The countdown to Christmas is officially under way and if you’re anything like us, you’ll be singing along to Kylie’s latest Christmas album, decorating your desks with tinsel and munching on mince pies to satisfy that mid-morning sugar craving.
But, at Stylist nothing really gets the festive spirit going like ditching the packed-lunch in favour of an indulgent Christmas sandwich. In the past few weeks, supermarkets, cafés and delis have competed in their annual bread battle in a bid to entice shoppers and local workers with sandwiches and paninis packed full with warming vegetables, succulent turkey slices and sweet cranberry sauce.
So, in the name of research (and hungry bellies) we embarked on a taste test of the seven best Christmas sandwiches to find out which deserves to be crowned the champion.
Waitrose: Turkey, stuffing and bacon £3.20
Helen Bownass, entertainment editor: “I could taste the stuffing which was very nice but there was too much cranberry sauce for me – I don’t like a sweet sauce in a sandwich, as a rule, because it tastes a bit jammy. I couldn't massively taste the bacon or turkey and I would have liked a bit more green crunch. But, saying that, I've come to realise that although I love Christmas dinner and sandwiches; I don’t think I like a Christmas sandwich. There’s too much faf going on."
Tesco: Tesco finest turkey feast sandwich £3.00
Zoe Beaty, deputy features editor: “The good news is there was plenty of meat – and the bread was soft, but not too soggy; usually a source of searing disappointment when cranberry sauce gets involved in the sandwich game. However, the pork and chestnut stuffing could barely be tasted leaving the overall sandwich a bit like a slightly disillusioned chicken club, whose ambitions to be a festive treat weren't quite realised. The equivalent of opening a ring box on Christmas Day, only to find a pair of cheap earrings inside.”
POD: Christmas feast sandwich £3.25
Jessica Salter, acting features director: "I had a POD Christmas feast baguette. While it was a little bit stingy on the turkey, there was a lovely layer of stuffing that counterbalanced the spread of cranberry sauce. Fortunately, none of the components were overpowering and I would say it was a perfectly good Christmas sandwich for any lunchtime festive craving."
Pret: Veggie Christmas Lunch £3.25
Amy Adams, deputy production editor: “One Christmas I ate so much cheese I developed a rash so it's refreshing, as a veggie, to have a Christmas sandwich that doesn't involve cheese. Instead, it has al dente chunks of roasted butternut squash with crispy onions and rocket doused in a nutty festive pesto and yoghurt dressing. It's surprisingly delicious and at least two of your five a day which goes a long way at this time of the year.”
Starbucks: Turkey Feast Flatbread £4.29
Nicole Holcroft-Emmess, picture researcher: "A delicious and very filling sandwich. I loved that Starbucks haven't been too shy with the cranberry sauce either as Turkey can be quite dry. This was great would definitely order this again to accompany my Toffee Nut Latte after a hard days Christmas Shopping."
Sainsbury: Taste the difference orange & whisky British ham with wensleydale £2.80
Katie O’Malley, editorial assistant: "It felt rather decadent to sit at my desk and eat a whisky-roasted ham sandwich with apple and whisky chutney but it definitely got me in a Christmassy mood for the afternoon’s meetings. Having the world’s worst cold did dull my taste buds but I could still detect a lovely contrast between tangy cheese and sweet fruity flavours."
WINNER: Marks & Spencer: Veggie feast £2.80
Lucy Frith, senior sub editor: “You know on Christmas when the stuffing is so good you would be happy forgoing every other part of the meal to finish the bowl? This sandwich is like that. Sweet vegetables, crunchy sunflower seeds and cranberries all come together in a taste explosion that evokes the flavours of Christmas. The texture was nice and compact —nothing fell out of my sandwich while I ate it and as the vegetables had been prepared into a stuffing it was the perfect texture. Honestly, one of the nicest sandwiches I've tasted."
9.5/10 stars (“Loses half a point for being a whopping 600 calories!”)