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50 Irish food and drinks experiences to indulge in this Christmas


by Eoin Higgins
03rd Dec 2020
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Buy Irish, support Irish. This year, more than ever, the appetite to #ShopIrish is huge. Here’s our bumper round-up of the best Irish food experiences, gifts, Christmas hampers and general deliciousness from our favourite Irish food and hospitality heroes.


Restaurant Chestnut Box

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Michelin-starred Restaurant Chestnut has just introduced a new Roots larder box, available for shipping anywhere in the country – the perfect gift for the food lover in your life this Christmas. The box includes dried wild fennel pollen, house-made cultured turf-smoked butter, pickled nasturtium seed capers, damson and whiskey preserve, rosemary salt, dill oil, coal oil and red wine vinegar. Roots larder box ingredients will vary from series to series depending on seasonality and availability. restaurantchestnutwestcork.ie

The Twelve Cocktails

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The Twelve has launched a new cocktail club, a smooth drinks service delivered to your home anywhere in Ireland, with a selection of unique beverages designed by Simon King, the hotel’s creative bartender. The cocktail club subscription box from The Twelve is strictly limited. Each month will always have three different cocktails plus the added rarities and extras and costs €90 for one month’s subscription. Boxes will be sent for the last week of each month, except for the December box, which will arrive before Christmas Day. thetwelvehotel.ie

Afternoon Tea at The Shelbourne

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The Lord Mayor’s Lounge at The Shelbourne is home to one of the most pleasurable of rituals at Dublin’s favourite five-star hotel – afternoon tea. The Classic Afternoon Tea includes all the essential elements of a traditional afternoon tea, with the selection of impeccably dainty sandwiches and homemade buttermilk scones with clotted cream and jams, as well as some show-stopping patisserie favourites. The Classic Afternoon Tea is available for €52 per person, with Champagne Afternoon Tea from €68 per person. theshelbourne.com

Adare Manor – An Epicurean Journey

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A large format, lavishly illustrated exploration of food and drink at Adare Manor, in this new book Turtle Bunbury documents the historical precedents and current exciting blossoming of the dining experience at Adare Manor, focussing on the sense of place and spirit of hospitality that has always animated this unique estate. A feast of stories and full of recipes too, from simple breads to elegant entrees and delectable desserts, Adare Manor – An Epicurean Journey will be as useful a book to have in the kitchen as it is a handsome coffee table addition. Adare Manor – An Epicurean Journey launches on December 4th and is available to pre-order now directly from Adare Manor (€60). adaremanor.com

The Shelbourne Whiskey Bullet Glass

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In the heart of Dublin city and at the heart of Irish history, The Shelbourne has played a starring role in some of the most dramatic events and exciting moments in our nation’s story. Perhaps the most profound of all was The Easter Rising of 1916, when fighting broke out on St Stephen’s Green, steps from the hotel. The Shelbourne’s renowned Afternoon Tea went ahead as planned and all seemed well until a stray bullet flew through a window and barely ruffled the millinery roses of a lucky lady’s bonnet. In tribute to the independent spirit of the city, the hotel and its guests, The Shelbourne’s bespoke whiskey glass celebrates courage, steel nerves, and the significance of your favourite drink, even in interesting times. The Bullet Whiskey Glass is priced at €50 each including delivery within Ireland. theshelbourne.com

Faithlegg Hampers

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The Faithlegg Christmas hamper is a gorgeous gift idea with items available for purchase individually as lovely stocking fillers, or hampers can also be pre-ordered and include a selection of luxurious homemade treats. Beautifully packaged to reflect the elegant and picturesque surroundings of Faithlegg the Christmas Hamper is sure to add flavour and style to any dining table. The Faithlegg Christmas Hampers start from €50 and can be pre-ordered by calling 051 382000 or visiting faithlegg.com.

