Our Annual Gift Guide: 2019

Written by The Editors

It really IS better to give than to receive —when you find the perfect gift that is warmly received, and you haven’t felt caught up in shopping mall madness. To help you achieve this end, we’ve polled a fine range of independent retailers — the real shopping experts — for suggestions for the special people in your life. Whether you’re looking for a big present for someone close to your heart, or a small gift for a hostess or your friend at work, here are some new as well as tried-and-true suggestions from the experts. Happy Shopping! 

Modern Sprout Ritual Live Well Gift Set, at Bradshaws

Established in 1895, Bradshaws remains one of Canada’s great stores. The emphasis is on pieces that are design-driven “lifetime” purchases and unique and innovative products. Such as this Modern Sprout Ritual Live Well Gift Set. Grow, steep and sip. This set encourages you to take a moment for yourself everyday. Chamomile is the perfect herbal pairing for this all-in-one ceramic tea steeper and mug. The Chamomile Bamboo Grow Kit comes with a complete passive hydroponic system, plus non-GMO chamomile seeds. The ceramic mug has a nested tea leaf strainer that is easily removed for a perfectly timed brew. The lid acts as a cover to keep tea warm during brewing and doubles as a coaster for the strainer. $66.95  Bradshaws 129 Ontario St, Stratford 519-271-6283

Bevi Insulated Wine Number, at CREW Winery

The new CREW Winery & Gallery is now officially open 7 days a week, with a tasting bar, a new menu, and retail space that offers perfect gifts for the wine lovers on your list. Enjoy your favourite vintage and keep it at the perfect temperature for hours on end with the sleek and stylish Bevi Insulated Wine Tumbler. Made of plastic and high-grade stainless steel, in a variety of attractive colours, this double-walled and vacuum-sealed, shatterproof tumbler keeps any beverage cold for up to 9 hours, and hot drinks warm for up to 3 hours.  $24.95  CREW Winery 108 Essex County Road 50, Harrow ON 519-738-9800

Dunoon’s Information and Knowledge Mugs

Watson’s Chelsea Bazaar is a long-standing Stratford favourite, with two floors displaying an eclectic range of goods from around the world. You’ll find a fine selection of Dunoon’s Information and Knowledge Mugs that will educate and astound you with unusual facts and figures. With numerous themes, there is something for most fields of interest and trivia enthusiasts everywhere. Fine bone china, made in England. From $31 – $37 each. Watson’s Chelsea Bazaar 84 Ontario Street, Stratford 519-273-1790

Candy Cane Christmas Gift Set, at From the Meadow

From the Meadow handcrafts a wide range of natural healing products at their “Farmacy” outside Belmont, including natural cosmetics, cleansers, toners, soaps and so much more. A great selection of items are also available at their booth at The Market at Western Fair, with special gift packages for the home, women, men, babies, Valentine’s Day, and the holiday season. The Candy Cane Christmas Gift Set includes candy cane soap, peppermint lip balm, and peppermint body butter. $20. From the Meadow 3881 Avon Drive (Hwy 37), Belmont 519-269-3961

The Pristine Olive’s Gift Packs, at The Pristine Olive

This year, The Pristine Olive owner Jamie Griffiths has created a variety of delicious gift ideas. The Pristine Olive’s Gift Packs can be fully customized for everyone on your list. Choose from over 65 flavours of fresh extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars, in a variety of sizes. travelling, or just heading out for dinner, this pack is your perfect travel companion, or a delicious gift idea for everyone on your list.  $12 – $44 The Pristine Olive 884 Adelaide Street North, London 519-433-4444 

Steed & Co. Gift Collections, at Steed & Co. Lavender

An enticing range of pampering bath and beauty products might be expected at a lavender farm shop, but Steed & Company Lavender also offers a lovely Home Essentials collection — the Lavender Pillow Spray is literally dreamy! — and  a number of delicious culinary items, including lavender-enhanced jams, syrups, honey and tea. Steed & Co. Gift Collections start at $16.95.  Steed & Company Lavender 47589 Sparta Line, RR#5 Aylmer 519-494-5525

