THE POOL'S BIG CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

Gifts for fussy foodies

From Michelin star-worthy knives to the poshest condiments out there, treat a food-lover this year

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By Stacey Smith on

We think foodies are a great lot to buy Christmas presents for, but perhaps we would say that. From perfectly crafted mini boxes of chocolate for popping in a stocking, to all-out flamboyant kitchen gadgets that will last a lifetime, foodies tend to appreciate the finer things in life. The gifts on this list cater to both confident chefs, as well as those who are more focused on the eating side of things than the cooking.

When making this selection, our rule of thumb was as follows: if it feels too decadent to buy for yourself, there’s a good chance it will make the perfect present for the food fanatic in your life. We consulted our contacts to find out what the chefs, food writers and bartenders really want to find under the tree this Christmas.

 

COMPARTÉS AVOCADO TOAST WHITE CHOCOLATE BAR 85G, £8.95

 

 

Any foodie worth their (sea) salt appreciates a good avocado on toast for brunch – so much so, the dish is almost a parody of itself nowadays. Californian brand Compartés has got in on the joke with this limited-edition chocolate bar that incorporates the creamy green stuff into white chocolate, finishing the bar with a layer of crunchy caramelised toast. While it may seem like a gimmick, Compartés has been making chocolate since the 50s, so rest assured, this is delicious.

 

SAVOR & SENS TRÈS OR GOLD MUSTARD WITH WHITE TRUFFLE 130G, £6.95

 

We really thought this would be more style over substance, but actually, this French mustard from organic specialist Savor & Sens is a delight. The decadent white truffle hit will pep up leftover-turkey sandwiches come Boxing Day and, thanks to the glittery stiffer – not as incongruous with lunch as it sounds – this premium condiment looks just as pretty on the plate as it does on the shelf.

 

PERSONALISED REESE’S CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SPREAD 368G, £4.99

 

 

Whether you’re on the hunt for a special stocking filler, or just got the office foodie in this year’s Secret Santa, you can’t really go wrong with a personalised gift for under a tenner. Essentially, this is the American brand’s crowd-pleasing peanut butter cups smushed up and stuck in a jar – and if you can’t have chocolate peanut butter on your toast at Christmas, when can you? You can personalise it with up to 12 characters, so there is space to get inventive. 

 

SOHO HOME BARWELL CUT CRYSTAL CHAMPAGNE COUPES (SET OF TWO), £64

 

Think what you like about members’ clubs, but the Soho House group’s interiors range includes some pieces that make great gifts, including some gorgeous glassware. There’s something truly decadent about sipping your champers from cut-glass crystal, and these have a lovely weight to them. They’re presented in a smart gift box, which means you don’t even have to bother with wrapping them up. Hurrah.

 

T2 MATCHA MATCHA MATCHA, £69.99

 

Matcha is known for its high antioxidant levels and the natural energy boost it delivers. These three flavoured powders – original, chocolate and cinnamon – are designed to be added to a hot latte or sprinkled in smoothies. The kit comes with a gorgeous gold flask, which contains a frother in the lid to get the perfect consistency while on the go.

 

MR LYAN'S BONFIRE OLD FASHIONED 50CL, 30.8%, £29.95

 

 

Booze always go down well at Christmas, but we think a pre-made cocktail from Mr Lyan (whose bars have won international awards) looks far more impressive than a supermarket bottle of plonk. This one is suitably festive without being gimmicky, taking the classic whisky-based cocktail and infusing it with all the smoky aromas of a wintery bonfire night. The recipient will get eight to 10 serves out of the bottle, so it’s ideal for a small Christmas get-together. 

 

OTTOLENGHI SIMPLE, £14.50

 

 

Our favourite cookbook from 2018, Ottolenghi’s Simple is packed with all the Middle Eastern flavours we’ve come to know and love, but this time, processes have been stripped right back and the ingredients lists are short, often under 10 items. Although we can’t promise the recipient won’t be cursing you when they find themselves searching for preserved lemons minutes before their next dinner party, the meal should at least be served on time.

 

Bordallo Pinheiro Concave Leaf Plate, £29

 

We’ve gifted enough of these Insta-worthy cabbage plates to know they go down a treat with the foodie brigade. Instagram favourite Laura Jackson used them at her last supper club. Super-versatile, this platter is large enough to show off sharing salads or, failing that, they’ll make crisps and dip look fancy.

 

HOUSE DOCTOR CLAY SALT JAR POT WITH SPOON, £16.50

 

When we’re cooking, we much prefer an open salt jar to a regular grinder. They’re easier to access and look great left on the kitchen top, too. This elegant neutral shade should fit into most kitchens, regardless of their decor. Add a little tub of infused sea salt with the gift so the recipient is all set.

Bread Ahead Bakery Class, £90 (half day)/£180 (full day)

 

 

If GBBO is their reality TV of choice, we think they'll love brushing up their own skills at a Bread Ahead Bakery class. The professionals show participants the ropes in a variety of half-day courses that include sourdough masterclasses, specialist sessions by region – Nordic, Italian, French and classic British bakes are all on the list – as well as a gluten-free option. The special seasonal bundle includes a gift voucher for a range of workshops, as well as a cookbook which you can wrap up and leave under the tree.

 

Savernake Knives Compact Chef Knife, £260

 

 

Michelin star chefs swear by Savernake knives – and home chefs lust after them. Each knife is made to order in the UK, and the latest collection uses natural and eco-friendly materials in the mix. You choose the blade finish, the handle colour and they can be engraved. We know these aren’t cheap, but it’s truly a gift for life. And makes much less mess than a dog.

 

Mont d'Or Large, £19.50

 

Creamy and oozy, this French cheese is from the same family as camembert and brie, but is only available from the end of August until mid-March. For this reason, it always reminds us of the festive season, so makes the ideal gift for true cheese fans, who will appreciate how special it is to get their mitts on it. It's soft enough to be eaten with a spoon, and we love it slathered on crusty white bread, but it can also be heated up in the oven.

 

Crane Enamelled Cast Iron Casserole Dish, £160

 

 

We love the simplicity of this super-stylish matt-black casserole dish, which we can confirm just gets better with age. Originally intended for commercial kitchens, this British brand uses only high-performance enamel. These work with all hobs (yep, even induction) and are happy in the oven, too. Comes with a 10-year warranty.

 

Nudo Adopt Olio Olive Oil Set, £30

 

Anyone who loves cooking or eating will appreciate a good-quality bottle of extra-virgin olive oil. This one is extra-special, too, as even long after the oil runs out, you’ll still be left with the stoneware cruet. Buy it as is or get it cheaper with an olive-tree adoption, which supports small Italian groves and gives the recipient oil directly from their tree’s annual harvest.

 

Dualit 4 Slice Newgen Toaster in Rose Gold, £499

 

OK, so this is a pretty extravagant gift, but if you do happen to be feeling flush, we bet you can think of a fashion-forward foodie who would love this to take centre stage in their kitchen. The retro-inspired design has all the features you’d expect from a Dualit, and this model comes in a choice of 21 colours.

SMEG HAND BLENDER, £94.99

 

For anyone who regularly makes soups, smoothies and the like, this, the newest addition to Smeg's retro-inspired line will be very well recieved. It'll whizz through the tougher fruit and veg and unlike the larger versions with accessories and jugs, it will hardly take up any space in their kitchen. Choose from four colours, including this sleek powder blue. 

Stacey Smith is the editor of Crummbs food blog. Follow the team on Instagram 

@Crummbs_uk

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