I have shared lots of Christmas gift ideas here on my blog over the last eight weeks and it’s been so much fun, especially sharing some more lifestyle gifts rather than just beauty gifts like I do other years. I also shared a big post of Under £10 stocking filler ideas, and today’s post is my Festive Food, Treats and Drinks Guide for 2019. I’ve never done one of these before but I thought it might be handy if you have any last minute gifts you need to pick up, need inspiration for treats to enjoy over the festive period or just fancy trying something delicious. I have lots of lovely treats to share with you so keep on reading to see my top picks…
Everyone has a favourite when it comes to choosing a tin of chocolates over the festive period. For me, it’s all about the Celebrations, and whilst it’s gutting how much the weight has shrunk over the years whilst the price hasn’t, I just love the range of chocolates included within Celebrations. However ever since they made the decision to remove the Galaxy Truffles from the line up back in 2011, I’ve been gutted ever since. Let’s face it, it was always the best one and whilst the Maltesers Teasers are a close second, Celebrations just haven’t been the same ever since.
Mars listened to their loyal fans and have reincarnated their Galaxy Truffles, and given them somewhat of a makeover. Described as being a ‘contemporary twist’ on the original, the new version of the Galaxy Truffles 329g are available from Tesco and are £7.49. Normally when a brand tinkers with the recipe of an old favourite, it doesn’t bode well so I was intrigued to see what the new truffles were like and if they compared to the original.
Firstly the packaging is very much new and improved, with their own box and a funky pink and blue ombréd design. The individual chocolates themselves, have grown in size and they’re no longer the oval shape they used to be. Now they’re domed with a flat bottom, and are described as having a gorgeous velvety centre.
The Galaxy Truffles have much thicker chocolate than the originals, and the centre is a dark coloured, thick almost ganache in texture centre. They’re very rich and I feel like you couldn’t devour more than 3-4, as they are so rich – I can only manage around two myself. They are delicious, and whilst I have to admit I prefer the original Galaxy Truffles; Celebrations style, this new formula will still satiate my Galaxy Truffles desires.
Pati & Coco Divine Chocolate Creations
If you’re a massive chocoholic, just like me, I have the ultimate festive dessert which has recently launched into Sainbury’s. Pati & Coco was created by Danone, and their new indulgent creation combines the art of French patisserie (Pati) with fine Belgian chocolate ganache. Pati & Coco is a divine new multi-layered, multi-textured chocolate dessert that engages and stimulates all the senses and provides a moment of pure indulgence that demands your full attention.
The Divine Chocolate Creations are available in four different flavours; Ganache & Chocolate, Praline & Chocolate, Caramel & Chocolate and Pistachio & Chocolate and they’re £3.50 for two x 80g desserts. Each of the desserts are packaged within luxe glass pots which you could easily reuse as tealight holders once you’ve finished them.
The desserts each start with a signature layer of fine tempered dark chocolate, with patisserie folds of luscious ganache and delicate sheets of chocolate underneath, ending with a satisfying praline crunchy biscuit layer at the bottom. They are insanely rich, and are on par with restaurant quality desserts making them the perfect accompaniment for your Christmas dinner or festive dinner parties.
Copper Dog Speyside Blended Malt Scotch Whisky £35
Spirits always make great gifts all year round and whilst you can pick up more affordable brands off the shelf in supermarkets, it’s not the same as choosing something more unique. Not only are more unique brands a good option, but personalised gifts are too. The Copper Dog Speyside Blended Malt Scotch Whisky can be purchased from Harvey Nichols both online and instore for £40, however you can purchase it from Get It INKD for £35.
I think it’s amazing that you can get a personalised version of the Copper Dog Whisky for a cheaper price than ordering it from Harvey Nichols. My bottle is personalised so you can see how nice the personalisation is, with an handwriting style font. As far as whiskies go, I really like the packaging and story behind the Copper Dog brand, and any whisky connoisseur would be thrilled to receive this whisky as a gift.