Tibetan Rings, at Sha Choix

Sha Choix is a year-round favourite for unique gifts and accessories, and a highlight in the annual Wortley Village Shopping Event — this year on November 21. (Hint: Extended hours, one-night specials, 25% off at Sha Choix!) Expect to find stylish women’s apparel, including shoes, scarves, hats, and shawls for the season, and endless gift ideas, from handmade soap to men’s shavings supplies. A store specialty is their large ever-changing selection of accessories and unique jewellery, from funky to chic, like these gorgeous Tibetan rings in a variety of colours and styles. From $48 – $60.  Special Offer: Bring a copy of this Eatdrink magazine to receive 15% off!  Sha Choix 158 Wortley Road, London 519-204-6336

Cream Tea Gift Basket, at The Village Teapot

The civilized and restorative taking of Cream Tea, a form of British afternoon tea (a light meal), consists of tea enjoyed with a combination of scones, clotted cream, and jam. Show someone you care with The Village Teapot’s Cream Tea Gift Basket, including delicious tea, a jar of clotted cream, local jam, and fresh scones. $35.00, cello-wrapped with a ribbonThe Village Teapot 13257 Ilderton Rd, Ilderton 519-298-8327

Christmas-themed Salamis, at Metzger Meat Products & The Village Meat Shop

Gerhard Metzger’s Christmas-themed salamis are available at Metzger Meats in Hensall or at The Village Meat Shop at The Market at Western Fair. These festive salamis are perfect for gift baskets and stocking stuffers for the meat-lovers on your list. $7.99–$9.99  Metzger Meat Products 180 Brock Ave, Hensall 519-262-3130

Rhodes LRhodes Laptop Bag by Louenhide, alpaca scarf by Pokoloko, toque by Furlux, leather gloves, at Impressions of Wortley Village

In the heart of Wortley Village, Impressions is an inspiring and chic boutique where fashion motivates creativity, with pieces from Canada, Europe and the US. You’ll find casual clothing, dresses, outfits, outerwear and accessories. Special items this season include the Rhodes Laptop Bag by Louenhide ($119), a cozy alpaca scarf by Pokoloko ($97.99), and a warm and toasty toque by Furlux (50% cashmere, 50% wool, $110). Red leather gloves ($49.99) always make a statement and are perfect with a black, red or winter white coat. Impressions 148 Wortley Road, London 519-204-1975

Trudeau Oxygen Wine Glasses, at Somerset Fine Wines

Somerset Fine Wines has established a strong reputation for “winemaking at its finest,” offering a wide variety of quality wine at an affordable price. Gift certificates for wine-making are available. They also have an extensive range of gifts for wine lovers, from festive holiday decorations, accessories and glasses, such as these Trudeau Oxygen Wine Glasses. The elegant embossing oxygenates as you pour or swirl your favourite wine, releasing its full aroma and taste. Starting at $19.99. Somerset Fine Wines 150 Exeter Road, London 519-652-3998

Natural Living Gold Tone Cheese Knife Gift Set, at Pepper Tree Spice Co.

Pepper Tree Spice Co. is well known for their huge selection of more than 300 organic fine spices & artisan blends including a large selection of specialty gourmet foods, kitchenware, cookware and more. This season, you’ll find amazing gift ideas for every budget, including this 4-piece Natural Living Gold Tone Cheese Knife Gift Set, $26.95. Buy separately or pair with in-store local artisan cheeses and gourmet goodies to create the ultimate gift basket.  Pepper Tree Spice Co. Port Stanley, 223A Colborne St. (Daily); London Western Fair Market, 900 King St. (Weekends) 519-782-7800

Bake Shop Studio Cookie Box, at Bake Shop Studio

Owner Kate St Laurent and her hospitable Bake Shop Studio crew deliver everything one expects in a boutique bakery. They specialize in beautiful, made-from-scratch cakes and pastries, including wedding, birthday, bridal and shower cakes. The shop is just hard enough to find that a visit feels like discovering a secret treasure trove. Located in Wortley Village, upstairs above the former Village Harvest Bakery, walk-ins will find an enticing array of cookies, cupcakes and French macarons. Perfect for holiday festivities or just a special treat, this Bake Shop Studio Cookie Box includes 16 gluten-free mini cookies, that will be gift wrapped with a bow. $30.  Bake Shop Studio 145 Wortley Road, London 519-319-6167

