12 of my favourite gift ideas for guys
Do you find it incredibly hard to buy for the men in your life. Especially those who have everything they want and would be happy with a bag of Percy Pigs (that’ll be me then!)
I thought I’d issue of my own personal list of favourite things that I use or do throughout the year. It’s almost like the Oprah Winfrey list of her favourite things!
It’s a bit of a mixture of local brands and international brands which I love for various reasons, but maybe you’ll be inspired to try them out.
Skin care regime
Local – Jason Shankey products
I love the Jason Shankey men’s collection and it’s a staple in my bathroom cabinet these days, mainly because it smells so awesome. With hair paste, moisturisers, exfoliating face and hair scrubs, beard oil and After Glow, their eau de toilette, and shampoo, available either individually or in luxuriously packaged gift boxes. These great quality and awesome smelling products not only support local, but they are super value with everything at under £10 each except AfterGlow which is £29.95 and shampoo at £12.95
I have been known to be in the Belfast store and sell my favourite products to other customers looking for ideas. I just love the freshness of their Energising facewash and moisturiser. They aren’t the cheapest of products, but very much worth it, and they last for ages. I bought a large facewash bottle over a year ago and I’m still using it daily.
Next up it’s all about the chocolate, don’t believe the myth that chocolate is a women’s thing, I love it! And how amazing to have a world class chocolatier right here in Belfast
Local – CoCouture
For those of you who follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you’ll already know how often I visit CoCouture. I didn’t go for a month or so this summer and when I did go back I realised I’ll never do that again. Deirdre, the boss, is a delightful sweet chocolatier who has the best hot chocolate and creative award winning chocolates in the country!
International – Hotel Chocolate
It’s sweeter than CoCouture, but I love their little packets of 6 chocolates for quick ‘grab and go’ treats. And for a tip, if you pop in and hang around browsing, someone usually appears with some chocolate on a tray for you to try. And, you’ll always get reduced price treats after the key chocolate events like Valentines, Easter, Christmas etc.
Reading used to be a big thing for me, but when I do read these days, I love it and always vow to start reading more again. Two books I’ve read and really enjoyed this year are:
My summer holiday read: Half Irish by Peter Waugh.
I just loved this local author’s first book and had a great time reading it while on holiday during the Summer. Check out the review here.
Quick read: The Blackie Boys
Another local author with a great first book with a short story about kids growing up in Belfast. It’s a short read, but a great one! Read more about the book and author here.
So maybe a gift voucher for Easons, Waterstones or what about Alibi bookstore?
Coffee shop vouchers
Coffee isn’t really my thing, I’m more a green tea or a frappuccino kind of person. But I have been on a few coffee tasting classes, and they both happen to be in my most frequented places to go to in the City. Ground Espresso in the Next store and Starbucks at Victoria Square.
The former, Ground Espresso, because it’s a great local coffee shop with lots of creative drinks to suit each season with the most amazing brownies!
The latter, Starbucks at Victoria Square, because it was the closest to my work and I don’t need cash, just my Starbucks app on my phone. And I like their ham and cheese pannini’s and cooling frappuccino. On my Starbucks coffee masterclass, I did actually like the Kenyan coffee, oh and of course they spoilt us with Xmas treats.
Now these are always a great gift, a voucher for a restaurant he hasn’t been to before, or one that he loves.
For me the vouchers of choice would have to be for Deanes Vin du cafe, The Guillemot in Bangor, The Fitzwilliam Restaurant, The Ava in Bangor, Birdcage at Stranmillis and some newcomers to Belfast, Kua Aina and Tedfords Kitchen. There are so many great places to eat in the city I could be here all night listing them!
It’s not just ladies who do afternoon tea, and if it is, then the guys need to get out and enjoy them more. I recently enjoyed a superb Christmas Afternoon Tea in the Culloden Resort and Spa, and have had an equally luxurious experience in the Merchant Hotel. If you are looking for other ideas for a ‘posh’ treat of Afternoon Tea, then check out one of my most popular blog posts this year here.
Mount Stewart and The Giant’s Causeway (in winter!) are two of my favourite places. I can frequently be found roaming around the gardens of Mount Stewart trying out their 50 things to do, and yes that’s aimed at kids, but why not try them, it’s good for the mind to escape and have fun. So a National Trust membership is a super gift if he appreciates the outdoors and beautifully looked after places.
A night at the theatre is the perfect escapism where you can be transported into another world. Nights out at the Grand Opera House, the Lyric Theatre or The Mac are always an experience.
The Opera House has a great mix of the big shows and touring productions to entertain the big crowds.
Then there’s the Mac, with quirky, arty and off the wall productions which push minds and boundaries.
So tickets for a night at the theatre to try something different is always a great gift.
I good this helps a little in your gift buying dilemma!