Christmas checklist for your self-catering holiday

A cottage break over Christmas entails a little organisation to be successful.

Most of us would be enthralled to spend Christmas in a lovely old period cottage complete with an open fire. What most people do not consider is the fact that they will be preparing Christmas lunch using unfamiliar appliances and kitchen utensils. It is worth giving the preparation some thought and making sure that you have what you need to carry out the usual tasks effortlessly.

planning for Christmas in a holiday cottage away from homeDo check that your holiday cottage has at least the minimum required crockery and cutlery for each person in your group. There won't be enough serving dishes or serving spoons so you may wish to bring your own. Do make a list of all crockery you think you may need and then check with the cottage owners to compare.

Apparently one in six adults in Britain today, do not know how to cook and can look forward to a Christmas cooked by others or order pre-prepared food from major supermarkets, ready to pop into the oven which may be the best course of action when self-catering because dishes arrive in their own aluminium cooking containers saving you the concern about whether there are enough suitable oven proof dishes. And you could order your Christmas food online to arrive at your holiday cottage soon after you get there. But for those who still like to cook a meal from scratch, the following checklist may help things go smoothly.

Items to take with you for Christmas in a holiday cottage

Do think about this section and remember the adage 'act in haste and repent at leisure'.

Holiday cottages are equipped with all basic items for cooking and food preparation, however they may not have certain pieces if equipment. Check your list with the cottage owner before the holiday so that you know exactly what you need to bring.

If needs be, you may need to improvise. That can be part of the fun.

Kitchen items to take with you:

turkey for ChristmasA vegetable peeler - there may well be one on the cottage but it may feel clumsy to use.

A baking tin large enough to accommodate a turkey or whatever you plan to roast. Check the size of oven to make sure that it will take a large roast.

Aluminium foil or a roasting bag.

A carving knife or better still, an electric knife which will also slice hams and bread.

A whisk or if you're planning to do a lot of whisking, a hand mixer.

A gravy boat or two. These are rarely provided in self-catering accommodation, mainly because guests rarely cook full scale meals.

Plastic storage containers for storing all that extra food that people have over Christmas.

Small snack dishes (disposable paper ones save on washing up).

A couple of large disposable platters for serving meat and snacks.

Possible optional items:

a jug for custard/cream

large bowls for fruit and nuts - everyone has more of both over Christmas.

Taking along ready-made food

Cooking a lavish lunch would be far easier if you take along ready made cakes, desserts and partially prepared ingredients, e.g. blended crumbs for a crumble. It would be wise to make a list of all foods that you will need, especially if you're planning to stay in a remote farmhouse in the Scottish Highlands.

Christmas is far easier albeit slightly more expensive if you use the services that supermarkets now offer of pre-prepared and ready made dishes for Christmas. There eliminates all need for weighing, mixing and sourcing food utensils. And the results are more reliable. Christmas can really come in a box and sometimes it is the wiser option to do so.

Dressing the table for Christmas

dressing the table for christmasAn easy way of creating a beautiful Christmas table is to buy lots of greenery at the local market (holly, ivy, mistletoe), a few candles and brightly coloured napkins. It is highly unlikely that any cottage owner would provide special Christmas table linen or crockery. Do a trial run using your dining table at home to find a quick method of achieving a festive and appealing table without having to take the family heirlooms on holiday.

Don't forget the Christmas crackers!.

Christmas Gallery

Christmas self-catering cottages Self-catering christmas holidaycottages at christmas fo the whole familyFamily breaks at Christmas Festive holidays for the familyPet friendly christmas holidays for the whole family

Preparation is the key

Good preparation is the key to a successful Christmas. Learn from those list makers who tick off every task and every item on their detailed shopping lists. Make list of presents, food, drink, guests, who is sleeping in which bedroom, events on over Christmas and of all the items you plan to take with you to your accommodation.

Contact Us

Please click on the cottage photographs shown to find pages of self-catering cottages to rent for Christmas.

Address: 3 Mentmore View, Tring
Telephone:+44 1442 827 260
FAX: None