IN these trying times - or even at the very best of times - how much would you fork out for Christmas dinner, even if it contained gold carrots? Against the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis, some celebrity chefs are asking eye-watering prices for festive fare this year.


How much?

Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal's renowned Berkshire restaurant, The Fat Duck, is leading the way as far as the bill goes - Christmas dinner at the venue in Bray costs £395, with the restaurant offering bookings to parties of two-to-six people at a time.



Quite a price indeed at the three-Michelin star eatery, which provides seasonal menus - calling them "anthologies" - of which this year's Christmas Edition is "anthology volume 5”. The Fat Duck’s booking site reads: "The festive period is one full of wonderment and anticipation. This culinary journey through Heston’s creative exploration of the emotional resonance of Christmas is a unique and stand-alone ‘volume’ of the anthology series. However you celebrate it, Yuletide is a time full of associations and memories and emotions.”


Emotions may run high?

The cryptic menu is said to include a 24-carat carrot that transforms into a “gold-flecked snow-globe sherry swirl” in a menu “bulging with Christmas treats and lashings of luxury – look out for Buck’s Fizz, caviar, a 24-carat carrot – not to mention a flaming pudding”. Features include “aerated beetroot” and “roast scallop, caviar and white chocolate” as well as “breakfast in a bowl”.  Guests are asked to "come prepared for excitement, joy, discovery and some nice surprises”.


Any other pricey festive fare?

Firebrand Scots chef Gordon Ramsay is charging £275 a head to dine at one of his London establishments on Christmas Day, and diners are asked to note this price does not include drinks or the discretionary 15 per cent service charge. Available at Pétrus by Gordon Ramsay, the Christmas day sample menu’s fare includes lobster raviolo, Cornish cod and Chocolate crémeux - , although his New Year's Eve menu is £300 per person, offering the likes of wild turbot and beef Wellington.


If you don’t want to fork out a fortune?

High street budget retailer Poundland is selling a full Christmas turkey dinner for £5 per person. The £25 meal includes a turkey main, vegetables, gravy and pigs in blankets, for a family of five, while its four-course option - a starter of prawns, Baileys profiteroles and a selection of cheese and crackers as well as the main - retails for £34.25, so £6.85 per head. Poundland commercial director, Tim Bettley, said: “This is no cracker joke – for the first time we’re making sure millions of our shoppers can buy their Christmas dinner at Poundland. Other big stores are joining in, including Tesco, which is promoting its budget festive feast - a turkey crown, roast potatoes and all the trimmings - also £25 for a family of five.


And if you aren’t one for the kitchen?

Heinz is bringing back its Christmas dinner in a tin after the limited edition 500 tins sold out last year. The company is making 20,000 tins of the soup this year with the meat version coming with turkey, spuds, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce, sprouts and other veg. A vegan version is also on sale at selected Asda stores. Fans of the £2 tin include Hollywood star Drew Barrymore, who described it as "yummy" on her US chat show last year.