Everything you need to know about food and drink in Liverpool.


The A-Z Liverpool Gift Guide 2020

It's one thing to have the intention of supporting small businesses at Christmas time but when the festive season rolls around and everything descends into madness it's all too easy to grab the first thing you come across in the Asda, stick a bow on it and call it a day (guilty and not sorry). 

To make it a bit easier to shop small this Christmas I've put together a list of local, independent Liverpool businesses, makers, bakers and sellers to inspire your shopping. Not only will you be supporting the local economy but you've got the opportunity to get something handmade, unique, personalised and sent with loads of love.

(Side note: I started this list pre-lockdown 2.0 so some of these shops may not be open to visit in person at the moment but hopefully they will be soon! Shopping small can understandably be a bit pricier so just want to add that if you're struggling this Christmas there's nothing wrong at all with shopping wherever you can or skipping the gifts altogether this year. As our big green friend The Grinch once discovered: this time of year is about friends, family and good vibes- the presents are just the cherry on top.)

With all that said....let's get started.

A is for Artists

If there's one thing guaranteed to brighten up your living situation it's a framed picture from one of Liverpool's many incredible artists and designers. For dreamy images of the city I've purchased loads already from Helen Louise Design, for colourful, quirky images that can be personalised to include you and your mates Jess Hanko Art is your gal and, known for her iconic murals dotted across the city, Jazz Stan is now selling full sized originals on canvas. See also: Sean Webster illustrations.




B is for Beer

We're spoilt for choice when it comes to local breweries around here. Love Lane Brewery produce bottles from the Baltic,  Handyman Supermarket on Smithdown Road will send you a full keg of the stuff or you can mix and match cans with a same-day delivery from Shindigger. Glen Affric is Birkenhead based and known for its cool cans and interesting flavours whilst the Liverpool Brewing Company is tad more traditional with a range of real ales, premium lagers, and craft beers. 




C is for Candles

Owen Drew is probably the most well-known name for candles around here but there are loads of other local makers now getting whimsical with wax. Jess from To The Moon makes gorgeous candles with a beautiful backstory and Willow and Blossom make eco-friendly soy candles. If you fancy your candles with a touch of comedy there's Eddie Fortune who makes candles in scents such 'Karen', 'Lemo' and 'Penis Pride'. I'll leave you to find out what that smells like...




D is for Deli

Which in my book is a word short for deeeelicious. For edible gifts, hampers, spices, sauces and all the rest, shopping from an independent deli will give a touch of class to your gift baskets. Of course there is the fabulous Delifonseca Dockside which stocks a huge range of produce, gifts and wine along with Lunya for Spanish snacks and A Tavola for all things Italian. All of the above now offer online ordering, too.




E is for Enamel

Do I have anywhere to put badges? Absolutely not. Am I obsessed with how gorgeous they are and will end up buying them anyway? You bet. Liverpool designers Liz Harry and Amy from Pinhead not only hand-make a huge range of enamel pins they also sell cards, prints and other fun gifty bits. If you're anything like me you won't be able to resist.



F is for Fashion

Check out Gemma Hill Designs for luxury lingerie and sleepwear, Cordelia Street for quirky, unisex fashion and Petrichor Pieces for handmade crochet and knitwear that is adorable and perfect for any little'uns in your life. Enola make really cool headbands, facemasks and accessories and Nuova Apparel make their own printed tees and hoodies.




G is for Gin

The demand for gin seems to have exploded over the past few years and the juniper based tipple that my mother will only refer to as 'mother's ruin' seems to be holding on defiantly to it's new found popularity. Fortunately, in my opinion Liverpool produce some of the absolute best gins around. There is the fabulous Liverpool Gin who also offer tours and tastings at their city-centre distillery. There's also Turncoat Gin, a Liverpool owned brand who have a newly opened bar at the Docks and our very own ScouseBird has even launched her own version. See also: Three Graces Rose Gin, Wirral based Tappers and Ginsmiths of Liverpool.




H is for Home Decor

A touch of effortless cool for your home or the home of your mates- handmade, unique and bound to impress. See East St Concrete for concrete pots, planters, clocks and mugs, Tassel and Twine Designs for stunning macrame wall hangings and planters or if that's not your thing then try Scouse Shop for the Scousest mugs you've ever seen.




I is for Independent Gift Shops

If you prefer to buy in person rather than online there are a number of fab little gift shops dotted all over the city. Probably best known is Utility with two locations in the city centre, The Nest down at the docks sells range of bits from local makers and designers and Voglio in Allerton is home to the Liverpool Gift Company. There's Crescent in Maghull who stock a range of luxury fragrances and bath bombs whilst the Scouse Bird Shop has almost every gift you can imagine with, of course, an added Scouse twist. Of course, all of the above all have websites so you can still shop with them during the lockdown.

