Christmas Essentials and Christmas Specials?
Apart from the obvious ingredients for your Christmas lunch, what do you have on your Christmas Essentials list? You know those things you need over the holiday season to make it special?
For me, top of the list is always posh chocolate. As always Hotel Chocolat have excelled themselves and produced a wonderful range of exclusive, high quality Christmas themed chocolates like this Signature Chocolate Collection. It would make a perfect gift – really beautiful packaging that makes it look totally luxurious.
Inside there are 19 beautiful chocolates. About the right number to open the box on Christmas Day and share the whole box (woops, did I say that!!!). My absolute favourite is the Hacienda Lara salted caramel, but then given a choice I will always pick the salted caramel. And, guess what, you can order these right up to 6pm Monday 23rd December for guaranteed delivery anywhere in the UK
If you are looking for a healthier alternative and you are London based, I’d strongly recommend popping into Carpo, a new Greek store on Picadilly. They have all sorts of wonderful treats for Christmas (and all the year round).
And, you can take a break from shopping to enjoy a very special luxurious hot chocolate or Greek Coffee.
Whether or not you’ll manage to leave the store with the healthy nuts and dried fruits without indulging in some of their fabulous chocolates remains to be seen. But you can always justify your treats on the basis of the healthy things in your shopping bag. That’s what I did anyway!
Then there are those things you NEED to make sure you have in your store cupboard. Left-over meats taste a million times better with some high quality pickles. I particularly like the range from Garners. I make some of my own pickles, but the variety available from Garners makes it an easy choice when stocking up for Christmas.
Oils, sauces, herbs and spices are important too. If you do need to stock up on olive oil, or if you are looking for a stocking filler for a foodie friend then Filippo Berio have the perfect solution with this lovely vintage tin. It’s pretty enough to leave out when your cupboard is stuffed full of Christmas goodies. Little things like this make the holiday season special and this tin will be on display in the kitchen all Christmas.
Christmas is one time when it’s worth airing your teapot and making a really good cup of tea to drink with your mince pie in the afternoon. I’m rather thrilled to have some samples of Jing tea in my favourite blend (silver tipped jasmine) so I know what I’ll be doing once I get a chance to put my feet up.
And then there’s the traditional range of goodies we all need at Christmas. I was really lucky this year – a hamper of really traditional British treats arrived from – including mince pies,a chocolate orange, some port and of course some quality street. Mine was a present from Premier Inns Gatwick – what a great way to send me a reminder that the next time I am taking an early morning flight I don’t NEED to get up horribly early to make my way from Central London to the airport.
I’ve been given so many wonderful things this year. This post is in part an apology because some of them are still waiting to be reviewed when I get a chance to cook. But I really am deeply grateful for the opportunity that blogging brings to me. Yes I work very hard with London Unattached and I genuinely try to make the site interesting. And yes, I try to provide an honest review – which can sometimes be very hard to do. But the hard work is worth it for me because I love it.
So Happy Christmas to the brands and PRs I am working with. Next year I’m going to try to be just a little more organised!