The Foodie Gift Hunter

Great gift ideas for fabulous foodies

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May the foodie Force be with you this Christmas

November 24th, 2015 · Foodie gifts


You might well have heard that there is a new Star Wars movie out, it’s been mentioned a few times. In fact, quite regularly amongst my loved ones!

And I know you wouldn’t expect it, but there’s one or two Star Wars themed gifts around this Christmas that will be perfect for where foodie meets geek. Here’s my favourites:

Judge me by my size, do you?

R2 D2 Measuring Set - great gift for a food lover with a Star Wars obsessionThis may be small, but there’s an awful lot of measuring stuff packed in. This is practical. It’s R2D2. Is there anything else to say?


That’s no moon


That's no moon: Death Star cookie jar, great gift for a food lover with a Star Wars obsession


You might need to force yourself not to keep dipping in and out of this cookie jar.


A long time ago, in a bar far, far, away


Make your choice of cantina a bit special with a Storm Trooper tumbler


Hopefully your choice of cantina will be less a wretched hive and more a stylish drinking stop thanks to this tumbler.


I have a very bad feeling about this


Star Wars Chupa Chups - for a Star Wars loving food lover with a sweet tooth

Well, I would, if you eat these all at once and don’t brush your teeth afterwards. Though ten chupa chups could keep someone quiet this Christmas.


This is the coffee you are looking for


I <3 Princess Leia - great mug for men of a certain age

Probably for men of a certain age who were around when the first (the proper first) film came out, this is the perfect mug for them.


The tea is strong in this one


The tea is strong in this one - perfect mug for a food lover who knows how tea should be


Which is at it should be, or at least in this household it is!


No, I am your star chef


No, I am your Star Chef


Show them that the cooking force is strong with them in your view, with this great apron.


Help me UPS, you’re my only hope


Death Star Waffle Maker


Because sadly this amazing waffle maker is not available in the UK. But maybe if we all use the Force, it might be in the future.


It’s a board!


Star Wars Chopping Board - great gift for a food lover with a Star Wars obsession


No trap here, this is just a great looking chopping board. And because for many, it will always be about the original trilogy.



“I love you.” “I know.”


Yoda one for me - for my love and other food lovers with a Star Wars obsession


One for MFL from me. Enough said.


I think you over-estimate their chances


Death Star Fire Pit - perfect gift fora food lover who loves Star Wars and has been very, very good this year


Look, at nearly £900, someone is going to have to have been really, really good to find Santa’s got this on the sleigh for them. But it would make one hell of talking point in the garden, and I include it as multi-functional piece, as you could toast marshmallows over it, hence making it perfect for a Star Wars loving food lover.


Let’s hope the new film produces quotes that are just as memorable for just as long as we’ve enjoyed the originals for. In the meantime, enjoy the excitement and may the Force be with you!


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What to buy for those with a sweet tooth this Christmas

November 22nd, 2015 · Foodie gifts


Christmas gift ideas for those with a sweet tooth


I’ve admitted many times that I have a sweet tooth, whether cake or chocolate, or pretty much anything in between. I definitely consider this one of my specialist subject areas when it comes to gift recommendations. So whether you’re looking for something for them to eat, make or read, then these are some of the best.


Dark chocolate salted caramel honeycomb


Like a posh Crunchie

Ok, we have to admit, MFL and I demolished a box of this recently. It was research, honest. But this was amazing tasting, and you have to admit it looks beautiful. There’s a whole range of these beautiful gift boxes from Artisan du Chocolat, and you’ll be hard picked to choose between them. But I’d not turn down another box of this Dark Salted Caramel Honeycomb.


Sally's Candy Addiction


Inspiration for Making Their Own

Oh my word, where to start with Sally’s Candy Addiction? There wasn’t a page I turned and didn’t want to immediately rush into the kitchen and make. Maybe add some chocolate into their stocking too so they can head straight into the kitchen themselves. It’ll brighten up Christmas Day when the Ferrero Rocher have run out.


