Irish gifts with a difference
So last week a few of my previous customers got in touch with me to pick my brain for some authentic Irish gift ideas for the upcoming holidays.
In Ireland, there is a vast array of great quality arts, craft and design products available. On my tours I make it my mission to stop at the very best gift shops to ensure that my guests go home with only the best of original Irish gifts.
Of course this year it has been virtually impossible to do some Irish gift shopping while traveling the length and breath of the country and as a result, many producers of artisan products are struggling. So I am committed to support the producers and artists of Ireland and have therefore compiled a list of great shopping opportunities below. Many of these artists and producers as a result of the pandemic now have online shops too, so if you are quick, get your order in and you will have some fabulous Irish gifts under the tree this year.
Alternatively, once travel picks up again, you can visit the beautiful shops and their fabulous producers on a tour of Ireland next year. As I am friends with a lot of these producers, I will make it my mission to introduce you in person to them while you are on your private tour of Ireland.
Kerry Woolen Mills
During my tours I often take customers to this fabulous facility, which is a family-run business with a long standing tradition, located in beautiful County Kerry just outside the famous town of Killarney. For my groups I often organise a private tour of the manufacturing part of the business, where my guests can witness how the yarn is produced from the raw sheep wool product.
In the shop customers can purchase all kinds of woolen products, such as scarfs, jumpers and throws. A favourite with my customers is their knitting kit, made at their authentic traditional woollen mill, from fleece to yarn. They now offer worldwide shipping and you can shop online here:
Avoca in Dublin
Avoca is one of the best shops in Ireland if you are looking for a large variety of high quality, authentic Irish gifts. They are the masters of generating a fantastic selection of original Irish produce: from pottery to jewelley, from cosmetic products to their artisan foods, these guys have it down to a fine art!
A fantastic shopping experience with the option to visit their café or to take away some tasty treats is a great bonus when stopping at Avoca during your private tour of Ireland.
Until you get back to travelling the roads of Ireland, take a look at their online shop and browse their wonderful selection. Their last available shipping date before Christmas is the 10th December, so be quick:
If you like silver, then this is the place for you! These award-winning designers have created pieces that have been worn all over the world, from big fashion shows to royal weddings. On previous occasions I have taken guests to Newbridge Silverware who had special pieces of jewellery commissioned for occasions such as weddings, birthdays and anniversaries.
Since 1934, jewellery as well as as dining ware and bespoke pieces have been created here. You’re in luck, now they ship worldwide!
Kilkenny Design Centre
Located right opposite one of the most beautiful castles of Ireland (Kilkenny Castle), the Kilkenny Design Centre with its onsite community of artists, has never failed to vow my customers. There is a vast range of high quality Irish gifts available and upstairs you will find an excellent restaurant to take a break on your tour of Ireland. As they say in Ireland “Go to where the locals eat”!
The buildings used for these fabulous facilities are in fact the old stables belonging to the castle and a tour worthy of its own. During your tour of Ireland, make sure to let us know and we will definitely include this as a designated stop on your itinerary.
Ireland is not just a great place for shopping arts and crafts products, the Irish artisan food scene is also not to be missed. One of the longest established fine food producers is the Burren Smokehouse in the West of Ireland, situated along the Wild Atlantic Way, in County Clare.
Even royalty have tasted their delicious produce on site – Prince Charles visited the smokehouse in 2015. Their products range from smoked Irish salmon to luxury food hampers and they offer shipping of their products worldwide:
Nicolas Mosse Pottery
Visiting Nicolas Mosse Pottery is a whole new experience, from the interesting building to its beautiful location to the artisan pottery products on offer. A Kilkenny-favourite stop on our tours, witness first-hand how pottery is being fired, produced and painted. You will also have the opportunity to interact with the potters themselves and see how the designs are developed and applied. And of course, after this experience, sit down in their upstairs café and enjoy some tea and cake with their beautifully decorated table ware.
Their shipping date for North American customers has now unfortunately passed but do not despair, Nicolas and his colleagues will be waiting for you when you travel Ireland!
We hope you have enjoyed our recommendations on these great Irish shops and producers. Once travel picks up again, you can visit them in person on a tour of Ireland next year! As we at Desmond Tours are friends with a lot of these producers, we will make it our mission to introduce you to them while you are on your private tour of Ireland.
Get in touch with us today and we will create an itinerary for you that includes all your favourite Irish shops!