The Food team share their seasonal picks from South West producers
Lloyd & James Chocolate, Torquay
‘I’m always keen to support South West chocolatiers and the latest one to come to my attention is Devon’s Lloyd & James Chocolate,’ says features editor Rosanna.
‘This isn’t just another reseller of mass-produced chocs repacked in branded boxes: Fairtrade chocolate is tempered on-site and crafted into bars and truffles. Fillings for the latter include locally sourced (whenever possible) fresh cream, liqueurs and natural flavourings. Look out for seasonal truffles such as Christmas pudding with raisins, orange peel, brandy and spices.’
£11.95 for a box of 12 truffles
Trencherman’s Guide 31st edition
‘In-the-know foodies use the Trencherman’s Guide as their trusty handbook to discovering the most exquisite places to eat in the South West,’ says features writer and Trencherman’s Guide editor Abi.
‘The recently launched 31st edition is packed with over 100 gorgeous restaurants and contains a more diverse range of dining experiences than ever – from formal restaurants to family-friendly beach bars, slick city venues and quality dining pubs. It also includes 25 new additions to add to your must-visit list.
‘The stocking-size book makes a cracking Christmas gift for a foodie friend – and Food readers can bag a second copy for themselves at half price by using code CHRISTMAS23 at the checkout.’
Grass-fed rib of beef, The Dorset Meat Company
‘Turkey might be the OG of Christmas Day centrepieces, but for those who favour flavour it’s hard to beat a towering rib of beef,’ says editorial director Jo.
‘This impressive specimen from The Dorset Meat Company is guaranteed to elicit a chorus of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from guests at the table. The online butcher sources ethical grass-fed native-breed beef from small family-run farms in Dorset and Wiltshire, then dry ages the meat on the bone for maximum flavour. Order it direct to your door in time for the big day.’
Espresso Martini Shake Coffee Stout, Wiper and True, Bristol
‘The Espresso Martini continues its reign as the go-to upper of Christmas party season,’ says editor Kathryn.
‘The team at Wiper and True in Bristol set out to capture the essence of the relentlessly popular cocktail and synthesise it with the malty decadence of their beloved Milk Shake Milk Stout. The result is an indulgent beer delivering all the characteristics the Espresso Martini is loved for (chocolate, vanilla and booze) but with a restrained ABV (5.6%) and a classic coffee stout undercurrent.’
£21 for 6 × 440ml cans
Date and Cinnamon Spice Blend, Cut to the Smoke, Hampshire
‘Planning on whipping out a showstopping ham for the Boxing Day spread? Take your seasoning up a notch with Cut to the Smoke‘s date and cinnamon spice mix,’ says features writer Selena.
‘Festive flavours of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg combine with the smoky notes of hickory salt and the tang of mustard in this fragrant spice blend. Cut to the Smoke founder Nigel Webster recommends simmering a gammon joint in stock and cider before smothering it with the date and cinnamon mix and roasting in the oven.’
£7 for 125g. Try the recipe.
Explore more of the South West’s vibrant food and drink scene, and get ideas and inspo from the pros in our curated round-ups.