There are fewer holiday work parties and family gatherings this year, so you may have had less than usual face time with candy, cakes, cookies, beer and the like. Your friends and relatives are probably in the same boat.
So it’s time to indulge a bit. We’ve highlighted a few unique options designed to satisfy your own cravings and spark ideas for carb-related gifts for others this holiday season.
Pond Hoppers British Foods
Rob Brady has been operating his “all things Brit” retail store on the edge of Wilton Manors (by the Egg & You Diner) for 15 years. You may not have taken much notice unless you’re a British ex-pat, but you should.
Brady offers a lot of familiar items for those who are from England (he’s from Manchester) and miss some of the touches of home. But whether you are from across the pond or not, this is a place where you can find cool gift ideas for the holiday season.
There’s a range of stocking stuffers and traditional Britain Christmas chocolates. He’s got festive gift baskets and gift boxes, too, starting at $50. Grab an extra Matthew Walker Luxury Cognac Christmas Pudding Twin Pack ($8.95) for yourself to smooth out those stressful shopping days.
If you don’t feel like leaving the house, but still want to support a local business like Brady’s, you’re covered.
He said online sales have “gone through the roof” during the pandemic and he gets to work a few hours early every day to pack and ship.
Choose from his chocolates or the jams and spreads, cooking sauces, biscuit snacks and crackers, pickles and relishes, or a lineup of non-food items as well.
For more: 2629 N. Federal Hwy; 954-566-9388; pondhoppers.net.
Craft Beer Cellar
After you’ve gone to Pond Hoppers, take a short walk toward the Middle River and you’ll find yourself at Fort Lauderdale’s Craft Beer Cellar.
Yes, you should enjoy the suds on tap while your there (one of nine available now is the Prickly Pear Zinger — a Berliner Weisse with Prickly Pear by Fort Lauderdale’s Tarpon River Brewing). You can sip it on the awesome waterside patio while considering who to gift beer to this year.
Eddie Abralde is the local franchise owner of the Massachusetts-based national chain of specialty beer stores. He quietly opened with the help of his mother and wife in the summer of 2019.
His to-go selection is extensive. The bottle shop has 200 rare craft beers to check out — including a Florida-themed section. Bottles are priced from $2.50 to $13 on average.
For more: 2301 NE 26th St.; (954) 368-6778; craftbeercellar.com.
Still traveling a bit outside the box for holiday gift options, consider a trip to PAC Pastries on Wilton Drive.
The vegan, natural, gluten-free and organic bakery is a great place to grab a coffee and cinnamon roll (again, for yourself) while you decide on which specialty cookies, brownies or raw confections to give to those in your life.
Six-inch round cakes for $35 include Death by Chocolate, Very Vanilla w/Sprinkles, Strawberry Shortcake, Orange Creamsicle, Matcha and the Raw Blue Majik Cake for an extra $20.
You can order custom cakes as well; call ahead or visit for details and availability.
There’s a new holiday menu out now with Peppermint Coal cookies, pumpkin and pecan pies, DIY holiday cookies and Black Forest Cake.
Note: PAC Pastries will be open on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) for last-minute pickups and holiday treats in the case.
For more: 2348 Wilton Drive; 954-530-9783; @pacpastries on social media.