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The ATF Christmas Gift Guide Part 2 - Experiences & Subscriptions

In part two of our ATF Christmas gift guide, we've rounded up some of the experiences and subscriptions we'd like to find under the tree this year. We're all trying to limit how much 'stuff' we have, and studies every year show that consumers increasingly value experiences more than physical items, so considering classes, tours and food-based breaks away is always a good idea, and the subscriptions are all consumable, so minimal waste and clutter will be created in the giving of these gifts.


A Stay At The Wicklow Escape

Save this one for someone you really love, and maybe book yourself a slot too because fair's fair. This site was previously The Elbowroom Escape, a well known yoga retreat, but The Wicklow Escape is a brand new destination with fêted Northern Irish chef Danni Barry running the kitchen. The food is the main event but the grounds and accommodation don’t let the side down either. This is somewhere to relax and be fully taken care of from the minute you walk through the door, with all of your meals taken care of, from wood-fired dinners to picnics in the woods. There are different experiences available and stays start at €246 per person, but vouchers from €50 are available and they now accept Blue Book vouchers too. Find out more here.

River Run Ferments

Fermenting is a life skill that we could all benefit from, and who wouldn't love having pickles, sauerkraut or kombucha in the fridge, ready for flavour emergencies. River Run Ferments run fermentation workshops on drinks (kombucha, ginger bug, water kefir, and plant milk kefir), kombucha and kraut, and sourdough bread-making to name a few, and there's even a class on making koji, miso and amazake for the fermentationally advanced. You can book January classes now on their website.

A Slane Food Circle Tour

The Boyne Valley in Meath is full of passionate food producers and growers, and the Slane Food Circle tour is a brilliant way to get a (literal) taste of what's happening there. The fully guided tour provides the opportunity to meet four local food producers at Rock Farm, Mullagha Goat Farm, Newgrange Gold Oils, and The Cider Mill, and try their products while they tell you all about what goes into making them. With access to working farms and a tasting plate to top it all off, this would be a brilliant day out for anyone interested in learning more about where their favourite foods come from. Take a look at the full package here.

Howth Foraging Trip

We've been watching Nicole Dunne's foraging tours in Howth for a while now and are amazed at the colours and varieties of plants, berries and mushrooms she's been unearthing in North Dublin. Her foraging trips involve identifying and collecting wild foods, learning what plants are edible and which have medicinal benefits, followed by a cookery lesson and lunch, for €50 pp. Tours change with the seasons, and up to date information on what's coming up can be found on her Facebook page. She sells gift vouchers too, perfect for the wannabe forager in your life this Christmas.

Delicious Dublin Tours

Ketty Quigley comes from the Loire Valley in France but has made Dublin her home. She's also made knowing the best places to eat and drink in the city her business, and has been running Delicious Dublin food tours for a number of years to showcase the best the city has to offer. An afternoon spent walking around Dublin, stopping at award-winning eateries and food shops in the city to taste some delicious food, would be right up the street of any food-loving friend or family member, and tours are €62, including the food along the way. Find out more information and book here.


ATF Insiders

A shameless plug perhaps but a subscription to ATF Insiders is a brilliant gift for someone interested in keeping up with the hottest news, openings and events on the Dublin scene. Insiders get automatically entered into our nine monthly giveaways for restaurant vouchers, gourmet breaks and food gifts, and get exclusive invites to our events, as well as access to our writers' knowledge bank for any questions about where, what and when to eat. It's the gift that keeps on giving for just €4 a month or €44 a year, and we'll send a postcard welcoming them to the club either by email or in the post. Find out more here.

Calendar Coffee

Calendar Coffee are a seasonal roastery in Galway. This means the coffees and origins they work with are always changing, depending on which countries are harvesting and the coffees that tastes best that month. Their subscription service starts from €16 a month and is tailored to each person's tastes and needs. Read more about it and sign up here.

GIY Grow Box

Have a wannabe gardener in your life? Sign them up for a GROWBox from GIY in Waterford. These guys are so passionate about getting people to grow their own that it's infectious, and their seasonal subscription (89.99) involves four deliveries a year of seeds, pots, compost discs, growing guides and plant labels. It starts in early Spring with tomatoes, chillies, beetroot and lettuce, and ends in Autumn with rocket, Oriental greens, radishes and spinach, and dedicated green fingers will end up with a lot of homegrown produce for that initial investment. See more and order here.

Molly Baz Recipe Club

Chefs are changing the way they interact with their followers and Molly Baz, a veteran of the Bon Appetit test kitchen, is a case in point. While she published her first cookbook earlier this year she has also launched a Patreon-backed Recipe Club which you can join for €4.50 per month. Her cookbook is a joy, both recipe-wise and aesthetically, and we have no doubt that her weekly recipes which she sends exclusively to Recipe Club members will be no different. Sign yourself or someone else up here.

Bean & Goose Chocolate

We don’t know anyone who doesn’t love chocolate, and if they’re out there we don’t want to know them. Wexford-based Bean and Goose is the best around, made with sustainable ingredients and hand-tempered on marble slabs. Subscriptions are available in 3 month, 6 months and 12 month options and the recipient will get two 70g bars of chocolate each month. Find out more here.

The Little Cheese Shop

What is life without cheese? Sad, that's what. You can ensure that someone you love won't run out of cheese for months with The Little Cheese Shop's monthly cheese subscription. Each month the Dingle based shop sends out generous portions of four Irish cheeses, crackers and a chutney (€38), and while it's certainly limiting to stick to just cheese from this island, it will open your eyes to just how many wondrous wheels of beauty are being made from Irish cows, goats and sheep. Deliciously educational, and one best saved for someone you live with, for obvious reasons. Sign up here.

Bean Delivered

Bean Delivered deliver coffee from a different Irish roaster to your door each month, ensuring you never run out (depending on how much you drink), and get to discover who your favourites on the Irish coffee scene are. A three-month subscription is €65 and a six-month €115, and you can add a keep cup for another €15. The first delivery from Christmas orders will arrive in the first week of January, and you can see more and sign up here.

Interested in giving the gift of cookbooks, memoirs and subscriptions this year? See part one of our Christmas gift guide here.

1 Comment

Carol Lawrence
Carol Lawrence
Nov 14, 2023

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