Holiday Gift Guide: For The Total Foodie

It is that time of year again for my holiday gift guides. This year I will be running through my four usual guides: For The Total Foodie, For The Londoner, For The Globetrotter and For The Total Bookworm over the next few weeks. I’ve had such fun running around London, Westfield Stratford, Fenwick in Canterbury and browsing online to put these guides together for this year, and I hope you find them helpful while shopping for friends! I know it seems a little early to be thinking about Christmas gifts, but now Bonfire Night is over and we’re actually only just a little over a month until Christmas, I know I’ve started worrying about Christmas gifts!

One by Florence Knight Cookbook: £26, Hotel Chocolat Classic Prosecco: £18, Nigella Lawson Blue Measuring Cups: £25, Hotel Chocolat Mulled Wine Pouches: £5 / $10, Emma Bridgewater Great Britain Counties Map Apron: £12.50 / $21.95, Bordallo Pinheiro Melon Bowls: £14.95 / £24.50, Ottolenghi Christmas Cake: £12, Hotel Chocolat Christmas Mess Chocolates: £3.75 / $8, Ottolenghi Sumac: £2.80

I can tell you from personal experience that a cookbook is the very best Christmas present for foodies. As well as cooking from them, we enjoy reading them in front of the television, in bed, and even sometimes in the bath! Two books have really stood out for me this year, both of which are relatively recent and would make fantastic gifts.  The first of which I have not listed here but I have already waxed lyrical about, is James Morton’s Brilliant Bread (£10). I reviewed it a few months ago, and I think it is the ultimate book for people who love baking bread, as well as the perfect gift for anyone wanting to learn to make their own as the book progresses in difficulty from the beginning. The second book that I have been loving this year and I have pictured here is One by Florence Knight, the head chef at Polpetto. It is a wonderful collection of Italian and British recipes, and it really has something for everyone. The recipes are really unique too, and its beautiful typeface makes it the perfect dish. So far I have made the Panzanella Salad and the Calves Liver in Red Wine Vinegar and both were absolute revelations.

While as you all know I’m a massive advocate for all things homemade, a few of my favourite artisan food suppliers have some great products this Christmas I can’t overlook when it comes to gifts. They must have had it for ages and I was just being unobservant, but I has pleasantly surprised that Ottolenghi’s now has an online store. With Christmas cake. It is only ‘Coming Soon’ at the moment, but for an early gift for someone you know does not have the time or knowhow to make their own cake, I think it would make a perfect and thoughtful gift. As well as the UK, it also ships to the USA, Canada and Europe. Also from the Ottolenghi shop as more of a stocking filler is a jar of Sumac. I know you can buy it elsewhere, but Yotam Otolenghi’s books is really where Sumac became a ‘thing’ in the UK, and I have found it is such a versatile flavour, both cooked into recipes, and on a Sunday morning at brunch after a night out in Covent Garden the night before, a sprinkling on yogurt and eggs is simply divine and not to be overlooked. Mulled Wine is nice to make yourself from scratch, but a few years ago my Mother dropped a tin of Mulled Wine Spice Pouches into my Dad’s stocking (we put them together for each other) and I’ve found they are great if you don’t have a full spice cupboard to hand (like we don’t in France) or you don’t have a whole army to serve up to. When I saw Hotel Chocolat’s new pouches, complete with cocoa nibs inside at their Christmas press event last month, I knew they’d make the perfect stocking filler. It was also at that event I drunk maybe a little bit too much of their fantastic house Prosecco. It may not have had any chocolate in it, but I still fell in love enough with it there to be recommending it to you here.

On the kitchen utensils and accessories track, I know I am a big cheerleader for weighing everything in baking rather than using American baking cups, I got used to cups when I was living in America and I found that they do make life easier when you are making drinks and savouries. I have an awful lot from Nigella Lawson’s kitchen range; I own her cake stand and at home we have her glass cake dome, and her kitchen spoons and enamel kitchen utensils are also beautiful and versatile. I need to replace my cups, so I’m actually thinking about these beautiful blue numbers for myself! On another note, I think you can all agree with me that this pair of melon bowls I found are just simply awesome, and this Emma Bridgewater apron (I did not realise she no longer just sold china) is a really unique gift, and a change from the Cath Kidston aprons I usually recommend.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I have ideas for about 1/2 of each of my parents gifts and a few stocking fillers, but for practically everyone else I still have to buy for I’m still totally at sea. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick some things up and get ahead of the game on the first big Christmas Shopping trip I’m taking with my Mother into Canterbury tomorrow. It may be smaller and have less of a selection, but it is so much easier Christmas shopping at home than in the massive crowds of London and its department stores! If you still need some more ideas, IFB have got a great round up of other peoples gift guides, if you want to take a peek!