Kent Life gift guide: local Christmas presents

PUBLISHED: 14:54 05 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:55 05 December 2016

Be inspired with our Kentish Christmas gift guide (Thinkstock)

Be inspired with our Kentish Christmas gift guide (Thinkstock)

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‘Buying local’ can range from food and drink for your festive table to gifts for the whole family. So make sure to shop in Kent this Christmas

Hand-made hampers

If you’re thinking of buying a hamper for friends or family, head for the home of our 2016 Food & Drink Hero, Julian Barnes, the MD of Biddenden Vineyards. Choose from a selection of ready made hampers and gift boxes or fill them with your choice of products from around the shop. Pictured is Gribble Bridge Sparkling Rosé hamper, £40, which includes: Biddenden Gribble Bridge Sparkling Rosé 2012, Vineyard Honey, Wooden Spoon, Wye Strawberry Jam, can be ordered online at

● The Christmas shop is open at the vineyard, down Gribble Bridge Lane, 10am-5pm Mon-Sat and 11am-5pm on Sunday, until Christmas Eve

● Customise your own hamper with a difference from the delicious range of Italian produce stocked in popular Wealden restaurant, La Cantina Di Tenterden. Gift vouchers are also available,

Biddenden Vineyards hamperBiddenden Vineyards hamper

Off the rails

Treat a loved one to an annual membership to the Hornby Visitor Centre in Margate. Prices start from just £15 and it’s open all year. The centre also has train sets, Scalextric, Corgi and Airfix on sale in the shop,


Kentish Sea Fencibles

The e-book version of Nelson-era naval fiction book The Normandy Privateer (largely set in Kent) has just been published by Endeavour Press and is now available on Amazon as an e-book and a paperback. The author, David McDine OBE, is a former Deputy Lieutenant of Kent and a former Royal Navy Reserve officer and Admiralty information officer. He is also the author of Unconquered: The Story of Kent and its Lieutenancy. This book features the adventures and antics of the little-known Kentish Sea Fencibles, who were a kind of Napoleonic era ‘Dad’s Navy.’ A rollicking good read for Christmas,

The Normandy PrivateerThe Normandy Privateer

Merrily on high

The Choir of Canterbury Cathedral has recorded a new CD, a Christmas musical celebration including contemporary arrangements alongside some more familiar carols. Christmas Night features 18 tracks with favourites such as the Coventry Carol, Sussex Carol and Ding Dong! merrily on high and more recent compositions Winter’s Wait by James Whitbourn and Ola Gjeilo’s O Magnum Mysterium. Cathedral Organist David Flood directed the Choir for the CD, which costs £12.50 and is available from the Cathedral shop in Burgate or online (see below). All profits made by the shop go towards the upkeep and conservation of the Cathedral,

Christmas NightChristmas Night

Eating out

Treat your friends and family to a meal at Canterbury’s most Christmassy pub and Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Pub of the Year 2016 award winner, The Tyler’s Kiln. Gift vouchers available for any value,

The Tyler's KilnThe Tyler's Kiln

For the home

You may associate a trip to Lenleys in Roper Road, Canterbury with a major purchase such as a new sofa, but you can also buy attractive accessories for your home too – such as this very Kentish Spitfire Fighter Plane, £599. Kent Life was also rather taken with a handsome lion bust sculpture at £219,


Cosy up

For those of you lucky enough to have an open fire or wood burner, you’re going to want to treat yourself to one of these sturdy log baskets, from just £20 at Fireplace & Stone Centre, Canterbury Road, Birchington,

Fireplace & Stone Centre, BirchingtonFireplace & Stone Centre, Birchington


Flash a stylish and warm ankle in these snazzy Bloomin’ Good Socks, £6, available at Fenwick Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells,


Toys are very us

Computer games and Playstations are all very well, but you can’t cuddle them – your younger children or grandchildren will love this Jellycat Bashful Monkey and Bashful Bunny, both £26, or a Bashful Bunny Star Musical pull, £22, all from the toy department at Fenwick Canterbury,


Head first

Keep the cold out with this gorgeous pom pom hat, £40, from Cashara in Tenterden,


Gift vouchers

Dreamland Gift Membership

It’s not just for Christmas – this is the gift that last for a whole year. From as little as £25 there are peak and off-peak options available for all Dreamland annual memberships, which include the new Octopus Garden and Roller Disco membership. Benefits range from unlimited ride wristbands for park members, priority booking and discounts off many events,


Lower Hardres Farm Shop

Lower Hardres, winner of the Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Farm Shop of the Year, is offering gift vouchers for its award-winning local produce, including meats from its own butchery, fruit and vegetables, local cheeses, bread, milk and specialist sweet and savoury products,

Farmers’ Markets

Don’t forget to visit Kent’s wonderful Farmers’ Markets for a wide selection of local produce and crafts. Find out more at: or on Twitter @mfarmersmarket

More from Christmas

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Kent Life spends a festive morning with Christmas Bake Off star Jane Beedle in her Faversham home. Article first published in Dec 2019

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