Vodka Cocktail Pastilles from Smith & Sinclair


Sneaky tipple in sweet form?

And no, this is not a box of liqueur chocolates! I love these cocktail pastilles from Smith & Sinclair. Warning, these are not for the kids, they do contain proper alcohol. So, if the boss is reading this, no, these are not what’s on my desk. Honest. But heaven knows, there are some days a sneaky vodka cocktail wouldn’t go amiss!


Pale Lemon & Sea Salt Chocolate Skis from Amelia Rope


Fun chocolate but with style

I’ve written several times about how much I love Amelia Rope’s chocolate. There isn’t anything on her site that I don’t think someone would be thrilled to receive. Unless good chocolate for them stops at Dairy Milk. For Christmas this year then I love these chocolate skis, which are pale lemon and sea salt chocolate. My kind of skiing!


Go full on retro with A Quarter Of


Go full on retro in your sweet choice

I love A Quarter Of, they were one of the first people I came across in the whole online retro sweet thing, and I think they do it really well. If Christmas isn’t made for a trip down memory lane, then I don’t know when is. Bring on the Fruit Salads, a Sherbet Fountain and some Love Hearts. Sophistication can be overrated!


Safari Animal Chocolate Lollipop Kit


In case there’s no selection box from Santa

I love this kit from Chocolate At Home, which you could give to an older child, or a big kid, and it could be a great activity for over the Christmas holidays. There are simpler ones, and more chocolate bar based ones, so really something for everyone.


In case you can’t get hold of any of these, then maybe a box of Matchmakers will do. Or you could just get organised now!


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5 gifts for those contemplating Bake Off next year

November 20th, 2015 · Foodie gifts


Five gifts for bakers considering entering the Bake Off


If you’ve got a baker on your list to buy for, then maybe they’re contemplating entering Bake Off. Whether next year or just as an idea for the future, then help them out with your choice of gifts to enhance their baking skills.


Kenwood kmix Stand Mixer - great gift for a food lover with baking ambitions

A Stand Mixer

Buying my Kenwood Chef transformed my baking, if only for the speed it adds in. This year saw the tent move from KitchenAid to Kenwoods, so if you are feeling generous and want to let them get used to the equipment, then a K Mix is the current stand mixer of choice in the tent.


The Flavour Thesaurus - perfect gift for a food lover looking to explore flavour combinations


Inspiring Flavour Combinations

One of the things I think linked all three finalists this year was their incredible use of flavours, and in amazing combinations. The Flavour Thesaurus is one of my favourite books on food, and just has some incredible ideas for putting different ingredients together.


Anti Gravity Pouring Cake Mix Kit - a gift for a food lover looking to take cakes to new heights


Cakes that defy gravity

I don’t think any of us will forget Nadiya’s can of pop cake. There are a number of versions of cake supports available that can help them achieve something similar. I really like the anti gravity pouring cake kit from Lakeland, there’s some good tutorials on their site as well.


Ginger Apron from Hedley & Bennett - perfect gift for a stylish food lover


A great apron

Let’s face it, there’s going to be flour and icing sugar all over the place as they get seriously into practicing. Now, I really like this one, which Edd Kimber was wearing at his demo recently at Cake International. It comes from Hedley & Bennett in the US, and can be personalised. Sadly, the shipping is US$31 so not the cheapest, so worth checking Not On the High Street or Divertimenti for alternatives.


Essential baking kit from the Bertinet Kitchen - perfect gift for a food lover into bread


A gift they might knead

Dreadful pun, but bread week always interesting to me. Give them good kit to practice with, like the essential baking set from the master of baking, Richard Bertinet. From a mixing bowl to a proving basket, scraper to a lame, this will get them underway.

So, five ideas here, but I’ve written about lots of baking ideas over the years, select the baking category to the right for more ideas. Although you can probably skip the piece on 7 baking tins they really don’t need!


