Monday, 2 December 2013

20 Christmas gifts for cooks

All year I bookmark things I like, saving them up for my annual foodie Christmas list. Men, Women, this is what your WAGS (wives and girlfriends) want. There are some blokey, butch-in-the-kitchen, gifts towards the end of this post.
I lust after Sophie Conran's range for Portmeirion pottery. White, hand-made looking, simply designed but a twist on the classic white china. I like the fact that it's slightly irregular and that despite the fineness of the china, it is oven to table. I'm looking forward to using the tajine. 
A great big sugar-pink mixing bowl for £17 with hearts on it
Jars are another of my fetishes. Vintage Ball jars came in blue/turquoise and are a collectors item. Kilner are doing new blue, pink and green jars. Useful and pretty.
A gorgeous carbon steel knife with boxwood handle from Catalan craft producers Pallares Solsona. Available from this classy American website QuitoKeeto ($44)or directly from Spain: Pallares Solsona.
The New Craftsmen is promoting exactly that, beautifully made British products. This bowl (£70) may look ordinary in the photo, but in the 'flesh' it has character and refinement, made from Sycamore wood by Robin Wood (good name!)You can even microwave food in it.
Again from The New Craftsmen, this apple Storage Chest by Arne Maynard. Cost a bunch at over 2k though. Imagine having the kind of place/money to spend that on storing your apples stylishly! Big treat, lovely gift.

I love enamel. Light, unbreakable and portable for popups, camping, picnics. This is a Polish site  Emalia Olkusz, where you can buy it online. 
This pink enamel candle stick costs 23 zloty, about £4.50p
This sunflower yellow coffee pot costs 52 zloty, about ten pounds. 

Creamware with inscriptions from Doris & Co. Cheeseboard and mug
Or, super useful for parties these removable glass stickers so you can recognise your own glass. 

Nice homeware at Rigby& like this glass cake stand only £4.95
Handpainted signs by Button and Jewels. Reasonably priced and charming. She'll make any sign you want. The 'beach hut' sign above costs a mere £25
 Peza, smooth and fruity                                          Viannos, fruity and peppery

Olive oil.  This Greek extra virgin olive oil from Crete, cold pressed from Koroneiki olives, comes in pretty tins, a good stocking filler for the keen cook. 
Frank has a nice selection of British-made gifts, like this hand-carved 'trook'. 
Foodie jewellery: a Marmite bracelet  (£12.45) from but there are custard creams rings and other food related jewellery. You can even create your own via their site.
More wrapping materials or ways to decorate your foodie gifts: food ribbons from Like this cherry ribbon.
 Baker's Twine to wrap your gifts or, of course your baked goods

For men and WAGS with an outdoor bent: I've always wanted a good canvas tent, like a teepee or a medieval marquee tent. Panther Primitives make them in different styles, often historically accurate, which they provide to movies. They have a charming and fascinating catalogue with camp kitchen items too: good strong cast iron bbq grills, dutch ovens in different sizes, wooden canteens, boneware, copper kettles, barrel drinking cups. Hours of fun. (Note: they are based in Virginia, USA).
In the UK you can go to Wild Stoves to order tripods and pots. 

S Hooks. I use these everywhere, in the kitchen, in the shed. I don't think you can have enough hooks. Not girly, not glam, but useful. From Labour & Wait. (£4.80)

You know what I've asked for this christmas? A decent pastry brush, that doesn't shed hairs and properly bastes, by Rosle. £15.20p for pastry happiness. 

Other ideas: hampers, why not make your own? But you can buy gift vouchers and hampers for specialist food shops like the Italian Lina Stores from  £35 to £100
Check through my recent post on essential items for the kitchen. 


  1. Great post Kerstin. I love the bowl and spoon from the New Craftsmen, you have told me about them before but now I feel a purchase coming on...

    1. Lovely to hear from you! I've been to their shop and to see and touch their products is a whole different experience: they look quite plain but the quality is very apparent.

  2. I love the Sophie Conran stuff; am often to be found stroking it in department stores. (Before being asked to leave, usually)! Like the font - nice and clear and clean.

    1. You can't beat plain white china, with a twist! Thanks, glad the font is easy to read.

  3. Lots of wonderful ideas here, thank you. New font is much better!

  4. Awesome collection,
    i think lots of idea and dedication is involve to make above the gift items.
    Christmas Gifts

  5. Oh my goodness, I've never thought I liked that Sophie Conran range but I see now the cake stand is wonderful! Can I show you what I wish Santa would bring me? This saute pan:

    1. That looks great, but it's a little heavy for sauté-ing?


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