Christmas is a time for giving. But it’s also a time for frantically wondering what on earth you’re going to get for your nearest and dearest as well.
But don’t worry: we’ve got your back here at River & Bear and have put together a selection of amazing festive gift ideas to surprise and delight the food fan in your life.
What beats building a festive hamper? Not a lot in our book. The beauty of these is that you can pick and choose according to the lucky recipient’s taste. Mix and match your hamper with sweet treats, cured meats, beers, coffee beans, wines or spirits, pickles and condiments or speciality spices. Add a wicker basket and some festive adornments and you’re good to go. And if you’re lazy you can get one quickly and easily wrapped up for you at all the usual suspects like John Lewis and Fortnum & Mason. Easy peasy!
Image: Neal Whitehouse via Flickr
If you’re looking to wow a keen home cook who’s eager to take their skills to the next level, how about some lessons from a chef? For instance, on River & Bear’s home patch award-winning chef Anand George runs incredibly popular hands-on lessons at his acclaimed Purple Poppadum restaurant in Cardiff. Fancy making a weekend of it? The Llys Meddyg Hotel in Pembrokeshire offers butchery and smoking lessons you can combine with an overnight stay in the countryside.
The good thing with buying bits and bobs for the kitchen is that there’s pretty much something for every budget. A decent peeler is always a godsend and doesn’t cost much at all. Mid-range, a decent slow cooker will set you back around £20 and provide countless afternoons of coming back home to delicious smells. If you’re feeling flush, then a decent set of kitchen knives is a good shout. Le Creuset cast-iron utensils (above) might be pricey, but they’ll last a lifetime with good care. If your gift recipient is hooked on Great British Bake-Off and you’ve got £700 to spare, you could splash out on a top-spec as-seen-on-TV KitchenAid mixer.
Image: Jules via Flickr
There’s a bevy of fine hardback cookery books which have landed on shelves just in time for Christmas 2019. Take your pick from the likes of Mary Berry, James Martin, Jamie Oliver, the Hairy Bikers and Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski. Elsewhere, Guardian favourite Yotam Ottonlenghi also has a beautiful new book, Simple. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary a classic cookbook could also be a good idea: Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking has been putting satisfied smiles on faces since first being published in 1961.
Image: Annie Mole via Flickr
A whenever-you-like passport to a favourite restaurant is a solid choice for Christmas. So, with January lurking ominously on the horizon, what better to have to look forward to than a slap-up meal? Hey, if you’re lucky they might even invite you along too…