More food? I hear you groan. As if there wasn't enough of it around already during December. Don't grumble, this is special, the real deal, real classics. Food that's been around for ages. Food that has been rediscovered or re-created by people who are nuts about English food. And not just food ... there's kitchen gear, too. Eccentric, slightly loopy, but so what? It's Christmas.
So if you love English food - or cooking for that matter - then you won't mind these top ten Christmas gifts with a distinctly English feel.
The Lakeland Christmas Pudding has a reputation as the perfect end to any Christmas feast, so there was no way I could leave it out. Just like the very Victorian Rose and Violet creams. Delicate rose and violet petals dipped in sugar and turned into fondant-centred chocolates. One for mum or grandma, I think, unless you have a very sweet tooth. Also good if you're all thumbs with the wrapping paper. The box looks good enough to eat - which gives it added pretty points for later. My latest foodie discovery is Cartwright & Butler, even though they're hardly new kids on the block. It's a Yorkshire company that's been offering all things tasty since 1981. I love their biscuits and I'm nuts about the packaging, which is why they're here.
The next three of my top ten Christmas gifts for English food lovers are... not food. Or not just food. The port decanter makes such a great conversation piece at the end of a dinner party... it's how Mr. Darcy et al would have enjoyed their tipple in Regency times. The St. Kew Teacup made me smile almost as much as the port decanter. And I simply love these small pie dishes. No need to break out the big ones and have warmed up pie for a week when it's just the two of you.
No food list would be complete without my favourite Cheddar cheese! If you've never tried Godminster Cheddar, you've been missing something amazing. Go find some right now! I also love these fabulously festive Christmas pudding chocs, which bring all the taste of Christmas in a much smaller package. And would I love to learn from a master how to make a traditional pork pie and picalilli? You bet! :-)
By Boxing Day, all the stress and strain of present finding and food preparation should be done with, and you should be in the mood to relax, put your feet up and enjoy some fine food. We've gone to watch some horseracing in years gone by, and coming home to this hamper would have been lovely. I love that it's focussed on savoury foods, since most of December is rather on the sweet side. This excellent hamper offers a specially created Boxing Day Chutney and Christmas Mustard, Farmhouse Pate, Stilton and a substantial mini Christmas Ham. The feast continues with Cornichons, Almond & Cranberry Biscuits, a Charcoal Crunch and a most enjoyable Fleurie red of a fresh, cherry fruit character.
Fortnum & Mason is famous for its hampers - and they even offer something called a "Hamperling" for people who are out and about during the festivities and unable to sit down to a big Christmas meal. There's really no reason not to enjoy delicous food on the go..
Right, that's - for the moment - my list of top ten Christmas gifts for food lovers. There's plenty more where that came from, of course, so keep checking back as I add other delicious things.