Looking for a last-minute gift? Don't want to show up empty-handed to Christmas dinner? Either way, something edible is your best bet for a panic-buy ('tis the season to stuff ourselves, after all); just make sure it's beautifully packaged or something decadent the recipient wouldn't ordinarily treat themselves to. Here is our handy guide to what to get and where to get it this late in the game... including Christmas Eve opening hours.
Legendary Scottish-Italian deli Valvona & Crolla on Elm Row is open until 8pm tonight and 4.30pm on Christmas Eve, and bursting with endless edible gift options – think a sizeable chunk of 26 month-aged artisan Parmesan or an olive oil that comes in a painted ceramic jug; a straight-from-the-hive whole honeycomb to finish off the Christmas cheeseboard; a mountainous pile of mortadella or prosciutto cotto and Sicilian capers preserved in salt to augment the Boxing Day leftovers; dark chocolates flavoured with Balsamic vinegar; a handmade fruit cake laced with single malt whisky for one, packaged in a silver tin and perfect to stuff in someone's stocking; and of course the obligatory ornately packaged panettone. V&C's foodhall outposts in Jenners and House of Fraser Edinburgh are open till 10pm tonight and 6pm on Christmas Eve, and 8pm tonight and 5pm on Christmas Eve respectively.
Coco Chocolatier is an artisan Scottish chocolatier, founded in 2004 and based in Edinburgh, concocting cocoa creations in flavours such as hazelnut and Isle of Skye sea salt; rose and black pepper; artisan roast espresso, and gin and tonic, plus seasonal specials Christmas spice; cranberry, cinnamon and nutmeg – even gold, frankincense and myrrh. The packaging – all geometric designs and Hokusai-esque waves – is a gift in itself, perfect for the aesthete and the epicure alike. Coco's shops on Bruntsfield Place and Broughton Street are both open till 6pm tonight and on Christmas Eve, and you'll also find their bars for sale at Paper Tiger, Studio One, National Galleries of Scotland, Summerhall, Narcissus Flowers and Earthy @ The Tron.
Head to Cranachan & Crowdie on the Royal Mile and make up your own hamper from their selection of 100 per cent Scottish, locally produced goodies – including smoked Hebridean sea salt chocolate, Rock Rose gin, venison salami, Isle of Mull cheddar, Champagne and strawberry jam, smoked almonds, chutney and shortbread. The Canongate shop closes 6pm tonight and 3pm on Christmas Eve.
Harvey Nichols foodmarket is a treasure trove for weird and wonderful and, of course, fashionable foodie treats you won't find elsewhere – Christmas Tree sea salt that's smoked over spruce; limited edition JW Anderson-designed Diet Coke gift boxes; salted caramel-covered licorice balls from Sweden; rose-flavoured Persian fairy floss; giant flowering tea bulbs; a trio of Disaronno miniatures dressed in Robert Cavalli or tequilas in Day of the Dead skulls; a bottle of Veuve Clicquot in its own specially designed clutch bag or a mini Moët in a Christmas cracker. The store's own-label range is as stylishly packaged as you would expect, in their signature vintage black and white photo prints – also to be found on aprons, placemats, espresso cups – making even a tin of tea bags an acceptable gift. The Edinburgh store is open till 9pm tonight and 5pm on Christmas Eve.
And if all else fails – a box of Charbonnel et Walker truffles and a bottle of single malt or Champagne grabbed from the supermarket shelves at 4.55pm on Christmas Eve taste just as good as those bought and wrapped in the first week of November.