This year it may be even harder to find great presents for your friends and family which is why we’ve made this handy list of amazing gifts, from beers to handcrafted advent calendars, all made with a big emphasis on local, sustainable and ethical food.
Friends of Brighton & Hove Hospitals have created a beautiful, locally designed and produced advent calendar. Each window features a drawing by a pupil at a local school and a tear off discount voucher that can be redeemed at local independent retailers such as florists and wineshops. They also offer an original range of seasonal Brighton & Hove Christmas cards designed by local artists. All proceeds will support the Small Acts of Friendship initiative, a partnership with the Elderly Care Team at Royal Sussex County Hospital.
The Landworkers’ Alliance have created a lovely 2021 calendar, Another Farm is Possible, that showcases twelve innovative farms and projects across the UK, illustrated with lino cuts by Rosanna Morris. Examples include Parc y Dderwen, fermenters on a mission to re-instil our forgotten fermentation skills and Willowbrook Farm, the UK’s first agroecological halal farm.
Gifts for cooking
Village of Sanctuary, who work to make East Sussex a welcoming home for refugees, have created a cookery book, Shukran, with 30 authentic recipes from Syrian refugee families as well as chefs such as Yotam Ottolenghi to raise money for refugee support in the UK and abroad. This can be purchased via an online donation platform here or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For long-term enthusiasts and lockdown newcomers, Melrose Kitchen can keep your bread making going with starter kits, flour blends and bread bags. The mother and son team from Sussex very kindly donate 20p from every sale to support the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership which is doubled on special charity edition products. They also have a list of delicious recipes such as this one for focaccia bread.
The Community Kitchen offer gift vouchers for a wide range of fantastic cookery classes for experienced cooks and novices alike. From classes on patisserie treats to handcrafted pasta, an experience at the Community Kitchen is a great present for everyone. Or why not book a virtual Christmas party, baking or cooking alongside friends or colleagues anywhere in the world.
Foodini Club sell a range of great kits to get kids into cooking with illustrated recipe cards, ingredients and fun activities. Choose from monthly kits or one-off packs that will definitely go down a treat such as their Christmas pudding truffles.
Another one for the kids, Brighton based Mintie sell plastic-free lunchboxes made of stainless steel that are dishwasher and freezer safe as well as 100% recyclable. Their lunch box sets come with a drawstring bag and a handy snack pot and can be engraved with a personalised message.
Gifts to the community
Many in Brighton have struggled with the financial, physical and mental effects of this past year which is why so many charities and organisations are working to help those in need. Our blog on where you can donate your food, money or time lists a variety of food banks and organisations in need of donations.
Our crowdfunder, Hungry at Christmas, is raising money for vital projects around the city from women’s centres to food banks to ensure no-one goes hungry this winter. As well as donating yourself, this Christmas why not donate in someone’s name as any donation will go a long way to supporting those struggling to afford food.
If you know a fan of local beers, look no further than Loud Shirt Brewing Co, winner of silver medals at SIBA London and South East Beer Awards, who offer a range of original, locally brewed beers and are very kindly donating 10p of every can of their lovely Rapture New England IPA to the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership. Order via delivery or click and collect from Whitehawk.
Old Tree Brewery sell a variety of botanical brews such as lemon zest kombucha and were founded to fund the planting of forest gardens. On their website you can order from their online shop and find out where their drinks are stocked around Brighton.
Gifts from local markets and restaurants
Shelter Hall, which opened as a street food market pop-up in July was one of the UK’s first socially distanced food halls. To continue to support local food and drink producers, they have set up an online market featuring produces of wine, cheese hampers, spice kits and more. Watch out for their physical reopening in Spring 2021!
For those missing the delights of a Christmas market, Community Base is running an online alternative filled with ethical presents from local charities and craftspeople from 1st December – 20th December. The ‘Knit & Feast’ stall at the market is selling knitted Christmas ornaments and keychains to raise funds for our #HungryAtChristmas crowdfund.
Restaurants in Brighton & Hove have struggled this year so why not give a gift voucher from a local restaurant so you can share a lovely meal out in the new year.