Christmas presents. Yay! Christmas shopping. Ugh.
If you’re struggling for inspiration this Christmas, our creative, independent venues and friends stock some brilliant gifts. We’ve listed 18 of our favourite, more unusual gifts here, but it was hard to choose so drop into the venues for a browse too; many stock fantastic crafts from neighbouring makers alongside excellent local food. Multiple wins.
- Indy Coffee Guide, from £7.99
For brew freaks, bean geeks and the simply curious, the Independent Coffee Guide series reveals the best speciality coffee shops and roasters, hand-picked by the region’s leading coffee experts.
Join the speciality revolution with the latest edition of the South West and South Wales Independent Coffee Guide. With over 170 of the region’s best cafes and roasters, this is your passport to a world speciality experiences
Better still, get 15% off any of the guides with the code: indyxmas
Get a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the Emma Bridgewater factory followed by an ‘afternoon tea’ style lunch and a decorating studio session where you can create your own plate. It’s suitable for everyone over the age of 5 and gift vouchers (valid for 12 months) are available for gift givers.
- Sedburgh Soap, £5.95
One of a host of tasteful presents available at No.6 Finkle Street, home to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Room, Sedburgh soaps are filled with natural essential oils, the marvellous sort that linger on the skin for hours, and the lemongrass is as popular with gents as ladies. Sign up for the newsletter and you can get an extra 10% off your shop.
- Cumbrian fell sheepskins, £70
The ultimate in hygge luxuries, these sheepskins come from sheep reared on the Westmorland farm and sent to be traditionally processed at Britain’s oldest sheepskin tannery, Devonia in Devon. We particularly love the unusual and on-trend grey Herdwick. They’re not available to buy online but you can find them in the farm shop at Tebay and Gloucester.
- Red Cuckoo handbag, £25
Away from their main line of delicious cakes, Light Ash Farm Shop in Lancashire is also host to a mini boutique stocking a lovely range of handbags, purses and scarves. The handbags piqued our fancy, with a stylish range starting from £25.
- Manchester Three Rivers Gin, £35
Something of a gin emporium, The Hollies sells a stonking range of the botanical spirit, and Manchester Three Rivers is one of our favourites, dry and hand-crafted in small batches beneath a railway arch in the city’s trendy Green Quarter.
- Silver Tree pendant, from £30
Silver Tree are one of the designer-makers and artists to occupy the studios that occupy the former farm buildings at the Fold, a blissful centre of sustainability in Worcestershire. Using local suppliers and eco-friendly materials they handmake jewellery such as this delicate leaf pendant. Stock changes regularly but prices are reasonable. Drop in and you’re welcome to watch them at work too.
- Pooley vase, £27.50
For the hard-to-buy-for mother-in-law, this Pooley Vases is a bit different. Available in a range of colours, they look as good with an individual bloom (make the most of garden casualties) as empty or completely filled. Pick one up from the wonderful range of gifts at Papilio at Heritage, formerly Heritage in Thornbury.
Get behind the scenes at the artisan cheese factory to learn how the good stuff is churned, moulded, brined and matured from milk, followed by a tasting in the parlour and a homemade lunch in the Cheese Loft Café. A must for cheese lovers. (Suitable for children over 8.) Get free delivery on your tour voucher by entering the code FREETOURPOSTAGE at checkout.
- Democratique socks, £11
If you’re going to get him socks, make sure they’re these beauties sold by our stylish friends Caro in Somerset. As well as trendy, they’re heavy enough gauge to use in winter and loose enough for summer months too.
- Norma apron, £20
One of Cakeadoodledo’s country chic linens range, the Norma apron is a great gift for Bake Off fans and eager cooks, described as ‘sensible, but long enough to do the job. Handy pocket.’
Keen gardeners will appreciate the National Trust’s range of gardening goodies, and we’re particular fans of these sturdy tweed gloves to protect your fingers as you keep your garden blooming. Pick yours up at Tyntesfield’s brilliant shop which has an excellent gardening range alongside a host of other goodies, from stationery to blankets and tasty treats.
- Beekeeper’s compendium, £19.95
A beautiful collection of bee-friendly gifts from one of the UK’s oldest honey farms, Chainbridge Honey in Berwick upon Tweed, this compendium includes a jar of the nectar, peppermint foot balm, lavender handcream, lip balm, heather soap and a small candle, all made with beeswax from their hives.
- Wild Guides, from £14.95
There are few better handbooks to getting off grid than the Wild Guides, with volumes to take you wild camping in Scandinavia, swimming in secluded Spanish pools and bikepacking round Britain. Browse the selection at Wild Things Publishing, and use the code ‘extramile’ to get 20% off and free P&P.
- Artisan chocolates, £5.50
Who doesn’t love chocolates, especially posh ones? Alongside a range of handbags, jewellery, scented candles and shoes, the lovely Rhubarb and Mustard gift shop and café has a dedicated chocolatier counter, where you can select decadent chocolates from flavours including gin and tonic, salted caramel and orange and ginger, all made down the road in Knebworth. Boxes range in size from 10 to 24 and are sold by weight, but a box of ten will cost you around £5.50.
The craft beer trend continues unabated, so treat your beer lover to a gift pack of Welbeck estate’s best, made in the wilds of Nottinghamshire using the estate’s own, mineral rich spring water.
- Busy Lizzie dress, £28
Treat the little ladies of the family to some adorable dresses from Frugi, whose clothes are made in Cornwall from organic cotton. Pick them up at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery’s fabulous shop, where you’ll be spoilt for gift choice.
- Do Wild Baking, £8.99
What better way to nurture your inner cave man than with a bit of self-sufficent outdoor baking? We love the offbeat Do Guides and this guide to wild baking – from hearty stews to beer bread and hot smoked salmon with pleasingly ‘faff-free ingredients’ – will make you feel like a hero.