There are ways we can discover what the nation has to offer from the comfort of our homes
This year has been tough for everyone, including many small, independent Great British businesses. We’ve rounded our favourites up below so, if you miss Britain, or live here and need some mood-boosting inspiration, you can support them through 2021.
Chris Lewis Jewellery Design
Chris Lewis’s studio is nestled in the beautiful Wye Valley that sits on the border between England and Wales. Chris is a professional jewellery designer, maker, woodturner and silversmith and she creates handmade, bespoke pieces of jewellery and gifts using traditional techniques and heritage craft skills.
Each piece is unique, tailored to the customers needs, preferences and memories, and are a culmination of Chris’s dedicated collaboration with them. In short, she creates contemporary heirlooms to hand down the generations of the family. And you can’t buy her pieces anywhere else.
Author VM Knox
The Clement Wisdom Series by Australian author and life-long Anglophile VM Knox is made up of three crime thrillers set during the Second World War. In the first book, In Spite of All Terror, it is September 1940 and Britain stands alone facing an imminent Nazi invasion. Handpicked groups of men form the covert Auxiliary Units; ordinary by day, they will be saboteurs and assassins by night. With a life expectancy of two weeks, their identities are a closely guarded secret from all but the local senior policeman but once activated, that policeman will be the cell’s first victim.
Clement Wisdom, a humble vicar and leader of the East Sussex Auxiliaries, receives the invasion alert and assembles his team. Burdened with the tension between his faith and his patriotic duty, he sets out to eliminate the Police Inspector, only to find him dead already. While assisting Lewes Police to find the Inspector’s killer, events take an ominous turn as one by one, members of Clement’s team are found callously murdered. Priorities shift and every aspect of life is called into question when Clement becomes embroiled in the murky world of espionage, where nothing is what it seems.
The second book, If Necessary Alone, and third, Where Death and Danger Go, are also available to now, so you can consume the full set in one satisfying gulp. Fun fact (if you hadn’t already noticed): All three books’ titles are quotes from Winston Churchill’s speeches.
Makar gin from Glasgow Distillery
In 2014 The Glasgow Distillery Company re-opened becoming the first Single Malt Whisky Distillery in Glasgow for over 100 years. That said, it takes its name from a much older distillery that operated from 1770 until its closure in the 20th century.
As well as reviving the metropolitan Scotch Malt Whisky tradition, Glasgow Distillery have also branched out into gin. The name of their Makar gin derives from the ancient Scots word for a ‘poet’ or ‘maker of verse’, which embodies the craft and attention that their distillery team devote to each and every bottle.
Distilled by hand in small batches within their copper pot still, Annie, Makar Original is a perfectly-balanced juniper-led London Dry style gin of the highest quality. But we also love their Makar Cherry, which was crowned the World’s Best Flavoured Gin at the 2019 World Gin Awards. It is flavoured by soaking ripe cherries and a handful of pink peppercorns in Makar Original Dry Gin – before pressing to release maximum flavour. It has a 100% natural flavour and no added colouring and is perfect for experimenting with and creating inventive cocktail recipes at home.
Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers
Has you always dreamt of having your own kilt? Tailors of the finest handmade kilts sewn by Scotland’s most skilled makers, Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers work proudly from the very heart of Edinburgh. They are specialists in creating bespoke made-to-measure outfits and offer an exciting, varied range of highlandwear to hire too. Check out the website and enjoy a GNK experience from home. You can also use the code DISCOVER10 for an exclusive 10% discount.
Violets & Tea
Join Violets & Tea as they travel the English countryside visiting their favourite gardens on exclusive virtual garden tours. Take in the sheer beauty of England’s gardens and be enchanted by historic landscapes full of horticultural delights, all from the comfort of your own home. Meet the delightful characters who create and care for these gardens as they share their passion, stories and inspiration with you. Virtual tour subscriptions and gift certificates are available from the website.
Hiko Bike UK
Hikobike UK sells quality, affordable electric bicycles from their base in Devon. The bikes are designed in New Zealand (NZ) and the components are selected from the best worldwide suppliers.
Having come across Hikobike during a trip to NZ in 2018, Mark Essame and his team decided to start importing these bikes to the UK. “I was really impressed by the design of the bike and quality of the components,” explained Mark. “I could see a space in the UK market for a well-priced, electric bike that combined the quality and style Hikobike had to offer”.
It took until early 2020 to get some bikes to the UK, but starting an e-bike business during the first national lockdown turned out to be fortuitous timing. Electric bike sales were really picking up as people moved away from public transport and were looking for ways to enjoy the spring sunshine. Indeed as the weather improves, this might be the perfect way for you to get out and enjoy the landscapes and outdoor attractions on your doorstep too.
Hikobike UK is based in Devon and supplies the bikes through a network of specialist bike professionals across the UK. The increasing list of independent retailers are also on hand to service the bikes afterwards. They have purposefully chosen to work with independent experts, as this is how they believe the customer will get the most bespoke and individualised service: “We think it is really important to understand what kind of bike would suit a customer’s lifestyle and preferences, so we want to make sure the buying experience is individual to them. We also want the customer to get years of happy use from them, which means not just a sturdy bike to start with but ongoing support.” Hikobike UK stock a range of e-bikes, which cater for people looking for bikes at a range of price points and for both city and country riding. Just check out their website to learn more.
Part of Yardley London’s Traditional Florals range, English Rose Eau De Toilette is a refreshing, light, floral fragrance. Sparkling citrus and rose top notes combine with a heart of rose bud, magnolia, violet, cassis and warm woody notes. Patchouli and musk add velvety tones to the base. This beautiful fragrance is suitable for vegans and contains 90% naturally derived ingredients (£14.99, 125ml).
Where Death and Danger Go
Where Death and Danger Go is the third book in this Second World War series by V M Knox. Set in the dark days of 1941, Britain fights on alone. Invasion and fear hang in the air. On a winter’s night, a German spy parachutes into Cambridgeshire as another man is murdered nearby. Is he another enemy spy or has he been sent to his death? Either way, a killer lurks. Major Clement Wisdom of the SIS is sent to investigate.
Sheila Kerr Jewellery
Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns, penned some of the most famous and enduring love poems in the world. One such favourite, ‘Ae Fond Kiss’, is the inspiration behind Ayrshire jeweller Sheila Kerr’s collection. Look closely and notice that the Celtic-style heart conceals a secret – a hidden heart – within the lines of the pendant. Handcrafted by Sheila Kerr herself, the collection is available in sterling silver or gold.
Alenia Flowers is a small, independent business based in Portsmouth, south England, which first launched in 2019. Driven by the need to produce beautiful, unique, long-lasting products for their customers, Alenia Flowers began to craft soap flowers.
Now, their product ranges include different sized boxes filled with soap roses, ready to be offered as gifts on birthdays, anniversaries, Valentines’s Day, Mother’s Day or at Christmas and New Year.
They can even create bride and bridemaids bouquets or table arrangements bespoke to your needs. No dream is too big for Alenia Flowers. Their products are labours of love and they work with no creative restrictions to bring your ideas alive.
The soap flowers can last for up to two years and have a wonderful, delicate scent. You can choose to keep them, or indulge in a relaxing, scent-filled bath, while bathing in the memories of that special event or person.
Please contact Alenia Flowers for more information: email@example.com; (44)7480270777.