See also: Childwall Emporium, Larks of Lark Lane, it's neighbour Freida Mo's and the brilliant Merseymade.




                                                                  J is for Jewellery

I'm not sure how many more pairs of Aloe Earrings I can justify buying so it's a good job I've discovered the ones they sell at Clay Crap which are every bit as weird and wonderful as you'd imagine from the name. This Material Culture make affordable hand-made jewellery inspired by different countries whereas A&M Diggle can create pricier, bespoke pieces to your exacting specifications. Lost Cosmos also shouldn't be missed and sells a range of jewellery with a spiritual side combining crystals with one-off pieces to help you 're-discover the magic within'.




K is for Kitchen

If you're buying a gift for somebody that's dying to release their inner Nigella then a cooking class with a local culinary hero could be a fabulous gift experience to hold on to until post-Covid times. My all time favourite is a pasta-making workshop with Paola at Flour Will Fly but the Baltic Pizza Company will have you howling with laughter if you book one of their pizza parties. Keep an eye on the award-winning Room Forty for their 2020 bread baking workshops (or order one of their vintage afternoon teas in the meantime).

For cooking in the comfort of your own home there's also loads of places doing dine-at-home meal kits now including The Art School,  Dine at Home Club from Delifonseca and Elite Bistro at Home (from the people behind Wreckfish) though you'd obviously have to time this right for gift-giving purposes!




L is for Loose Leaf (aka tea...and coffee too)

You already know my first suggestion for brew lovers is going to be Leaf- with three cafes now open along with their two sister venues you can buy each of their loose leaf blends in person or online (there's 58 to choose from). There's also the Liverpool Tea Warehouse who stock an A-Z of pretty packaged tea leaves from around the world- owned by the director of Liverpool Distillery and the Bombed out Church.

Coffee-lovers have plenty to choose from too. You'll find cups of Neighbourhood coffee all over the city along with local faves Crosby Coffee and 92 Degrees who roast their own beans to create their own distinctive blend. A bag of fresh beans, an aeropress, cafetiere or coffee grinder would make a fab gift for anyone missing their favourite coffee shop.




M is for Meet the Makers

Check out Allie Josie Studio for fabulous 70's inspired punch-needling and her equally talented mum at The Hippie Rose for sustainable bags, face masks and accessories. Kate Chesters makes all sorts of wonderful home pieces like chopping boards and placemats with resin and Mamie Makes creates personalised gifts from leather. 

Whilst we're here I'll also be cheeky and share my little lockdown project - That Sew Liverpool- I make hand-embroidered and completely personalised tote bags, hoops and baubles.







N is for Nails

Lockdown seems to be scuppering a lot of things at the moment not least our nail appointments. Katie, the super talented creator of Nail Weapon has started selling the most amazing press-on nails that will give anyone a salon perfect set of falsies from the safety of their own living room. Alternatively, a voucher for their favourite nail bar will not only support the business through the winter but give your 'giftee' a little pamper to look forward to.




O is for Other Booze

Yep that's right, alcohol has somehow managed to occupy three slots on this list so if gin or beer isn't going to cut it there are plenty more options for you to choose from. The prins in your life will love the skinny pink fizz from Think Wine Group or there's Lost Dock Spiced Rum for something a little stronger. You can get pre-made cocktails from Abditory or have your favourites delivered to your front door by The Boozy Pantry or Idle Hands.




P is for Plants

If you've got a morning spare I'd fully recommend a walk around A Slower Space which is full of unusual plants, vases, and ceramics though they're offering click and collect from their Penny Lane store at the moment.  You'd have to have a will-power of steel to walk out of Root Houseplants without anything in your arms so it's probably a good job it's online shopping only at the moment, the same can be said for Mary Mary Florals who are all about beautiful bunches of seasonal, dried flowers- the perfect gift for anybody that struggles to keep a cactus alive.




Q is for Quirky

...and I'll guess you won't find a quirkier gift than tickets to The Quirky Quarter on Duke Street. Other more 'unusual' gift ideas include locking people in a room and making them escape it at Breakout or Escape Hunt, sending your loved ones paddle boarding around the Albert Docks, playing games in virtual reality at VR-Here,  a city-wide film walking tour with Gary at Reel Tours or axe-throwing at the new Hatchet Harry's.

*Please check how each of these businesses are operating during Covid before purchasing.




