Food News

Christmas shortcuts: how to outsource your festive stress

Skip the last-minute panic this Christmas with finish-at-home feasts, DIY trifles and Christmas Day lunches at top Australian restaurants.

The Christmas Box from Atlas Weekly

Which Christmas host do you want to be this year: the one who just discovered the oven’s too small for the turkey? Or the one calmly offering pre-made Martinis while you know the food is taken care of? We know the answer and we have the solutions, with our roundup of ways to have a gourmet Christmas Day without breaking a sweat.

Have a chef do the lot with Christmas By QT at Home

NSW, Qld, ACT, WA, Vic and NZ

The chefs at various QT Hotels around Australia and New Zealand have designed a fully realised Christmas feast that only needs a smidge of prep before it lands on your table. Serving up to six people, it includes steamed tiger prawns with a marie rose and cognac sauce, a honey-glazed ham, slow-roasted Berkshire porchetta, a ton of sides and starters and, for dessert, Christmas pudding, trifle and mince pies. Each Christmas by QT At Home box comes with 20 dishes, plus candy canes, and costs $649. Orders must be made before 21 December and can be picked up from your nearest QT Hotel. Christmas By QT At Home.

Pump up your panettone game with Sonoma Bakery


Ditch the dry grocery store panettone for this luscious luxe version, stuffed with Belgian couverture chocolate and presented in a chic, centrepiece-worthy paper collar. Double up on the decadence with individual eggnog kouign-amman pastries. Dessert done. The limited-edition chocolate panettone costs $50 and you can per-order now for pickup before the big day. Sonoma Bakery.

Let Atlas Dining do the cooking

Vic, NSW and ACT

A Christmas kit to rule them all, with Atlas Dining chef Charlie Carrington’s pick of the produce from City Larder, Loulou & Co and Pino’s Fine Produce. Mains include baked ocean trout with dill and lemon, and roast chicken with Atlas garlic and herb gravy. Plus, there are ample sides, such as za’atar pumpkin and garlic and rosemary roast potatoes, and the option to add on a ham with mulled wine glaze as well as matched wines. The Christmas Box can cater for two to eight people, with bespoke boxes available for larger groups. Prices start from $159 (plus delivery) and orders must be made by 16 December. The Christmas Box from Atlas Weekly.

Get chef-level provisions or a full feast from Providoor

NSW, Vic, Qld and ACT

Let Rockpool Bar and Grill take care of the smoked ham and Three Blue Ducks handle the porchetta. In Sydney, A Tavola has whipped up a complete Italian Christmas spread, Entrecote presents a French set menu for Melburnians and Brisbane’s Clarence has wrapped up the whole farm in one with their generous turducken feast. Round it off with Supernormal’s Holiday Beverage Pack and you’re sorted. Providoor has all your finish-at-home Christmas feasts covered thanks to its multiple vendors – and it’s all delivered exactly when you want it. Prices vary and delivery costs apply for each vendor. Providoor.

Delegate the entrees and dessert to Fix Dining

NSW, Vic, Qld and ACT

Head over to Fix Dining to order STIX’s 36-piece party bundle ($125) featuring sausage rolls, pies, prawn toast and more, which is the ideal way to entertain during the festive season. You can also order a DIY mango and passionfruit curd trifle ($60), a kilo of fresh prawns ($55) and a smoked salmon side ($90) with house-made blinis ($10). You could even throw in a few jars of Anneliese Gregory’s truffle honey ($28.50) for last minute gifting. Everything can be delivered to your door or picked up from in-store. Fix Entertaining by Fix Dining.

Order a pre-prepped Christmas box from Orso at Home

SA only

Elegant Orso in Rose Park has created one of the prettiest (and best-value) Christmas-at-home boxes around. Including but not limited to cider-glazed spiced ham, duck rillette with treacle soda bread, boned Bannockburn chicken and a vanilla meringue with stone fruit, berries and cream for dessert. Each box costs $370 and serves up to four people. Bonus: almost every dish is gluten-free. Order by 19 December and pick up on Christmas Eve. Orso at Home Christmas Box.

Get a luxed-up Christmas pud from Stokehouse

Vic only

Stokehouse pastry chef Ash Smith has crammed his tropical version of the traditional Christmas pud full of cherries and pineapple, and it’s the ideal finish-at-home dessert that’s sure to impress even the fussiest of guests. It even comes with a recipe for brandy custard to serve with it. Order now and pick up all the way up to Christmas Eve. Stokehouse.

Pick up a special Messina Gelato creation

NSW, Vic, Qld and ACT

Unfortunately, the gelato gods’ wildly beloved Christmas trifle is already sold out for 2022, but you can still grab a festive-fancy cake from their regular range, like their decadent tiramisu tart which is big enough to fill up a good-sized family. Messina also has a range of gifting ideas that’ll win you favourite lunch guest status on the big day. Plus, a tub of its sorbet never goes astray on a hot summer’s day. Prices vary and you can pick up from your nearest Messina store. Gelato Messina.

Libate with bartender-approved premix Martinis from Republic of Fremantle


Premix cocktails can be hit and miss, but the bottled bevs from the drink obsessives at Republic are all the hits and more. BYO glasses and olives or lemon twist, the rest is done for you. Each 500ml bottle costs $74 and makes 8.5 standard drink. Bottles can be delivered around Australia, or picked up in-store in Fremantle, WA. Republic of Fremantle.

Or just go to a restaurant…

Get out of the kitchen (and the tedious clean-up) altogether by booking everyone into a restaurant.

In Sydney, every restaurant at Barangaroo’s Crown, including a’Mare, Oncore, Woodcut and Nobu have their kitchens in action for Christmas Day. Also harbourside, Quay is putting on a spectacular five-course dining menu, and you also book the family into a private dining room, while Reign at the QVB is putting on a relaxed shared feast.

The natale feast at Grossi Florentino in Melbourne is the stuff of legend (Guy Grossi cooks it himself), or do lunch by in a cabana with a DJ soundtrack on the Yarra at Arbory Afloat.

In Brisbane, Three Blue Ducks at W Hotel is putting on a feast sourced from the very best produce of Queensland and the Northern Rivers. Uncle Su at The Star Gold Coast is where to go for a Cantonese Christmas banquet.

Wildflower Perth is putting on a six-course tasting lunch highlighting featuring pearl meat, Manjimup marron, and Wildflower Christmas pudding.

In the Adelaide Hills, Hardy’s Verandah restaurant at Mt Lofty Estate has a choice of five- or six-course feasts, while you can do Christmas Day with a view on the rooftop of Sol Rooftop at SkyCity.

Massimo Mele and Thomas Pirker have created a refined Christmas feast – market fresh, prawn salad and more – at Launceston’s Grain of the Silos, while you can do a lazy lakeside afternoon at The Boathouse in the ACT.

Honourable mention: Chiswick Christmas Hamper. Serves two to three people and costs $185 per hamper. Pre-orders are now open for pick-up from Chiswick, Sydney NSW on Christmas Eve.

Still keen to cook from scratch? Check out Gourmet Traveller’s best make-ahead Christmas recipes and festive desserts.

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