The15milefoodie Gift Guide
Could there be a better time to support our local food and drink producers/outlets than Christmas 2020 at the during a pandemic?
I don't think so, we are at risk losing them if we don't give them the vital support they need, so with that in mind I'm going to help you plan your shop local, Christmas shopping list.
Twelve days of listings my favourite food and drink ideas for Christmas
Starting with a few of my favourite alcoholic tipples.
Day 1 Wine
Established in 2009 by Justin Langham, Dorset based Langham Vineyard has gone from strength to strength.
I am absolutely thrilled to recommend Langham Wines for your festive celebrations, on the evening of requesting a suitable image for this post Langham was named Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year at The IWSC. Over 700 wines were entered into this years competition and last years winner was Veuve Clicquot so an incredible achievement and something English wine drinkers should be celebrating too.
Photo provided by Langham Wines
Photographer Richard Budd
Brook Hill Vineyard
On a smaller scale Brook Hill Vineyard is a family - run vineyard based in the New forest however, despite being relatively young it is still producing award winning wines at the Independent English Win Awards and well worth searching out.
Wines can be purchased direct from
Contact them via the facebook page https://www.facebook.combrookhillwine/
Brook Hill Photo
The Black Chalk Estate lies on the banks of the River Test making it a beautiful place to visit and taste some of their fantastic wines. I first tried their wines at a special event at Restaurant27 in Southsea and incidentally if you havn't been there it is so worth a visit.
A great way to try wines is to sign up for a tour and this year (fingers crossed) Black Chalk are offering some Christmas Tours that not only make great presents in themselves it is an opportunity to make those festive purchases.
Christmas Winery Tour & Tasting
4th December until 20th December.
Available Thursday to Sunday 2pm-4pm.
Black Chalk Photo
Day 2 Gin
I'm a big gin fan but don't claim to be an expert by any means, but in the spirit of supporting local here are a few of my favourites.
My closest producer, literally a few minutes from my door is the home of Pothecary Gin.
If you fancy trying something different this Christmas order the hot G&T cocktail box 'Cinnamon Twist' Winter Blend, Chamomile tea with a little sugar and a fresh slice of orange to garnish. Click the link to take you to the website.
Another of my favourites is Conker Gin produced in Southbourne, Dorset. They now offer a Dorset Dry a Port Barrel and a Navy Strength together with the ever popular Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur.
Well worth looking at this Christmas is their Port Barrel Cocktail making kit or if you can't decide which one to buy how about their minis gift set?
Based in Cerne Abbas, Dorset. The name bizarrely came about when Carl the distiller spotted the rare site of a viper whilst clearing grounds to grow botanicals. A great local gin well worth a try. I've heard on the grapevine that they might have new premises in Poole in the new year too, so keep your eyes peeled.
Choose from Viper Gin London Dry or perhaps as its nearly Christmas you might want to try their mulled gin, all available on their online shop.
Just over the border into Hampshire Wyrd Gin is handcrafted in small batches in a distillery in the New Forest. Shop online for their Dry Gin, Damson Gin, Barrel aged gin or a cute selection pack.
Ben Maguire the founder of HMS Spirits was inspired to name his gin by his proximity to the sea and his naval family background.
Offering a great selection of gift ideas including, full size bottles of their 3 gins, Mary Rose, Elizabethan and Dreadnaught, miniatures and my personal favourite the gin filled Christmas baubles.
Head to his website to find out more.
I hope those have inspired you because honestly, I could of easily continued on to day 3 and 4 with the number of distillers locally.
However, if you are interested in trying some of the others I can thoroughly recommend taking a look at ginandtreats who are offering virtual gin discovery evenings. Lloyd and Sally who run the evenings via a zoom call, really are so knowledgeable and make for a fun and alcoholic evening.
Day 3 -Beer
Everyone has someone that is really tricky to buy for but a few beers is normally the ideal solution.
Head to Brockenhurst in the New Forest where you will find the Pig Beer Brewery, a business run by two brothers and a cousin and based on a former pig farm. Alongside their beer they also have a range of merchandise including the rather fancy growler, perfect for days on the move.
