Now normally, I’d be the first to roll my eyes into another dimension at the what I got for Christmas posts that are currently circulating because bragging just ain’t my cup of char but this one is a bit different, I promise. With the big day done and dusted (boo hoo), all that’s left to do is dive head first into our spoils and soak up the last of the totally justified indulgence and I thought I’d bring you along for the ride.
You better believe my pyjama, bath bomb and perfume collection are now looking beautifully abundant but for some reason, the special people in my life also graced me with a helluva lot of edible goodies this year. Can’t think why… Must be something about this here food blogging malarky.. I thought I’d share some of the edible/drinkable presents I found under the tree in case you fancy snapping them up for yourself or just being a bit of a nosey parker like me.
Kicking of proceedings with none other than my beloved Whittard hot chocolate…
You all know how much I love me a steaming hot mug of hot chocolate (with an extra splash of Amaretto for good measure) so you can imagine how chuffed I was to see this heavenly hamper under the tree. Earlier this year I did a round up of my Whittard hot chocolate collection and now these little canisters of pure cocoa bliss can be welcomed very warmly into the family. So far I’ve only tried the Crème Brûlée White Hot Chocolate that you can see on the right here but I can confirm it was absolutely divine.
I think the Orange Hot Chocolate is next on my hit list but I’m also eager to road test this Salted Caramel Drinking Chocolate from Cartwright & Butler. I have drunk many, many a hot chocolate (all in the name of research of course) and come to the unanimous conclusion that powdered cocoa is my go-to so I’m interested to see how these miniature chocolate nuggets fare when stirred into a mug o’ milk.
Prefer something a little stronger? You’ll be pleased to hear my portfolio of booze is looking particularly intoxicating right about now then.
It’s clear to see Santa knows all about my relentless sweet tooth and he pulled an absolute blinder when he plonked (pun totally intended) this Marshmallow Gin in my Christmas sack this year. Handmade and infused with Madagascan vanilla bean marshmallows, this ingenious concoction is the brainchild of the Naked Marshmallow Company and it’s every bit as delicious as it sounds.
You’ll be surprised to find it doesn’t smell sweet, nor does it taste particularly marshmallow-y on first sip but hang tight for the aftertaste and it’s a complete and utter delight. Fresh and clean like a pure distill but then magic happens as the tastebuds are coated with a powerful hit of candied vanilla post-swallow. It’s safe to say there is a new favourite in our midsts, high up there with my prized raspberry-infused Brockmans gin which the elves also kindly restocked for me.
You can’t have gin without…? Tonic, of course! Brand spanking new Fever Tree tonic water flavours to be precise. I haven’t actually cracked either of these bottles open yet as both of the gins above call for something more simple that won’t distract from their unique flavours but follow me on Twitter and I’ll be sure to let you know how they go down.
Feeling tipsy yet? You’d better sit down because the party is only just getting started…
My mum is the ultimate Mrs. Claus – she does Christmas quite like no other and very kindly treated me to a couple of M&S’ festive tipples. The Marks & Spencer Egg Nog Cream is an absolute must-have as soon as it hits the shelf and a firm favourite every year. Like a good old fashioned Baileys but with a delicious hit of nutmeg and always best served over ice. I believe the Chocolate & Peanut Cream was a newcomer this year and while it was most definitely lovely, I wouldn’t say the chocolate and peanut flavours were strong enough to differentiate it from a plain Irish cream.
I’m planning on glugging it into some seasonal cocktail during the New Year festivities, along with that rather beautiful bottle of Amaretto Liqueur which is also a work of M&S magic. That’s if I can stray away from the Lindemans Cherry Beer that I first fell in love with earlier this year at Kiosk Bar Mont Blanc in Liverpool. I dare say Santa had a bit of a struggle manoeuvring my crate of those down the chimney on Christmas Eve – sorry, big man!
Alcohol aside until the clock strikes lunchtime, no great Christmas haul would be complete without a mountain of chocolate and boy, do I need to dust my hiking boots off. Just kidding – I definitely don’t own a pair of hiking boots but I am now the proud owner of a chocolate collection that will surely keep me going until Mr Claus passes the baton onto the Easter Bunny. In fact, there’s a humongous Toblerone and a bag of Cadbury’s Snowballs staring me dead in the eye right now.
Some of the sweetest highlights were the Maltesers Luxury Chocolates which I’ve been dying to try since spotting them on Twitter a while back and a box of my favourite Monty Bojangles chocolate truffles. Continuing a running theme, there was also a bar of Creighton’s Gin & Tonic chocolate in bloody beautiful packaging. I have a nibble on the corner of this artisan chocolate bar and if you like dark cocoa with a super subtle citrus undertone, you’ll enjoy this.
I’m yet to unbox those cute little chocolate spoons as I simply haven’t had the stomach space but I imagine they’ll be just perfect on a chilly Sunday morning in January. I guess you could even serve them alongside an after dinner coffee if you’re having people over for New Year’s Eve to mix up a little makeshift mochaccino.
Not strictly edible but still delicious:
I might not be able to break off a piece of these and dunk them in a cuppa but I also picked out a couple of non-edible bits that were just too damn delicious not to mention. First up is this Egg Nog cream face mask that I’ve actually had on while writing this blog post. I’ve just washed it off and my skin is feeling super soft and smooth. My complexion is more sensitive than Drake’s More Life album so this is a nice treat for yo’ face when the late nights and the copious cocktails start taking their toll.
Second is the Jo Malone Sweet Almond & Macaroon candle because oh my lordy lord, you ain’t ever smelt anything quite like it. I’m actually not convinced I’m ever going to be able burn this baby because it was love at first sniff and now I couldn’t bear to be without it. It comes second only to the best candle brand in all the land in my ultimate favourite scent – 1803 Candles in Nutty Pumpkin Waffles. I’ve had a few of these soy wax candles since discovering them earlier this year and the fragrance pay off is second to none, particularly in this sweet, nutty scent. Yum!
So once again, Christmas has left me bursting with love and gratitude and quite literally bursting at the seams on account of irresistible food and drink. Hope you all had a lovely day filled with more carbs than you care to admit and here’s to a fabulous 2018!