Christmas means different things to different people. Some love the giving and receiving of gifts, other the cosy nights in and sparkling lights. But for me, and many others, it is all about the food! Dickens wasn’t wrong when wrote about how glorious it is, be it savoury or sweet, Christmas offers a cacophony of culinary delights to tickle even the grinchiest of taste buds.

Sussex has a lot to offer us on this front so the YES team thought we would share some Christmas treats that come from our beautiful little part of the world.


A traditional Christmas treat, did you know that that in the mid-19th century Horsham was famous for its gingerbread from specialist bakers and many market stalls. It was sold gilded with gold leaf with a stamped picture illustration on top. The gingerbread wasn’t quite like what we enjoy now though, it was more of a bread soaked and flavoured in ginger and then pressed into tins. One of the traditional recipes still around today was inspired by the family recipe of the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley who lived nearby.

The traditional style recipes may not have faired quite as well today so we have a slightly more up-to-date recipe for you to try.


There are at least 30 varieties of apples from Sussex including the Wadhurst Pippin, Knobby Russet and Golden Bounty to name but three.

And did you know that Granny Smith’s were named after a real life ‘granny’? Maria Ann Smith cultivated the variety after emigrated to Australia from Beckley near Rye.

Apple based dessert treats are pretty scrummy all year round but throw in some spices and you have quite the festive treat.

Banoffi Pie

Bananas, caramel, cream, biscuits. There is NOTHING bad in a Banoffi pie and we are proud to call it our own here in East Sussex. So proud we have already written an article singing its praises! (No it isn’t that festive but come on, it’s Banoffi Pie, we don’t need an excuse!)


Finally, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a little tipple, be it alcoholic or one of the now many alcohol-free options.

Sussex is stocked with vineyards. West and East coming in second and third only to Kent for numbers of hectares of juicy grapes. Our award wining speciality is sparkling wine as the soil in Southern England is very similar to that of the Champagne region in France. There are vineyards in Alfriston, Ditchling Common, Furner’s Green near Danehill, Beckley and Plumpton as well as several breweries if hops are more of your glass of beer.