Our personal picks of gift ideas for Christmas 2016, from stocking fillers and budget presents to no-expense-spared treats – we’ve rounded up the perfect gifts for that special foodie in your life.
The Real Greek Cookbook
Well firstly I’m recommending this as it does feature some of may photography – but that’s not the only reason… The Real Greek – the popular London Restaurant Group are finally sharing their trade mark dishes in this wonderful Cookbook. They reveal the recipes of some the dishes from their delicious menu!! Tonia Buxton the food writer, nutritionist, gourmet cook, presenter of My Greek Kitchen and My Cypriot Kitchen is also the consultant chef and the face of The Real Greek Restaurants. They have joined forces and created this corker of a Cookbook. This brilliant Cookbook embodies the epitome of Greek Culture. It offers recipes that inspire the sharing of these dishes, indicative of the lifestyle… hence the brilliant sub-title “eat healthy together”.
Eivissa, by Anne Sijmonsbergen
The food of Ibiza rarely gets much publicity, but this book opens up a whole new vista of Mediterranean dishes. It’s is on the cusp of a food revolution. The island’s traditional farming and fishing culture has been supplemented with a wave of chefs and producers making artisan products and vibrant food. Now Eivissa, the first recipe book to showcase the incredible Ibicenco dishes Ibiza cuisine has to offer, reveals how to recreate the tastes of the white island in your own home. Divided into seasonal chapters to reflect the ingredients in Ibiza, these are gorgeous recipes reflecting the heritage of the cuisine, yet with contemporary twists.
The Palomar Cookbook
Fans of the restaurant will be pleased to know it will include recipes for its signature dishes as well as those drawn from family tradition and the authors’ travels. There is a lot of information contained within these pages and you can get a bit of an insight into the traditions of the extended Mediterranean region, it’s history, it’s politics and it’s geography, and of course it’s cuisine – which is more interesting than some other, more familiar, styles. This book features over 100 recipes from the award-winning Palomar including mezze dishes to share, sweet and savoury pastries, quick simple dishes and more complex dishes for a main meal.
Find out how to make sharing dishes of mezze galore, Jewish ‘kreplach tortellini’, dried fruit with Israeli couscous and a vibrant fish stew.
Nina Capri – Antonina Parker
Inspiring recipes from a very special place in Italy, there are dishes and drinks for every occassion from breakfast to apertifs, Nina has covered it all. Superb photography – it’s lovely on a coffee table too. As you turn each page, you are instantly transported to la dolce vita of the Amalfi Coast and just wished you lived there all year round.
Toast Hash Roast Mash by Dan Doherty
One wonders whether Dan Dohertywas having a little bit of fun when he named his latest cookbook. As a title, Toast Hash Roast Mash is a bit of a tongue-twister but in many ways it also reflects what the book is all about; – playful, unpretentious food that is easy to make and delicious to eat. This is a book designed to have wide appeal as most of the dishes are quick to prepare and use everyday ingredients that are widely available. Even someone possessing limited culinary skills will feel empowered under Dan’s guidance to turn on the stove and get cooking.
Sirocco, by Sabrina Ghayour
She’s the golden girl of Middle Eastern cookery and she’s bringing out her much anticipated second cookbook, after the huge success of her debut Persiana. This one combines the flavours and spices of the East with a Western apporach and takes care of everything from brunch to sweet treats with recipes such as sticky lamb buns with pickled cucumber relish and dark chocolate, cardamom and espresso mousse cake.
Simple by Diana Henry
Diana dedicates a chapter to each of 12 everyday ingredient groups: chicken, chops, sausages, leg of lamb, fish, leaves, summer veg, winter veg, pasta, summer fruit, winter fruit, and flour and eggs. There are more than 120 recipes, from a wide variety of countries, and each takes only minutes to prepare. Spice rubs, marinades, and flavoured butters feature heavily in the book’s many roasts and bakes, but there are lots of other ideas for quick cooking, too.
Grillstock: The BBQ Book, by Jon Finch and Ben Merrington
BBQ looks set to get bigger, better and meatier next year with the release of many a grill-based cookbook. This one champions the low ‘n’ slow style of barbecue and promises to teach you the American way. You’ll find chapters on pork, brisket, chicken and ribs as well as burgers, sides, rubs ‘n’ sauces – basically everything you needs for a BBQ blowout in your backyard.
