It's no big shock that we're not ones to deny ourselves when it comes to food and drink year round, but some things are worth saving up for your Christmas list - if for no reason other than to limit the amount of Boots gift sets and Penney's pyjamas under the tree. Send this to your other half/siblings/parents and get something you'd really like this year.
The Mister S Larder Box
We've been working our way through the Mister S larder box over the past couple of weeks and have a few observations: their rayu is our new favourite condiment, their dill oil takes seafood to the next level, and their bacon butter should be illegal (we've had it on pancakes, fresh sourdough, omelettes, we just can't stop). In there you'll also find charcoal ketchup, spice rubs for all types of meat, onion salt and fermented hot sauce, and it's the perfect way to up your kitchen game with someone else having done all the hard work. It's available for nationwide delivery (€65) or collection from the Camden Street restaurant (€60) and can be ordered here.
The Sidecar's Special Edition Gin
If you're missing cocktails in The Sidecar as much as we are, you can now take a bit of the cocktail bar home, as they've launched their first special edition gin with Dublin's Stillgarden Distillery. It costs €50 (or €90 with two balloon glasses) and there's only 300 bottles up for grabs so you'll need to get the hints in about this one fast. The Sidecar will also be serving it (on request) with 1724 tonic, orange, juniper and mint, and you can buy it in The Westbury's Christmas shop, or through their online store.
Nigella's New Book
Queen Nigella can do no wrong, and her new book 'Cook, Eat, Repeat' might be her best one yet. Filled with not just recipes but stories and musings about her relationship with food, it's immediately become a cook book no collection is complete without. Buy from any good book shop (the smaller the better).
A Wine Club Subscription
Who wouldn't love the thought of excellent wine arriving on their doorstep every month? Two of our favourite wine shops, Green Man Wines and 64 Wine have just launched wine clubs, and we can guarantee that both will be a treat. Green Man's has a minimum three-month subscription for €199 giving you three bottles per month, while 64 Wine's is €150 a month for six bottles. You can sign up for the Green Man one here, and 64 Wine's here.
Upside Coffee's Christmas Pack
A few weeks of being in closer proximity to your family than is generally recommended, plus lots of booze-fuelled late nights, means you're going to need a lot of good coffee to get through the festive season. Fairview based roasters Upside are selling gift packs containing a Christmas blend, their classic espresso, and an Ethiopian for €30, and they're available whole bean or ground. They also come with the most beautiful illustrations by Alex Mellon on the bags which will definitely cheer up your hungover head when you open the kitchen press in the morning. Get them here.
The Cocktail Selection From Irish Craft Cocktails
Irish Craft Cocktails launched a few months ago selling a selection of hand-mixed cocktails from the bartenders at 1661 Bar, in one of the best pivots of the year. They start at €12.50 for two servings and it's hard to imagine pre-bottled cocktails being this good, but 2020 has brought all kinds of surprises. Our homes (and weekends) are no longer complete without them, and we are dying to try their two limited edition Christmas specials - the Belfast coffee and the Christmas Old-Fashion. Order here.
Glasses From Industry
People who like nice drinks need nice glasses to drink them from. Industry are selling the most beautiful, hand-blown glasses, with options for wine, champagne, cocktails and water, and we can think of nothing else but owning the whole collection. Buy them from Industry's website, or we've also spotted them in Neighbourhood Wine on Leeson Street.
A Sourdough Making Class
2020 was the year we dabbled in sourdough, 2021 should be the year we perfect it. For those of us still struggling with kneading, proving and scoring, getting a masterclass from one of the professionals should be on your New Years to-do list. At the time of writing Bread 41's monthly classes were sold out until May, so all the more reason to get a date in the diary now. Book a place here.
777's Margarita Boxset
Something else a lot of us attempted to master during multiple lockdowns was making our favourite cocktail at home, and none seemed to be as popular as the margarita. If your marg-making still isn't hitting the spot, you can now get a lesson from the masters at 777 with their at home margarita boxset. For €199 you'll get a bottle of Don Julio tequila blanco, a bottle of triple sec, limes, salt, margarita glasses, and all the equipment you'll need to juice, shake and strain a lot of margaritas, as well as the all important instructions for how they make theirs. Available here.
Cocoa Atelier Chocolate
We have a not very secret love affair with Cocoa Atelier's at home hot chocolate (made using bags of their milk and dark chocolate and topped with marshmallows), and the launch of their online shop has made gifting the good stuff that much easier. Hot chocolate sets are €35.95, while boxes of handmade chocolates start at €12.95 for a box of nine. See the full shop here.
A Sheridan's Cheese Club Subscription
For a gift you'll be enjoying way past Christmas, a Cheese Club subscription from Sheridan’s can be purchased from anything from one month up to a full year with prices starting at €45. It's a great way to up your cheese knowledge and something to look forward to each month. Sign up here.
All The Spanish Food
One thing we've badly missed this year are holidays, and if you're anything like us you return home from every destination with a suitcase weighed down with food and drink. During each trip to Spain we pack enough jamon, boquerones and sherry to last a good six months, but as we're not likely to get there or anywhere else any time soon, we'd be happy waking up to the tapas Christmas gift box from Heart of Spain, filled with chorizo, jamon, morcilla, roasted peppers, cheese, olives, almonds, paprika, olive oil and wine. See the full selection of hampers here.