We all love novelty socks and comedy DVDs, but surely the best present of all to receive is the gift of food (or money, money is also very good).
I usually try to top up the stockings of my nearest and dearest with a few local Bristol treats (inevitably a few find their way into my cupboard, but I see it as commission for my thoughtfulness), so should you be wondering what food & drink gifts to get for friends and family, allow me to show you some of your options…
Let’s start with my favourite. Of course you can go classic with a nice bottle of red from Grape & Grind or Avery’s, or pick up a selection of fine local beers from Brewer’s Droop (who also stock home brewing equipment) or Bottles & Books (and pick up a comic while you’re there).
But if you’re wanting to pull out all the stops, here are a few extra special ideas:
- Local booze makers Espensen Spirit are offering event vouchers for their flavoured gin & vodka tastings, Boozebuster boxes with mini bottles in retro video cases, and a brilliant range of cocktail gift sets, including a Bristol Bubbles one, or tasters of their various flavoured spirits. They also have a limited edition Christmas range, which includes Chocolate Orange Gin or Black Forest Vodka!
- Cave on Gloucester Rd do a wide range of wines, beers, ciders and antipasti, with delivery across Bristol. Their deli boards are worth a look.
- Strawberry Thief are doing a Festive Beer Calendar, including 24 Belgian and local beers plus a £10 voucher to use in the bar.
- Bristol Beer Factory have a Beer Club for serious aficionados. For £50 you get a case of 12 beers, a glass, t-shirt or tote bag, 20% off bottle sales in the tap room & special discounts at their pubs across Bristol. You can also pick up beer gift packs, T-shirts and brewery tour tickets from their online shop.
- One for the aspiring cider experts out there – The Bristol Cider Shop are now selling a Cider Advent Calendar as well as some mega cider hampers and gift sets – these are always popular in my family!
- Get bottle or two of locally-made gin direct from Psychopomp, Bristol Dry Gin or 6 O’clock Gin (who are doing special personalised bottles this year!) – experiences and gift sets are available too.
- Bag a selection of local beers or special beer gift sets from Corks (their North St & Cotham branches both do a fine range of beers, spirits & wine, while the teeny Wapping Wharf shop specialises in wine). You’ll also find special offers on wine cases, as well as special festive beers. Nice.
- Beer Necessities in Cargo 2 has also got you sorted for any beery needs – they’re stocking beer subscriptions and as well as a wide range of speciality beers, wine and G&Ts.
- KASK sell a range of wines by the bottle or case, plus cheese and charcuterie boards to pair with them.
- Aldwick Estate are a vineyard just outside Bristol doing some gorgeous wines – you can buy them online or get a voucher to do one of their vineyard tours. Other local vineyards worth a look for local gifts are Limeburn Hill just over the hill near Chew Valley and Dunleavy Vineyards in Somerset.
- Moor Beer are selling mini kegs and mixed cases of beer alongside their usual range. These guys are also big on branding, so you can also buy a Moor Beer hoodie or T-shirt from their online shop if that tickles your fancy.
- Vina Loca is a new Bristol-based company selling quality wines from across the globe – they have some great value wines, mystery boxes and virtual wine tastings.
- Choose from a range of bottled cocktails by the team at Milk Thistle and Hyde & Co on the Hyde at Home website – they also do cases of wine, spirits and beers. Delivery is available to postcodes across Bristol.
- Other pre-made cocktail options around town include some bottled classics from Brozen Bar (delivery available BS1-BS9, or collect from the bar), smaller single-serving cocktail packs from The Last Word in Clifton (who also do afternoon tea deliveries & vouchers, all can be delivered across Bristol), or Flipside Cocktail Club’s Cocktails 2 You service, which can be delivered locally or nationally (local deliveries via Uber Eats can also include beers and cubanos).
- Xisto Wines have put together mixed boxes of their minimal intervention organic & biodynamic wines (plus many vegan options) – all sailed into Bristol’s harbour from Portugal by the wind! You can order online or also pick up bottles of their reds, whites, fizz and port from Grape & Grind, The Bristol Vine, Sonny Stores and Southville Deli.
