Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories with Orange Bitters

Books make great presents for people who have more or less everything they need, and like books. Anthologies of short stories are one of my favourite things and if I didn’t already have it I’d have been particularly delighted to open this on Christmas Day. It’s a satisfyingly varied collection with a few favourites in it, enough writers I know I like to get excited by (from Hans Christian Anderson to Angela Carter...), and plenty of things which are new to me. There’s nothing more I could want for under £20.

Over £20 I’m after some new pillows - which nobody is likely to buy me for Christmas (they’d be a devil to wrap).

A good collection of short stories is perfect for Christmas reading, they’re easier to fit around the various commitments, responsibilities, and emotions that plague the season, and a safer bet if you’re not entirely sure of someone’s literary taste.

Bitters are a remarkably useful thing to have around, and a very good grown up stocking filler. A lot of classic cocktails will call for either Angostura or orange bitters. Angostura bitters are easy to buy - most big supermarkets will carry them, Orange bitters are inexplicably harder to find on the high street unless you have a good independent locally. They’re very easy to find online though, and a great thing to have in the kitchen. They’re good for more than just drinks.

An interesting bottle of bitters (Fee Brothers will give an idea of the variety out there, but they’re by no means the only brand to explore) is a great house or hostess gift too, and a very useful thing to pack if you’re off to some idyllic rented house in the country. They take up very little space and go a long way (some companies make travel packs which are brilliant for this).

1 comment:

  1. I buy my pillows from John Lewis, the stuffing is Siliconized Polyester Clusters, they are extremely comfortable and last a good length of time.