Fact: we are all a bit jaded with the effect the pandemic has had on our health, careers and freedoms, so lets focus on things we can do to keep moving forward. Planning home improvements, getting fit and learning a new skill are the most common suggestions – so here is an excuse to avoid all three of those! Once we get out of this lockdown we will have precisely 3 weeks until our Christmas shopping needs to be nailed, probably 2 weeks if you need to post your gifts.
Panic not, this gift guide is designed to help you sort the Christmas shopping early AND shop locally, supporting small and independent businesses (you are most welcome – I have avoided even more exercise by compiling the gift guide!) Here are some ideas for all the favourite (and otherwise) people in your life. The stores or suppliers are all in Bath or the West, are available to order online and many offer ‘Click & Collect’ options so do check their websites for details. Those outside the area are of course MORE than welcome, come and see what the wonderful West has to offer.
HOME & INTERIORS FANS:
You can’t beat this brand. UBIETY (Yoo-by-it-ee). The formulations smell amazing, are natural and cruelty free and they look fantastic. What is not to like? Also, purchases directly support end of life care at Dorothy House Hospice. I repeat, what is not to like? You buy the gifts, you support a charity. Do it. This duo looks great in any bathroom or kitchen. PLUS I have an exclusive 10% discount code off any purchase at Ubiety – use the code STYLOFAM.
Tough crowd these guys, they’re so damn cool and clued-up these days. That said, they still love sweets and something which is not mainstream or is a little bit exclusive. They usually have access to tech so I’m going old-school and grabbing super cool magazines from Magalleria ( there is something for every interest) and delicious marshmallows from Sugar Cane Studio. For the sartorially conscious may I also recommend a T shirt from Shirts Off Our Backs ( a fully sustainable product range using ethical, fair-trade, organic materials ) Purchases benefit local charities. I LOVE this, and so will your teens.
There are many, you probably know one – the notebook hoarder and the ‘this is my best pen’ colleague. There is nothing the stationery fiend loves more than new kit so yeah, indulge them! I’m buying these scissors from Meticulous Ink – so handsome they wont be going in a drawer and the divine (and useful) Birthday Book from Julia Davey. Warning: once you start browsing their websites, your basket me be over-flowing. My gift guide purchases may, ahem, not make it to their intended recipients….
Gift ideas for food fans are the least tricky I find and this gift guide could actually have been totally about food and drink. The Bath Soft Cheese selection box is a total winner and the gift that lasts after the cheese has been chomped. The Bristol and Bath Selection includes a cookbook and chutney alongside two varieties of incredible cheese.
I can’t deny, I was swayed by the fabulous glasses the drinks were served in, BUT food & drink fans will love the beer too! I’m going to work my way round the delicious offerings from Lost & Grounded and lockdown or Christmas is surely the perect time to do it. Gorgeous gift options and discounts available for NHS workers. Nice.
IN LAWS / GODPARENTS / AUNTIES / OTHERS:
I’m just going to say it, a REALLY tricky group to buy for. Offerings are usually pretty predictable and boring. Lets not do that, your Great Aunt Agnes may have a bohemian heart beating beneath that sensible exterior. Here I’m suggestions subscription to the very wonderful Wolf Wine, delivered monthly with tasting notes (would also suit the foodies – see above). Choose the number of bottles in your subscription delivered to the doorstep. Bonus: your relative will be lovingly reminded of you every month !
An alternative and no less funky, would be something gorgeous from Botanica Studio – don’t be scared, advice and care guide will come with the plant so tell them when you are ordering whether you want something exotic or fuss-free, they know their stuff and will help you with your gift ideas and selection. I am a plant serial-killer and my prayer plant from Botanica Studio is THRIVING.
They’re marmite aren’t they, either easily-pleased ot practically impossible to buy for. Well this isn’t just cider, this is west country cider… local as you like and again delivered to the door, he’d be a grockle not to be thrilled with a delivery from Iford Cider.
For something to wear, run don’t walk to Found (online) Do not pass Go, it’s one of the best independent stores in the West. I am loving this shirt from Knickerbocker but you will find something covetable for your favourite chap in here.
My other tip, though can I just qualify these are ABSOLUTELY not ‘just for men’ ( urgh) is something from Forge Kitchenware. Any cook, mixologist or BBQ fan will be clicking their heels with the gloriously handsome (but totally useful) hand-forged items made in Somerset. Or splash out on the real deal, a Blacksmiths course (personally I would love this).
So many of these gifts are interchangeable, its arguably irrelevant to even have a HIM and HER distinction…but I wanted an extra category so bear with and no gender-assumptions here.
These stunning fairisle style beauties are all you need to make a winter wonderful. Hand kniteed in a womens fairtrade co op in Nepal so ethical too, a brilliant choice.
For further luxurious hibernation treats, head to the wonderful Always Sunday Store. Plenty of choice (I’m ordering some of the Wabi+ recycled glasses) and lots of inspiration both new and vintage. The sorts of items you’d love to own but would perhaps not buy for yourself…. ie perfect gifts. These old fashioned flannels and the superbly packaged (cruelty free) Holy Water bath salts will be pride of place in the recipients bathroom.
PET LOVERS :
Fur babies feature large in the lives of their humans and a gift for their beloved pet will always be well received. Have a look at Bath Country Pets offerings from toys and blankets to cool collars and awesome treats.
No offence meant here but some pet homes (and I include mine in this) can sometimes carry a little ‘eau-de-doggo’ particularly at this time of year when they’re soggy and muddy on a daily basis. A brilliant solution is this diffuser from Ubiety which will counter the odours with the more desirable scents from the great outdoors. My favourite is the calming fragrance (smells like the Babington House spa !) Tip: Make sure the recipient knows you well, and your gift is well-intended. We don’t want to start a Christmas spat with a ‘your house stinks’ gift, do we? My 10% discount code applies on all UBIETY purchases. Use the code STYLOFAM.
If you haven’t been inside My Small World are you even alive? Ok, I’ll let you off if you don’t have kids but this will help you if you’re tasked with buying for some. Simply the finest customer care you will find on a high street (oh Hi fizz and tissues on the first day of school for parents) and you can shop their beautifully curated gift ideas online. To call it a ‘toy shop’ is doing My Small World an enormous dis-service, its an emporium of delights, staffed by elves, sorry people, who genuinely care that your gift is on point. Oh and Robert Downey Jr is a customer and fan, just saying.
Know this – do not buy them floral-painted tools or garden gloves unless you have been specifically instructed to do so! They like their own tools and they have favourites that they do not want to replace even though they look delapidated. See this gift guide is all kinds of useful. I’m going to suggest a year-long pass to the wonderful gardens at The Newt so they can enjoy time off from their own garden and gain inspiration from the sensational grounds which vary wonderfully season by season.
For the armchair horticulturalist, a copy of Secret Gardens of Somerset available at Mr B’s Emporium will hit the mark. Mr B’s also offer a very fabulous ‘Book Spa’ which delivers the recipient a carefully selected book each month, bespoke to their reading preferences. Very popular.
Everyone has one (possibly two) that each year pose more of a challenge than all your other recipients put together. Hampers are risky and a bit dull (unless you know their ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE things in which case fill one up) and a good bottle of wine is always welcome (but sort of suggests you’ve given up). Below are absolute gems of the area which offer exceptional gifts, vouchers or experiences which may just be what you are looking for.
There are of course many more great businesses which I haven’t mentioned here, sorry, its definitely not the complete works of Bathspeare. This is a little slice of local creatives who would love your business right now. Jeff Besos is rich enough, if you can, support an independent this year. Happy Shopping. Love, Styleophile