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 gift cards for their flavoured gin & vodka tastings, Boozebuster boxes with mini bottles in retro video cases, and a brilliant range of cocktail gift sets. There are also a very limited number of bottles of the new Chapterhouse Gin, made in collaboration with Bristol Cathedral.
- Cave on Gloucester Rd do a wide range of wines, beers, ciders and antipasti, with delivery across Bristol, plus cheeses, antipasti, crackers and chutneys to make go with your glass of vino.
- Xisto Wines have put together mixed boxes of their minimal intervention organic & biodynamic wines (plus many vegan options), with cases including a Fizz Selection and a Captain’s Choice box – 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, Native Vine, Sonny Stores and Southville Deli.
- Bristol Beer Factory have a selection of beer gift packs, mini kegs, 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 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 (the latter now do refillable pouches of gin to top up your bottles) – experiences and gift sets are available too.
- Bristol Distilling Co. now have a great range of gins, whiskey and liquers which you can browse in their online shop.
- Good Chemistry do a range of mixed beer cases including an IPA box and a malty-pack selection.
- Bag a selection of local beers or special beer gift sets from Corks. You’ll also find special offers on wine cases.
- Beer Necessities 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, as well as DIY at-home wine tasting kits.
- 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.
- 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).
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.
- Bristol Food Union are doing their Christmas hampers again, where you can buy a range of local goodies and also donate provisions to people in need.
- Wriggle now do a range of gift boxes and hampers, from wine and nibbles to a selection of local favourites and craft beer sets.
- 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.
- 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 and a Cider Box.
- Flip deli + cafe in Bedminster will be creating vegan hampers, featuring wine, preserves, pasta and more.
- You can browse a wide range of high quality Spanish products , hampers and gift sets in the Mercado 44 online shop (you can also now buy Bar 44’s book to try their recipes at home!), 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!
- 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…
- The brilliant Ahh Toots are now doing postable brownies and blondies (with vegan and GF options) that can be delivered nationwide.
- If you fancy sending more sweet treats in the post, Bakery Number Eight are doing cookie and brownie packs, and Biscuitini offer personalised biscuit boxes.
- 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.
- The Cider Box in Wapping Wharf is working with an orchard in Somerset to bring cider apple trees to the people this Christmas. You’ll be able to choose from a range of ancient, traditional cider apple variety trees in their sapling stage, ready to be planted and, in time, bear fruit for cidermaking for many years to come.
- Pick up some handmade truffles or a chocolate hamper 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 seasonal 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.
- Try some of your favourite local beer in truffle form with one of the gift sets from Craft Beer Chocolates.
- Nab some tasty local coffee packs or subscriptions from Extract Coffee in St Werburghs. They also sell merch including reusable cups!
- 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 – 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 World Food Gift Boxes, these are good fun to make and come nicely boxed up too.
- Good Sixty have a range of local producers & retailers to choose from, including Bristol Christmas Bundles, chocolate hampers from Flowers & Thorn, vegan cakes from Earthcake, 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 foraging tours, brewery trails, picnic walks, cider tours, cookery classes and lots 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.
- Buy a Bristol Hoppers beer tour – choose from self-guided tours (which start at under a fiver), audio tours or guided tours.
- Browse a range of other food and drink tours on Yuup.
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?
Psychopomp & Circumstance distilleries have launched The Circ Club, a brand-new membership (£25 per year) that will allow members a guaranteed opportunity to purchase all pre-releases, including Circumstance’s highly anticipated inaugural whisky release in 2022. Other benefits include, exclusive special offers, members discounts for tours and tastings and access to club member sales throughout the year.
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.
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…