Free delivery for orders over £50.
Contact number 01590 607237
Pig Beer Image
Situated in the historic market town of Ringwood you can find Ringwood Brewery, it is the ideal place to visit if you are thinking about buying some beer as a present or just stocking up for the holidays - you are bound to find something suitable. Check out their website for other merchandise and hamper options, maybe even book a tour for next year.
138 Christchurch Road
Tel 01425 470303
Day 4 Chocolate
Can you be a Chocolate addict? If so I'm sure I have one living with me as the word chocolate is mentioned every day.
Christmas chocolate is a must in most households and it comes in a number of guises, I've listed a couple of local producers that I would recommend.
Morse Toad has come up with the unique idea of writing a message in chocolate, your order can be customised on their website. I've used them several times over the last couple of years more recently with a photo added for our anniversary, that could be perfect for those relatives we can't see this year or that surprise proposal??
Maya Palmer is another small business that deserves our support if you love quality chocolates - check out her etsy page, The New Forest Chocolate Company. These beautiful creations are mini works of art in fact it's almost a crime to eat them. Stocks are limited because I'm sure you can imagine they are time consuming to make, but what a gift!
Another local talent that started her career as a pastry chef, Kerry Witt. She has been winning awards with the World Academy of Chocolate for the last five years, so if you fancy some award winning chocolates head to her website www.chocolatebymisswitt.com. Not only can you order chocolates from Kerry you might want to consider attending a workshop with her and make some yourself, I have and it's delicious fun.
Day 5 Biscuits
Day 5 is a selection of locally produced biscuits, different types but all great choices for your Christmas gifts or stashing in the cupboard for when you have those snacking moments.
Great British Biscotti a Dorset based bakery have created Biscotti for any occasion, sweet for eating with your favourite drink hot or (alcoholic) and savoury for serving as a canape base, dipping in melted cheese or serving on a steaming hot bowl of soup. Recently the brand has introduced twin packs that have hit the coffee shops and hotel rooms with gluten free options and compostable packaging. These treats can be found in most local farm shops or can be purchased via their online shop.
Delicious homemade shortbread created by Tracy and her team at her home in Burley. If you stay in hotels in the New Forest you might of seen the distinctive little boxes with New Forest wildlife printed on the cover, the boxes not only contain beautiful buttery shortbread but include tear off and keep fact sheets about the flora and fauna of the area.
Great little gifts if you are thinking of making up your own locally sourced hamper but why not treat yourself after all everyone has to have shortbread at Christmas, right?
Purchase from the online shop.
The very talented Zusana from Forest Cake Crafts in Lymington creates these fantastic cookies - perfect for presents, decorating the tree or if you have left it too late to order for Christmas have a look at her selection for Wedding favours, new baby gender reveals/arrivals etc, etc. Could you send some business her way?
Day 6 Vodka
Back on alcohol for day 6. Still keeping it local, two Dorset brands producing two very different Vodkas both worthy of a place in my Christmas gift guide and your Christmas drinks cupboard.
Three hundred years of cheese making led to the creation of Black Cow (pure milk) Vodka, when the fourth generation of farmers realised how much milk was being wasted, it's a great story head to their website to read more.
p.s. they still make cheese.
Unlike some of the other brands in this gift guide you should be able to purchase Black Cow vodka from Waitrose, Sainsburys and Tesco or order direct. If you purchase a bottle of this be sure to follow their social media as they have some amazing cocktail recipes. Also when this whole crazy pandemic is over take a trip in a minibus with a group of friends to the distillery it really is a superb way to spend a few hours.
New to the table is Black Cow Christmas Spirit, let's face it we could all do with a little bit of this right now. Simply made with the addition of dried fruits and flavours of Christmas - I'm definitely hoping for one of these in my stocking this year
Day 7 Cheese
If you are building a hamper for a relative, or planning on buying a selection of cheese this Christmas, look out for the following (my favourite) local brands and support your local economy at the same time.
Lyburn Award winning cheese is produced using milk from the farm's own herd of 170 dairy cows, the farm can be found in Landford on the Northern edge of the New Forest and has been farmed by the Smales family for the last 50 years.
