British Christmas Dinner

How to find the ingredients for a British Christmas dinner

To recreate in Vienna the ritual of a propper Christmas dinner with roast turkey, crackers and flaming Christmas pudding, planning ahead is vital, but it’s also a challenge, and well worth rising to. Order your turkey from Zum Gockelhahn at the Naschmarkt (stand 180-183), a tried and trusted source (and friendly, too). They also sell wonderful Schenkel cranberry sauce.

Go to Himmelbach (stand 40-45) for all your vegetables; it is the oldest family-run stand on the market, and the best.

Bobby’s, the British import shop at Schleifmühlgasse 8 in the 4th District, has nearly everything else: sausage meat, streaky bacon, chipolata sausages and, of course, the pudding. They also have packets of sage and onion stuffing, jars of brandy butter, and also party crackers.

Just in case you think I am talking about crackers for cheese, let me enlighten you: We Brits pull party crackers at Christmas dinner, put the paper crowns on our heads and regale each other with the riddles and jokes. It all adds to the festive spirit.

Bobby’s also has an online store ( Delivery is €6,90 up to 5kg, plus €2 for each additional kg.

Meinl am Graben is pricey but a real Aladdin’s- cave of goodies like chocolates, marrons glacés- and champagne. They deliver within Vienna for €5.

You can’t get turkey foil for love or money in Austria, so if you need it for your recipe (I use the one in Delia Smith’s 1994 edition of Christmas, still in publication by Ebury), you will have to get it from the U.K.

A word of warning: One year a friend in London sent me such foil by Royal Mail. It arrived- a week after Christmas in a very battered state. Some kind chap at the Sydney (Australia) sorting office had thoughtfully written EUROPE across the label. Well-travelled turkey foil, indeed. Bon appetit!

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