With many of us still under lockdown for the time being, it’s easy to turn to the major supermarkets for all our culinary Christmas needs this year.
But instead of a trip to a superstore, spare a thought for all those local businesses who have suffered during this year’s pandemic and could really do with our help right now.
The capital is teeming with lots of lovely little food and drink shops which can provide lots of homemade and unique food for your table or even bespoke treats as gifts for the family.
And thanks to the folk over at Time Out London – as well as a few recommendations from us – here is a selection of some of the best.
As we all know, food has a big part to play over the festive period and the main centrepiece is usually a fat, golden, juicy turkey.
But instead of ordering from your local Tesco, get down to your nearest butcher instead. Morley’s in Crouch End, north London offers a range of birds that can be ordered in store or online. There’s also Parson’s Nose that has three stores in south west London who can provide a whole turkey or just a crown, as well as all the essential trimmings. Mmmm, pigs in blankets….
All local greengrocers will be grateful for your custom and many have stayed open during lockdown running as an essential business and will continue to do so. Let’s face it – there’s nothing better than a bulging brown paper bag of Brussels sprouts carefully handpicked instead of a pre-packed plastic one, right?
As it has throughout most of lockdown, wine will also be flowing throughout the festive period and again, so think of your local merchants or independent off-licences when stocking up.
Stonewines in Whetstone, north London is constantly changing its stock, so visit them in person or give them a call, or check out Bottle Apostle in east London, who can even put together a Christmas case for you.
As for gifts for the foodies in your family, the award-winning Brik Chocolate, based in Hackney, east London, will certainly win over the chocolate lover in your life.
Brik’s handmade all-natural chocolate is inspired by architectural surfaces, such as terrazzo, concrete and marble, making them a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.
Or for those who don’t have a sweet tooth but are also looking to make a lifestyle change, there’s a build-your-own vegan burger kit from Rudy’s Vegan Diner. But you’d better hurry as it’s selling fast! The diner is based in Camden but it’s also recently opened a ‘butchers’ in Islington, so once lockdown is lifted on December 2nd, make sure you join the queue for all your vegan Christmas food.
And no Christmas is complete without a hamper but you don’t have to splurge on a traditional one from Fortnum and Mason or Harrods, not when there are plenty of cheaper but just as delicious alternatives.
There’s the Market Special, boxes created by a collaboration of businesses in Borough Market and they range in price from £27.95 to £74.95.
So whatever your culinary needs are this Yuletide, take a wander up to your local high street and give your cash and support to those small businesses to help them get through to 2021.