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  • Writer's picturethe15milefoodie

Food & Drink Gift Guide 2023

If you are stuck for gift ideas this Christmas and have someone to buy for that appreciates good food and drink, or maybe is a dab hand in the kitchen then, this guide could be for you.


My suggestions normally come from local suppliers that I have come to know well over the years but a few not so local have snuck in, just because I love them.



I can't speak highly enough about this small business based in the New Forest - Simon Noble the founder produces exceptional quality, delicious honey and beautiful beeswax candles. Several months ago I was lucky enough to spend the day with him and several others keen to learn the process behind keeping bees, honestly, it was, without doubt, my favourite day of the year.


Products can be purchased from their little shop on site or head online where you can also book on to one of their Bee Keeping Experience days.




Dorset Sea Salt

Dorset Sea Salt Co has nine flavours in the range you are spoilt for choice. A great purchase for someone who loves to cook- including the growing number of people making use of cooking outside on the bbq. Celebrity Chef John Torodes is quoted as saying it's "the finest salt in the land." If you head to the website you can see how to make a great Margarita using this product.


Purveyors of fine food Stony Groves specialise in delicious, luxury gourmet products from around the world. This year they launched new Spice blends and Spice Mills as well as Salted Fresh Kampot Pepper. Head over to their website to purchase some goodies for the foodie in your life.



Summerdown Mint has been growing, harvesting and distilling Black Mitcham peppermint for almost 30 years. I have yet to visit the 100 acre peppermint farm in Hampshire that produces home fragrances, body & bath products, chocolates, teas & oils. A visit is definitely on my list for 2023, but in the meantime I recommend you have a read about them online and perhaps purchase a box of their delicious chocolates to share at Christmas.

I was gifted these Yarty products last year but I have continued to buy them and happily recommend this Hampshire based company again. The "B" Black Garlic Vinegar recently won the best in class for Vinegars and Oils and the company won Best Small Producer in the Quality Food Awards 2022.


Without a doubt they are quality products so, if you do the cold meat and pickles thing on Boxing Day then these vinegars make the perfect addition to the accompanying salads or if you are making up a hamper for a family member include one of these.


Barbara's Kitchen

One of my closest food producers, 'Barbara's Kitchen' based in Southbourne now has eight

delicious Chilli Jams in the range. Barbara grows all the chillis included in her products from seed, including the Dorset Naga which is one of the hottest in the world. These award winning jams can be found mostly in small independents and local farm shops (a full list of stockist can be found on their website). Please note Cranberry and Chilli Jam perfect for the big day.


Mermaid Distillery


Mermaid Distillery based on the Isle of Wight - once just Mermaid Gin, now also producing a rather delicious Spiced Rum and a Salt Vodka. If you have yet to try them this little taster pack would make a great way to get hooked. Personally I prefer the bigger bottles!

This company has a great ethos, they use ethically sourced and local natural ingredients, have a growing list of awards and now registered B Corp.


Order asap if you need it for a Christmas present the last delivery date is 18th December.


Not food but all in a good cause and related to the above! Mermaid Director Xavier Baker and two friends are taking part in 'the worlds toughest row ' 35 days of rowing from the Canary Islands to Antiga. Fundraising will go to the following charities.


www.theseahorsetrust.org The Seahorse Trust

www.hantsiwwildlife.org.uk Hants & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

www.sas.org.uk (Surfers Against Sewage)

100% of these T-shirt purchases go to the charities too.


Supdrinksware


If you love the outdoor life this gift is perfect for picnics in the summer to keep your wine cool or watching the sunset on a winters evening with some mulled wine on the beach.

A variety of designs available but this is my favourite 'Snow Leopard'

www.supdrinkware.com 21% off if you act quickly!




Feisty, Lively or Pure that's your choice with Turner Hardy & Co a range of tomato juice squeezed from hand picked Isle of Wight tomatoes. Pour yourself a non alcoholic drink or mix the perfect Bloody Mary. Purchase from Sainsbury's, Waitrose or Coop.

