Lake District Gifts for Christmas
When looking for an extra-special present, whether it’s for Christmas or any other occasion, it’s sometimes difficult to choose. I’m fortunate to live near the Lake District, which is home to a huge number of creative businesses, producers of top quality food and drink, plus some unique experiences. To help you choose either to treat yourself or a loved one, here are 5 personal favourites, including one I offer myself.
For the Stylish Fashionista: The Lakeland Leather Coat
If you’re want something truly special, then this stylish leather coat must fit the bill. I fell in love with it when I saw it in the Kendal branch of Lakeland Leather. It’s made of super supple dark tan aniline leather, with detachable faux fur AND hood, adjustable waist straps, deep zipped pockets and quilted satin lining. I’ve worn it on cool summer days (without the hood), brisk autumn walks and now it’s keeping me warm through the dark winter nights. You can see me trying it on in this video. (A fashion model I am most definitely not…)
Buy it from shops around the country or online. Find out more about the Lakeland Leather Rydal Coat here.
For the Discerning Drinker: Wolftown Gin
Yes, I know there are loads of gins out there but you must admit, there’s always room for one more. Especially when it has a unique ingredient that gives it an extra-specially smooth taste. That’s Wolftown Gin, produced by John McKeown, who lives in Ulverston on the Furness Peninsula. It’s a classic London Dry Gin made using juniper, ginger, cinnamon, orange and lemon peel, almonds, black pepper and that special twist, sarsaparilla. John says, “It’s named after my town; Ulverston is derived from the Norse world ulfarr (wolf warrior) and tun, (farm or homestead). I’ve just launched it at Ulverston Dickensian Festival, we’ve sold a lot already and plenty of orders coming in. ”
The striking logo has a wolf’s head and cleverly incorporated into the design is the Hoad Monument which overlooks Ulverston. You can order your bottle of Wolftown Gin here.
For the Creative Horse Lover: Full Circle Retreat Days
Imagine sitting on a hay bale, meditating peacefully with a couple of huge Clydesdale horses standing quietly beside you. Add in a dash of gentle yoga, a creative activity like painting, floristry, felting, photography or creative writing, delicious home-made food on an idyllic farm in the Lake District World Heritage Site and you have the magic that is Full Circle Retreats. I have been here a number of times and it’s always a wonderfully magical experience. I’ll be running another Creative Writing Retreat Day in September 2020.
Why not treat yourself or someone you love to a day they will truly NEVER forget? Details of Full Circle Retreats and Gifts Vouchers here.
For the Adventurous Cook: ‘Embellish with Relish’ Cookery Book
Many of you will have come across Hawkshead Relish, purveyors of award-winning preserves and relishes, based in the Lake District and on sale throughout the UK and online. (I can highly recommend their Pink Grapefruit and Gin Marmalade (bit of theme here?), Damson Chutney and, of course, their famous Black Garlic Ketchup – read my recipe tryouts here. Now founder Maria Whitehead, in collaboration with renowned local chef Martin Frickel, has come up with a splendid cookery book to use these quality ingredients: Embellish with Relish. The book brings together simple but satisfying meals packed full of flavour, including family favourites, tried and tested classics, inventive creations and a selection of contemporary dishes with a twist so there’s something for everyone.
Dishes include Westmorland Souffle Rarebit, Thai Chilli Fishcakes and Fruity Fig Baklava, each recipe cleary explained and beautifully illustrated. Read more about Embellish with Relish and order your copy here.
For the Mystic Meg fan: Tarot with Zoë
Yes, that’s me, doing my mystical thing and loving it! I’ve been offering Tarot Readings for friends, family and clients for over 15 years but only recently started to combine it with my business in Coaching with the Cards. I use Tarot and Oracle cards to give intuitive guidance and support to people from all walks of life. Clients include solicitors, doctors, hairdressers, writers, designers and media personalities. (OK, so this isn’t strictly one of those Lake District Gifts as you either come to me in Carnforth or we do it via Skype, but many of my clients live in the Lakes …) For a totally unique and quite possibly life-changing present, give a Tarot with Zoë Gift Voucher.
Lake District Gifts: the Lakeland Leather Coat, Wolftown Gin and Embellish with Relish Cookery Book were all gifts from the retailers. I have absolutely NO HESITATION in recommending them to you wholeheartedly. I hope will love them as much as I do.
Read about some more great Lake District Gifts and Experiences to satisfy your mind, body AND spirit. Here are also four of my favourite books about the Lake District. Wishing you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!