It might be my age, but I’m quite a big fan of the National Trust. We’re lucky in that there are several properties round here that are worth popping in for a cup of tea and slice of cake, not to mention letting MGG blow off some steam around acres of land. So I get great value out of my membership, and they get great value out of me through the temptation of their shop!
Their selection is always slightly unusual, and so a great place to pick up something a little bit different. They’re also a very foodie organisation (see their campaign with Delicious mag on knobbly fruit and veg for example), so no surprise there are great options for good gifts for foodies. And thanks to a good online store, you can do it from the comfort of your own stately pile! Here’s what’s caught my eye:
* To give a soundtrack to the frugal food movement, then try the Dig for Victory CD. War time music to encourage you to dig and delve for homegrown goodness, including Potato Pete and Run Rabbit Run. Which almost sounds like a menu suggestion!
* In case someone hasn’t noticed, it’s a good thing to take your own shopping bags out with you. And I love the shaped ones, perfect for beekeepers and hen keepers. That’s BFF and her husband ticked off, one each.
* For a great stocking filler, try the Chef’s Soap. This traditional handmade soap will wash and moisturise messy hands and absorb some of the cooking aromas. Whether it will take the smell of Brussel sprouts out the air remains to be seen.
* If we’re going to be frugal, then we’re going to need some occasional comfort eating! If you’ve got someone who loves their puddings to shop for, then try getting them a copy of Good Old-Fashioned Comfort Puddings. Sounds like perfect fare for our winter of discontent!
* They’ll never guess what this is in their stocking: seed tape! The easiest way to plant a whole range of edibles, including lettuce, carrot, parsley and radish, and at £2.25 each these make a good gift for a newish gardener who wants to grow more next year.
The benefit if you go to one of the properties is you’ll probably find things by local producers and small businesses, so benefits to everyone all round. And you’ll get a nice cup of tea and a sit down thrown in too! Not to mention great cake!