quirky christmas

Well, it’s that time of year again! I guess like me most of us won’t be getting out to the shops much for inspiration, so I hope this guide offers some ideas.  It goes without saying that the theme for this year’s Christmas gift guide is inspired by our new lives – staying in, getting cosy, armchair travelling, that kind of thing… hopefully you trust me with your Christmas shopping and I’ve something for everyone. Happy holidays!


A travel-themed books gift package

This may be my dream Christmas present, the ‘Travels with…’ books gift box from, Much Ado Books, a charming Sussex shop which has stolen my heart. I cannot imagine anything better than opening a box filled with an assortment of travel-related reads to sooth the longing for travel, and other fun surprises like  Rowdy & Fancy’s Sussex-made chocolate; tea bags, bars of handmade soap; a bookmark; a surprise bonus vintage book; a postcard from the past; a recipe from our archive; and a poetry scroll.

£35, from here.


Around the World Hand-Embroidered Cushions

These hand-embroidered around-the-world cushions from Cat Studio feature cities, countries, regions and national parks. With our travel options seriously limited at the moment, placing one strategically on a sofa or chair would remind us  to keep on top of your travel wishlist. They also do prints, dishtowels, pouches and glasses.

From £80, buy from here.


Novelty teapots

These adorable teapots are made by a company called Ceramic Inspirations from their workshop in Yorkshire. There are teapot designs for every kind of personality and they’d make ideal gifts for all tea lovers.

From £51, see more here.


A hand-drawn map of Brighton

brighton map print malcolm davies

A hand-drawn map of Brighton that took its creator a whole year to draw!

Read more and find a discount code here.


Secret book boxes

Hand cut from real leather-bound books, there’s a wide range of iconic titles to choose from.

From £50, buy from here.


the gift of classic overlooked and unusual film

people watching TV together 1950s kitsch

Brighton’s independent pop-up cinema club, White Wall Cinema, has come up with a unique way to save Brighton cinema and its business in these weird times, by offering a movie delivery service with a twist – you get a surprise film tailored to your tastes, and some movie snacks, delivered to your door, for you to build your own movie night around.

From £22, find out more here.


A vintage globe 

If you can’t afford the starting price of £1000 for a handprinted globe from London’s secret globe maker,  Etsy has lots of cool vintage ones to choose from like this one, for £68 or this one from the 1960s, for £95.

Shop vintage globes on Etsy here


beauty products in cool packaging

claus porto soap collection

I’m a total sucker for things in snazzy packaging, and am happy to admit I have been known to judge on – and buy things for – the packaging, like these colourful Art Nouveau-style wrapped soaps from Portugal. They’re so beautiful the scent is possibly irrelevant!

See more ideas here.


Clouds classification print

I’ve become a bit obsessed with this Instagram account during lockdown and love this print. Think of it as an idea for your next work-from-home lunch break activity:  nip outside into the garden, onto the balcony or the front step,  check the clouds, then see if you can match them to the poster.

£35, from here.


Jellyfish paperweight

Just because. And, to add some dreaminess to your work-from-home office situation that will also help to remind you that there’s a big beautiful wide world outside.

£24, from here.


Take part in a global art project

Brooklyn Art Library in New York is home to the world’s largest collection of sketchbooks – 50K and counting – from artists all over the world. Anyone can be part of it. All you do is order a sketchbook, fill it up, and send it back to them. Every participant is sent the same 5×7′ blank custom sketchbook with a unique six-digit barcode so it can easily be cataloged into the library’s system. Then, when you visit New York, you can visit the library and look for your very own sketchbook.

Find out more here.


Dali tarot card set

In the 1970s, Salvador Dali started designing a set of tarot cards for the Bond film, Live and Let Die, which the production company couldn’t afford to buy. He carried on working on them anyway, and they were published in 1984, then re-released last year. The set includes 78 cards, a book by German author Johannes Fiebig on Dalí’s life and the making of the cards, as well as comprehensive instructions. Perfect for adding some mystique and atmosphere to those cosy nights at home at the table after dinner or evenings in front of the fire.

£35, from here.


Fictional Movie hotel notepads

grand budapest hotel notepad

Write home from your favourite hotels from in movies.

£9 for pack of 3, from here


A snazzy box of matches

£4, see more here


A Classic Children’s book

The classic bedtime story written in 1947, featuring bunny saying goodnight to everything around him.

£5.42, from here


Stranger Things Monopoly

stranger things monopoly

The Collector’s Edition. Let’s face it, this is as much for adults as much as kids.

£42, from here.


A Selection of seaside souvenirs

A bottle of Brighton Gin

brighton gin distilled by the seaside

Here’s a great Christmas Brighton souvenir idea for seaside and gin lovers. A bottle of Brighton Gin! It’s actually distilled at the seaside here in Brighton in small batches and comes in a cool bottle with a nostalgic label designed to look like an old Brighton pier ticket. It even has a proper wax seal on the stopper and everything. The best bit is – although the recipe’s a secret – it’s made with milk thistle which in theory means you can drink it all night and wake up hangover free!

£37.50, from here.


Handmade chocolate in decadent packaging

Looking at these beautifully wrapped bars of chocolate I feel transported to the sweet-making capitals of Europe, Cologne or Vienna perhaps, and excited at the promise of the taste sensation that lies ahead.  Each one is lovingly handmade by chef Audrey Dufay, from her little chocolate workshop in the seaside town of Worthing, not far from Brighton. She makes sure to use ethically sourced cocoa beans from Guatemala, and loves experimenting with flavours. If you live within 10km of Worthing, she’ll delivery them for free, too.

Drool over the full selection here.


Secret Brighton: An Unusual Guide

And of course, it wouldn’t  be in the spirit of an Ellie & Co gift guide, if I didn’t add my very own book – Secret Brighton. Treat someone you know to it here, or if you’d like a signed gift-wrapped copy, send me a message below. Happy holidays!

The End. 

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