It’s a sad fact that beneath all of the sparkle of the Christmas period, it can be an exceptionally wasteful time of year 😞
From the hundreds of miles of wrapping paper discarded after Christmas morning, to the thousands of throwaway stocking fillers wrapped in single-use plastic, the waste created during the season of goodwill is enough to make anyone wince.
But there is an easy way for food & drink lovers to skip the eco-guilt that comes with splurging on unnecessary tat, whilst also helping to support local food and drink producers, takeaways and restauranteurs.
And this year, it’s a gesture that could mean more to our local indies than ever before.
Buying gift vouchers from a local independent restaurant, takeaway or producer is an easy way to give a Christmas gift that feels good but also does good, too. And that’s because:
They can help to keep indie food businesses going during the hardest months
This year has been an absolute shitter for hospitality. And just around the corner, are those cold, dark, skint months at the beginning of the year; when usually, Netflix subscriptions soar, no one’s spending money, everyone’s doing Dry January, and everyone’s on a ‘new year, new me’ diet. This time, it’s worse than ever – with another full lockdown on the way. A few December gift voucher sales could help our restaurants to keep the wolf from the door until Spring.
They’re inherently low-waste
Most indies use e-vouchers or paper gift certificates – very few have switched over to the more sophisticated plastic swipe cards favoured by the big chains. Pop a paper gift voucher for your favourite indie inside a home-made xmas card or even a plain envelope and you have a plastic-free present that can be recycled after use, too.
They give the receiver something to look forward to
This year’s Christmas is going to be a weird one, there’s no denying that. Even the ‘normal’ January slump is hard to bear but 2021’s is really going to suck. Getting a restaurant gift voucher for xmas means having something nice to look forward to for when all of this (gestures vaguely) has passed. Or – in many cases – in the meantime it means you can have a little taste of normality delivered to your door as takeaway.
Where to find indie food & drink gift vouchers this Christmas
Though definitely not an exhaustive list (!) here are just a few of my favourite options to get you started:
- Dusty’s – DIY pizza-kit subscriptions / gift cards
- Matsudai Ramen – Nood vouchers and ramen subscriptions
- Curado – Wine Subscriptions (plus restaurant gift vouchers available via email)
- Heaney’s & Uisce – Restaurant Vouchers
- Nook – Restaurant Vouchers
- Asador 44 – Restaurant Vouchers
- Bar 44 – Restaurant Vouchers
- Waterloo Tea – Gift Vouchers
- Angel Hotel Abergavenny (pictured above) – Gift Vouchers
- Wrights Food Emporium – Gift Vouchers
- Pettigrew Bakery – e-vouchers
- Franks – Gift Vouchers
- Cocorico Patisserie – Gift Vouchers
- Wild Thing – Gift Vouchers
Fancy something a bit more hands-on?
Cookery classes, tastings and foodie masterclasses also make for great xmas gifts, and plenty of local restaurants, chefs and producers have come up with their own curated experiences for the average Joe or Jane to enjoy.
From bread making to cake decorating, to patisserie classes, gin distilling and brewing beer, the list is almost endless – and ‘experience gifts’ are proving popular with people who would rather make new memories with friends and family than collect yet more stuff. You may have to wait until later in 2021 to redeem them, but it will be worth the wait.
Alternatively, many clever businesses have taken their masterclasses online – I recently did a one-day french baking class (via zoom) with Cardiff’s One Mile Bakery and look what I made!