile. With hints of fruitiness and a nutty undertone, this hard cheese is sweet and immediately distinctive. 

If you prefer a stronger, full-bodied cheese with a distinctive aftertaste, try aged Manchego, whilst a 

semi-cured Manchego profiles a softer, milder flavour. A semi-cured Manchego has little ‘eyes’ running throughout its interior, providing a fuller, richer aftertaste. 

Muerza Rioja Crianza 2016, Bodegas Ugalde

This red wine delivers a rich, bold taste profile with a variety of potential flavours depending on its ageing process. Susie explains: “Younger versions of a Rioja will feature overtones of red berries, while those that have been left to age for longer will incorporate more vanilla and caramel tones.” 

This rich, tannin-high tipple will meet aged Manchego with bold, bright flavours while balancing out the milder taste of a younger Manchego cheese. 

Verdejo 2022, Oro de Castilla

This delicate white wine pairs beautifully with a lighter, younger Manchego cheese. With layers of elderflower and citrus fruits and a bright, fresh palate, this wine is both subtle and refreshing. 

However, Susie points out: “When aged for longer, this fruity wine takes on a richer flavour profile with nutty undertones,  making it the perfect partner for an older Manchego.” 

What to pair with Gruyère? 

Gruyère cheese carries a nutty, creamy flavour, ranging from mild, green undertones when young and a sharper zest once aged. Firm and yellow in colour, Gruyère hails from Switzerland and usually undergoes an extensive ageing process for six months or longer. 

Pinot Noir 2020, Scotchmans Hull, Geelong, Australia

This red wine is typically refreshing and complex. Susie comments: “A great Pinot Noir is compelling and beguiling, a symphony of flavours with notes of cherry and raspberry that will offset the nuttiness of a Gruyère. 

“When aged in French oak barrels, notes of spice and a hint of vanilla can also become apparent, further enhancing the creaminess of this firm cheese.” 

Kuki Riesling 2020. Marlborough, New Zealand

This white wine offers a more refreshing pairing, with a more natural flavour palette. Susie comments: “With a good Riesling, you can expect delicate fruit flavours, ranging from lime and apple to peach and apricot, perfectly balancing the rich nuttiness of your Gruyère.” 

What to pair with Wensleydale? 

Wensleydale cheese is pale in colour with a delicate, mild taste. Often crumbly and moist, this cheese is traditionally made with sheeps milk, enhancing its sweetness.  This particular cheese becomes firmer as it ages, while retaining its fresh, milky flavour. 

Viognier 2022, Los Coches, Argentina

Susie recommends pairing a glass of Viognier with your Wensleydale cheese for a mouthwatering combination: “With its smooth, rounded finish and perfumed ripe peach notes this rich and spicy white wine delivers a punch of flavour, enhancing the milder notes of Wensleydale cheese.” 


With Susie’s tips and an understanding of the flavour profiles of all your favourite cheeses, you’ll be the master of the cheeseboard this festive season. 

Whether your guests are looking for a mild Wensleydale or a bright, bold Stilton, you’ll be able to select the perfect wine pairing to tantalise their tastebuds. 

 That's Christmas would like to thank Susie Townend and her family business,

FACTFILE: House of Townend was established in 1906 in Yorkshire and has remained in the ownership of the same family for well over 100 years. For four generations, the business has built direct relationships with some of the world's best and finest wine producers. Its buying emphasis lies firmly with the smaller, quality-led, and often family-owned, wine estates and domaines that possess like-minded philosophies. 

Whilst the traditional wine producer is an important part of its portfolio, House of Townend works hard at being at the cutting-edge of the wine world, too. House of Townend seeks out the new star performers, ensuring it gets into the supply chain before the new suppliers become renowned and obtaining product becomes impossible. 

(Image courtesy of Image by Hansuan Fabregas and Pixabay)