My All-Cornish Gift Guide
From the beautiful to the practical — 30 failsafe gifts from Cornwall-based brands and makers
Time is running out but luckily you don’t have to go far to find some of the best, tastiest, most stylish Christmas gifts in the land. All these cherry-picked presents are from Cornish brands and many are made right here in the duchy.
Top of my wish list are these stylish yet super practical, unisex, outdoor boots from new Cornish brand Trailback. Literally just launched, they are completely waterproof leather boots, based on a rigger style and designed with dog walkers in mind. The first batch is available in sizes 5 – 13, £225.
Emily Nixon Jewellery
Ok, slightly less practically but 100% guaranteed to win you some major brownie points. Emily Nixon makes jaw-droppingly beautiful, sculptural jewellery inspired the Cornish coastline. Earrings start from around £50 and bangles from £125, then upwards of £1k or £2k for one of her studio treasures – one-of-a-kind statement rings you won’t find anywhere else.
A Kurt Jackson Print
Did you get to Kurt Jackson’s ‘Cot: A Cornish Valley’ exhibition this year? It was a stunning collection of paintings and sculpture capturing the magical landscape of Penwith to perfection. Another of his paintings from the area, 6pm Cape Slip. 2016, is currently available as a Limited Edition lithoprint on the gallery’s website. A dreamy Xmas gift for anyone who loves Cape Cornwall as much as I do. £150
Exotic plants like succulents thrive in Cornwall and you may have seen some of these special planters as well as beautiful glass terrariums on sale at Tremenheere Nursery in Gulval. These ones are potted up in pretty arty pots made by ceramicist Sophie Jarram. Available at the nursery’s online outlet Surreal Succulents.
Finisterre Chy Jumper
You can’t beat a jumper for Xmas and this is my pick of the knits. Crafted from an irresistibly cosy and insulating blend of alpaca and wool, the Finisterre Chy jumper is guaranteed to keep you toasty on the beach and beyond this winter. Suitably festive, in berry red with cable patterns, but definitely not just for Christmas. £110
Living Sea Therapy Skincare
An exciting new skincare brand, launched this year, is harnessing the power of the beautiful Cornish sea with a range of salt and seaweed based products. Living Sea Therapy (sister brand of The Cornish Sea Salt Co and The Cornish Seaweed Co) has a gorgeous range of exfoliators, bath salts and moisturisers that bring the mineral-rich waters of the Lizard straight to your bathroom.
Tom Raffield Lighting & Furniture
While we are in the realms of amazing Cornish designers, it would be remiss not to mention steam-bending super star Tom Raffield. His distinctive lighting and furniture is handmade in his Cornwall-based studios and he’s now offering the most beautiful garden room, showcasing his craftsmanship on a grander scale. Pendant light featured, £235.
Curio Fly Navy Gin
A special bottle is such a nice Christmas treat. Curio’s new Fly Navy gin, launched this Autumn, is crafted in Cornwall, in small batches, with carefully selected botanicals, including organic Madagascan vanilla, sansho peppers and local Cornish wild heather. Fly Navy gin is a floral, citrus gin that is unique, full of character and can be enjoyed neat, as a G&T or in a cocktail. £36 – 70cl.
Green&Blue Bee Bricks and Planters
Award-winning, Cornwall-based Green&Blue makes stylish, design-led products that help support the wildlife in your garden. My favourites are their cool, concrete bricks and planters, which double up as homes for solitary bees. A brand making waves outside of Cornwall, the Green&Blue team was invited to Downing Street this year as part of Small Business Saturday. Beepot Mini, from £35.
Little Loves Baby & Toddler Clothing
Little Loves’ playful, practical (and totally affordable) leggings, rompers and baby grows are ethically handmade, right here in Cornwall. Featuring quirky, Scandi-inspired graphic designs, they’ll make the cutest Christmas gifts for the little people in your life.
Nordic House Dinnerware
While we’re on the Scandinavian theme, did you realise super stylish interiors brand Nordic House is based in Truro? Their luxurious homeware and accessories have a clean and minimal aesthetic (the opposite of our house at Christmas). This newly launched porcelain range was actually designed with Easter in mind but I think it would work in a Cornish seaside home year round. From £9 for the side plates to £45 for the charger (serving) plate.
Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Bundle
We can’t ignore it anymore, the fight against plastic pollution is on and we all need to do our bit. Help a loved one get their resolutions off to a good start with this plastic free bundle from Surfers Against Sewage. It includes a reusable water bottle, coffee cup, straws and bamboo cutlery, cotton tote, bamboo tooth brush, coconut scrub pad and reuse envelope labels. £60
A Seasalt Waterproof
It is raining cats and dogs as I write and I ain’t going anywhere today without my knee-length Seasalt waterproof. But strictly speaking, I’ve only got the one – in navy, I could probably do with a warmer version, or a brighter colour, ooh look at this lovely yellow number. Designed to withstand the toughest Cornish weather, all Seasalt raincoats are fully waterproof, windproof and breathable. Phew! Extra Long Seafolly Jacket £140.
Really Big Bubbles
No party bag’s complete without bubbles and in a stocking you can go one better. Really Big Bubbles’ jumbo wands and special mixture create massive bubbles that will make your Christmas morning walk so much more fun. £20 – £22.
