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St. John’s Christmas hamper curated by Fergus Henderson is one of the greatest London restaurant gifts for Christmas 2019
St. John’s Christmas hamper
Michaël Protin

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The 2019 Eater London Christmas Gift Guide

Cookbooks from the city’s best restaurants, the coolest soap, the most packed hampers, the most stylish ceramics, and more

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

The holiday season is now just around the corner — Christmas party seasons is in full swing, work is winding up before it winds down, and there’s a general election going on! There’s also that massive untouched shopping list. But fear not.

This is a gift guide designed for food lovers generally, and London restaurant lovers specifically. Scroll through the guide for London-made ceramics found used in some of London’s hottest restaurants, the coolest new soap in the city, the best hot sauce, a coffee brewing kit, hampers, wine glasses, the world’s greatest potato peeler, and much more.

All the items on this guide are either made in the city, used in London restaurants, or available to buy online or in real life at a location in the capital before Christmas. At the bottom, there’s a bonus list of shops, delis, and butchers to pick up those last Christmas dinner table essentials, (perishable) treats, or stocking fillers. Happy holidays and happy shopping.


38 Essential London restaurants; three cookbooks, St. John, Black Axe Mangal, and Quality Chophouse are perfect Christmas gifts
Three cookbooks from restaurants in the Eater London 38
Michaël Protin

New cookbooks from three essential London restaurants

Learn — or rather, encourage someone else — to cook like one of London’s best restaurants. Handily, three London restaurants among Eater’s list of 38 essentials have just released cookbooks. First, Black Axe Mangal, Lee Tiernan’s riotous, inimitable grill restaurant that is inspired by his time at St. John, the Turkish ocakbasis of north London, and his friend Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese in America. A little more restraint and some genuinely brilliant basics can be mastered with use of the Quality Chop House debut, whether for those in the market for quintessential British classics like mince on toast, or just a totally fool-proof method for chicken stock, this is the book to get. Finally, in the year that the most iconic British restaurant of its generation turned 25, there are few London restaurant lovers who’ll be disappointed with the new, definitive Book of St. John.

Price: Black Axe Mangal £24.95, The Quality Chop House £20.99, and The Book of St. John £30


London restaurant Christmas gifts: Knives by Roland Lanier and plates by Skye Corewijn of Lazy Eye Ceramics
Knives by Roland Lanier and plates by Skye Corewijn of Lazy Eye Ceramics
Michaël Protin

Roland Lanier knives and Lazy Eye ceramic plates

Serve food on and cut food with London restaurant approved plates and knives. Michelin-starred Shoreditch restaurant Lyle’s is stylish in almost every respect, and particularly in its selection of these fine crafted French knives by Roland Lanier. Precise, sharp, and with such a price tag, a special gift this Christmas. While Skye Corewijn’s ceramics, seen at Bright and Ombra, are just the sort of finely crafted plates to please the kind of restaurant lover who also likes to make their own gnocchi or artfully present homemade ferments at dinner parties.

Price: Knives from €280; plates — large: £28, small: £20, at Netil Market weekends.


Mahala soap from Emily Griffin is found in a number of London’s best restaurants and makes a perfect Christmas gift for restaurant enthusiasts
Mahala soap from Emily Griffin
Michaël Protin

Mahala soap by Emily Griffin

Aesop’s reign is over. This is the 2019 London restaurant-approved soap to buy for Aesop and fans this Christmas. Emily Griffin, who makes the soap at her home on Well Street in Hackney, supplies to a roster of cherished and celebrated London restaurants, including: Jolene, Westerns Laundry, Primeur, Kricket, Darjeeling Express, Brat, Little Duck the Picklery, Duck Soup, Pophams, Bernadi’s, and Nest. The soap is free from parabens and silicones and is made with variety of seasonal scents from added essential oils like bergamot, rosemary, lavender, and geranium.

Price: £15


Nim’s Din Cham Cham hot pepper sauce is a rich Scotch bonnet-heavy pepper sauce that is ideal for all hot sauce enthusiasts this Christmas - a perfect stocking filler
Nim’s Din Cham Cham hot pepper sauce
Michaël Protin

Nim’s Din Cham Cham Hot Pepper Sauce

Delicious scotch bonnet pepper sauce made in London. Almost everyone wants a new hot sauce to try. Of all the London hot sauce that this writer has tried, this is the best. Chef Nimatu Owino balances the fruity heat of scotch bonnet pepper with the sweetness of softened onions and introduces a layer of umami from tomato puree. A great choice for those who like to eat their gifts, and perfect with bubble and squeak, a cheese course, or on a cold turkey sandwich.

