12 Days of a Sheffield Foodie Christmas!
Sheffield food ain’t just for Christmas, but by ‘eck it’s a grand time of year to celebrate the best that the city has to offer! I’ve scoured the city for the perfect Sheffield foodie gifts and I think I’ve come up with some little beauties – I just had to share with you!
Mellor Ware Cake Stand
First up we have a gorgeous Mellor Ware cake stand. Designed in her Sheffield based studio Lianne Mellor’s pretty collection of dainty crockery was born out of a love of afternoon teas, design and drawing. Each piece is illustrated with characters straight out of the British countryside and the idea is that you can mix and match across the collections to create your own unique tea party set.
I particularly like this cake stand which tells the story of a blue tit that makes itself a cuppa tea and then, because he loves it so much, he sits in the cup to have a tea bath!
Milestone Cookery Class
The beauty of a cookery class is that it’s something that can benefit your family or group of friends on a whole. Think about it… any recipient of a place at a cookery school is going to want to try out their new found culinary skills and they’re bound to invite you to try some of the recipes they’ve learned.
Milestone has a super fine reputation for good food and each class is run by one of the restaurant’s top chefs making for the perfect choice of cookery schools. Classes range from ‘Meat’ and ‘Fish’ to ‘Pig in a Day’ and ‘Using Pastry’ and having attended three of these classes myself, I can only recommend them to others.
The We Live Here Tea towel
I wouldn’t normally suggest such a thing but, there’s something about Jonathan Wilkinson’s art that makes me think that I can’t be the only one who would actually like a tea towel for Christmas. Known for depicting famous Sheffield buildings against a duck egg blue background, Jonathan’s prints are both striking and memory evoking (the colour scheme would also work perfectly in my living room – hint, hint).
I particularly like the geometric style of this tea towel. Of course it depicts the much loved (and hated) Park Hill flats, so it’s bound to cause a bit of debate in the kitchen as well as keeping your crockery perfectly polished.
Everyone likes a bottle at Christmas, and here in Sheffield, we’re quite partial to a bottle of Hendos. Dating back to the late 19th century this northern version of Worcestershire Sauce is was first manufactured at 35 Broad Lane and although the factory has moved a little (to Leaveygreave Road), the city’s love for the spicy sauce hasn’t altered one bit!
You’ll find Hendos dotted around the city, in various shops and restaurants as well as the major supermarkets. For those wanting to go the whole hog, head to the Millennium Galleries museum shop where you’ll find lots of Hendos products including t-shirts.
Keg of Kelham Island Beer
With its first brew in 1990, Kelham Island Brewery was the city’s first new independent brewery for almost 100 years! Originally located in the beer garden of The Fat Cat pub, the brewery has grown significantly in size and we have local legend, David Wickett to thank for much of that. Sadly no longer with us, David was the driving force behind the last expansion and an inspiration to a new generation of small breweries across the city.
Available in three varieties, Pale Rider, Best Bitter and Easy Rider a keg of beer is bound to be a welcome gift for most – especially those with good taste! For the real ale lover, I also suggest one of the brewery tours.
Urban Pantry Hamper
Hampers aren’t exactly a new concept in Christmas gifting, but a Yorkshire food hamper is bound to do the trick this Christmas. Urban Pantry, based in Crookes, has an abundance of food from Sheffield and across the whole of Yorkshire as well as further afield. Stocking everything from oils, antipasti, cheese and fresh meats, this deli is a good all round ‘go-to’ place for something a bit special.
Urban Pantry can make up a bespoke hamper for you and options include a wicker tray or a picnic hamper and I recommend popping into the shop to check out the full range of produce available.
365 Tasting Menu
Mick Fox, owner of the knife sharpening service Ultrasharp is on a mission to create the most amazing cookbook of all time; the 365 Charity Cookbook. Packed with recipes created by 365 chefs from across the world, this cookbook promises great things. Better still, all proceeds will go to local charities St Luke’s Hospice and Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity as well as the national Little Soldiers.
The Tasting Menu is available up to the end of December and its release is intended to fund the print of the full 365 Charity Cookbook. With 12 recipes, one for each month of the year, this is a nice little cookbook in its own right. You’ll find dishes from chefs in The Maldives and Dubai, but Sheffielders will be pleased to see that Charlie Curran (of Peppercorn Restaurant) is also included.
Although Fischers isn’t actually located in Sheffield, its Michelin star status means that we like to think of it as our own. Gourmet British is the aim of the game and there are a few different menus (and pricing levels) to choose from. Diners can expect to find options running from venison and hare to sirloin steak and lobster, all served up with a good dose of theatre.
As to be expected from a restaurant of this standard, prices aren’t cheap which is where their gift vouchers come in very useful. Club together with others and you might just get enough to cover a meal, or just give what you can on the basis that every little helps…
Sheffield = steel = cutlery and hard as nails knives. MadeinSheffield.com is quite an amazing online shop. Everything is, unsurprisingly, related to Sheffield and you’ll find jewellery, christening gifts and home ware on there. Of course, I’m all about the kitchen items and being a Sheffielder, my eyes are on the knives!
The meat cleaver is a bit of a desirable object for any foodie. It looks and feels the part and it cuts through bones with ease (well, the thin and softer ones anyway). This cleaver is made of high carbon stainless steel and the handle is perfectly contoured to make for a good grip. Better still, it’s made in Sheffield.
Pewter is something else we’re very good at and Sheffield based English Pewter Company is its largest manufacturer in the UK. Reading up about pewter for this post I was surprised to learn that it’s made up of over 90% tin. I was even more surprised to find that tin is the fourth most, commonly used, precious metal and that it’s sustainable. I guess, previously, I just associated tin with the average can of beans…
There are lots of products to choose from and the company says that they can and have made everything possible out of pewter, but I especially like the goblets and I particularly like this one because of its Celtic design.
Ok, ok, this is not the most exciting item on the list and I’m quite sure that I don’t know anyone who uses an apron at home, but I’m kinda thinking that it’s about time I got one. Not only do they save you clothes from splashes of food they help protect them from cooking odours too. What’s more, the one I’ve chosen has pockets; the perfect place for your favourite pair of tongs and those all-important tasting spoons!
Available from the Famous Sheffield Shop, this apron is made from durable, high quality cotton, has adjustable straps and a simple motif of a knife, fork and spoon – perfect for reminding people of their Sheffield roots.
Egg Collecting Tin
Always striving to get our hands on the best of the best if ingredients, some foodies will go the extra mile and start producing and growing food at home. Burgon and Ball is a longstanding Sheffield company crafting tools to look after your garden. There’s everything a keen gardener could want and I quite like their mini herb planters.
But I think to be a real hardcore foodie, we need to be talking about livestock and although the average Sheffield bark yard doesn’t have enough room for a herd of cattle, a few chicks wouldn’t be impossible to manage. And this little egg collecting tin is both cute and practical… now to go buy me some chickens…