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The best Advent Calendars for food and drink lovers

November 18th, 2015 · Foodie gifts


I love how Advent calendars have really evolved over the last few years, and the grown ups have really been the ones to benefit. Here’s my favourites that you’ve still got time to order for this year:

24 days of gin


Ginvent - my perfect Advent Calendar. Twenty four days of fabulous gin


I know, I already wrote about this one. But it still sounds like my idea of heaven and the Ginvent calendar would be top of my list.


Get a brew on every day up to Christmas


Tea Advent Calendar - get the kettle on


I love my tea, and so don’t really need much encouragement to have a cup every day. But a cup of something different every day? That’ll keep it interesting in the run up to the big day.


Ale right on the night


Craft Beer Advent Calendar


Brewing of a different kind with this one, with a bottle of good craft beer behind every door. Although a bit like with the gin one, possibly not for consuming at the breakfast table!


A biscuit a day

Biscuiteers Advent Biscuit Tin

Probably doesn’t keep the doctor away, but when biscuits are this beautiful you’re going to feel great. I know Biscuiteers are not cheap, but they are lovely.


Sweet treats for this year and every year


A sweet treat a day for this year and every year from Fortnum & Mason


Whilst this might be expensive for year one, this beautiful wooden advent calendar from Fortnum & Mason can be refilled year after year. In fact Fortnum’s even sell a refill pack, but nothing to stop you doing it yourself in the future.


A drop of the pure stuff, every day


The Whisky Advent Calendar

If whisky is their thing, then this one is probably right up their street. I appreciate it’s not cheap, and maybe you could just give this as a Christmas gift and cheer up the 25 days that follow. Will make January feel a lot better!


Share and share alike


An advent calendar made especially for two


So,  you could take to views on this calendar from Hotel Chocolat. Either this is a lovely romantic calendar with two chocolates inside each door, one each for you and your loved one. Or it’s a great calendar for a greedy person. Your choice.


December is hurtling towards us at a rate of knots, so best to get organised, so that each morning in December it’s not just the kids who have something to look forward to.


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My top 10 gifts for food lovers who love to entertain

November 16th, 2015 · Foodie gifts


Gifts for Food Lovers Who Love to Entertain


Not every food lover lives their lives in restaurants, for many it’s about creating and sharing great food, about gathering friends and family round the table to break bread together. So here’s my top 10 for great gifts to really make their entertaining even more special.


Tapered glass jug for your cocktails or water


A beautiful jug for cocktails, or water

I love beautiful glass, and one as lovely this, containing something like an autumn sangria, makes this perfect for the Christmas table, or any other time of the year.


Lulu Champagne or Cocktail Glasses. Or even a Champagne cocktail!


Cocktail or champagne glasses

No point having wonderful cocktails or glorious fizz and then having only rubbish glasses to serve it in. I really like these Lulu glasses from LSA, which would do for cocktails or fizz.


Beautiful platter from Sophie Conran for Portmeirion

Multi purpose Platter

They probably love catering for big numbers, so platters are always a good bet, for dishing up everything from the turkey to huge summer salads. I like the simplicity of this one from Sophie Conran for Portmeirion.


Fika Cake Stands for fabulous displays


Cake stands for spectacular cakes and desserts

A cake stand can display many different kinds of dishes, not just a cake. I quite often build a centre piece on mine, or use it for cheese. You can never have too many in my book, and I love these colourful Fika cake stands, in the variety of jewel tones and sizes.


Napkins for sticky fingers


Napkins for sticky fingers

I’m not big on formal dining, the table definitely doesn’t look like a scene from Downton Abbey. But I think good napkins are both practical and decorative. I love these for being festive for now but also think they’d look great on the outdoor table at BBQ time too.


Pure linen tablecloths in every colour of the rainbow


Dressing the table in style

I also don’t have lots of tablecloths, but who could resist these gorgeous linen ones, especially when they come in such a rainbow of colours. Whatever their colour scheme, there’s one here that’s perfect for them.