Price: £5


Terracotta egg holder from Labour and Wait is a perfect Christmas gift
Terracotta egg rack
Michaël Protin

Terracotta egg rack

For egg lovers and design lovers alike. This egg rack is made in England from unglazed terracotta — an exact replica of a traditional card egg box. A niche, but great surprise gift.

Price: £12


Spice blends and peppers from Paris’ Épices Rœllinger are the perfect Christmas gift for food lovers in London
Spice blends and peppers from Épices Rœllinger
Michaël Protin

Spice blends and peppers from Épices Rœllinger

Fine spice blends from Paris. It doesn’t take long to understand the unique beauty of Épices Rœllinger’s blends and peppercorns. Shopping for them and smelling samples is a gift for the buyer — each unique, intoxicating, and captivating blend created with specific uses in mind: starters and vegetables, fish and shellfish, meat, desserts and fruit. Once tried, these little jars of magic will become indispensable to the home cook.

Price: £11 each, available from Postcard Teas and Poilâne


Coffee brewing travel kit from Origin coffee roasters includes an Aeropress, grinder, and coffee beans
Coffee brewing travel kit from Origin
Michaël Protin

Coffee brewing travel kit

Travel-friendly speciality coffee brewing set. One of Britain’s leading coffee roasters, Origin, are offering a number of “bundles” for coffee lovers this Christmas. Among them, the Aeropress and grinder travel bundle. The set includes the Aeropress brewer for failsafe filter; a compact hand grinder; neat carry case; plus a 250g bag of Colombian whole bean coffee roasted to a profile that will satisfy the novice as much as the nerd. There’s also a useful, uncomplicated home brewing guide for instructions on every method of domestic coffee brewing.

Price: £66


Nude wine glass, handmade in Turkey is a perfect Christmas gift for London restaurant enthusiasts and wine lovers
Nude wine glass
Michaël Protin

Nude ‘Stem Zero’ wine glasses

Lightweight, durable elegance for wine enthusiasts. This handmade Turkish crystal glasses are “so fine and light [they] defies industry standards,” their creators say. The Nude Stem Zero collection calls itself the “world’s toughest, yet finest, lead-free crystal range.” In London, they are used at Trivet, in Bermondsey, selected by sommelier and former director of wine at the three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck in Bray Isa Bal. About the Nude glassware, he says, simply, it is more durable than the widely admired Zalto.

Price: €47


Zena Swiss’ classic Rex kitchen peeler, which makes a perfect Christmas gift
The classic Rex peeler
Michael Prötin

Rex peeler

A design classic, an ergonomic masterpiece. Invented in 1947, the Zena Swiss ‘REX’ peeler is a kitchen essential, a gadget to transform the labour of peeling vegetables. The lightweight handle, flexible, pivoting blade cuts precisely, while the side loop is effective for removing knots and blemishes. A perfect stocking filler.

Price: £4


Bottles of natural wine make a great Christmas gift
Natural wines from Ancestrel
Michael Prötin

Ancestrel Wines and Mons cheese Christmas DIY hamper

A very on-trend, natural wine-loaded hamper, some of which appear at Kiln in Soho. The selections above include:

Italian olive oil and French Vacherin, perfect Christmas food gifts
Olive oil and Mont d’Or cheese from Mons
Michael Prötin

Champagne Bourgeois-Diaz, Crouttes-sur-Marne, Cuvée 3C £39
Vini Libre, Christophe Bosque, Gorges, Divin Poison 2018 £25
La Petite Baigneuse Maury, Château d’Eau 2016/15 £29
Luca Di Piero Civita, Nocciola £10
Luca Di Piero Civita, extra virgin olive oil 2018 £16
Vacherin Mont D’Or from Mons cheese £13
Skye Corewijn, Porcelain wine holder 500ml, £35 (out of picture; see Corewijn’s Lazy Eye Ceramics above and below.)

