Shapero, a rare books store, offers plenty of ideas for gifts, as well as cooking inspirations for Christmas and beyond.

Nestled in iconic New Bond Street among the high end clothing brands, just like its neighbors Shapero offers something rather prestigious, if not more, to its visitors.

Shapero specialises in acquiring rare and authentic books from around the world, including cookery books such as Mrs Beeton’s Household Management. It’s a heavy eight volumes with nearly 700 illustrations.

Unlike modern cookery books the recipes in these antique printed works are far from what we’re used to now. Most of the recipes of that time presume that whoever is holding the book has a basic knowledge of cooking e.g. the cooking temperature, many are vague on the measurements or the appliances one needs to use.

The recipes are compact and to the point, no need for a faff. The Good Sweets by Ambrose Heath for instance packed three different recipes on a single page.

We picked Frozen Plum Pudding, it sounds quite Christmassy and easy to make given fresh and frozen plums are easy to acquire even now.

Or if you are like me who has a very generous Victoria Plum tree in the garden, that drops over 100 plums in a week of August, you have them stored and frozen.

For something savory and grand – green goose in Mrs Beeton’s Household Management caught our attention, for anyone wondering ‘green goose’ means any goosse under four months old.

It sounds harder than it is though, it’s really like cooking a duck just a bit bigger and, I would also argue, tastier.

Apart from recipe books at Shapero one can also find poetry, prose, illustration, natural history and more in the store and online.

BEETON, MRS. ISABELLA. Mrs. Beeton’s Household Management. A complete Cookery Book with sections on Household Work; Servants’ Duties; Labour Saving; Laundry Work; Etiquette; Marketing; Carving and Trussing; the Art of ‘Using-up’; Table Decoration; The Home Doctor; The Nursery; The Home Lawyer, Etc, London, Ward Lock & Co., Limited, [circa 1938].

£125 ‘This book has more wisdom to the square inch than any work of man’ (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) Thick 8vo; 32 plates in colour and nearly 700 illustrations, 14pp. advertisements, including the endpapers; quarter red morocco over tan boards, spine blind embossed, rubbed at extremities, a few minor marks, otherwise very good and internally near-fine.

BOULENGER, JULES-CÉSAR. De Conviviis Libri Quatuor. [BOUND AFTER]: De Ludis Privatis; De Pictura, plastice, Statuaria Libri Duo. Lyon, Heirs of Rouillé for Ludovic Prost, 1627.

£450 An important, early work comprising treatises on banquets, wine, gastronomy, games, painting and sculpture of the Greeks and Romans. Provenance: Earls of Macclesfield (bookplate and stamps)

First edition, 3 works in one vol., 8vo; woodcut printer’s device to titles, woodcut head-pieces and decorative initials, each work with errata at end, some browning mostly confined to margins, occasional spotting, bookplate and ownership markings to front pastedown, old ink initials to first title; 18th century calf, edge wear, spine rubbed, upper cover detached; collates as complete. Cagle 93; Simon BG 231; Vicaire 131

BYRON, MAY (EDITOR). Pot-luck. or The British Home Cookery Book. London, Hodder & Stoughton. 1914. £275. A compendious and clearly written book of British recipes. The last knockings of Georgian life. First edition, first impression. 8vo. Publisher’s pictorial blue cloth, titles to spine gilt. Very minor rubbing at the spine but a beautiful copy.

INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR DEIGHTON, LEN. Action Cook Book. Len Deighton’s Guide to Cooking. London, Jonathan Cape, 1965. £475. Signed by Deighton on the title page, ‘best wishes Len Deighton’.

One of three cook books published by the versatile author during the mid-sixties. This copy retaining the original plastic jacket and being inscribed is rare.

First edition, first impression, INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR; oblong 4to; publisher’s pictorial boards, printed endpapers, with the original polythene dust jacket with the price label intact. A good copy in the somewhat nicked and lightly baggy jacket. This is the first example in the dust jacket we have handled.

A Book of Mediterranean Food by ELIZABETH DAVID.

When Elizabeth returned to Britain after the Second World War the country was still on food rationing (even into the 1950s) and she was appalled at the cooking she encountered. Of the meals in one hotel, she wrote that the food was ‘produced with a kind of bleak triumph, which amounted almost to a hatred of humanity and humanity’s needs’.

‘The food was beyond bad: insupportable, in David’s view, even allowing for the shortages; she was overcome with a sense of ‘’embattled rage that we should be asked – and should accept – the endurance of such cooking’’. To comfort herself, she scribbled down lists of the things she most missed: apricots, olives, butter, rice, lemons, almonds….

This, then, was how she first began to write. Her notes and recipes were an expression of her yearning, a way of assuaging something that was not homesickness exactly but which must have felt a lot like it’ (The Guardian).

Shapero Rare Books, 106 New Bond St, London W1S 1DN