Christmas Countdown 2018:
As the big day hurtles towards us, I’m pulling together some of those last minute essentials that you just can’t manage without! Things to eat that make Christmas special, gift ideas for when you’ve run out of times to get to the shops and for people who really don’t need anything more and special bottles to stock up with over Christmas. Of course, you could always buy a gift box from Red Letter Day, but just in case you want something a little more personal, here are a few ideas.
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That Last Minute (or any time) Gift – A Coffee Subscription Box:
Looking for a gift that will have someone thinking of you after every meal? Well, how about a subscription to The Roast Club, offering a Monthly coffee subscription box showcasing 4 different speciality coffee roasters from around the world. This is the chance to let someone taste unique coffee that they will not find anywhere else, so whether they are a coffee snob or an aficionado, this is the perfect gift.
The December Coffee Box Subscription included 4 x 100g bags of coffee beans, all in resealable bags to maintain maximum freshness. The variety from around the world was impressive and included:
- Santa Rosa from Gashoho, El Salvador
- Kochere from Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
- Tano Ndogo from Gitwe, Kenya
- Kirundo Kayanza from Gashoho, Burundi
The box also includes a detailed description of each coffee, its producer and its background along with where you can get more of the beans should one really take your fancy.
Every coffee in the box has a vastly different taste and aroma, giving you a real experience, and shared with someone, a real talking point. The 4 bags are labelled with what they are, but you can opt to have them numbered so you can do your own blind tastings at home.
You can gift someone a 3, 6, or 12-month subscription to The Roast Club, making it affordable to you and amazing to whoever is the lucky recipient.
The Last Minute Luxury Hamper in time for Christmas
If you are quick, you can still order a hamper for delivery by Christmas. We recommend Prestige Hampers for a reliable service and, if there’s someone you know will be spending Christmas by themselves, we can’t think of anything nicer than this case of luxury treats.
What we particularly liked about this selection was that everything comes in sizes that work for a smaller household, but there’s no compromise on quality or on variety. So, there’s three small bottles of wine, a Christmas pudding for one or two, a quality tub of artisan crisps and some savoury biscuits. For the sweeter tooth, Belgian Chocolate thins, truffles and a bar of chocolate, a couple of jars of Mackays Christmas preserves and of course the ubiquitous box of tea! It’s the perfect hamper for a smaller household and, since nothing is perishable, it will help stock up any larder with treats for the coming year. Finally, it’s all packed up in a neat wicker hamper that can be saved for later.
You have until 23rd December to order in time for Christmas!
The Artisan Fudge that really tastes homemade:
I like making my own fudge. But, generally, I run out of time. Instead, I buy the sort of artisan fudge like Copperpot from Cornwall which no one can tell isn’t mine. Then, I decant it into pretty bowls. The best thing about buying your fudge instead of making it yourself is that you can indulge in 3 or 4 different flavours.
Based in the stunning Cornish town of St Ives, Copperpot Originals is an international confectionery business that has been serving up sweet treats since 1978, when Ken and Doreen Brian opened their first fudge shop. The first fudge recipe was created by David, their son and tested in a traditional copper pot on the family stove. The original shop had 32 flavours on offer and fudge was chopped and bagged while customers waited. It’s evolved into an award-winning international artisan business and Copperpot Fudge is shipped all over the world.
You can order from their own online shop or through Amazon.
I particularly like their Caramel and SeaSalt fudge – but I’m aiming to try some more of the range – all in the interests of research of course!
The Christmas Classics that will make your Boxing Day Feasting Special:
Opies make a range of classic products which my mum used to buy every Christmas. Preserved fruits in alcohol as emergency desserts (I like the Peaches with Courvoisier), pickled walnuts to spice up a cold platter and stem ginger in syrup to stir into ice cream.
She also used to make a lovely ginger fudge using the stem ginger every Christmas – along with her coffee walnut fudge, it’s a taste that makes Christmas for me.
Now, while I generally have both Opies stem ginger and cherries on hand for cooking and cocktails, I only buy the fruits at Christmas – those jars are pretty enough to pass off as emergency presents too when an unexpected guest turns up. And, the walnuts just vanish. Meanwhile, I am making far too many champagne cocktails for my own good!
One of my 2019 resolutions is going to be to make sure I have Opies on hand for every special occasion, not just Christmas!
The Sparkling Sherry Spritz to keep Auntie happy.
You know that moment before Christmas lunch when everyone has a task to get things on the table…and everyone wants an aperitif too. Here’s the perfect solution – Croft have launched a Fino Spritz in a bottle made with Belvoir Elderflower cordial, lemon, mint, a touch of fizz and of course a dash of Croft Fino sherry. It’s the kind of ‘cocktail in a bottle’ that you can serve up to all the adults, with 5.5% alcohol and that pre-lunch sherry base your older guests might just be craving.
And, it looks just like Elderflower cordial – so you can make the kids and car-drivers their own non-alcoholic version using Belvoir and sparkling water. It’s a new Christmas essential in our household!
So, there you are – a few pointers so that you can countdown to Christmas in style – sit back and enjoy the day…and then start a Christmas Countdown for 2019!