Loved up at Fortnum & Mason

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Valentines Day at Fortnum & Mason - great ideas for Valentine's Day gifts for food lovers

So having written about the oncoming Valentine’s onslaught, thought it was only fair to write about some of the good stuff. Fortnum & Mason were the first people to email about Valentine’s Day, and some of these are a little different, or completely indulgent, but not quite second mortgage level!

Fortnum’s are rightly famous for their hampers, and the Valentine’s Evening Hamper is a sweet little thing (though I could have done without the hamper being red). So, you can start the evening with a candle lit bath scented by the bath truffles (I’m guessing they’re not for eating) and then indulge in a glass of rosé champagne and some chocolates. Or all four things at the same time. This little hamper is £65, or you can go all out with the Valentines Hamper at £120.

Looking for sweet stuff that’s not too sickly/naff? Champagne Gummies are the sophisticated version of Gummi Bears, although are actually alcohol free, so you get all the flavour with none of the headaches. Or the Prince Charming Chocolate Frogs, which the website does suggest you could give to your own Prince Charming. I was thinking more along the lines if you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs, then may as well be chocolate ones, so maybe for friends without Valentines!

And finally, there’s never an occasion when some sort of fizz isn’t acceptable, and I love this Bellini box, being rather partial to the odd Bellini myself. It’s a no fuss cocktail to put together, and there isn’t a trace of red or pink on this gift. Classy, tasty, and likely to get proceedings off to a good start. Sounds like the making of a great gift to me!

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Foodie Christmas Gifts Not on Every Street Corner

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I’ve written quite a few posts on the Christmas gifts on offer from some of the High Street, so I think it’s time to have a look at a source for more unusual and unique gift options. Not On the High Street was a welcome addition to the online shopping world a couple of years ago, and it’s one of my regular and favourite shopping haunts online. Here’s my roundup of my favourites in the foodie department this year:

1. For those who enjoy their wine, and have a bit of wall space, and also because it’s the last variation I want to see on this theme, then I would choose the “Save Water, Drink Wine” framed print. Like the sentiment, and I think it would be an attractive addition to any kitchen, or wine cellar, wall. (Sadly no longer available)

Perfect foodie presents, last minute or not

2. For the foodie Christmas tree, how about some foodie baubles? Choose from a mince pie, a Christmas pudding or a slice of Christmas cake. Look beautiful, and not a single calorie between them! (Sadly no longer available, may come back at Christmas time)

3. For those who want to rustle up a little Venetian glamour on Christmas morning, how about the Bellini Box Hamper? Beautifully presented, they’ll get a bottle of Prosecco and one of peach nectar, all ready to whip up a perfect Bellini before the last present is unwrapped.

4. For the slackers who might need a hint around all the post Christmas lunch washing up, then I love this teatowel. Truly a gift that keeps on inspiring! A great stocking filler for anyone.

5. For those dreaming of a gourmet life in France, or at least a day trip, then I would treat them to A Day in Provence. A delightful mix of terrines, olive pastes, chocolate and nougat, this will really summon up the tastes of the region, although sadly not eaten in the region. Unless you want to be really generous and send them there as a really big gift.

6. Perhaps their gourmet dreams lie slightly further South, in which case you need to buy them the Artisan Selection from Pomora. A fabulous selection of first cold press extra virgin olive oil, plus two flavoured oils, artichoke hearts and capers, all of which will allow you to summon up some great Italian dishes. If you want to go the whole hog, you can even adopt one of the olive trees.

7. For the grow-their-own, green fingered type, then how about a personalised allotment notebook. Cute illustration on the front, this will be good for them to work out what they have got planted where, when it will be ready for harvest and when they might need to call on the local veg box delivery to supplement things!

8. For newly wed foodies spending their first married Christmas together, then I love the very sweet aprons from Alice Palace. The Mr & Mrs Apron can be personalised with any surname, and can be Mr and Mr, or Mrs and Mrs, depending on your friends really.

So, you’ll definitely find some gifts with a difference here, and also know that you’re supporting small businesses and artists around the UK. That’s a gift worth giving!

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