Christmas 2020 is going to look a bit different, and after a tough year for many businesses, it’s a great time to champion the creative, passionate small companies we have here in the Cotswolds. Whether you live in the Cotswolds and are looking to support a local business or want to bring a taste of the Cotswolds to you wherever in the world you live, here are the festive favourites topping our Cotswold Christmas gift guide – all of which you can buy online.
Read more: Christmas in the Cotswolds: 2020 guide
Cotswold food & drink gifts
Costello + Hellerstein’s silky chocolate truffles are a major upgrade on the usual Christmas selection box. Handmade in the Cotswolds by pastry chef Ori Hellerstein, they’ve won multiple Great Taste Awards. Their Noel Selection (£19.95) features four of their favourite flavours – sea salt caramel, ruby ganache, rhubarb and milk chocolate, and dark chocolate orange.
A bottle of Baileys is a Christmas must, but Cotswolds Distillery have created their own take on it with the Cotswolds Cream Liqueur (£24.95), which combines their unaged whisky with fresh Irish cream. It’s rich and creamy with malt, vanilla and butterscotch flavours – serve it over ice, pour it over ice cream or use it to add a kick to a festive hot chocolate.
Ross & Ross create gift boxes for foodies, using produce from Cotswold suppliers. They’re best known for their bacon and salmon DIY curing kits, but they also do a fantastic roast dinner box (£21, with veggie and Christmas dinner versions) to upgrade a Sunday roast, featuring roast potato oil, roast chicken rub, roast dinner dust and pigs in blankets dust.
Whittal’s was set up by chef Beccy Whittal, who makes melt-in-the-middle brownie bombs and creamy fudge using local ingredients, including Gloucestershire butter and Herefordshire cream. There’s a range of different seasonal flavours so you can create a bespoke pick and mix box (£14.95) or their single-flavour fudge bags (£3.50) make great stocking fillers.
Family-owned Sibling Gin Distillery in Cheltenham distill their own spirits and infuse them with modern botanical flavours. They’ve created four limited edition gins to match the seasons, with the Winter Edition Gin (£40) infused with fresh cranberries and clementine peel. Or you can also get a Four Seasons Gift Set (£25) with mini bottles of each seasonal gin in a gift box.
It’s not Christmas without a good cheese board – and the Cotswold Cheese Co stock over 120 artisan cheeses, including unusual Cotswold varieties like the Morton, Lypiatt and Mini Rollright. As well as cheese they also stock local honey, chutney, biscuits, beer and coffee. There’s a pre-made Cotswold Hamper (£55) available or you can create your own gift hamper online.
Cotswold home gifts
Cotswold Candle Company is inspired by the scents of the Cotswolds countryside, handmade using lower carbon emission soy and mineral waxes. Their Christmas Tree candle (£20) is like being surrounded by a pine forest (it’ll make your fake Christmas tree smell real!). They also have a range of classic scent candles as well as reed diffusers and room sprays.
Thea’s Room in Cheltenham creates colourful block print lampshades, cushions and other fabric gifts with an eco-friendly ethos, using fair trade cotton or reclaimed fabrics which would normally go to landfill. Their customisable make up and wash bags (£14) make great gifts.
Fiona the Monochrome Stylist loves everything black and white, and has created a range of minimalist and Scandi-style monochrome artworks available as cards and prints. Designs include song lyrics, quotations, feather prints and abstract designs – our favourites include the Never Give Up typographic print (£6) and her minimalist Christmas cards.
For a low-impact Christmas gift, Eco Able sell sustainable products made by small businesses, and donate a portion of their profits to the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. They have everything you need for an eco-friendly Christmas, including reusable advent calendars and fabric crackers. And No-ThirtySix make reusable cotton face pads as an alternative to cotton wool pads or wipes, which are made from pretty cotton fabrics and come in a drawstring bag (£12.99).
Cotswold clothes & accessories gifts
Wild Like Her in Tetbury was founded by Cathryn, who wanted to produce fun, colourful and ethically produced clothing that celebrates women’s awesomeness. There’s a mix of t-shirts, jumper and hoodies – including this pink and leopard print ‘Love’ design (£55). Or you can ‘make it your way’ by combining your own choice of clothing, colours and designs.
Craftsman Kingsley Leather makes beautiful handmade leather gifts from his studio in Cheltenham which are built to last. His online shop has a range of belts, wallets, cardholders, keychains and personalised initial cufflinks (£55), made using antique leather.
Parsley & Queen founder Alayne creates sustainable jewellery by taking preloved vintage pieces and combining them with freshwater pearls, crystals, semi-precious stones and recycled silver to create something new. Every piece is unique and handmade, with necklaces, earrings and stacking bracelets (£25) which can be combined to make different designs.
Or if you’re stumped for ideas, BoxTree Gifts can do the work for you. You can create your own gift box from their range of products or choose pre-made gift boxes for men, women or kids. We love The Sparkle Box (£36) which has a star-print scarf, Prosecco chocolate, an eye mask and decoration, ready wrapped and can be sent directly to the lucky recipient with a card.
Cotswold kid’s gifts
For a touch of extra Christmas magic for kids, the Polar Post send out beautiful letters, written by Father Christmas himself on his official notepaper, hand-addressed by one of his team of elves and postmarked from the North Pole. Their personalised letters (£20.95) are full of all his news from the North Pole, weaving the details of each child into his adventures.
Lovesay and Mo design and make children’s clothes using sustainably sourced, organic fabrics in a range of colours that aren’t the usual pink or blue. Everything is handmade, with supersoft jersey jumpsuits, leggings and jumpers, and colourful headbands (£6) which make good stocking fillers.
Very Posh Bunting is made in Cheltenham, using gorgeous fabrics with embellishments hand sewn on to make them extra special. The range of bunting for kids includes favourite characters like Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse and Harry Potter. All the bunting is double-sided and most comes in three-metre lengths (£14.95), packed flat so it’s perfect for posting.
If you’re looking for a present that’s educational as well as fun, The Curiosity Box in Oxford specialise in science kits for kids. They are linked to the school curriculum and you can choose from different themes in chemistry, biology, geology and engineering. The Jumbo Science Gift Bundle (£45.50) is available for ages 4–6 and 7–11 and comes with a free microscope.
Cotswold experience gifts
If you’re looking for a way to support businesses been hit by 2020’s restrictions, why not buy an experience gift voucher so there’s something to look forward to for 2021? Rob Gould, Cotswold Forager runs guided walks around the Cotswolds, helping people to reconnect with nature and discover the edible delights around us. Gift vouchers can be used towards public or private walks, and there are also Forage and Feast events where you cook what you find.
If you’re looking for a gift for a foodie friend, how about a baking class? Danielle at Severn Bites is a French-trained bread expert now offering her classes online so people can take part wherever they are in the world. Gift vouchers can be used to for a tailored course, whether you want to get into sourdough making or are an advanced baker wanting to hone your skills.
You can also give the gift of gin with a Ginspiriational Lab Experience at Brennan & Brown distillery in Cheltenham. After starting with an introduction to gin-making, you choose from 40 different botanicals to create your own perfect gin blend, which is then distilled in a mini still while you take a tour, before it’s bottled ready to take home.
Or for something a bit different, explore the skies above the Cotswolds with a stargazing night from Dark Sky Telescopes. Participants join an experienced astronomer on Cleeve Hill for an hour-long session with a large telescope which lets you see star systems, planets and galaxies.