Before we begin, some ground rules.
1. In true office lunch style, we allocated 30 minutes to find the sandwiches.
2. The shops had to be reachable from our Clerkenwell office.
3. We bought them during a busy lunchtime. If the shop didn’t have them, tough luck.
4. The sandwiches had to be able to be bought and eaten in fifteen minutes. Which meant that toasties, paninis etc were out.
5. The sandwiches were marked by the team out of ten, and the scores were averaged. The team included two vegetarians, and one non-Turkey fan.
15. Eat: Turkey, cranberry and stuffing.
Comments: It looks terribly unappetising, and is challengingly large. There’s a lack of cranberry, and it’s just generally dull.
14. Pret: Nut Roast.
Comments: Do you like carbs? And slime? Well then do we have a treat for you.
13. Marks and Spencer: Turkey and Roast Butternut Squash Stuffing.
Comments: Great, it’s lo-cal. But at what cost? This tastes like school dinner.
12. Sainsbury’s: Christmas Triple.
Comments: Imagine a three course meal (salmon starter, Christmas lunch, cheese board). Now transport that idea to a motorway service station and clamp in between some bread. Disappointing.
11. Marks and Spencer: Three Bird Roast.
Comments: For almost five pounds, you’d expect the three birds to present themselves to you, clucking. Granted, there’s a lot of meat, but it’s all terribly dry.
10. Sainsbury’s: Boxing Day Sandwich.
Comments: Such a massive dud. This is basically ‘leftovers, slopped together with some coleslaw from the back of the fridge’. Strong on coleslaw but not much else.
9. POD: Festive Turkey Baguette.
Comments: This is probably the healthiest of the bunch, and the bread is wonderful. But if you’re trying to cheat death by eating a nutritious Christmas sandwich, then you’re reading the wrong piece.
8. Sainsbury’s: Turkey Feast.
Comments: Like a pair of socks in your Christmas stocking. Predictable, comfortable, but not really what you wanted. Very low on cranberry.
7. Marks and Spencer: Turkey Feast.
Comments: This tastes like the opposite of a feast - like an empty fridge on a Wednesday night. Lacking in everything but mayonnaise.
6. Boots: Brie and Cranberry.
Comments: It’s a strange phenomenon that vegetarians are supposed to eat an abundance of brie at Christmas. Why not stilton? This is a little bland but fine for a sandwich from a chemist.
5. Boots: Turkey, bacon, stuffing and cranberry.
Comments: The addition of spinach is a curveball, and a delicious one. Though the turkey is bland.
4. Marks and Spencer: Brie and Grape.
Comments: Again with the brie. Unfortunately the grapes make this slimy, and the soft bread doesn’t help.
3. Pret: Ham and Festive Chutney.
Comments: A really delicious year-rounder. If you were served this in a country pub you would not feel hard done by.
2. Sainsbury’s: French Brie, Cranberry and Grape Baguette.
Comments: It seems that we have now been indoctrinated into the cult of the Brie. This is a classy sandwich though. Great bread, delicious and creamy, with a nice hint of pepper.
1. Pret: Christmas Lunch.
Comments: The Britney Spears of Christmas sandwiches. Often imitated, never duplicated. Equal flavours, great cranberry sauce. A lot of mayo but come on, it’s Pret, there will always be a lot of mayo.