The thrills of Bonfire night are now over, and we are officially on the Christmas run-up! If buying gifts is one of your biggest headaches or you just feel short of ideas – worry not, I’ve got you covered.
Here is my short list of shops where I guarantee you will find the perfect present for your loved ones without applying for a second mortgage!
A lovely gift shop (and café on site) selling a wide range of homeware, leather bags, umbrellas, hats and scarves, a selection of skincare products from the English Soap Company, teas, biscuits, and Cotswold-made artisan produce such as beers and ciders in presentation boxes, among many other 'gifty' items.
I loved their vast display of Alex Clarks’ mugs and tea towels. My favourite mug is the Cockerel at £14.99.
A couple more ideas of gifts "for her": Luxury Hand Care Set for £25; vivid-coloured dome-shaped umbrella for £25.
"For him" I spotted an elegant leather satchel for £99.
Homeware and gift shop right in the centre of Stow-on-the-Wold. I find it quite a pleasant experience simply browsing through the shop’s two floors, enjoying the exquisite soft furnishings, choosing my next tableware set, or trying to figure out the purpose of certain kitchen gadgets!
My favourite items for Christmas gift ideas: the Robin Water Spinning Lantern for £34.95 and the Holly and Ivy Mug and Spoon Set for £29.95.
3. The Cotswold Chocolate Company (Digbeth St, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1BN)
A little chocolate shop right in the centre of Stow-on-the-Wold. All chocolates are handmade on-site (you can watch the intricate chocolate-making process through the glass wall inside the shop). I am a big fan of dark chocolate, and can assure you that it tastes absolutely delicious: rich chocolate flavour with a silky cream texture, it melts in your mouth – bliss! Wide choice of chocolate-coated fruit and nuts, with chocolate bars of every shape (loved the hearts!).
My personal preference is the Dark Chocolate coated Orange slices, a pack of 6 at £4.95. It’s worth every penny!
Yes, that’s right, Cotswold has got its own distillery! It’s been proudly producing single-malt whisky from Cotswold-grown grains and locally-sourced spring water from the well, since 2014. Another of the distillery’s specialities is its Cotswolds Dry Gin. Both whisky and gin are of exceptional quality and would satisfy the taste of any connoisseur.
Cotswolds Whisky and Cotswolds Dry Gin can be purchased online, from the distillery or from the shops in Broadway and Bourton-on-the-Water.
For passionate whisky or gin lovers, I would recommend booking a tasting tour around the distillery (from £20 per person) or a gin-making masterclass (from £100 per person).
5. Tower Barn
Just within a 5-min walk from Broadway Tower, Tower Barn hosts a Visitor Centre, Espresso Bar and a shop selling stylish home furniture and interior decorations as well as carefully selected lines of clothing, footwear and accessories.
I liked the animal-printed leather belts for £60, bright and stylish clutches (£49.95) with matching purses (£9.95) and an elegant trio of candle holders with silver reindeer and Christmas trees (£19.95).
Drop in for some gift browsing followed by coffee with cake at the Espresso bar, or – even better – make a day out by visiting the Tower and then either going for a walk or hiring e-bikes.
Just outside Moreton-in-Marsh on the A429, Fosse Way Garden Centre is a great place to buy gifts, either for “green-fingered” ones or for those who simply enjoy outdoor living spaces.
I particularly loved the tableware from Scottish Just Slate Company, and as a gift “for him” – a set of whisky tumblers for £39.99.
As a gift "for her", I loved the soft and silky rugs made from British sheepskin – pure indulgence for those delicate feet!
Are you looking out for an unconventional gift idea? No problem! How about booking a session with a professional photographer for a Christmas photoshoot?
Nigel Wood is an award-winning photographer covering Worcestershire and the Cotswolds. I had a great experience working with him and absolutely loved the results. Here is some inspiration for you:
If you wish to book your Christmas photoshoot, please get in touch with Nigel via his website HERE.
This gift is absolutely Ideal for baking enthusiasts or those who love watching The Great British Bake Off:
Learn to bake with Suzie Whitfield, the founder of the Cotswolds Baking Workshop. Suzie teaches baking traditional scones, fluffy doughnuts, intricate macaroons, festive treats etc. in her own kitchen. Classes are run online or in situ in small groups or one-to-one, whichever you prefer. All baked goodies will be packed for you to take away. Prices for the experience start from £60 per person.
If you love splashing out on Christmas gifts, I know just the right place to get your presents sorted. Daylesford Organic Farm near Stow-on-the-Wold offers a wide range of homeware, items for gardening and outdoor living, food and drinks, hampers and gifts that can satisfy the most demanding clientele.
My personal favourites: Cannabis-Infused Tea (£50/100g); Candied Orange and Walnut Christmas Cake (£35); a giant "Christmas Kindling" Candle (£75).
Surprise someone very special with a romantic short break in the Cotswolds. Book your stay at the 300-year-old Graziers Cottage, full of charm and history without compromising on comfort.
Experience period living complemented with modern conveniences: underfloor heating, superfast fibre-optic broadband, and 3 smart TVs with complimentary Netflix.
The cottage comfortably accommodates up to 4 people but is absolutely ideal for two! The kitchen has everything one might need away from home, but if cooking doesn’t fit your holiday plans, we are fortunate to have a renowned country pub within a one-minute walk.
Spend a day exploring the Cotswolds, and in the evening snuggle up in front of the huge inglenook with a cosy fire.
Book your stay directly with the owners HERE.