Trifle Bowl just ready for a fantastic Christmas trifle


Time for a nostalgic dessert

I love trifle. And nothing fancy, just old school jam swiss roll, jelly, custard, cream and hundreds and thousands. What it really needs is a fabulous trifle bowl to put it in. Of course they could use it for fruit salad, but really? It’s Christmas.


Wood and slate platter


Serving cheese with style

It’ll be time to think about getting the stilton and Peter’s Yard crispbreads in. So it’s a great time to gift a food lover a great platter that will work really well for cheese. I love this wood and slate one, as I still really love slate for cheese.


Nick Munro Sphere Salt & Pepper Grinder


Season at the table with style

I know I was very rude about the average pepper grinder that appears at this time of year, but for the food lover who loves to entertain then a stunningly beautiful salt and pepper grinder is a different matter. I think this Nick Munro design is beautiful in its simplicity, and definitely worth giving table space to.


Wood and porcelain coffee pot


Coffee time

You’re coming to the end of the meal, time to serve some good coffee. And who wouldn’t love to bring the coffee to the table in something like this? I love the blend of wood and porcelain, it feels contemporary but familiar too. Beautiful design from Tonfisk.


Beautiful decanter for port or any other tipple


Pass the port please

I wrote recently about having a bit of a new found love for decanters, and when you add in the Christmas tradition of port and Stilton then a gift of more beautiful glass in the shape of a fabulous decanter has to be a great thing to do. Of course, adding in a fab bottle of port too will make you even more popular.


Just remember that gifts you give to those who love to entertain might well produce extra benefits in that you might get invites back to the table well into the new year!



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Solidarity with Paris

November 15th, 2015 · Foodie gifts


Solidarity with Paris


I had planned to make madeleines today anyway, from the arrival midweek of Patisserie Made Simple by Edd Kimber.

And the first news of the atrocities reached me via David Lebovitz’s Facebook feed, another fabulous baker.

So, I’ve continued with that plan, a small way to show that we stand in solidarity with the people of Paris, really with the people of the world. Because whatever else the perpetrators say of Paris, then most of us think of Paris as a city of two things: love and light.

And those things will always win.

In trying to explain these things to MGG, then I’ve focused on this quote. I should look up who Mr Rogers is, but I think it is great advice. And always, always true in even the most awful of circumstances.


Mr Rogers - Look for the helpers


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Gifts for the independent minded cook

November 14th, 2015 · British favourites, Christmas foodie gifts, Foodie gadgets, Foodie gifts


I love being able to write about, and support, small businesses which is why I love Etsy so much. It’s definitely a great source for something a little bit different, and is perfect for the cook who likes something with an interesting story behind it. Here’s some of my favourite choices:


Ducks Geese Hens Apron


Every cook needs a good apron, but there’s no reason why something practical can’t be beautiful too. I like this one, with its plethora of ducks, hens and geese.


Vintage Measuring Jug


They might well like kitchen kit that has got a history to it, and I really like this vintage measuring jug. Looks great, practical as well, if they can bear to use it!


Personalised large solid birch wood chopping board


Perhaps this one is a good one if it’s a family of aspiring cooks, and what kitchen doesn’t need a really good chopping board?


Sturdy serving tray perfect for breakfast in bed


The cook either deserves breakfast in bed from time to time, or will rustle up an amazing one. So a good, sturdy serving tray is practical, useful and lovely to look at.


Hot dogs and sausage dogs tea towel


I’ve written before that I think tea towels make a perfect gift for every kind of food lover and cook. I particularly love this Sausage Dogs and Hot Dogs one, could definitely find a home or two for this one.


Sarcasm definition mug


Every cook needs a brew or two to keep them going, so a good mug is always a good option. But nothing says it’s got to be twee and cute!


