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The Alternative Christmas Gift Guide

We have taken great care compiling this list and considered each item included in minute detail. Bottom line, we want one of each please! It can be quite a challenge to find a unique gift for family and friends year after year so we hope you will find some inspiration here. Below are some alternative ideas for the foodie in your life…


Kenwood Chefette by Mary Berry

Created with versatility and simplicity in mind this is a great gift for the baker in your life. Designed for cake mixing, the Kenwood Chefette is perfect for those who want to improve their baking skills but who may not have the space for a kitchen machine. Handily, the hand mixer can be used separately for quick convenient mixing or attach to the specially designed stand with rotating bowl for larger batches.

Price €89.95

Cast Iron Pans from Netherton Foundry

Serious cooks will adore these pans from Netherton Foundry in Shropshire. Loved by many a celebrity chef, it’s easy to see why. They come pre seasoned with flax oil for a natural non-stick finish and contain 99.1% pure spun iron pan with sturdy riveted handles and British oak handle covers with brass fixings and are suitable for range stoves, electric, gas, ceramic, halogen & induction hobs.

From €49.95

The Negroni Hamper

To celebrate the centenary of this world famous beverage, Harvey Nichols have collaborated with Campari to bring you The Negroni Hamper. This wicker basket contains all the spirits required to create the popular tipple that has been enjoyed by every adventurer from Ernest Hemingway to James Bond to Anthony Bourdain. They have even included some olives and nuts for accompanying nibbles in case you get hungry. All you’ll need to raise a toast to the anniversary of this incredible invention is some ice, a couple of glasses and a slice or two of fresh orange.

Price £120

Hand Crafted Christmas Wreath from BethOllie Creations

Put the festive finish to your door with a handcrafted fresh Christmas Wreath, adorned with dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks as well as other decorative embellishments. This wreath is sure to create the sight and smells of a traditional Irish Christmas. Ideal for your own home, as a gift or to mark the memory of a loved one.

Price €60 voucher

We don’t want to blow our own trumpet, but a gift voucher from can make an excellent stocking filler for the food lover in your life. With a range of food and travel experiences on offer, it’s the perfect gift.

Donegal Table by Chef Brian McDermott

Donegal Table by Donegal native Brian McDermott is a compendium of recipes inspired by childhood memories of the kitchen at his home in Co Donegal. The book was recognised as this year’s best cookery book written by a restaurant chef at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards earlier this year. McDermott, who owns the Foyle Hotel in Moville, Co Donegal, beat off stiff competition to take first place at the awards and it’s easy to see why. Donegal Table, a collection of recipes inspired by childhood memories of the kitchen at his home in Burt, Co Donegal, was recognised as this year’s best cookery book written by a restaurant chef. With recipes such as Wild Atlantic Way Fish Pie and Honey-Glazed Donegal Gammon to Thick Batch Loaf and Rustic Irish Apple Pie, there are dishes to suit every taste. This is a cookbook you will come back to again and again.

Price €19.99

Microplane Spice Mill

Who knew a spice mill could conjure up such strong feelings, but for me, it was love at first sight. The Microplane Spice Mill is a necessity for freshly grated spices. It is designed to grate & store hard spices, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, Tonka beans and many more. The ultra-sharp stainless steel blade effortlessly grates spices for superior results. A kitchen must have.

Price €30

Click and Grow Smart Gardens

This one is for the not so green fingered among us and will definitely be on my Santa list this year. Smart Gardens are an innovative indoor gardens that cares for themselves and grows fresh, flavourful herbs, fruits and vegetables for you. Finally, you can experience all the benefits of having your own garden, no matter where you live or how bad you usually are when it comes to growing your own. The Click & Grow indoor garden works just like a capsule coffee machine, but for plants. Instead of coffee pods, they supply offer biodegradable plant pods that have seeds and nutrients inside so you could enjoy home-grown food all year. It’s genius.

From €99

Noel Cunningham’s Guide to Modern Irish Manners

Do you know somebody whose manners may need sprucing up? This could be that not so subtle hint to send them in the right direction. TV personality and hotelier Noel Cunningham has always been passionate about manners and etiquette. Noel has always been of the opinion that the well-mannered young person, aware of the social niceties, and well versed in the requirements of proper etiquette, will have the perfect head start in life. I wonder if it’s too late….

Price €16.99

Handmade Christmas Candles from BethOllie Creations

If a Christmas aroma came in a box then this would be it. These Irish hand poured soy wax candles come in a variety of seasonal scents sure to please even the most finicky aromachologist (it’s a word). This presentation gift box contains Winter Honeysuckle and Elderflower, Festive Fig and Snowberry, Lemon Sherbet and Mulled Pear & Cranberry. The perfect gift to bring to your host on Christmas Day.

Price €55

WSET is the world’s most recognised wine qualification. WSET Level 2 helps people learn how to taste and describe wine, know the key varietals of the world, where they are grown, how they differ.  It includes sparkling and fortified wines. The cost is €450, and there are various dates to choose from. The first course starts Monday 3rd February, and runs for 2.75 hours each Monday over a 6 week period. Courses are offered in Brooks Hotel, Drury St.

Another great option is the 1-day wine tasting course, which is run on Saturdays, 10am-5pm. Learn how to taste and describe wine, learn about 6 varietals, and 4 wine regions. The day is structured, but with small groups and a relaxed atmosphere, there’s plenty of scope to ask questions.  The cost, €150, includes lunch and a set of tasting glasses. Gift vouchers are nicely presented, and the recipient can choose their preferred date.

See www.premierwinetraining.comfor details, or contact 086 240 1916.


Feature By: Ciara McQuillan


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