Best… Budget smoked salmon
This fish has been cut fairly thickly. It’s pale in colour and has a subtle smokiness, which would work well as a starter or canapé. At such a low price it’s an absolute steal.
£2.65, from Lidl
Best… Premium range smoked salmon
Rich and sweet-tasting salmon, with nice depth and an attractive dark colour. Not overly smoky, but still an interesting flavour.
£9, from M&S
Best… Lazy starter
A large cheese that melts down to a thick, dippable sauce, and comes in its own case, ready to bake. The chutney is tasty and not too sweet, so all in all a balanced and hearty festive cheese.
£5, from Co-op
Best… On-trend canapé
Pulled pork has been one of the breakout dishes of 2014 and these cute bites are right on-trend. The little squares of toasted brioche are topped with a slice of cheese and sticky pulled pork, then finished with a tangy red pepper pearl.
£7 for 10, from M&S
Best… Vegetarian nibble
These vibrant, fragrant green triangles taste light and are an inventive alternative to the standard party offering.
£5.99, from Waitrose