It’s become something of a tradition. Every year around this time I encourage my readers to shop locally and to buy their presents from one of the many artists or crafts people who live and work in Whitstable.
This year I’d like to introduce you to Katrina Louise Taylor. Some of you will already know her. Many of you will not.
Katrina is an artist, but she is also a very talented chocolatier.
Ah chocolate: that most heavenly of confections. Who doesn’t like chocolate?
But Katrina’s chocolates are in another league altogether.
She’s been featured on the BBC Good Food Programme, and has won several awards from the prestigious Academy of Chocolate, including a Silver Award for her Damson Plum & Amaretto Truffles, and a Bronze Award (twice!) for her Peach, Geranium & Armagnac Truffles.
Other flavours include Black Cherry and Chilli-infused Vodka, Wild Blueberry and Calvados, Lavender, Kentish Honey and Single Malt Whisky, Raspberry and Cognac and Grand Marnier and Seville Orange Marmalade.
I think you might see a pattern here. They mostly include alcohol in some combination with fruit or flowers. The White Stilton with Apricot and Lime Oil is the only exception to this rule.
I never promote anything in these columns that I don’t believe in 100%, and Katrina’s chocolates are simply out of this world.
In fact, here’s a really good idea: why not visit the Farmer’s Market and not only will you find Katrina there, but you’ll be greeted by a host of other producers selling a wide variety of interesting, organic, local products, many of which would make for fine and unusual Christmas presents.
The hall will be decorated and the organisers are hoping to have live music playing outside.
Buy local. You’ll be helping the local economy while saving yourself from stress at the same time.