A darkened cathedral and the boy treble’s solo in Once in Royal David’s City is one of the most special Christmas moments for many. Cathedral choirs mark the true start of the festivities, says Matthew Dennison. Carol singing may be a moment to relax over Christmas but everything can easily…

Guide to Christmas

Father Christmas may have his elves on hand but for us mere mortals, Christmas can become quite the festive frenzy. With presents to buy, cards to send and a festive feast to plan, shortcuts and simple methods are absolutely necessary. Fortunately, The Field has the answer to every Christmassy question.…

Christmas puddings

With Stir Up Sunday this weekend, country cooks are reaching for their wooden spoons to stir the pud and make a wish. But, as Hattie Ellis discovers, Christmas puddings have come a long way from their medieval origins. And the shop shelves are practically groaning with the array on offer…

Best alternatives to Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding isn’t everyone’s favourite offering at the festive feast, but don’t let the nay-sayers go hungry. So follow The Field’s recipes for the best alternatives to Christmas pudding. With boozy brownies, a fruitcake from the WI and biscotti for the smalls, there will be a Christmas pud for everyone.…

Potted spiced meat

Winter chutney is the perfect match for a feast of cold meats. Save it to enjoy with your Christmas day leftovers and you won’t tire of cold turkey and ham until well into the new year. Cling onto the festivities by enjoying it in turkey sandwiches packaged up for a…

Fried scallop canapés with sloe gin, nutmeg and speck

These fried scallop canapés with sloe gin, nutmeg and speck are so decadently rich they are perfect for Christmas day. They can be made in the morning and only need cooking for a couple of minutes before serving, meaning you can put on delicious canapés without missing any of the…

Fig, chocolate and cognac cake

This fig, chocolate and cognac cake is perfect for the festive season. It keeps well up to four days and it is suitable for freezing, making it a great offering for when an unexpected guest arrives for tea. For more festive sweet treats, try our Christmas brownies with hazelnuts and…

Damson jam

Damson jam is the best way to use up these tiny sour plums. Although too bitter to eat, they make great jam. With the British weather producing some of the best damsons in the world, don’t let the bumper crop go to waste. Damsons are high in pectin, so make…

Potted spiced meat

Potted spiced meat is a great starter to make ahead of time for Christmas day. Rather than missing the festivities slaving in the kitchen, entertain your guests and still enjoy a delicious starter. Potted spiced meat will keep in the fridge for up to three days. Or, make use of…

6 top fruitcakes. Melton Hunt cake

These 6 top fruitcakes are pick of the best this Christmas. They make the perfect centrepiece for the festive table. Alternatively, serve one of the fruitcakes for shoot elevenses or divvy it up in to bite-sized chunks for the hunt meet. Sweet and filling, it is the perfect offering on…