Presents for foodies are one of the most straightforward I always think, just head to your nearest deli or fancy foods store and off you go. But if you are looking for some inspiration we have some ideas here for you. This amazing range at Lakeland would be a good place to start!
For a foodie with a sweet tooth, try the range of traditional British sweets and luxury confectionery from Mr Stanley's Confectionery. They have over 50 delicious products to try from crumbly fudge to gourmet chocolates and nostalgic sweets, all created using traditional recipes.
We love the signature prettily striped boxes, reminiscent of beach huts and the seaside. And the contents are delectably divine! We tried the Salted Chocolate Truffle Fudge, Crystallised Ginger, Dark Chocolate Covered Honeycomb with Sea Salt and Salted Almond Brittle. I may have earmarked a few more items in the catalogue too...
The Mr Stanley's Christmas collection offers perfect gifts and stocking fillers, why not put a hamper together for the ultimate sweet treat?
For something a bit different, and perfect for anyone who also loves to bake, the spice and mould kits from The Speculaas Spice Company are a great little stocking filler. Using a secret Dutch family recipe of deliciously warm, sweet-tasting speculaas spice mix made from organic, fair-trade spices, you can whip up delicious biscuits with an authentic European flavour. The Vandotsch Speculaas Spice mix is available in a 60g jar, and a variety of biscuit moulds and more are available on the website.
For more spice, Yorkshire-based Steenbergs have a range of artisan spice gifts, from festive foodie crackers filled with aromatic mulling spices, spicy gift boxes, classic tea tins, bags of goodies, and their unique new tea bricks, delicious tea blends pressed into a decorative design and presented in a gift box.
We love the cute little cracker stocking fillers, which contain Mulled Wine, Mulled Cider or Fruity Mulled Spices, and the stunning Speciality Tea Bricks. Such a lovely gift idea for any tea lover. Tea bricks, where tea was processed and shaped into bricks, often with a decorative pattern, were a common way to transport tea in caravans along the Silk Road, as it protected the tea from the climate and made it more easily transportable. Steenbergs range includes black, green, uva and Pu erh tea bricks. Classic tea tins with teas from India, China, Japan and Sri Lanka, as well as a unique Yorkshire blend of English Breakfast, are also available.
Other items in the Steenbergs online shop include spice gift boxes like the Arabic Spice Gift Box which contains four of Steenbergs popular Arabic spice blends, Za’atar, organic Dukkah, organic Harissa with Rose and Ras al Hanut, complete with a colour recipe card to set you off into the aromatic world of Arabian cooking. Have a browse of the Steenbergs website and find the perfect gift for your foodie.
Vegan chocolate can be a bit hit and miss, but we love the raw chocolate from Ombar. Using cocoa sourced from Ecuador, they use methods that ensure as much of the natural goodness is preserved as possible. With six times the flavanols of other chocolate brands, this is chocolate as health food! With unrefined coconut sugar and real fruit added, this is chocolate everyone can enjoy, vegan or not. Ombar Chocolate bars are available to purchase from Ocado, Planet Organic, Wholefoods and independent health food stores, or online at www.therawchocolateshop.com. They are also available from Waterstones and Pod restaurants.
We are also enjoying the new allergy-free range from Kinnerton. Kinnerton JUST is free from dairy, egg, gluten and nuts, contains no artificial colours, preservatives or flavours, yet remains delicious. The range includes convenient snack bars for on-the-go and a luxurious box of chocolate mint discs perfect for any host, something to please all chocolate lovers. The new Kinnerton JUST range is available from Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda.
If wine is more your foodie's thing, the VacuVin range has a wide variety of great gift ideas. We love their proper grown up wine glasses, clear and plain with a broad bowl, tapering at the top, the ideal shape to allow the wine's bouquet to heighten and to bring out the true flavour of the wine. The glasses combine optimal drinking enjoyment with contemporary design. The range includes a white wine glass (40 cl) and a slightly larger red wine glass (53 cl), both made by Royal Leerdam in The Netherlands.
The Vacu Vin range also includes the excellent Active Cooler sleeves, just pop in the freezer then fit it over your too warm white to cool it down for drinking. Brilliant idea!
To have red wine ready to drink in a matter of seconds, try the Rouge O2® Wine Breather which is designed to speed up the normally lengthy process of aerating and breathing red wine. This patented and tested formula reduces breathing time from 1 hour to under a minute!
To enjoy most wines at their best, you should allow them to breathe or decant at least an hour or more before drinking, but how often do we forget, not have enough time or unexpected guests arrive and you need another bottle? The patented Rouge 02 Electronic Wine Breather is the perfect solution as it reduces breathing time from one hour down to one minute in a controlled and sophisticated way. It works by gently bubbling air through the wine, releasing its full bouquet and flavour. It needs 2 AAA batteries, which will last for more than 230 bottles, and the automatic mechanism ensures the correct breathing time. A brilliant idea!
Don't miss our Christmas gift guide for cooks, and the competition we are running to win a Riverford British cheese box for Christmas.