It’s all got a bit bad again, hasn’t it? With Covid cases rising rapidly in London and lots of us starting to isolate so that we don’t get sick over Christmas, our city’s venues are looking decidedly empty. Some have even closed. Forza Wine, for example, shut on December 15 to protect its customers and staff. Its owner Bash Redford, revealed to Time Out that doing so has lost the wine bar more than 1,000 bookings between now and the end of the year. ‘We had two more positive cases this morning, which we could have gotten through on a skeleton staff, but we would’ve been broken, it’s just not worth it. We had to make the call to protect staff and our customers. If we don’t, no one’s going to be able to get home for Christmas.’ Redford said.
If you’re feeling worried about the future for your faves but are nervous to head out for food or booze right now, you’ve come to the right place: we’re spending the next few days rounding up all the stuff you can buy to support London’s restaurants and bars. From brilliant merch and foodie bits to vouchers and meal kits, all these things make excellent last-minute Christmas presents for friends (and treats for yourself).
Today Bread sourdough starter, £3
Made from 200 percent hydration wholemeal rye.
Dishoom house chai, £16
The same Masala Chai you get given in the queue for the Indian mini chain but in a tin to make at home.
Lina Stores pasta hamper, £65
Rigatoni, bucatini, trofie and some very good olive oil and passata.
Three Sheets cocktails, various prices
From the French 75 to Margaritas and Negronis, you can get all of this top bar’s top drinks in bottle form.
Fat Macy’s hamper, £35
Not only is this a box full of treats, it’s a box that funds support for Londoners living in temporary accommodation.
Sambal Shiok book and sambal gift bundle, £50
Get Mandy Yin’s cookbook plus a tote bag, two types of laksa paste and two types of sambal.
Rice Guys chicken rice set, £18.65
Contains the pastes, spices and seasonings you need to make delicious Hainanese chicken rice.
Cult London bakery Flor has a luxe mince pie kit with homemade pastry, and tins to bake them in. Each box makes 6 or 12 pies and comes with a recipe card for how to prepare and finish them at home. Theres still time before the big day the last delivery date for nationwide is Dec 23 and for London is Dec 24.
Chuku’s gift voucher, various prices
Give your mate the gift of a meal at this beloved Nigerian tapas restaurant.
Jolene gift voucher, various prices
Not just for Jolene! You can also use this voucher at Westerns Laundry, Big Jo or Primeur.
Weino Bib gift card, various prices
Buy yourself the gift of future wine.
Morito loyalty voucher, £50
Entitles the bearer for £50 towards a meal as well as a free aperitivo and a pudding.
Citystack pub vouchers, £20
A pack of ten money-saving coasters. Each coaster gives you £10 off a £20 spend at one of our amazing independent London pubs.
manteca vouchers, various prices
Give the gift a five-star meal at chef Chris Leach’s nose-to-tail Shoreditch restaurant.
Smokestak vouchers, various prices
Looking for a fire present? Look no further than banging barbecue restaurant vouchers.
Lyle’s vouchers, various prices
Score brownie points with loved ones and give a Michelin-starred meal to remember.
The Palomar vouchers, various prices
Can’t travel on holiday at the moment? No problem! Treat friends and family to a taste of Jerusalem at this top Middle-eastered restaurant.
My Neighbours the Dumplings apron, £20
A very stylish apron from a very good restaurant!
Wine n Rind T-shirts, £25
Imagine a Palace top but it says ‘pecorino’. That's the vibe here.
Gordos pizzeria T-shirt, £25
Arguably the waviest garm on this list.
Quality Wines tote bag, £3
The best way to tell the world that you have very good taste in confit potatoes.
Aries Bakehouse tote, £5
Significantly cheaper than a tote from the fashion Aries and arguably just as cool.
Forza Wine hoodie, £32.50
In classic bottle green, this warm jumper could be a new ‘lounging about on the sofa with a good red’ top.
Taco Queen longsleeve, £25
Even if you’re not a super fan of this cult Peckham taco spot, you’ll probably love the colourful design of this top.
Mangal 2 ‘Love Kebabs Hate Racism’ T-shirt, £25
A slogan tee with a message we can all agree on.
Wong Kei T shirt, buy in store, £20
The Chinatown favourite is selling very good merch right now.
Blondies T-shirt, £20
Made by London-based illustrator Felicity Marshall and Vice, all profits from this Blondies-themed T-shirt go to the Music Venues Trust.
Sonora Taquería T-shirt, buy in store
Support this Netil Market fave by bagging a Hypebeast-worthy tee.
Legendary mini pizza chain has teamed up with all your favourite restaurants such as Top Cuvée, Four Legs and Mangal to create cool one-off cool tees. Collect them all.
Dark Arts Coffee mug, £15
Give the gift of a cup with a sinister Mickey Mouse-ish design this Christmas.
Ombra pasta cutter, £33
Cut up your dough with prowess thanks to this whirly guy.
Gloria antipasti plate, £11
This restaurant is known for its extremely OTT crockery and now you can bring it home to eat your tea off.
Top Cuvée water bottle, £16.99
Very good to carry during wine-induced hangovers, or so we’ve heard.
E5 Bakehouse dough scraper, £2
A bread-making tool from one of the best bread-makers in town.
BAO cocktail rescues, £22
Everyone’s favourite Taiwanese legends has stocked up its convenience store with pre-made cocktail pouches, made by you kits, tableware and more.
Diddy’s vintage home and glassware, various prices
The bar’s founder’s selling a curated selection of vintage homeware on its site.
Old Chang Kee curry puff keyring, £8
This stuffed curry puff is possibly one of the cutest things we’ve ever seen?!
St John bread bag, £6
Keeps bread fresher for longer and makes you look very sophisticated. Win-win.
Perkyn’s glass, £5
A chunky 13oz guy with a fun design. Very good stuff.
Here is a list of all the meal kits you can still order.