I can’t believe Christmas is just a few weeks away, it seems to come around quicker and quicker each year. I adore Christmas and all its build up but I hate New Year’s Eve. I must say though, for once I will be delighted to see that back of this year. 2016 has been brutal. So all in, I’m really rather happy we’re at that stage of Christmas lights, trees, planning parties and buying presents for loved ones. With that in mind, I have put together a few items that have caught my eye recently that I thought I would share with you.
I have been coveting John Whaite‘s beautiful mixing bowls by Fenella Smith recently. The nest of 3 stacked bowls are just £55 and absolutely stunning. Every item in this range has gorgeous hand painted gold edging, with a matt navy glaze on the outside and a beautiful dove grey inner finish.
If like me, you are a gin lover, The Ginvent Calendar (2016 Edition) will be right up your street. Its quite pricey at £124.95 but its a real treat. Behind each of the 24 windows lies a different 3cl sample of fantastic gin. There are market leaders and craft treats alongside new brands and even some hard to find gems. The contents of the Ginvent calendars are carefully curated and painstakingly considered so that all styles of gins are included, from London Dry to Old Tom, to Navy strength, Fruit infused and so on.
My favourite shop is Anthropologie. I adore everything in there and always get heart palpitations as soon as I walk in. As always, they have a beautiful range of Christmas goodies. To be honest, my kitchen looks like a branch of Anthropologie (and explains why I have no money!) but if I did want to add more to my collection, it would be with this gorgeous Clustered Bell Cocktail Shaker (£32), their stunning Hammered Borealis Whisk (£18) and these Copper Pineapple Measuring Cups (£48).
I love my tea and drink it constantly, and I mean constantly…I always have a cup of tea on the go. I especially love loose leaf tea but if you don’t have a strainer with you at all times, that isn’t always feasible. So when I heard about The Bubble Cup (£28.95) designed by Edinburgh tea innovator’s Eteaket, I added it to my ‘list’.
Every Bubble Cup is handmade with clay by South Queensferry based potter, Ian Henderson. The built in strainer in the spout keeps the leaves in the pot ready for your next infusion. The handy cup acts as a lid and holds the perfect amount of tea, whilst the perfectly sized steeping pot allows you to pour the tea into your cup with one hand. Keeping the Bubble Cup unglazed means it retains the flavour and aroma of the tea over time. This unique tea vessel allows you to enjoy your leaf tea whether you’re at your kitchen table, desk or field.
Borough Kitchen Cookshop is the most beautiful shop. When I walk around it, heart pounding, I always feel the need to stroke and caress everything! In my mind I can hear my mum hissing “Stop touching everything!” as she used to when I was a little girl. If you’re not in London I urge you to have a look at their website. Right now I’m loving this Kaymet Serving Tray Rectangle (£29).
This Himalayan Salt Slab from Lakeland (£34.95) is fab. It seasons your food as it cooks. Responsibly sourced from salt reserves in the Salt Range mountains of Pakistan, each chunky block is unique, deriving its subtle variation in flavour and pinkish colour from the particular blend of minerals present in the salt seam it was carefully mined from.
Its got a good weight to it and its heat retention properties and the fact that it reacts differently depending on the moisture, fat, sugar, starch and protein content of different foods, make it the perfect kitchen essential for imparting just the right amount of flavour to whatever is being cooked or cooled on or under it. It doesn’t hold on to flavours so you can switch between sweet or savoury foods without compromising their taste – just a simple wipe of its surface once it’s back to room temperature and it’s ready to use again.
I adore House Of Hackney and own more of their stuff than I care to admit/can afford! It is my dream to decorate my home in HOH but since I’m not a high earner, I’ll have to do with their accessries for the time being. With this in mind, I love their Midnight Green Palmeral Gift Set including an oven glove and an apron (£55.80)
Gillian Kyle has a knack of getting her designs just right and she’s done it again with this Tunnock’s Christmas Pudding Tea Towel (£8.50). Topped with a sprig of holly and sitting on a background of festive red polka dots, this tea towel will brighten up your kitchen this Christmas time. She also has the apron in the same design for £18.
Every now and then I think of unsubscribing from Rockett St George‘s emails. Mainly because I have very little willpower and that coupled with very little disposable income is not a great mix! Each time their email hits my inbox, I end up drooling over their gorgeous and unique items. Right now I have my eye on their Lazy Rabbit Cupcake Plate (£12) and the Melody Rose Kissing Couple English Fine Bone China Teacup and Saucer (£32).
I have a bit of a thing about drinks trolleys at the moment. I am constantly on the search for the perfect drinks trolley but the ones I want are always too expensive. Case in point, this Round Brass and Marble Drinks Trolley (£345) from Mia Fleur…
The SpreadTHAT! Self-Heating Butter Knife (£16.99) is a great little tool for the person who has everything! Made froma special thermal conductive titanium, it transmits heat from your hand to the blade of the knife, softening cold, infuriatingly hard butter in under 20 seconds!
If you love chocolate, live in London and haven’t been to Mast Brothers on Redchurch Street, Shoreditch yet, get down there now! The aroma of chocolate hangs thick in the air even before you enter the shop, its the most intoxicating place. They have a few ‘collections’ but I love their London Collection (£38 for 6 x 70g bars) including Gin Chocolate, Rhubarb & Custard Chocolate and Tea & Milk Chocolate. If you are looking for a gift for a chocolate lover, you’ll get major brownie points with this.
As a gin fan, I LOVE these Christmas Gin Baubles from Pickering’s Gin (£30). Each bauble is filled with 50ml of Pickering’s Gin and is decorated with a Pickering’s ribbon to hang from your tree.
Staying with the gin theme, I recently tried Edinburgh Gin’s new limited edition Plum & Vanilla Liqueur (£18.50) and it was divine. They select the juiciest plums to macerate with Madagascan vanilla. This is then infused with their award-winning Edinburgh Gin to produce a luscious, velvety liqueur. With it’s delightful stone fruit and hints of almond it’s the perfect base for cocktails, with champagne, or over ice as a luxurious treat.
I don’t go anywhere without my Maldon sea salt pinch tin. I have one in every bag I own, so I never get caught out. Recently, I discovered these super cute mini Sriracha keyrings. You can buy them on Amazon. Indiviually they are an add-on item but you can buy 3 for £10.77 here.
A magazine subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. I have subscribed to Delicious Magazine for years now and every month when I come home from work to find the latest issue at my door, I still get that flutter of excitement in my tummy. I have bought many a subscription for friends and family over the years. You can buy it here for £34.70 and if you do so, you will get a OXO Vegetable Chopper absolutely free!
Good luck with your Christmas shopping. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, full of fun, laughter, loved ones and Chocolate Orange!