Blas na hÉireann

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The much anticipated Blas Box from Blas na hÉireann comes with a selection of the best of Blas winning products from over the years. Each product is selected as it won a coveted Blas award and represents the very best of Irish food and drink. The Blas Box includes everything you might need for your Christmas larder from boozy drinks to hot drinks, sweet treats and savoury goodies. The Blas Box is very limited and costs €110 per box which includes delivery to anywhere in Ireland. irishfoodawards.com

Gift hampers from Heart of Spain

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For those whose love of travel was put on hold this year, a gift hamper from Heart of Spain will transport you to another place, a place filled with the taste and smells of the food and wine from the historic region of Castilla y Leon in Spain. There are three Christmas hampers to choose from priced at €100 each featuring a generous selection of products to suit all tastes or create your own bespoke hamper from €60 from the excellent selection of products available. Orders can be placed up until December 21 for Christmas delivery. heartofspain.ie

Farmgate Café Christmas hampers

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Farmgate Café, which last year cel­e­brated 25 years at the Eng­lish Mar­ket in Cork City and over those years, Kay and Rebecca Harte have perfected those little extra and delicious touches to make any Christmas feast just that bit better. This year they are sharing just some of these goodies in the new Farmgate Café Christmas hampers. With two sizes to choose from and delivery nationwide for €10, the Farmgate Café Christmas hamper makes a perfect gift idea or an excellent addition to your own festive larder. farmgatecork.ie

Dingle Distillery

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The Dingle Whiskey Distillery is not in the business of creating megabrands, nor do they distil for anyone else. Their scale is modest, their approach to what they make is essentially artisan and they have rekindled the tradition of independent distilling in Ireland. Choose from the Dingle range of gins, whiskeys, and vodka. dingledistillery.ie

Hazel Mountain chocolate

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Chocolate gift boxes! This year is the first year Hazel Mountain we have worked with large multinationals and tech companies and they really enjoy putting together personalised gifts for their staff. So much so that the gift boxes are now available in their online shop as well. They have all of our favourite HM chocolates, most of which they only make once a year for Christmas, so they’re quite special. hazelmountainchocolate.com

Braw

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Limerick-based hand-made artisan chocolatier, Braw, are doling out their outrageously delicious Braw Box, including banana bread, brownies, choc chip and sea salt/peanut butter cookie mix, apricot and ginger flapjacks, rocky road squares, and a Braw Chocolate bar. They are also selling five bars of their lovely chocolate for €20. Sweet heaven! braw-chocolate.com

James Joyce Gin

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James Joyce Gin is a multi-award winning Irish gin, produced to honour nearly 140 years of literary history and culture by one of the world’s greatest writers. “To be enjoyed, not merely understood”, this is a lovely treat for anyone of a gin/literary persuasion … Distilled with delicate notes of bay leaf, orange and clove, this smooth blend of nine botanicals pays tribute to the fruits and spices from the dinner table in Joyce’s short story The Dead and the famous bar of lemon soap purchased by Leopold Bloom in Ulysses. jamesjoycegin.ie

Batch Donegal

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The folks at the very lovely and cosy coffee bar and kitchen, Batch, in Co Donegal, have come out of lock-down bearing an equally lovely selection of subscription gifts and delicious hampers. From excellently chosen wines, to Burren Balsamics, to those stuffed to groaning hampers, this is a great one-stop online shop. batch.ie

Moyee coffee

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Moyee Coffee, the highly ethical coffee business have a fantstic range of gifts for the coffee lover in your life. From top-class barista machines, to three-monthly coffee subscriptions, there is soome for all tastes and budgets. Gift cards start at €30. moyeecoffee.ie

Pudding Row

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The soul-nourishing Christmas Comfort Kit from West of Ireland foodsters, Pudding Row, is the kind of hamper that feels like a hug in a box. Stuffed with homemade pastries, mince pies and more, as well as a selection of lovely Irish supplied extras, this is €70 very well spent. puddingrow.ie

