Christmas Meal still brings Christmas Cheer

According to the Ashburton Cookery School’s survey of home cooks there is no dampening of enthusiasm for Christmas this year.

The world often feels in constant flux and 2017 has been no different, so it’s not surprising that many of us take comfort in the Christmas period as a time for friends, family and goodwill.

Of course one of the main events of Christmas day is the meal, often spent with large numbers around a table enjoying a traditional feast of roast turkey with all the trimmings – and according to the Ashburton Cookery School’s survey of home cooks many of you are greatly looking forward to the day.

The vast majority of respondents (84%) are planning a traditional Christmas meal this year agreeing that it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without one, although not everyone agrees with 9% declaring it to be overrated.

Despite over 90% thinking that Christmas has become too commercialised they also expect Christmas to be fun this year including 32% who are ‘Super Excited’.  However there are around 7% of people ‘Not bothered’ by the event, and spare a thought for the 2% that are ‘Dreading It’.

Home is still the preferred location for the meal by far with 90% of respondents planning to have the meal at their or a family members home.

For some though it’s all about getting away, either at a restaurant or pub (2%) or on holiday (4%).  Particularly brave is the family choosing to picnic on a Cornish beach this Christmas day!

Most respondents (78%) are cooking the meal themselves, although around half of them consider it a team effort in the kitchen.  Thankfully over 89% of them enjoy cooking the meal, which is just as well given that many cooks are going to have their work cut out this year with the majority (28%) having 8 or more guests around the table.

With so many options available to shoppers nowadays, have tastes moved away much from the traditional roast turkey?  It seems so, with just 65% plumping for a turkey, and nearly one in three people choosing something different – with the most popular choice being Beef (30%), Pork (15%) or alternative birds including Chicken (14%), Goose (11%), Duck (8%) with only a handful choosing game birds.

We had to ask whether the Brussels Sprout would feature on the menu and a firm 90% of you declared it would be – but only if cooked well.  A die-hard 9% want nothing to do with the potentially soggy green veggies.

Most (68%) are planning on going for a Christmas walk either before (26%) or after the meal (42%), but around 25% don’t plan to be going anywhere, probably to put their feet up to enjoy a classic Christmas movie.

Given the choice between a Bond film (24%), Sound of Music (14%), It’s a Wonderful Life (17%), Home Alone (21%) or a Christmas Carol (22%), 007 just edges it.

As for the Queen’s Speech, as many won’t be tuning in (36%) than will (35%).

93% of respondents think that Christmas is going to be a cracker this year and there is no doubt that a Christmas meal spent with family and friends is still as important as it ever was.

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas from the Ashburton Cookery School!

Survey results analysed on 13 Dec from 331 responents

Live survey results can be found here: