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.
My first gift idea is an assortment of teas as we all know how much the English love drinking their tea. This selection should keep you refreshed for a while! Christmas pudding has always been an essential part of all the Christmas dinners I've had at home in England and so must be included in this list. When younger our family Christmas Puddings were handmade and the tradition was that everyone had to stir the mix before it was steamed. The mix also included a sixpence which was to bring luck to whoever found it in their portion of pudding. Another part of my family Christmas was Quality Street chocolates. There was always a tin open over the Christmas period, and by the way my favorite was the purple one!
Perhaps you need to buy a gift for an English food freak and want the gift to be rather different. Well how about a master teaching how to make traditional pork pie and piccalilli (a kind of mustard pickle). There is a knack to making Pork Pie which very few people have and means I've never been offered a homemade one. This would be a unique skill and could be used to make your house parties special.
Now for something really special. My personal opinion is that mature English Cheddar is the best cheese and rather underrated around the world. Godminster Cheddar is my favorite cheddar cheese and has to be on this list. Now, where are those crackers...
For some special occassions we've treated ourselves to a Michelin starred dining experience and have have enjoyed the quality of food and service. So how about taking in the views from the Shard, the tallest building in London, and then going to have a lovely diner at Galvin La Chapelle. Sound good to me! :-)
Are here they are! I just had to add some Jacob's Crackers to the list to go with the cheese. Again these crackers remind me of family Christmases when I was kid. You may have already decided to get some tea as a Christmas gift, but what about adding a handmade Brown Betty Teapot. These are rather collectable and would make a nice cuppa "Rosy Lee". Do you fancy learning some English cookery recipes, or perhaps you know a budding English chef. The "A Taste of England" cookery book may be a good starting place...
The Christmas Feast Hamper from Fortnum & Mason
So you, or maybe friends fancy having an English tradtional Christmas. Well, there could be no better starting point than a Christmas Feast Hamper from Fortnum & Mason who are famous for their hampers. This basket of luxury goodies should keep you fed over the Christmas period. Enjoy!
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.