The city shops to make Christmas dinner memorable

Dave Quinnell and Chris Ross serve up Pickering's Gin; below, Eddie's Seafood Market. Picture: Scott Louden
Dave Quinnell and Chris Ross serve up Pickering's Gin; below, Eddie's Seafood Market. Picture: Scott Louden
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WITH less than two weeks to go, spare a moment for one of the most important parts of Christmas Day – the dinner.

Although it’s tempting to head straight to the supermarket to get everything you need under one roof, remember that there are scores of specialist shops on our doorsteps which will give that extra sparkle to the food and drink being served up.

Here are some recommendations from a selection of shops which will make Christmas dinner 2014 one to remember.

Many of the traders will be displaying their wares at the Summerhall Christmas Market tomorrow from 11am to 5pm.

STARTER

Eddie’s Seafood Market, Fishmongers & Fish Shop, Marchmont, recommends:

1. Pan fried scallops.

2. King prawns.

3. Oysters.

Dobbies Food Hall, Lasswade recommends:

1. Smoked Argyll ham – fantastic on a platter with festive chutneys.

2. Loch Duart’s Artisan Smokehouse ‘oak roasted flaky salmo (serve with oatcakes and crème fraîche and top with herbs such as dill).

3. Our frozen peeled chestnuts are ideal for vegetarian/vegan starters without the fuss of peeling and prepping – try in recipes such as Jamie Oliver’s tart.

MAIN COURSE

Eddie’s Seafood Market, Fishmongers & Fish Shop, Marchmont, recommends:

1. Lobster.

2. Salmon.

3. Seabass.

Dobbies Food Hall, Lasswade recommends:

1. Our butcher in the food hall is an authorised stockist of Balmoral & Royal Deeside genuine wild Scottish venison. As an alternative to turkey, try the venison haunch on Christmas Day.

2. The 35-day aged rib of beef on the bone will equally impress.

3. For your family and friends who don’t eat meat, vegetarian haggis is a great option.

All can be served with traditional trimmings, and cranberries in a fruity sauce go particularly well with the venison.

DESSERT

Dobbies Food Hall at Lasswade recommends:

1. For convenience, try the frozen ready prepared winter pie berry mix, ideal for a quick way to make cheesecakes, pies and crumbles.

2. For your classic pudding on the day, Dobbies’ own label range features a traditional Christmas pudding in a basin.

3. For something different, orange and brandy liqueur winter pudding or the lemon and gin winter pudding may take your fancy.

Coco Chocolate, Bruntsfield, recommends:

1. Gold, frankincense and myrrh dark chocolate bar.

2. Infused Christmas box of handmade chocolates.

3. Orange peel dipped in chocolate.

4. Haggis bar, organic and handmade.

CHEESE

IJ Mellis recommends:

1. Colston Bassett Blue Stilton – classic Christmas cheese, great served with port.

2. Isle of Mull Cheddar – sharp and tangy Scottish cheese from the west coast.

3. Vacherin Winter Brie – made in the mountains of France during the winter months, this creamy Christmas cheese has a distinct pine aroma.

4. Corra Linn – a sheep’s milk cheese made in Lanarkshire, sweet and mild.

DRINKS

Barney’s Beer, Summerhall, recommends:

1. Capital Porter – because it has a real wintery warmth.

2. Red Rye – nice and spicy and it’s red and white, which is of course super festive.

3. Smoked Porter – a lovely fireside smokiness for in front of the fire when it gets cold.

4. Special edition labels – try and hunt out one of the John Byrne Specials, if there’s anyone lucky enough to find one of the original 200 bottles available earlier in 2014.

Pickering’s Gin, Summerhall, recommends:

1. No Christmas is complete without a good quality gin. Pickering’s Gin 42 per cent is ideal for pre-dinner G&Ts or an after dinner digestif over ice.

2. Cocktails should have a place at everyone’s Christmas table. Whilst our 42 per cent gin is great for many a mixologist’s favourite concoction, our navy strength gin (57 per cent) packs an extra punch to really kick off Christmas.

3. Pickering’s Gin has come up with THE ready-packed gift this Christmas. Our gin and tonic chocolate gift boxes are made with the finest ingredients and are great to give to that special someone.

4. Lastly, creating the right ambience is key to the perfect Christmas. Our juniper, grapefruit and sandalwood infused candles (inspired by the relaxing aroma of a Pickering’s and tonic) are the perfect way to ensnare the senses.

Dobbies Food Hall, Lasswade, recommends:

1. Cairn O’Mohr Oak and Elderflower wine.

2. Christmas Berry wine.

3. Gins – Sloe Gin from Perthshire, Gordon Castle Gin, Edinburgh Gin and Botanist Gin from Islay.