A fabulous foodie treat of an afternoon tea

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Laura Mercier Perfume Tea

 

Buying gifts for foodies doesn’t just have to be things. In many ways, experiences will last longer than many physical things you can buy. And if your foodie fancies a bit of a treat, then I love this new afternoon tea at Harvey Nichols.

The Laura Mercier Perfume Tea is a fabulous combination of tea, cakes and fragrance, so ticks lots of boxes. Inspired by Laura Mercier’s Vanilla Gourmande fragrance, Fifth Floor executive chef Jonas Karlsson has designed the most wonderful tea, that is just a bit different to your average afternoon tea. The store’s in-house tea blenders were commissioned to create a new infusion, creating a bespoke blend of jasmine, vanilla, rose and green tea to complement the vanilla orchid, liqueur, bourbon, musk, heliotrope, daylily, sandalwood and amber notes of Vanille Gourmande.

Once you’ve got a cup of tea poured, then you can choose from a whole range of themed delicacies including smoked salmon and horseradish, cheese and pickle and egg mayonnaise finger sandwiches; scones with kumquat and vanilla marmalade and clotted cream; a vanilla and lemon-infused cupcake; a chocolate praline mousse cake; a raspberry éclair with rose and raspberry cream and chocolate, pistachio and peach macaroons. I know, I could eat all of that right now.

Whilst not cheap compared to a cup of tea and a slice of cake at Starbucks, it’s hardly comparable and so the £19.95 per person could be money very well spent. You can upgrade in various ways with champagne and gift wrapped bottles of the perfume, it depends on your budget!

I have to admit to loving this idea, and it’s one I’ve used myself. I was thrilled to be involved in the relaunch of Girard fragrances last year, with a launch at The Dorchester. The team there created canapes and cocktails that matched with the key ingredients of the 5 fragrances. I can’t take credit for it being an original idea, I was inspired by the amazing sounding dinners that Chandler Burr, the fragrance critic for the New York Times, created. I wish I’d been at a few of those too!

If you fancy the food but not the bill, then I found a recipe for Kumquat Vanilla marmalade on Lick My Spoon, which would make a great treat and change to the usual raspberry or strawberry. And if you want the fragrance then you can order it from Harvey Nichols but their delivery charges are quite steep. Stop by your nearest Space NK, they’ll have it but they don’t stock it online.

I’m off to see if I can recreate those macaroons!

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A very British delight

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The Full English Scotch Egg

We’ve been introducing a friend’s American girlfriend to British culinary delights today, starting with the Scotch egg. No summer picnic is complete without them, but if you’re going to do them, do it properly! Truly, you need to be getting your eggs from The Handmade Scotch Egg Company, these are the eggs to end all eggs!

As gifts for foodies go, it’s not the first thing that would leap to mind, but these guys will send your loved one a mixed box, large ones or small ones, with flavours including tarragon and garlic, smoked bacon, paprika, chilli…even one based on an Irish white pudding recipe! I promise you, they will never look at the ones in the garage fridge in the same way again!

If you don’t want to buy online, then check out their events page to find out where they are going to be next.

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My favourite foodie gift

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From tree to can with Nudo - great gift for a food lover

 

Adopting an olive tree with Nudo has to be my favourite foodie gift that I’ve ever given. In fact it’s not just a gift, it’s a series of gifts!

You get the excitement of opening it, finding out what it is and getting to taste some of the extra virgin olive oil then and there (note to self, next time send some great bread too). Then there is the Spring package to look forward to of another 2 litres of the new season’s extra virgin oil to enjoy again.

If you needed some variety, or just some unusual but useful ingredients, then I would also try the lemon and the chilli oils. Perfect for both cooking and drizzling, they also look great in the kitchen too. Ticks the boxes for the stylish foodie: great design and even greater taste!

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Tracking down great food gifts

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I love my food, I love everything about food: eating it, preparing it, shopping for it, reading about it…just about everything except having to work it off, which is the price you pay I guess!

I wish every foodie gift was a glorious gourmet treat, but often this isn’t the case. Somewhere there are huge bottles of oils and vinegars, strange liquers and random tinned stuff. So I wanted to find the stuff that any self respecting gourmet would really want to give cupboard space to.

This is the start of my journey to track down the good stuff, and perhaps laugh at some of the really bad stuff! If you’re the gourmet, then I hope to help you write a great wish list. And if you have a foodie to shop for, I hope to help you out!

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