December is now upon us and with it, the inescapable, yet exciting build up to Christmas. The lights, the music, the decorations, the tear-jerking adverts, the parties, the food, the drink…the hangovers!
It is also that time of the year when family ask you what you would like for Christmas and the inevitable mind block. Maybe its just me but all through the year I have a list in my head of things I’d love to get but either can’t afford or can’t think of a good enough excuse to buy myself. Then December comes, my family ask me what I’d like and I can’t think of a single thing! Or certainly nothing I’d expect my brothers to be able to afford (cue last years copper KitchenAid obsession!).
My mum, who notices new items (usually from Anthropologie) every time she comes to visit, has made me promise her that every time I buy a new item for my home or kitchen, I remove a current item to make room for it.
‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’
Now to be perfectly honest, I’m more than happy just to be with my family over Christmas, eating Chocolate Oranges by the fire and watching movies. However, whilst out and about shopping for Christmas presents, a lot of wonderful foodie gifts have caught my eye and I thought I’d share them with you…
I first read about Blenheim Forge hand forged knives in Foodism a few months ago and have been thinking about them ever since. Blenheim Forge carefully craft their stunning knives in the arches on Blenheim Grove, with the wood in the handles often being foraged from nearby parks and a churchyard. Due to everything being hand-made, the process is slow and they turn out just four or five blades a week so the waiting list is pretty long. However, the result is worth it. The knives start at £100 and go up to £450 (which of course is the knife I’m coveting right now!) Check them out here.
Moving onto my very favourite shop of all…Anthropologie…a shop I actually want to live in, I love their Everest Cheese Knife Set (£38), their Farmhouse canisters, perfect for food storage (£10) and their gorgeous Winterwood Cocktail Shaker (£48).
To be perfectly honest, I love EVERYTHING in Anthropologie, I just can’t upload everything onto this list! How gorgeous is this Gold Dust Apron (£28)?
The Maille Truffle Giftbox (£58) is a must for all truffle lovers out there. Black truffle and Chablis mustard in a black and gold stoneware jar, a mustard tasting spoon and truffle olive oil.
Every Christmas I buy a pandoro from Carluccios. I tend to stay away from the more traditional penettone as I’m not a huge fan of dried fruit, however I adore the sweet golden butteriness of a pandoro, and I always get mine from Carluccios (£16.95).
And being a lover of a little splash of leopard print, their Wild Card apron (£38) has a firm place in my heart…
If you could see inside my flat you’d know I am a sucker for fairy lights. I certainly don’t save them for Christmas…I have them in my hallway, around my bed, around my mantelpiece and in my kitchen. So with that in mind, I love these Hurn & Hurn Copper Cookie Cutter LED String Fairy Lights (£16.50)…
Some wonderful cookbooks have come out this year and as always, my bookshelves are groaning under the weight of them. I already have all of the below, hence why I feel I can recommend them. If you have a friend or family member who loves to cook good, honest food, any of these would make them smile.
Gizzi’a Healthy Appetite is a steal at just £6.79 (PLEASE try out her recipe for baked halloumi, its amazing. Oh, and her Superfood Salad is now one of my regular weekday meals). In A Year Of Cook Eating (£9.99), Nigel Slater takes you on a journey of what he has cooked throughout the year. Its part cookbook, part diary and its a beautiful read, not to mention full of stunning recipes. You can’t go wrong with Nigella and her latest book Simply Nigella (£10.19) takes you down a more ‘healthy’ path whilst still feeling indulgent and decadent. Ottolenghi’s NOPI: The Cookbook (£12.99) includes over 120 of the most popular dishes from his wondeful Soho restaurant NOPI. The recipes are a tad more challenging than those in the previous books mentioned and I must admit I’m yet to find time to dedicate to trying them out but I’m going to try over the Christmas break. However, they all sound so incredible I have post-it notes sticking out all around the book!
Earlier this year I came across the Cheshire Cheese Company at the Cake & Bake Show at the Excel Centre, London. There, I tried the most wonderful caramelised onion and rioja chedder and bought three of them there and then and I fully intend to buy more for Christmas. Its insanely good…creamy and sharp, sweet and tangy (£4.25)…
I recently saw this cute cross-stitch pattern in the Red Door Gallery in Edinburgh for £30 and loved it. Annoyingly, I didn’t buy it at the time and it’s not on their website. However, I did find a make-your-own kit on The Bellwether for £11.50…
I seem to have a bit of a thing for cake stands as I appear to have quite a collection in my flat and every time I see a new one I think I ‘need’ it. Much like this Marble & Copper Cake Stand from Oliver Bonas (£55)…
I recently discovered Craved, a new start-up that curates craft food and drink made in Britain. They sell a unique range of unusual and distinctive food and drink from independent craft producers, unavailable on the High Street or in supermarkets.
The site is fantastic and I could happily eat and drink my way through it all. Its perfect for gift inspiration, especially the Bean To Bar Bundle (£30) where each bar offers a unique twist on traditional chocolate, from creamy Sheep’s Milk Chocolate to the unexpected flavours in the Rye Crumb, Milk & Sea Salt Bar. And the Paul A Young Chocolate Collection (£49). Wonderful gifts for any chocolate lovers you know.
I love gin, and I’m pretty sure gin loves me, so this sweatshirt is perfect! Available from Not On The High Street for £29…
Action Against Hunger‘s 2016 Chef Calendar is a must have for next year. 12 of the UK’s top chefs have joined together for this calendar, which doubles as a seasonal cookbook, and features exclusive portraits of some of the UK’s top chefs from a selection of the country’s most popular restaurants. Highlights include hotties Tom Oldroyd, Dan Doherty and Tim Spedding.
As an added bonus, purchasing this calendar means you will help provide malnourished children with happier, healthier futures. Buy the calendar here for £12.
A magazine subscription is always a great gift as it keeps giving throughout the year, and each issue is like its very own cookbook each month. I personally have huge love for Delicious and 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 Nigella’s latest book Simply Nigella absolutely free!
And last but by no means least, what is Christmas without a personalised jar of Nutella? Available now in Selfridges.
Good luck with your Christmas shopping. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, full of fun, laughter, loved ones and Chocolate Orange!