Deep South, Brad McDonald
The Lockhart and Shotgun BBQ chef was born in Mississippi – and he’s been on a mission to bring the food of America’s deep South to the UK.
Southerners also have a knack for respecting their own traditions. If it’s not made from a dark roux, it’s not gumbo. If it’s caramelised on the bottom, it’s paella, not jambalaya. The beauty of Southern food today is that it is no longer simply drawing on its story of poverty and an African cultural heritage. It is finally embracing its own story with pride and asking poignant questions about it. It’s also embracing other influences, including Mexican, Chinese and Lebanese. Our food culture has always been about a direct connection to the land and to the people toiling on it, to the food and farming culture of the US before industrial times.
Savour: Salad for all Seasons
Peter Gordon, the acclaimed Kiwi chef behind London restaurants Providores in Marylebone, is releasing a recipe book dedicated to the humble salad, to show us how fun and versatile they can be. You’ll find everything from veggie numbers such as aubergine with quinoa, gem lettuce, tomato and pistachio to carnivore-appropriate recipes such as poached veal with anchovy aioli and potatoes.
River Cottage Gluten Free, by Naomi Devlin
Dubbed ‘the Nigella of gluten-free’, Naomi Devlin teaches about the endless possibilities of GF foods at the RIver Cottage Cookery School. In this new book she gives detailed advice on alternative flours, methods of fermentation and baking with delicious recipes for prosciutto and egg muffins, leek and bacon quiche and courgette hummus. Coeliacs, rejoice.
Season’s Eatings, by Gizzi Erskine
Her newest book Seasons Eatings is basically about how to stuff your face in style from October through to January. It’s about holiday feasting and, let me tell you this for free; there’s not one recipe in the book you won’t want in your mouth immediately. Even the ones with brussels sprouts in.
London Craft Spirits
Hands down my favourite London spirit. Hear Tomas and I have a chinwag on #TheReastauRANT podcast to see why you should part ways with your hard earned cash and add this to your home bar setup.
To give your spirit a name like BOLD, you’d have to be pretty ballsy. Giving a drink an audacious title like bold gives an assumption of strong flavour with a unique taste that can’t be compared. And BOLD is thankfully promising just that.
This spirit is concocted by bartender Tomas Lenko who set out to create something completely unique that could be used by other bartenders when crafting the perfect drink. He was inspired by the lack of bitter spirits around and enraptured by British fruity flavours. BOLD is made quite similarly to gin and could be described as an aperitif. The spirit is distilled and infused with tart sour cherries and 15 botanicals.
Kamm & Sons
It’s not a gin, it’s not a vodka and it’s not a liqueur: this pioneering product is made by timeserved former cocktail king Alex Kammerling, and is described as a ‘British aperitif’. In other words, a London version of Continental pre-dinner hunger-piquers such as Campari. Take a sip of the sunset-hued spirit and see if you can identify every one of the 45 ingredients, which include ginseng, echinacea and fennel seed.
The Duppy Share Caribbean Rum
The Duppy Share is a fine golden Caribbean rum. A perfectly balanced blend from Jamaica and Barbados, this is rum grown up, with real flavour and real character. Bottles come with a beautiful gift bag and recipe cards for you to shake, muddle and stir cocktails at home.
JENSEN OLD TOM GIN
Most of the gin drunk these days is the London dry type, but Old Tom was a slightly sweeter variety popular among the gin fiends of the eighteenth century. This modern version from Bermondsey derives its subtle sweetness and explosive flavours not from sugar but extra handfuls of botanicals. It’s like gin turned up to ten – and it’s the stuff that started the famous London gin craze, so go easy on it, okay?
Want to go see them in person? When you’re down visiting Druid Street and Maltby Street market you can head into their distillery to try it first hand!
This new Hackney Wick distillery describes its gin as ‘light and crispy’, but there’s no crunch here – just a smooth-sippin’, easy-drinkin’ blend of lemongrass, cardamom, fennel and plenty of other tasty aromatics. So good, and so Londony, it’ll have you singing ‘gin gin ger-ee’ with every sip, like a merry Dick Van Dyke. Plus, all ingredients are organic, which makes Butler’s almost good for you.
