Last Friday some 50 food bloggers from the UK swapped Christmas foodie gifts handmade by them in a one-of-a-kind-event held in legendary British department store Fortnum and Mason. Imagine as a foreigner living in this country I had never heard of it, compared to Harrods - who hasn't heard about them?
But for a difference from the latter, Fortnum and Mason, established in the far 1707, 300 years ago, sparkles calm English elegance and style. It s far from anything pompous and overdecorated but you can't mistake its class and style.
The solid wooden stairs, the retro lifts, the ambiance ... it was like diving in another world. And all this even before entering the food halls which were simply fabulous!
And then on the fourth floor, there was a great gift giving event organised by the lovely Vanessa Kimbell, journalist, blogger and book author of Prepped (a very clever concept of a cookbook for busy families). All the home made gifts were arranged on tables and divided into three categories - Baked goods, drinks, sweets and pickles and preserves. There were four tables with the gorgeous gifts ranging from chocolate truffles, Turkish delight in chocolate, iced biscuits, amarettis, whole cakes, in-jar-baked cakes, all sorts of alcoholic beverages, macaroons, preserves, pickles and jarred food.
All of them so cleverly, beautifully, inventively and elegantly wrapped! I felt like I am going to be happy to get any single one of them! And I finally got home with iced gingerbread biscuits by Claire and Cranberry vodka by Helen from Fuss Free Flavours.
I am sorry I could not photograph all of the gifts as my battery chose to die right in the first 20 minutes :(
We had the charming Dan Lepard to judge the entries and devotedly try almost all of them to find the best gifts. Dan Lepard is an award wining baker, Guardian journalist and author of the acclaimed Short and sweet baking book.
Imagine how happy, moved and grateful I was when he judged my Mince pie Pops as the winner in the Sweets category!
The winners in the other categories were:
It was a great food bloggers community event that was made possible only by the amazing energy of Vanessa, the fabulous food bloggers community, Dan Lepard and the classy Fortnum and Mason!
I hope we are going to have more events like this!
So if you would like to treat your friends with awards winning treats, don't hesitate to try them! Links to full recipes can be found on Vanessa's blog here. Enjoy!