Sussex Modern Christmas gift ideas

With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve put together a list of our top ten Sussex Modern Christmas gift ideas. Whether you’re on a modest budget, or you’re going all out this year, there’s something here to suit everyone. All Sussex-inspired, all Sussex-made, we’ve included gift ideas for culture vultures, wine enthusiasts, foodies and art buffs. We’re sure you’ll find plenty to inspire you…

The Cocktail Kit

It goes without saying that the gift of booze at Christmas is a winner. But what if you’re after something a little bit less standard, and a little bit more extra? A bottle of Sussex sparkling is as good a place as any to start, and you’ll find a bottle of something special from any of our world-class wine partners, but Ridgeview have gone one step further and put together this rather excellent, oh SO classy, cocktail kit. The Ridgeview Royale Kit, £60, is a modern twist on the traditional cocktail, the Kir Royale. It includes a bottle of Ridgeview’s finest Cavendish NV, a bottle of Chase Oak Aged Sloe Gin, a garnish pack and recipe card. Everything you need to make the perfect Christmas cocktail at home. This would make a memorable gift for a couple, any cocktail lover, or wine enthusiast.

Visit Ridgeview’s online shop.

When art meets food…

More than just a book of recipes, we’re very much hoping this cookbook come art book trips and falls into our Christmas stocking this year. The Surrealist artist and photographer who set up home at Farleys House, Sussex, with her husband Roland Penrose is little known for her extraordinary gourmet achievements. It seems there’s nothing this phenomenal woman couldn’t do! Written by the artist’s granddaughter, Ami Bouhassane, Lee Miller: A life with Food Friends & Recipes, £29.95, is a beautiful book and a testament to Lee Miller, and the power of food. One for foodies, art lovers, and feminists.

It’s also possible to book a Private View & Tour, £45, at Farleys House and Gallery when they reopen next year, which feels particularly special. A real treat for an art buff.

Browse Farleys online shop.

The Culture Voucher

One of Chichester Festival Theatre‘s gift vouchers is the perfect solution to gifting an experience without knowing when on earth to book tickets for. Honestly, I can just about keep track of own diary, let alone somebody else’s! You can choose a voucher of whatever amount suits your pocket, which is perfect if you have a particular theatre-lover in mind but have a strict budget. The vouchers are valid for a year, which gives your giftee plenty of time to redeem it and book a ticket to one of CFT’s excellent upcoming shows. And when they eventually attend that show, they’ll no doubt think of you.

Check out CFT’s gift guide.

The Wine Experience

Sussex has an almost obscene number of impressively scenic vineyards dotted around the place – we work with nine widely-awarded wineries alone! They’re often confused as being a destination for wine connoisseurs only, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you know someone who’d like to know more about wine, or would simply enjoy a day out in the Sussex countryside, glass of wine in hand, then a voucher for a wine tour and tasting could be just the ticket. Stopham Estate are offering vouchers for their Winemaker’s Tour  & Tasting, £25pp, with an extra special lunch option as well, £42pp. You’re welcome to buy a single voucher, or multiples – which could be a handy solution to that couples’ gifting dilemma. It would certainly give them something to look forward to in the new year, and come spring, that Tour & Tasting voucher will feel like an extra special treat.

The Craft Experience

Struggling to find a gift for the person who has everything? Gifting an experience could be the answer. Experiences are something to look forward to, get stuck into, and often resonate longer than a traditional wrapped gift. Also, if we’re being honest, we all know that person who has a house full of stuff and needs nothing more! The team at West Dean College have created an online hub of virtual craft short courses that start from £38. Options include book making, tapestry weaving, watercolour painting and relief printing – all of which can be learned at home with their video tutorials. Some of the courses also come with craft boxes so you have everything you need to get started. This gift would suit anyone crafty or creative, or anyone keen to learn something new or take up a new hobby in the new year.

Browse West Dean’s online hub.

