Saturday 14 November 2020

An Indie Irish Christmas Gift Guide

I'm sure you're going to get inundated with Christmas gift guides from various publications promoting all kind of Irish food and drink hampers. It's all great but I wanted to take a more personable approach by curating a list based on what I love. 

I've compiled a list of small independent Irish businesses from whom I've bought some lovely stuff over the past eight months. Many online orders from these businesses have brightened up my days or made eating and drinking at home all the more special. I thought it would make more sense to give shout outs to the companies that have contributed to bringing a little happiness during both lockdowns. I've bought or tried (with my own money) most of the below items and some of them are on my wishlist if Santa ever happens to read this article.

Here is my selection of gifts from small Irish businesses in no particular order:

April and the Bear

April and the Bear is a lifestyle and interior shop in Rathmines which also sells online and ships all over Ireland. Everything is pretty and guaranteed to make your gaff look stylish.

1. Cheeseboard (€45) 
3. Curly flutes set (€32)

April and the Bear, 2 Wynnefield Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6;


A really cool shop in Dublin city centre with many Irish made products and original gifts. You can also order online/click and collect during lockdown.

2. Crop diffuser (various scents: elderflower, whiskey, gin, rhubarb, sloe...); €20)

Designist, 68 South Great Georges Street, Dublin;


Maktus is one of the shops that I love browsing at in George's Street Arcade, selling many quirky, uniquely Irish things and other products from international brands. Their selection of funky oven mitts, tea towels and coasters is particularly fun.

1. 'I'm going to a la mode the fuck out of this' oven mitt (€13.95)
4. I like long walks to the fridge tea towel (€12)

Maktus, Unit 21/22, Georges Street Arcade, Drury Street, Dublin 2;

Jam Art Factory

Jam Art Factory is a brilliant shop (website when in lockdown) for buying prints by Irish artists. Some of them are food-themed or illustrations of iconic pubs.

1. Spaghetti dinner date by Fuchsia Macaree (from €18)
4. Ice pops of Ireland by Maxi (from €18)

Jam Art Factory, 14 Crown Alley, Dublin 2; 64/65 Patrick Street, Dublin 8;

Rachel Corcoran

Rachel Corcoran is a talented Irish illustrator based in Dublin. She has a lovely selection of prints and cards on her website and some of them feature iconic Irish products.

1. An Irish Christmas (available as a print from €25/ as a card for €4.50)
2. Back in time for tea (available as a print from €25 / as a card for €4.50)

Rachel Corcoran;

Craft Cocktails

The fabulous award-winning Bar 1661 started selling pre-batched cocktails during the first lockdown and have since launched a new venture called Craft Cocktails. There is a great selection of premium bottled cocktails (from €12.50) in two sizes (2/7 servings), bundles and the option of getting personalised labels. The drinks are made by expert bartenders and the branding is on point.

Craft Cocktails;

Irish Design Shop

An amazing shop on one of my favourite Dublin streets (Drury Street) where everything is Irish designed, from books to jewellery, to homeware.  When you order online it comes beautifully wrapped with a handwritten note of thanks.  

1. Three-cornered leek print by Sally Caulwell (other wild foods available; from €28)

Irish Design Shop, 41 Drury Street, Dublin;

Arcane chocolate

I told you about Arcane chocolate back in June. Chocolatier extraordinaire Erik Van Der Veken has created a limited edition Christmas selection that would make any chocolate lover very happy. How does mulled wine chocolate sound?

Arcane chocolate, nationwide delivery;


Scout is a hidden gem clothing and homeware shop on Essex Street West in Temple Bar. Worth a follow on Instagram to keep an eye on their new arrivals. You can buy online or visit them when the lockdown is lifted.

2. Bean and Goose chocolate bar (various flavours, try smoky sea salt; €6.50)
3. Clean Slate candle (espresso + coconut is my favourite, I also recommend cardamom & spice; €19.95)

Scout, 5 Smock Alley Court, Essex Street West, Dublin 8;

Irish Socksciety

Total crush for this Galway brand of socks which also sells cool hats and face masks. 

Coole Swan

Without a doubt, one of my favourite Irish made drinks, especially at this time of the year. Produced in Navan Co. Meath with single malt whiskey, Belgian white chocolate and Irish cream. During the first lockdown, we pretended it was Christmas for a weekend (in April) and ordered a bottle of Coole Swan. So much better than that other famous Irish cream liqueur if you ask me, it would make a delicious Christmas gift. (€28 for a 1l bottle)

Arran Street East

Everything by Arran Street East is stunning and handmade in their ceramic studio in Dublin 7. I recommend the following colours (but they're all great anyway): cabbage, potato and pomegranate.

1. Mimo Set medium (€72)
2. Pourer (€30)
3. Large jug (€95)
4. Espresso pots (€55)

Arran Street East, 1 Little Green Street, Dublin 7;

I hope you find this guide helpful, happy Christmas shopping and stay safe everyone!