How crazy is it thinking about how close Christmas actually is?! It feels like this year has kind of crept up on us what with the ever-changing weather, although I do feel pretty prepared when it comes to presents and preparation, I’ve always been this way. I worked in retail for eight Christmas’ meaning that I had zero time in December for myself so my shopping had to be done pre- December, this is a tradition I have kept with.
Me and my family are huge food and drink lovers and everyone will get at least one related present, or for some, it will dominate their gifts. Here are some of the best food and drink inspired gifts but try not to get too hungry looking through.
Joseph Joseph Amp Worktop Saver – £15
Items like worktop savers and chopping boards aren’t usually fun, sexy items to get but this Joseph Joseph Amp Worktop Saver* from Red Candy is exactly that. I have a very similar one in my kitchen in the shape of a cassette as I am a huge music lover so I had to buy the amp version for my brother as he’s just moved into his own place.
I find worktop savers can be so useful as it stops your kitchen tops getting covered in scratches. The toughened glass and non-slip rubber feet mean that this is hygienic and stain resistant so perfect for chopping veggies on or putting your warm pans on after they’ve come out of the oven.
Bakerdays Star Wars Cake – From £14.99
Cake is always a good shout especially when it is Star Wars themed like this one from Bakerdays*. The great thing about these cakes are that they fit through the letterbox so if you’ve got that friend who lives a bit too far away or the family member you won’t see on the big day, you know you can send a Baker Days cake and they’ll receive it ready for Christmas.
The cake sits in the perfect sized tin which keeps it secured during transit but also fresh with a covering so it will keep. Most importantly though is the taste and despite eating it over a week after it landed on my doorstep it was still fresh, moist and really yummy. You can choose from a number of cakes such as Victoria sponge, chocolate chip, lemon drizzle and a gluten-free cake so no matter what your recipient loves there’s something for everyone. There’s so much choice and you can personalize the cakes by adding your own photos and messages, check out the full collection here.
Biscuiteers Iced Christmas Biscuit Tin – £30
I have been a lover of the Biscuiteers festive tins for a few years now and their 2017 collections are absolutely amazing. I had the Iced Christmas Biscuit Tin* and it was absolutely spot on with three layers of freshly baked, hand-iced treats ranging from a Christmas pudding and a present to a snowflake and a reindeer. Perfectly festive.
Biscuits for me are the perfect gift option as you don’t have to worry about it melting like with chocolate, and who doesn’t love a biscuit? Biscuiteers use only the finest ingredients to make their biscuits and this is reflected in their taste. They are hand set, baked and iced individually with so much love and attention before going into a special re-useable tin. The tins are something I love about the brand as they’re high quality and really secure for transit.
You even have the option of adding a personalized message onto the biscuit of this collection which will add a special touch. Check out the full range of Christmas biscuits here.
Wine Preserver Vacuum Seal – £9.99
If you know any wine lovers then this vacuum seal is a perfect Christmas present, although how many of us are left with wine in the bottle?! Using a traditional wine stop can cause air to enter the bottle and over time it can compromise the taste. But with the Vremi Wine Preserver and Vacuum Stopper * set you don’t get that. The set includes 4 wine stoppers and a pump to make sure that your bottle stays both airtight and leak proof. The stoppers remove oxygen from the wine bottle when they seal which locks in the flavour of your wine, so even a week later your wine will still taste as fresh as it did when you first opened it.
On the top of each stopper, there’s a date marker so you can keep an eye on when your wine should be drunk to make sure it’s still fresh, although for most of us I’m sure it wouldn’t last that long.
Chutneys – £1.90 each
I always love making my dad a little foodies box including some of his favourite foods and chutney’s are always a great addition as he loves pairing them with cheeses. These ones from the English Provender* are such good value at £1.90 each for a decent sized pot and the flavours all sound amazing. The three I have are Caramelised Red Onion designed to be paired with a strong hard cheese like mature Cheddar or Stilton, Sweet Tomato and Chilli designed to be paired with a smoked cheese or a hard cheese like Red Leicester, and finally, Plum & Bramley Apple designed to be paired with a soft cheese like Brie.