NutShed

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Food makers and sisters and the owners of NutShed, Evie and Eliza are on a mission to provide people up and down the country with the best plant-based foods they can. That mission extends into their Christamas offering too, their Rawb Gift Boxes (€25) comprise 12 of their signature ‘rawbs’ wrapped up and ready to gift to yourself or your loved one. Hand-rolled, with the sweetness of organic
dates, the ‘rawbs’ are full of the best whole foods, seeds and nuts. And they’re totally vegan and sugar free. nutshed.ie

The Scullery

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Lots of lovely puddings, sauces, brandy butters, and treats to be discovered in multi-award-winning online store, The Scullery. Having honed her skills in the kitchen for a number of years, Florrie Purcell has developed a unique range of products that ooze with flavour, simplicity and a strong sense of family originating from her childhood. There’s a lovely Christmas Gift Set that includes six of Florrie’s top jars. thescullery.ie

Dollard & Co

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With their signature hampers, Dollard & Co hope to provide a little of their magic at home this year. From complete home meal kits, to glorious hampers, Dollard & Co have it all tightly under control. Their Classic Hamper (€99) is filled with a selection of gorgeous products, including two bottles of wine – a Pinot Grigio from Italy and a red from Chateau La Coste in Provence – as well as the acclaimed Dollard & Co handmade mince pies, mulled wine spices plus selection of Ireland’s own sweet stuff with Lismore Irish Shortbread and Skellig’s Irish Chocolates. dollardandco.ie

Filligans of Donegal

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Filligans is a Co Donegal artisan producer making jams, marmalades, chutneys, mustards, relishes, oils and dressings. Everything is handmade and their cranberrry sauce should be an addition to any self-respecting roast turkey Christmas day dinner. Meanwhile, their mango chutney is an all-year-round winner.  filligans.ie

Fallon & Byrne

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Foodie gifts, advent calendars and heaving hampers, it’s all that we hoped at F&B this year. The much-loved Irish retailer is overflowing with treats of all shapes and sizes, as well as tastes and preferences. The shop itself is always a festive occasion this time of year so get in and have a gander. We particularly love their Absolutely Organic hamper (€120) full of all-natural treats. fallonandbyrne.com

Avoca

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The bougie retailer has a range of gorgeous gifts for kids, adults and a Christmas feast service, from starters and nibbles to Christmas dinner favourites. Their hamper range, as ever, is a brilliant curation of all things tasty and indulgent. The All Avoca range start at €30. avoca.com

Galway Food Tours

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Having published their self-guide book with illustrations by local artist and including lots of local discounts, Galway Food Tours have taken the new normal by the horns and pivoted with no shortage of savviness. The Galway Food Tours Guide Book reveals what the guides particularly love about Galway, its people, and the great places to eat, drink superb wines and creamy pints; attend small, independent cultural events and share the simple pleasures in life. Of course, there are also vouchers and discounts in their collaborative partner’s locations too. galwayfoodtours.com

McCambridges of Galway

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For plentiful, well-considered food hampers, including thoughtful gluten-free and vegan options, foodie reliables, McCambridge’s of Galway, should have you covered. If you want something specific, or the selection isn’t quite right for you, just ask and they can specially customise the selection for you. Selections come in quality wicker baskets or if you prefer, strong gift boxes. Starting at €32 for the Prosecco & Choclates version. mccambridges.com

Sheridans

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Always a classic, and always appreciated, Christmas is not complete without an array of fromage from Sheridans Cheesemongers. And the best way to ensure that array is a good one is to indulge in one of their gorgeous Irish cheese hampers. The Irish Artisan hamper, above, includes a beautifully curated cheeseboard with a specially created drink, just for Sheridans, “to drink with cheese” – The perfect festive gift for friends and family or treat for all the family. sheridanscheesemongers.com

Abbert Lifestyle and Grocery

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In Tuam, this well-loved artisan grocery and lifestyle store is stuffed to the rafters with all sorts of edible Christmas frills and and flounces, from Dozio cheese to Mungo Murphy’s seaweeds. They also do a nice line in Irish craft, seasonal and otherwise – a one-stop-shop for all your Yuletide desires. gatherrestaurant.ie

