The season of eating, drinking and making merry is upon us – here are some ideas for the first in that trio of festive delights.

Christmas party food can be a conundrum. After all, everyone has been somewhere on the feasting-grazing scale for days – will they be sick at the sight of another mince pie? Do they need feeding up as ballast to the booze? Or are they after only the tiniest morsels, their stomachs groaning at the sight of yet another thing to eat?

For Christmas drinks party food and Christmas canapes, we’d err on the side of keeping things light – but with just enough substance to counterbalance drinks of the sparkling variety. There are countless canapé ideas online; for us, these are the ones that always go down very nicely indeed with our festive revellers.

One tip: do keep them easy to eat with a single hand grip. No one likes finger food that is practically akin to meal and will, inevitably, end its life somewhere down the front of a dress or shirt.

Prawns In Blankets

Delicious Magazine

Who doesn’t, over the festive period, feel the thrill of the first annual taste of pigs-in-blankets before eating such a procession of them that we need another year before we can look at another? And yet, there is something compelling about blanketing items of food that otherwise go unwrapped the rest of the year. To which end, we present the prawn-in-blanket, which has the virtue of being ready in moments, of being completely delicious, and of being a talking point. One cocktail stick and they’re ready to pop right in guests’ mouths without the need for fuss or small plates. Find the recipe here.

Rarebit And Pickled Onion Croquetas

Olive Magazine

Have you been given enough cheese to last you until next Christmas? If so, why not put some of it to delicious use in these moreish croquetas? They are a cinch to wolf down in a single quick bite, plus they are comforting and substantial enough to soak up the wine, but small enough not to be too filling (unless, of course, you eat twenty of them). Find the recipe here.

Nigel Slater’s Sausage Danish

Red Online

More interesting than a sausage roll and far more delicious too, this year, do try Nigel Slater’s Sausage Danish, for which you’ll need some (ready-made) puff pastry, flour, sausages, fennel seeds and an egg to make the surprisingly straightforward Danish. But do not, as Nigel suggests, stop there. The Bramley apple sauce for dipping is easy to whip up and really makes the dish. Find the recipe here.



Coxinha – or Brazilian chicken croquettes – make a dream Christmas canape, particularly since they would work with leftover turkey too. As Nigella says, ‘Although a regular coxinha really is the size and shape of a pear, these are mini versions, and you can get a fabulous 70 out of not much more than three small chicken breasts (although I feel I should have used 6 chicken thigh fillets instead, given the name of this dish) and a great deal of flour. Yes, they are time-consuming to make, but if you get a bunch of friends together and get a little conveyer belt going, it is enormously companionable.’ Not least because friends will adore you for so tasty a morsel. Find the recipe here.

Fig And Goat’s Cheese Filo Parcels

Olive Magazine

They have the saltiness. They have the sweetness. They have but five ingredients. They are, in short, the perfect Christmas canapé. Find the recipe here.

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

Women’s Weekly Food

Butter, flour, parmesan, cheddar and cayenne: all you need for these dangerously moreish bites, which are perfect for pairing with some Christmas sherry. Find the recipe here.

Christmas Pudding Spoons

Jamie Oliver

Bring us some figgy pudding, oh bring us some figgy pudding! Happily, Jamie Oliver assists us beautifully in obliging the request, with his genius idea of little spoons with the pud and a little custard served up on each. Do note, you will need lots of spoons to hand, but if you have them, this is a perfect way to serve guests something sweet. And, given the richness of plum pudding, a couple of helpings is probably the ideal way to eat the festive treat. Find the recipe here.

Nigel Slater’s Warm Marzipan Buns

The Guardian

Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer
And finally, back to Nigel, for he is – to our minds – the god of festive cooking. What, after all, could be more delicious than these warm marzipan buns? As they say, they might take some time, but the great yawning hours of nebulous Twixtmas days are made for this kind of thing. As Nigel advises, ‘Eat while they are still oozing warm almond paste.’ Who are we to question the great man? Find the recipe here.

By Nancy Alsop
December 2022

Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.