August Picks from the Shop

Posted: July 31st 2019

by Sophie Coles, Marketing Administrator

Summer is undoubtedly the season that most people look forward to each year. For children, it means six weeks of no school, action-packed days and eating lots of ice cream, and for adults, it means warm summer evenings, the BBQ sizzling and a cool glass of gin in hand. Who doesn’t like summer?

For me, the best thing about summer is the beautiful weather and the longer days. It inspires me to try something different, whether it be a wonderful opportunity to go outdoors, get creative, take care of ourselves or try something different. Holkham offers a fantastic day out, whether it be paddling on a boat in the lake, swinging from the tree tops on our high ropes course, taking a meandering stroll through the grounds or being awestruck by the stunning Hall itself. However, one of my favourite places on the estate will always be the Holkham gift shop nestled in the courtyard. The gift shop offers a chance to take your visit home with you or act on something that has inspired you on your visit, which is rather exciting. So here are some wonderful finds to help you enjoy your summer even more!

For the gardener…

Gifts for the Gardener

After taking a stroll through our Walled Garden it is hard to not hear a calling to get your hands dirty or dream of one day growing your own flowers and vegetables. Not only are there numerous health benefits to being outside and engaging with nature, but gardening is a wonderful social activity that you can discuss with your friends or do with your family. In our shop, we have a wide range of books to help everyone from total beginners to the intermediate and advanced. Two books I have picked out are Alice Vincent’s How to Grow Stuff and Holly Farrell’s RHS Gardening for Mindfulness. Both are filled with lots of glossy photos, clearly written tips and many, many ideas from starting up a small growing patch to the practice of gardening itself, and how it can stir different feelings and evoke special memories. Of course, there are many more gardening books to take a browse through, and you can find the right one for you. Also pictured are some lovely leather gardening gloves and some bespoke gardening tools that are sure to be a lovely gift for someone. Of course, another thoughtful gift can be that of our Kitchen Garden soaps and lotions, which make all the hard-work of gardening worth it at the end of the day. We particularly like this range of products because they are made from natural plant and herb extracts, containing natural anti-bacterial ingredients. Not only are they soothing, but they are also citronella based, which helps to prevent the bugs from biting!

For the kids…

Perfect for both a day out and the summer evenings that follow! A blank notepad or sketchpad can let your imagination go wild, whether for writing stories, drawing pictures or using as a scrapbook to stick in any intriguing findings found on a ramble. All you need are some colouring pencils, a magnifying glass and some bird seed and you’ve created your own nature activity pack to enjoy. We have so many lovely walks around our estate and National Nature Reserve, you are sure to run into a score of wildlife to get excited about.

For the chef…

Summer is great for family time, so it’ll be good to learn some new recipes to surprise your friends and family. Cooking, like gardening, can be very therapeutic and you can also get something very tasty by the end of it (or a good story if it went horribly wrong!). These two books appealed to me for being a bit different to the usual cookbooks I have on my shelf. We’ve had some extreme weather recently, and I don’t always fancy a big meal. Kyra De Vreeze’s Vegan: Recipes for a more delicious life cookbook encourages us to be more adventurous with our vegetables, and the recipes do look simple and tasty, which may encourage a lifestyle change. Following the same line of thought, Aster’s The Seaweed Cookbook similarly stood out; seaweed is one of nature’s healthiest food, and it is used throughout the world in a variety of ways. It explores the history of seaweed as well.

The shop has a range of kitchen utensils and accessories to choose from, I particularly like the pictured oven gloves, as they would suit all types of kitchen, feel cosy, and the animals featured can be found on the Holkham National Nature Reserve and Estate.

For the food or drink lover…

Our gift shop has an incredible selection of produce from local brewers and distilleries, as well as some of our own! As pictured, our Bullards’ Gin is straight from Norwich, and the impressive bottles makes it a wonderful gift or special treat for you to enjoy in the evenings. Our fudge is both a staff and visitor favourite, with a selection of flavours to choose from. I can personally guarantee that they won’t last long once you’ve had your first taste, but that’s only an excuse to then try another flavour…

A couple other things…

Again, there are many items to choose from in the shop, from photographs and paintings to jewellery and quirky objects. These fun dog bowls are hand-painted and certainly stand out. They come both large and small sizes, and are bound to remind you to keep your doggy hydrated in this hot weather. And of course, no visit to a gift shop is complete without a handful of postcards to write to your friends and family about your adventures. Or, like me, to fill up an empty photo frame and pretend you took the photo yourself.

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