R is for Reading

You'll have to give me a slap on the wrist next time you see me with stacks of Amazon parcels because it turns out we have loads more independent book shops in Liverpool than I'd realised.  I reckon a good book is one of the best gifts you can give. Whether it's one you've read and loved, a cook book, a travel guide or a children's book it's a super thoughtful and personal way to show somebody you're thinking about them. Reid of Liverpool, Henry Bohn books and Kernahan books are the perfect oldie-worldie browsing spots if lockdown ends, Write Blend have coffee at the ready for your visit and if it all goes to shit,  News from Nowhere have a huge range of their subversive, alternative books available to purchase online. There's also the Scouse Mouse book which is a lovely pressie if you're shopping for kids.

For something more specific try shopping on Hive or Bookshop- both big websites like Amazon but with the option to give back with a portion (or all) of the profits being sent to a local bookshop of your choice. 




S is for Snapshots

Much like the artwork there are loads of Liverpool-based photographers that manage to capture the city at its best- just add a nice frame and you've the perfect gift for you or anyone you love. Personally I love the photos from Lens Liverpool, Geoff Drake and Dave Wood- all of which can be purchased as prints, postcards or canvases.




T is for Treat Yo' Self

Hold tight because this one's going to be a long one! I have eaten stuff from nearly all of these people because I'm greedy and have no self control and fully recommend each and every one of them for cakes, brownies, cookies, chocolates, grazing boxes and so on. I can't be more specific about what they do because I'd be here until after the New Year so just have a little browse through to see what takes your fancy.

Laura's Little Bakery, TS Liverpool, Desserts by Dre, Mon Petit Choux, The Cookie Yard, Bakemyday, Caras Bakery, Tocky Chocky, The Donut Box, Tilly WonkaGrazing with the Joneses, Baked by Emmie Lou, The Nakery, Liverpool Cheesecake Company, Kozani's Kitchen, Yumtious Treats, Oh Crumbs, Joyberries, AmysCupcakes, Ullet Rd Bakesale.







U is for Unique Christmas Cards

You're bound to find good Christmas cards in almost all of the independent shops I mentioned earlier but there were a few more specific card-makers I liked the look of including those from Crafty Galore Ciara, Jenny Gavin Illustrations , Red Button Press and this Alison Butler multipack.




V is for Vouchers
I mean...this is probably the most obvious answer to shopping at the moment. Buying somebody a voucher for somewhere they love gives them the option of choosing exactly what they want. A voucher for their favourite coffee shop, a voucher for their favourite restaurant to use after lockdown, a voucher for a gift experience or day out or even just a gift shop voucher if you can't decide. Nearly everywhere will do you a gift voucher if you ask so the options are endless but I'll pop a couple of ideas below. Don't forget about the Independent Liverpool Card that gives the owner a year's worth of discounts at indie places all over the city.




W is for Wine

There's obviously loads of wine available from the delis I mentioned earlier but you can also pick up a bottle from some some Liverpool's most well-loved wine bars and restaurants. Think Bunch Wine Bar, Ropes and Twines, Belzan, and R&H Fine Wines for a range of completely unique and handpicked bottles with staff who will happily help you choose a good one if you drop them a message and ask very nicely.




X is for Wax Melts

There's that many places sending handmade wax melts at the moment I thought they needed their own category rather than lumping them in with the candles. Businesses that you guys recommended to me include ScentameltsBabyandMeMelts, Sunshine Soul , FayeMay Candle Co, Strawberry Moon and The Wax Melts.




Y is for Yuletide Deliveries

OK so this a bit of a tenuous link but when it comes to finding stuff for each letter of the alphabet it's harder than it seems y'know*? Anyway the good folks behind LIDS and Good Liverpool stock a range of different Liverpool suppliers covering everything from sweets, hampers, food, booze and gifts along with the option to make charitable donations to Liverpool food banks whilst you're shopping.

*Anybody who has read my now slightly outdated A-Z of Liverpool Burgers or Pizzas can vouch for this.






Z is for ZZzZzZ

The gift that everyone needs this Christmas..a bit of bloody rest. Book Jade at Graceful Aura for a massage in the comfort of your own home or for when we're allowed to venture out I'd also recommend The Cottage, Maya Blue or a trip to Float Planet. Whilst we're on the topic of Rest and Relaxation, Liverpool-owned wellness brand Plathaya sell a range of natural, CBD infused products to calm the mind and the body and Toil and Trouble sell a range of clean, cruelty free skincare. 




That's it- we're at the end! If I've missed anybody out leave a message in the comments so others can find them.

Happy Shopping!

Becky xxx

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