Gifting in Kent 2020
The season for gifting is almost upon us, and boy, do we need it! After quite the year, we're all looking forward to sharing some joy with our friends and family, celebrating the small things, or even just making someone's day with a thoughtful gift that says, "I'm thinking of you!". We know that with the new government restrictions, a wander around the shops in search of that perfect present isn’t on the cards for everyone just yet – so we’ve pulled together some of the best gifts from Kent’s independent businesses that you can buy from the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re sorting those stockings, or you just want a pick-me-up treat for yourself, there’s something for you in our 2020 gift guide…
Mistletoe and Wine
Did you know vineyards of Kent are staying open in line with government restrictions? Upgrade your daily stroll around the block for an amble through a sprawling vineyard in The Wine Garden of England! With so many dotted around the county, from Biddenden and Gusbourne to Squerryes and Simpsons, you won’t need to travel too far. The perfect early present – or a chance to pick up a delicious bottle on your way out!
For the animal lovers
Thanks to the many options from Howletts and Port Lympne, give the animal lovers in your life the perfect gift no matter your budget. From splurging on an experience to remember like luxury overnight stays at Port Lympne to adopting an animal in the name of the giftee, or getting them tickets for a day experience next year, our wildlife parks have got you covered.
Little bit of luxury
Home to luxury items at bargain prices, it’s no surprise that McArthur Glen Designer Outlet Ashford would be one of our first stops on the pre-Christmas gift search. You can surprise a loved one with a McArthur Glen gift voucher with anything from £5 to £500 so they can choose their own gift a future date. Perfect for those people that are always so hard to buy for...
Gift of the past
Get yourself the gift of the past with an English Heritage membership, allowing you access to over 400 historical sites and houses, like Dover Castle, Rochester Castle and Upnor Castle and supporting an industry in need of a helping hand. For those stocking filler presents, make sure to check out their online shop which is full of everything from spiced gin to board games and christmas jumpers - with an especially great selection for kids!
Get in the Christmas spirit (did you see what we did there?) with Kent’s own Copper Rivet gin distillery. To upgrade your Christmas day feast, opt for one of their delicious hampers developed by their soon-to-open Pumphouse restaurant - we'll be indulging in the Christmas Day Breakfast hamper, full of sourdough crumpets, whisky barrel smoked salmon, mushrooms, eggs and the essentials for the bucks fizz! And to see us into the evening, we're ready to try the much anticipated new single malt Whiskey, ready just in time for Christmas...
Calling in on the Midwives
You’ve watched the show, you’ve laughed, you've cried and now it’s time to see it for yourself! If you know a fan of Nurse Trixie, Sister Julienne and Dr Turner then you can’t get a better gift that the official Call the Midwife location tour at Historic Dockyard Chatham. Marvel at how Neal Street Productions transforms 400 year old dockyard into 1950’s East London. Bookings are available from March 31st 2021.
For the foodie
If you've got a foodie to buy for, we have a feeling they'll already know Macknade pretty well! Their two stores in Faversham and Ashford are full of unique treats to spice up your fridge and pantry, and currently open so you can pop in and see for yourself. But why not let them do the hard work for you? Order a pre-made hamper full of locally sourced Kent goodies right to your gift recipient. All the praise, none of the faff!
For the daredevil
If you know someone who’s tired of taking it slow and craving a little adventure, there couldn’t be a better option than Go Ape! Swing through the trees at Leeds Castle or Bedgebury Pinetum for an adrenaline filled day out perfect for families. With an e-voucher, allow them to choose a day that suits them in future so they can look forward to a great day out.
For finding peace
If you’re looking for adventure at heights that are a little bit more manageable, take to the water with Canoe Wild for a journey down the River Stour. Their Christmas voucher is redeemable for up to 12 months after purchase, and across any of their unique activities, but we recommend the Wildlife Sunset Tour to see the river in a particularly stunning light!
For F1 Fanatics
If you know someone who feels the need, the need for speed, look no further than a giftcard to the heart of British karting at Buckmore Park. Give them the gift of a whizz around the tracks and inspire little Lewis Hamiliton’s in the making! Choose from any amount perfect for a small stocking filler to a real splurge, and you can opt for a physical gift voucher to your recipient has something to open on the big day.
Special and sustainable
We’re all figuring out how to manage the gifting season in a sustainable and environmentally conscious fashion this year, which is why a gift from The Upcycled Trading Co. couldn’t be more apt! Choose a gift from their shop full of plastic-free living essentials, hand crafted items from independent sellers and artisanal goods. If you’ve got a particularly special gift in mind but not into DIY yourself (we hear you!), then The Upcycled Trading Co. takes upcycling commissions to bring forgotten furniture back to life.
Oh, we all know a petrol head, someone who lives for watching the F1 and dreams of one day owning more than a Fiesta. Well, for them we say it's got to be a driving experience day at Brands Hatch. From rally car fun, to F4 driving experiences, a day at Brands is the ultimate chance to give them that taste of adrenalin, and need for speed on one of the UK's most iconic racing tracks.
Crazy about Canterbury
For those who just can’t get enough of exploring magnificent medieval Canterbury, we have just the gift for you! A gift card from MyCanterbury allows you to give the gift of supporting local businesses, for your loved one to spend on anything they choose – a delicious meal, a haul in trendy boutiques, theatre tickets… the list goes on, and with over 100 businesses involved, they’ll be spoilt for choice.
Chocolate and Vanilla... beer!
There could be no better gift than an extra special tipple for the beer lovers out there, which is why the Old Dairy Brewery's seasonal Chocolate & Vanilla Belgian Imperial Stout is definitely on our list for those who enjoy a boozier Christmas! In an elegant bottle but a steal at under £10, this is just the treat to go alongside your Christmas pudding…
It wouldn’t be the lead up to Christmas without enjoying a few festive tipples - in fact, we’ve collated our favourites for you right here - but Maidstone Distillery can cover everything from the >£10 Secret Santa present (opt for their Single Gin and Tonic git set) to a very special treat (their Kent Garden Mojito Gift set, complete with hammered copper mojito glasses for the ultimate instagrammable night in.)
Silent Night-ingale Cider Co!
In lieu of the much-missed Christmas markets, Nightingale Cider Co. has pivoted to a festive pop up shop right from their cellar door. Head to Tenterden on Saturday 19th December between 11am-3pm to pick up some Christmas goodies - especially as you'll find amazing discounts on cases of cider, and gift packs for some easy last minute present buying!