LITTLE BIRD LONDON DRY GIN
This glamorous little number is the most exciting drink to come out of Peckham since Del Boy’s piña colada. It’s restrained with the botanicals – citrus, ginger and coriander create a sparklingly exotic flavour that never gets out of hand – which makes it the perfect partner for a good-quality tonic, or as part of a martini. Head to LB’s Maltby Street gin café every weekend to get your hands on a bottle.
And if you like their gin why not drop into their cafe cum bistro in Peckham. We’ve had many an amazing meal there and they may even do gift cards…
Sacred Christmas Pudding Gin
The guys at the Sacred Spirits Company have created this festive themed (and slightly insane)gin. They’ve taken high quality English grain spirit and infused an 8kg Christmas pudding in it for two months, before re-distilling it to produce a transparent, Christmas pudding flavoured gin. Mad, but we love it!
Rock Rose Gin Winter Edition
Crafted especially for Christmas, the husband and wife team behind Dunnet Bay Distillery have hand distilled a unique Winter Edition of their multi award-winning Rock Rose Gin. Featuring the same based botanicals as the lauded original, the Winter Edition also features local spruce tips to give it fresh lemon pine notes, plus the ceramic bottle has received a festive make-over. Rock Rose Gin was launched to critical acclaim in 2015, securing a host of prestigious listings and awards. It features traditional and local botanicals that are hand-foraged from nearby cliffs and forests. In fact it gets its name from the distillery’s first botanical forage along the cliffs of Caithness, where they discovered the Rhodiola rosea (a rose in the rocks) which adds a delicate floral note to the gin.
East London Liquor Company London Dry Gin
Known as East London Liquor Company’s hero gin, the London Dry Gin (40% ABV) is distilled using the finest 100% British wheat spirit infused with lemon & grapefruit peel, coriander, angelica root, juniper berries, cubeb berries and cardamom. Produced since 2014, the signature gin is produced in small batches in the distillers beautiful copper still before being infused with the carefully selected botanicals.
Silent Pool Gin
Silent Pool Gin is a classic gin at heart. Full-bodied and fresh, with depth, clarity and flavour, Produced with 24 unique botanicals, it’s a rich and clean juniper-driven spirit with floral layers of lavender and chamomile. Fresh notes of citrus and kaffir lime are grounded with the subtle sweetness of local honey. The perfect combination of artistry, craftsmanship and attitude.
Garden Tiger Gin
The Capreolus Distillery produces an incredible range of unique British eaux de vie (fruit brandies that take up to an astonishing 45KG of fruit to produce each litre of spirit) and the UK’s most complex gin, Garden Tiger. Built upon distiller Barney Wilczak’s vast experience of eaux de vie production, the gin is as far from your standard London Dry as you can get. 34 botanicals include myriad flowers, spices, herbs, fruits, organic blood orange drawn from the wild, homegrown and traded – each bottle is a superbly balanced and complex whole. A wonderful present, the presentation extends to UV resistant bottles, natural cork and hand produced letterpress labels. A perfect present indeed.
Berkeley Square London Dry Gin
Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin
Thomas Dakin Gin
Feeney’s Irish Cream
A Christmas drinks cabinet wouldn’t be complete without an Irish cream liqueur. Feeney’s Irish Cream is the world’s most luxurious Irish Cream Liqueur and contains 100% Irish grain whiskey masterfully distilled in the heart of Ireland and matured for at least three years.
Spiegelau Beer Classics Tasting Kit Glasses, Set of 4
If you’re going to enjoy your beer then best get a set of glass that will literally change the way the beer tastes?! Seriously I did their masterclass in Melbourne and found that like a wine, a glass will make all the difference and these guys were the first to craft glasses to specific style of beer.
The Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur Set’s dynamic glass assortment provides for an unparalleled experience in fine beer enjoyment. Craft your own tasting experiences while appreciating how brilliantly clear, functional glass enhances the appearance, aroma and flavour of fine beer. Actually – next time you’re at the pub and get a can or bottle of craft beer – ask for a wine glass (I do it all the time).
Rocker Whiskey Glasses – Set Of 2 – By Ashcroft Glassware. Perfect Whisky Glass or Scotch Glasses.
European designed, these stunning whiskey glasses are a perfect gift for the whiskey lover in your life. Made form ultra-clarity glass that is completely lead free, these glasses come packaged in Ashcroft’s famous gift box. If you like your scotch glasses to feel heavy, then these are the whiskey set for you. They have a solid base and firm rim that give one the feeling that they are drinking from something special.
