Okay okay, we know that plenty of you will curse us for using the C-word in November. But trust us, time is a law unto itself and 25 December will roll around quicker than you can say ‘Nollaig Shona’.
It’s been a tough year for small and medium sized businesses, with all sorts of closures and restrictions in place as a result of the pandemic. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that, on the other side of the computer screen, an actual real-life person in our beautiful country is doing a little happy dance as your order comes in? We think so.
So because we’re incredibly thoughtful here at Metis Ireland, we’ve lovingly put together a list of some of our homegrown favourites for gift-buying.
The Wine Buff
There’s something that feels rather magical about an exclusive experience with an expert. The Wine Buff offers bespoke wine tastings, which personally we think would make a wonderful and unique gift experience. Or for a smaller gesture, a really nice bottle of wine rarely goes amiss.
A truly out-of-the-box concept, which fits neatly into a box. Éalú Experiences offers a smorgasbord of truly special and unique food and drink masterclass experiences with a host of Ireland’s finest experts and professionals. There’s something for all tastes – from a Christmas morning experience with a celebrity chef, to a family baking masterclass, to a mixology session, to a classic wine and cheese box. And the best part is, all the items you’ll enjoy are carefully hand-picked Irish products.
Made is a collection of Limerick-based artists, designers and makers whose work is unique and wonderful. The shop is located in the heart of Limerick City, and it’s a treasure trove for anybody who wants to find a truly one-of-a-kind gift.
A firm favourite amongst the Metis Ireland team, Tuscany Bistro oozes with Italian charm. It’s also owned by one of our clients, so you may be forgiven for thinking we’re biased, but the food really speaks for itself. With two premises – one in Castletroy, one in Ballina – and an overflowing online pantry, there are dozens of great gifting options available this Christmas.
We particularly recommend a dining voucher, or one of their Christmas hampers.
Donegal Natural Soap
Give the designer brand soaps a miss this year and go local. Donegal Natural Soap is beautiful, fragrant, handmade goodness. As well as a range of soaps with scents for him and her, they also offer essential oils, diffusers and balms. And if you really can’t choose, they have gift baskets on offer too.
One of North Cork’s finest, Market Place is a vibrant and punchy bowl of flavour. Established in 2011 by a Mitchelstown man and Metis Ireland client John O’Connor, and with an ever-changing menu of bright, fresh flavours and earthy local produce, Market Place is certainly a special place to gift somebody a voucher for.
Here’s something a little luxe. Brown Thomas really takes things up a notch in the hamper department, so you certainly won’t disappoint with one of these under the Christmas tree. They’re filled with a selection of items from Moet, Fortnum & Mason, Whittard, Godiva and more, and you can choose whichever level of luxury fits your budget. Yes, we realise this one isn’t a small business, but it’s an Irish institution!
Here’s one to inspire a bit of zen. Wellness Circle offers a range of unique gift boxes packed with Irish-made products to accompany some well-deserved ‘me’ time. They also offer spa services, for an extra level of pampering.
A few honourable mentions:
- – Vouchers for dining at Derg House Café in co. Clare.
– Afternoon tea at Adare Manor in co. Limerick
– A voucher for dining at House in both Limerick and Dublin
– An artisan cheese board made with Irish beech from Velvet Cloud in collaboration with local carpenter Fiona Scott, in co. Mayo. Check out their sheep’s milk cheeses, too!
– One way to seriously impress is with a tray of delicious, delicate sweet treats from La Patisserie by The French Table, in Limerick. We personally love our dessert to look like beautiful baubles, so we’re big fans.
– Another for the sweet-toothed among us: Braw Chocolate from Limerick creates truly delicious chocolates, cakes and gift boxes which would make beautiful gift options.
– Stick with us on this one. A butcher isn’t perhaps the most traditional suggestion for somewhere to shop for Christmas gifts, but artisan butcher Garretts Butcher in Limerick is too good to pass up. You can buy vouchers on their website.
– Finally, there’s no way to go wrong with a hamper, and Fallon & Byrne produce some gorgeous ones.
There you have it: a Very Irish Christmas Gifting Guide.
Stay safe, happy local shopping, and a nice early Nollaig Shona to you all.
Metis Ireland Financial Planning Ltd t/a Metis Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
All content provided in these blog posts is intended for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice. You should always engage the services of a fully qualified financial adviser before entering any financial contract. Metis Ireland Financial Planning Ltd t/a Metis Ireland will not be held responsible for any actions taken as a result of reading these blog posts.