After last weeks post about the Christmas Fairs on Islay this week, as promised, more information on Online Islay Christmas Shopping. There are quite a lot of online shopping facilities on Islay, some with easy online shopping baskets, others with a manuel ordering system. In both cases there is time enough to discover everything Islay has to offer in terms of gifts for your family, friends and loved ones, oh and yourself or course! In this respect I like to repeat a phrase Becky Williamson used last year: Think Christmas - Think Islay! Unfortunately Persabus Pottery is no longer active online, the pottery itself is run, low profile, by Iomhar Fletcher while Arra Fletcher, his brother, has left Islay a couple of weeks ago to build a new future for himself and his fiancÃ© elsewhere. Below is a summary of online shopping facilities on Islay:
I have mentioned Made on Islay several times on this blog, including their markets and the new website. Lesley Lutomski, the lady who makes such beautiful candles and sells them online, has updated the Made on Islay website to show all the participants who sell their items at the Arts and Craft markets. Every participant is introduced on a separate page and there you can see what they make and how you can order their wonderful creations online, direct or by email/telephone. This is Islay's hidden shopping gem. Check this out and I'm sure you can find a nice Christmas gift here. There's no excuse left now so before you continue reading visit this website first, then come back :-)
Glad to see you back! Ailsa from Spirited Soaps in Bowmore opened her new online shop some weeks ago and offers a wide range of whisky soaps, special gift packs, creams, balms and other bathing and personal care products. You can visit her online shop at www.spiritedsoaps.com.
For those of you with a sweet tooth here is an ideal Christmas present. Check out Jane Mitchells An Glean Islay Tablet Shop for Islay whisky tablets flavoured with whisky from the island's distilleries as well as Jura's distillery. Jane created several Christmas specials and recently opened a new outlet in her own home between Port Charlotte and Portnahaven. Check out the all new An Gleann Islay Tablet Online Shop and website. Continue shopping.....
The Islay Quilters, as the name already says, manufacture and sell wonderful quality quilts. Their website is loaded with great examples of their fine hand-crafted quilts and other related products. For another type of fabric, tartan from Islay, have a look at the Islay Woollen Mill website which has an online shop with some very nice items such as find first class tartans, blankets, rugs and other products. Elizabeth Sykes has an extensive collection of Batiks for sale online with prints in several categories: Islay Distilleries, Scottish National Trust properties, flowers, (islay) landscapes and birds and flowers.
C&E Roy, The Celtic House, sells various Islay products online. The product range varies from books, glasswork, jewellery, t-shirts and prints. The site is updated at this moment and not yet everything is online but very much worth checking out! Mark Unsworth from Islay Studios Photography sells his beautiful pictures online. All prints are available mounted and framed. Mark also published his first book, "Islay Past and Present", which is a beautiful gift and for sale in the Islay Shop or through Mark's Website.
For Christmas Cards, other greeting cards and pictures, framed or unframed, have a look at Solus is Sith - Light and Peace, the online shop from Becky Williamson. Green Bug Productions designs and produces a range of high quality wildlife discovery packs for children which are fun, entertaining and are a nice idea for christmas. Teresa Morris from Islay Wildscapes sells Islay Seasonwatch and other Islay Wildscapes images in her online shop as well as Gaelic Christmas cards. The 2009 Ileach calendar is also for sale with a great selection of beautiful Islay Pictures. Visit www.ileach.co.uk for more information or send an email to email@example.com to order direct.
Now what would Christmas be without a special Islay Malt whisky? Have a look at Bruichladdich's Laddie Shop and you will find some very special whiskies. What about the First growth series or X4, the first quadrupled pot still distillation in 300 years or PC7 - The third expression of this new classic. And also available is Octomore - the most heavily peated whisky the world has ever seen. Plenty of choice here.
Ardbeg has a great online shop as well with, you guessed it, malt whiskies and other goodies such as scarves, caps, scarfs, fleeces and a great cycling shirt. But don't forget the nectar section, here you find the award winners! Start shopping at www.ardbeg.com
Same story at Bowmore, a wide range of superb whiskies, historic bottlings and special editions. And if whisky isn't your thing check out the accessoires section at the Bowmore online shop, everything from umbrella's, golf balls, clothing, glasses and water jugs. Don't hesitate and visit www.bowmore.co.uk
And what to think of Kilchoman, Islay's latest distillery? No different news here either. New spirit for sale online as well as branded gifts, clothing, tweeds and glassware. Have a look at eshop.kilchomandistillery.com.
Now for Laphroaig, another great online shop with fine whiskies. What to think of a 30 year old Cairdeas which is their special â€œfarewellâ€ to this multi gold award winning Laphroaig expression. Uniquely matured for a second time this final bottling is â€œthe best of the bestâ€. It will never appear in any shops and it's here for sale! The shop has more merchandise for sale and new is "The Legend of Laphroaig", A thorough, well-documented history of the famous Islay distillery at Laphroaig Bay, written in a clear and accessible style. If you like history with a dram, this is your book. All this can be found at www.laphroaig.com
Bunnahabhain has online shopping facilities as well and besides their excellent malts they sell a lot of other goodies as well, including a nice compass and a telescope to find your way home. That's for when you have tasted a bit too much of their fine whisky! And to stay warm they sell a really nice fleece too. Check them out at www.bunnahabhain.com
If whisky is not your thing why not try Islay Ales from the local brewery as a special Christmas treat.
The Online Islayinfo Shop has beautiful drawings from Nicola Stein, magnificent glass work from Susan Eastwood, a very nice book called The Tale of Ailsa the Cat, Norma Munro sells her latest CD's Scotia's Gold and The Rose here and you will find several other Islay related items such as Jeremy Hasting's creations, the Highland Jacket and Shirt.
The Islayinfo bookshop offers a fine collection of Islay books and maps to get prepared for your visit to Islay next year, or just to learn more about the Queen of the Hebrides and it's interesting and rich history. New is a PDF Guide for the island, which is available online as well. All proceeds of the sale of this guide benefit the Islay and Jura Sick Children Fund.
Did I forget anything? Most likely and if I did I apologise to those I haven't mentioned here. This is quite an extensive list which offers something for everyone. I wish you all "Happy Islay Shopping" and don't forget: Think Christmas - Think Islay