It’s the thought that counts jot
Have you started your Christmas shopping? If you are in the UK, I am pretty sure you have jotted down a few things on a list already. Unlike my usual recipe posts, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my favourite shops for gifts. And yes, it’s all Greek!
This list is very much about foodie Christmas gifts. For every item, I can name 2-3 friends that would go crazy to receive something from this list, myself of course included. Anything from aromatic herbs and great wine to amazing serving plates, it’s all made with lots of love from small Greek companies that really know how to please the crowds. Fresh flavours, excellent quality and amazing design.
Straight from the beautiful island of Amorgos, the shop’s herbs grow in the wild organically, before being handpicked and naturally dried. I always keep the basics in my stash: sage for hot beverages and cooking, oregano (of course!) and the much prized oregano buds you cannot find easily. Certainly worth seeking them out.
Maltby and Greek
Who doesn’t love hampers? I am not talking about the formal, corporate-style hampers but those with carefully matched items snuggled up in a box that you can share and enjoy. It’s better than a lonely bottle of wine, more thoughtful than a box of chocolates and certainly not just another gift that will be unwrapped and sit in your cupboards unused.
I met the team behind Maltby and Greek at my last visit in London. They offer a great selection of Greek food and beverages. I can’t think of a better choice than a bottle of bubbly to get you in a festive mood; thick and fragrant pine honey; organic coarse salt from Mesologi Lake in southwestern Greece and Assyrtiko aged vinegar from Santorini. Sweet, sour, bitter and salty. It’s like umami in a gift box!
Check them out here: http://www.maltbyandgreek.com/
Neanikon paperie by Aris Sotiriou
The gift of paper. It’s in simple, everyday things are hearts rejoice. This is not about another card or just another notepad. It’s letterpress printed cards and handbound notebooks designed and crafted in a small apartment in the heart of Athens. I met Aris through his blog Neanikon, and I have munched on quite a few his wonderful raw baking recipes. As his blog evolved, I saw we shared the same love for letterpress and bookbinding.
My love for letterpress and bookbinding goes back to my little London apartment where I squeezed in with my own small letterpress machine, a little adana. I haven’t inked my fingers in a very long time. Aris on the other hand, has inked up his own letterpress creating some unique notepads and cards. His designs are inspired from the romantic Greece of the 60s, the inks are carefully selected to capture this vintage feeling and the thick, rich paper is sere joy to the touch. So if in doubt, say it with a card!
You can find the shop here: http://www.jamjar.gr/store/neanikon
Christina Skouloudi Design Studio
Christina is a product designer at a small studio in Athens. From large furniture pieces to elegant household items, design is what she does best. I fell in love with her wine ceremony series: ceramics matching wood pieces that are great for sharing and serving. Remember the serving plate I used for my stuffed quince? There are many more beautiful things in Christina’s online shop and you can buy them here: http://www.skouloudi.com/
I have a soft spot for all things durable. Ever thought of porridge in a cement bowl? A solid platter for your nibbles? The team at Rhoncus is all about girl power from Patras and in love with modern design and materials. They just launched their e-shop where you can find all things concrete, from breakfast bowls to sharing platters. Of course it’s all food-safe, made by hand and with lots of love.
Tzoumanis Bros Handcrafted
As a cook and a food photographer I don’t think I will ever have enough chopping boards! My eyes get all excited and wide at the sight of chestnut, walnut and oak chopping boards. Tzoumanis Bros is a skilled team of four young guys and girls from Thessaloniki. They design and handcraft themselves all things wooden: kitchen objects, natural sound boxes, tablet and smart phone stands even jewellery.
Follow them on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/tzoumanibros_handcrafted/
You can order by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +30 2394 020277
Are you excited? How about doing Santa a favour and go do your shopping?
From Athens with love,
PS: This is not a sponsored post. I absolutely love every single product listed for their quality, great design and excellent customer service. It’s about small independent Greek companies that are really worth having a look.
A huge thanks to Christina Skouloudi for letting me use her creations for my own projects.by