As Christmas draws near, the time has come to start conjuring up creative gift ideas. In the hope that See-You-Jimmy hats, copies of Braveheart, and kilt aprons are miraculously sold out, Culture Trip has put together a dream list of items for those obsessed with Scotland. Festive or not, you can’t live without them.
If the real McCoy isn’t feasible, then why not settle for Scottie dog everything? An adorable home accent, this wooden Scottie dog ornament is a hipster take on the traditional canine-inspired cushions. Not just any old ornament, this pooch comes with a choice of Scottish maps and personalised engravings too.
Any Scotland native will remember Aileen Paterson’s children’s book series documenting the adventures of Maisie MacKenzie from Morningside. Lothian Buses certainly do, as the wee kitten’s face is printed on the Number 5 bus in Edinburgh. Nowadays, Maisie would be quite the Culture Tripper, with her endless sense of adventure, tours of Scotland and the rest of the world. Embark on a welcomed blast from the past and give that loved one a trip down memory lane. Perfect for kids and ‘bigger kids’ too.
In Scotland, you don’t have to look far to find a Nessie-themed something. Although a high-resolution photo or personalized meeting with the Scottish denizen of the deep would be ideal, put cryptozoology missions on hold and opt for a soup ladle. The hilarity when Nessie’s head pops out of your hearty liquid lunch will never get old.
When in Rome. The rule of thumb generally goes that every Scottish enthusiast must have at least one tartan item of clothing. A scarf is a bonnie start. Grab any from Marchbrae and you simply can’t go wrong. From Black Watch and Buchanan, to Stewart and Wallace, choose your clan and roll with it – you will fit in like a haggis on Burns night.
Are you a true Scotsman? Newsflash – kilts don’t always have to be tartan. Take a leaf out of Marc Jacob’s book; put the tartan on hold for just a moment and transition into the 21st century with a custom bespoke kilt by Edinburgh designer Howie Nicholsby. From leather and pinstripe, to tweed, gold-and purple-denim and camouflage, book an appointment and prepare to resemble a Scottish rock star.
One touch of cashmere and you will never look back! Johnstons of Elgin is renowned as one of the best cashmere houses in Scotland. Although pricey, this soft, silky fabric makes any cold day all the more better. Add some gloves (knitted in Hawick) from the Essentials Collection and choose from a kaleidoscope of colours.
Ah, Christopher Kane – one of Scotland’s many jewels. This fashion designer extraordinaire never fails to turn heads, and has made quite the lasting impression within the international high fashion scene. The structured tailoring, sharp angular lines and Scottish influences make this guy a triple threat. Grab one of this season’s Kane sweaters with the signature ‘K’ or opt for the arty prints from previous seasons as part of the 10 Capsule Collection. Fashion enthusiasts will think it the gift of the year.
The Scots lap up tea just as much as whisky. For hardcore tea enthusiasts, a sip of the Dalreoch White Scottish Tea from Fortnum & Mason is a dream present. With notes of honey, the subtle fruity aroma, and slight nuttiness from the peach stone, consider it a perfect all-day kind of tea. It comes from Dalreoch Farm Estate in the Highlands – the first ever Scottish tea plantation. The taste is worth the price.
Whether for yourself or a loved one, book a stay at Croft 103. Draft the mandatory ‘Gone Fishing’ note and start gravitating towards Loch Eriboll near Durness in North West Sutherland. Resembling an abode from a Bond film, this luxurious but and ben is more chic and less ‘roughing it’. Expect stunning surroundings, bespoke furnishings, state of the art everything, and a permanent dropping jaw.
Price: from £1,500 per week
Aside from a kilt, the quintessential gift for those obsessed with Scotland is undeniably a good bottle of whisky. Like art, it is hard to define the ‘best whisky’ due to personal preferences. If the award-winning 1989 Vintage Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Old Pulteney is out of the price range, perhaps opt for the 12 Year Old Malt. The deep amber red golden hues, copper glow, hints of green apple and toffee, and slight sherry note make this one a firecracker.
With names like Hendricks and The Botanist, Scotland has been sweeping the gin stakes for quite some time now. Edinburgh Gin is a grand choice for those with a penchant for excellent gins. Shake things up and try the Edinburgh Raspberry Gin Liqueur. Refreshing, sweet, fun and crisp, ordering barrels of the stuff is advised for good times all round.
Although candles are a trusty last-minute gift idea, there is always that fear of whether the ‘giftee’ will approve of the aroma. Candles are personal. However, you can’t go wrong with a candle from the Isle of Skye. The Heather and Wild Berries flavour from the Scottish range is a prime pick and the perfect way to savour a scent of Scotland wherever you are.
Emphasise that silence is golden during your morning coffee or make a statement in the office. Every Scottish enthusiast needs an ironic and funny mug. A pure barry banter starter, take your pick from a plethora of sayings. ‘Haud yer wheesht’ is a good start.
For the Culture Trippers with a keen eye for photography, a camera bag from Harris Tweed is a braw way of expressing your love of Scotland (while looking the epitome of hip of course). More of a legacy and less of a brand, Harris Tweed has been going strong for centuries.
For nights that call for staying in and binge watching a series, Outlander is just the show. Transport yourself back to 1743 Scotland, where war and Highland clans were rife, and prepare to be mesmerised by the happenings. From the tartan and scenery, to clans and social dynamics, an iTunes voucher for this cracker is a must.
Some may say that a true Scotsman is one who goes commando under a kilt. Although there is truth to every tale, it is safe to say that the more realistic way of telling a true Scot is the amount of Irn-Bru they consume. Straightforward and to the point, buy a case and happiness is guaranteed.
One of Scotland’s great writers, Nan Shepherd is a must for any Culture Tripper with an affinity for the outdoors. Those who like things short but sweet will love her selection of poems In The Cairngorms. However, The Living Mountain: A Celebration Of The Cairngorm Mountains Of Scotland is a must-read too. Poetic and philosophical, this book transports readers to the wildest depths of the most stunning parts of Scotland.
Adorable, quirky, and effortlessly cool, a hand-drawn Tunnock’s Teacake cushion by Gillian Kyle will melt the hearts of anyone (particularly those with a sweet tooth). Loved and celebrated by many Scots, Tunnock’s has been making the world a more delectable place since the 1800s. The perfect Scottish accent to any home.
That ineffable sensation of creamy, melt-in-the-mouth shortbread is second to none. Make those obsessed with Scotland happy and get them a giant tin of tartan-clad Walkers Shortbread. From Scottie dogs and the Outlander special tin, to a bagpiper, there are plenty to choose from.
The ultimate foodie gift, a food hamper overflowing with the most delicious produce straight from Scotland’s natural larder is a treat worth devouring. The Bairn is ideal for anyone with a hankering for sweets, the Scottish Cheese option is quite simply divine, and The Lomond won’t even last ten minutes. Those who prefer a liquid elixir must try the Scottish Beer Box.