There’s so much to go at on Etsy for every kind of interest and preference, so you should be able to find something for even the most hard to please cook in your life!



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Colourful Christmas gifts for stylish cooks

November 12th, 2015 · Christmas foodie gifts, Foodie gifts


Colourful gifts for food lovers

They say we should eat the rainbow, so maybe it starts with a kitchen full of the colours of the rainbow. Here’s some ideas to make Christmas morning colourful for the cook on your list.



Red Water Jug by LSA International


Brighten up the jug of water on the dining table with this beautiful glass jug from LSA International. Generous sized, so no running backwards and forwards to the tap, much more stylish than bringing a plastic bottle to the table, and certainly better for the planet.



Le Creuset Volcanic Orange Casserole

This Le Creuset oval casserole in volcanic orange will definitely bring a glow to any kitchen. Whilst not cheap, I love my Le Creuset casserole and it’s lasted over 20 years, so cost per use minimal by now. A gift that would be well received I’m sure.




Yellow Grapefruit Sugar Bowl at Anthropologie

I don’t have a lot of sugar that isn’t for baking around the house, but if you need a colourful sugar bowl then I love this grapefruit one from Anthropologie. Of course it’s not practical, but not everything in the kitchen needs to be, as long as it’s beautiful.



Green Daisy and Dot design by Emma Bridgewater

I like Emma Bridgewater’s designs, although usually the less floral stuff, so this Green Daisy and Spot design is right up my street. It would definitely brighten up the kitchen, and work all year round, and there are quite a few different styles to choose from.




Dualit Made to Order 2 Slice Toaster


How about the classic lines of a Dualit toaster but in a made to order matt blue? I like it for being a bit different, both in colour and finish. Should last you a long time too, so a classic colour like this will make the investment longer term.



Indigo coffee cups from Billy Cotton

For those who like their coffee with style, I love these coffee cups designed by Billy Cotton. He started designing chinaware when he couldn’t find any that was both elegant and inexpensive, and these tick both those boxes.




The Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur


I’m sure there’s some fabulous violet glass out there, but here’s something violet in glass. The Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur will make some stunning coloured cocktails whilst you stand around and admire your rainbow hued kitchen.

So a few choices for the colour mad cook across the spectrum. If there’s a favourite colour missing then things like napkins, aprons and tea towels will probably help plug that gap.


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Gifts for the make it yourself kind of food lover

November 10th, 2015 · Christmas foodie gifts, Foodie gadgets, Foodie gifts, Foodie things to do


Now, these can be a tricky kind of food lover to buy for, as they love to get into the nitty gritty of preparing food. They certainly aren’t going to love a pepper grinder. Here’s five ideas for gifts that might do the trick.


Helping out at Brays Cottage, producer of the best pork pie


Learn how to make pork pies from the best!

We love Bray’s Cottage pork pies in this house, and now Sarah is revealing the secrets to great pies and sausage rolls at the Macarons & More Cookery School. Great course, great people, fabulous location, so you could make a weekend of it. Classes fill up really quickly so check the site regularly for new dates.


Pro Q Ranger Elite Hot & Cold Smoker Starter Kit


Smoke it Yourself

Smoking your own food has been a bit of a thing recently, and it would certainly give them plenty of options on different things to produce. The Pro Q Hot & Cold Smoke Kit means they can do things like hot or cold smoked salmon, smoked cheese, possibly even smoked vodka. It’ll certainly keep them busy through till New Year.


Sixty year old sourdough starter from Hobbs House Bakery


Guarantee them great sourdough every time

Sourdough starter can be a tricky thing, but is essential for making your own sourdough bread. If they’re keen, then give them some vintage starter with the 60 year old starter from Hobbs House Bakery. Complete with instructions, this should guarantee you some fabulous bread over Christmas and beyond.


