Christmas Gift Guide: yum scrums

A delicious treat is a sure way to anyone's heart. Ladies and gentlemen, behold mushrooms you can grow at home, a keepsake cookbook and quite possibly the best chocolate ever

GroCycle Mushroom Kit, from £16

Ernest loves a mushroom and enjoys a good forage, but the similarities between a fungus that offers tasty deliciousness and one that delivers death by hemlock poisoning make us a tad nervous.You can rest easier with this fascinating grow-your-own oyster mushroom kit, made from waste coffee grounds and yielding its first harvest just 14 days after opening.


Sourdough & Seasalt Chocolate, £5.80, Pump Street Bakery

A combination of three great things: sourdough, seasalt and chocolate. Oh yes. All wrapped up in fondlesome greaseproof paper. Oh yes, oh yes. And best of all it's made right here in Blighty, in a small family-run bakery on the Suffolk Coast, using single origin beans imported directly to them from family farms and cooperatives around the world. Amen and a hurrah to that.

Loose leaf tea blends, from £7, The Tea Alchemist

It's a fine thing in life to purchase your tea from a proper tea merchant who knows their stuff. We give you the Tea Alchemist. Choose a blend from their delectable range, from Moroccan Mint to Organic Chai. Ernest's personal favourite is Vanilla Black – a black tea blend of Assam, Yunnan Black and real Madagascan vanilla. Yep. Merry Christmas.

Exotic Pepper Gift Pack, £9.99, Peppermongers

“The world’s best pepper. Not to be sneezed at.” What a tagline. When I asked Tom of Peppermongers which pepper from his range our readers needed in their cupboards, he recommended the Indonesian Long Pepper, which is in this gift pack: “It’s the one the three musketeers ate, the Romans loved and that featured in the Kama Sutra.” Need he say more? 

Herb Recipe Cards, £8, Witshop

A fine set of hand-illustrated printed note cards from clever design duo Witshop, each with a herby recipe on the reverse, including cheesy chive scones, lovage soup, rosemary cookies and basil pesto. The inside is left blank for your scribblings. 

The Kinfolk Table Book, £21.58, Pedlars

We're huge fans of cult magazine Kinfolk and even more besotted with their beautifully photographed and written book bringing together recipes, stories and people from around the world.  A cookbook to cherish and pass on to your grandkids, we reckons.