Food and Drink Gifts in Cirencester

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Our latest shopping guide is brought to you by Melissa @ Rock the Cotswolds...

Food and Drink Gifts in Cirencester

There is no denying how lucky we are in the Cotswolds, with the incredible amount of ambrosial offerings we have on our doorstep and, this Christmas, Cirencester showcases the huge range of wonderful, edible gifts it has in store for the gastronomer in your life.

If you’re looking for sweets or chocolates, a side of ham, iced biscuits, chutneys or fabulous Christmas cocktails then you are in luck. We take a look at some of the best the town has to offer to suit all tastes and budgets:

Jesse Smith and W J Castle

Established over 200 years ago, this multi-award-winning family butcher is unfailing in its food quality and service. Jesse’s uses local, trusted suppliers and has simple philosophies of value and respect to offer outstanding products. There is every type of meat available including game, lamb, pork and poultry. There is also tender pasture-fed beef, which is aged with Himalayan salt bricks, so the meat matures slowly while absorbing subtle salt flavours.

The newly-restored shop on Black Jack Street is one of the oldest butchers in the country and will sit alongside their new neighbours KNEAD. A classic patisserie with a modern twist, specializing in sourdough pizza, breakfast pastries & freshly baked bread.

In Love Lane, you’ll find its wonderful farm shop and deli, with a wonderful range of products including cheese, salami, ham, breads, cakes and chutneys. For anyone wanting to plan ahead, over the Christmas and New Year period, there is a huge array of delicious fresh and frozen ready meals as well as pies and pastries including best-selling beef port and mushroom pies, chicken, ham and leek as well as flaky sausage rolls and Cornish pasties.

If you haven’t already ordered your meat for Christmas, pop into either of their shops to pick an order form and Christmas brochure.


The Candy Man

This family-run sweet shop has been a firm favourite of the town since it was opened over seven years ago, by welcoming husband and wife team Matt and Julie.

Children and adults alike can find a treasure trove of tempting confectionery, and it’s rare anyone leaves empty-handed.

This wonderful store (that smells divine) is crammed full of jars laden with delicious sweets for all tastes and ages including humbugs, midget gems, truffles, chocolate covered peanuts and soft marshmallows for toasting, sprinkling on hot chocolate or just eating on your way out of the shop.

There are retro gift packs and row upon row of American candies from brands such as Mike and Ike and Kraft, selling the hugely-popular fat-free Swedish Fish. You can also find the perfect gift such as elegant chocolates from Bond’s or handmade fudge from Yara including ‘Salt Flake City’, ‘Latte crunch’ and ‘Double Chocolate’ that make the perfect stocking fillers.


Uley Brewery

There are a range of wonderful beers to try from bitters to pale ale and whether you’re a fanatic or first-time sipper, there are brews to suit every taste. You can buy in three sizes from the 5L barrels to 40-pint bag in a box so perfect for stocking up over the Christmas and New Year period.

For those who like lighter beers try the Uley Pale which has hints of vanilla and fruit and a long, bitter finish. For those looking for heartier pints, there are fabulous flavours to discover including the prize-winning strong ale Old Spot which has a full-bodied malty taste and the traditional winter favourite Pigor Mortis which has a smooth taste with a port-like finish.

There are seven delicious varieties to try, along with merchandise to buy, including Uley Brewery beanies, baseball caps and bar towels.


Gardiner Haskins

Inside one of Cirencester’s longest-standing independent stores, you will find an abundance of the latest gadgets, cookware and equipment. If you love to create dishes at home, there’s nothing more thrilling than scanning the shelves here to find the perfect chef accompaniment.

From the sleek space-saving Neff slide door oven (used by contestants on The Great British Bake Off) to brightly-coloured spaghetti measurers from Joseph Joseph, bowls, kilner jars, wax wraps and steamers that cook vegetables to perfection with no fuss, in just a few moments. Perfect for entertaining over Christmas or simply getting prepped for a healthy 2021.


Diversitea

Nestled in the heart of the Corn Hall, is this delightfully traditional tea room that’s the perfect pit-stop when shopping or just to meet for a socially distanced treat. Opened by Karen Harvey, who came to live in the Cotswolds from South Africa a decade ago, it’s family and friends-run with wonderful service and ‘specialiteas'.

This magical place prides itself on the ritual of making, pouring and sipping a delicious cup of tea and they have a wide variety available, served in wonderful vintage china. Coffee lovers won’t be disappointed either with local-roasted Rave being served and cake lovers are in luck as there are a wide range of delicious home-baked sponges with gluten and dairy-free options available such as almond cake and chocolate brownies. For those with a savoury tooth, there are sandwiches and soups and inviting breakfasts including creamy porridge and moreish bacon rolls.


Somewhere Else

This is not only a wonderful place to reward yourself over the festive season, with some delicious food and drinks (the cocktails and mocktails are always amazing), but you can also pick up the most fabulous treats to enjoy at home (it’s up to you whether you decide to share them of course, we promise we won’t tell).

These include cocktail sets with a number of flavours including Espresso Martinis that serve six and include Absolu Vodka, a home-made Espresso Martini mix, Clifton Coffee Beans and Dark Chocolate Buttons. As the mixes have fresh ingredients, the boxes have a shelf life of five days so best to order and collect a couple of days before Christmas Day or whenever you’re planning on getting started shaking and stirring.

There are also fabulous ‘cook at home’ boxes (with a 48 hour lead time when ordering) including steak, Japanese and fish. There is also a tempting vegetarian option which includes spring rolls, sautéed gnocchi with Oxford Blue, Tenderstem, Walnuts and pecorino cheese followed by a fabulous winter fruit crumble and custard.


Corn Hall Deli

A relatively new addition to the Corn Hall, the Deli stocks the most fabulous selection of necessities, fresh home-made savouries, exceptional items from local Cotswold suppliers and artisan producers from across the world. It also has a fine wine collection that adorns one of its walls.

The perfect place to pick up some delicious treats, including Salami from the Cotswold Curer, a refreshing 2018 magnum of Rose’ from the Poulton Hill Estate or a great coffee selection of coffee from Cirencester’s Rave Coffee.

If you’re unsure of what to buy that special person - why not gift them a Christmas Hamper full of delicious treats or a Gift Voucher to choose for themself.


Jack’s

This well-loved recently refurbished cafe is run by award-winning local catering company Relish who have brought in their chefs to offer mouthwatering home-made dishes and drinks. Whatever you’re up to over the festive season, be sure to make time for something unforgettable such as a coconut crush smoothie or salted caramel milkshake, relax with a plate of poached eggs on sourdough with halloumi and harissa, buttermilk pancakes or vegetarian burger with tomato jam.

You’ll also be able to buy their brand new ‘Jack’s in a Box’ gift sets to take away, including delicious brownies or chocolates. A favourite for children of all ages is the Christmas cookie box decorating kit which includes home-made melt-in-the-mouth shortbread biscuits with coloured icing, marshmallows and sugary sprinkles.

A brilliant and fun way to immerse yourself, and fellow sweet toothers, into this wonderful time of year.

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