My Christmas Food and Gift Top 20 for 2015

I felt like a judge on a reality show choosing my top 20 without leaving anyone out. There are so many fabulous producers I have met since doing this blog and you all deserve a space here but I had to set a limit.

So, in no particular order!

  1. Local free-range turkey reared on Etherley farm near Leith Hill Surrey

Available from directly from the Etherley Farm or from Village Greens (Ockley and Dorking) or Kilfeather & Dumbrill (Guildford North Street Market or Bramley). If you buy directly from the farm they will even bone and roll your turkey for you. I have done this many times when oven space is an issue and it’s a great way to roast a large bird. Geese and duck also available.

etherley farm turkey


Kilfeather and Dumbrill

Village Greens


  1. Ethical Coffee by Post

Coffee subscription from ethical coffee importers and roaster – various packages for gorgeous ground or whole coffee beans from single estate coffee growers around the globe. You get different coffee with each delivery, which comes with detailed information about its origins.


Green beans ready to be roasted to yield their best flavour profile


  1. Christmas Cake

Sumptuous brandy drenched Christmas Cakes from The Cake House. Emma Fuller is a former food critic turned cake maker who interned at Mich Turners Little Venice Cake Company. Emma combines her busy life food styling for companies such as Lakeland and creating her own gorgeous cakes and baked treats for us to enjoy. Her attention to detail in her baking and designs are stunning. With new designs each year there are three to choose from! Buy from Christmas events or direct from her website.



  1. Ildiko’s Chocolate

An artisan chocolate company making all their products by hand in Walton-on-Thames. Chocolate slabs, thins, pralines, caramel sauces and other treats from Hungarian chocolatiers, Ildiko and Tamas. Deliciously different and experimental; expect unusual combinations that tickle the taste buds. You’ll find them at various farmers markets and fairs in Surrey and across the borders but you can also buy online.

To meet them in person check out their events page for markets

Ildiko's chocolate_trio

  1. Wild at Heart Foods

A great company which who produce their products just over the border in Kent. These are sold in good delis and farm shops in Surrey and branches of COOK. Many of their products are perfect for festive eating such as hedgerow mincemeat and sloe gin butter. Fruit cheeses (damson, crab apple or quince) partner cheese for a truly local cheeseboard. Indulging in game? Medlar jelly is a must. At many delis, Cook Stores or order online.

wild at heart


  1. Norbury Blue and Dirty Vicar Cheese

Since blue cheese is a must for Christmas it’s just as well that Surrey’s only cheese makers Michaela and Neil Allum produce a rather good one. Pair this with a fruit cheese from Wild at Heart for the ultimate festive cheeseboard. Buy at good delis and online direct. List of stockists on the website. If you are not a blue cheese fan go for Dirty Vicar a soft white cheese with a full flavour and texture (soft outer and firmer centre). Buy from good independent deli’s and farm shop or online.

From left; Norbury blue maturing, Norbury blue packed for retailers and Dirty Vicar maturing

  1. Cocoa Bombon

Delicious chocolate handcrafted in Surrey from 100% Belgian chocolate by Hanna. I love her crushed caramel range, which features unusual combinations such as Earl Grey (read shards of subtle flavoured brittle caramel coated in chocolate. Sea salt comes a close second but you’ll also find a range of other formats on her site. At good deli’s and direct from Hanna’s Etsy Shop.


  1. Kokoh Chocolate

A former buyer and product developer for Marks and Sparks Joanna Marshall is famous for her chocolate in Surrey. One of the first producers to use pink Himalayan salt for her small bars and tonka beans in her much loved truffles. A recent launch is hot chocolate with Himalayan salt. Joanna is a regular at many farmers markets including Guildford and Ripley.


Mayberry bar, natural flavour oils, salted caramel

Facebook Kokoh-Chocolate

  1. Silent Pool Gin

A fantastic craft gin using 24 botanicals to create its unique flavour profile from local company Silent Pool based on the Duke of Northumberlands Albury Estate. Other products include strawberry and blackberry gin cordial and plum and apricot Eau De Vie a clear brandy, stock of these is limited as it’s a seasonal product. They also make Albury Limited Release gin in 38cl bottles.

From good wine merchants, online or in person at Silent Pool.



  1. Four Gables Food Academy

Buy a gift voucher for someone you love who could do with some kitchen inspiration. A great range of courses on offer from talented and charismatic Chef David Gilliat. Super informative and hands on lessons. Choose from Fusion, Asian, Fish and Spanish more on the website.


  1. Black Barn Butchers

Not only is this a top-notch award winning butcher but they also offer hands on butchery Classes. Based at Secretts they have just moved to a bigger unit. They sell a superb selection of free range meat and poultry including a feature rare breed beef each week.

