10th Dec 2020 @ 4:05 pm

When it comes to Christmas dinners, you can go British, with a Christmas meal that’s almost set in stone; or you can adopt the whatever-takes-your -fancy attitude of Spain. The best news is that, as they take place on different days, you could even have two dinners! But if you have to choose. Here are the main differences.


Spain: Late in the evening of 24th December, ideally before Midnight Mass.

UK: Hopefully, before the Queen’s Christmas Message at 3pm, allowing overstuffed subjects in paper crowns to salute Her Majesty.


Spain: Expensive seafood, such as langoustines, oysters, elvers (€1,000 a kilo in Madrid) or percebes. Entremeses (nibbles of chorizo, salchicha, jamón iberico, cheese etc)

UK: The least traditional element of the British spread. Smoked salmon or prawn cocktails are popular, but anything goes, and those entremeses sound fantastic.

Main course

Spain: Baked fish, roast lamb, Canarian sancocho with cherne, whatever you and your family like best.

UK: Turkey, roast and mashed potatoes, gravy, pigs in blankets, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, bread sauce, more gravy.


Spain: Turrones (nougat), polvorones (dry almond cakes), marzipan.

UK: Stodgy pudding with a coin in it, set on light before arrival at table.


Spain: Cider, Cava, a gran reserva.

UK: Bellini, Bucks Fizz, chianti, chardonnay, red wine.


Spain: Small gifts are often exchanged on Nochebuena, but Santa doesn’t visit Spanish homes.

UK: Crackers containing useless toys, terrible jokes and paper hats that don’t fit.


Spain: Mass, bed, and a peaceful, lazy Christmas Day.

UK: Maybe a walk, perhaps fall asleep in front of James Bond film.