Hampers & gift sets
- Papadeli in Clifton allows you to pick up treats in store for hampers and gift sets, otherwise you can order their pre-made hampers online, including a luxury Italian selection, or gourmet Spanish treats.
- Avery’s is doing a range of wine-based hampers which also include chocolates, biscuits and other festive treats.
- Two Belly do a range of booze and food gift sets, including a Beer Sommelier Box, a Cheese & Beer Box, Fondue for Two and a Cider Box.
- Buy One, Give One with local food boxes from Bristol Food Union, where you can order gift sets and then donate a box of food provisions to someone in need. If you’re looking for more hampers that also support local causes, try the Christmas hampers from Square Food Foundation, where proceeds from sales go to their projects, or Oasis North Bristol, where you can donate a hamper to a family in need.
- Yummy Scrummy Catering do a range of grazing boxes, afternoon tea boxes and sweet treat boxes which you can order as gifts, plus a special Christmas Eve box which includes a Christmas cupcake, loaded cookie, gingerbread man, rudolph brownie, candy cane and a mince pie for Father Christmas.
- Flip deli + cafe in Bedminster will be creating vegan hampers this Christmas, featuring wine, preserves, pasta and more.
- Irie Box is doing a Caribbean style Christmas hamper which includes ackee & callaloo, hot sauce, seasoning tubs, plantain chips, rum fruit cupcakes, rum punch and lots more for £50. Orders are taken through private message on their social media or text/call 07480064288.
- You can browse a wide range of high quality Spanish products , hampers and gift sets in the Mercado 44 online shop, or Mevalco‘s online store which even includes several luxury Spanish hampers.
- Looking for more treats of the Mediterranean persuasion? El Colmado on Gloucester Road (they also have an online shop) and Sotiris Bakery on Park Row does a great selection of Greek biccies, pastries and sweeties that would brighten up any stocking.
- The award-winning Divino Deli at the top of Whiteladies Rd does a fine range of hampers, gift sets and homewares for the gourmands among your gift receivers.
- Bristol Film Festival have had to cancel this year’s programme, so instead are doing film night kits, including a film, wine, snacks and a quiz!
- Friska are doing hampers which include coffee, tea, snacks, sweet treats and vouchers for their cafes for £20 excluding VAT. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
- Create a bespoke box of Bristol goodies to deliver across the UK with Box Local – choose from booze, sweet treats, coffee, cheeses, soft drinks, bath bombs, candles and even Bristol-themed homewares.
- Pick up a selection of fine local cheeses, gift sets & chutneys from The Bristol Cheesemonger, or some tasty cheese bundles from their online shop. You can also purchase gift vouchers for any cheese lovers. Hurrah!
- Other delis worth a peek for top notch local produce include Southville Deli and The Mall Deli in Clifton.
Made in Bristol, available to munch anywhere you choose…
- Browse local beer & cider gift sets, chocolate, wine boxes, baked goods and more in The Bristol Pantry, all available for local delivery (within 4 miles of Queen Sq) or collection that week.
- The brilliant Ahh Toots are now doing postable brownies and blondies (with vegan and GF options) that can be delivered nationwide, as well as their usual range of festive cakes, puddings and mince pies.
- East Bristol Bakery are doing sourdough baking kits which include a banneton, lame, bench scraper, jar of starter, a bag of Shipton mill flour, and instructions for making your own sourdough and looking after your starter.
- Pick up some handmade truffles, a chocolate hamper or even a chocolate advent calendar (!!) from Zara’s Chocolate in Southville. You can hand pick your selection for beautifully-wrapped gift boxes, or pick up some super tasty chocolate bars and Christmas treats.
- Make yourself extra popular and buy someone a pie gift set from Pieminister – they’re also doing gift vouchers and other merch in their online gift shop.
- Nab some tasty local coffee packs or subscriptions from Extract Coffee in St Werburghs. They also sell merch including reusable cups!
- Choose from a range of locally made, naturally fermented sauces by Saucd, with flavours including scotch bonnet ketchup, kimchi ketchup and spiced honey BBQ.
