Choosing gifts for your loved ones can be difficult, so Visit Essex to the rescue! From gift vouchers to wine, knitted socks to hampers, we have that perfect gift for everyone.
Talking of wine – Essex has around 15 vineyards throughout the county, and three of them produce the most amazing wine and have wine shops open weekdays and weekends (check times), for the general public to choose from. Newhall Vineyard in Purleigh for example, does wonderful ‘bubbles’ – champagne in all but name – Newhall Sparkling Brut. West Street Vineyard, Dedham Vale Vineyard and Crouch Ridge Vineyard also offer great wines from their shops.
Many of the region’s vineyards are open for tours too. Why not book a gift voucher for a tour as a special treat for someone who loves wine? Check out our guide to the best vineyards tours in East Anglia.
There’s a bit of a craze on Gin at the moment, and it’s certainly having its heyday, so you can’t have Christmas without a Gin produced in the county. Wilkins of Tiptree have teamed up with local gin producer Hayman’s, to produce wonderful fruit Gin liquers – Little Scarlet, Damson, Raspberry and their newest addition, Rhubarb. All taste great, and can be sipped, shaken or stirred! Orders can be taken online as well as being available throughout the county in their Tearooms, and in the newest addition to their portfolio, the Tiptree Café, Patisserie and Shop, in Bond Street shopping complex, Chelmsford.
Looking for something a bit different that will suit all ages? How about being a ‘Keeper for the Day’ at Colchester Zoo? Feed the meerkats, elephants, penguins and more, on an exciting day out at one of Europe’s largest zoos. You can grab a voucher online or from the zoo shop.
Local Essex Beer
Need something for the man in your life? They could be a ‘Brewer for the Day’ at Brentwood Brewing Company or Billericay Brewery – sampling the many fabulous ales, pouring a pint and even producing their own beer – this really would be a fabulous present!
Spa Days in Essex
And for the Ladies….a voucher for one of the county’s wonderful Spas – how about Lifehouse at Thorpe-le-Soken or Eden Spa at Down Hall, Hatfield Heath – all offer relaxation and provide luxurious treatments, in beautiful surroundings. Go on, they deserve a treat!
Weekend breaks in Essex
A treat for Mum and Dad – book a stay at one of the Milsom Group’s hotels – choose from Maison Talbooth (which includes use of their all year round heated outdoor pool) and looks out on to the wonderful Dedham Vale and Constable Country, or Milsoms – a Bar and Brasserie with rooms, just down the road from Le Talbooth, a fine-dining restaurant where they can enjoy exquisitely designed, award-winning food.
Next up, membership of the Essex Wildlife Trust – their mantra – ‘if you love it, protect it’ – and you can for as little as £1.50 per week (suggested contribution). There are 87 reserves throughout the county, and 11 visitor centres. The visitor centres hold many events and provide inspiring days out, plus information about our wonderful wildlife. Go wild in Essex!
Vouchers are always great, especially for children, where they get to choose the perfect gift after the festivities have died down. Vouchers can be brought from a variety of shops in the malls across Essex, including Lakeside Shopping, The Victoria Shopping Centre Southend, Clacton Shopping Village, High Chelmer Chemlsford and Braintree Village.
Arts & Crafts
Don’t forget to delve into some of the Craft Centres throughout the county too. Barleylands, which is home to more than 60 studios where you can see Crafters in action and join classes, and Blake House which is a pretty centre with individual shops, set in listed and restored farm buildings, to name a couple. Many sell hand-made gifts such as pottery, clothing, glass and other unique pieces.
Shopping in Essex is easy, peasey – so no excuses for not buying that perfect gift!
Check out Visit Essex’s website for lots more inspiration.