7 mince pies having an identity crisis

Mince pies.

The British Christmas staple if there ever was one.

Each family seems to have its own recipe that is not to be messed with.

I on the other hand am still to create my own, so I’m currently sampling every mince pie I can get my hands on (you know, in the name of research… Tough job but somebody’s got to do it!).

And while most places stick to the fruit-mix-in-pastry version, there are also some more… creative ones out there!

1. Crosstown’s mince pie doughnuts

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Crosstown Mince Pie doughnut

With its mini mince pie doughnuts, complete with brandy butter glaze and vanilla crumble topping, Crosstown has achieve the perfect jam doughnut and mince pie breeding. Pillowy sourdough dough, fruit-rich boozy filling and addictive signature crumble, I wouldn’t mind finding a big box of those under the tree!

2. Joe & Seph’s mince pie pop corn

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Joe & seph's mince pie popcorn

Going deeper into the novely mince pie market, you’ll find this brandy-infused caramel-coated popcorn which claims to be as “rich, fruity and aromatic [as] a mince pie”. I say, not a bad option for a Christmas movie marathon!

3. Rinkoff Bakery’s Mince pie cronut

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Rinkoff's Mince Pie Cronut

Given the choice, I’ll always pick a croissant over a pie, so Rinkoff’s mince pie cronuts is very much my idea of festive heaven! (Just don’t think about the calories content. It’s Christmas, it doesn’t count!).

4. Sainsbury’s Mince Pie Ice Cream

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Sainsbury's Mince Pie Ice Cream

Mince pie ice cream. Now, THAT is a game changer. Serving it over oven-baked apples, in a mince Pie milkshake, as a mince pie sundae… the possibilities are endless (hellooooo creative yet lazy Chrismas dessert!)!

5. Bad Brownie’s mince pie brownie

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Bad Brownie mince pie brownie

I wasn’t entirely convinced about the mince meat / chocolate combination until I tried one of Bad Brownie boozy and Christmassy Mince Pie Brownie. Dangerously good (just like evrything else they bake).

6. Mince pie chocolate 

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Nom Nom mince pie chocolateMade fresh in south Wales with boozy mincemeat and shortbread enveloped in milk chocolate, this Mince pie chocolate bar is every Christmas addict chocolate lovers’ dream come true (and a great stocking filler)!

7. Mince pie vodka

7 mince pies having an identity crisis | Mince pie vodka recipe from Waitrose

Why not give your cocktail a bit of the mince pie treatment this festive season? This recipe from Waitrose seems easy enough to make a few bottles at a time (and I can garantee you’ll win at homemade gift giving then!)

Which of those mince pie treats would you like to try? 

7 mince pies having an identity crisis

10 Things to do in London for Christmas

For more than a month now, I’ve spent most of my time thinking about Christmas

(but then, it comes early to London, where I first spotted mince pies at my local Sainsbury’s in September!)

Counting days, making lists (of presents, of food ideas, of things to do… the list (of lists!) is basically endless), drinking mulled wine, eating mince pies…

And now that all the Fah-la-la-la-ing has become socially acceptable, I thought it was about time for a little list of the best things to do in London for Christmas!

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

1. Tour the city to see the lights

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

This is probably my favourite thing about the festive season in London.

With all its lights twikling bright, the city looks so different and even more beautiful than the rest of the year!

Make sure your ‘light tour’ include Covent Garden (more on that below) and Regent Street as they’re my absolute faves this year!

2. Eat your weight in mince pies

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

Did you know that Christmas food has absolutely no calorie whatsoever? #TrueFact

(that I may or may not have just invented as I heard rumours that Crosstown Doughnuts created a Mince Pie doughnut for the festive season!!)

3. Drink hot cocktails

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

Mulled wine is a Christmas staple, so a few cups of it is highly recommended to get the party started!

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

But I’d also recommend you give Cinnamon Soho’s Rum Hot Toddy a try!

Strong, yet fragrant with notes of cinnamon, orange and all things Christmas-ey, it’s an absolute winner in my book!

4. Kiss under the mistletoe

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + WhiskyBest things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

Covent Garden‘s giant mistletoe decorations, that is.

So romantic (especially if you get a few macarons from Ladurée while you’re at it… #JustSaying).

(Please note that there are also giant disco balls, if you’re more in the mood for party!)

5. Witness (or take part in) a Santa Run!

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

One Santa is good, but dozens and dozens of them is better. Obviously.

6. Go to a Christmas Carol Service

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

Let’s be honest. You’ll have to queue in the cold. For a while.

But I promise it’ll all be worth it.

I have great memories of an Advent service at Westminster Abbey a few years ago; such beautiful voices in such a beautiful place!!

7. Taste as many Christmas specials as you can!

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

There’s more to Christmas food than mince pies and candy cane!

From Pret‘s Christmas Menu (I’m eye-ing the Beef Wellington baguette…) to Cranberry-and-turkey filled burgers (the beast above’s from Hache) and all sorts of cinnamon-y desserts, restaurants really are working hard at pushing that festive food thing to its limits.

Trying it all is going to be quite a challenge, but I’m not one to give up in the face of adversity.

8. Join into a Christmas street party

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

Christmas lights, loads of food, discounts in stores and loads of fun activities…

Basically all of the best things about Christmas packed into one night!

Carnaby Street‘s and Seven Dial’s are especially popular destinations, and other favourites of mine include Columbia Road‘s and Exmouth Market‘s.

9. Go present shopping (& window viewing!)

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

Departments stores are well worth touring both in search of the perfect present for everyone on your list and to see their amazing window displays.

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

Fortnum & Mason is always a must (I could stay hours marvelling at the details!)!

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + WhiskyBest things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + WhiskyBest things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

But then it seems every store has outdone itself this year (above: Paperchase, Cath Kindston & Accessorize)!

10. Getting ready for all the festive craziness to come

Best things to do in London for Christmas | Cake + Whisky

Christmas is probably the most tiring time of the year, so taking time for oneself ahead of it is always a good idea.

Be nice to yourself. Have nice food (and maybe throw some extra veggies inthere?). Sleep loads. Take a nice walk. Don’t stress too much about your never-ending lists. Enjoy.

And relaaaaaax!

Now, can I get a Fah-la-la-la-la over here? 

10 Things to do in London for Christmas