- Treat someone to a gift card for dumplings from Eatchu, options include a meal kit, bags of frozen dumplings or lunch for two.
- Make sure you treat your mates (or yourself, you deserve it) to some Gingerbeard Preserves – for Christmas they’re doing sauce and chutney gift sets, spicy rubs, pickled eggs and even subscription boxes for mega fans!
- Choose from a selection of spice kits and subscriptions from The Spicery, whether it’s for Food Truck Recipes or Meat Free Magic, these are good fun to make and come nicely boxed up too. They even have a 12 Curries of Christmas advent calendar!
- Good Sixty have a range of local producers & retailers to choose from, including chocolate hampers from Flowers & Thorn, vegan cakes from Earthcake, whole foods from Zero Green or coffee-in-a-bag from New Kings Coffee.
- A range of chutneys, sauces and preserves from Bishopston Supper Club can be found at The Bristol Cheesemonger in Wapping Wharf, Joe’s bakery, and Grape & Grind on Gloucester Rd. Hampers and vouchers are also available.
- If you’d like to treat a green-fingered friend, how about one of the gift boxes from Jekka’s Herb Farm . They’re based just outside Bristol and also do gift cards for their gardening masterclasses and farm tours.
Not content with feeding people up? How about giving your buddy a voucher for a cookery lesson, booze tasting or food tour? Or do what I did and book an event you want to go to anyway, so you get to rope in a plus one!
Tastings & workshops
- Browse a range of foodie experiences from Yuup, incuding butchery classes, Thai cookery classes, vegan cake making and more.
- Learn how to make truffles or temper chocolate in workshops at Zara’s Chocolate.
- Buy vouchers for gin distilling session & gin experiences at Psychopomp micro distillery.
- Buy a DIY Home Wine Tasting kit from KASK, or book one of their virtual wine tastings.
- Know a budding wine connoisseur? Get them a voucher for wine tastings at Avery’s, Clifton Wine School or Bristol Wine School.
- Little Kitchen offer vouchers for their cookery school – workshops start at £18, and include everything from kids’ classes, pasta making and cake decorating to street food.
- Papadeli offers vouchers for their cookery classes for their cookery classes, which cover everything from Middle Eastern cooking to how to make the perfect pudding.
- Vouchers are also available for masterclasses & dinners at Square Food Foundation, where you can try your hand at making bread, vegan dishes, Mexican street food and more.
- Bristol Food Tour do vouchers for their tours (£50 each) – the recipient can pick from several routes around the city.
- Buy a gift voucher for a Bristol Hoppers beer tour – vouchers start at £25 and entitle two people to places on a tour of their choosing over the next 12 months.
Many of the restaurants in Wapping Wharf are offering meal vouchers for Christmas – including Root, Cargo Cantina, Bertha’s and Box-E (who have a selection of vouchers, including for their Kitchen Table dinners). If you’re feeling especially generous, how about getting that special someone vouchers for Michelin-starred Casamia?
I’d recommend getting a vouchers for a 91 Ways supperclub – not only are they great fun and you’ll always leave full of amazing food, but the money raised goes to supporting their projects across the city. They’re also selling recipe cards too!
You can also nab a voucher for All About the Cooks, which lets you order delicious meals from home cooks across Bristol, from Egyptian and Indian feasts to homely Italian dishes and South American cakes.
It’s always worth asking at your favourite restaurants (or places you know someone wants to visit) to see if they do vouchers, otherwise an easy way to shout someone a free meal could be to buy them a Wriggle gift card?
Finally, if you’re looking for a new recipe book I can recommend the Bristol & Bath Cook Book, which features interviews and recipes with lots of local bars & restaurants, including Pinkmans, Pasture, The Bristol Food Tour and more.
In the mean time, here are some other food & drink guides to keep you occupied…
- Bristol’s Best Date Locations
- Bristol’s Cosiest Pubs
- Where to Treat Yourself in Bristol
- Bristol’s Best Burgers
- 11 Bristol Institutions