Don’t be boring! We all know how much we love a thickset, heavy glass to roll our whisky in. Invest.
Royal Brierley Tall Braemar Whisky 90mm Tumbler Hand Cut Crystal Glass Dartington
This beautiful crystal Tumbler glass is ideal for relaxing with a measure of whisky.We all know how much we love a thickset, heavy glass to roll our whisky in. Invest.
This tumbler glass embodies the traditional characteristics of Royal Brierley. Hand cut with a luxurious weight and clarity it is a real pleasure to hold and use.
Riedel 4 Vinum Bordeaux & 4 Free O Wine Viognier
The O Wine is the original varietal specific wine glass. Plus you get a set of 4 white wine glasses that you can either keep for yourself, gift off to someone else or just get into someone’s very good books.
Riedel O Cabernet/ Merlot, Syrah Decanter
Riedel’s stemless cabernet glasses with a free Syrah decanter. Again – love a freebie plus there’s no stem = less knocking over and spillage!
Maximilian Riedel, eleventh generation Riedel family, presents his first glass series. The Riedel O collection is based on the benchmark shapes of Riedel Vinum but with something missing – there is no stem or base!
These Riedel glasses are ideal for everyday use, look modern and are easy and comfortable to hold. This beautiful gift set of four Riedel O Cabernet/Merlot glasses come with an elegant Riedel Syrah decanter.
Retro Fizzio 1910 Cocktail Glasses – Set of 6
Yes you could just bring out those supremely boring champagne glasses once again this year – or you could outdo the competition with these unique glasses. I also find them very handy as alternative martini glasses.
With a subtle vintage design etched into the glass these square coupe glasses are ideal for serving everything from vintage inspired cocktails to champagne.
Ice Ball Maker aka Fast-Release Ice Ball Maker Tray
I am the whisky drinker in our house… and this is one of those things where people are now like “what was I doing before with my life?” it is a perfectly designed, simple, yet very effective way to ice a drink without having to battle the melt rate to still maintain a good taste. This product is intoxicatingly clever.
Slower melting than regular ice cubes and cooler than whiskey stones, this unique product will keep your drink cold without diluting the flavor. Top up drinks without running to the freezer for more ice. Perfect for the slow sipper or the entertainer who wants to impress guests.
W&P Design Carry on Cocktail Kit for Old Fashioned In-Flight Cocktails
The Carry On Cocktail Kit helps you fly in style with everything you need to turn an airplane mini bottle of whisky into 2 Old Fashioned Cocktails. The kit includes a stainless steel case, a refillable bottle of aromatic bitters, four raw cane sugar packets, stainless steel bar spoon with muddler, a 4″ x 4″ linen napkin and cocktail recipe card.
World of Zing Flight Travel Pack
The World of Zing Cocktail Travel Pack gives you the opportunity to enjoy a quality cocktail bar experience wherever you go! So why would you bother with just the one cocktail above when you can have four of the best premixed and aged cocktails ?!
The collection comprises of 4x50ml bottles of the following cocktails:
- Bordeaux Wine Cask Aged Negroni with Zing Serenity Bitters (28% Abv)
- Persian Lime & Nori Margarita (24% Abv)
- Spiced Rum Punch with Zing Blueberry and Tamarind Liqueur (17% Abv)
- Steel Aged Manhattan with Zing Anaesthetic Brandy & Euphoric Bitters (36% Abv)
eKitch Cocktail Kit
Maybe you’re a newbie and need the whole kit and caboodle..?
The Creative 7 cocktail kit has everything you need to mix your favourite tipple, in the comfort of your own home. A brilliant gift which is ideal for cocktail newbies or beginners. This sophisticated kit contains a 750ml stainless steel cocktail shaker, strainer, jigger measure, muddler. twisted steam stirrer and 2 silicon ice moulds all packaged up in an attractive gift tube.
The Savoy Cocktail Book
The best cocktail recipes from one of the most famous hotel bars in the world.
Outside the box stocking fillers
THE BURGER RING
This Burger ring would make an ideal gift idea for any Burger lovers out there or those that love a fun bit of bling. Perfect for someone who isn’t afraid to make a statement and steer away from typical high street jewellery. A bold piece that is sure to bring attention to anyone lucky enough to be wearing one.
