We know that cooking turkey at the right temperature and adding chestnuts to your sprouts will make the dinner tasty, however going the extra mile by creating a 'Christmassy' atmosphere, will make your guests even merrier.
These eight tips, put together by supermarket giant Asda, will help jazz up your festive feast:
1. Pop a teaspoon of sweet jam or marmalade into your gravy to add an injection of indulgence - the sweetness conjures feelings of warmth.
2. Playing Christmas songs while drinking a glass of wine is proven to make it taste sweeter. Pop the below on your Christmas playlist to enhance your festive tipple – Rod Stewart & Dave Koz – Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Dean Martin – Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Celine Dion – The Christmas Song, Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby, Bing Crosby – White Christmas.
3. Choose a plain white plate to serve up your festive fare – science suggests that the colour of your plate can enhance the taste perception. We associate white with brightness, purity and sweetness, making it the ideal colour to set off your Christmas lunch.
4. Adding spice to your Christmas lunch can help increase feelings of happiness with your loved ones. Sprinkle some chilies into stuffing or rub over the meat.
5. Thickness is key when it comes to your festive sauce. Christmas dinner is best enjoyed when covered with thick, glossy sauces such as cranberry sauce, gravy or a smooth bread sauce as this consistency evokes maximum indulgence.
6. Keep the room cool and create warmth perception with soft table décor and scented candles. The human body craves opposites, so when eating a hot meal a chilly environment is best. When the temperature is 7 °C (average temperature on Christmas day) 21°C will ensure optimum comfort.
7. Food that’s neatly presented is perceived to be better as our eyes seem to attribute more beauty to symmetrical compositions, therefore everything happening on one side of the plate should be a mirror image of the other side to make it more appealing. A triangular shape with all foods pointing upwards is preferred; so balance those brussels!
8. Believe it or not, height matters when it comes to your food. As turkey is the focal point, make it stand out by balancing the slices on a row of potatoes to give it height. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the plate either, as this can distract from the main centerpiece of your festive fare and spoil the effect.
Information from Asda.