It’s a shopping year like no other, and the Belfast Telegraph has compiled a guide on how you can get the best of products in-store and online across Northern Ireland.
Dane Hans Enoksen has lived in Belfast since 2013 and launched Enoksen Watches — which are sure to impress lovers of stylish watches — two years ago. All Enoksen watches are made with sapphire crystals and are water-resistant to at least 100 metres.
The high street jewellery chain has an amazing website with free postage when you spend £20, free returns within 90 days and an engraving service. It stocks brands like August Woods, Thomas Sabo, Pandora, Nomination and Swarovski. The website is helpfully laid out with suggestions for festive goodies.
For sports fans deprived of live action during lockdown, you can help banish the bad memories with gifts from Jackson Sports. They have every type of sporting and outdoor activity covered and then some — including watersports, diving, climbing, hiking, canoeing and kayaking and camping.
The famous south Belfast bookstore has an extensive online offering. Owner Dave Torrans says he’s building up to having 300 titles on the site. Its staff pick section is proving popular while a comment/enquiries box allows customers to ask about any book in print.
DWS is Belfast’s oldest independent wine merchant and has traded since 1954. It has a range of white, red and sparkling wines with enough gems to satisfy the most discerning of oenophiles. The DWS website is now open for orders, deliveries and collections and has a special festive collection.
The business aims to showcase the very best artisan food and crafts from small producers. It says its mission is to create an inspiring place to shop for genuinely unique, handmade products. It has all kinds of goodies from a gluten-free section to meat and charcuterie, and arts and crafts.
This website will have something special for lovers of trendy interiors. Sisters Catherine and Patricia McGinnis have curated a selection of largely Scandinavian and Irish homeware and interiors products. It’s hard to argue with their mission statement, “that Maven is a treasure trove that will make your heart beat a little faster and make you leave with a smile”.
Led by Yolanda Cooper, developed the Supernova appliance, which can straighten, curl and create wavy hairstyles. The forward-looking beauty brand also makes shampoos, conditioners and hair care kits, all made from natural and organic ingredients.
The website of the Belfast shop is a foodie’s paradise. Orders for its hampers and other items like its charcuterie and cheeseboards, or its wine and cheese baskets and morning coffee boxes, must be made before December 18. Delivery is available throughout the UK and Ireland.
The website for the Ormeau Road off-licence offers lots of options if you’re looking for a gift for craft beer fans. It has offerings from local breweries like Kinnegar, Modest Beer and Boundary. There are also non-alcoholic options. And the website stocks wines and spirits, with a rather impressive selection of Irish gins from Shortcross to Bertha’s Revenge.
You’d have to be barking mad to overlook the website for Christies Direct in your quest for a gift for your pooch or a relative who pampers their pet. It’s one of the top dog grooming suppliers in the world with products from clippers to shampoos and finishing dryers, including some clearance items.
The Chocolate Manor has the perfect range of hand-made chocolate gifts for Christmas. Its range includes a truffle advent calendar, personalised chocolates and gift bars — and even a box of chocolate discs with a royal connection, as the concept was first developed as a gift to be presented to HRH Prince William on a visit to NI.
Ivy and Gold: Erinn Kerr started making gold and silver name bracelets while on maternity leave after having her daughter Ivy. She has now launched a website where she sells bracelets for adults and children from her home in Ballymena. They really are the perfect gift for style mavens and fashionistas of all ages.
Co Antrim general merchant store McListers has been in business since the start of the last century and has now branched out into selling speciality food hampers, cheese boards and vouchers online. James Francis McAlister set up the business in Ballycastle way back in 1909 and its ethos of great customer service is as strong as ever.
Steensons Jewellers, the family business creates bold contemporary designs inspired by the natural landscape as well as bespoke pieces. Its goldsmiths and design consultants are led by Brona, the daughter of founders Bill and Christina Steenson. The website stocks a wide range of pieces made in its workshop in Glenarm.
Joli Clothing. This well-loved ladieswear boutique also has a great online shop. Brands include Olsen, Sandwich, Naya, Ichi, French Connection and Great Plains. There is free postage on all orders over £99. There’s also a great range of scarves, bags and jewellery.
Hillside Nursery Centre is a family-run garden centre. As you’d expect of one of our biggest garden centres, it has lots of pressie options to order through its website, including foodie gifts, home fragrance and childrens’ clothes.
