Thursday, 24 November 2011

It was all happening at the Fortnum and Mason Christmas Gift Swap

Last week was the first Fortnum and Mason Christmas gift swap. Fifty Food Bloggers were invited and it really captured everyone's imagination, as the finest range and quality of the gifts were brought  to the waiting tables.  It was just fantastic.  Thank goodness for Dan Lepard.  He was utterly brilliant at judging the winners for each category, I can't imagine how hard to was to choose .. but he did a fabulous job and the winners were as follows:

DrinksDamson Schnapps by Jayne.

Baked GoodsAmaretti Biscuits by Claire.

Pickles & PreservesBlackberry Curd by Urvashi.

The winners had exceptional gifts that really captured Christmas.  the great thing was that we were all winners.  I popped a number on each gift and they were put in to the mixing bowl of the Kenwood and drawn. It was really good fun and  I was delighted with how it all turned out.   Fortnum and Mason was the perfect venue and epitomised the Christmas spirit we all love and I think everyone just soaked up the atmosphere.  I really felt part of a community, with like minded people who are as passionate about food and blogging as I am.   I  feel it is important to recognise the effort and hard work of food bloggers and we get each other.. so it was lovely to gather a group together, have a cup of tea and a mince pie.  ( a delicious Fortnum & Mason Mince pie) !  We all write for the love of it, and  just to be able to organise a free event just for us to celebrate and meet each other was a real privilege.

So thank you again to our hosts Fortnum & Mason and the Hamper and fabulous prizes from Kenwood, Aga, Leiths Cookery School and Rococo Chocolates, and thank you to Dan Lepard.

It was fabulous!

Of course it hand't really occurred to me as I set up a gift swap that by offering a prize for the best of each category that it was a competition.  In fact it only really dawned on me as there was some friendly rivalry being tweeted!

There were over 100 gifts entered and it's been quite a difficult post to round up.  I initially wrote out everyone on a spread sheet and then on a word document.  In all honesty I couldn't fit all the information together without redesigning the width of my site. So I have decided to split the links and information over two posts.  This post is about who was there, and the Let's make Christmas round up post will be posted next week with all the recipes in there.  I'll also add in the links on this page as people write their posts up. .. so bear with me this page will have several more updates over the next few weeks.

In the mean time you can read what everyone else said right here!

The delicious Working London Mummy 
 Lovely Ben Vear
The Beautiful Bountiful Plate
My friend Sarah from Maison Cupcake
Sophisticated Solange
Slow Food Kitchen wrote a gorgeous post
Chocolate Blog made me smile with her brilliant write up 

 Here is a list of all the gifts entered
(blog links with recipes will be added as they are sent to me and will be added to the next round up post of Let's make Christmas)

Polish Spiced Christmas Biscuits & And extra one ready for DIY decorating
Christmas Vodka, Cranberry and Orange Spices
Clove Shortbread Snowflakes & Salted Caramel Brownies
Festive Macarons, Christmas Cookies, Frangipane Mince Pies
Fruit and Nut bars, Turkish delight, Ginger Cordial
Chocoalte truffles with Pistachio's
Mulled Wine Syrup, Mini Crunchy Fruit and Nut Christmas Cakes, Christmas table Truffles
Mulled Wine & Chocolates
Seville Orange and Whisky Marmalade, Crab Apple Jelly, Stawberry Jam and Spiced elderflower Cordial
Florentines, Florentine Spread, Quince and Roasmary Jelly
Chocolate Christmas Trees with Chocolate Truffle Presents Spiced Christmas Pudding Macrons
Damson Snapps, Candies Pecans WINNER OF THE BEST DRINK
(no info on sheet)
Triplle Ginger cake in Jars, Chilli Vodka, meringue Nibbles
Macademia nut & Cherry Chocolate Fudge, Lemon and Ginger shortbread, Apple and Cranberry chutney
Fig and Nut Cake, Almond and Turkish delight Clusters
Orange and Clove Sugar, Fresh cranberery mincemeat, Sloe Gin
Brownies and a set of three preserves
Stilton and Walnut Cheese Sables
Hot Chilli & Ginger Pickle, Sweet Hot Sour Tangy Pickle, Pear and Ginger Chutney
Chocoalte Tort Truffles, Cornish Farings, Mulling Syrup
Vanilla Extract, Pumkin Chitnry, Honeycomb
Mulled wine Jelly , Ginger Surprize house, Assorted Truffles
Christmas Pudding Cake Pops
Min Christmas Anowflake cakes, Boozey Fat Free Mincemeat, Orange Liqueur
2 pumpkin and Apple Chutneys & 2 peppermint crunch
Chocolate and Chestnut Cake
Orange Mince Pies, White Chocolate and Cranberry cookies, Cranberry Chutney
Home made Marshmallows, Christmas Feel Good Cookies
Red onion Chutney and Blueberry Gin
A Trio of seasonal Jar Pies
Chili Jam
Picalilli, Christmas Puddings, Chocolate Wafers

