A Very Local Christmas
Food gifts are always a well-received treat. Whatever your budget, we’ve got something here for you. Whether you need something small for a secret Santa or want a full-blown luxurious gift for a loved one, here on the Foodful blog we’ve compiled an array of top treats you’ll be proud to give this Christmas.
The 12 Gifts of Christmas
If you’re looking for a luxurious gift which is guaranteed to impress, then look no further than the hamper gift range from Northumberland Honey Co.
Northumberland Honey Co Honey Hamper
The hamper includes a jar of Wildflower or Heather Honey and Wildflower or Heather Honey Comb, surrounded by 9 honey chocolate truffles and 4 hexagonal tealight beeswax candles.
Complete with re-useable wicker hamper with leather straps for only £40.
Northumberland Honey Co Heather Sparkling Mead Hamper
This hamper includes a 75cl bottle of Heather Sparkling Mead, a jar of Heather Honey 227g, Heather Honey Comb 300g, 9 honey chocolate truffles and 4 hexagonal tealight beeswax candles.
Complete with re-useable wicker hamper with leather straps for only £80.
Home to an array of innovative gin styles, DeliQuescent can offer a great selection suitable for all gin lovers. For a Christmas gift why not purchase a selection of the Christmas-flavoured gins (Christmas Pudding, GINgerbread and GINgle Bells 50ml each) for £20. Or for a more traditional style gin, try ChiQuiOui Gin £22.50 for 500ml.
Locally Roasted Coffee Subscription
Subscription gifts are the gifts that keep on giving and coffee-themed gifts have always been popular. Know someone who can’t function without a caffeine hit in the morning or a coffee connoisseur who wants more luxury than instant coffee at home? There are many local roasters who can supply the goods.
Either select a gift voucher or set up a coffee subscription which can be either 3 or 6 months with either 2 or 3 bags per month. Prices start from £37.50. Try the Roaster’s Choice and enjoy a selection of different coffee’s from around the equator.
The company based in Alnwick offers eco-friendly coffee pods which are compatible with Nespresso Machines which are perfect if you know someone with this gadget. A subscription starts at £13.30 per month.
If you’re in the Scottish Borders, try Three Hills Coffee. Offering a variety of single origin coffee and coffee blends as well as bespoke coffee accessories which you can order online or pick up from the roastery cafe in Selkirk.
Know someone who is keen on real ale? There’s a wide variety of local brewery’s in Scottish Borders and Northumberland including Muckle Brewing, a micro-brewery based in Haltwhistle and inspired by Northumberland‘s history and countryside. Buy beer packs or mix and match your favourite ales and add a Muckle Brewing glass, a great collector’s item for those who are passionate about real ale.
Beer packs are available at local shops including:
- Moorhouse Farm Shop at Stannington Station
- Blagdon Farm Shop
- The Sill visitor centre at Northumberland National Park
- Errington Arms Coffee House in Corbridge
- Daniel Farm Shop & Tea Room in Wylam
- The Northumbrian Hamper in Seahouses
Find Muckle Brewing at these events over Christmas:
- Hexham Farmer’s Market, 8th December (Christmas Market), 15th & 22nd December
- Greenhead Farmer’s Market 9th December (Christmas Market)
Visit the first distillery in the Scottish Borders since 1837. The hotly anticipated Single Malt Scotch Whisky isn’t ready yet, but you can see how it is made, as well as the William Kerr’s Borders gin which debuted this year, by visiting the distillery.
Learn about all the processes such as mashing and fermentation as well as how the distillery operates. The tour takes about 40 minutes and ends with a tasting session in the Gallery. Tours are available between Monday and Saturday.
After the tour, why not treat yourself to a bottle of William Kerr’s Borders Gin or 1 of the The Borders Distillery‘s blended malt whiskies such as Clan Fraser Reserve which reflects the spirit of the borders.
Tours cost £12pp and can be booked in advance. VIP tours are also available, just get in touch with the distillery.
Is there anything better than the gift of tea? Bari Tea offers a wide range of loose-leaf teas including black, green and herbal tea. If you visit the tea brewery in Alnwick there is a selection of tea-themed gifts perfect for the tea lover in your life.
Taster sets start from £4.75 which include 25g or 50g of tea, 20 filter bags and can include a personalised note.
For something quirky why not treat someone to beautiful flowering tea flavours include Oolong Mystery, Lovers’ Bouquet (green) and 3 flower bloom (green) all £3.
For a Christmassy theme try the seasonal selection which includes 100g Orange Spice Ceylon, 100g Gingerbread Ceylon, 100g Red Rooibus Pure, 50g White Earl Grey and 100g Ginger Green with a taster card and instructions and 10 tea filters for £24.75.
A tasty, sophisticated non-alcoholic selection will be a great present for those who will be taking part in Dry January.
Fantastic options include Left Field Kombucha mixed case which includes the 4 varieties of booch (No. 1 Yunnan Black, No.2 Sencha Green, No.3 Oolong & No.4 Darjeeling) and Laprig Valley‘s apple juice varieties. Create your own mulled apple juice or enjoy cold.
Looking to treat your friend but they’ve got allergies? They shouldn’t have to miss out! Give a thoughtful gift of baked goods by Alice’s Pantry. Products include Banoffee Pie and Billionaire’s Shortbread. These bars are free-from gluten, wheat, dairy, refined sugar and nuts.
