If you’re struggling to come up with a present for the food and drink lover in your life then here are a few ideas. I’m pretty crap at knowing what I want for Christmas, but usually alright at buying stuff for other people. These are mostly Birmingham-based and some are really good last minute ideas too…
Independent Birmingham card
Want to give someone a gift that keeps on giving, right through ’til next Christmas? Then the Independent Birmingham card is perfect. It has a positively dizzying array of discounts at a number of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants, as well as a bunch of non-food places (yeah, that’s a thing, who knew). Did I mention there’s a Michelin-starred restaurant on their offer role?! What’s more, they’re doing a deal if you buy two cards at once, so that’s one for a friend and one for you – after all, sharing is caring.
Tickets to Whisky Birmingham
Anyone else like presents which means you get to continue Christmas a few days after the 25th? Well then, getting someone tickets for Whisky Birmingham festival means you can carry on celebrating right through until 12th March (that might be pushing it). And what a celebration you’ll have as Birmingham’s festival of whisky and whiskey (and bourbon) showcases some of the best whiskies from around the world. What better way to spend a Saturday?
A bottle of Langley’s Gin
A bottle of gin under the Christmas tree is always going to make me happy, but when it’s a bottle of the local stuff then event better. Distilled in the B postcode area at the well respected Langley distillery, Langley’s Gin has a mix of eight traditional botanicals that produce a lovely smooth gin, which could be drunk over ice, as well as with a good quality tonic or in a cocktail.
A cookery class from Loaf
Stirchley’s Loaf does more than just make amazing bread (seriously it’s great, as are their sweet bakes too), it also hosts a cookery school, teaching everything from bread basics to butchery, seafood and foraging. As well as running some of the classes themselves, they also use a range of well known culinary geniuses from around the region. I did the bread basics one a few years ago and went home with armfuls of bread, as well as more confidence in bread baking.
What do you get the person who has everything? Food of course, you can never have too much food! And whilst it’s Christmas, a bag full of cheese might be a bit much, but something light, delicate and indulgent would be perfect. Yipsy Macarons’ limited edition Christmas-themed macarons include festive flavours of gingerbread and mince pies, and are hand decorated with snowflakes and other festive scenes.
Okay, not strictly Birmingham, but dotcomgiftshop do deliver here. There’s lots of lovely food related things on there and I really like this recipe tin which I was recently sent – I’m terrible at remembering to write down recipes, so having this tin in the kitchen is really handy, as I can scrawl the ingredients down on a card and recreate the recipe later.
A hamper from Anderson & Hill
Anderson & Hill is a great little deli in the Great Western Arcade and full of treats throughout the year (not least of all their epic sandwiches). But at Christmas you can customise your own hamper – for a gift or just for your own really special Christmas. With everything from cured meats to coffee, alcohol, chutneys as far as the eye can see and lots of other treats, the only real struggle you’ll have will be either finding a hamper large enough, or your wallet hampering your options.
A cocktail masterclass
Got a group of friends and getting a bit bored of secret santa? Why not treat each other to a group cocktail masterclass? There’s a bunch of places in Birmingham doing them, including Island Bar, The Edgbaston and Bar Opus, and you get the added benefit of avoiding dry January and having fun with your friends…and you don’t have to wrap anything.
Gift vouchers for Carters
So I can’t claim any credit for finding this one, my sister sent me a gift voucher for Carter’s of Moseley as last year’s Christmas present and I put it towards a Sunday supper which was awesome. You can buy the gift vouchers in denominations for £20, £30, £50, £100 and £200 straight from Carter’s and can be put towards food and drink at this Michelin starred restaurant.
Okay, okay this is such an obvious one that I know you’ve already eyed up a selection box whilst in the supermarket. But why not try something a little different? Chouchoute in the Great Western Arcade opened in 2002 and sell luxury chocolates made by their artisan chocolatier. Charlie’s Mom’s Chocolate Factory can often be found at craft fairs in and around the city (the latest one was Bearwood). But of course there’s always a box of Cadbury’s Roses too.
Disclosure: I wrote this because it’s Christmas and I wanted to do something nice. Photos aren’t mine, they’re mainly promo photos, but the macaron photo is by stacie tamaki the chocolate by Artizone and the cocktail kit photo is by ProFlowers – all from Flickr.