Bring the culinary magic of Seven Dials home to foodie friends and family this year.
From Swedish mulled wine to luxurious hot chocolate; cookbooks to cooking ingredients; and sweet treats galore for stocking fillers – there all sorts of unique and quirky gifts, simply waiting to be discovered…
Nordic Bakery is upping the ante on festive drinks this year with Glögg, a uniquely Swedish twist on mulled wine. Available to buy by the bottle from 4 December, it’s bound to be a stand-out contribution to your friend’s next Crimbo party!
The 70% drinking hot chocolate blend from Rococo is a thoughtful gift for those who appreciate the richness of high-grade cocoa beans. Made with Rococo’s own brand of organic dark chocolate (sourced from their farm in Grenada), it’s perfect for a winter-warming nightcap at home, and can be used in baking or cake decorating too!
Meanwhile, friends and family fiendish about their caffeine could be treated to an avant-garde coffee maker – such as the 6-cup Chemex brewer or the iconic V60 pour-over, both of which are available to buy at Timberyard’s cosy café. However, if coffee is not their cup of tea, Pierre Hermé’s elegant selection of black or herbal teas are bound to bring a smile to their face! The delicately floral notes of the Earl Grey Fleurs Bleues – perfumed with a hint of bergamot – is especially enticing.
ENTERTAINING AT HOME
From oregano flowers (sourced from the Italian mountains) to a bouquet of dried basil leaves, wild capers and bittersweet olives to an astoundingly-unique range of olive oils – all manners of authentic Sicilian produce can be found at Casanova and Daughters. The endearingly-rustic deli and wine bar also have a gorgeous selection of glou-glou (read: eminently drinkable) wines on offer, making it a one-stop shop for essentials to cater your next dinner at home.
You can also find the perfect party nibbles at Neal’s Yard Dairy, who have curated a seasonal selection of cheeses complete with intensely-flavoured slices of quince paste! While the coconut cream pies, seasonal fruit marshmallows and carrot cakes from Jacob The Angel nearby, are bound to round the festivities off on a sensationally sweet note.
A hefty tome filled with Kitchen Inspiration is a gem of a gift for budding chefs and gourmands.
Exploring new ways to experience humble grains, Alex Hutchinson’s aptly titled “26 Grains” (available to buy at her eponymous café in Neal’s Yard) is an ideal choice for those who love experimenting with unusual recipes. Think miso rice porridge or quinoa, plum and frangipane pudding! Next door at Pride Kitchen, David Bez’ cookbook “Salad Love” is a game-changer for quick, easy and deliciously healthy lunch-time salads.
For hedonists looking to cook up a fine steak or a seafood-based meal, “Hawksmoor at Home” is a practical and hands-on-guide, which includes handy tips for pairing wine and cocktails with the featured dishes. “Desserts by Pierre Hermé” is another excellent choice, revealing the world-famous pastry chef’s signature recipes for cookies, cakes and treats for special occasions!
Simple gustatory pleasures make for wonderful stocking fillers. My top picks this year include the tahini madeleines at Jacob The Angel; the whimsical Roald Dahl bars from Rococo; festive macarons and Marrons glacés from Pierre Hermé!
FESTIVE FLAVOURS IN SEVEN DIALS
Of course, there’s no dearth of cosy-stops for cooling your heels at, between all that Christmas shopping. Top picks for where to refuel and recharge include:
26 Grains: Stop by this snug café in the morning for a winter-warming bowl of quince porridge. The chestnut-cream oats are piled high with quince, pecan, redcurrants and a dollop of yoghurt too!
Boki: With its skylight ceiling and a plethora of potted plants, the bar area of this convivial coffee shop is a restful stop for coffee or a coffee-infused Negroni (if you fancy something a touch stronger!).
Covent Garden Hotel: Indulge in a festive afternoon tea, complete with brie and cranberry sandwiches & mulled wine pannacotta. On Saturdays, you can stay on for the hotel’s Film Club – featuring a Christmassy line-up of movies shown in the hotel’s state-of-the-art screening room.
Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels: Raise a toast to efficiently ticking off your shopping checklist, with a glass (or a few) of the fine wines at this debonair bar in Neal’s Yard.
Native: The wild beauty of the British countryside is showcased through a cornucopia of colours, seasonally fresh flavours and thrilling textures at Native. Think wild game, foraged vegetables, homemade cordials and more!
Word and photos by The Foodie Diaries
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