The Annual Eatdrink Gift Guide

Written by The Editors

It really IS better to give than to receive —when you find the perfect gift that is warmly received, and you haven’t felt caught up in shopping mall madness. To help you achieve this end, we’ve polled a fine range of independent retailers — the real shopping experts — for suggestions for the special people in your life. Whether you’re looking for a big present for someone close to your heart, or a small gift for a hostess or your friend at work, here are some new as well as tried-and-true suggestions from the experts. Happy Shopping!

The Pristine Olive has come up with many delicious ways to help customers stuff their Christmas stockings (with over 60 flavours of oils and balsamics). Owner Jamie Griffiths has created several unique Sample Pack Combinations, containing many of his most popular items. Each sample pack holds two, four, or six individually labeled, 60 ml bottles, all enclosed in a custom-designed gift box, making some truly delicious gift giving options for everyone on your list. Ranging from $11–$33.00, available at The Pristine Olive 884 Adelaide Street N., London 519-433-4444 

Perfect for fall and winter, discover the Steed & Company Apple Pie in a Jar with crisp apples and delicate floral lavender. Serve as an apple compote with pork or simply as a side with cheddar cheese. Great with cream cheese on a toasted bagel or used as filling in tarts. $6.90 at Steed & Company Lavender 47589 Sparta Line, RR#5 Aylmer 519-494-5525 



Gerhard Metzger’s Christmas-themed salamis are available at Metzger Meats in Hensall or at The Village Meat Shop at The Market at Western Fair. These festive salamis are a real seasonal treat and perfect for gift baskets and stocking stuffers for the meat-lovers on your list. $7.99–$9.99  Metzger Meat Products 180 Brock Ave, Hensall 519-262-3130

This ensemble is an example of the carefully curated collection of ladies wear, accessories, jewelry, baby wear, greeting cards, home décor and bath and body products — with a focus on Canadian designers and goods — that Curiosities has delivered for over 20 years. Scarf from Sanibel (Montreal) $35.99, Tonia DeBellis Haylee jacket (Toronto) $199.00, Karen Wilson hand bag (Toronto) $299.00, black Lisette pants (Montreal) $118.00. Complementary gift wrapping. Curiosities 174½ Wortley Road, London 519-432-0434

A gift certificate or card from a unique and interesting store or a fabulous local restaurant can be a reflection of your good taste and the interests of the recipient. They are available from most every business, in denominations that fit your budget.

Patrick’s Beans offers consistently high quality organic coffee blends. Ethically-sourced beans are roasted in small batches, then blended together to attain tailor-made tastes and complexities not found in single varietal selections. A number of popular blends are available, with custom blends for the true aficionado. Check Patrick’s Facebook page for locations. From $15 for a 1 pound bag. Patrick’s Beans 226-378-5100

Railway City Brewing has the perfect gift for only $13.95! This Holiday Gift Pack features 473 mL cans of Ontario silver-medal-winning Dead Elephant Ale, Canadian gold-medal-winning Black Coal Stout, specialty seasonal Cranberry Festive Lager, and a 16 oz Railway City Brewing glass, all attractively packaged in a holiday gift box. Get yours today at LCBO outlets, select grocery stores, and Railway City’s retail store. Railway City Brewing Co. 130 Edward St, St. Thomas 519-631-1881

Consumable gifts are always appreciated, especially when they satisfy a sweet tooth! Chocolate Barr’s offers a customized Stackable Gift Basket — items can be substituted or more can be added. A popular choice includes their renowned ½-pound Assorted ­Chocolates, a ½-pound of mixed milk and dark chocolate ­Minties, a ½-Pound of Almond Butter Crunch, and a bag of milk chocolate Foiled Santas. $42.99 as shown, at Chocolate Barr’s Candies 55 George St W, Stratford 519-272-2828

You’ll find nearly everything you need to enhance the warmth of the holiday season from the Pepper Tree Spice Co. The Home for the Holidays Spice Collection includes their best-selling Garlic Mashed Blend and Signature Mulling Spice. With over 300 spices and artisan blends made daily on-site, gourmet foods, kitchenware and custom gift baskets, you’ll find the gift that keeps giving for the foodie in your life! Gift packages start at $34 .95  Pepper Tree Spice Co. 223 Colborne St, Port Stanley 519-782-7800