Elderbrook is a better-for-you cordial, with no refined sugar or artificial ingredients. Each 50ml bottle makes up to ten drinks and is available in a range of nine deliciously unusual flavours, including:
- Lime, Mint & Baobab
- Spanish Orange, Apricot & Goldenberry
- Pomegranate, Cherry & Cardamom
- Mango, Passion Fruit & Goji Berry
- Blackcurrant, Blackberry & Mulberry
- Honey Melon, Cucumber & Yerba Mate
- Plum, Apple & Rosehip
- Yuzu, Spanish Lemon & Lucuma
- Blood orange, Carrot & Maca
Elderbrook is available in gift sets of 3, 6 or 9 bottles making the perfect gift for a foodie who’s looking to try something new. Mix with still, sparkling, hot or cold water or be a little more adventurous by mixing up some Christmas cocktails. Use the code SHARK to save 25% at the checkout.
Hop & Barley Subscription
Hop & Barley is a quarterly publication, exploring the people and stories behind the contemporary brewing movement. Whether you are just discovering there is more to beer than macro lager, or you work in the brewing industry, a Hop & Barley subscription is a must for all beer lovers.
David Gelb, director of the critically-acclaimed “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” has committed to entering the mind of the chef with this six-part Netflix original series. Each episode focuses on a different world-renowned chef, from a rogue chef cooking on remote island in Patagonia to a man who reinvented Italian cooking by infusing his grandmother’s recipes with modern art. “Chef’s Table” is less concerned with the mechanics of cooking or the heat of the kitchen than it is with the chefs themselves. In 45-minute segments, Gelb takes a deep dive into the forces that drive these obsessive chefs on their quests for sensory perfection. Its robust philosophical and visual flavor is a welcome sophisticated addition to Netflix’s slate. One warning, though: Do not watch on an empty stomach.
Bella Box Gianduja Grande
A deluxe praline selection box containing our finest gianduja products including the award winning triple layered cremini.
Made using traditional recipes, the Gianduja box includes a delicate blend of flavours and textures. From the rich and creamy pistachio Gemme, to the delightful ‘Delice’ containing a whole hazelnut surrounded by gianduja and coated in chocolate. The Gianduja box will delight the praline lover with its exceptional quality of chocolate and gianduja in a stylish luxury box.
Doisy and Dam
Looking as good as they taste, Doisy & Dam have a range of 10 truly unique chocolate bars which would make the perfect stocking fillers or gifts for Christmas party hosts. Partnering superfoods such as baobab, lucuma and goji berries with the highest quality organic chocolate, Doisy & Dam is the perfect indulgence; a tastier, healthier range of chocolate. Flavours include Roasted Cacoa Nibs, which comes complete in festive blue, red and white packaging, a brand new Maple, Toasted Rice and Himalayan Pink Salt and wintery pairings such as Ginger, Chilli Flakes & Hempseed and Mulberries, Black Sesame & Spirulina. Plus, the striking packaging means they already come gift wrapped.
Arabica Turkish Delight
Celebrate in style with luxury sweetmeats from Arabica Food & Spice. The range, perfect for both the Christmas table and stocking fillers includes:
- Turkish Delight– available in rose, lemon, orange, mint, sultans, pistachio, pistachio cocoa and walnut and coconut, Arabica Turkish Delight, or Lokum as they are known in Turkey, are lower in sugar and richer in natural flavour. Produced without gelatine, glucose or animal products, Arabica Food & Spice Turkish Delight are suitable for vegans, vegetarians and those who have kosher or halal dietary requirements.
New flavours added to the range this year are: Iranian Saffron, walnut and coconut, Pomegranate & Pistachio, Green apple and Black Cherry.
Producers of four authentic Mexican chilli infused sauces. Gran Luchito is the authentic taste of Mexico. Meaning ‘great little fighter’, their pastes and sauces are made from the Pasilla Oaxaca chilli, lovingly grown and smoked for generations by local farmers in the region of Oaxaca in Southern Mexico. Jamie Magazine described their sauces as “amazing and adds an instant smokey flavour and a real kick to anything”.
Pip & Nut
Pip & Nut, a new all-natural food brand that makes a range of nut butters, has just launched at Selfridges and a range of independent deli and health shops. The brand was launched by keen marathon runner Pippa Murray, 26, who started selling her nut butters at a hip South London street market and then lived in a shed while she raised £120,000 through crowd-funding to launch the business.