Teeling whiskey

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One of the most successful, and highly-visible, brands of the Irish neo-whiskey scene, Teeling Whiskey has some pretty handsome gift packs available for those who love a drop of the craythur. For a nice stocking filler, try the Teeling Trinity Pack, a miniature threesome comprising Teeling Small Batch, Teeling Single Grain, and Teeling Single Malt expressions. For less than twenty quid, this is a grand addition to someone’s Christmas haul. celticwhiskeyshop.com

Dark Silkie

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Sliabh Liag Distillers newly launched whiskey, Dark Silkie, was inspired by the tales of the mythical Silkie seals off the Donegal coast, The Legendary Silkie Irish Whiskey is a balanced blend of double and triple distilled single malts, soft grain whiskey and a hint of peated malt. It is bottled by hand at 46 per cent ABV and is non-chill-filtered for a distinctively rich character. Although higher in ABV, The Legendary Silkie is exceptionally smooth with crisp green apple to the fore, ripe red fruits, gentle smoke and an oaky sweetness which gives way to a long lingering finish of gently warming spice. sliabhliagdistillers.com

Craft Cocktails book

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One of Ireland’s leading food and drink photographers, Monika Coghlan, is proud to present her first book, Craft Cocktails. A self-published collection of over 50 cocktails that all feature Irish spirit brands from distilleries and producers across all four provinces. Beautifully shot and presented, it also captures many wonderful stories from the distillers, blenders, brewers, and bartenders who take the liquid landscape of Ireland and bring it to life. pepperazzi.ie

Wild Atlantic Irish Gin

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Wild Atlantic Gin is a perfect balance of traditional and organic ocean botanicals, a complex gin inspired by the crashing Wild Atlantic. With botanicals that are hand-harvested from the waters of the Wild Atlantic Way and the Porcupine Bank, this a well-defined refreshing juniper, citrussy (from bitter orange and lime) elixir. An enticingly long warm “prickly” spice and ending with a fresh maritime sweetness from our ocean botanicals. Serve it with tonic, garnished with a slice of orange. A lovely gin-lovers’ gift. wildatlanticdistillery.ie

Dough Bros

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Galway pizza heroes, Dough Bros are offering their DIY pizza kits to fans of possibly the best pizza outfit in the West. Dough Luxe Personal Pizza & Beer Kit includes all the ingredients necessary to make two restaurant-quality Neapolitan Margherita pizzas in the comfort of your own home. Also includes the Dough Brews craft beer made by The White Hag Brewery, Sligo. Don’t mind if we do. thedoughbros.ie

Kimbia Coffee

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Located in Northern Ireland, single-origin Kenyan Coffee, produced by Kenyan marathon runners, delivered straight to your door … “Kimbia” means “run in Swahili, and this most worthy of coffee brands are a lovely way to give a gift to a loved one as well as helping to change the coffee world for the better, if even a little. Lovely hampers to make lovely Irish coffees available, comprising 225g Kimbia Coffee; 350ml finest Irish Jameson Whiskey or Northern Irish Bushmills Whiskey, pack of brown sugar and a tub of cream. Who could say no? facebook.com/KimbiaCoffee

Shells Little Shop

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The always welcoming and tasty Shells Café in Strandhill, Co Sligo, have opened up their Little Shop and it’s chock-full of Christmassy treats and gifts. A particularly exciting option is their Christmas Gift Box, curated to bring the a little Shells magic home. The box (€55) includes all of their festive favourites with a mixture of sweet and savoury treats, from fudge to Christmas pud, all homemade using the finest ingredients. shellscafe.com

The Westbury

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At The Westbury’s first inaugural shop, expect a number of unique products including its iconic Afternoon Tea collection, specialty glassware, candles with a signature bergamot scent, exclusive teas and handmade wreaths alongside a range of exclusive luxury gifts in time for Christmas celebrations. Just launched, in the neighbouring Westbury Mall and an online store providing delivery throughout Ireland, The Westbury Christmas shop offers unique and luxurious items that are bound to impress. The hotel’s Side Car bar book is a lovely gift at €25.

