By tracy sweeney
Folks. These gift ideas are epic! No faff presents here!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..and all that. I am rolling my eyes at the thought of buying gifts for my nearest and dearest. Blah. I’m not a humbug, but really I don’t believe in buying faff that people pleasantly smile at and shove into the back of the press, never to be seen again. I believe, one should buy useful gifts, that will be used, eaten, drunk, worn…whatever you like. So, here are my besties, in no particular order…..
Handmade in Mayo by textile designer & maker Deirdre Duffy, the quality & selection of gifts on offer in her Claremorris studio is devine. Soft, loving scarves, throws, and functional cowls are a must for any wardrobe. The colours are sumptuous, the patterns unique. I could go on & on. Go and have a look at Wild Cocoons large loom at work and the skill it takes to make such beautiful things. Wild Cocoon’s unique pieces were highlighted earlier this year in Brown Thomas as part of the Create exhibition. By god, its good. Shop online at Wild Cocoon & await the glorious package you will receive. A sincere gift for any lady!
Whats this you say? Buying beef & lamb? In a box? From a farm? Why? Because, when you taste the meat from Clive Bright’s organic farm in Ballymote, Sligo, you will only want to buy a bigger freezer so you can stack up on more of it. You will NEVER, I mean NEVER eat meat like this from the supermarket, or dare I say it, even the butchers. The love these animals receives comes across in the taste, it is the most superior meat we have ever eaten. There. I’ve said it. Even if Clive is out of meat in December, put your name down on his list for next year. Just await the joy a real steak can bring. Rare Ruminare
Lads (and ladies). Who could resist buying beer from these guys, just look at them. And anyway, its brewed half way up the side of Croagh Patrick, so it’s probably holy beer. You will possibly be enlightened beyond belief after drinking. This exquisite beer is outstanding. We all like craft beer, but don’t they all taste the same? Not this one; it’s a really genuine & unique draft, its beautiful, even if you are not necessarily a beer fan, you should try this. Our selection? The one with the BLUE cap & label!! Stock up on a six-pack from your local off-licence or Super Valu. It is delectable, you will be converted forever. Mescan Brewery.
Lisa Ryder Designs:
Another fabulous Irish designer is our very own Lisa Ryder. Her style, her use of pattern and her instinctive use of colour make her handbags & silk scarves truly sought after. She is fast becoming one to watch, so any piece from her collection will be highly valued as time goes by. These pieces are so unusual, they are signature pieces. Make your friends jealous or your girlfriends happy, any piece of Lisa Ryders work will be desired beyond belief. True luxury & statement works of art. Even her website is beautiful. Lisa Ryder
Oliver Jeffers Childrens Books:
This guy is not local, but what about the kids presents? You’re lying in bed reading to your 5 year old. Lets face it, even parents need to be interested in the kids books to really enjoy them. Well, Oliver Jeffers ticks all my literary parent boxes. I have never laughed so much, as when I picked up ‘The Day the Crayons Came Home”. The hilarity. You will never look at the kids Crayolas in the same way again. Or, what about ‘ The Incredible Book Eating Boy’? Another godsend of a book for any parent. The illustrations are in themselves, frame-able. The greatest gift, to your self & your child as you read, and re-read, and re-read. Oliver Jeffers folks!
So there you have it, all catered for. Quality presents. The kind you won’t push to the back of the cupboard. Just remember, there’s no such thing as fast fashion, fast food, fast art. They all take time and subsequently stand the test of time. Buy real gifts for real people that were made by (you guessed it) real people.
Nigel O’Reilly Goldsmith