All desserts deserve to be put on a pedestal, especially on this striking Mosser Glass footed cake stand. Their vibrant colour and timeless design, inspired by vintage glass holds, adds a touch of sophistication to any table setting. Serve cakes, cupcakes, cookies, fruit pies, mincemeat tarts, madeleines or macarons on cake stands available in several sizes and heights to create a truly striking dessert table or to display various heights of candles. Mosser Glass cake stands are handmade in Cambridge, Ohio in a family-owned factory that has been crafting glass for over 47 years. Available in 4 sizes: 6” $44.95, 9” $59.95, 10” $79.95 and 12” $95 in 4 colours — red, jadeite, milk and marble. Bradshaws 129 Ontario St, Stratford 519-271-6283 

Certified tea sommelier and nutritionist Michelle Pierce Hamilton and her business partner Yixing Tang opened The Tea Lounge in a small and charming house on Piccadilly Street east of Richmond Row a year ago. The pair offers a premium tea service experience, serving ethically-sourced single-origin teas and tisanes from around the world, as well as retailing striking teaware. For the holiday season, charming cat/dog tea sets (a teapot with 2 mugs) are priced around $50.The Tea Lounge 268 Picadilly St., London 519-601-TEAS (8327)

Watson’s Chelsea Bazaar is a long-standing Stratford favourite, with two floors displaying an eclectic range of goods from around the world. You will find quality items such as Emma Bridgewater Pottery from England. A fun new addition to this line is the mini radio. Listen to your favourite holiday tunes in retro style with modern sound. Mini Radio $109.00. Watson’s Chelsea Bazaar 84 Ontario Street, Stratford 519-273-1790

An all-local producer gift basket makes a statement and is sure to please every foodie on your list. This sample includes items from Living Alive Granola (St. Thomas), Jensen Cheese (Simcoe), Aunt Lena’s Preserves (Aylmer), Mennomex Salsa (Aylmer), Luke’s Tortilla Chips (Aylmer), Wanda’s Spicy Connection (St. Thomas), Las Chicas Del Cafe Coffee (St. Thomas), Crocker Honey (St. Thomas) and more. Custom gift baskets start at $30. Briwood Farm Market 1030 Talbot Street, St. Thomas 519-633-9691

Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for the food-lover on your list? Check out the exclusive Jill’s Table Bowl made by Emile Henry in France. This 12-inch diameter 3-quart bowl is made from Burgundian clay and is oven safe. It even fits into some toaster ovens. The high resistant glaze is durable to ensure years of enjoyment. Jill uses this bowl for salads, stews, risotto, baked pasta dishes and so much more. Watch for “The Red Bowl” cooking classes in the Winter cooking class season at Jill’s Table. Participants will receive a bowl! Available only in red for $54.99. Jill’s Table 115 King Street, London 519-645-1335

Blue Jay sitting on edge of birdbath in wintertime

Drink Up! A drink with dinner is essential for birds in winter. A heated birdbath provides a reliable water source for drinking, as well as a place to bathe to keep their feathers in prime condition for proper insulation. Feather­fields carries a great selection of heated birdbaths, each with an automatic thermostat. Just plug in! A perfect gift idea for the nature lover in your life! $138–$216. Find memorable gifts for the holidays at Featherfields 1570 Hyde Park Rd #5, London 519-474-1165

Here’s a great gift for your beer (or kombucha or cider or coffee or hot chocolate) lover! By SS Growler, these are the original, stainless steel, threadless flip-top growlers and come in both 1L ($50 inc. tax) and 2L ($60 inc. tax) versions. Double-walled and vacuum-sealed, these will keep your beer cold and carbonated (or your hot cocoa hot) for many hours. Perfect for outdoor adventuring and gift-giving!  ­Anderson Craft Ales 1030 Elias St, ­London 506-253-9440


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The Editors