Tuesday, 11th May 2021

'Succulent roast ostrich is served': Christmas dinner with Jacob Rees-Mogg

YULETIDE greetings! There are many wholesomely Christian traditions to which we Rees-Moggs subscribe. If you too want a decent, honest, British Christmas, take heed. 

Vintage aperitifs

Before settling down for your meal, it is important to awaken the palette with an aperitif. Why not browse your wine cellar for a vintage bubbly, perhaps one of your ‘77 Dom Perignons? Keep the cheap £150 plonk for guests.

The bird

The centrepiece of your meal. Ostrich is a delicious bird, and far superior to most festive fowl. If for some reason you do not have a dear friend able to source exotic game from the colonies, then content yourself with something more pedestrian. Pheasant, or peacock perhaps.

Side dishes

Any Christmas meal relies on its sides. Like Wales, Scotland and the other one, they are the less important items which help complete the union. I favour boned capon in aspic – a castrated rooster carved and set in gelatin. Positively scrumptious and very popular in the Victorian era, which I firmly believe we are still living in. 

Don’t neglect your staff

Christmas is a time of cheer, so your servants should be allowed to let their hair down. Metaphorically, of course, as they must at all times sport the short back and sides stipulated in their contracts. So I’m happy to give them an extra 15 minutes for their lunch hour – Christmas comes but once a year, after all!


While the anarchic Mary Berry and Prue Leith have started a regrettable trend for modern cakes, we prefer to stay traditional. A simple Queen Victoria sponge is the perfect dessert to round off a festive feast, before settling down for a good imperial Christmas film like Lawrence of Arabia.

Parlour games

After the meal it’s time for parlour games. I shall never forget the joy we all felt last year when young Sixtus successfully guessed The Confessions of St. Augustine during charades. Marvellous fun and a cracking good read, especially in the original Latin.