Gifts - Food & Drink

There are some great festive food and drink gift ideas here - but also take a look at the 15 suggestions in our Festive Food & Drink section - all of which make equally good gifts.

1. Steenbergs Christmas Hamper

Following on from the success of their hampers launch last year, Steenbergs, the ethical spice, herb and tea company, has replenished and repackaged their range for this Christmas. Presented in reusable wicker hampers and packed full of treats, these hampers are delivered free of charge to any recipient in the UK along with a handwritten personal message.

Choose the Steenbergs Christmas Hamper, filled with organic Fairtrade festive goodies, to spice up your Christmas and fill the house with warming smells of cinnamon and mulled wine spices.

Price: Christmas Hamper - £39.50
Available: from www.steenbergs.co.uk
Link: http://bit.ly/VpImlF

Price: RRP £6.50
Available: from delis and independent stores, select Waitrose stores and online at www.bellandloxton.co.uk.
Link: www.bellandloxton.co.uk/products.php

2. Bell & Loxton Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil

It's that time of year when you resolve to be healthier, more environmentally friendly and a better person all round. An easy first step is to start cooking with cold pressed rapeseed oil.

Not only is this a British product, it is also naturally rich in omega 3 and has less than half the saturated fat of olive oil. As it's bottled in the heart of Devon, it has far fewer food miles than its Mediterranean counterparts. It's very versatile and is delicious in drizzles, dressings, dips and mayonnaises. It is a good source of Vitamin E and has no artificial preservatives or colours. It's also both trans-fat and GM free.

The oil is packaged in practical aluminium bottles which won't fall over and break. Aluminium also wins hands down on recycling - it takes far less energy to recycle than glass.

The Bells of Bell & Loxton have been farming in South Devon for the past 40 years. This is a family business which is run from the family farm.

3. Smokey Black Mountain

If one of your nearest and dearest likes to think of themselves as a bit of a foodie, you need look no further than one of the Black Mountains Smokery’s luxury festive hampers.

The Smokery is a family-run business, started by Jo and Jonathan Carthew in 1996 when they returned to Wales after years of living in Botswana. Every product is cured prior to smoking using dry salt or a special brine or marinade solution to reduce available water content thereby aiding preservation and enhancing flavour. The skill of the smoker is crucial. The fine texture and taste of the end product depends on the timings and temperatures, which in turn can depend even on the weather. This is local artisan food at its best.

Price: £39 to £250
Available: from www.smoked-foods.co.uk
Link: http://bit.ly/Q5WwEU

Price: from £5.95 for a 280g jar
Available: from Ocado, Amazon, Whole Foods, Planet Organic, Fortnum & Mason, branches of Partridges, The Organic Grocer, Shepherd Foods, independent
grocers and delicatessens nationwide
Link: www.ogilvys.com

4. Artisan & Organic Honey

Honey trader and chef Shamus Ogilvy wants to banish blended honey from the kitchen cupboard. As busy as the proverbial bee, he has cultivated relationships with artisan beekeepers in remote parts of the world to create his first collection of seven fine, rare and ambrosial honeys.

The labels on Ogilvy’s Honey jars read like those on good bottles of wine giving details of the individual flavour notes for each honey, their provenance and geographical origin. The varieties include three from New Zealand including a dark honey to rival Manuka in flavour, black locust flower and linden blossom from the Balkans, forest honey from the Himalayas, and wildcrafted tropical blossom honey from the Zambezi River. Three are certified organic by the Soil Association.

5. Chocolate Lovers Unite

Chocolate Lovers are a brand new luxury online chocolate boutique, offering a dozen of the UK's most prestigious chocolate brands, include some green, fair trade and ethical brands making fabulous chocolate.

Seed & Bean are one such. Their chocolate bars are made in small 45-litre batches in Northamptonshire - and the company is one of very few British organic and fair trade chocolate producers in the country.

It's the little things that matter to Seed & Bean and they strive to be as environmentally conscious as possible - their mini bar wrappers are all home compostable and made mostly from Eucalyptus trees!

Price: the Indulge Box of Chocolate shown is £55
Available: from www.chocolatlovers.co.uk & www.seedandbean.co.uk
Link: http://bit.ly/VgdyBW

Price: from £19.56 to £69.56 with free delivery
Available: www.divinechocolate.com/shop
Link: http://bit.ly/UkoH5H

6. Heavenly Divine Chocolate

Divine has brought out eleven new gift sets, with each beautifully packed in a Divine box or tote bag which you'll want to keep and re-use. There's something to appeal to every chocolate palette.

Divine Chocolate Ltd is the only Fairtrade-certified chocolate company that is also co-owned by cocoa farmers. Kuapa Kokoo, a co-operative of 65,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana, benefit not only from the Fairtrade premium on the sale of their beans, but also receive a 45% share of Divine's distributable profits giving the farmers more economic stability, as well as the increased influence in the cocoa industry company-ownership brings

7. A Hot Gift this Christmas

Struggling to know what to buy someone this Christmas? Looking for something different than the usual standby gifts? Why not get them a South Devon Chilli Farm 'One-Pot' chilli growing kit, just the thing for potential growers of the future.

Not only very ornamental, the chilli plant will also provide a supply of fresh chillies for the kitchen. The kit contains everything needed to grow a beautiful and productive chilli plant on a sunny windowsill - no pricking-out or transplanting, and no other items needed.

The kit includes peat-free compost that can be rehydrated in seconds; it is a coir-based compost which is ideal for chilli seedlings, being very open and loose.

Price: £5.99
Available: from South Devon Chilli Farm - www.sdcf.co.uk
Link: http://bit.ly/TBBALn

Price: 12 packs of 2 tea temples - £12.50
Available: exclusively at www.teapigs.co.uk
Link: http://bit.ly/w8dB4X

8. Mix & Match your Teas

This set of 12 very cute mini packs of tea, from teapigs, comes in a lovely gift box. You get to pick the teas yourself so you can be sure to get something the recipient will love. Choose from 21 different blends ranging from classics like Everyday Brew and Earl Grey, naturally caffeine free herbal infusions such as Peppermint and Lemon & Ginger and, for the more adventurous, Popcorn and Chilli Chai! There are teas to suit everyone's tastes.

The teapigs range contains only the very best whole leaf tea - not the dust found in a normal tea bag. The teas come in their special tea temples - a biodegradable mesh bag that gives the leaves lots of room to infuse, so you get all the taste of loose tea but with the convenience of a bag.

9. Godminster's Classic Red

Called The Classic Red, this newly launched gift is beautifully presented in a wooden box which contains a 200g Godminster Organic Cheddar and a 200g Godminster Smoked Organic Cheddar, as well as a kilner jar of Godminster Beetroot and Apple Chutney, all perfectly accompanied by a bottle of Yapp Brothers' Côtes du Ventoux Rouge: Chateau Valcombe 2008.

Godminster has been making delicious, award-winning Vintage Organic Cheddar with milk from its farm in Bruton, Somerset, for the past 10 years. The Cheddar is made from a unique 70 year old recipe and is instantly recognisable by its distinctive purple wax coating and beautiful heart and round shapes.

Price: £45.00 inc postage and packing
Available: from www.godminster.com
Link: http://bit.ly/VVnruM


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