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By on December 20th, 2017

Christmas Dinner Top Tips from Executive Head Chef, Mark Harris

Mark Harris has been with Lake District Hotels since February 2015, originally employed as the Inn on the Lake’s Head Chef, progressing into the position of Executive Head Chef for the groups seven hotels. Mark is is an extremely professional and accomplished chef who has come from a Michelin Star background, used to a busy, stressful kitchen, Mark wanted to share a few useful tips to help you make your Christmas dinner a more enjoyable experience.

Christmas dinner is the highlight of the day for many, but for those cooking it, the pressure can be immense. By planning ahead, you could save yourself a few grey hairs, check that you have all the right equipment, that you turkey will fit in your oven and that you have enough plates and knives and forks for everyone.

Top Tip…

Preparation is key, brine your turkey and prep your veg on Christmas Eve. Nobody wants to spend Christmas day peeling potatoes, carrots and parsnips, do it the night before and leave them in a pan of cold water. Do the same with the turkey, brine your turkey for around 12 hours before popping it in the oven, I promise it’ll taste better than any other turkey dinner you’ve ever made.

Top Tip…

With so many things to think about, putting the Champagne on ice might be the last thing on your mind. If you forgot to put it in the fridge don’t worry, simply wrap the bottle tightly in a damp tea towel, then pop them into the freezer.

Top Tip…

If you like to serve your dinner on warm plates, but the oven is even more stuffed than the turkey, pop the plates in dishwasher for a quick rinse to warm them up.


Bursting with delicious flavours of oranges, pistachios, and olive oil, this warm pistachio and olive oil cake, with blood orange mousse, pistachio crumb, and Chantilly cream is perfect for a dinner party cake or late night snack. Follow this easy step-by-step recipe to make our own cake at home.


  • 125g butter, melted
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 50g plain flour
  • 25g corn flour powder
  • 200g pistachio
  • 1tsp baking


1. Preheat oven to 170*c

2. Melt the butter, add the olive oil, and whisk the eggs and sugar and whilst whisking

3. Add the melted butter and olive oil, add the flour, pistachios and baking powder, mix well, and cook for 40 minutes.

Blood orange mousse


  • cups (750ml) water
  • 1 cup (220g) sugar
  • 6 blood oranges, juiced
  • 75g cornflour
  • shot (45ml) orange liqueur
  • 300ml whipping cream


Mix all together and leave to set in the fridge


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Email: reservations@lakedistricthotels.net

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