Although not particularly local to me this is one of the oldest private family-owned companies in the country. They have been in business since 1880 and strive to use British produce in their products. I always buy the Stem Ginger & Pickled Walnuts at Christmas for my Dad but I personally love to have the fruit in alcohol in my cupboard it makes for a quick and easy dessert during the festive period. Their products are available in all the major supermarkets.



Black Cow Vodka has created the perfect addition to your Christmas Bar and it goes by the name of Christmas Spirit. Obviously they are still making their Black Cow Vodka but I thought this might be something new.


Try this cocktail on Christmas morning

Champagne Cocktail

Pour and inch of Christmas Spirit Vodka into a coupe

Top with Champagne

Use a peeler around the orange to cut a long strip of orange

Twist the peel over the glass, releasing some of the zest in the cocktail, then place on the edge of the glass to garnish.



I first came across Gospel Green Cider at a Hampshire Fare event showcasing Hampshire produce. Blackmore Estate's Gospel Green Cider uses the double fermentation 'traditional method" to produce this lovely sparkling cider. Try it as the is the perfect alternative to champagne, Prosecco and sparkling wine.



Top recommendation for your cheese board anything by these guys is bound to be a hit.

Based in Cranborne The Book and Bucket Cheese Company produce a delicious range of award winning cheeses all made with Dorset milk. Purchase their products from local farm shops, deli's or cheese shops. Or support them and other local artisans by attending one of these markets.



In addition to their traditional dairy chocolate, Dorset based Chococo have created a vegan friendly chocolate made with gluten free oat powder, no dairy, and no soya, yet it still has a rich, creamy taste that is a wonderful milk chocolate alternative. Head to one of their chocolate houses to view (and smell) the whole range or check out the website for some exclusive offers. I have a a tube of festive snowmen that I can't wait to open!


What more could you want than award winning New Forest Shortbread already bagged and ready to gift?


These gift packs can be purchased online or at one of the following Christmas events.

Winchester Christmas Market from until 21st December


With more and more people choosing dairy free chocolate it's no wonder Booja Booja are doing so well with their melt in your mouth chocolate truffles and range of ice creams.

Most of our local health food stores stock their products along with most branches of Waitrose.


Pothecary Gin is produced five minutes from my front door so it had to be included in my gift guide. Owner Martin Jennings distills each of the botanicals separately and then blends them together before dilution, yielding high quality aromas and flavours.

Visit the website to see the range on offer.


A brand I've worked with a few times over the last couple of years, it has become a firm favourite and one you should definitely try.


Vegan, organic, gluten free low sugar DOC Prosecco made with an entirely sustainable process. It's a high end product born in Bournemouth, produced in Italy, light in colour with tiny bubbles and the aroma of apples. They also have a Rosé which is equally delicious!


Photo credit Midas Prosecco


If you are looking for an English Wine this Christmas, here are a few suggestions.

Brook Hill Vineyards (find them on instagram)


Christchurch based The Artful Baker has been on my radar as a fantastic local business for a number of years and I love the opportunity to promote them. Their products can be ordered directly from their website but also can be found locally at most farm shops, & delis. Try Renoufs Pantry, the Gourmet Grocer (Fordingbridge,Highcliffe) Westbourne Grocer, Pamphill Dairy to name but a few.

The Real Cure have produced the perfect gift for friends and family that you might not be able to see during the festive period. Send them the Great Taste charcuterie letterbox, it includes a selection of award winning ready to serve meats all they will need to do is add their choice of accompaniments.


Wild Venison Pepperoni

Wild Venison Chorizo

Dorset Blue Vinny & Fig Salami

Dorset Bresola

Fennel & White Pepper Salami


Order you boxes via their website.


Two brothers went on holiday to Crete and it changed their lives! I won't spoil the story because you can read all about it on their website.


I know it's not local but some things just need a warmer climate to produce, it really is a delicious oil and partners with some of the very best restaurants.



Olive & Bay

Let someone else do the prep and order a cheese & charcuterie box for a lazy night in or gift it to a friend, just because! Bournemouth based (dm Pam on Instagram).



I hope you get some inspiration from this post but even if you can't buy right now head to their social media and give them a follow if you don't already, it would make my day.


Have a wonderful Christmas and remember to shop local if you can.


Rachael





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