Anyone who’s into natural beauty products will love Antrim Rain’s soaps, made from filtered rainwater collected in the Antrim Glens. There are 10 soaps in the range, such as traditional lemon lavender, seasonal sugar and spice, eucalyptus and seasalt and seaweed. Customers love the quirky cardboard packaging, which is made by an NI printer. Founder Dawn Demaine has also branched out into solid shampoos. Search for Antrim Rain on www.etsy.com
Naturally North Coast and Glens is an artisan market held in Ballycastle. But due to Covid restrictions, the market’s traders are now selling their wares online. An array of food, crafts and jewellery are available from traders on the north coast and beyond. Luxury hampers can also be ordered, and there’s free local delivery within 20 miles of Ballycastle.
John McCourt in Newtownabbey set up a website selling beard products for the hirsute and proud after he was made redundant. His website now sells everything that bearded guy could possibly require — oils, soaps, brushes and combs. The Beards website is full of testimonials from grateful beardies who declare themselves true converts to Big Phat Beard.
Bridge Books owner Lesley Price is taking orders over email, Facebook, phone and Twitter. This year prize-winning Dara McAnulty’s Diary of a Naturalist has been selling well, and she still has some signed copies for sale. There are also signed copies of Stuart Bailie’s 75 Van Songs, a celebration of one of our more cherished musicians.
Laura McPolin founded Walk In Wardrobe as a destination for the fashionista seeking a curated mix of designer clothing, accessories and hats for hire. The business says it’s committed to being the first to offer brands and designs sourced from around the world that can’t be found anywhere else. The Walk in Wardrobe offers style for weddings and occasions, as well as statement jewellery and gorgeous shoes.
McCoubreys has an array of TV, audio and Blu Ray equipment for the avid box set viewer and film buff in your life. Coffee lovers will also get a fix from McCoubreys’ great range of coffee makers from De’Longhi and Smeg. It also has a fantastic range of white goods like dishwashers and fridges.
KWM Wine has embraced e-commerce with aplomb. It’s now one of the leading independent specialist wine and spirits merchants around with an impressive range of wines, spirits and beers. This month, it’s gearing up to celebrate the start of the Beaujolais Nouveau season.
Jonzara Clothing shop and website specialises in contemporary clothing for women from labels like Betty Barclay, Olsen, Sandwich and Barbara Lebek. The website also has a brilliant range of giftware from brands including Field Day and Stoneglow.
Scarva Pottery started out making pots over 30 years ago and is now the world’s leading supplier of ceramic materials and equipment. It has the biggest choice of clays, glazes, stains and pottery tools delivered to your door.
A real e-commerce success story, Total Hockey is a family business dedicated to the sport, and even has a special goalkeeping department, offering extensive equipment for goalkeepers. In 2017 it acquired hockey equipment seller and Scottish rival, Gilmour Sports.
He’s probably Northern Ireland’s most famous wine merchant, and his shop and website testify to his vast knowledge. The selection of wine available on the website of James Nicholson Wine is second to none. It delivers throughout NI, the Republic and Great Britain.
NearyNogs Stoneground Chocolate Makers provides paradise for a chocoholic, selling drinking chocolate, truffles, slabs, bars and chocolate caramel cups. There are gluten-free and dairy-free options. You can also buy a subscription for a monthly chocolate box care package.
The Artisan Cheesemonger has some of the finest cheeses from the United Kingdom, Ireland and around Europe for sale on its website. The business aims to introduce customers to new tastes and textures in cheese. Accompaniments like biscuits and crackers are also available to order.
Armatile is an independent family business and a one stop shop for tiles.
Be it outdoor, feature, wall, living area, bathroom or wood effect tiles, Armatile will have everything you need.
To contact their Armagh store call 02837 527 007.
Everything is homegrown and locally produced at Ballinahone Nurseries. It offers a wide range of seasonal flowers, shrubs and bedding plants, as well as a selection of pots, containers and fresh cut flower bouquets.
Fairley’s Wines has a huge selection of Irish, Scotch and world whiskies, ports, gin, cocktails and craft beers. There’s free local delivery on all orders over £50 and free delivery across Northern Ireland on orders over £100.
Sheehy’s in Cookstown is one of Northern Ireland’s few independent bookstores and stocks a range of stationery and gifts as well as books for both adults and children. The bookshop does not have a website but accepts orders over Facebook Messenger and by phone - they will also deliver locally for a small fee.
