If ever there was a year to send your favourite food-lover a little something special for Christmas, this is it. Not only will you make their week, but you’ll be helping to support Irish businesses too. Sure, you can send a voucher (and we recommend throwing a few in the bag), but if you’re looking for something that shows just how much you’re thinking about them when you can’t actually be with them, the gift of food is what Christmas is truly about. Please note that prices below are excluding delivery - you’ll need to check out the websites for delivery costs depending on where you’re sending the goods.
What to Get The Work Colleague You Really Miss
Months of Zooms, virtual team building, and seeing more of your colleagues’ cats (and babies) that you’d ideally like, can mean that some workplace relationships are a little terse. However, if you’re genuinely missing your lovely workmates and want to start their Christmas off on a happy note, you might want to arrange a surprise delivery to say thanks for all the whatsapp voice notes this year.
Cheese from St. Tola
A Dumpling Making Kit
Yumo meal kits spun out of Aungier Street restaurant Bao House a few months ago, and we've been properly impressed at the quality of dumplings we can now make at home. We've been known to not let our stash of frozen dumplings from the Asia Market run dry, but these are a big jump up (crispy, chewy, juicy and full of filling) - plus you have the fun of actually making them. They've also added bao and wonton kits, and deliver in Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. Order one for you and one for your colleague, and hit up zoom for (hopefully) the last time this year. Get your meal kit here.
A Mud Box
For something sweet, the Mud Boxes from Mud Bakery are hard to beat. You can add up to four of your friend’s favourite Mud goods, including their famous cookie sandwich, Oreo biscuit cake, and the gooiest brownie on record. Prices start from €32, and we already have our order in for their Christmas selection box. Order here.
Christmas Hampers From The Cupcake Bloke
The Cupcake Bloke's hampers are filled with lovely contents like their Earl Grey, cranberry and orange tea brack, 'funky' chocolate biscuit cake, and homemade granola, and cost from €40 - €60 plus postage. You can see the three hamper options here, and email orders to email@example.com.
A Cocktail Making Kit From Catch Events
Catch Events started out over the summer delivering weekly cocktail Quarantini Boxes to mix at home, and have grown their range impressively. Cocktail kits start from €35, but you can add on glasses, party items, and even cheese and wine pairings. It's the most fun you can have at home alone on a Saturday night.
What to Get Your Best Friend
While anything above is bound to tick the box, a first tier friend deserves a first rate present.
The White Mausu Collection
You can now order a six-pack of your favourite White Mausu sauces. Get one for you, one for a friend, and enjoy a heated Zoom snacking session. Priced at €36 for six jars from www.whitemasu.com. Pro tip: buy these for a friend who can cook, and invite yourself over for dinner when restrictions allow.
The Harry's Nutbutter Collection
More lovely stuff in jars from Harry’s Nut Butter, where €41.40 will get your friend six jars of the salty, sweet and a little bit spicy peanut butters, and the really great news is they've just launched two new flavours - Coco Buzz with cacoa nibs and coffee, and Extra Hot with added heat. That should keep most people going for about a year, but this stuff is hard to stop shovelling into your mouth so we’d recommending stocking your bestie up as much as you can.
A Box Of Cookie Sandwiches
Friends send friends cookie sandwiches, so it's a very good thing that chef Rory Shannon (Bistro One) has started My Cookie Sandwich, making organic, wholegrain biscuits stuffed with buttercream. They come in four flavours - coffee, honey and hazelnut, oatmeal and raisin, and loaded chocolate (our personal favourite), but friends send friends all of them. Order here.
A Coffee Subscription
A Cloud Picker Coffee subscription (www.cloudpickercoffee.ie) will mean your friend is thinking of you fondly each morning. They're priced from €55 with options for monthly or weekly deliveries, or if you’re not looking for a long-term commitment, you can order coffee directly from the website, including a Christmas Coffee with tasting notes of roast chestnut, nougat, and truffle. Sign them up here.
One for the big kids, if your friends are as obsessed with Scrumdiddly’s Kinder Bueno sauce as ours are, you can help them recreate all the missed ice-cream opportunities of 2020 in their own home. Starting from €19, you can have any of Scrumdiddly’s sauces or toppings delivered all over Ireland. All they’ll need is a spoon, and possibly some ice-cream if they’re feeling fancy. Order online at www.scrumdiddlys.ie.
If you really want friendship brownie points, you can’t go wrong with luxury chocolate gifts. Lorge, Grá Chocolates, and Erik Van der Veken’s Arcane Chocolates are all a serious step-up from a selection box.
Hazel Mountain Chocolate are a boutique chocolate factory based in the Burren, Co. Clare. There’s lots of gift options on the website, but we think the Hot Chocolate Kits complete with chocolate covered marshmallows is the perfect hug in a mug for your favourite pal. Details are on their website.
Something Special for Your Parents
It’s been a tough year for families. If you’re not going to be able to see yours this Christmas, or can visit but want to help out with a present to really take the load off after a stressful year, any of the Christmas Food Boxes from this list is bound to be a luxurious time-saver.
A Hamper From Fallon & Byrne
Fallon & Byrne have just launched an online shop which is going to make it way too easy to spend far too much money on luxury food and wine items. They've designed a range of hampers especially for Christmas and we can think of no better box of food to see arriving on your doorstep. There's a very wide range to choose from including wine, cheese and meats, the best of Irish, and one especially for truffle lovers, and prices start at €40 for wine and chocolate, going up to €500 for 'The Extravaganza Extra'. Check them out here.
A Comfort Kit From Pudding Row
If your parents are facing a Christmas with fewer visiting offspring around the table, the Comfort Kit from Pudding Row in Sligo is stuffed with bagels, brownies, flapjacks, jams, granola, and lots more to make them happy that they don’t have to share. There’s also a Christmas version with mince pies and pudding. Comfort Kits start at €60 and are available for delivery nationwide. Order here.
Free-range Pork From Andarl Farm
If you’re not going to be with your family on Christmas Day but still want to contribute to dinner, Andarl Farm has been one of our favourite direct suppliers that we’ve discovered this year. They have everything your family need for a Christmas morning fry-up, their famous Velvet Pork for a welcome alternative to turkey, plus great quality ham, bacon, lamb, steak, and offal. Order directly from www.andarlfarm.ie and your order will arrive vacuum-packed and ice-cold.
A Cheese And Meat Platter From Anduma
If making any sort of (purchased) contribution to Christmas dinner means your mother will never forgive you for trying to steal her thunder, you can always ease the load in the days before or after by sending a cheese and meat platter, perfect for picking at in the storm of kitchen activity before the big day. Argentinean couple Matti and Sole started Anduma (meaning 'let's go') earlier this year, hand-delivering beautiful platters around Dublin containing charcuterie, Irish cheeses, dried fruits, nuts, chutney, honey and crackers, and they come wrapped in a big gold bow. Christmas platters are available in two sizes and start at €30. Order here.