Food for your Skin
Well, your skin is the body’s biggest organ and needs well fed just like the inner organs do. Feed your skin will locally-made beauty products by Chain Bridge Honey Farm. Honey is a well-known antibacterial product suitable for acne-prone skin. It is also a great moisturiser, which is essential during the cold months and temperature fluctuations. Beeswax is rich in vitamin A which is vital for a radiant complexion. A peppermint foot balm would be a welcome gift to a friend who’s always on their feet and a girl can never have too many lip balms, we recommend the tangerine flavour for a fruity boost!
Make Your Own Hamper
Start filling your hamper with lovely local crafts such as Chain Bridge Honey Farm comb honey, Mad Jam Woman‘s famous preserves, try some from her Christmas range including Plum Jam with Port for a festive twist or Christmas Chutney with apricots and chilli. On the condiment thought if you know something with a taste for heat, try some Ooft! Hot Sauce will certainly keep the chill oot!
Include a box of traditional Northumberland Tea and some beautiful traditional Belgian chocolate treats by Kiki’s Chocolates including the popular classic chocolate-dipped marshmallows and hot chocolate stirrers.
Add some oatcakes made by Alex Dalgetty & Sons and pair with delicious cheese including Blue House Goats Crofters Cheese and Cuddy’s Cave by Doddington Cheese and some sweet-cured beef by Tombuie Charcuterie at Hardiesmill.
Other great additions include fruit vinegar by The Fruit Kitchen, nut butter varieties from The Nut Roaster, Damson Liqueur by Sloe Crafts, smoked salmon by Swallowfish Ltd, sausages from regional winner Rothbury Family Butchers and fresh milk from Morwick Dairy. Remember to try to leave perishable purchases as late as possible.
Cheesemaking Day at Northumberland Cheese Co
Know a cheese fiend ready to discover new skills about the art of cheesemaking? The Cheesemaking course runs from 9 am – 3 pm at Blagdon Estate and you can enjoy a day with the cheesemakers, learn the processes such as churning and pasteurisation and even create your own Tomme of cheese which will be sent to you after 3 months maturation.
The course is £85 for the day and includes lunch at the Cheese Loft Cafe. You can also book a 2-person cheesemaking day for £150. Call Northumberland Cheese Co to check availability.
The day is suitable for adults only.
Craft Butchery at Peelham Farm
A craft butchery course experience in a beautiful, tranquil spot in the Scottish Borders sound like an ideal gift for someone you know? Peelham Farm’s craft butchery course offers a direct approach to butchery. Taught by the farm’s craft butchers, the experience includes:
- Breaking-down a whole pig and lamb carcass and learning the different cuts
- Making sausages
- An introduction to charcuterie
- Experience the workings of an onsite, organic farm butchery
Farm owners Chris & Denise Walton will also include a talk on the relationship between animal husbandry, food quality and the environment.
The days starts with a meet & greet with a hot cuppa in the farmhouse kitchen and an outline of the day. Lunch is provided as well as tea around 4 pm. All materials and equipment are provided.
Beekeeping Experience at Northumberland Honey Co
A great gift for a curious mind. This Beekeeping experience is the perfect introduction into the lives of industrious honey bees.
The day starts at 9.30 am with a hot drink and an insightful overview into the world of beekeeping, hives and bees. The talk is followed by a honey and mead tasting at 11.30 am. Weather permitting, there is a chance to get up close to the hives, if the weather is bad there is an interactive beehive experience. Contact Northumberland Honey Co for more information.
Enjoy a beekeeping experience with Luke & Suzie
Dates released for next year include:
- Saturday 30th March 2019
- Friday 5th April 2019
Please note: If purchasing as a gift the date can be decided on by gift recipient, but confirmation should be made by the end of January 2019.
Cocoa Black Chocolate and Patisserie Courses
Instead of a luxury box of chocolates, how about treating your nearest and dearest to a class with Ruth Hinks at the Cocoa Black Chocolate and Pastry School. Ranging from half-day classes to a 3-day masterclass with top pastry chefs from around the world. Prices start from £50.
Half day classes include:
- Make your own contemporary tarts and pastry
- Afternoon teacakes class
- Chocolate Truffles class
Chocolate Master Class includes:
- Chocolate skills from levels 1 – 3
- Pastry skills
- International Guest Chef classes from World Chocolate Master Frank Haasnoot, Martin Chuffers President UK Pastry Team and Olivier Nicod, who you may recognise from CocoaEcosse!
Gift vouchers are also available with prices starting from £10.
Alice’s Artisan Bakery Class
- Christmas Baking Course – £95
Make festive classics including mince pies, Stollen and Panettone. Check for availability on December 8th!
- New York Baking Course – £95
Learn to create American favourites such as the Brioche bun and sourdough bagels!
- Beginner’s Bread Making Course – £90
Start with the basics of baking from scratch and learn how to bake white loaves and pizza dough!
All courses are full-day and include lunch and refreshments. Contact Alice on social media for more information.
A perfect gift for a budding baker looking to start a baking journey or improve skills. The courses next year include:
- Sunday 27th January: Healthy Bread 1pm – 5pm
- Sunday 24th February: Sourdough Breadmaking 10am – 4pm
- Sunday 17th March: Easter Breads 1pm – 5pm
Course prices range from £45 – £60 and include the ingredients, equipment and refreshments. The Sourdough course also includes lunch. You can book private events and vouchers are available.
Next year, Gill is looking to include gluten-free baking courses. Email if you are interested.
Last Minute Gifts
Bring the Joy
Shop locally and discover a wide range of inventive, interesting and unique gifts for family and friends this Christmas. Tell us your favourite local gifts.