If you’re searching for some really special Christmas gifts or treats, I’m pretty confident you’ll be able to find something at one of these two places.
I’m not a big one for Christmas gift guides on the blog (I’m just not that organised in real life so maybe I should try it over here) but I thought I’d mention a couple of special Harrogate-based brands of which I’m quite fond. I think they’re perfect for gifting at this time of year especially and while it’s nice to have them on my doorstep, I’m conscious that not everyone who reads this blog lives near me, so these two brands are also available online.
First up is Neom Organics. Yes they are actually based in my home town of Harrogate and it was great to see their first store outside London (there is a Wimbledon store too) open in the new Victoria centre, Leeds recently. I went along to the launch of the new shop and it is lovely to have a good sniff and a squirt of things like this, especially when they smell and feel so heavenly.
I’ve already blogged about how much of a fan I am of Neom’s Scent to Sleep range (you can read my review here) but there’s so much more to this range and some great gift packs are available to help you discover their best-selling, award-winning products; perfect for popping on your Christmas list or introducing your favourites to a friend/relative.A lot of people associate Neom with their candles (and they are pretty amazing). So perhaps one of the best ways to get to know them better is through their Scents of Christmas candle collection (above) – they smell divine! I think it’s hard to get the smell of Christmas just right (not too sweet or heady with spice and not so piney, it has a hint of loo cleaner about it) but these were spot on and the glass jars are decorated with 18ct gold and platinum, so it’s a real keeper and feels very special.
If you do get chance to pop into one of the stores, the wellbeing discovery bar is a must. By having a good sniff of four different smells and choosing which one you’re most drawn to at the time, you can determine what you’re in most need of the time such as scent to calm & relax, to make you happy, to energize or de-stress. And look at all those award-winning hero products (below) – quite impressive!
If in doubt, here are three products I’ve picked out, which I would either recommend or love to add to my wish list (see below). As I said earlier, a Neom candle is always a good way to go, so this 3-wick candle in Christmas Wish would be perfect for my mum. She doesn’t always have the energy to put up a lot of decorations these days, so anything that makes the house smell wonderfully festive is always a good thing.
Secondly, I am really intrigued by the Real Luxury Intensive Skin Treatment candle. Yes it’s a candle but also a skin treatment! The lavender, jasmine and Brazilian rosewood fragrance has a calming effect as it burns for a minimum of 30 mins and then you blow the candle out, wait 2 minutes for it to cool and then drizzle the warm oil over any part of your body that needs moisturisation. I love the gold-edged jug, which looks really luxurious and unique too.
And finally, whatever age and stage you’re at I think everyone desires a good night’s sleep so I can highly recommend Neom’s sleep programme, which really helped to relax and prepare me for sleep when I tried it. This kit contains everything you need to help you get the best night’s sleep including bath oil, pillow mist and sleep balm.
My second recommendation for a bit of festive shopping is Bettys (of course!). Hey I’m very proud of my Yorkshire heritage and when you get to look at these amazing Christmas windows, right on your doorstep each year, it’s impossible not to get a little excited about all the yummy treats on offer. In fact, I save myself for my first mince pie of the season and try to make it a Bettys one if I can as they’re just so good!I went along to the Bettys Christmas press day recently where they unveiled their new festive ranges. The real show-stopper this year is the lebkuchen gingerbread Swiss chalet house (a whole one as shown above will set you back £500). Inspired by Bettys Swiss heritage, individual iced houses cost £5.95 each and are so cute I might treat myself to one.
As always, there are some amazing gift ideas from Bettys at this time of year including their Christmas novelties range, which includes an iced gingerbread snowman and Father Christmas plus chocolate penguins and mice – perfect as stocking fillers. However, if you’d like to treat someone to one of Bettys more classic bestsellers, I’d recommend the following.
While there are some beautifully iced and decorated Christmas cakes available each year, for those that prefer their fruit cake quite traditional, try this Yorkshire Fruit Cake in a tin, topped with cherries and nuts. Bettys also do some amazing chocolates; again that Swiss heritage comes in very useful! So whether you like truffles or peppermint creams, there’s a good range to choose from including some really sophisticated favourites like Langues du Chat. If you fancy something quite festive, I like these Chocolate Desires, which look really pretty too.
And finally, Bettys is part of Taylors of Harrogate so as you’d expect, their tea and coffee is very special too. If you know someone who’s a fan of the tearoom experience but doesn’t live close enough to visit often, I think it’s nice to send a few treats including Bettys special tearoom blend tea, not least because the box/caddy is so pretty.
By the way, I was under no obligation to blog about this, I just thought I’d share the love for these two local brands, which I think are quite special and worth celebrating. Good luck with your Christmas shopping (I haven’t started yet!).