10 Great gifts to buy on holiday

Richard Mellor 30 November -0001

Present-buying is a classic travel ritual, but aim higher than trinkets, tat and duty-free Toblerone with these sophisticated purchases.

Denmark: Knitwear

denmark knitwear

Scandinavia is famous for its wool, and Denmark for minimalist design flair.

Combine both elements courtesy of a natty jumper, one which will have recipients looking good and staying warm all winter.

Copenhagen’s Sommerfuglen shop is a great place to start.

Also great here: Danish modern furniture, schnapps

Read more: Homemade Christmas gifts that people actually want


Morocco: Babouches

Moroccan babouches

Declared ‘2016's must-have shoe’ by none other than Vogue, these Aladdin-style slippers can be bought in the chaotic market souks of Marrakech or Fes.

Pointy and brightly-coloured, they are made in the local leather tanneries before appearing on local stalls—or being shipped to Britain and hawked at ten times the price.

Also great here: cushion-covers, tagine pots

Read more: Guide to Morocco


India: Henna tattoos

Henna tattoo

Know someone with some hippie tendencies, or a teenage girl keen on scoring cool points?

Hand-drawn or block-printed henna tattoos are available across India, but particularly along the beaches of Goa.

The Om symbols are most popular, but there are numerous floral, geometric or animal-related designs.

Also great here: spices and curry powders, saris

Read more: Mumbai, city of possibility


Belgium: Lace

belgian lace
Image via Flickr

Along with the small town of Binche, the world’s finest handmade lace shops are found in Bruges and Brussels.

Plenty of small bobbin pieces are available to buy, including collars, cuffs, pillow covers and veils.

Also great here: chocolate, beer


Thailand: Silk

thailand silk

Exquisitely soft and designed with oriental flair, Thai silk is the best in the world.

Scarves and ties are the optimum items, but pillows, tablecloths, bags, bedspreads and purses all make great alternatives. Your best bet is a boutique like Jim Thompson.

Also great here: wood carvings, coconut oil


Scotland or Ireland: Whisky


Few presents delight males of advancing years more than a bottle of the good stuff. Scotch (Scottish whisky) is generally peaty and made from malt; Speyside and Islay are particular hotspots.

Spelling their variety with an ‘e’ Irish distilleries typically produce a smoother, less-smoky blend.

Also great here: tweed (Scotland), Aran wool (Ireland)

Read more: This festival is a whisky lover's dream


Japan: Stationery

japanese stationary
Image via Ali Express

Any fan of Muji won’t be surprised to know that its home country is a sanctuary for intelligent, beautiful stationery—and particularly its capital, Tokyo.

The Muji shop near Ginza is about five times the size of any in the UK, while Itoya has 12 floors of pencil cases, photo albums, erasers and envelopes.

Also great here: fans, electronics


France: Macarons


Presents don’t come prettier than bijou packs of vividly-hued macaron cookies. They’re available across France but the paragons are found, unsurprisingly, in Paris.

Pierre Hermé and Ladurée win most plaudits but go to Arnaud Delmontel for flavours from cassis to pistachio.

Also great here: lavender bags, potpourri


Argentina: Wallets

argentinian wallet

Renowned for its tough, gaucho-style leather, Argentina is the perfect place to pick up gloves, bags, belts or, most obviously, wallets.

The true hotspot is Buenos Aires’ Villa Crespo barrio, and specifically the stores lining Calle Murillo. Most stock a selection of billfolds.

Also great here: Dulce de leche, espadrilles


China: Tea pottery

chinese tea pottery

Tea-drinking is a ceremonial affair in China, and the apparatus involved is almost always beautiful.

So sure, you could just take home a fragrant packet of oolong or jasmine green; but far more special would be a painted pot or set of cups in which to enjoy those blends.

Also great here: chopsticks, calligraphy items


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