Gift Guide: Food & Drink
We've rounded up some of the very best producers from our part of the world who offer postal delivery, so you can send a special treat to a loved one, or stock up your own supplies (or both, we're not judging).
These products are all from small independent businesses. Don't forget to buy early to avoid the rush and to feel super organised.
There are more gift guides on the website and more being added each week, here. Click on the photos and it will take you to the products.
There's the unavoidable fact that when there's eating and drinking, there's then washing up to be done. The task becomes slightly more pleasant when using a beautiful tea towel. This one, illustrated by Edinburgh based artist Camilla Seddon is made from linen union cloth which becomes softer over use.
As pleasing to use as it is on the eye, you may want to keep this cherry wood, hand turned rolling pin out on the counter where it can be admired. Despite its beauty, it is a fully functional useful addition to the kitchen where it will make your pastries and pizzas worthy of a Paul Hollywood handshake (possibly).
A sustainable alternative to cling film, the Vegan Waxed Food Wraps are made from 100 % organic cotton and coated with a blend of food friendly waxes made from waste by-products, making these an environmentally responsible addition to your kitchen.
A set of 3 reusable bowl covers handmade in Scotland from high quality linen. Generously sized to cover a breakfast bowl, dining plate and mixing bowl to be used as an alternative to cling film. Made exclusively for Village Green using linen from the last surviving linen manufacturer in the country.
A trip into Edinburgh for my family, isn't complete without a visit to Mary's Milk Bar. Granny (who spends a lot of time in Italy) says it's the best ice cream ever. While the ice cream isn't available for mail order, the handmade chocolates can be posted. The adventurous flavours that Mary uses for her gelato (Black Sesame is my favourite) are applied to the chocolate making too. Yum.
It wasn't until I was expecting my first child that I started to like chocolate. I didn't like it as a child and never developed a taste for it as I grew up. Then I lived near Coco Chocolatier and discovered Lavender Milk Chocolate. Thirteen years later, I'm still a fan of chocolate, particularly of the Lavender but Rhubarb & Ginger is a very close second. Beautiful packaging as well as delicious flavours. Hide it from the children.
Local baker, Litty's Larder is launching 'brownies in a box' in the next few days, which can be posted to anywhere in the UK. She uses local ingredients and whisks them up in to the most delicious treats. Vegan brownies are also available.
The Cheese Lady is a bijou shop on Haddington High Street, impressively stocked with fine cheeses. The shop is a treat for the senses which they've managed to replicate on their online shop along with their friendliness and knowledge. Cheese subscriptions also available.
Although not traditionally associated with East Lothian, the owner of Spice Pots, spent time living in India and now wants to ensure that we get to enjoy creating consistently delicious curries in our own homes. The website has a great selection of recipes using the different pots. Genius.
Black and Gold started producing rapeseed oil ten years ago and they were one of the first in the country to do so. They have built up a loyal customer base who love their range of oils and dressings (inlcuding me - the Smoked Chipotle Oil is just the perfect level of heat with depth of flavour). For those who don't know what Rapeseed Oil tastes like, Nigella Lawson describes it as "gloriously mustardy and nutty".
The Big Cheese Making Kit has a range of 11 different cheeses that you can make at home, including vegan cheese. All the equipment needed is included in the kit and there's plenty of ingredients to make the cheese more than once. When you give this gift to someone you love, you'll shortly be on the receiving end of the cheese that they make. Win-win.
These curry blends are inspired by the years that the founder of Sri Spice, Thea, spent living in Sri Lanka where she was eating delicious Sri Lankan curries everyday. On her return to Scotland, she was surprised that this style of curry wasn't very popular here so has gone about introducing us to these tasty dishes.
I tried this for the first time last year and I've been looking forward to Christmas this year ever since. A recent recipient of a Great Taste award, Gullane Glögg can be added to wine or cider, non-alcholic or otherwise for a mulled hot drink or added to a glass of fizz as a cocktail. Christmas in a mug.
Aelder is a warm rich liqueur, made from foraged wild elderberries, botanicals and herbs blended with whisky. I'm not a fan of whisky (it is conspicuously absent from this Scottish Food & Drink Gift Guide) but this drink is similar to port and can be enjoyed in a similar way: neat, on ice, alongside cheese or mixed in a cocktail.
The Port of Leith Distillery is developing a new whisky distillery in Leith, Edinburgh. While they're waiting on the builders and then to produce whisky and age it, they have turned their hand to some other drinks. They're a talented bunch because just last week their Lind & Lime Gin was awarded the Gold Medal for Best London Dry Gin at The Scottish Gin Awards. The Port of Leith Sherry is just as delicious and I'm looking forward to trying their newest product, the Port of Leith Port.
North Berwick coffee house and coffee roasters, Steampunk roast their fully traceable and ethically sourced coffees with a focus on quality and sustainability. Each coffee listed on the website includes tasting notes, the history of the farmers and the land where the coffee is grown giving you a connection to the people involved in creating your morning coffee. Steampunk coffee beans are available online and they also offer coffee subscriptions.
If you're not sure about someone else's tastes when it comes to food and drink, you could always send them a retired whisky barrel. These ones have been turned in photo frames.