A Cotswold French feast for Christmas

This year will be the first traditional family Christmas I’ll be hosting at home in the UK for many years.

Although when I say traditional, I mean our version of traditional which includes a very strong French influence.  As a half French, half English family, we like to combine the best of both cultures which gives way to an awful lot of feasting.

With an awful lot of feasting comes an awful lot of cooking, which will primarily be done by the English side of the family…. Me!

The interesting part is that I’m going to be creating a French styled banquet in the UK, using local English produce from the Cotswolds.

A challenge?  Not at all!

In my humble opinion the Cotswolds are more than capable of competing with some of the best that France has to offer and my French husband will happily back me up.

Luckily I have a secret weapon in Dawn at Love Local who’s interest in delicious food dates back as long as I’ve known her, which is a very long time!

I passed my French menu plan to Dawn and asked her for some recommendations on sourcing prime local produce and how to bring out the best Christmas flavours.

This is what we came up with…

At around 7.00 pm on Christmas Eve we’ll kick off with champagne and canapes for a luxurious aperitif.  For something a little different, I’m going to add Five Valleys Sloe and Raspberry Cordial to the champagne and present it as a ‘Five Valleys Royale’ instead of the well-known French Kir Royale.

Followed by:

Menu – Réveillon de Noël dans le Cotswolds 

Foie gras with lightly toasted brioche

accompanied by one or more of the Artisan Kitchens Jams

Fresh oysters with a spicy mignonette sauce

We are so lucky to have William’s Food Hall in Nailsworth on our doorstep for the freshest seafood and oysters

The mignonette sauce will be made using Womersleys Golden Raspberry and Apache Chilli Vinegar

Roasted guinea fowl with calvados and figs

Served with honey-glazed carrots using Jim Dickenson’s Cotswold Honey

Cheese board

To complement our favourite French cheese Époisses de Bourgogne, I’m going to

add a selection of Godsells handmade artisan cheeses

Bûche de Noël with brandy butter ice-cream

Yule log to you and me served with brandy butter ice-cream

made with Kitchen Gardens decadent brandy butter

If the menu is as successful and delicious as I’m hoping it will be, I will share the recipes with you in the New Year.

Now wish me luck!

If you’re looking for a special foodie gift with a difference this Christmas, you might like to see what’s new at Love Local.