Christmas shopping can be hard. A good present is something that strikes the right balance of thought and budget. Something that says ‘I remembered that thing that you said 5 months ago’, but doesn’t break the bank.
We’ve all got that one friend who’s good at this. This person is good at making things, and every year has a different concept for their Christmas wrapping (usually some straw is involved). The tag attached to their gift references a conversation that you had with them in June 2005, and within its brown paper and biodegradable glitter packaging is something truly, truly lovely that you didn’t know you wanted until right that second.
This year, if you are not that person, we are here to help you with finding a well-considered gift. Chances are you’re reading this blog because you have some connection to Norwich, so we have compiled a list of gifts that are everything (or something) to do with this fine city. If you’re stuck for inspiration this year, we think we’ve got the answer here.
This award-winning Norwich distillery has recently unveiled these pretty suave bottles, along with a Crowdfunder to support their planned expansion into the stunning, Grade-2 listed Crystal House.
Bullards Sprits won ‘best London Dry Gin’ in the World Gin Awards in 2017, which is quite the accolade. BUT if straight-up London Dry isn’t your thing, then try the spicy, festive Old Tom Gin (pair it with elderflower tonic; it’s really special), or Bullards’ Strawberry and Black Pepper Gin.
Could you become a Ginvestor? Support Bullards and get some swanky gifts here.
Tombland by C.J. Sansom
Another recent release, Tombland is the seventh book in C.J. Sansom’s Shardlake series. The book takes us into the heart of Norwich, two years after the death of Henry VIII. His son, Edward, is 11 years old, and sits on the throne as England descends into economic and political turmoil. In Norwich, Kett’s Rebellion is beginning, as the peasants revolt to overthrow their landowners, and at the same time, murder befalls one of Norfolk’s most famous families…
This is THE Christmas gift for local history fans, or anyone who enjoyed Norwich’s appearance on ‘Britain’s Most Historic Towns’ on Channel 4 earlier this year.
Tombland is available from Jarrolds, or via their website, now for £15.00!
Norfolk and Norwich Festival Tickets
The first tickets to the festival are on sale now! Held in May, the Norfolk and Norwich festival is the oldest arts festival in the UK, and a fantastic time to be in or around the city. See shows at the cutting edge of their medium, Edinburgh Festival previews, as well as theatre, dance, and visual arts from around the world – this is an event that you want to be around for.
Visit the Norfolk & Norwich Festival website for tickets in time for Christmas. Already available are tickets to see pianist Chilly Gonzales, circus with Gravity and Other Myths, as well as storytelling with Hoipalloi.
Mousehold T-Shirt by SHHHH
The SHHHH Collective is a Norwich-born lifestyle brand (you might have seen their distinctive yellow ‘SHHHH Guide to Norwich’ lurking around the city), and their online shop is the place to visit if you’re looking for a Norwich gift that isn’t a picture of the Cathedral on a tea towel (although I do have one of those). Get this ‘Mousehold’ T-shirt for the intrepid explorer in your life for £33.00, or we also love the ‘New York Paris Toyko Norwich’ tote bag, on sale for £15.00.
Visit their shop online, here.
English Whisky Bauble
Christmas. Whisky. Norwich. All of them in one gift: The English Whisky Christmas Bauble. Another award winning distillers from the Norwich area, the English Whisky company is based at St George’s Distillery in Roudham, Norfolk. This suave glass bauble is filled with aged-to-perfection single malt whisky, complete with an elegant ribbon to make the perfect decorations.
Those of you with athletic cats ought to proceed with caution when deciding where to place this on your tree.
Buy the English Whisky Christmas Bauble online, for £19.99
The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts Shop
Aside from being one of the most impressive buildings in the UK, and home to art collections of international importance, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts have a wonderful gift shop. It’s home to posters, ceramics, books, and other gifts that you won’t find on the high street (we know that phrase is so overused, but the things in this shop are truly special and worth the accolade). The shop stocks work by a lot of independent makers who call Norwich their home, such as beautiful silver jewellery by Lennie Beare. Not only are gifts like these pertinent to the city, but your money will be supporting some special independent businesses and creatives.
The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts Shop is on the ground floor of the Gallery.
Safari on the Norfolk Broads
The Norfolk Broads are iconic, and often the first image in people’s minds when they think of our county. It is a very special place, especially in winter when the waters are quiet and the landscape is moody and muted. And what better way to really explore the area than on the water?
Norfolk Outdoor Adventures are your guide to the lesser-seen areas of the national park, and will guide you through the broads on kayak or Stand-Up PaddleBoard (SUP). You can buy vouchers as gifts for Christmas, making this the ideal present for lovers of adventure.
Vouchers from £35.00.
Benedicts is a very superb, 3AA Rosette restaurant, in the heart of the Norwich Lanes. The owner/proprietor is Richard Bainbridge (of Great British Menu fame), who is occasionally tempted out of the kitchen to do a cookery demonstration in the Sewing Room of this beautiful restaurant. During the demonstration you will learn how to cook seasonal dishes with the best ingredients from within Norfolk, and then enjoy a 3 course lunch with wine in the restaurant. A real treat, and guaranteed to be a fun, informative morning.
The next demonstration is on the 3rd of April 2019 - 'Spring in your Step', £75.00. Visit the Benedicts website for how to book.
Woodforde’s Norfolk Nog Xmas pudding
For a gift that’s thoughtful, timely and tasty, Woodforde’s sell a Christmas Pudding that is made with the Norfolk brewer’s popular ‘Norfolk Nog’. This is something really special for your Christmas table (or let's face it, when you fancy a treat in bleakest February), and is a proper taste of the best in Norfolk produce.
In fact, the whole Woodforde's shop is a great idea if you're looking for a one-stop destination for some great, local foodie gifts. And to make it even easier, they're doing hampers for Christmas with prices ranging from £14.99 to £59.99, which include things like chutneys, chocolate and beer!
Visit the Woodforde's Website for more information. Norfolk Nog Christmas Pudding: £10.50 online.
COMING TO VISIT?
Greater Anglia has Advance fares from £10 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Greater Anglia also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.
East Midlands Trains runs services from Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham. Flights into Norwich served from Edinburgh, Manchester, Exeter, Aberdeen and Amsterdam, and seasonally from Guernsey and Jersey.