A traditional Christmas dinner is a wonderful thing – familiar, comforting, reassuring. But that doesn’t mean we’re not interested in a new spin on it.
From festive pizzas and pheasant pies to Middle Eastern mezze and giant pigs in blankets, here’s where to head for alternative festive feasting.
Christmas on a pizza at Crazy Pedros
Crazy Pedros pizza joint are known for their wacky specials – mushy peas and curry sauce anyone? – but they’ve gone all out for their December special.
‘Peds in blankets’ includes chopped pigs in blankets, turkey crisps, cranberry ketchup and Grinch mustard. Yes, that’s green mustard.
It’s like Christmas dinner on a pizza. With crisps. They’re also offering a mulled spice margarita, which beats the usual mulled wine. £15 for a whole 16″ pizza, or £3 for a slice.
Pheasant pie at The Creameries
You know a Christmas feast is good when it starts with almonds fried in venison fat. At The Creameries in Chorlton, this is followed by Amsterdammer cheese gougeres with cauliflower hash, and home smoked mackerel with mustard cream and rye toast – or butternut squash broth with a blue cheese dumpling for vegetarians.
The main course is a delicious pheasant pie. There’s rich pheasant leg confit at the bottom, topped with sprout tops and slices of poached pheasant breast. The veggie option is an outrageously rich butter pie.
Pudding includes hazelnut and rosemary parfait doused in sherry. £35 per person, with matched drinks for £20.
Lebanese sharing feast at Comptoir Libanais
This alternative Christmas feast is a playful twist on traditional flavours combined with the fragrant herbs and spices of the Middle East, and starts with a selection of mezze dishes to share, including turkey kibbeh – minced turkey cracked wheat parcels filled with turkey, pine nuts and onions served with cranberries and mint yoghurt sauce.
When it comes to main courses, think harissa and honey baby chicken with spiced potatoes, or charcoal-grilled lamb kofta with spiced tahina, served with vermicelli rice. Fish lovers could try the marinated roasted salmon in a spiced tomato, onion, peppers and chilli stew.
For pudding, there’s dark chocolate cake with orange and cardamom with mixed red berries compote and natural yoghurt, or creamy orange blossom rice pudding with cinnamon and slow cooked dates, figs, apricots and sultanas, sprinkled with pistachios. £24.95 per person.
Giant pig in blanket at Solita
If you think pigs in blankets are the best bit of a Christmas dinner – and they are – then cut straight to the chase with Solita’s porky Christmas special.
The giant pig in blanket hot dog comes with turkey gravy and fried stuffing pieces, and goose fat roast potatoes on the side.
Full the full festive experience, it’s available on the Christmas party menu. Starters include pumpkin and chestnut croquettes, and a dessert of mince pie and brandy sauce spring rolls with mince pie ice cream. £16.90 for two courses.
Christmas dinner grilled cheese sandwich at Northern Soul
What’s better than a grilled cheese sandwich? Christmas dinner on a grilled cheese sandwich, that’s what.
The basis of all Northern Soul sandwiches is their three cheese blend – consisting of cheddar, melty mozzarella and rich gruyere.
The ultimate Crimbo dinner sandwich is also stuffed with crown of turkey, pink lady stuffing and cranberry sauce, and finished with a gravy soaked pig in blanket lollipop. It’s also available on their stall on the Christmas Markets. £7.
Bestive Fake at Beastro
We all love a Festive Bake. But Beastro have created their own version – and it’s much meatier.
The Bestive Fake consists of a thick slice of turkey breast ballotine stuffed with home-made sausage meat on a bed of shredded sprouts, bacon, and chestnuts, topped with lashings of home-made turkey gravy with cranberry sauce.
Sliced pigs in blankets are thrown on for an extra festive feel, and then it’s all wrapped in golden puff pastry. £7, with £1 going to Action Against Hunger.
Santa’s ghetto burger at Almost Famous
Santas Ghetto Burger, available at Almost Famous Great Northern, is a double cheeseburger piled with slow cooked pork, wonder dusted smashed tots, JD maple cheerios, bacon mayo and redneck sauce, then topped with a candy cane.
If you want fries with that, they’re Christmassy too – topped with melted cheese, slow cooked buttered turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, shoestring onions and a sprinkle of bacon rain.
The NQ Christmas menu is secret until you arrive – but they say it’s a completely different concept to all other sites and is under the alias of ‘Crappy Holidays’. Merry Christmas to you too, Almost Famous.