Right chaps – it’s official – Halloween is off and Christmas is on. It’s ironic that every year as we edge closer to Christmas (THE most expensive time of the year), homemade lunches go completely out the window. And so since we’re spending the money on festive lunches anyway, we might as make sure they’re worth the money.Last year (my first year back in London), my colleague and I unintentionally began reviewing festive sandwiches. Inspired by a list that one of us saw in a TimeOut one week, there wasn’t anything concrete about it. But it did inspire us both to take it to another level in 2017. You see last year, we were both relative newbies to the office; treading carefully and getting to know our environment. This year, however, we are fully-fledged permanents. Longer-term than many. And so we knew that it was time to up the Christmas anti, if you will.
Many-a-conversation and an hour-long lunch-time October planning meeting later, the “Christmas Sandwich List” was born. An all-inclusive ranking system, where anyone who’s interested can buy and review any Christmas sandwich they come across, ranking it out of 5★ and adding any note-worthy comments for future consumers. Don’t want to review? The list can simply be used as a planning resource before you make your purchase. It is multi-functional system.
So without further ado I bring you the list, a “working document”, that will be updated each week as new sandwiches are added/ reviewed. The only rule is that it’s got to fit into the “lunch time” category. Nothing too expensive or extravagant. And something that most people will have access to. Have you tried any on the list or found any that aren’t? Let me know in the comments! Not a sandwich fan? Scroll down and check-out the “Festive Extras” -beverages, cookies, and snacks galore. Imagery included where available, but more to come. Ratings and descriptions will be updated as new reviews come in.
Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.
THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS SANDWICH LIST
~#1 EAT:Goats Cheese, Pear & Date (V); £3.95
Mulled-wine pears in a sandwich? Shut the Christmas-wreathed front door. EAT are known for their sandwich game, and they certainly don’t disappoint at Christmas. A perfect balance of creamy goats cheese with sweet pear and date chutney on fresh multiseed bread; this is an excellent option for veggies and non-veggies alike.
~#1 Pret A Manger: Veggie Christmas Lunch (V); £3.50
Another good veggie option – roasted chunks of butternut squash, nutty Christmas pesto and spicy rocket. “A good balance of ingredients with just the right amount of crispiness/crunchiness. Loved the yoghurt and mayo dressing, quite sweet – very filling.”
#2 Pret a Manger: The Christmas Special; £3.95
The Christmas Special is what it says on the tin – turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce (…and spinach). All-in-all a good balance of ingredients, the spinach was a crispy, fresh and welcome addition, and 50p of the cost goes to charity. The cranberry sauce could be distributed better to avoid soggy patches though.
#3 Marks & Spencer: Turkey Feast; £3.90
Another Christmas classic, but not quite on Pret’s Christmas Special level. “Very meaty” – could do with some greenery. But 5% (19.5p) does go to charity – so that’s a positive.
#4 EAT: Pigs in Blankets with Mustard Mayo & Ale Onion Chutney Hot Roll; £3.95
I had such high hopes for this, and was thoroughly disappointed. Lured in by mouth-watering imagery of a roll so jam-packed with filling that the pigs-in-blankets were tumbling out the sides – it proved to be all lies. The roll itself was fresh, but the pig content was barely enough to cover the surface area, and the mustard-mayo was far too heavy on the mustard. Would be better with a dollop of cranberry or sweet caramelised onion chutney instead.
#5 Starbucks: Three Cheeses & Cranberry (V); £4.25
Ooo thumbs down Starbucks. Great concept; poor execution. It didn’t need three cheeses for a start, there was no way near enough cranberry (it was drowned out by the cheese), and the chard may as well have not been there. Would have been MUCH better if toasted panini-style – this was more like lightly warmed. Not worth the money.
#6 Pret a Manger: Ham Hock, stuffing & apple; £ (to be confirmed)
Too much mustard, very little ham, needed more apple. Only positive was the 50p donation to charity.
THE FESTIVE EXTRAS
Pret a Manger: Melvin the gingerbread snowman; £1.00
“Great snap, great distribution of icing, and a marshmallow” – what more could you want!
EAT: Pigs in blanket with mash & gravy; £ (to be confirmed)
EAT have clawed their way back (from the disappointing roll) with this beauty of a lunch dish. Creamy mash, sufficient quantity of pigs, gravy had depth and the crispy onions were a very welcome addition. A warming pot of deliciousness perfect for a chilly winter’s day. Get involved.
Pret a Manger: Festive Winter Salad; £ (to be confirmed)
“One of the best salad’s I’ve had – an adventure from start to finish. Broccoli was a bit much though”.