the best indie food & drink gifts this christmas
So, here we are, just a couple of weeks until the Big Day. The North Laine lights are on, late-night shopping is happening and there’s an array of mulled joy brewing across the city. We’re doing our bit for local independent brands this year and we’ve already told you heaps about where to shop to join us. As a region, Sussex is an amazing place for top-notch food and drink, too, so naturally, with a little bit of over-indulgence on the cards over the coming weeks, we’ve discovered some of the best indie Brighton foodie gifts to help you find some hidden gems.
Brighton Food & Wine Tours
We’re big fans of the original Brighton Food Tours, introducing lucky punters to the truly indie side of the city when it comes to food. The team will be kicking off their wine tour season next year with the first of 2019 on Saturday 17th February, making it the perfect Christmas gift and giving some breathing space for anyone dedicated to doing a dry January. It coincides nicely with Valentine’s Day, too, so if you’re a hopeless romantic and you know the way to your other half’s heart is in the form of quaffing and munching your way around the city, then this is for you! Their Brighton Wine Rebellion Tour is an educational but fun three-hour walking wine tour of the city’s best indie hotspots, led by their resident Rebel Sommelier. They’ll guide you through Brighton’s favourite foodie and wine hangouts, stopping for a total of six varied wine stops, with some foodie tasters along the way!
Wine tour £65pp. Various VIB and wine tour dates bookable via brightonfoodtours.com
A vegan hamper from the Planted power girls
Planted power duo Gabriella and Molly know how to do a vegan Christmas. From pop-ups and parties to products that every plant-lover needs in their cupboard, they’ve nailed it this year with their Christmas hamper. We certainly wouldn’t mind getting snowed in with this one, as it includes Organica red wine from Salento, mince pies, raw brownies, homemade seasonal chutney, Planted ‘cheese’, homemade crackers, Christmas pudding, Ladies Kisses (aka Baci di dama; hazelnut chocolate biscuits, of course!), a Planted tote bag and delicious recipe cards to keep your plant cooking full of joy. Yes, please!
Vegan hamper £70. Order from weareplanted.com now for delivery between 17th – 21st December.
Make sure good people never drink bad wine
This is the motto of the Brighton Wine Co and we couldn’t agree more. There’s a lot of good (and bad!) stuff out there, so if you want to make sure you’re gifting some of the best wines available in Brighton, let Chris do the hard work for you. He’s scouted out top wines and is presenting them alongside some tasty locally made goodies. From Noble & Stace chocolates to Lewes-based tea specialists Prince & Sons, their gift boxes and hampers are priced from just £24.50.
Hampers from £24.50. Order from thebrightonwinecompany.com.
Get skilled up and support the community
Earlier this year, the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership opened the doors to their Community Kitchen on Queens Road, welcoming local celeb chefs, including Michael Brenner and Steven Edwards, down to show us a thing or two when it comes to cooking. A project ten years in the making, they offer subsidised cookery classes bringing people together to learn and have fun, so they can enjoy food together. We went along to the Humble Plates beer pairing evening and the space is incredible for fun and feasting! From vegan hacks to the ultimate roast workshop with Kenny Tutt, there’s something for all tastes and skill levels. By taking part in one of their cookery classes, you’re helping the team bring invaluable classes to the wider community, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access their services. It’s a win-win gift!
Tickets from £34.50. Book via their full events listing at bhfood.org.uk
The Coffee Collection
It’s likely that your love affair with The Flour Pot Bakery started as soon as you sipped your first coffee under their Sydney Street roof, and for us, every new addition to their offering is a very welcome one. They’ve been working hard on their products this year and now they’re back with festive hampers that look better than ever. There are three different boxes to choose from, including The Tea Hamper (£25) and Flour Pot Selection Box (£30). But the one we’ve got our caffeine-loving eyes on is the Coffee Box (£25), which includes their Flour Pot Blend Coffee, toasted granola, salted caramel truffles and their very own plum & ginger jam. Pop in and order one so you can take a look at all their tasty treats while you’re at it. They’re perfect stocking fillers too! They’ve even got a beetroot & orange chutney and apple & sage jelly that we think will be hard to resist…
Priced from £25. Available from all their branches in Brighton & Hove or at flour-pot.co.uk
Goodmoney, good times…
If you’re finding it tough deciding on a foodie gift, there’s always the option of giving a Goodmoney voucher. With over 15o local independent businesses on board, the lucky person you gift one to will be able to choose from the likes of Isaac At, Pizza Face, Boho Gelato and Bison Beer, to name just a few. You can buy them online here, so it’s a simple shopping experience and you can feel warm inside at the thought you’re keeping more money in the local economy and supporting indie businesses this Christmas.
Hosting over Christmas? Here are a few local essentials we’d recommend stocking up on, to impress your indulgent guests!
- Mestiza Filipino Pickle: Something different to lift your cheeseboard over Christmas. Local legend Louise makes her very own version of Atchara from grated unripe papaya. She recommends adding it to a toasted cheese sandwich for a comforting snack over the festive break. Available online for £3.95
- Knob Butter: Helen churns the (wonderfully named) stuff in her Hanover kitchen. We love her even more because she’s got the best Knob tattoo. Live and breathe that brand! Available from hiSbe or drop Helen a line via Instagram
- Ridgeview Bloomsbury: You may have heard that local sparkling legends Ridgeview won Winemaker of the Year recently, which we think is pretty amazing for Sussex. Based just over the Downs in Ditchling, they offer amazing tours and tastings for the wine enthusiast in the family. We’d recommend starting your festive celebrations with a bottle of their bubbly Bloomsbury. Available here for £30
- BeFries sauces: The Belgian fries experts know a thing or two about potato pairings, so we’d imagine their range of tasty sauces would go down well with left-over roasties. From dill & gherkin mayo to vegan basil mayo, their fresh flavours are sure to get some ooohs and ahhhs from your table guests. Available in store and online for £3.50 each
- Flourpot Hillbilly sauce: This version of ketchup is ideal to have on the table when you’re getting the leftovers out! Available in stores.
Photo credits: Emma Croman (Community Kitchen), James King (Flour Pot)