Christmas is a time to eat, drink and be merry – and let’s face it, who doesn’t love a present they can devour? So this Christmas give the gift of food and drink. Whether it’s a potent festive spirit or a truffle treat (see what we did there!) we’ve discovered two new East Lothian companies which will please even the fussiest of epicures.


Having received various quality and food awards for their small luxury hotel in East Lothian, David and Angela Cockerton launched their very own handmade chocolate business – The Chocolate Stag – which is a complementary business to Garleton Lodge.

Chocolate is not a new thing for the couple, David and Angela previously ran a successful handmade chocolate business before they moved to the Middle East. This was Angela’s first step towards following her and David’s passion for food and drink after more than 20 years as an accountant in the corporate world.

Their gorgeous range of handmade chocolates include everyone’s favourites such as milk and white chocolate truffles to brand new creations; spiced rum truffles, dark chocolate coffee and chilli truffles and the intriguing dark chocolate baby Guinness cup. These mouth-watering chocolates are a feast for the eyes and won’t disappoint when you get to the tasting.


Just over a year ago East Lothian friends Emma Bouglet and Jo Brydie started experimenting at Jo’s kitchen table with a beautiful five-litre copper still that they bought from a fellow gin maker and their new venture into the wonderful world of gin began. With backgrounds in investment and healthcare respectively, it was a brave step into the relatively unknown. But with their mutual love for gin, they saw an opportunity to create a delicious, premium, locally foraged East Lothian craft gin with unique coastal ingredients.

This delicious, locally crafted gin makes the most of the wonderful East Lothian produce we have on our doorsteps. Emma explains “The key ingredients in our gin are juniper, rosehip, sea buckthorn, elderflower, lemon thyme and thyme. And, our key botanicals; rosehip and buckthorn, are hand picked by us from the stunning East Lothian coastline and hedgerows, whilst the lemon thyme which adds a fragrant and citrus touch to the gin is grown by both ourselves and Archerfield Walled Garden.”

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