‘Tis the season for aimless wandering in shops.
However, hoping to magically stumble across something your loved ones might like is not the most efficient way of conquering your Santa list.
This year we’re here to help.
If the high street stores give you hives come December, there are plenty of hidden gems that are well off the beaten track; you can stroll there at your own pace, stop for a coffee along the way and pay for your purchases without standing in a queue for 20 minutes.
Even more importantly, you’ll find novel ideas for the most hard-to-buy-for people everywhere you look. You may even find something special for yourself.
1. THE ENGLISH MARKET
It’s not just crubeens and tripe, you know; if there’s a foodie in your family or circle of friends you’ll find oodles of thoughtful gift ideas in the English Market. Chat to the knowledgeable folk at On The Pigs Back about putting together a board for the cheese connoisseur, or swing by The Real Olive Co. for divine blocks of Aleppo and Marseille Soaps, made with laurel oil, from just €4, that can be used on hands, hair and body.
The English Market is open daily from 9am – 5pm.
2. THE VILLAGE HALL
The only place in Cork where you can find a proper hand-knitted vintage Christmas jumper, The Village Hall on St Patrick’s Quay is also a coffee bar. Sip a brew while filling your arms with gorgeous coats and dresses from a more stylish era and sifting through their furniture, frames and thick sheepskin rugs for gems.
Open 12pm 5pm every day until Christmas Eve.
3. THE WILD CHRISTMAS EMPORIUM
One of Cork’s best-known wedding florists has finally taken the plunge into retail, opening a destination shop packed with all manner of botanical treats… and right in time for Christmas.
Flowersmith Jill O’Keeffe of Wild Floral Couture has opened the doors of The Wilderness, her first store this week in Farran, with a selection of beautiful handmade home decor, curios and gifts to choose from.
The Wild Christmas Emporium will be open for physical visits from 9.30am to 5pm every day until December 23rd.
4. MOTHER JONES FLEA MARKET
For a gift with real history, take your search to Cork’s Victorian Quarter, where the cosy Mother Jones Flea Market kicks into action at 10am until 6pm.
Based in Thompson House on York Street, just off McCurtain Street, the market provides a plethora of antique, vintage, and retro clothing, furniture, books, records, household items and creative local crafts.
Open Monday and Tuesday from 12pm-6pm, see Facebook for more details.
5. NANO NAGLE PLACE
Dropping by Nano Nagle Place for a visit this week? Shop local in their award-winning Design Shop and Cork-focused bookshop for a thoughtful selection of gifts to suit any taste and age group.
Top picks include La Bougie candles, made in Kinsale, and Hurrah Hurrah prints of Cork landmarks.
You can check out what’s available in-store before you visit here.