Merry Christmas in July! Yesterday was one of my favourite days of the year, the Sainsbury’s Christmas Press Show. And of course, it was the hottest day of the year so far!
This year, the beautiful Somerset House in London played host to some festive filled excitement in the middle of summer. The Sainsbury’s Christmas Press Show gives the media, bloggers and writers a chance to preview what is sure to be an amazing season for the supermarket.
Upon arrival, the bannisters are wrapped with holly, the tables are adorned with seasonal centrepieces and there are Christmas trees fully decorated of all shapes and sizes. Christmas songs are playing over the radio and if it wasn’t for the fact I was wearing a dress and sandals, I could have believed we were a week from the big day itself.
The first room consisted of fresh produce, meat, fish and accompaniments. The produce department have given classic dishes a bit of a twist. Samples on offer included Anya potatoes baked with herbs and garlic. Brussels sprouts with bacon, maple syrup, apples kale and chilli. Warm red cabbie, pear and walnut salad. And a vegetable layered cake. It was all divine and a really good way of keeping things traditional with the ingredients but serving them in a contemporary way.
The meat all looked amazing. As well as a maple glazed stuffed turkey crown and a three bird roast, there was also cured gammon, a Welsh lamb crown, and my new favourite cranberry and mulled cassis chipolatas. Cassis seemed to be a running theme throughout a lot of the Sainsburys Christmas range. It is an amazing flavour that works well both in sweet and savoury.
Then we move on to the fish. Salmon was key in most of the starters and for good reason, it’s very popular. Sue, who is one of the product developers is so passionate about fish and really knows her stuff. The smoked salmon shots were a firm favourite of mine and something that will be around my table come the festive season. The smoked salmon canapés come in three varieties in a pack to keep everyone happy and they look very pretty too!
CHEEEEEEESE! No Christmas is complete without a well stocked cheeseboard. Win, who is a pure fountain of cheese knowledge was on hand to tell me the latest trends and popular cheeses this season. As well as the counter range growing exponentially, there are also the whole mini (2kg!) barrels of stilton and cheddar which look adorable and are very tasty too. I also tried Wensleydale with sticky toffee and Wensleydale with sticky fig and salted caramel. I, of course, had my reservations but I needn’t have. The flavours work very well together and I recommend you give it a go!
Bring on the cake! Mulled cassis mince pies, pecan tartlets, 18 month matured Christmas pudding, mallow snowmen, biscuit fairy wands and layered red velvet cake to name but a few superstars com in out of the Sainsbury’s bakery. And for the desserts, trifle shots, limoncello gateaux, chocolate and raspberry baubles, and a chocolate and cream wreath cake sure to make you leave room after dinner. The good thing is, not only do these all taste fantastic, but they look great. Perfect for parties and entertaining. (Or just because you want a trifle… I get that…)
Next on show was a range of cake decorating ingredients such as pre-coloured icing, ready made cake toppers, sprinkles, frostings, icing tubes, and of course, the Sainsbury’s flower and modelling paste. (For those of you who have followed my story will know how key that little pink box had been in the birth of She Who Bakes. But that’s another story!) Everything you need to decorate your own Christmas cake. Their popular gingerbread house kit is back, perfect for kids. And they have added a Marshmallow kit to their box mixes now too! I’ve got a sample and I’m very much looking forward to featuring it in an article very soon.
As well as decoration ingredients, I was very excited to see a range of Taste The Difference sauces and jellies. There was a belgian chocolate sauce and a salted caramel sauce. Both would be perfect on desserts. And the jellies which would be a key ingredient in some amazing recipes. They are also now selling gold and silver leaf to top your creations!
The next room you could smell before you walked into it. Chocolate! They were giving you the opportunity to top your own chocolate, which was a lot of fun. The swiss praline assortment boxes are great for presents and the novelty chocolate tool kit and new chocolate sewing kit are fab stocking fillers. The marshmallow snowmen, chocolate scottie dos and chocolate penguins would be great cupcake toppers too.
The gifts and home department really made me feel festive. With the cooking and baking equipment having a Nordic feel and the table place settings being so inviting, I was ready to sit down to dinner and open some presents. I REALLY liked the ceramic pie dishes that had ingredients to a recipe printed inside. Someone needs to get me one of those for Christmas.
Clothing and beauty was the last stop. With fleece onesies, leather boots and beautiful coats, I’m longing for the colder weather now. It all looked gorgeous. And speaking of gorgeous, the hair and beauty ranges were fabulous. There were Phil Smith hair products and the Boutique make up range.
After all that hard work, I thought it was only fair to treat myself! A manicure by Colour Riot Nails using the Boutique polishes by Jo and Sophia. Then having my hair curled by Stephanie of psBegorgrous! It’s a hard life…
Get yourself down to Sainsbury’s and try these beauty products. They are amazing and you deserve to treat yourself!!
All in all I had an AMAZING day. I’ve got so many ideas and inspiration for Christmas. Sainsbury’s have done so well and I’m really excited to see all these fabulous new products hitting the shelves after Autumn.
Until next time, happy baking,