Christmas. There we said it. It might be early November still but there seems to have been a real buzz for the festive season since September due to the rollercoaster that has been 2020 and the need for something to look forward to. We are certainly ready to jump aboard the build up to the holidays and even though things may look a little different this year we know now more than ever just how important it is to shop local, independent and early!
Today we are bringing you the first of a series of gift guides as part of our #ShopCambridgeshire winter campaign – a feast of inspiration for the food lovers in your life from independent businesses across the county. There is something for everyone, from cook and craft kits aimed at bringing the whole family together to kitchen essentials and a cookery book that sets out to put British farming back on the map and at the centre of your table.
Through our winter campaign we will be sharing with you an array of products, artworks, services and experiences that can be found right on your doorstep. We hope that you discover something new and encourage you to think about supporting your local businesses where you can this Christmas.
We will be officially launching the campaign over on Instagram next week with a series of interactive story templates for you to download and share – including a gift finder template, so if you have in mind something you would like to buy but are not quite sure where to look we are on hand to help!
GIFTS FOR CAMBRIDGE FOODIES
David Underwood, founder of Orriss & Son, has been a chef for over 20 years. He has travelled extensively, cooking in some of the best kitchens in London and Melbourne, before settling back in his hometown of Cambridge in 2014 as co-owner of street-food burger sensation Steak & Honour.
A fleet of vans, an eponymous restaurant opening and a packed events calendar followed, but David’s focus has always been the building blocks of flavour; the layers of taste, tang and heat that can transform a simple meal into a culinary experience.
After 6 years and a national lockdown, David knew the time was right to devote his full energy to this pursuit of flavour. At home with his family he developed and refined an idea he had been working on for the past decade – hand-crafted, fermented chilli sauces made in small batches, plant based and without additives.
They were to carry his grandmother’s family name, ‘Orriss’ – one rooted in the East Anglian region. A personal touch for a bespoke product so closely tied to his memories of flavour-filled family meals.
David lives in Cambridge with his wife Katie and their three children. Having worked together since the day they met in a Cambridge kitchen, this new partnership allows them to create a better balance in their professional and family lives.
A strong brand drawing upon David’s love of maps and music (spot the Pearl Jam and Soundgarden references in the sauce range), Orriss & Son is unique, impactful and transformative – and available soon.
Handcrafted in Cambridge, the sauces will be available to buy at £7.50 for a 200ml bottle with a donation from each bottle sale going to Water Aid. We think these would be the perfect addition to a gift hamper and even make a great stocking filler too!
Cook & Craft is a brand new Cambridge-based independent selling specially curated kits that can be delivered straight to your door. They include wonderful recipes and ingredients for cooking as well as materials for crafting – ideal for children aged between 5-11 and fun for the whole family!
Explore delicious recipes from around the world and create them at home with your loved ones whilst learning new skills and finally getting to sit down, taste and enjoy the flavours of your cooking afterwards.
Alex and Victoria, the co-owners of Cook & Craft, invite you to pick your adventure – play and create with art materials, craft some works of art based around food and learn some facts and phrases from a different country using their activity book which features original illustrations for colouring-in. You can choose either a box with one or two recipes and there are options for ordering vegetarian and vegan as well as gluten free!
The cook and craft kits can be tailored to suit your needs depending on the size of your family and they range from £18 to £87. What’s more? You can also shop a collection of craft bundles, craft supplies and party kits – take a look at everything on offer here.
Brought to you by cook book specialists Meze Publishing and compiled by local arable farmer’s wife Jenny Jefferies, For The Love of the Land was launched this summer and celebrates the stories and recipes of some of the UK’s finest farmers.
As echoed in David and Katie’s story above, the pandemic has certainly given some families a chance to reconnect and take stock of the things that are important to them. Families used to rushing from pillar to post and grabbing meals on the go have been able to take time to cook and share meals together in a way they had perhaps forgotten.
It has also given some of us a new appreciation of what the food shop staff, delivery drivers, butchers, bakers, farmers and deli owners do to help us put great food on our table. The launch of Jenny’s cookery book couldn’t have been more timely.
She tells us: “After marrying my husband, John, I discovered the wonderful, challenging and sometimes isolating world of farming. I never before quite appreciated where our food came from so it’s been a real privilege to speak with the farmers within this book; they are truly the backbone of our country. They nurture and provide for us; putting food on our table for us to enjoy, so let’s give thanks and praise for all the hard work that they do.“
‘For The Love Of The Land’ features a collection of stories and recipes from farmers across the UK who specialise in a diverse range of produce; from game, pork, lamb, beef, cheese and dairy to the more unusual such as lavender, chillies and edible flowers.
Featured local farms include Cambridgeshire-based Burwash Manor Farm in Barton, Caldecote Manor Farm in Abbotlsey, Fuller’s Hill Farm in Little Gransden, P.X. Farms Ltd in Dry Drayton and South Farm in Royston as well as La Hogue Farm Shop and Café based in Newmarket.
For many farming families like Jenny and John, working the land and raising livestock is a true labour of love, and what they produce is the backbone of the country’s food and drink. The dishes in this book make the most of local and seasonal ingredients, creating delicious meals, puddings and bakes that anyone can cook up at home – find out more and order your copy for £22 here!
Further Gifting Inspiration:
Bumble & Oak – Truffle Making Gift Kit (£19.69 via Click It Local)
Shop At Seed – Contemporary Ceramic Tableware from £24
Alison Hullyer – Baking Illustrated Tea Towel (£10)
Bitesize Bakehouse – Artisan Sweet Treats & Postal Brownies from £5
Sue Rapley – Nature-inspired Table Mats from £10
Claire Folkes Ceramics – Stoneware Tableware from £8
Steak & Honour – Gift Vouchers from £10
Cambridge Wine Merchants – Wine, Champagne, Beer & Spirits
Gourmandises Académie – Patisserie Workshop Custom Gift Cards
Pear Pan Tree – Kitchen Wares from £25
Kelly’s Kitchen – 1-2-1 Virtual Cake Decorating Class (£55)
La Petite Maison – Chocolate Bars & Bonbons from £14.58
White Cottage Bakery – Bread Making Workshop Vouchers from £10
The Cambridge Cheese Co. – Gift Vouchers from £25
Cambridge Cookery School – Culinary Experience Class Gift Vouchers
If you are a local business offering foodie gifts, courses or vouchers and would like to be added to this list then please do get in involved in the discussion over on Instagram when the post goes live this evening or leave a comment below! Subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss any of our upcoming gift guides and keep an eye out for the official #ShopCambridgeshire winter campaign launch next week.
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