Available from Ancestrel Wines, Spa Terminus


St. John’s Christmas hamper curated by Fergus Henderson is one of the greatest London restaurant gifts for Christmas 2019
Pinot noir and vieille prune, favourites of St. John’s Fergus Henderson
Michael Prötin

Fergus Henderson’s Christmas lunch hamper

Packaged in a wicker box, as chosen by the man Fergus Henderson himself. Includes: Bottles of St. John Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2015 and Louis Roque La Vielle Prune de Souillac; a large St. John Christmas pudding; St. John-branded pig ash tray; pig logo apron; a copy of The Book of St. JOHN; and a packet of Rare Tea Company St. John English breakfast blend.

Price: £215


The Starr bottle opener is a great Christmas gift for foodies
Lock and key: An ale and the Starr bottle opener
Michael Prötin

Starr Bottle opener

Never lose a bottle opener; never need another. Starr is one of the world’s oldest, and reliable industrial-grade bottle openers. The American-made cast steel unit is commonly found in pubs and bars and, soon, in the most savvy domestic kitchens. Screw into the wall or to a cupboard door to avoid ever having to root through the utensil drawer again.

Price: £12


Skye Corewijn’s Lazy Eye ceramics, used at London’s best restaurants
Skye Corewijn’s Lazy Eye ceramics
Michael Prötin

Lazy Eye ceramic coffee cups and condiment holder

Coffee cups and condiment holders used in London restaurants and bakeries. Skye Corewijn’s beautifully rustic handmade coffee cups are used by, clockwise left-right, Pophams London Fields bakery and Koya City, Japanese udon noodle bar; the condiment holder can be found at Bright, P. Franco’s modern European sister restaurant in Netil House, Hackney.

Price: Clockwise, L-R: £14, £15, £15 at Netil Market weekends.


A list of brilliant London retailers for gifts, stocking fillers, food, and wine:

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Quality Chop House

94 Farringdon Rd, London, Greater London EC1R 3EA +44 20 3490 6228 Visit Website

St. John

26 Saint John Street, , England EC1M 4AY 020 7251 0848 Visit Website

Broadway Market

Broadway Market, , England E8 4QJ

BRAT

4 Redchurch Street, , England E1 6JL Visit Website

Black Axe Mangal

156 Canonbury Road, , England N1 2UP Visit Website

Luca

88 Saint John Street, , England EC1M 4EH 020 3859 3000 Visit Website

Gnarly Vines

464 Hoe Street, , England E17 9AH 020 8556 1256 Visit Website

London

, , England Visit Website

Westerns Laundry

34 Drayton Park, , England N5 1PB 020 7700 3700 Visit Website

Kricket

12 Denman Street, , W1D 7HH Visit Website

Duck Soup

50 Duck Soup Lane, , WA 98250 (360) 378-4878 Visit Website

Spa Terminus

Dockley Road, , England SE16 3SF Visit Website

Poilâne

46 Elizabeth Street, , England SW1W 9PA 020 7808 4910 Visit Website

Trivet

36 Snowsfields, , England SE1 3SU 020 3141 8670 Visit Website

Kiln

58 Brewer Street, , England W1F 9TL Visit Website

Dynamic Vines

26 Foubert's Place, , England W1F 7PP 020 7287 2179 Visit Website

Borough Market

8 Southwark Street, , England SE1 1TL 020 7407 1002 Visit Website

Koya City

10-12 Bloomberg Arcade, , England EC4N 8AR Visit Website

Darjeeling Express

2a Garrick Street, , England WC2E 9BH 020 7836 8888 Visit Website

Netil House

1 Westgate Street, , England E8 3RL

La Fromagerie

2-6 Moxon Street, , England W1U 4EW 020 7935 0341 Visit Website

Lina Stores

18 Brewer Street, , England W1F 0SH 020 7437 6482 Visit Website

Primeur

116 Petherton Road, , England N5 2RT 020 7226 5271 Visit Website

OMBRA

1 Vyner Street, , England E2 9DG 020 8981 5150 Visit Website

The Quality Chop House

88-94 Farringdon Road, , England EC1R 3EA 020 7278 1452 Visit Website

Brilliant

72-76 Western Road, Southall , Middlesex , UB2 5DZ Visit Website

Stem

5 Princes Street , London , W1B 2LF Visit Website

Jolene

54 Great Jones Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 (646) 429-8383 Visit Website

Bright

1 Westgate Street, , England E8 3RL 020 3095 9407 Visit Website
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