The Copper Dog Whisky is an eight single malt blend married together in old oak casks, and also a celebrity favourite, which was named after a ‘copper dog’. I love the story behind the name but in years long passed, distillery workers would help themselves to a dram by using a ‘copper dog’ – a pipe hidden inside the leg of their trousers. This whisky sounds so perfect for this time of year with ripe fruit aromas and a delicate spicy finish.
VonShef 9pc Matte Black Parisian Cocktail Set £27.99
If you have any parties planned over the Christmas period, or for New Year’s Eve, a good quality cocktail set is an essential. Many brands offer cocktail sets which just come with a cocktail shaker and that’s it, but you need so much more to be able to make a whole range of cocktails. I really like the range of cocktail sets VonShef has to offer. I think a good quality cocktail kit works well as a gift for couples as it’s something they can enjoy together, and you could complete the gift by gifting a spirit too. From the cocktail sets on offer, I chose the Matte Black Parisian Cocktail Set as the matte black finish looked so striking.
I’ve only ever seen plain silver coloured cocktail kits, but this matte black finish is super sleek and it comes in a really nice black and gold box too. In addition to the gift box, the kit comes with a very impressive recipe book sharing the recipes for fourteen different cocktails which you can create with this set. For £27.99 you get the following items in your set; stainless steel muddler, 9″stainless steel twisted double-ended bar spoon/ fork, stainless steel Hawthorne strainer, 2 X pourer and double ended stainless steel 25ml/50ml shot measuring jigger. It’s such a fantastic set and it contains everything you need to get cocktail making…
Russian Standard Original Vodka £14.50
Following on from the cocktail set, I have an affordable spirit which would work amazingly well alongside the cocktail set as a gift. Out of all the different spirits, Vodka is my personal favourite and I feel like it’s a ‘safe’ choice when gifting as it doesn’t have an overbearing scent/taste, works in many different cocktails so you don’t necessarily have to worry about a person’s favourites. Russian Standard have a range of vodkas which are available from the likes of Tesco, Asda, Master of Malt and more, so they’re easily attainable for any last minute Christmas shopping you have over the weekend and next week. My Russian Standard pick is the Russian Standard Original Vodka, which is said to be more authentically Russian alternative to Smirnoff.
The original vodka distilled and bottled in Russia using winter wheat from the Russian Steppes and pure glacial water from Lake Ladoga. Even though this vodka is only £14.50, I feel like it looks a lot more luxe than the likes of Absolut or Smirnoff which you can also purchase instore within supermarkets. Russian Standard is said to be a vodka of exceptional quality that is both naturally pure and great tasting, and it’s fantastic when drunk neat over ice or blended into cocktails.
Britvic Festive Drinks
After sharing some alcoholic beverages (and more to come if you read on), I have a couple of non-alcoholic drink options if you fancy something different. Britvic is my favourite brand of non-alcoholic drinks with Pepsi Max being my favourite soft drink, but Britvic have a lot more to offer. I don’t know about you, but whenever I think of J2O, I think of Christmas. We’ve always had J2O around Christmas, and whilst we do enjoy the drinks throughout the year, we definitely enjoy more over Christmas. The J2O Orange & Cranberry £6 is the ideal festive choice as you can’t go wrong when it comes to cranberry anything around Christmas. If you love the J2O Orange & Passionfruit, you’ll really enjoy the Orange & Cranberry version as the cranberry adds a little sharpness which is so refreshing and enjoyable.
If you like a super festive non-alcoholic drink, the Robinsons Crushed Apple & Cinnamon Fruit Cordial is the one. At only £2.50 it’s very affordable and can be enjoyed both cold or hot, but hot is definitely the way to go this winter. The cinnamon is so warming and festive, and it’s almost as if it’s like an apple strudel in drink form. The Robinsons Cordial range in the glass bottles are all really lovely, and they’re a little more fancier than their original squash range. Robinsons Orange Squash is my favourite but the range of Cordials have slightly more interesting, grown-up flavours such as; Lime & Mint, Raspberry, Orange & Rhubarb, Strawberry & Watermelon and Pressed Pear & Elderflower. If you love apple and cinnamon, you really need to try this new launch from Robinsons.
