I’ve long thought that food and drink gifts are some of the best things that you can give to people, and as time goes by I find I like them even more. Welcome to my ideas for Christmas gifts for foodies 2023, including some of the best stocking fillers and affordable little treats.
Some of my favourite things to give are snacks, cooking ingredients, food and drink books, and short subscriptions. One of my top tips here is to look for things that are a little bit nicer than they’d normally buy for themselves, ideally based on what you already know about them, so it’s a proper treat.
How do they see themselves on a really, really good day? An enthusiastic home baker? A friendly host with drinks and nibbles? A bit of a chef? Someone who loves a particular national cuisine, or perhaps the finer things in life?
Sweet treats and savoury snacks
If in doubt, most people have a sweet tooth, and nearly everyone loves chocolate, so it’s easy to start there.
My pick for something special is this Booja-Booja The Winter Collection box of chocolate truffles, shown above, £12.99. Great quality chocs in five different flavours: Hazelnut Crunch, Honeycomb Caramel, Yuletide Spice, Cherry Bakewell and Salted Caramel Mocha. FIND AT: Ocado and Amazon UK
If you’re a fan of Hotel Chocolat you might like to know that they’ve recently been bought up by another company, so you might like to head over to their Christmas chocs and do a little stockpiling.
For a wide range of sweet treats, head to Selfridges – they have hundreds of foodie stocking fillers for under a tenner, including premium chocolate bars, novelty chocs, shortbreads, turkish delight and more.
Do they prefer savoury snacks? Look out for a good quality bar snacks collection like the ones from Bear In Mind, who have lots of different gift boxes in their store. The box in the picture above contains olives, popcorn, posh crisps, crackling, and nuts. FIND HERE: Amazon UK
Another idea is a Degusta Box subscription for three to 12 months. They’ll be sent all kinds of new snacks and ingredients to try every month, up to 15 items worth £25. You can also gift it to them by email, so it’s a handy last minute present. FIND HERE: Degusta Box
For a box of healthy, vegan and gluten-free snacks, have a look at The Nutribox. You can send different sized boxes containing 10 to 40 items as a one-off gift, and they’re full of well known brands to give your giftee a tasty treat.
Alternatively, push the boat out with a beautiful hamper from the experts at Hampers.com, prices from £29. The picture above is their ‘food & wine lovers gift’ hamper. You name it, there’s a hamper for it, from chocolate to cheese, and afternoon tea to ultimate festive food and drink. They also have carbon-neutral environmental status, and are well on the way to becoming a certified B-Corporation. FIND HERE: Hampers.com bestsellers
On the ingredients list…
Interesting ingredients make great stocking fillers for home cooks too. If in doubt, a nice oil and vinegar gift set tends to go down well, like this 5-piece one shown above for £19.99.
For a one-stop-shop on a budget I think Dunelm has done a really great job this year, with lots of foodie gifts at reasonable prices starting from as low as £4.00. I especially like their cheese baker gift set, £6.00, with Camembert-baking dish and a jar of onion relish, and their World Food Gourmet Collection, £15, with two flavoured oils, two seasoning salts, a salad dressing or oil pouring jug and a reusable storage crate.
If you have more in your budget, visit a deli or online shop (or larger supermarket) and put a few related items in a gift bag for a larger gift. It could be anything from Korean cooking ingredients (via the excellent treasure trove that is Sous Chef) to Middle Eastern spice blends and beyond.
Or maybe it’s time for a drink?
Do they love tea, coffee, wine, craft beer, spirits, or non-alcoholic soft drinks? Get them a drink they’ll love.
For mid-priced whisky and other spirits, look to the supermarkets who tend to get competitive with their big brand prices around about now. For example, there are some really good Clubcard offers on gift-boxed single malt whisky at Tesco this week.
Alternatively, check out these more specialist shops for boxed gifts and sought-after spirits: The Whisky Exchange and DrinkSupermarket – there’s everything from 5cl stocking fillers to limited edition tequilas and unusual liqueurs. The DrinkSupermarket ‘pick n mix’ festive box shown above, containing three interesting miniatures of your choice, is £8.46, and there are gift sets for every budget.
If they like non-alcoholic drinks, think about a special bottle of booze-free sparkling beverage for celebrating with such as Belle & Co’s classy fizz, £5.75, made with grape juice ferment and green tea, or some naturally alc-free aperitifs such as Crodino, £5 for 3, or a few carefully selected mocktails.
Or perhaps they’d like a festive cordial or flavoured syrup that will give them several servings, such as the Belvoir Spiced Winter Cordial, £5.79 for 500ml at Ethical Superstore, which makes 22 drinks. It’s especially nice served hot on a frosty day.
Hot chocolate makes an excellent stocking filler too. You can pick up a fun gift set with a mug and marshmallows (several affordable options at Boots), a nice quality pack of unusual flavours at Whittard of Chelsea, or a gourmet tub or box such as Knoops for those who love a taste of the finer things in life.
Cookbooks & other foodie books
There are so many excellent giftable books out there for foodies, and you can either pick a classic, or choose something new and interesting for them. This could be anything from a cookbook to a memoir, the history of an ingredient, or a deep-dive into any topic.
Here are some of the best books for foodies from 2023:
- Flavour by Sabrina Ghayour: the celebrated chef and bestselling author of Persiana serves up a hundred mouthwatering dishes with a Middle-Eastern twist. FIND HERE: Amazon UK (£10 hardback offer)
- The Secret of Cooking by Bee Wilson: packed with mouthwatering simple recipes and an array of kitchen hacks for those pressed for time. FIND HERE: Amazon UK or Waterstones
- The Flavour Thesaurus: More Flavours: Plant-led Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for Cooks by Niki Segnit: her new book is all plant-based, vividly describing different ingredients and expertly pairing them with complementary ones. FIND HERE: Amazon UK or Hive Books
- Jane’s Patisserie Everyday by Jane Dunn: the Instagram sensation’s latest batch of recipes for tasty everyday bakes, from cheesy bread to chunky cookies. FIND HERE: Amazon UK, Tesco or The Works
- World Cocktail Atlas by Olly Smith: arranged by region, his 230 cocktail recipes take you on a global tour, taking in the best, most iconic tipples on the way. FIND HERE: Amazon UK or Hive Books
- A Slice of Fried Gold by Nick Frost: the comedy actor serves up a tasty memoir with a stack of recipes thrown in for good measure. FIND HERE: Amazon UK or Hive Books
Homemade gifts for foodies
There’s still time to make a homemade gift or two, as long as they don’t need a long time to mature in flavour (it’s best to avoid most chutneys and homemade sweet mincemeat, and maybe some alcoholic infusions at this point, but most other things are fair game.)
Just a few examples of homemade gifts you might like to make and give:
- Spiced biscuits and Christmas cookies – multiple recipes here
- Crisp gingerbread biscuits or gingerbread people – I’m obsessed by these gingerbread ninja biscuit cutters by the way (ninjabread? ginger-ninjas?)
- Chocolate truffles
- Flavoured fudge – easy microwave FussFreeFlavours one here
- Mini Christmas cakes or cake bars (not recipes that need long maturation)
- Roasted spiced nuts or caramelised nuts
- Homemade cordials or liqueurs
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That’s it for my guide to Christmas gifts for foodies 2023. What’s the best food or drink stocking filler or gift you’ve ever received?