From Rochelle’s perfect roast potatoes to Paddy’s love of brussels sprouts, our four M&S Food celebrity tasters reveal their Christmas traditions
“The children always get up very early, but I’m usually up even earlier than them. We all open our stockings – because Father Christmas delivers to everybody, including the pets – and then it’s straight onto the buck’s fizz. I normally cook the dinner, but this year we’re going to Cornwall and my mum will cook so I can just relax. She’ll do a turkey and usually does me a vegetarian meal, although I might have to get her to do the M&S baked ricotta stacks – they top her nut roast!
“I married my husband [Chris Hughes] in December 10 years ago, and we had a very Christmassy wedding. There was a snow machine, a Father Christmas and reindeer – that had to be my best Christmas party ever. We had an open bar, and everyone loved it.”
“We’ll always start with a full cooked breakfast – sausages, bacon, egg, everything! Then you’re really full up, you open all your presents and chill out, and then we have our dinner at about 4 or 5pm, and it’s always cooked by me. I’m very traditional in that it’s a turkey dinner and a trifle.
“For leftovers, I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I love sprouts! When I was a kid they were the work of the devil but now I have them on everything – in a curry, on a sandwich – oh yes!
“I find that when you’ve got kids, you forget about yourself at Christmas. Whenever my wife asks me what I’d like, I always say a lie-in. If you could put a bow around a lie-in, that would be perfect.”
“Christmas is chaos. Organised chaos. There are always a lot of people asleep in various places, and kids waking up at dawn desperate to open their presents. My mum is from a very big family and every Christmas Eve they have a family party, so I always remember those at this time of year.
“Nowadays, we all cook for Christmas in our house. This year we are having everyone over and me and Matt [Emma’s husband] and my mum will do it. But everyone chips in to help so that one person doesn’t get stressed. One of my Christmas traditions is drinking a lot of tea as I don’t drink much and we always have so many biscuits in the house at Christmas, which were made to dunk. I love an M&S chocolate selection box – especially the ones wrapped in orange foil.”
“I have two young children and Christmas is just carnage. The start of Christmas Day is getting earlier and earlier and our Christmas Eves are getting later and later because there’s always something we forgot to wrap or build.
“I do most of the cooking on Christmas Day. I’m really good at roast potatoes. I use either goose or duck fat from M&S, lots of thyme, rock salt and chicken stock cubes – I crumble one of those over the potatoes. You just parboil them, then put everything in a baking tray, leave them in the oven and, at the end, pour the meat juices over them. They are epic. The sad thing is when I post them on Instagram they get more likes than my face ever does!”
Editor: Emma Sleight / Photographer: Peter Mason / Emma’s glam team Stylist: Leah Binnall / Make-up artist: Amanda Bowen / Hair stylist: Hannah Akerman / Amanda’s team Stylist: Sarah Price / Hair stylist and make-up artist: Christian Vermaak / Rochelle’s team Stylist: Angie Smith / Make-up artist: Fran Abrahamovitch / Hair stylist: Maurice Flynn / Paddy’s team Stylist: Lisa Benson / Hair stylist and make-up artist: Sarah Burrows