07 Aug 2022

Laurann O'Reilly: Christmas Foodie Guide for 2021 in the Premier County

Column in this week's Nationalist

Six top nutrition tips for boosting your immune health with Laurann O'Reilly

Laurann O'Reilly

With Christmas just around the corner it can be hard to think of gift ideas for those big and little food lovers in your life. We can also make the effort to support both local and Irish companies and food producers too.

Here, nutritionist Laurann O’Reilly and owner of Nutrition by Laurann, brings you through some of her top foodie gift ideas including gadgets, books, food and experiences.

1) Cool Food Gift Gadgets

- Personalised Slated Boards & Coasters: If you’re looking to treat the special person in your life, Irish brand Slated’s range of handmade and personalised boards and tableware are stunning pieces which are made from fully sustainable and recyclable materials.

Check It Out:

- Cordless Wine Opener: For wine lovers, this battery powered Electric Corkscrew is very comfortable to use and makes opening bottles of wine very easy.

Check It Out: Meadows & Byrne nationwide or online at

- Ember Smart Coffee Mug: For the coffee (and tea) lovers, the Ember Mug works alongside an app on your iPhone or Apple Watch which allows you to set your precise drinking temperature for hot beverages, track caffeine consumption, save presets for your favourite drinks, customise the LED colour and more.

Check It Out: Online at

- Grunwerg Stainless Steel Reusable Drinking Straws: For the environmentally conscious food and drink lovers, they can enjoy their favourite drinks with these stainless-steel reusable straws and cleaner.

Check It Out: Allens Clonmel and nationwide or online at https://link.nutritionby

- The Smart Kettle: Yes, you read that right, you can now turn on the kettle through an app on your phone. You can integrate it with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple's Siri and use voice activation.

Check It Out:

- Children’s Mini Chef Bundle: The perfect gift bundle for that mini chef in your life! Suitable for children aged approx. 4-9 years, both boys and girls! This bundle contains The World in My Kitchen cookbook, a beautiful kid’s apron, kiddies food cutter and safety food peeler.

Check It Out:

2) Foodie Books & Cookbooks

- Neven Maguire – Learn To Cook With Nevin: For the Aspiring Little Chefs it includes 80 delicious, fail-safe recipes, accompanied by colourful photographs and basic kitchen and cooking how-to tips to get the little ones started in cooking.

Check It Out:

- Donal Skehan - Everyday Cook: This year’s Irish Book Award Winner, a practical 15/30 minute meals, one pot wonders, meals to prep ahead and easy dinner favourites.

Check It Out:

- Darina Allen - Cooking Skills, Staple Ingredients & Recipes: An accessible and streamlined cookery book for anyone wanting to master basic cooking skills using 25 of the most popular staple ingredients.

Check It Out:

- Becky Excell – How To Make Anything Gluten Free: For those on a gluten free diet, this recipe book can help you unlock all the food you truly miss eating without it looking or tasting gluten free. With all the recipes you'll ever need with tips and advice on how to make absolutely anything gluten-free.

Check It Out Here:

- Hugh Johnson - Pocket Wine 2022 The No. 1 Best-Selling Wine Guide: For the wine lovers, this is the world's best-selling annual wine guide. This is the essential reference book for everyone who buys wine - in shops, restaurants, or on the internet. Check It Out:

3) Cookery Classes

- The Cool Food School Cooking Classes: With a focus on healthier options, including healthy bakes. They minimise the use of a cooker to reduce risk and with a bit of dancing around the kitchen they can wear their dancing shoes as well.

Check It Out:

For The Adults
- Cloughjordan House Cookery School: Using ingredients used which are either grown in-house or locally sourced. They welcome a variety of guests from experienced cooks to boutique groups and gatherings. Check It Out:

- Ballymaloe Cookery School: Based in Cork and offering a range of long and short cooking courses such as half day, a full week or 12 week courses. It tailors for all cooking abilities.

