Who would win my great gift awards for food lovers?


Who would your winner be?


Someone asked me earlier this week who I thought did food gifts really well, doing something a bit different.

Well, it’s like my Mastermind specialist subject. And I could have kept them all day, but didn’t. So, these are my definitely the winners in my book, for when you’re looking for something just a little bit different for a special food lover on your list.

Bluebird Tea Co


Make your own black tea kit from Bluebird Tea Co


I know, I write about these guys a lot, but I love them and what they’re doing, have done since we met on a front lawn of a country house years ago. Their gifting is inventive and imaginative, and their tea is top notch. I think I could find something for everyone from Bluebird, and at every price point. Love them. Buy direct from them, or there’s a large selection on Not On the High Street.


Artisan du Chocolat


Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Honeycomb


I’ve always had their salted caramels on my wish list (and it’s the one thing that’s always got taken notice of, lucky me). I love that you can do proper, grown up, single estate, high percentage cocoa with them, and you can do things like salted caramel honeycomb. So essentially a posh Crunchie. My idea of heaven. Chocolate for every budget and every taste, but always incredibly tasty and beautiful looking.


Master of Malt


Ginvent 2016 Advent Calendar


I love these guys for alcohol gifts with edge and interest. I loved them when they started out with the sample sets, I think they’ve been brilliant at the advent calendars, never mind just the mind blowing collection of whiskies, gins, liqueurs and other spirits. They do tasting sets, which can help educate and develop your palate. Or just have some good evenings in. Great choices.


The Snaffling Pig Co

Pig N Mix Christmas Gifting

I love businesses with a passion and a focus, and that’s definitely true here. It’s all about the pig, starting with the pork scratchings. The jars look great, and definitely make a great looking, tasty gift. The Pig Night In also includes their own beer, so definitely one to sit back and enjoy. And it’s not too late to get hold of their advent calendar either. Twenty four days of pork scratching gorgeousness.




Craft Gin & Tonic Hamper


Brilliant source for beautifully curated gifts from the best artisan producers around. Supporting a small business supporting other small food and drink businesses has to be a good thing, and they have such lovely selections. Again, something for every budget and kind of taste. It can be drink, it can be store cupboard, it can be fresh food.


So, five great businesses that I reckon could fulfill many of your food and drink gift options for all kinds of people at all kinds of price points. If you could only nominate five places to shop from great food and drink gifts, where would you pick?


My favourite Advent Calendar is here!


Unless the boss is reading this, in which case obviously my favourite is yet to launch. But in the food & drink versions of Advent Calendars, this is my favourite:


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


Yes, Ginvent is beckoning, and I love it. Now, I know this isn’t cheap at £114.95, but maybe you could do what we did as a team last year with a different calendar, buy one between you and everyone gets a door. It would work out at £4.79 each.


Though drinking in the work place may of course be frowned on, but no one says you have to open it then and there.

If you really want to push the boat out, and whisky is more your thing, then the Old & Rare Whisky one might be for you. But that one is going to set you back £41.67 per door, but for a whisky that would be significantly more than that for a whole bottle.

Master of Malt seem to have this market really sewn up, doing everything from whisky through bourbon to rum and even a naga chilli vodka escalation. That’ll heat up your Christmas Eve!


Christmas crackers anyone?


Well, I’ve tried to help you find great Advent calendars with a difference, so now here’s some crackers with a difference for the Christmas table.

I saw these from Master of Malt, perfect if you’re having an adults only Christmas lunch, or can be careful not to get them mixed up! A different dram in each, plus paper hat and crap joke. Which will seem a lot less crap once you’ve each drunk the drams!


Christmas crackers


I mean, how many mini screwdriver sets do you need?

There’s a version from Fortnum & Mason as well, which includes some of the Master of Malt drams, plus some branded options such as Bombay Sapphire and Chase Vodka. Sure beats the fortune telling fish!


A wee dram or two for Dad


Samples by the Dram - one of my favourite services


Every so often I come across, or someone contacts me about, a gift that really makes me go “fab, why did no one think of that before?” And the Drinks by the Dram service from Master of Malt is one of those, and was happy to try their service.

This is so simple, and yet works on so many levels:

  • Top up gifting: you’ve bought Dad other stuff but he’s a real whisky lover, but you don’t want to splash out on a full bottle.
  • Travel gifting: hey, these are 3cl and will definitely go in your bag through security, meaning Dad can take away a drop of the good stuff without getting carried away in Duty Free.
  • Fantasy gifting: if Dad is a real connoisseur maybe there’s a whisky he’s always wanted to try. Dreams of winning the lottery and blowing some of it on whisky. He longingly looks at listings for the Glenfarclas Family Cask 1952, but not its price tag at just under £1532. Not to mention that it’s incredibly rare. So you can’t buy him the bottle, but for £80 you can give him the drinking experience of his life, a real one off. Of course it’s not cheap, but will be a moment for Dad to treasure. Come on, its less than Take That tickets!
  • Themed gifting: treat him to samples across a particular theme, whether that’s Indian Whisky, Lowland Whisky or just Grain Whisky, or across a particular distillery, or a particular year.


I liked the packaging, BFF thought it looked like samples. And she didn’t mean of whisky. I think it’s all about the contents, it was well packaged and it would have an element of surprise for Dad as well. If you can’t decide on your own selection, then there are some pre-selected choices to go for as well. Not just limited to whisky, and we had a Gosling’s Golden Bermuda Rum to try, one of over 20 to choose from.

Definitely worth a look in my book. My thanks to Master of Malt for the samples we were sent.