I’ve already written about how much I love the Chelsea Flower Show, and when these popped into my inbox, I just thought they were the perfect thing for this week. I know Biscuiteers are not the cheapest thing to send, but they’ve always been such a popular gift whenever I’ve send them, which makes them great value in my book.
They may be multi-millionaires but it doesn’t mean they are super generous to their own people. And even if they are, who can resist something scrummy mid morning? I suggested a tin of biscuits from Biscuiteers, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t smile when a box of these arrives. I love these Nutcracker ones, which are festive but a bit unusual.
I thought it would be good to shop from somewhere different. Of course she could send a hamper from Fortnums, but how much more interesting to send one from somewhere like Crave? Great aesthetic, great products, interesting stories, couldn’t be better. For me, it tells a similar story to what her business helps other businesses to do, and I think it shows that she is looking at things slightly differently. Not to mention it’s a box of deliciousness that will turn up.
And then I came a cropper. Out of ideas. I mean this is someone who sold a flat in London that made the papers because of how much it went for. They don’t need anything, they possibly don’t want anything.
So, what would you do? Anyone got any ideas? I don’t know many multi-millionaires so my experience here is somewhat limited!
I remember Advent calendars when I was a kid, lovely pictures with lovely pictures behind cardboard doors. I don’t think I can remember chocolate ones coming into the frame, although I think they did for my brother.
Well, now there are all kinds of chocolate ones on offer, but then I love that there is even more variety available now, especially for those of us who might have thought that we had outgrown advent calendars. I mean, who doesn’t want one of these?
First up, a sweet offer from Betty’s, still one of my favourite places in the UK. This lovely fabric calendar was designed by Poppy Treffry, so Cornwall’s finest meets Yorkshire’s! A festive chocolate treat hides behind each pocket and this is one you could use for years to come, just top up the chocolates. This one goes on sale at the end of October and will be priced at £47.50.
Again, on the sweet theme, then you could try this one from Biscuiteers. Now, this is not a cheap option in year one, as the fabric pockets is £55 and then the Advent Box of biscuits is £85. Now, they are beautiful, and you will get many years out of the pockets, so maybe it’s a worthwhile investment. Or buy the pockets and bake your own!
Need something to wash down all that sweetness? I rather like this Tea Advent Calendar from Tea Forte which gives you a different seasonal infusion of cheer each day. A nice treat, and definitely a lower calorie option than the others!
But then there’s also another couple of drink based options, although less suitable for opening and tasting at breakfast time. This advent calendar is from Best of British Beer, so you can guess what’s behind each door! I like the Christmas Day option is a Champagne style ale, but plenty of variety to go at before then!
Rather more up my street is the Ginvent Calendar, but again not one for sampling at breakfast time perhaps! But 24 different gins to try? That’s like all my Christmases come at once!
So plenty of new, interesting choices. Though if you want the ultimate low-calorie advent calendar, then I can personally recommend the No 7 one!
Foodies come in for a bad rap, about us taking it all too seriously, worrying about provenance. Well, I say it’s worth worrying about, but just occassionally even foodies have lapses into food that is just for a bit of a laugh. And if Valentine’s Day isn’t worth a laugh I’m not sure when is! Here’s a few things to enjoy and have a bit of fun with:
* Sparkling vodka. This will make any Valentine’s Day go with a swing. I got very drunk at a Fashion Week party on cocktails mixed with this, and it’ll be an unusual take on fizz!
* I don’t care how big a foodie they are, most will find it hard to resist a big box of nostalgic sweeties. I love A Quarter Of and send their boxes on all kinds of occasions, and their boxes of Sweet Devotion for Valentine’s Day are fantastic. From Love Hearts to Cherry Lips, everyone will find something they really enjoy.
You know, it’s pretty undeniable, there is definitely an air of Christmas around. The lights are up in many places, and there is a slight panic going on as to whether we have ordered an appropriate turkey yet. For me, Christmas is also an excuse for cooking up some sweet treats, for eating and for gifting, for sharing and for midnight feasting. Here’s my choice of 5 that might help that along:
1. I’m Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas by Marcel Desaulniers– Christmas and chocolate, does it get any better or to be a more perfect match? And Marcel Desaulnier is king of chocolate desserts, which he shows to great effect in this book. I love the chapter titles, especially Been Nice Sweets and Been Naughty Sweets. The mind boggles!
2. Christmas Cookies from the Whimsical Bakehouse by Kaye and Liv Hansen – this is a new book to my shelves for this Christmas and I am really looking forward to baking from it. There are fabulous recipes and amazing decorating ideas. Although the fairisle sweater may be a little beyond my capability, not to mention my patience! Great recipes here for gifting opportunities, and I think a box of homemade cookies is always welcome.
4. Christmas Sweets by Georgeanne Brennan – whilst the title might make you think this is just sweeties, there is a huge variety of stuff in here including baked goods, frozen desserts and candies. There are also projects to do with children, which is part of the fun for me. I have no idea what a Candy Acorn Kissing Ball is, but I fancy giving one a go!