Christmas is coming.....
I know - we are only just into November and already it seems like businesses are trying to force Christmas upon us all already! It’s ok - this will remain a tinsel and Slade free zone until December 1st at least.
However, for lots of businesses, they will have been thinking about Christmas for MONTHS! Back in my restaurant and pub days, we would pretty much start planning the following Christmas in January. It is such a key period for many businesses that they just can’t afford to get it wrong.
I have been rather taken by surprise by the success of what was a little hobby this year, and is growing into a little cottage industry - if you can call my little flat in Catford a cottage! This means that I hadn’t really done any planning for Christmas and so I’m now trying to play catch up!!
There are some seasonal specials coming very soon. The Fig & Vanilla Jam is made with some very fine Turkish black figs I managed to get. It is great on toast or with a croissant of course, but it’s also great in baking (use to fill little tartlets and top with chantilly cream) and it’s equally at home on the cheeseboard. A great Christmas treat for yourself or your loved ones.
There will also be a special batch of my Breakfast Fizz - a celebratory Seville Orange marmalade made with Prosecco and Cointreau. Perfect for your Christmas Day breakfast, mixed with a glass or Prosecco before lunch and a dollop with cream on the leftover Christmas Pudding in the evening! This was recently listed in the delicious Food Issue of the South East London Journal so is sure to be even more popular than ever!
Coming soon to my Etsy store will be an enhanced range of marmalades and jams including some ‘micro-batch’ jams of less than 6 jars. Get them while you can!! I’ll also be listing a fantastic gift for your young (or older) Paddington Bear fans! How would they like to receive a personalised jar of Aunt Lucy’s Marmalade sent all the way from the Home For Retired Bears In Peru (via Catford)? Rumour has it that it’s Paddington Bears favourite marmalade. Don’t forget, if you are local and can collect from Catford, use code COLLECTIONONLY and you won’t be charged for shipping so we can then arrange for you to collect direct.
i have lots of plans for next year including some pop up supper clubs, prohibition tea parties, new stockists, new products, etc etc etc!
There have been some exciting collaborations with other local businesses recently too. Please support the businesses below, they are all great local independents and your support makes all the difference.
- Good Food grocery and deli (which I assume is short for delicious as all their carefully curated products are) will soon be stocking several of my marmalades and jams as part of their gift range.
I’m proud to support The Wild Cat Wilderness again, most recently transforming some of their wild blackberries and wonderful apples into delicious Blackberry and Blackberry & Apple Jam. This is available exclusively from them direct so do go along and support them. I will also be hosting one of my popular pickle workshops where we will make Rainbow Pickles with them very soon. Check out the website and then come and get In A Pickle With Big Gay Al!
Long time supporters Catford Cornucopia down on Catford Broadway continue to stock a range of both my marmalades and my soaps alongside a range of quality locally made gifts and merchandise.
Bottle Bar & Shop are stocking the Amalfi Breakfast Marmalade - currently an exclusive to them. It’s a bright, fresh lemon marmalade with a good splash of the Bottle Bar Limoncello. If you haven’t checked this bar out yet then you must! Their infusions and bottles cocktails are delicious!
Archibald’s in Catford now have some of the Catford Honey & Oat Soap as part of their lovely gift range in store. This rich soap is made with Shea butter, oats and honey produced locally here in Catford, fragranced with some Lebanese Orange Blossom Water Go sniff it out while ordering a wonderful brunch.
- I’m delighted to have sent some marmalade stock up to scenic Lytham, where Jo will be Christmas stocking (pun intended) my preserves as part of her ‘Hand Made With Love’ range. Her vintage and gift shop Heima is full of wonderful and exciting things. Jo is also my first non-London stockist. I’m no longer just local - I’ve gone National sweetie! If you find yourself in Lancashire then pop in and tell Jo that Big Gay Al sent you!
- After a wonderful It’s All Gone A Bit Abigail’s Party event with the dynamic duo that are We Do Good Disco , we are working together again for the official Retro Catford Chrimbo Party at the Broadway Theatre, Catford, where we will party like it’s 1979! I’ll be providing gorgeous nibbles and retro treats on the night. The last event sold out so get your tickets here soon to avoid a disappointment more bitter than granny’s boiled sprouts!