Food & Drink Gift Guide 2020

The Careless Collection

The first-ever Masterchef dish that was created for the show and brought to life for retail. David Crichton reached the Masterchef final in 2018 and was  tasked with creating a dish for an idol. He chose George Michael and decided to do a take on the title of his song, “Careless Whisper” with a famous UK chocolate bar, the Cadburys Wispa.

He presented two different bars on the show. One filled with a rich chocolate mousse and balsamic vinegar, and the other with salted butter caramel. After careful research, he’s adapted the recipe to bring these delicious bars to the retail market. 

His delicious flavours include Caramelised White Chocolate, Milk, Dark and Ruby, as well at limited edition Botanicals and Great Taste collections. 

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Baristocracy Coffee

Baristocracy is a family business bringing Australian speciality coffee expertise to the heart of the North East. Alex Forsyth was born and raised in Sydney, Australia and has been roasting and preparing coffee for more than twenty years, learning at his father’s knee in what is considered the centre of coffee excellence. He is a Speciality Coffee Association of Europe and World Barista Championship judge and holds the SCAE Barista Level 2 qualification.

His wife Kate Hudson is a Geordie girl who met Alex when she was travelling 10 years ago. They decided to return to the North East in 2017, bringing their extensive coffee knowledge and expertise to the North East. 

An ideal gift for the coffee aficionado in your life, Baristocracy offers a range of speciality coffee roasted by Alex himself, with bags starting from £7.50.

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The Conscious Candy Company

The perfect gift for vegans or vegetarians in your life, The Conscious Candy Company all started when founder Laura Scott was struggling to find delicious and exciting vegan sweets. 

She noticed a gap in the market and now she delivers vegan pick & mix across the UK. The huge 1kg pouches contain over 50 varieties of vegan sweets (we always have one on the go at HLN HQ).

But that’s not all you can choose from – check out the chocolate bars and buttons, vegan marshmallows and more. Her Christmas shop is filled with cute gingerbread men, prosecco jellies, champagne and strawberry marshmallows to make your festive season extra sweet. 

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The Travelling Bee Company 

Based in Gateshead, Mark at The Travelling Bee Company believes that happy bees make the best honey. That’s why he bundles his busy bees into his bee-mobile and travels the North East and Scotland, setting up beautiful hives to give them access to the widest variety of flowers and trees in every season. 

The Travelling Bee Company has a wide range of natural and unprocessed honey in a range of flavours, dependant on where the bees have harvested their nectar. Every jar on the online shop has harvesting information, tasting notes and food pairing suggestions so you can choose the perfect flavour. 

He also sells jars of bee superfoods – Bee Bread and Bee Pollen – both on team HLN’s Christmas list. 

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Chai Karak

Perfect for lovers of chai tea, you can’t get more authentic than Chai Karak. This family-run business travelled to Asia to search for the best chai karak on the marker to create an authentic premix using 100% natural ingredients.

After three years of testing and refining, Chai Karak brings its sweet and spicy milk tea in both dairy and dairy-free options for customers that are vegan or lactose intolerant. Flavours include classic cardamon to sweet saffron or spicy masala. 

So relax and enjoy a chai-tastic evening at home with UPM CHAI KARAK.

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Geordie Gin

The brainchild of two Geordie schoolfriends, Geoff Graydon and Stu Lamb, Geordie Gin was born in 2014 with one goal in mind: to create a boutique spirit that Newcastle gin drinkers can be proud of. They’re confident (and we can agree) that they’ve created the Toon’s tastiest gin. It’s putting Newcastle on the map already, winning silver at the World Gin Awards 2020. 

​Using all ingredients and distilling (where possible) from the local area, they produce small batches of handcrafted gin which is themed on our traditional colours of the area – black and white. It contains juniper, liquorice root, white pepper, lemon peel and a hint of vanilla as its primary botanicals, resulting in a deliciously smooth gin with a distinctive lemon aroma. Prepared in Portuguese Alembic Copper it is then distilled under vacuum at room temperature to preserve the delicate flavours and ensure a smooth texture. 

So smooth in fact, that it can be served on its own with ice and a slice of grapefruit, or add tonic for a sumptuous GG & T.

Will you give it a gan?

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Laneberg Wine

The Winery by Laneberg Wine is the first urban winery in the North East and the furthest north in England, based Gateshead. Founder Elise Lane grew up in Newcastle and moved away to study Chemistry at Oxford. She then moved to London and was working for a big four accountancy firm but was always drawn to winemaking and its chemistry.  After their first son Max was born she quit her job and studied a PGDip at Plumpton College before working as a winemaker in their commercial winery. They moved back up to the North East to be near family in 2017 and Elise set up the business whilst pregnant with their second son Reuben. 

​2018 was their first vintage and since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength, with their wine winning Silver at the WineGB Awards, Bronze at the IWSC Awards and their Bacchus 2019 crowned the Best Regional Wine for Midlands & North by WineGB. 

Choose from:

This Mortal Angel – a sparkling white.

Pinot G – a dry white wine.

Maximilian 2019 – a fresh, fruity and light English red.

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The Corbridge Farmhouse

The Corbridge Farmhouse is a small family business run by Duncan Brown producing bespoke, handmade chopping boards. He caters for all shapes and size requests, from the small and practical, to the big and beautiful. 

Regularly supplying items to James Martin’s Saturday Kitchen and his online market shop, the demand for Duncan’s unique boards with traditional waney edges has been huge. He regularly works with oak, beech and ash but has also created pieces in cherry and olive.

The products are available via the James Martin website, but message Duncan directly on Instagram or Facebook to create a bespoke board and have a much more personalised buying experience. 

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