Christmas is quite literally here. You are preparing your last minute pieces. Food shopping lists have been checked. Travel plans have been made. Box set TV programmes have been downloaded and your Christmas tree is looking fabulous. For those organised, your Christmas gifts would have been done in the last weeks of November or even start of December. For those less organised a tinge of panic has set in. “Amazon won’t deliver it on time” or “the queues at Curry’s were horrendous.” Don’t worry, it happens to everyone.
But what if the gift you’re buying is for the foodie of the family/friends circle? What could you possibly get today that would bring a smile to their face and spare blushes for when the man in the big red suit pays his visit to households this December 24th?
For those of you living in Chester and on the Wirral here are some local stores and shopping suggestions that you can use for inspiration.
Imperia Pasta Machine (£69.99)
Steam Cooker Trading Shop
22 Bridge St, Chester CH1 1NQ
When it comes to pasta and pasta machines, Imperia is the weird juxtaposition of being the Rolls Royce and the workhorse of the family home across Italy and that story continues here in the UK. The original design was produced in the 50’s and much hasn’t changed. At nearly £70 it is a big outlay, however, you get a five year guarantee, it’s designed to last a very long time (Stefano’s mum still uses her Imperia since the early 1960’s) and is quite literally one of the best foodie treats anyone could ever have.
Lavazza Milk Frother (£28.99)
15-17 Northgate St, Chester CH1 2HA
So you have your moka machine, naturally, but now you’re looking for something to make your morning coffee stand out. Let’s say you’ve been requested a Flat White or a Cappuccino (not after 11 am though, no no!) but your milk frothing skills are basic to say the least. How about this little device, the Lavazza Milk Frother. You will have seen the Lavazza brand across the country for the last 20 years thanks to Antonio Carluccio and other Italian expats, but their coffee products are equally as good and this frother gives you perfect results all of the time. If there was a list of gifts for gadget lovers, this would be it.
Scales & Measuring Set (£25 combined)
Unit 96 Cheshire Oaks, McArthur Glen Designer Outlet, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 9JR
For all of those home bakers, there are many gifts you could go for, but for others, stocking up on something that may have run its cause is a perfect gift idea. So why not grab two items that would make any home baker happy and something that they would regularly put to good use, electronic scales and measuring sets. They’re the essentials for all home baking and by way of thanks you will probably get a cake in return, now that is planning ahead!
Wine Fountain Carafe (£49)
Unit 3, Greyhound Retail Park, Chester, CH1 4QG
For all the wine lovers and those that enjoy watching water feature cascades, this is for you. The Wine Fountain Carafe is from the Creuset brand and is not only a showstopper but serves the perfect purpose of injecting as much air into your wine whilst it is being poured. How? It does this because the attachment to this gorgeous carafe allows you to place the bottle over the opening and leave it to pour the wine whilst you can get on entertaining.
Rick Stein, Sabrina Ghayour & Where to Eat Pizza (Around £60)
14 Eastgate Row, Chester, CH1 1LF
If there were three books to give as gifts, that provide you with diversity, flavour and lots of great tips as well as one for a stocking filler that would keep any pizza lover happy, then you want to look at this triumvirate. Rick Stein’s Long Weekends follows his successful TV series that went from Copenhagen and Berlin to Bologna and Reykjavik. Sabrina Ghayour spent years running supper clubs until finding fame in 2014 with her first published cookbook, Persiana. This, her follow up, Sirocco is an amazing contribution to anyone’s guide to middle-eastern cuisine. And finally, Where to Eat Pizza is the ultimate guide to pizza eating around the world. What more could you ask for?!