Join the expert team at Black Barn to learn butchery skills. Jointing lamb and pork or try your hand at sausage making. A perfect gift for someone who loves meat isn’t squeamish and has more than enough socks. Let David and his expert team show you the ropes.

black barn butchers


  1. Secretts Farm and Farm Shop

Based at Hurst Farm in Godalming enjoy their home grown carrots, cabbage and beetroot. Create wonderful side dishes for your festive dining from a field near you. Picked fresh everyday they are delicious and local. Just pray the ground doesn’t get too frozen but currently harvesting carrots, beet, kale, savoy cabbage, parsnips, cavolo nero, chard, sprouts, celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes. They are currently stocking the shop with fabulous Christmas treats and drinks too.


  1. Butter and Cream Cakes

An artisan bakery in Milford nr Godalming making cupcakes, brownies and celebration cakes that look and taste brilliant. You’ll find them at North Street Market in Guildford on a Friday and Saturday or you can visit their shop. Read my review for full details. If you ever visit Secretts they also run Eliza’s  Tea Room at Secretts serving their lovely cakes and delicious home made food.

Chocolate chilli cup cakes, hand crafted rose buds and assorted cupcakes


  1. Silent Pool Gin Experience

A great present for anyone interested in how gin is made particularly as this award winning brand that opened at the beginning of the year. So far they have enjoyed huge success and a large following of local gin lovers. They’ll take your around the distillery and the incredibly knowledgeable staff will tell all! Not only this the gorgeous historic setting adds to the affair makes this a perfect gift for the gin and country lover in your life.


  1. The Gourmet Cheesecake Company

If you are not a big fan of Christmas pudding (my kids hate it) then how about investing in a delicious slow baked white chocolate and vanilla cheesecake. Large small or individual cakes are available. The mini cakes are perfect for entertaining and look as good as they taste. Emma will deliver within 3 miles of her home in Woking or you can arrange to collect. Top with fresh berries and a sprinkle of icing sugar for a alternative pud!

emmas cheesecake

  1. The Grange Cookery Book

The Grange Centre in Bookham do fantastic work with adults with learning and physical disabilities. Running workshops in crafting, cooking and gardening to develop residents skills by creating products to sell via their shop ‘Inspirations’ in Dorking. You can go and have a cream tea on a Tuesday afternoon at the centre in their Victorian Conservatory (you must book in advance) at Simply Scones pop up tea room. Just recently they published a cookery book written and developed by the residents with the help of staff. Get into the Christmas Spirit and buy a gift that helps this centre. With simple family favourites and some original creations from Simply Scones such as Rhubarb and Custard Scones it’s a treat to read. Buy online or in person at reception. You can also buy packs of Christmas fudge at reception or their core range from their online shop.

grange trio top 20

Buy the cookbook by following this link

Find out more about Inspirations gift shop here

  1. Pinch of This (Gluten Free Bakery)

Delicious gluten free goodies from Mark who started his company just over a year ago. Choose from his delicious savoury pasties, peanut butter brownies and his legendary macaroons. His gluten free treats have received rave reviews and he is constantly adding new products to his range. Give the gluten free person in your life a sweet treat this Christmas.




  1. The Cookie Bar Cookie Subscription Service

A great way to say thanks to companies you work with by supporting this charity.

Set up by the COINS Foundation to support and provide work experience for pupils from the Stepping Stones School The Cookie Bar  gives young people with mild to moderate disabilities a valid safe environment in which to gain proper work experience. It boosts self-esteem, develops skills and helps pupils engage in their local community. Pupils work with team of part time staff and volunteers who guide them through the day-to-day workings of a proper food business. All pupils age 8 and up who are able, come to the café to gain experience.

In order to raise essential funds Cookie Bar runs a cookie subscription service. Companies can buy a one-year package and have fresh cookies delivered each month to a business of their choice. It’s a great way to support this charity, provide useful work for pupils and raise awareness of their work.

cookie bar collage2

  1. Farretti Bakery

If you are entertaining around Christmas and New Year this bakery makes really good Focaccia and Ciabatta. Ciabatta dough is also made into rolls. This is proper slow fermented bread (12- 24hrs) which, has, a soft crust. Sold with a six day life (slow fermented breads rarely go mouldy) it freezes perfectly and perks up a treat with 5 minutes in a hot oven or toasted. The rolls are perfect for leftover turkey and ham sandwiches or with cheese. Black olive ciabatta has a lovely salty edge for making bruschetta. Available at Secretts and other farm shops in Surrey and Sussex. If you need bread for a party order in advance for pick up at your nearest stockist. Support this lovely craft baker it’s the smallest bake-house I have ever been too and this bread made by a native Italian is really made with love.



  1. Little Spice

Sarah Lazell makes lovely spice mixes in Reigate. These unassuming little packs of hers really pack a punch. I have tried the complete range and was very taken by the amount of flavour they add to dishes. Try her whimsically named English Country Garden on pan fried chicken fillets or a Pinch of This on roast potatoes – delicious. One of my favourites surprisingly, is Awesome Pepper; a blend of three different peppers that gives an elevated peppery edge to dishes. Perfect for foodies to pop into Christmas stockings or as table gifts. Read my review here to find out more.

Buy On Line or at Xmas fairs around Surrey.

spice range little spice9x7

Happy Christmas Shopping!


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