Kate Stevenson’s 2019 Christmas Gift Guide
Melbourne’s best known spice merchants, Gewurzhaus, have launched a set of gorgeous little Mini Tins to make sure your loved ones’ food is never under-seasoned again. This travel range showcases seven specialty salts in cute tins; plus there are three gift packs available with collections for every types of salt lover. There’s the “The Chilli Lover” collection, with chilli salt, habanero chilli, and chipotle chilli; “The Epicurean” with Vintage Merlot Salt, Black Truffle Salt, Egyptian Dukkah; and more. Individual tins retail at $8.95; the gift boxes start at $30.
For the chocolate lover in your life, as well as creating some delectable Christmas gift ideas, this year Koko Black is releasing a limited-edition “Dancing Branches” build-your-own chocolate Christmas tree. It’s pretty special, designed to be the ultimate centrepiece for your Christmas table, or a gift for someone who seriously adores chocolate. Its made from 54% dark chocolate, is sprinkled with caramelised hazelnuts and crystallised petals of rose and violet, and only 1,000 have been made, so a limited number will be released in Koko Black stores Australia-wide. They’re priced at $69. kokoblack.com
We know that gin is increasingly popular, which means we’re all trying to find more unique varieties and expand our knowledge. Well, that’s where The Garden St Gin Club comes in. They aim to share the best gins from around the world (and Australia) with members through a flexible monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly subscription box. Each month there’s an award-winning craft gin delivered and paired with a curated box packed full of matching goodies like tonic, garnishes, snacks and other goodies. You can give an ongoing subscription, or there’s a one-off Christmas box which includes a bottle of award-winning Slingsby London Dry Gin; Capi Native Tonic made with all Australian botanicals, Capi Grapefruit Soda, some Dried Ruby Grapefruit to garnish your G&T, a Gingerbread Snowman from Gingerbread Folk; handcrafted, Christmas Soy Candle; pack of Vegetable Chips; and glossy Garden St Gin Club Magazine. gardenstreet.com.au
Also, for the gin fiend in your friendship group, Four Pillars have just been crowned the greatest gin producer in the world, and you can find out why by giving someone their annual Christmas Gin. The founders make Christmas puddings to distiller Cam’s mother’s recipe, distill them, then age the resulting gin in 100 year old Muscat barrels. They get a touch of Classic Muscat in bottling, and the end product is a rich, Christmassy gin with classic juniper, an inkling of cinnamon, and a hint of sweetness.
Go all out and pair it with an actual Four Pillars Christmas pudding. Created by Yarra Valley locals Silver Penny Puddings, and made with gin-soaked fruit and pureed gin-steamed oranges, they honestly are the best Christmas pud I’ve tasted! fourpillarsgin.
If the boozehound in your life is a whisky fan, get yourself to the Starward Pop Up at Myer Melbourne where you can get your hands on one of only 1200 Limited Edition whisky bottles AND personalise the label for them. This one-off single malt whisky has been matured in Australian red wine barrels from the Barossa Valley, plus a fourth charred barrel, for a bolder, more vibrant flavour. These are ONLY available at the Starward Whisky Bar on level four of the Myer Bourke Street store. starward.com.au
For your fiery friends, how about Fancy Hank’s hot sauces? They’re a great stocking filler for the barbecue lover, and come in two fun and tasty flavours this year – Cayenne & Watermelon and Jalapeno & Peach. They’re just $11 each, made in-house at the popular city eatery, and are 100% vegan and gluten-free. Pick up at the restaurant or buy online: fancyhanks.com/shop
Give someone an authentic Shanghai tea experience with an Oriental Teahouse Christmas hamper – with nine different bundles on offer, each one comes with a quality tea-pot and snacks to complement the teahouse way of life. All of owner David Zhou’s teas are hand-blended and inspired by ancient Chinese medicine principles, with healthy and healing properties. The hampers start at $40, are available in-store or online, and can be viewed HERE.
For the home cook, give them serving ware that is deserving of their efforts. The Angus & Celeste “Australian Botanicals” range is just stunning. These modern, minimal-shaped servingware, plates and bowls feature distinctive, vibrant floral images; a delicate speckled, milky glaze; and elegant satin finish. Created by Melbourne-born, Dandenongs’ based Asha Cato & Keir McDonald, they are just waiting for glorious food to be displayed and devoured. More info HERE.
It’s not just about what you drink, but also what you drink them IN. Hence, the new Plumm gift pack featuring the “Plumm Three”. These are three Ultra-fine European crystal glasses developed in conjunction with leading Australian sommeliers, designed to enhance the modern experience of wine and dining. There are three glasses, starting with the Universal Glass for all styles of wines and particularly good for full bodied reds; the White Glass, for crisp whites and sparkling; and the Pinot Noir/Chardonnay Glass, for bright, fresh reds and textural whites. A great choice for the wine lover in your life.
For those who love to cook, give them more recipes and techniques in the form of a cooking class! While we were filming A Moveable Feast, we loved spending time at the Relish Mama cooking school in Cheltenham. Nellie Kerrison has created a stunning space, and offers a HUGE array of class options, including Modern Asian Street Food; Curries of the World; and Ottolenghi-style Vegetarian. Gift vouchers are available, or book out a class with with your mates for Christmas. relishmama.com.au