Of my my very favourite bits about Christmas – obviously – is the food and drink. Not only do I generally like eating and drinking, but I also like giving and receiving foodie things as gifts. At least when you give someone a box of chocolates you know that they are going to eat them and not just leave them for ten years getting dusty in the bathroom cabinet. (Unless you give them to my sister, in which case you know that you will have to eat them for her six months later when they are approaching their sell by date. Win win.)
I’ve been trying out some festive treats over the last few weeks, selfless woman that I am, to bring you a few food and drink Christmas gifts that I think anyone would be pleased to be given.
One of my top finds this year is Drop Dead Chocolates. What I really like about these is that you can totally personalise every single box, choosing all of your favourites and ensuring that you don’t get any of the yucky white chocolate or praline ones left at the end that nobody likes. They also fit through the letter box, so are perfect for sending to people that you aren’t going to see in person this Christmas.
I also got very excited about getting a personalised Christmas pudding in the post from Personalised Gifts Shop. I mean, who wouldn’t want a pudding with their name on it? These would make great gifts for employees or work contacts or really anyone who you wanted to think fondly of you while they ate pudding.
Here are some more of my favourites:
Betty’s mince pies – I am a big fan of Betty’s, and bought a lot of presents from them last Christmas. Their mince pies did not disappoint, and although they might be more than you would spend on a packet of mince pies normally, they are beautifully presented and well worth the price. They are delivered fresh from the bakery to your front door, so are best enjoyed as soon as they arrive, but you can freeze them and pop them in the oven when you want them. (Instructions on the pack.)
Attic tea – I spotted these chai tea pouches in a local food magazine and met their creators at a Bristol food festival. I love that this tea is produced by a local company and the packaging is brilliant. Each pack comes with a set of little bags so you can ‘roll your own tea’ – a really lovely Christmas stocking filler and a fantastic Christmassy fragrance.
Spicers of Hythe – What Christmas would be complete without a hamper? If you’re stuck for what to get someone, a hamper is always a lovely thing to receive, full of goodies that you would never normally treat yourself too. I think the range of hampers from Spicers of Hythe is excellent value, and also love that my hamper came with a specially made velvety insert to hold everything neatly in place, rather than having masses of annoying shredded tissue paper everywhere.
Heavenly Hedgerows – The label on this gin says ‘Best Before: Bed’ and it is absolutely right. I met Chris Westgate, who makes all the Heavenly Hedgerows products herself, on a recent trip to Vale House Kitchen. Chris runs courses there, teaching people how to forage in their local hedgerows and turn their finds into delicious treats. Heavenly Hedgerows sells all sorts of goodies, from sloe gin to lavender jelly.
Fincalink olive oil – Everyone has at least one couple in their family that they would describe as ‘olive oil kind of people’ and this is the perfect gift for them. Fincalink work really closely with producers throughout Spain and on their website you can even look at a map of producers and find out more about each one. Cortijo la Torre is their best olive oil, with a lovely peppery taste. Apparently the cold climate of the mountains of Jaén make this oil particularly rich in antioxidants and vitamins.
I heart Prosecco – We’ve got the mince pies, the chocolates – now all we need is a lovely glass of something fizzy. I served a bottle of I heart Prosecco at a recent little gathering of friends and lots of people said how lovely it was and asked where I got it, so that must be a good sign. It describes itself as “bursting with classic acacia flower aromas and delicate apple and peach flavours” and although I couldn’t say for sure what an acacia flower smelt like, I can tell you that it was yummy.
What food and drink do you like at Christmas?
Disclosure: I was sent these products for the purposes of trying them out and including them in the guide. I actively sought out products I loved already or thought would be good – I haven’t just included anyone who would send me free stuff, I promise.