Northern Ireland women are no stranger to My Sister’s Closet, the clothing brand started by Diana and Anita Ross. The sisters sell a mixture of own brand clothes and items from other brand. As well as bricks-and-mortar stores popping up in Dublin and Belfast, they also sell clothes, accessories and gifts online.
Ispini is the Irish word for sausages, but as well as salami and chorizo, Jonathan Cuddy also makes nduja, copa and bresaola and blackstrap molasses, stout and rum bacon. He’s scooped up Great Taste and Blas na hEireann awards and the brand’s cider infused chorizo salami sticks are now a popular accompaniment to a pint.
Sadie’s Secret Boutique was launched by Melissa McGirr in 2019 and describes itself as a one-stop shop for fashionistas looking to create the perfect wardrobe. There is also an online catalogue which helps you pick from a range of clothing that can be delivered to your door.
For those with a taste for natural skincare, Queen Bee Naturals specialises in products they say nourish, repair and maintain the health of skin. Deborah McCann started off as a beauty and massage therapist, before moving towards natural ingredients and creating products for face and body, as well as self-tan and baby products.
Ion Distilling produces their spirits - rum, gin and vodka - from scratch in small batches in Omagh using water from an artisan well underneath their distillery. Ion’s version of gin uses botanicals sourced from around the world - closer to home, their Curious Citrus Gin is a locally-made product.
Mac Strength Gym Equipment has all the tools needed to kit out a home gym with flooring, free weights, machines and cardio equipment. Home workouts are all the rage this year and this present will pack a punch. Michael McNulty can be contacted through his website or on Facebook to find a bespoke solution.
For the DIY enthusiast in your life, family-run business Toolbox Omagh has the equipment for any home renovations or DIY projects that are being put on the long finger until 2021. This shop is always able to give guidance on tools and garden equipment for those who are lost on what to pick.
Renowned artist Kathleen Ward’s Tattykeel Design Studio and stunning gardens are known to many. It’s more difficult for many to call by and visit the studio, but crafts including scarves and handbags can still be browsed on the artist’s website, as well as works of fine and textile art.
For a truly local gift, Ballynagran Crafts uses domestic wood harvested or salvaged locally to create simple but functional pieces including chopping boards, candle holders and vases. All pieces are handmade in Tyrone by husband-and-wife team Declan and Tracy and can be found on Facebook or Etsy.
It wouldn’t be the festive season without a cheese board and, along with many jams, marmalades and chutneys, Erin Grove Preserves offers a range of traditional flavours blended with new additions for today. This cottage industry offers beautifully-presented hampers.
The award-winning Boatyard Distillery is located on the banks of Lough Erne and prides itself on being Fermanagh’s first legal distillery in over 130 years. They offer a choice of tipples, whether vodka, gin or double gin flavoured with botanical Sweet Gale foraged from the family bog.
You won’t find the latest bestseller here but for lovers of secondhand or antiquarian books, Gowan Books has over 20,000 titles. With many titles for those with an interest in Ireland or Christianity, postage is also offered.
Local artist Jo Tinney works in watercolour, pastel and acrylics to create paintings inspired by Fermanagh and the rest of the island. Her works are in the collections of figures such as former US President Clinton and Bob Dylan, and new pieces can also be bought on her website.
Whiskey Wood Craft is a small business handcrafting accessories and gifts from recycled Irish whiskey barrels. Their cufflinks and tie clip packs are popular presents and there’s plenty more besides to choose from that is local and sustainable.
Fishing Tackle & Bait in Enniskillen has a busy and competitive online presence offering more than 60,000 products across disciplines including game, pike and predator, course and match and sea fishing along with clothing and footwear to match.
Enniskillen business Desired Tech stocks what’s required for anyone expecting a new phone or gaming equipment under the tree this year. Along with headsets, controllers and chairs, there’s also a range of gaming hero collectibles in stock.
Skin, laser and beauty clinic Advanced Beauty is set to open once more for appointments, but customers can also avail of online shopping of store skincare products. Popular brands Yon-ka and Image Skincare are available, as are gift sets to treat yourself or others.
Millinery by Diane Lee is perhaps best known for bespoke hats for weddings and events, but the Fermanagh designer has recently created Liberty London earmuffs perfect for winter walks over Christmas and even has a range of facemasks on offer via her Facebook page.
Come to Ireland’s oldest working fine china pottery, Belleek Pottery still has a special place in the hearts of many and has created a Christmas guide to brighten the home of any interiors enthusiast with a sentimental decorative gift over the festive period.