The sort of Christmas sandwich you’d bring home to meet your parents, this combination of turkey, stuffing, bacon and red currant chutney encased in soft malted seeded bread is, by some distance, the best Christmas sandwich on a charity tip we tasted. Also, you should probably know, that once we’d bought one, and then eaten it, then put the wrapping in the bin and walked off to catch our bus, we then decided not to get the bus and walked back to M&S to buy another one, whereupon we repeated the process. Five per cent of all sarnie sales go to Shelter – which is about 17 and-a-half-pence, maths fans – meaning that it is possible to experience acute indigestion
and feel good. Festive feelgood factor: 5/5
We wouldn’t for a second say that words are better than sandwiches; a variety of adjectives and verbs isn’t going to fill a hole at lunch, so when Pret describe their Christmas Lunch sandwich as ‘Thick slices of free-range turkey paired with port and orange cranberry sauce, herby pork stuffing and baby spinach leaves – finished with a dab of free-range mayo and crispy onions!’ that’s an awful lot to live up to. Do they deliver upon that luxurious combination of words? No they do not.
Does the sandwich fall apart in your hands, so infused with sauces and juices, that you feel a bit like a festive take on Godzilla swiping at Tokyo? Yes, it does. But as the charity donations go, 50p to the homelessness-centric Pret Foundation is a decent percentage. Festive feelgood factor: 4/5
There’s something a bit David and Goliath about this new arrival from the slightly upmarket Paul. It isn’t, for example, a sandwich that can be eaten one-handed. Instead, consumption requires a two-handed grip action that’s best described as trying to play a fleshy bassoon. The sandwich is essentially just loads of pigs in blankets wedged into a crusty bacon and onion baguette, with added Brussels sprouts and chargrilled red onion, topped with a plum
and balsamic chutney. And as you try to eat, a crowd will form around you, shouting, “C’mon, you can do it!” and punching the air. Children will ask for your autograph. Again, 50p goes to The Felix Project.
But the glory of victory is all yours. Festive feelgood factor: 4/5
For three quid, you get what you pay for; smoked turkey, smoked ham, what is described as ‘winter slaw’ – but we might describe as ‘crunchy slime’ – and a festive-spiced chutney. But whereas their sandwich is perfectly fine festive snack fodder, what’s absolutely brilliant about Co-op’s offering is their promise to donate a whopping £50,000 from the sales of their Christmas sandwiches to mental health charities Mind, SAMH and Inspire. So here’s what you’re going to do, dear reader; next time you’re feeling peckish in the run up to Christmas, you’re going to go into Co-op, you’re going to pick up The Boxing Day Lunch Sandwich, and you’re going to eat it. And you’re going to enjoy it. And you’re going to wash it down with a nice refreshing glass of ‘doing a nice thing’. Festive feelgood factor: 4/5
If meat isn’t your thing, then allow us to recommend this excellent festive vegetarian option from Spar, which fuses chutney and cheese together in ways that are really quite remarkable. It’s at times like these that we like to think of the album Dummy by the Bristol-based band Portishead, who in
1994 combined low-key hip-hop and soul to make something arresting, haunting but moreover extremely beautiful on what was their debut record. Said album won the Mercury Music Prize a year later and many expressed shock that such an unlikely combination would work so well together. Which reminds us of ourselves, stood outside a branch of Spar last week, a couple of slices of bread in our hands, thinking, that shouldn’t have worked but it really, really did. Also, 10p from every sale goes to cancer charity Marie Curie. Festive feelgood factor: 4/5