Treat the foodies in your life this festive season. We’ve put together a list of Argyll food and drink products that will make wonderful Christmas gifts. Not only are they utterly delicious and indulgent, but they’re hand made by local people who are passionate about their products. Argyll is home to an amazing community of artisan makers, producing everything from sweet treats to alcoholic tipples. This festive season avoid the crowds and enjoy Christmas shopping for chocolates, gin, coffee and more in Argyll.
Christmas isn’t Christmas without chocolate and Argyll is home to some seriously talented chocolatiers. The Oban Chocolate Company produces a mouth-watering array of chocolates. Pop into their café in Oban, treat yourself to a rich hot chocolate and then browse the selection of delicious chocolates in the shop. Check out the Christmas chocolate bars and other seasonal treats! Other Argyll chocolate makers include Tobermory Chocolates and Caramiche Chocolaterie.
On a more savoury note, smoked seafood is a great festive gift. Did you know that Argyll has over ten smokehouses? Try Skipness Smokehouse, Luss Smokehouse, Inverawe Smokehouse, The Tobermory Fish Co, Ritchie’s of Rothesay, Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, Murray Smoked Products and Kintyre Smokehouse. Or for something completely different, why not give Smoked Gigha Halibut a go? At Inverawe Smokehouse, you can drop in and build your own hamper. Select a basket and then add the smoked seafood products you fancy!
There’s a growing speciality coffee scene in Argyll, with three speciality coffee roasters in the region. Home Ground, Argyll Coffee Roasters and Hinba Coffee Roasters all produce a fabulous selection of single origin coffees and blends. Check out the Christmas Cracker festive blend from Argyll Coffee Roasters, which any coffee lover would love to unwrap on Christmas morning. Argyll Coffee Roasters also does a gift coffee subscription.
Pay a visit to Fyne Ales Brewery to pick up a selection of modern British beers. The brewery sits at the head of Loch Fyne in a glorious location. You can join a brewery visit and then buy a range of bottled ales and mini casks at the shop. Islay Ales produces a range of award-winning ales. If you want a beer that’s distinctly Islay, then order a pint of Kilchoman Dark or Kilchoman Pale. Both use malted barley direct from Kilchoman Distillery to give the beer a smoky, peaty taste.
Gin-gle bells! Small batch gin is all the rage this festive season and there are several gin distilleries in Argyll. Kintyre Gin is made by the at Beinn an Tuirc Distillery, based in a former piggery building on Torrisdale Castle Estate in Kintyre. There are lots of other small batch gins made in Argyll including Bruichladdich’s The Botanist, Colonsay Gin, Wild Island Gin, Lussa Gin, Tyree Gin and Whitetail Gin.
Islay Wines is a small company run by husband and wife team, Kenneth and Helen Carter. They’ve created five unique wines, made and bottled on Islay. These fruit wines are delicious! Try Bramble Mor; the flavour of ripe brambles will complement venison or indeed a good blue cheese on Christmas Day. You can drop in and sample the wines before buying.
Shortbread & Tablet
Shortbread and tablet are two traditional Scottish favourites. Chrystal’s Shortbread is a small independent bakery based near Loch Lomond in Argyll. Run by husband and wife Chrystal and Rory Mackinlay, they make the most delicious, buttery shortbread – the perfect treat to enjoy on Christmas Day. An Gleann Tablet on Islay and the Scottish Tablet Company in Kintyre both make tasty tablet.
Look out for local honey across Argyll. Isle of Colonsay Wildflower Honey is completely unique. Colonsay is one of the last places in Europe where the Native Black Bee can be found; it is now protected with reserve status by the Scottish Government to prevent cross-breeding. The honey itself has a wonderful aroma, reflecting the island’s flora.
You can buy online from many of these producers and they’ll deliver directly to your door. You could also check out the Christmas markets taking place across Argyll. Meet the producers and buy their produce. There are also delis and farm shops across Argyll where you can pick up an amazing range of local produce. Check out Taste of Argyll shop and Food From Argyll at The Pier in Oban, Kintyre Larder in Campbeltown, Argyll Vintners and Kents in Dunoon and Achnashelloch Farm Shop near Lochgilphead, amongst others.
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