Fancy festive lunch menus served to MPs often come in cheaper than Christmas Day lunch at Toby Carvery, it has been revealed.
More than 70 partridges have been ordered in by the House of Commons for extravagant winter dishes at parliament, along with 300 salmon portions and 11 whole guinea fowl.
Poached quails’ eggs and venison are also on the seasonal menus, with many dishes costing a snip of the price that the public will pay eating out.
‘Driving Home for Christmas’ cheese board
A ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ cheese board and grilled gilt head bream topped with cranberry sauce are among the other choices, the Metro has revealed.
Much of the yuletide cuisine is cheaper than a pub lunch, despite being carefully prepared by the Commons’ catering services.
At the Strangers’ Dining Room – used by members and staff to wine and dine guests – traditional dishes include the Leicestershire turkey.
The main comes with wild mushroom and smoked panacetta ballotine with parsnip puree, glazed sprouts, sausage meat stuffing, goose fat and thyme potatoes and bread sauce foam.
The dish is at the high end of the menu, priced at £13.76.
Cheaper than Toby Carvery
At The Adjournment contemporary restaurant, which is near MPs’ offices in Portcullis House, dishes include the gluten-free Scottish smoked salmon with poached quail’s egg, star anise infused orange, shaved candy beetroot and watercress.
Three courses, plus coffee and petits fours, costs £23.95 – cheaper than Christmas Day lunch at Toby Carvery. Among the courses at The Adjournment is the roast partridge with buttered Brussels and chestnuts, glazed parsnips and natural jus.
At the Terrace Cafeteria in the Commons, festive dishes include the roast breast of turkey with sage, sausage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce, turkey gravy and pigs in blankets. The helping is priced at £4.08. Also at a snip is the bacon steak and grilled halloumi with spinach and cranberries in a brioche bun and sweet potato fries for £3.34.
Afters include a Christmas pudding with a choice of brandy sauce, double cream or custard or two mince pies with the same toppings.
“Propped up by the public purse”
Speaking to the Metro, Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “No one would dream of denying MPs a Christmas dinner but the costs shouldn’t be propped up by the public purse.
“Given recent economic hardship, it’s hard for taxpayers to stomach their cash subsidising politicians’ food and drink.
“It’s time to spread some cheer and axe these out-of-date subsidies.”
A House of Commons spokesperson said: “Christmas food at our catering venues is accessible to all passholders, including staff, contractors, visitors and members of the press gallery. The volumes served will be in line with demand.
“The House of Commons continuously seeks to reduce costs and ensure there is minimal food wastage. In addition, our prices are regularly benchmarked against similar outlets outside parliament.”