Guylian 100g Bars £2
I’ve declared my love for Guylian already on my blog, and they are one of my all time favourite chocolate brands and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love Guylian chocolate. They’re well known for their range of delicious seashells, and every single one of my birthdays since I was around 13, I’ve had a box of their iconic seashells. Guylian fans will be excited to learn that they’ve added a new product to their range, and it was one I couldn’t wait to try for myself. Guylian have just launched a collection of Belgian Chocolate Bars which are just £2 each and are available in six different varieties; Creamy Milk, Premium Dark 72%, Salted Caramel, Hazelnut, Intense Dark 84% and Milk.
Each Guylian Chocolate Bar contains 100g of chocolate, in four individually wrapped 25g bars. Each mini bar is encased within a resealable and recyclable envelope, and sales support social and environmental causes; Project Seahorse and Project Cocoa. I think these chocolate bars are a great idea, and I love that the box contains four individually wrapped bars. Guylian fans might not want to purchase a full box of their seashells but these chocolate bars feel less indulgent, but still a delicious treat any chocolate fan would appreciate. You can pick them up via the Guylian website, Ocado, TK Maxx and Lidl.
Zubrówka Biala Winter Rye Vodka £12.99
My second vodka pick is even more affordable that the first at just £12.99. Zubrówka The Biala Winter Rye Vodka is an award winning non-flavoured version of famous Polish brand Zubrowka, made from winter rye, and is without the famous bison grass flavour. It’s described as having an elegant, creamy mouth-feel and the plain flavour makes it a good choice for using in cocktails. Żubrówka are Poland’s finest vodka, and this is their newest vodka launch to their range.
It’s inspired by the clean white snows of the majestic Bialowieza Forest, Europe’s last remaining primeval forest – Biała, meaning white in Polish, is distilled seven times for a crisp, pristine finish. I’ve never tried any of the Zubrówka vodkas before but I’ve always been really appealed by their quirky packaging, but the idea of a grass flavour put me off so this one definitely appeals to me more and £12.99 is such a great price for a full size bottle of quality vodka.
Coole Swan Superior Irish Cream Liqueur Gift Set £35
My final recommendation for fabulous food and drink to enjoy over Christmas or pick up as last minute gifts, and it comes from Coole Swan. Coole Swan set out ten years ago, to make the world’s most delicious tasting cream liqueur. They selected the finest single Malt Irish Whiskey, and then blended it with real white Belgian chocolate and fresh, natural dairy cream to create an experience that was both smooth and original.
Coole Swan have won many awards since their initial launch, and the brand promises you’ll experience the rich scent that’s softened by the spicy, sweet and nutty tones of our triple distilled Single Irish Malt Whiskey. The brand recommends enjoying Coole Swan on its own neat or over ice but always chilled. You can purchase Coole Swan on its own in a 70cl bottle for £24 from John Lewis, but my top pick has to be this beautiful Coole Swan Superior Irish Cream Liqueur Gift Set.
The set contains the award winning Superior Irish Cream Liqueur alongside two roller rock glasses which feature the Coole Swan branding. Sometimes gift sets that include a glass tend to give quite cheap quality glasses but these glasses are beautifully made, are weighty and will be perfect for the liqueur poured over ice. If you know someone that loves the very well known Irish Cream Liqueur, treating them to Coole Swan would be such a lovely gift as it tastes incredible, and the chocolate makes it taste so unique to anything else on the market
So they are all of my festive food and drink recommendations. I really hope you enjoyed reading about them, and head to my stocking filler post to find more budget friendly treats.