Don’t Panic but there are only a few more shopping days until Christmas! Here are some of our top Christmas gift ideas for friends and family which all have a Truro or a Cornish link. You might recognise some of our roundup from previous posts.
It’s OK, we’ve got you covered!
(First posted 14 December 2015 – reposted 12 December 2016)
Fraser McAlpine – Stuff Brits Like
You might be familiar with Fraser’s album reviews on Jo Whiley’s Radio 2 show. He also writes for the BBC America blog Anglophenia which helps educate our American cousins in all things British, from Downton to Doctor Who. As a result, he’s written a fantastic book called ‘Stuff Brits Like‘. This could prove to be the perfect present for the Christmas holidays. Each of its short chapters can be picked up, read easily and will provide many topics of conversation over the requisite turkey sandwiches. If you’re wanting to promote good cheer among your various relations, you might choose chapters with titles like ‘Comedy’ or ‘Sheds’. If you’re wishing to lob a verbal hand grenade into the room you might choose chapter with titles like ‘Drawing Willies on things’ or ‘Arguing over what to call meals.’ You can tell Fraser is local as all of the photos have been taken in and around Truro.
John Ironmonger – Not Forgetting the Whale
John launched his book in Truro on 5th March, St Piran’s Day. Set in afictional Cornish coastal village ‘Not Forgetting the Whale’ is feel-good apocalyptic fable about a stranger who washes up on the beach. A modern day re-telling of the Biblical story of Jonah, this book has at its heart the importance of community. I’m not the greatest fiction reader in the world, but I pretty much read this in one weekend and found it uplifting and heart-warming. And that’s not something you can often say about the Apocalypse.
Nina Stibbe – Love Nina
Local Author, Nina Stibbe, has had much acclaim for her memoirs as a nanny in 80s North London. Banish all thoughts of nannies in starched uniforms dispensing syrup of figs to their charges; Nina was more likely to burn the toast, wonder what to do with turkey mince and let the boys play in skips. ‘Love Nina’ has not only become a best-seller but has also been adapted for television by Nick Hornby. The show, starring Helena Bonham-Carter and Jason Watkins will be screened on BBC in the Spring. Exciting times ahead for Nina!
Update 2016: We loved ‘Love Nina’ on the BBC! And Nina has two more books to choose from ‘Man at the Helm’ and ‘Paradise Lodge’ with another being written for 2017!
These Books are available from Waterstones in Truro
Words and your Heart – by Kate Neal
If you’ve got young children, you might enjoy this beautifully illustrated book by local author and artist Kate Neal. It might be the perfect present for teaching youngsters about the importance of kind words both for themselves and in their relationships. At the moment it’s available on Etsy and also (STOP PRESS!) from Hurley Books in Mevagissey
The Story Republic CD
The Story Republicans have become a familiar site in Truro over the past couple of years. Whether it’s song or spoken word, new or old, they’ve been popping up and entertaining us with their own brand of Cornish culture. Their CD (available on iTunes or on their website) is the ideal present for spreading a bit of Kernow magic to friends and family. It includes songs, stories and poems by authors such as Cornish favourite Charles Causley. Even better, you could catch them at Trelissick House until Christmas Eve and purchase a copy there. I’m sure they’d be only too happy to sign it for you there and then.
Sizzle Grills – Sweet Chestnut boards
Cast your mind back to the summer and our post about Cornish made Argentinian BBQ ‘The Sizzle Grill’. David has now turned his, very creative, hand to making the most beautiful boards or platters. Each one is individual, and can be ordered online, with the option of delivery or collection from The Cornish Food Box.
Another local company we blogged about in the Spring was Spiezia organics. This world class, edible (yes, really) skincare range is sublime. The cleanser, in particular, is an absolute hit and, in my opinion, will be hailed as a cult beauty product in 2016. The beautiful jewel-like colours of their product range look great in any bathroom and what’s more, you can buy them from Magpie & Fox.
If you’ve been to any of the local Christmas Fairs. you’d bound to have seen Alison’s brightly coloured stand. She’s had a busy year and her designs have proven really popular. I hear that the retro-surf design is near to being sold out – so if you’ve got your eye on one, I’d hurry up and grab one while you can.
When Illustrated Living asked local artist Diana to create a design for a place mat, little did they think that the range would end up including tea-towels and trays. You can now find these in other shops too, such is their popularity. Brilliant for friends and relatives far and wide, and perfect for the post too.
Philleigh Way Cookery School
We’re increasingly giving ‘experiences’ as presents and if you’re loved one like to cook, then perhaps a voucher for a cookery class at Philleigh Way might do the trick. Just the other side of the Fal from Trelissick, Philleigh Way has a great selection of courses with everything from Bakery to Bushcraft. Check on their website for more details. I sent Mr Secret Truro on a mission there in the summer with our teenage son and he came back with some wonderful pictures and a great story which you may remember. Hopefully, I’ll get there myself in the New Year.
How could I possibly miss out Tarquins Gin (and their pastis too). Marc and his team have been busy spreading the word about their artisanal spirits. I can tell you, it tastes mighty fine and the bottle is a joy to behold. Available from The Cornish Food Box.
Phew, we made it. Hope there’s at least a few ideas for you