If “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”, as the old adage says, I might be the man in queston.
As the years have gone by, I’ve been prone to giving and receiving experiences rather than things, and culinary experiences are almost always the best of them.
So, if you’re looking to surprise a loved one with the perfect present this holiday season, look no further. This hand-picked list of gourmand-friendly gifts has you covered.
Gaucho’s Film Club
This festive season, Gaucho Charlotte Street is hosting immersive ‘film and feast’ experience like no other. Every Saturday (bar Christmas Eve) the restaurant is combining screenings of some of best festive films of all time with tasting menus inspired by scenes from each film. Everything from Home Alone to Love Actually has its very own menu, and dishes range from steak tartares to and miso chimichurri. Book early to avoid disappointment.
Butchery Classes at The Ginger Pig
The Ginger Pig’s butchery classes make a fabulous gift for those who would like a hands-on lesson in meat and traditional butchery skills. Particularly those that are always manning the barbecue come summer time. Each class teaches participants how to get the most from each cut, which is then gifted to take home, followed by a lovely two-course meal.
A Gift from Hutong at The Shard
Located on Level 33 of The Shard, with magnificent views of the city, Hutong’s London outpost is not only one of the most beautiful restaurants in the city, but the best destination for northern Chinese culinary delights. The restaurant offers gift vouchers for signature dinners, signature lunches, and traditional pound-value vouchers, as well as tickets to it’s New Years Eve celebration, for which head chef Fei Wang has created an opulent menu featuring Wagyu beef stuffed with marinated purple cabbage and Hutong’s iconic roasted Peking duck. A perfect gift.
Foraging, Cookery and Lunch with Totally Wild
Nature-loving foodies will adore the foraging, cookery and lunch experience with Totally Wild. Over the course of six hours, participants join a professional forager to learn the basics of wild food collection before cooking up their very own three-course lunch. Think Wild Risotto, Elderflower Cheesecake, Wild Eton Mess, and more. These experiences are also offered in many locations across the UK>
A Dans Le Noir Gift Voucher
Since 2006 Dans le Noir restaurant has been offering up an experience like no other; namely, the opportunity to taste gourmet, creative and seasonal cuisine in complete darkness, accompanied and served by blind guides. Each menu is served in a pitch black room, giving diners the chance to re-evaluate their perception of taste and reclaim their senses. They also have tasting menu gift vouchers which last twelve months and include a five-course meal, with a glass of prosecco and four glasses of surprise wine.
A class at Le Cordon Bleu
Chances are you’ve already heard of Le Cordon Bleu, given that it’s a world-leading culinary school, but you probably weren’t aware they also host classes for non-professionals. The kind of thing the passionate home chef in your life would love to discover. There are short workshops and masterclasses which have a specialist focus—like plant-based cooking and petit fours—as well as fully accredited courses.
Dinner at The Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal
Heston Blumenthal’s multi-Michelin starred The Fat Duck is currently hosting a seasonal menu unlike any other in the UK. Designed around the question ‘what does Christmas mean to you?’ the Christmas Edition takes guests on a nostalgic journey through multi-sensory gastronomic delights, including some supremely original takes on Christmas classics. The eleven-course menu not only includes a 24-carat gold carat, but the return of the famous Fat Duck nitro-poached aperitifs Buck’s Fizz, Bristol Cream and Mulled Wine. If you’re pulling out all the stops this Christmas, this should be the end of the line.