The Little Library

Eiderdown Books are an independent publishers based in Sussex, who specialise in producing books about women artists, authored by female writers. Included in this very special, limited edition library, £65, complete with Cambridge Imprint patterned slipcase, are books on Sussex’s very own Lee Miller, Sylvia Pankhurst, Marlow Moss, Frances Hodgkins, and Laura Knight. These books, all of which can be purchased separately, £10.99, are beautifully designed and printed, reminiscent of the early Ladybird books from our memories. It’s the perfect gift for people who are keen to learn more about historical women artists, but it would be appreciated by any book worm, art buff, or anyone with an eye for design.

We collaborated with Eiderdown Books earlier this year, you can read more about them in our blog, A Sussex Connection: Eiderdown Books and Lee Miller.

Visit the Eiderdown Books online shop.

The Festive Tipple

Bottoms up! Tis the season to be merry, and merrily stock up the cupboard and home bar with extra alcoholic treats. As everyone knows, Vermouth is a cocktail bar staple, present in everything from a Classic Martini to a Negroni. As it’s Christmas, and we’re feeling fancy, this Albourne Estate, Sussex-made Vermouth, £20, is the classy, extra special alternative to your year-round high street staples. Albourne insist this makes the best white mulled cider which no doubt slips down all too easily when paired with a cheeseboard or a mince pie. Doesn’t get more Christmassy than that. This would be a great gift for that someone who fancies themselves a mixologist, as well as literally anyone else that you know – friends, family, colleagues, you name it.

Browse Albourne’s online shop.

The Stocking Filler

Stocking fillers abound in Hastings Contemporary‘s gift shop, but it was these charming ceramics that really caught our eye. Aren’t they unusual? These unique gifts are created by local artist Annabel Faraday and each ceramic in the range is printed with the artist’s original photographs and maps. There are some nice things to be found on their online shop, but there’s a much bigger, more exciting range of items in the gallery gift shop. So, if you’re local to Hastings or there’s a trip on the horizon, be sure to stop by the gift shop at Hastings Contemporary, and see what other gifty gems you might find.

The Art Book

Did you know that on every Christmas eve in Iceland they exchange and read books in a tradition known as jólabókaflóð, or ‘Christmas book flood’? Now that’s my kind of tradition. So get prepared for your very own jólabókaflóð with a trip to Pallant House Gallery Bookshop – you’ll be hard pressed to find a better selection of current, out of print, and rare art books in Sussex. Whether you’re on the look out for an artist biography to pique someone’s interest, a hefty coffee-table art tome to become part of the furniture, or an exhibition catalogue to reminisce about one you visited and loved, Pallant Bookshop have got you covered. There’s books on historical art, contemporary art, architecture, and design, and something to suit all budgets. We’ve got our eye on Voyaging Out, £24.95, and the particularly good looking 100 20th Century Gardens and Landscapes£25.

If you can’t make it to the shop and are hoping to order online, make sure you drop them a line first to make sure they can guarantee delivery in time for Christmas.

Browse their online shop.

The Wine Extravaganza

When one bottle just won’t do! Earlier in the year we launched our very own Sussex Modern Wine Cases, packed full of award-winning wines from seven of the nine vineyards we’re partnered with including Rathfinny Wine Estate, Bolney Wine Estate, and Wiston Estate among others. This is one for the real wine buffs, a decadent treat that offers the chance to sample the best of Sussex all wrapped up in one case. In fact, there are three cases to choose from, still, sparkling, and a mixed selection – all available to purchase from Charleston’s online shop. Prices start from £100.50 for six bottles. For more information on the bottles featured in each of the cases, and tasting notes, read our blog Sussex Modern Wine Cases: Tasting Notes.

Browse Charleston’s online shop.


For more inspiration, have a read of Shop Sussex this Christmas: Our Top 10 online shops – our pick of the best Sussex-based independent shops to support this Christmas. With a wider range of homeware, clothing, accessories, toiletries, books, art, wine, food, and hampers, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for this Christmas. 

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