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Chefs talk turkey – perfect picks from the finest festive menus

We head for the professionals’ kitchens to grill a few of Hampshire’s top chefs on what they like to cook – and eat – at Christmas

Luke Matthews, Executive Head Chef at Chewton Glen, New Milton


Top picks from the Christmas menu at Chewton Glen?

It’s the obvious choice but I have to recommend the turkey because we serve the most amazing New Forest Bronze. Then there’s our famous Christmas pudding – we make it in January so it has loads of time to mature, then we store it in our large wine cellar before dishing it up in December.

What will you be eating on Christmas Day?

I’ll be working on Christmas Day with a team of around 20 chefs. As well as cooking up a festive feast, we have a secret Santa and I raffle-off gifts that are sent from suppliers. We also cook a staff Christmas lunch, which is served in the canteen. Once all the prep work is done the team sit together before a busy day of service.  

Chewton Glen Christmas

Oli Tucker, Head Chef at THE PIG, Brockenhurst

Oli Tucker chef THE PIG

What Christmas dishes do you have to tempt us at THE PIG?

We’ll be keeping the menu classic and local at THE PIG this year. A good example is the Jerusalem Artichoke velouté starter made from artichokes from our very own garden, served with smoked Hampshire ham hock. Our turkey comes from the wonderful Great Oaks Farm in Boldre, Lymington, who are also supplying us with their amazing goose. To finish, there’s classic Christmas pudding with brandy sauce or incredible cheese from the Book and Bucket Cheese Company in Cranbourne, just over the border in Dorset.

What will you be eating on Christmas Day?

I’ll be cooking in the kitchen at THE PIG on Christmas Day. It will mean missing out on the usual big family Christmas, all crammed around a table meant for six, but I will be with my second family. When it’s all over and lunch is served, I’m looking forward to relaxing with cold cuts, cheese and a nice glass of wine.

THE PIG Christmas table

Phill Bishop, Head Chef at The Greyhound on the Test, Stockbridge


Top three courses at The Greyhound on the Test?

To start, I’d recommend the Hampshire game and poached apricot terrine with roasted chestnuts and pancetta. It’s made with partridge, pheasant and pigeon sourced locally through our butchers, Owtons, and served with toasted Hoxton sourdough and quince ketchup. My favourite main is the roasted cod loin. I like a nice meaty piece of fish at this time of year and this cod from the south coast is perfect. Pan-roasted with a garnish of salt-baked vegetables and smoked mussels, we use the leftover cooking liquor to make a light but flavoursome velouté to sauce the dish. For pud, the spiced clementine and cranberry tartlet with Clementine sorbet is a highlight. It simply shouts Christmas.

What will you be eating on Christmas Day?

My Christmas is all about family, everyone chips in with the cooking. We usually have snacks and canapés before the main event. This year, I’ll make salmon rillette for starter, then it’ll be classic roast turkey with all the trimmings. For pudding it’s literally a case of pot-luck – the family make their own creation and bring it on the day, so could be anything.


Luke Holder, Head Chef at Lime Wood, Lyndhurst

Angela Hartnett Luke Holder Lime Wood

What’s cooking this Christmas at Lime Wood?

We make a wonderfully traditional smoked salmon. I always feel Christmas Day is the perfect day for it – this year we’re serving ours with a cheeky little caviar from Cornwall. I also love turkey with all the trimmings – ours are sourced from Woolley Park Bronze Turkeys in Wiltshire, a great local product.

What will you be eating on Christmas Day?

I’m working this year so it will be pickings, then cold ham and panettone when I get home. That’s a real treat and absolutely perfect washed down with a bottle of Barolo. I’ll be happy with that.

Lime Wood Christmas Hall Tree

1 comment on “Chefs talk turkey – perfect picks from the finest festive menus”

  • Hazel Kilgour December 18, 2020

    All very good restaurants and excellent chefs


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