Their range consists of :
Lightly Oak Smoked
Garlic and Nettle
More details of the individual cheeses can be found on their website.
There is a small shop selling the range at the farm or purchases can be made through delis/farm shops across the area or via the online store. Thanks to www.parlourmentary.com in Southbourne for providing the photo of some of their Lyburn stock.
Online shop www.lyburnfarm.co.uk
Tel 01794 399 982
Self taught cheesemaker Peter Morgan produces a range of award winning cheeses in Cranborne, Dorset. Dive a little further into the Book and Bucket cheese range and you will find a gentle creamy blue, Dorset hard cheese, a selection of Halloumi, and their very own Dorset Brie.
The range can be purchased direct from their website www.bookandbucketcheesecompany.co.uk or from a range of farm shops or delis.
Image by Heather Brown
If you love goats cheese then I recommend Rosary Goats Cheese, produced at a small farm just up the road in Salisbury. Established in 1988 the cheese produced here is creamy and fresh with a mousse like texture. Cheese can be purchased via the new online shop, collection or delivery. www.rosarygoatscheese.co.uk 01794 322196
Day 8 Charcuterie and Olive Oil
Award winning British Cured Charcuterie made in Dorset. Normally I would of had the opportunity to see these guys at many of the food festivals throughout the summer, but thankfully you can still have your charcuterie fix by ordering online and having it delivered through your letterbox.
What would you choose?
Dorset & Blue Vinny & Fig Salami
Fennel & White Pepper Salami
Dorset smoked Nduja
The lovely Angela from Olivero was in Southern Italy a few weeks ago helping her family with this year's harvest, if you follow them on instagram (olivero_oil ) you can see the whole fascinating process, I must admit to being a little envious as its something I would love to do.
Olivero Olive oil is our chance to buy a little bit of Italian sunshine, grown in Italy and bottled in Dorset.
Head to the website to purchase your taste of Italy this Christmas.
A handy little stocking filler created locally by Tailfeather Drinks, just shake and pour and you can have your own Espresso Martini without leaving the house.
Check out the stockist list on their website or simply place an order online.
Day 10 Hamper Companies
New Forest Hampers create bespoke gifts for special occasions using local produce. Consider them for
Thank you presents
Head to their website and create the style of hamper you want for that special person.
Their website claims the biggest selection of the latest artisan food, wine, & beer from Dorset.
They offer a wide selection of hampers - just choose the one that suits.
Christmas Hampers & Gifts
Postbox Hampers & Gifts
Dorset Cherry Products
Celebratory & Thank you Hampers
Based in Poole, Dorset Hampers on the Green also offer a hamper and gift service mainly using locally sourced produce. Browse the selection and order online, be quick though last orders for Christmas coming up soon.
If you are making your own hamper or just buying for a friend who is into all things chilli, then this is the shop for you. Dorset Chilli Shop has everything from the hottest chilli sauce to the sweetest chilli jam.
Look no further for award-winning non-alcoholic ginger drinks & Sicilian lemonade made in Dorset. If you fancy a wander around a Christmas Fayre to make your purchase the last one is at Chequers Inn, Lytchett Matravers Dorset this Saturday 19th December.
They are currently producing some lovely hampers together with some other Dorset based producers. Last day for postal orders 22nd December, so be quick.
Keep your Christmas spend local and buy vouchers for local cafes/restaurant/hotels/shops.
Treat yourself in the New Year to Afternoon Tea at one of our local hotels.
1 Knoll House Hotel 01929 450450
2 Level Eight Skybar 01202 200188
3 The Queens Hotel 01202 554415
1 2 3
Buy a voucher for a meal out for relatives that may have been isolating this year, choose from tasting menus at Restaurant Roots, to traditional pub food at the Thomas Tripp or a whole variety in between.
1 2 3
4 5 6
1 Restaurant Roots
Fancy booking an outdoor feast check out Ritual Feasts for their next events.
Well that's the end of my shop local gift ideas for this Christmas, I hope you have found it useful and look forward to a sharing more of my fabulous foodie adventures with you in 2021.