Foodie tree decs, Selfridges
So many retailers are selling foodie tree decs now, and it’s easy to see why the kitsch adornments have caught on: they are just so cute. We particularly love this Sriracha option from Selfridge’s and Fortnum’s and Mason’s are top quality, with many made in Amsterdam by Vondels, including a beautiful glass fig one, so you can be sure they’ll last a lifetime. One of these inside a stocking is a certified mood-lifter on Christmas morning. Available from Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason.
Tonkotsu Japanese chilli oil
For the lover of all things spicy who has tried every hot sauce, Japanese chilli oil has all the spice with even more of the umami coming from red miso. The chilli is arbol, and then sachimi togarishi (a Japanese spice mix) is stirred through along with sesame seeds and oil. It’s delicious on noodles, salads, grilled vegetables, meat and fish. Available from Tonkotsu (£5.95).
Rita’s spice rubs
The hot new(ish) London restaurant of 2022, Rita’s in Soho does Americana fare with precision and aplomb, and can now be brought home with you in the form of these wonderful spice mixes. Whip them out to marinate meat and fish in, or use to season your roasted veg. The Old Buoy Seasoning is wonderful added to chillies and tinga taco dishes, or even to pep up your devilled eggs. Available from Rita’s Dining (£19.50 for 3).
Tinned smoked oysters
There’s tinned fish, and then there’s these: smoked oysters from the estuaries of Galicia. Don Reinaldo only harvest if the season has been good, so it’s top marks for sustainabiliy. The flavour is rich, subtely smoky and super smooth, without any of the scary salt-water panic of eating an actual fresh oyster. These would be a delight to find in a stocking on Christmas morning, and are perfect eaten on delicate canapés with a cream cheese base, or stirred through pasta with olive oil and herbs. Available from The Tinned Fish Market (£14.80).
There is no base oil in this French pistachio oil from La Tourangelle. It is made simply with virgin and refined pistachio oils making it fantastic for dressing dishes, including salads, grilled meat and fish and also for use in pistachio sauces like this pesto with roast chicken or in place of some olive oil in this pistachio cake. Slip one in their stocking, you know you want to! Available from Whole Foods (£7.59).
On a mission to redefine a four-century-old industry, Equiano have created the world’s first African and Caribbean rum by creating unique blends. This lighter expression has notes of brown sugar and is perfect in a Christmas Day cocktail. Available from Equiano (£4.50).
Stambecco amaro miniature with glass
You can’t say fairer than this diddy portion of Stambecco cherry amaro with a gorgeous bubble effect cocktail glass at such a bargainous price.The spirit makes for the perfect Manhattan, just add a maraschino cherry. Available from Amazon (£6.99).
Pastaio tee shirt
Roll up one of these into your foodie loving friend’s stocking and they’ll be your biggest fan. Designed by independent artists and available in multiple different pasta-themed designs, these tee shirts are as soft and sustainably made as they are pretty. Available from Pastaio (£29).
Leone Gianduiotto Cremoso
Nutella fans: listen up. There is only one word to describe the joy when we tasted this hazelnut spread from Leone, and it’s: OMG. The hazelnut chocolate spread cream tube gets its flavour from Piedmont hazelnuts which make up 45% of the spread, with the other 55% coming from Leone’s own chocolate. Made in Turin, this is truly a superior topping with which to adorn your toast, but we’ve also heard a little bit is delicious squeezed into your coffee, if you can stop yourself from just tasting it straight from the tube! A top tier stocking filler. Available from Sous Chef (£6.50).
Pucker up on Christmas Day with these gorgeous lip balms from Fruu… a pleasing stocking filler. Available in watermelon, mango, coconut, avocado and cherry flavours, they are made from unloved fruit byproducts from oils extracted from the seeds of fruits, meaning unsustainable petro chemicals often used in lip balm production are not needed. Imporantly, they are REALLY good lipbalms, that keep lips as smooth, soft and well-lubricated as more widely available lip balm brands. And they smell fab too. What’s not to love? Availble from Fruu… (£10)
How cute are these squat but perfectly formed bao-shaped candles from Erchen Chang’s restaurant BAO? Give the steamed bun loving family member the gift they didn’t know they needed that’ll brighten up their January. Available from BAO (£22).
Leone Spritz and Martini pastilles
The teeniest tiniest gifts always bring joy, and even better when they’re recyclable and edible! These digestive pastilles from Leone are flavoured with iconic drinks such as Martini or Aperol Spritz. The ideal stocking filler or gift for friends at Christmas lunches. Available from Sous Chef (£2.75).
Rare Teas Lost Malwai English breakfast tea tin
The sourcing of Rare Tea’s leaves is second to none. English breakfast can be overly aromatic and/or tannic, but Lost Malwai tea is as smooth as they come, with flavours that fill the mouth without overpowering your palate. The tin is a thing of beauty too. Available from Rare Tea Company (£6.49 for 50g).