The Caramelised Red Onion chutney is my favourite as it has a sweet tangy taste while still being savoury so I know my dad will love these in a cheese hamper or as little stocking fillers.
All three of these varieties can be picked up in most supermarkets including Tesco.
Four Roses Bourbon – £27
If there’s one thing my dad loves it’s a good bourbon and I’m always on the lookout for new brands for him to try so when I spotted the Four Roses Bourbon* I knew it was one to try. The American made bourbon is both rich and spicy yet sweet and fruity and there are some really subtle caramel hints throughout. I have to admit I’m not usually a bourbon drinker but when I gave this one a try I was surprised at how smooth it was compared to others I have tried.
The bottle comes in at 700ml which for £27 is a really good price for what you get, especially when it’s a lovely oval edged bottle which I know my dad will place proudly out on display. That’s if it lasts much past Christmas!
You can buy the bourbon from Marks and Spencer and I have to admit the store’s spirit collection is pretty special and you’re likely to find some more unusual offerings that you would in a supermarket.
Root 7 Pair Of Geometric Glasses – £28
Now to go alongside a good spirit you need a nice tumbler and I’m always on the lookout for more unusual glasses so this pair of Root 7 Geometric Gold Glasses* are great. The first thing which came to mind when I saw these tumblers was how much they looked like the terrarium’s which I have dotted around my living room with cacti living in them, and it turns out this is where inspiration was drawn from. The angular shapes mean that they rest and sit really well but you can also balance them slightly on one on one of the flat edges.
Despite looking pretty delicate they have a good weighty sturdy feel to them without being too thick to comfortably drink from, and from a practical point of view, they are stackable so if you have a collection of them they don’t take up much space in the cupboard.
The tumblers also come in a black design if gold isn’t your thing and Root 7 also do a whole range of other products so mkae sure you check out the site.
Gin and tonic infusion set – £17.50
One spirit which has gotten really popular in 2017 is gin so it’s great to see so many gin-based gifts out there this Christmas. One which caught my eye was the Gin and Tonic infusion set* from Sous Chef. Included in the gift tube are four selected ingredients; Rose Petals, Timut Pepper, Star Anise and Cardamom alongside a cocktail spoon with a masher and some tasting notes.
The set will then allow you to liven up a classic Gin and Tonic and garnish your drink to change the flavourings. When I went to the Bombay Sapphire distillery they used a lot of garnishes and it was amazing how much this changed the taste of the drink so it’s perfect to create some variations of your own. You can use a pinch of the ingredients to flavour your gin or add them to a jar or bottle and leave to steep for your own infused gin.
The guide included explains how to make the perfect Spanish ‘Gin Tonica’ and then the fun begins where you can try out what you love best.
Personalised Retro Sweets Set – £8.99
If you’re anything like me and my family we have a bit of a sweet tooth so this retro sweet collection* ticks all the boxes. For under £10 you get a lot of sweets including fried eggs, cola bottles, popping candy, drumsticks, refreshers, parma violets and love hearts among others. The jar is 1 litre in size so there’s a lot packed into the seemingly small jar.
Not only do you get a lot of sweets which will throw you back to your youth of penny sweets in the local shop you can personalize the jar with the recipient’s name. Sometimes I’m put off pre-made jars and hampers because they work out so much more expensive but this is such a good price for what you get especially as it’s customized.
Coffee – From £4
My family – especially my Nan and Dad – are huge coffee drinkers and they really like quite strong coffee’s so this is always something I’m on the lookout for. Last year I tried the One Cup Filters from Rombouts but this time I opted for some of the Roast Ground Coffee* which for my dad is great as he can make it just that bit stronger by adding in extra granules. There are so many different options of coffee from the medium-bodied roast through to dark strong coffee, and they even do tea.
Despite being over 100 year’s old in principle Rombouts remains a family company which makes and ships coffee worldwide thanks to its quality. The brand itself is Fair Trade and each year they increase their commitment to the process.