Check It Out:

- Cookalicious: Based in Galway with in-person and online classes, Live cookalongs and Supper Clubs. Cepta’s cooking is fuss-free, fabulous & healthy

Check It Out:

4) Sweet Treats

- Grá Chocolates: Based in Galway, Grá Chocolates are exquisite artisan confections. Each beautiful chocolate is meticulously made and painted by hand by award-winning pastry chef, Gráinne Mullins. Combining the finest raw ingredients with native Irish flavours this is the perfect gift for chocolate lovers.
Check It Out:

- Wilde Irish Chocolates: Based in Tuamgraney, Co. Clare, these beautiful handmade Belgian chocolates by Patricia and Con Farrell include a diverse range of flavours, designed to thrill your taste buds, making them the perfect gift. Check It Out:

- Hampers & Co Christmas Hot Chocolate Spoons: For the hot chocolate lovers, this includes a set of 3 Belgian vegan hot chocolate spoons complete with vegan marshmallows.
Check It Out:

- Lismore Christmas Pudding: A Christmas dinner really isn’t complete without a delicious Christmas pudding so this really would make a great gift.

Check It Out:

- Pastry Studio: A Tipperary based artisan bakery by Smaranda Maier who bakes top quality local ingredients from scratch. With everything from cookies, cakes, muffins and breads so you can gift that sweet treat.

Check Out:

5) Hampers

- Cashel Farmhouse Food Box: This includes foods from small Tipperary based family owned businesses producing award winning products. The food box may include products such as the Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers Sheep and Cow’s Milk Yoghurt, and Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers Fresh Cow’s and Sheep’s Milk.

Check It Out:

Lismore Food Company ‘Christmas Day’ Hamper: Filled with Lismore Sweet Biscuits, Lismore Savoury Biscuits, Lismore Coffee, Lismore Chocolate Apple Thins, Lismore Chocolate Bar, Lismore Chutney, Lismore Christmas Morning Marmalade, Lismore Balsamic Vinegar, Lismore Honey, Lismore Cordial, two different Lismore Savoury Nuts, Lismore Kalamata Olives, Charcuterie, Chocolate Truffle Almonds, Lismore Brandy Butter, Lismore Truffle Oil, Lismore Truffle Mustard, St Nicholas Christmas Pudding and Lismore Cranberry Sauce.

Check It Out:

Twelve Tastes of Christmas: A delicious alcohol free hamper filled with Eva Sparkling Juice, Birchall Tea Great Rift Breakfast Blend 15 Prism Tea Bags, Foods of Athenry Traditional Deep-Fill 6 Mince Pies, Cappuccino Swiss Roll Cake, Baileys Mini-Truffles Pouch, Lily O'Briens Mint Cremes, Foods of Athenry Fully Loaded Flapjacks, G’s Gourmet Christmas Morning Marmalade, G's Gourmet Rhubarb & Ginger Preserve, Irish Festive Toffee Gift Box, Farmhouse Lemon Shorties Biscuits in a Hessian Bag, Keoghs Roast Turkey & Secret Stuffing Crisps. Check It Out:

6) Restaurants

- Mikey Ryan’s Cashel: With a focus on local, seasonal ingredients of high quality and organic wherever possible. Working directly with local farmers and artisan producers, Mikey Ryan’s offers its local and visiting guests a true ‘Taste of Tipperary’. Check Them Out:

- Lava Rock Cahir: A warm and relaxed dining experience with new ideas and unique ingredients being used to generate a new menu every season. With locally sourced ingredients where possible, their aim is to focus on local and seasonal produce to create each signature dish.

Check Them Out:

- Dooks Fine Foods Fethard: A beautiful café, restaurant and retailer of delicious fresh wholesome local foods. Their ethos is locality, seasonality and sustainability. A daytime dine-in and take-away breakfast and lunch menu is fortified by the huge range of confectionery, breads, delicatessen options, and artisan Irish foods.

Check Them Out:

- The Old Convent Clogheen: An award winning venue with a daily changing tasting menu, using the freshest Irish artisan ingredients. Served a beautiful Chapel Dining Room.

Check Them Out:

- Mitchel House Thurles: Offers a casual, warm & lively dining experience serving modern Irish Cuisine in a relaxed environment. Their ethos is that of “quality food sourced locally”, focusing on seasonal produce to create each signature dish.
Check Them Out:

7) Give The Gift of Health: For those loved ones who want to improve their health through a personalised diet plan, food intolerance test or a tailored nutrition package a range of gift vouchers are available.

Check Them Out:

For further information contact Laurann at or see

Laurann O’Reilly is a qualified and experienced nutritionist with a BSc. Degree in Human Nutrition from University of Nottingham and a Masters in Public Health Nutrition from University College Dublin.

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