Performance Te Therapeutic CBC + Adaptongen Teas, at The Tea Lounge

Performance Teas, at The Tea Lounge 

The Tea Lounge has established a loyal following as a relaxing place for a beverage and a nutritious bite, as well as for its classes exploring various aspects of “tea culture.” Now available are three new Performance Tea Therapeutic CBD + Adaptogen Teas. Each serving contains 20mg of high quality, full spectrum, hemp CBD for excellent anti-inflammatory and nervous system support. CBD + Adaptogen formulations are designed to support performance recovery, mobility & movement and sleep. They also have three formulations of Green Tea + Adaptogens that are excellent to support peak performance during the day. The Tea Lounge 268 Piccadilly Street, London 519-601-TEAS (8327)

Shampoo + Conditioner Gift Pack by LA SOURCE Essentielle, at Studio H Artist Group

Heather ­Wenman, a National Ambassador for L’Oréal ­Professionnel ­Canada, is CEO of ­Studio H Artist Group — “London’s sustainable salon, barber & spa who cares” — leading a talented team that’s proudly conscientious of the environment while helping their clients look and be their best. Studio H uses ammonia-free and non-perfumed colour and styling products and is now offering 20% off the L’Oréal Naturality line LA SOURCE ­Essentielle for sustainable gifting this holiday season. The Shampoo + Conditioner Gift Pack is now $58 (regular $74). Varying formulas are available, with 80–100% natural, high-quality ingredients. The eco-designed shampoo bottles are refillable in the salon, with an ­additional 20% off each refill for reducing plastics. Studio H Artist Group 140 Ann Street, Suite 106, London 519-709-4247

Jill’s Table Anniversary Food Box, at Jill’s Table

Jill’s Table offers a wide variety of specialty food items, kitchen gadgets, cookware, bakeware and fabulous cooking classes. As part of her store’s 20th year of operation, owner Jill Wilcox has created a unique holiday idea. The Jill’s Table Anniversary Food Box is “a gift box for food lovers!” Each box offers a unique assortment of products from around the world, some that aren’t always available in the store. Jill has sourced items from their country of origin, often working with small, family-owned companies. The initial box will be available for pick-up in the store until December 24. You can also subscribe to Jill’s Food Subscription Series which includes three boxes. Pick up your first box by Christmas Eve. The other two boxes will be delivered in March and June 2020 directly to your home (Delivery is included and currently only available within London city limits. Quantities are limited. First Box is $89.99. Subscription for 3 boxes is $299.99. Jill’s Table 115 King Street, London 519-645-1335

Haversack Knife Rolls, at Haversack Leather Goods

Knife Roll opened

Haversack Leather Goods proprietor Natalie Crittenden does a great deal of custom work but also makes a wide variety of extraordinary products available for purchase, including motorcycle accessories, leather purses, bags, wallets and more. Married to a chef, she has designed and created inspired products for anyone who loves to cook. Haversack Knife Rolls come in many colours and materials including canvas or waxed canvas, as well as luxurious and sturdy leathers. This is a great way to safely transport precious tools to the cottage, boat, vacation rental or a professional kitchen. Haversack goods are made in Canada and built to last. Prices start at $99.  Haversack Leather Goods 159 King Street South, St. Marys

Almanac 2019 Imperial Stout, at Cowbell Brewing Co.

Toast the holiday season with Cowbell Brewing Co.’s Almanac 2019 Imperial Stout. Almanac is luscious and ­delicious, showing off notes of roasted malt, espresso, chocolate, molasses and a hint of fudge and dark fruit complexity, making it the perfect complement to any holiday gathering. Get 10% off purchases online using the discount code EatDrink10.(code valid until December 31, 2019). Cowbell Brewing Co. 40035 Blyth Rd, Blyth 1-844-523-4724

Anderson Crew Neck Sweater, at Anderson Craft Ales

Anderson Craft Ales is offering an incredibly soft crew neck sweater that became an instant favourite around the brewery. The black-on-black logo across the front of the high neck, cotton blend sweater is subtle but neatly identifies the wearer as an Anderson supporter. Package this with a special bottle or six pack for the craft beer fan on your list. Sweater $35  Anderson Craft Ales 1030 Elias Street, London 548-888-ALES (2537)

A gift certificate from a unique store or a fabulous local restaurant can be a reflection of your good taste and the interests of the recipient. They are available from most businesses, in denominations that fit your budget.


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The Editors