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oodies are, arguably, the easiest people to buy for when Christmas rolls around. As long as you know their area of special interest – coffee, baking, fine dining – the options are practically endless. Provided, of course, they haven't already bought them all themselves. With this in mind, we’ve scoured the finest foodie outlets for limited-edition, personalised and utterly luxurious present ideas we promise you won’t need a gift receipt for.
The best gifts for the bar
If you know someone who loves a tipple or two during the festive season there are few better places to secure an impressive gift than Clos19. The LVMH-owned platform acts something like a Net-A-Porter for fine wines and spirits, offering the cream of the crop in whiskies, champagnes, brandies, gin and much more, alongside chic glasses and bar accessories.
Naturally, this is the destination for finding unique and limited-edition drinks gifts. Take, for example, this mini Moët gift box. Featuring six adorable Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut miniature bottles with matching gold flutes, it’s both a decadent gift for the champagne lover in your life and a brilliant way to welcome guests to your next seasonal soiree.
Speaking of parties, there is nothing guaranteed to impress guests (or very lucky gift recipients) quite like a magnum. And, while oversized wines and bubbles may be traditional, this elegantly-decorated magnum of Belvedere vodka is far chicer, no? The Silver Saber bottle is etched using a laser cutting technique and can be personalised with names, dates and messages for a keepsake they’ll treasure long after they’ve enjoyed the quadruple-distilled spirit inside.
Finally, if sophisticated after-dinner spirits are more their thing, this limited-edition Hennessy X.O gift box created in collaboration with artist Julien Colombier is just the thing. Featuring a bottle of Hennessy Extra Old cognac, with its signature intense palate of candied fruit and spice, the vibrant box and complimentary golden service tray take their inspiration from Matisse, graffiti and Japanese art to create pieces guaranteed to stand out in even the best-stocked bar.
Justerini & Brooks
Whisky makes a great gift for fans of a wee dram but, if they count themselves a connoisseur, making sure you buy a bottle they love can be notoriously tricky. Thankfully, Justerini & Brooks has taken the guesswork out of the process with its limited-edition Art of Collecting Rare Whisky gift set. Containing four 50ml old and rare whiskies from Talisker, Mortlach, The Cally and Johnnie Walker, alongside a Smythson whisky journal, the set is completed with access to three masterclass videos guiding viewers through their drams and offering expert tips on the process of starting your own whisky collection.
The revival of gin has been something to behold over the last decade and, with innovative new bottles like 44°N hitting the market, it shows no sign of waning. Distilled by Comte de Grasse in the former Bertrand & Fills perfumery, 44°N takes its inspiration from the sights, scents and science of Grasse, the traditional home of French perfume-making on the Côte d’Azur. The first gin to use ultrasonic maceration, a high-extraction, low-time technique that makes the most of the local botanicals that form 44°N’s palate, the result is a sophisticated, layered and complex gin that leaves a lasting impression.
No Christmas is complete without some fizz and, for 2021, Veuve Clicquot is putting a vintage twist on its signature Brut NV in the form of a personalisable tin designed to resemble a cassette tape. Inspired by the art of curating personal mixtapes for family and loved ones, let your imagination run wild with the 32 characters available, and don’t forget to scan the accompanying QR code to enjoy the house’s So Retro playlist when you open the bottle.
Nyetimber x Lay London
Much-loved sparkling English Wine producer Nyetimber has partnered with renowned tablescaper LAY London to launch an exclusive range of homeware items. Select from glossy baubles, printed napkins and tablecloths, inspired by Nyetimber’s fittingly festive spearmint green colour palette. Purchase as part of a gifting bundle with a bottle of Cuvee Chérie, which is the perfect dinner table centrepiece this holiday season.
Gift bundles from £90, including a set of two Nyetimber Glasses, a bus-shaped bauble and a set of Lay London candles, nyetimber.com
Billecart-Salmon Carafe Gift Box Brut Sous Bois
Billecart-Salmon has unveiled a limited edition Carafe Gift Box, just in time for Christmas. A bottle of Brut Sous Bois is elegantly paired with a slender mouth-blown glass carafe. This prestigious cuvée is vinified in wood for a full, aromatic flavour that fizzes with character and is perfect for celebratory winter nights.
£130, available from independent wine merchants
Singleton x Biscuit Boutique Festive Pairing
For whisky lovers, what could be better than a rich, velvety Singleton 12-Year-Old Single Malt by the fireplace this Christmas? How about one that comes paired with a perfectly packaged box of hazelnut flavoured chocolate bonbons and a selection of cocktail recipe cards? The limited-edition gift set has been created in collaboration with luxury chocolatier Biscuit Boutique for a deliciously indulgent festive treat.
The Singleton X Biscuit Boutique Festive Pairing is priced at £45 and available to buy from biscuitboutique.co
The best gifts for the table
Melrose & Morgan
Buying for someone seriously tricky? If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with food - and Primrose Hill grocer Melrose & Morgan does a range of gourmet gifts that are guaranteed to impress. It does a great line in ready-made Christmas hampers but, if you’re looking to put a personal touch on your gift, creating your own edit of their prettily packaged chocolates, biscuits, crackers and preserves will be a surefire hit.
Pralines and ganache chocolate box, £28, melroseandmorgan.com; Sea salt caramels box, £22, melrosenandmorgan.com; Crackers for cheese box, £17.50, melroseandmorgan.com; British shortbread selection, £15, melroseandmorgan.com
Like many members’ clubs, when it was barred from welcoming its members during the pandemic, Annabel’s went digital, hosting its first online Christmas fair with a range of unique products available to members and non-members alike. The fair returns this year with, among others, some brilliant foodie options including a mammoth 1kg classic panettone created in collaboration with Da Vittorio and these intricately handcrafted flower napkin rings, which guests often admire in Annabel’s Garden and Rose Room.
Every stylish host know the best tablescapes are a riot of colour and pattern - especially when you have Christmas decorations to contend with. Pols Potten’s mix-and-match crockery, glassware and home accessories are ideal for creating a collection of cohesive pieces that look artfully mismatched. We’re particularly fond of these tactile bubble tumblers and ‘grandpa’ print plates.
The best gifts for the kitchen
The Female Chef
It’s no secret that the professional kitchen has long been a man’s world but a new cookbook from food writer Clare Finney and photographer Liz Seabrook aims to shine the light on female luminaries in the culinary world, both established and up-and-coming. The Female Chef is a beautiful tome featuring recipes and interviews with 31 women leading the charge in the British food scene, including Andi Oliver, Anna Jones, Pamela Yung and more.
There are coffee machines – and then there are coffee machines. Widely regarded as the Rolls-Royce of the genre, Sage is the brand to opt for if you’re buying for someone who really knows their beans. As its name suggests, the Barista Touch coffee machine is a professional-grade offering that, alongside its sleek design, boasts an in-built grinder, touchscreen display and pre-programmed menu of cafe-style drinks. It’s time to banish the instant for good.
No one appreciates the quality of a great knife quite like an enthusiastic at-home chef – and if they get to share their love of quality cookware at their (many) dinner parties with a set of gorgeous steak knives then so much the better. Created by Laguiole, the fine French knife brand that was founded in the village of the same name in the 1920s, these horn-handled numbers feature stainless steel serrated blades guaranteed to last a lifetime.