I am the most unorganised person when it comes to Christmas… I haven’t bought a single present yet… I had a go at crafting and making presents (trying to be thoughtful and shit) which has resulted in a carrier bag full of glitter, crepe paper and jars that look like Tinkerbell threw up all over them….
I haven’t even made a food shopping list let alone bought anything….although… I reckon I’ve got enough Baileys to sink a battleship so at least that’s summat.
When it comes to shopping in Cumbria, I absolutely try and buy local where I can, and in my mad search for stuff I came across some pretty interesting stuff!
So if you need some last minute gifts, take a look at some of these….. and support local business’s along the way!
1. Cumbrian Spirits
We are all full of Cumbrian Spirit, and there’s nothing else quite like it… and these Spirits are just like us, colourful, packs a punch but leave a sweet after taste in your mouth. My favourite is definitely the Kendal Mint Cake one…. But the Bakewell one… well that’s something else!As bottles of spirits go, these aren’t badly priced either! About 12 quid or 17 for the Gin.
Chin bloody Chin!!
2. Hawkeshead Relishes
Now…. These babies…. These are my absolute favourite. Every year I make Chicken Liver & Brandy Pate for our Christmas day starter for all 14 of us…. Yeah you heard…. All 14. Chaos.
This pate, started out as just a treat for me and mam but friends and other miscreants got a taste and now I end up making it for half of West Cumbria! But I point blank refuse to eat it without the only accompaniment worthy of it……Hawkeshead Relish Cumberland Sauce.
A sauce… named after our county, on my Christmas Day…. Like really? What’s not to love??
At 31 years old I still collect teddies, and I honestly don’t care, theres nowt better than a squishy fluffy toy of your favourite character to sit and guard your bed during the day and keep the monsters away at night….. or so my fatther said Pebbles did when I was 9! But this particular squishy ball of wool is Cumbrian bred…… may I present the cutest squishiest sheep you ever did see…..Lads and Lasses…. I give you…. Little Herdy
Herdy also do a range of baby wear which I couldn’t help but share just coz they’re so bloody cute! Have a look at the newborn stuff here…..
4. Wainwrights Scratch Map
Now I couldn’t write about Cumbria without mentioning walking. Now for someone who advocates Cumbria and what we have on our doorstep, I am ashamed to say, I am not a walker… I wish I was, I wish I had the motivation…..so I think this next item would be a perfect way to set some goals get your lazy arse off the sofa and up the hills.
Whether it be a family gift, a present to yourself or for a loved on…. The Wainwrights Scratch map would look fabulous in your woman cave reminding you of all the walks you’re never going to do….. BUT…… it would be a great incentive to get walking…. Imagine the feeling of completing the lot…. I don’t do New Years resolutions…. But if I did… this would be it!
You can get these maps from a few places but I found them here for about 13quid.
5. Lake District Getaways
Now, this next one is gonna win you brownie points with the other half… It’s orite I’ll let you tell them it was all your idea.
The rest of the country has a romantic idea of the lakes. I’m convinced they all think we live in log cabins with hot tubs or in hobbit holes built into the hills…. And we all get up at 6am, climb a mountain and then work on our family owned farms…sadly none of the above applies to me… but by god I wish it did. So here’s the next best thing….. A website that you will thank me for…..forever
Theres deals on ‘ere for afternoon teas, log cabins with hot tubs and loads of hotel stays… if its too late for Christmas…. Valentines day is just around the corner!!
6. Jennings Real Ale
Something else that’s popular in the lakes is real Ale and these guys need no introduction.
Jennings Real Ale have a real Cumbrian legacy and if you have a real ale fanatic in the family you can get these goodies all ready gift wrapped….Easy as….. for more info check out the website here… little tip, if you take a trip out the brewery at Cockermouth they have special offers all ower the show
7. Sarah Taylor Prints
If you haven’t heard of Sarah Taylor yet…..then give yourself a shake and go and check her out. She is the artist that created the Highland Fling print that has been everywhere this year!
Sarah hails from St Bees and has been causing a stir with her colourful animals which honestly…….. I think are really summat special. Check out her website for other prints and merch, some great Christmas presents in there for animal lovers and art lovers alike!
8. Laurel & Hardy
Now this next one… if it’s good enough for Luke Skywalker then its good enough for me…(cue bollocking from the geek fiancé for mentioning Luke Skywalker and not the Joker)
The Laurel and Hardy museum…for all your comedic needs! The museum is def worth a visit but if you cant make it before Christmas the shop has a wonderful selection of gifts that will keep you entertained for years to come….and for those of a younger generation who may not know who Laurel and Hardy are….get them edumacated!
9. Cheese XL Crisps…..a whole sodding box of them!
This item is so simple but yet so effect…. Cure your entire festive hangovers……
I don’t even need to explain why or how this would make a great present…..
Boxes available from Galloways Hampers for 22 n half quid……
10 . Christmas time for many is a time for family, a time to be thankful for what we have and a time to eat and drink ourselves into a coma. So my tenth suggestion encapsulates all of the above.
As you’re running round Cumbria buying presents and gifts and stopping for a swift half on the way yam, I want to ask you to make a quick stop at the following places
There are people in our county who will not be having the same Christmas as you and I. As a previous user of a foodbank, I would urge you all to please… sacrifice a gift or two and give something……anything…. Thank you xxx
Merry Christmas Lads and Lasses
May your belly’s be full, your glasses be filled with bubbles and your homes full of love and laughter.
All my Love