Finding a great gift is a lot easier said than done. With a little bit of know-how, though, you can get a collection of uniquely Bristolian and West England presents to treat the family with. Sarah Harding runs through her top tips for what to find and where.
Bristol's very own gin distillery Psychopomp have a range of gift ideas for those who like a drop of the mother's ruin.
- “Distil your own Gin” Vouchers - for £100 you can head to the distillery and make your very own bottle of gin under the expert guidance of a Psychopomp distiller
- A limited edition pack of this year's seasonal gins. There are only 58 of these available and can be purchased from the distillery itself - £80
The crew at one of Bristol's best bottle shops are putting together some gift sets for the Craft-Beer-lover in your life. Pop into the shop and choose between Beavertown, Moor and Wiper and True gift sets. Feel free to pick and choose for yourself too.
Find Brew at 17A St Nicholas Street
A true Bristol institution, Averys wines has been around since 1793 and is now owned by the fifth generation of Averys. Averys have beautiful boxed wine sets on offer for christmas gifts and will even deliver to save you pushing through the crowds. If you want to turn the gift giving up to 11, choose one of their wonderful hampers. We won’t tell anyone if you decide to keep it for yourself.
Find Averys at 9 Culver Street
UK Little Kitchen
UK Little Kitchen
Struggling to find something for that person in your life that always proclaims “they could do better” when watching a cooking competition? UK Little Kitchen has been teaching adults and kids alike to bake and cook some brilliant dishes in a calm, relaxed atmosphere. They offer gift vouchers and certificates for any of their classes. You can also pick up some lovely tote bags and tea towels to get your gift-recipient in the mood for some top Master Chef-ing.
When Mr GingerBeard's isn’t running around winning Bristol Food awards he is selling his fantastic preserves at local markets and online. Turn the Christmas day leftovers into something worth looking forward to with something out of the GingersBeard's gift sets. These include mouthwatering recipes such as Cranberry Sauce, Beer, Bacon and Chilli jam and Fig with Sour Cherry Christmas chutney.
If chutney isn’t your thing, I can highly recommend this Fermented Whisky Hotsauce - great in a Grilled turkey and Leftover Cheese Board Sandwich.
If you’re not the sort of person that likes to be confined by pre-made hampers and cares deeply where your food comes from you need to give the guys at Fresh Range a go. Stocking everything from Organic Mince pies, to bottles of Mulled Punch and Salt Beef sold by the kilo you won’t struggle to put together a hamper worth harping on about. You can book a one hour slot from only £1 and they will even leave your package in a safe space if you won’t be in. Can’t say more convenient than that!
A stalwart of the Gloucester Road since 1985, Brewers Droop is a must-visit for home-brewers and beer fans alike. With floor to ceiling rammed with home-brew kits, this is the perfect place to get a little something for that friend who thinks they can do craft beer better. They also have a great selection of the weird and the wonderful including Christmas Pudding Wine, Mead, gift boxes and a fine selection of craft beers and ciders.
With the German market this year being a resounding flop, you would do well to try some of the more independent markets popping up over the festive season. Take cash and support your indies.
Tobacco Factory Market
Stalls, food and now a place to grab your Christmas tree, The Tobacco Factory market has you covered in and around BS3. With Christmas Choirs, chestnuts and an open fire I defy you not to feel christmassy whilst shopping for gifts here. Follow their Facebook page for more information.
From the market whizz Rosie McLay comes Bristol Bazaar, a series of pop-up markets that will be making a special effort for the Christmas rush. From the 1st to the 24th of December, 41 traders will be selling their wares in The Island on Bridewell Street – close enough to Broadmead to enjoy the lights but far enough away to avoid the unrelenting crowds.
Also, look out for the 17th December where they will be taking over the Malcolm X centre in St. Pauls with food, gifts, music and general merriment. Running from 1pm to 8pm with food being served all the way to 11pm, you are bound to find something to like about the festive season.
The St George's Market is coming to town on the 11th of December. They’re still finalising stall holders but the overarching message is that they are a new market celebrating makers and producers local to BS5. They'll have everything you need for a truly tasty Christmas; from Dawkins Ales brewed in Easton to delicious hand-crafted raw chocolates. And in true West Country fashion they've even got some mulled cider and apple juice to keep you warm as you have a wander round.
As always, keep an eye on the Facebook events page for further details.
Bath Christmas Market
Sheds as far as the eye can see selling everything from chai syrup to wooden ties. If you don’t fear crowds the Bath Christmas Market is well worth a look. Tons of food and drink from local businesses are sold here as well as some more...unusual items (I was sent a picture of a stall selling gardening equipment). GWR put on extra trains to deal with the increase of visitors so leave the car at home, pack a train beer or two and go and visit our wee cousin city in the valley.
Christmas Brewers Market
Good Chemistry Brewery have invited Bristol Beer Factory, Crane Beer, Lost and Grounded Brewers, and Wiper and True Brewing Co. to set up shop at GCHQ for the afternoon of Saturday, December 10. There'll be cases of beers, gift packs and all manner of merchandise perfect for the beery people in your life. A great opportunity to stock up on your favourite local beers for Christmas, get all your gift shopping done (everyone likes beer, right?!), and a unique chance to buy direct from the people who made them.
The Wriggle Christmas Hamper
If you've enjoyed reading this article and are looking for a way to all round celebrate Independent Bristol in a neat little hamper, then look no further than the Wriggle Christmas Hamper! Featuring the wonderful preserves of Gingerbeard, Godminster Cheddar, Psychopomp Gin, Moor Beer, Extract Coffee there's something for everyone, or something for one, if you want it all for yourself.