Celtic & Co Sheepskin Slippers
Slip into these on Christmas morning and you won’t want to change your footwear until spring, especially if you have flagstone floors. Brrr! Newquay brand Celtic & Co hand-make all their boots and slippers in their Cornish factory, using beautifully soft British sheepskin. These ankle warming house boots are my favourites. £135
Kalkar Cornish Rum & Coffee Spirit
Move over espresso martini, there’s a sophisticated new spirit in town. Great Taste award-winning Kalkar is the first scratch distilled rum from The Cornish Distilling Company, blended with single origin coffee. Just add a cube of ice or a slosh of coconut water for a longer drink. £35
Uzma Bozai Sweatshirts
Stocked in Harvey Nics and Anthropolige, Uzma Bozai has got to be one of Cornwall’s coolest exports. This fashion line is all about quirky fun, with tassels, pom poms, prints and sequins galore. Their signature sweatshirts feature everything from zodiac signs and insects to African animals. From £150.
Wendy Wilbraham Ceramics
A recent Instagram discovery, Wendy Wilbraham makes the most gorgeous little geometric jugs and pots with natural glazes and the occasional splash of colour. Buy one or build a little collection! Wendy’s pieces are available at No. 56 in Penzance (best shop ever) and also Beside The Wave Gallery in Falmouth.
Another one of my best finds of the year. This new bikini brand was launched by Claire Miller, who was so unimpressed by the swimwear on offer for young women and teens, when shopping with her daughter that she decided to design her own. No strings, plenty of support, flattering cuts, cool fluoro highlights and designed to be active in. And less than £40. How great is that? The largest size can even fit a grown up (up to size 12 I think).
Available to buy on the Bodds Facebook page
Amanzi Live Life as Water Bobble Hats
I placed a large custom order for Newquay-based Amanzi’s bobble hats last year and ticked off all my nieces and nephews. They were a massive hit and this year you can buy them online. Amanzi’s signature styles include a range of great colour block combos to brighten grey days. Adult hats £25, kids £20.
AND A FEW STYLISH STOCKING FILLERS…
Bloomtown Botanicals Organic Beauty Products
Bloomtown Botanicals ethical, plant-based skincare products were nominated in multiple categories in this year’s Beauty Shortlist Awards and ended up winning; Best Natural Face Mask, Best Artisan Soap Bar and the Editors’ Choice Award. The products are as good as the packaging and this new vegan, tinted lip balm makes an ideal stocking filler. £4.80.
Sketchy Muma: What It Means To Be A Mother, by Anna Lewis
I first met the lovely Anna Lewis at yoga and have since followed her hilarious illustrations, charting the ups and downs of Mummy life, online. Funny, poignant and totally relatable, hers is a winning formula. Anna’s new book is the perfect stocking filler for any Mum of young kids in your life and currently a bargainous £3.99 on Amazon.
Jago Illustration Campfire Kit
It’s all been a bit female focussed so far but here’s a great little gift to chuck in your chap’s Xmas stocking. This handy kit contains everything you need to light a campfire: flint and steel, a little tin of Vaseline, sheet of firelighting instructions, four balls of cotton wool, a mini Kendal Mint Cake (to keep you going while you collect firewood) and a campfire kit badge (just for fun).
Going Loopy Crochet Accessories
The burgeoning brand responsible for the most eye-catching stall at Cornwall’s best Christmas markets! Going Loopy Crochet makes garlands, planters, bags and purses, in a rainbow of neons and metallics that are guaranteed to brighten your day. Find them on Etsy. Coin purse £18.99.
Treats from Copperpot Originals
When St Ives-based Copperpot sent me a box or two of fudge to try earlier in the year, it was literally gone before I could whip the camera out for some arty Insta shots. The classic butter fudge was lovely but I especially liked the Belgian milk chocolate coated honeycomb – perfect for Christmas evening, fireside snacking.
I know it’s hardly imaginative but you’d be disappointed if you didn’t get at least one pair of socks for Christmas, wouldn’t you? These irresistibly cosy ones, from Earth Kind Originals, are made from naturally insulating and luxurious alpaca and merino, in un-dyed natural shades. £15
Cornish Chillies Hot Chilli Sauce
Every year without fail Santa brings Mr Muddy a bottle of hot sauce. This is the first small batch of hand-crafted artisan Hot Chilli Condiment from Cornish Chillies. It’s made from Cornish grown chillies — Friar’s Hat and Paper Lanterns – is gluten free and suitable for vegetarians. For now you can only get it direct from Cornish Chillies. £6.50 – £10.
Email to order: email@example.com
St Eval Candles
The St Eval Candle Company near Wadebridge hand makes luxurious candles of all kinds – from tea lights and tins to elegant pillars and dinner candles. For a special gift, you could choose one of the ornamental pots – in rustic terracotta or hammered silver – but for a stocking, I love these simple tins and Bay & Rosemary and Sea Salt are still my favourite scents. £9.46, burn time up to 45 hours.
Chocolarder ‘Bean-to-Bar’ Chocolate
A Christmas treat strictly for grown-ups! This dark chocolate bar, infused with frankincense and myrrh and decorated with edible gold leaf, is the limited edition, festive offering from Chocolarder. Everything is good about their Cornish-made chocolate, from the careful ingredient sourcing and sophisticated flavours to the tactile packaging, made from recycled materials. £5.25
Emily Johnston Glass Necklaces
From fine jewellery to fun, Newquay-based Emily Johnston makes playful geometric pieces that add instant sparkle to everyday outfits. I would love one myself but I also think they’d be great for the teenage girls in your life. Necklaces from £15.95 to £37.50.
Tregothnan Cornish Smoked Manuka Earl Grey
I love taking my time over a really good cup of tea and here is an extra special brew. Cornish Smoked Manuka Earl Grey was created with Chef Raymond Blanc OBE, for Eurostar Business Premier with Cornish growers, Tregothnan. As an Earl Grey addict, it sounds like heaven to me and comes in a smart little caddy. £12.95