Here is a list of the bloggers that took part ( I've lost a sheet so if you are not here PLEASE let me know!) 

*** to add in
*** to add in
*** to add in
@Vanessa Kimbell
@Extra Relish
@turquoise Lemons


  1. Thank you, thank you and thank you again for such a BRILLIANT event, what a great day I had and what STUNNING home made goodies there were on display too!

  2. Oh my goodness what a lot of work writing that post. Lovely to see all those happy food bloggers. You deserve a big cheer for organising this event.

  3. It was a fabulous event Vanessa and thank you so much for organising it and organising it so well too. It was lovely to meet you and so many other bloggers as well as Dan and David. I'm glad you persuaded me to make the trip :)

  4. Thank you so much Vanessa. I really do appreciate all he hard work you put in to the organising of such a fantastic event. You are a natural and it made my day being there meeting all the people whose blogs I read on a daily basis!
    Have a great day tomorrow! X

  5. Lovely round up! Thank you again for all your hard work in making it happen and creating such a warm, inviting atmosphere. It was a beautiful evening and really amazing to meet some fantastic bloggers face to face!

  6. Such a lovely event, Vanessa, and a really nice post. I was really pleased to be involved and am totally looking forward to the next one ;-)

  7. It was worth all the hard work to get such a great reaction. It was warm and welcoming .. exactly as i had hoped for.

  8. Vanessa, it was a fabulous afternoon. You must have worked so hard before as I know these things don't just happen. Thank you for such a lovely time. Jude x
    PS it was wonderful to meet so many superb bloggers. I'm going to be looking at everyone's blogs over the next few days!

  9. Ah dear Vanessa, that's a list and a half! Congratulations again on such a fab event and thank you for the detailed write-up, can't wait to check out all the other fab food blogs!

  10. It was the most fun and festive afternoon! I thoroughly enjoyed greeting old friends and meeting many new friends. I felt so inspired by the wonderful displays of goodies! A huge huge thank you for organising and inviting me to such a joyful occasion Vanessa, and thank you to Dan and Fortnums too!

  11. So many familiar faces in your photos. What a brilliant event. Look forward to the next few posts.

  12. thank you so much for the event and this lovely roundup! was lovely to see you again xx

  13. Thank you so much for a fabulous afternoon. It was a wonderful event and so lovely to be a part of it. Your hard work definitely paid off. Looks like it's been a lot of work writing this post too. I look forward to checking out all the other blogs.

  14. It looks like you guys had so much fun! I really need to start making some jams/preserves. They look delicious :)

  15. It was the most excellent day. You are a superstar for bringing us all together. Thank you do much for it all!! It was so lovely to finally meet you and everyone else. Even though I say it myself we are all a wonderful talented and very beautiful bunch of crazy people!!

  16. Thank you so much Vanessa, was a great event. Here is my write up here:

    One of the lovely gifts I won was strawberry jam and whiskey marmalade. Does anyone know who brought these so I can thank them please?

    Charlotte X

  17. Wow, what a comprehensive list and round up! I can't believe there's a part 2 to follow?!

    My cake pops were at

    Thanks again for organising such a super event.


If you are reading my blog I must warn you that I am not impartial. I want to influence you. I want to make you stop for just a moment and consider the effect of a lifetime of seemingly insignificant decisions and how making small delicious choices can change the world.

I believe that we can change the world one bite at a time.

It's a delicious revolution.