Christmas Farmers Market & Irish Craft Fair at the RDS

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Join the open-air RDS Christmas market with 60 stalls offering organic fruit and vegtables, freshly baked breads, fish, locally produced cheeses, plenty of pantry staples, handmade chocolates and Christmas puddings. Alongside the food stalls will be an impressive collection of Irish craft stalls offering handmade Christmas wreaths, handcrafted wooden toys, candles, soaps, and more – Saturday, December 5, 12 and 19, from noon to 3pm. rds.ie

Volpe Nera

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The clever foxes at Volpe Nera have launched a tempting  Christmas Supper Box, perfect for a Christmas Eve supper, when you want delicious food and drink with zero cooking or fuss. It includes two bottles of wine, specially chosen by sommelier Darren D’Arcy – house-made bread, cep butter, selection of cured meats, pickles, smoked almonds, olives, Picpoul olive oil, a selection of Irish cheese, house-made jam and crackers. There’s lots of sweet treats in the box too – Panettone de Volpe Nera, spiced red wine poached pears with vanilla mascarpone and nut crumble, and a box of artisan chocolates from Cocoa Atelier. volpenera.ie

Star Seafoods

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Kerry based company, Star Seafoods, is embracing increasing customer demand for online shopping and has diversified into an online direct operation, delivering to homes throughout Ireland. Its fleet of fully refrigerated vans are a familiar sight crossing the country as they deliver succulent salmon, hake, cod as well as crab, scallops and juicy prawns as well as a whole host of other fishy delights. Star Seafoods is current delivering to Cork city, Limerick city, Galway city, all over Dublin county as well as parts of Kildare, Wicklow, Meath, Kerry, Clare and Laois. The company endeavours to facilitate customers and will do delivery times to suit. starseafoods.ie

Medley Hampers

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A festive selection of gingerbread men, macarons, shortbread, marshmallow popcorn stars (edible tree decorations), cheese biscuits with cranberry honey butter, mincemeat jar, cranberry sauce, a festive nut mix, Christmas cake, chocolate truffles and Medley Blend coffee beans … all of this for a very fistively cheering €45. medley.ie

New Leaf Urban Farmers

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Award-winning producers, New Leaf Urban Farmers, based in Co Limerick, have just launched ‘Beyond Organic’, an innovative new Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) vegetable box scheme – the first of its kind in Ireland. CSA is a partnership between a group of people and a farmer. Members receive a share in the CSA when they commit to pay an agreed fee for the duration of a season. In return they get healthy, local food produced in an ecological way. Founder, Kevin Wallace, hopes to provide as many as 50 local families (members) with a weekly haul of freshly picked seasonal ingredients in 2021, including Kevin’s own Irish ginger and garlic, with numbers set to increase to 150 households eventually. newleafurbanfarmers.com

Hen’s Teeth Hampers

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A basket filled with a selection of cool cats Hen’s Teeth’s favourite treats from their store store. The perfect gift for that special boo, it would also make a pretty killer corporate gift if you’re looking to treat your crew this Christmas. The ‘You’ve Played a Blinder’ hamper, above,  includes a bottle of natural white or red wine, Hen’s Teeth own blend filter coffee, Sheridan’s Jam, three bars of chocolate and a funky Pantone mug. hensteethstore.com

Adare Manor at Home

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A firm favourite, afternoon tea in The Gallery at Adare Manor is a special experience. Now available for delivery and collection, it’s time to lay a beautiful table, take out your finest china and enjoy the Adare Manor Afternoon Tea in the comfort of your own home. Sweet treats include a lemon tart, apple choux bun with caramelised apple compote and caramel buttercream, among other sweet things … and then there are the savoury delights … think baked Limerick ham with wholegrain mustard, West Clare crab with Exmoor caviar and pickled shallot on soda bread … Afternoon tea costs €35 per person (each box serves two people). adaremanor.com

Everything in Between by Allta

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Allta will be launching a cracking Christmas provisions box called EVERYTHING in BETWEEN – designed to feed three to four people generously in one sitting or be enjoyed by two over a few days. The box includest a bottle of Champagne, a selection of starters and bites, desserts, and all the sauces, glazes, gravy and sides needed to make your turkey and ham dinner extra tasty (and take all the hard work out of it). They also have two different drinks boxes available now too.

