10 Gifts To Support Restaurants & Bars
Last year, I recommended some brilliant food-themed stocking stuffers and some of the best gifts for home cooks under £25. This year, I want to continue on that food theme but also help you in supporting the local restaurants and bars that have provided you with so much joy over the last twelve months. I got very tired of my cooking after all the lockdowns and being able to go to a restaurant and sit back, letting someone else take care of me, was a salve.
One of the best ways to pay your local back for all they’ve provided you is, of course, to go there in person and give them some custom. The next best way is to buy some of their merch, showing your love from afar and decking yourself out in some trendy gear while you do it. If you’re not sure what to get your restaurant-obsessed sibling for Christmas, Hanukkah or any occasion that needs celebrating, look no further. These are wonderful gifts you can buy to help support your favourite restaurants and bars.
Cloudwater – 47cl Craft Master Glass
Good beer deserves to be drunk in a good glass. If you’re drinking any of Cloudwater’s iconic brews you should really get yourself one of their Craft Master glasses to go with it. Adorned with the Cloudwater logo, this glass will perfectly hold a 440ml can with room for a small head of foam on top. It was designed for beer with beer drinkers like you in mind.
Lazy Tony’s T-Shirt
I know that I run the risk of sounding like Garfield here but, boy, do I love lasagne. A good lasagne – layered up with ragù, pasta and béchamel – hits the spot in a way no other dish can and Manchester-based Lazy Tony’s are masters of those pasta slabs. Show your support for some brilliant lasagne men by buying a bright red T-Shirt from them this winter. You won’t regret looking this good.
OWT Butcher Tote
A cotton tote is the ideal device for carrying around bougie groceries, so you’re going to want to make sure you’re rocking one that shows off how good your taste is. That’s why I’m pleased as punch that OWT, a Leeds Corn Exchange staple where you can get fine wine and dine, are selling some fresh-looking totes that you can fill with fresh, local ingredients. Everyone down the farmer’s market will be eyeing you up with this around your shoulder, MOB.
Bison Beer T-Shirt
Brighton-based Bison Beer makes delicious beer. They also make delicious merch, too. Branded with the brewery’s kitsch bison logo, these tees are soft, stylish and sustainable. Printed in the UK with low waste printing tech, they’re made in a renewable energy powered factory audited for a wide range of social and sustainability criteria. This is a good T-shirt made by good people.
Oversteamed BAO Candle
I love practically everything that BAO makes. I love the food they serve, I love the spaces they serve them in, and I really love their merch. You can’t go wrong with any of this restaurant group’s merchandise but the best gift – in my opinion – is one of these gua bao-shaped candles made from beeswax. The yellowy colour is eye-catching and this is a guaranteed statement piece and an instant conversation starter for when everyone inevitably walks into your flat and asks, “what’s that?”
Mondo Brewing Beanie
Keep your head warm and your beers cold with this ribbed beanie from Mondo Brewing. Available in a range of colours (well: black, navy, light grey, and dark grey) this beanie only has a subtle bit of branding but it’s enough to let the people who know realise that you drink crafties. Get this as a gift for the beer lover in your life along with a six-pack of Mondo finest. You’ll be in their good books for life.
Clink Tea Towel
You could do with some more tea towels. That’s a fact. You can never have enough of them, really. Great for cleaning up spills, great for drying dishes, and great for preventing your hands from scalding on your cast iron pan. They’re just great. And these tea towels from the Clink restaurant group are especially great because of the initiative they support. All of Clink’s restaurants are situated within working prisons and all of our food is lovingly prepared and served by prisoners in training.
Kimchi Tote Bag
All tote bags are made even but some are made more even than others. Glasgow restaurant Five March is a casual joint that focusses on vibrant sharing plates, seasonal cocktails, and organic wines. Their tote bag (made in collaboration with artist Dave Fu) is a manga-inspired homage to everyone’s favourite ferment: kimchi. The bonus to wearing this tote is that you’re almost guaranteed that no one else will be rocking it at the same time. A proper unique find.
Pophams Pastry Plates
Jess Jos is an experienced potter who creates hand-thrown functional tableware with a unique and contemporary edge. They’re the person behind Pophams lovely pastry plates – aka the best plates in London. Designed in-house and created from quality materials, each piece from this collection will add some much-needed class to your next dinner party.
Pizza Works – Pizza On The Brain T-Shirt
Designed by long time collaborators and local artists Conor & James from Graffic, this T-shirt from Belfast’s Pizza Works accurately sums up what goes on in my head for about 24 hours a day. I’ve got pizza on the brain every morning, afternoon and evening, so this t-shirt speaks to my soul. Buy it if you, like me, have no real personality aside from “likes pizza a lot”.