Chocolate making and tasting events at Paul A Young


Eat chocolate, make chocolate

I love Paul A Young’s approach to chocolate in all its forms. If you think they’d love some time trying some of his creations and then learning some of the secrets behind them then this could be for them. From a vertical chocolate tasting of bean through to bar, and then learning about tempering and ganache making, they’ll come away with not only a taste for the good stuff but new skills too.


Food DIY by Tim Hayward for the make it yourself food lover


The DIY manual for food techniques

This is the perfect book for MIY food lover, it covers how to make everything yourself from sausages to smoked salmon, bacon to buns, sloe gin to sourdough. So if you know they love to make, or the idea of it, but just aren’t sure where their interest lies, then this might well be a perfect gift as they decide what to tackle next.

Choose right, and you may not see much of them through the rest of the festive period as they get seriously into making mode.


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Seven starter gifts for the just starting out food lover

November 8th, 2015 · British favourites, Christmas foodie gifts, Foodie gadgets, Foodie gifts, Kitchenwares


Every food lover starts somewhere, not even Heston arrived into this world as an incredible cook. And the fancy to learn to cook, or improve your skills, can strike at any age. So, in case you have someone on the Christmas list this year who has just got the bug, here’s my suggestions of seven great gifts to get them going.


Delia Smith's Complete How to Cook - perfect cookbook to gift to a food lover just starting out


Delia’s Complete How to Cook

I know there are newer chefs, newer writers, but in my book, you can’t beat Delia particularly for getting all the basics right and then building on them. I still have the forerunner to this, Delia’s Complete Cookery Course, and refer to it to this day. Great gift for both a food lover at the start of their cooking journey and for a more experienced cook just to enjoy revisiting or even improving techniques.


Le Creuset Cast Iron Oval Casserole - perfect gift for any food lover


A Le Creuest Casserole

I appreciate this is not the cheapest gift, but in terms of cost per use mine has been the best investment I ever made. I bought it about 25 years ago, use it regularly and it’s still, other than the knob on the top having given way, as good as new. That said, I’ve just bought a version from Sainsburys which seems reasonable, but will have to come back in 25 years time to see if it’s still as good!


Salter Disc Add and Weigh Kitchen Scales - perfect gift for a food lover who likes to be precise

Digital add & weigh scales

I think there is no shame in following recipes, we don’t all instinctively know what’s the right thing or amount. Digital scales are a must to me, particularly if they move onto baking, and I love add and weigh ones. There’s a huge variety of them around, I like these simple ones from Salter.


Measuring cups, spoons or jugs, all will earn their place in a food lover's kitchen

Measuring cups and spoons

I think these are useful to have, particularly as your repertoire grows, and you may end up with American cookbooks and recipes. I have a long standing, very dull but perfectly functional set of stainless steel ones, along with some measuring spoons, and use them endlessly. There are all kinds of sets, from the functional, to the very pretty, to the most popular ever. Take your pick, you can probably find a set to match their interests. I’ve even found Star Wars ones.


Mason Cash Mixing Bowls perfect gift for any food lover

Mixing Bowls

Whatever you’re learning to cook, you’re bound to need mixing bowls. You could go old school Mason cash or imitators, although I find they are too heavy for me now. I really like just decent plastic bowls or some stainless steel ones (good for marinading meat). Small, medium, large, any combination will be useful.


Wooden Spoons and Silicone Spatulas

You can never have too many of either in my view. Be generous and get a few of each, they’re available everywhere at every kind of price point.


Peep Double Oven Glove from Herdy - a colourful gift for a food lover


Oven gloves

Again, a bit like the measuring cups, you can find something for everyone in this very necessary bit of kit (even real cooks can’t pull blisteringly hot pans from the oven bare handed). I’ve written about all kinds before, from plain to pretty and everything in between, including ones attached to your apron. Although I can’t find a Star Wars one. Surely a Darth Vader oven glove would be a winner?

With all of these you could combine to make your own interesting starter kit, making a very personalised gift for a food lover starting out. You don’t even have to buy new, vintage versions of some of these could be very appealing.


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