At Home with The Legal Eagle & The Winding Stair

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From the team behind The Legal Eagle and The Winding Stair, comes the best of both. The group’s Christmas hampers are now available for sale on their Click and Collection site. Sometimes a paper voucher in an envelope seems like an unexciting gift so they’ve packaged theirs up with some stellar wines from their award-winning lists and presented them in a gorgeous hamper, with or without some treats from their pantry, such as onion marmalade, piccalilli, port and cranberry relish. Hampers, including a €100 restaurant voucher start at €150. the-winding-stair-group.clickandcollection.com

Arcane Chocolate

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Dublin-based Belgian chocolatier, Erik Van der Veken, above, recently  released his spectacular chocolate Christmas trees. Handmade in 70 per cent dark or 38 per cent milk, these magnificent treats are the ultimate centrepiece for your festive table this year. Individually decorated with caramelised hazelnuts, honey-roasted pecans, Iranian pistachios, goji berries and dried cranberries, each bejewelled chocolate tree is designed to be devoured. Stands 18cm tall on an 18 cm wide base. arcanechocolate.com

Natterjack Irish Whiskey

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Celebrate the festive season with a wee dram or nip of Natterjack whiskey; the perfect addition to a carefully curated drinks trolley, or a statement gift that you’ll be remembered for, long after it’s been given. It’s for the whiskey lover, the art lover (Natterjack was brought to being by Irish based artist Kelvin Mann).

Stockings & Co

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Stockings & Co have recently launched a  new website, billed as “Ireland’s newest nifty gifting experience”, they’ve teamed up with some of Ireland’s favourite food brands and businesses and each luxurious stocking contains hand-selected goodies to please everyone on your list, like this coffee lovers’ version, above. They also offer nationwide delivery. stockingsandco.ie

Roe & Co Pop-up

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Roe & Co Irish Whiskey has launched the first ever Roe & Creators Virtual Pop Up in collaboration with The Useless Project. The first virtual pop up is set to take place on Saturday 5th December and run for three weekends across the month of December on the Roe & Co Instagram page (@roeandcowhiskey). The virtual pop up will provide shoppers with a unique virtual experience that aims to support local Irish brands and businesses while providing unique gift options, just in time for Christmas.

James Fox Midleton

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James J. Fox, who have traded at the iconic 119 Grafton Street location since 1881, spanning five generations of family ownership, have launched an exclusive single cask Midleton Very Rare Pot Still Irish Whiskey, available at their store and through their site. jamesfox.ie

Blue Spot

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Recently intrduced this cask-strength whopper of a whiskey pours like liquid gold and packs a powerful, flavourful punch. Blue Spot’s name was derived from the Mitchell & Co’s practice of marking their maturing casks of whiskey with a mark or daub of coloured paint to determine the age potential of the whiskey. Blue Spot is a seven-year-old whiskey and its reintroduction reunites the historical Spot Family for the first time in over 56 years.

Fercullen 18-year-old

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Last month Powerscourt Distillery unveiled a very special limited edition, Fercullen 18-Year-Old Single Malt of “Five Elements”. It following the release of the original Fercullen 18-year-old in 2019 from master distiller Noel Sweeney, this latest expression comprises just 1,500 bottles, so an investment, if (big if) you can resist opening it to experience its amber charm … powerscourtdistillery.com

 


Read more: 50 Irish stays, vouchers and experiences to gift this Christmas

Read more: 50 Irish designers to gift this Christmas

Read more: 50 Irish makers to buy from this Christmas

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