Christmas is coming and the Lovin Dublin team are a-drafting their Christmas lists
If you are in need of some Christmas present inspiration, look no further than the Lovin team's carefully crafted list of items they dearly want. Take this list with a lil pinch of salt, we aren't genuinely expecting an electric car to fit down the chimney. With a focus on class Irish companies, there should be something for everyone on this list, from cardies and chains to cookery classes.
50. T-Bar Necklace from Inné Jewellery
This 90s jewellery classic has made a major comeback over the last year or so, and in my humble opinion, there's not an outfit in existence that can't be enhanced by the addition of one. They can be fairly pricey, and that's where Inné Jewellery comes in. The Dublin-based biz specialises in sourcing real, made-to-last-gold, and this festive season they're coming through with a collection of weighty chains with charm-holders to accompany. Sustainable and versatile, these necklaces provide the perfect amount of chunk and the ability to switch up the charms means you can wear them with just about anything.
Browse all their bits HERE.
49. Hope Macaulay Cardigan
It's not easy to find the perfect chunky knit. I've spent approximately 15 years buying fast fashion versions, only for them to shrink in the wash, or get itchy, or for them to generally just not be chunky enough. Not only is Hope Macaulay a gorgeous Northern Irish brand, but they aced the assignment when it comes to the chunk factor. With a luxe one-of-a-kind feel, you'll be get compliments left and right and seeing as they're on the pricier side of things, they are making it onto my wishlist for Christmas.
You can browse the gorgeous Hope Macaulay collection on Instagram.
48. Anything from Laura Callaghan Illustration
I've been following Laura Callaghan's Illustration on Instagram for a good while now and have been after anything that she produces. Shying away from the sometimes vague and fay designs associated with traditional illustrators, Callaghan's is sharp, highly graphic and crisp. Her work covers themes and subject matter that represent lived experiences by real bodies. One of her designs is a t-shirt with a "modern interpretation of Lady Godiva...by way of Christy Moore" on the front, SLAY.
You can find Laura Callaghan on Instagram.
47. Act+Acre Instant Relief System
Act + Acre is an Irish brand that has taken the US market by storm, frequently selling out of products and with waitlists a figurative mile long. Their key USP is that they offer science-backed scalp care products, and as someone who is suffering from the dreaded D-word (dandruff), I’ve been eyeing their products for some time now. Their Instant Relief System contains their scalp detox oil and cooling scalp serum, which is what my dry and itchy scalp so desperately needs.
Check out their full range here.
46. 157 piece Le Creuset set
If you’ve ever cooked anything, you’ve probably lusted after some Le Creuset cookware. I saw that an American retailer was selling a whopping 157-piece set for somewhere in the region of $4500, so I think that would probably look pretty good under a tree.
You can find the cookware here.
45. Anything from The Dirt Bird
There are some moments in Ireland's cultural history that are etched in our minds forever. From a falsely identified meteor hole on Portmarnock Beach to Nadine Coyle's DOB reveal, these happenings comfort us, form the tapestry of our identities and deserve to be commemorated in an artful way. Enter The Dirt Bird, whose colourful beanies, creative prints and decorative plates take the form of love letters to Irish culture, and would all be a joy to open on Christmas morn.
She has plenty more wall hangings, decorative plates and prints and more inspired by iconic moments in Irish history on her website - have a rummage HERE.
44. Body Shop Bundle
My Body Shop obsession began where most young girls do; you're old enough to go shopping on your own, but you only have about €10 to spend over the course of a month, so you have to be careful with it. That didn't stop the allure of The Body Shop from drawing me in with their mango scents and luxurious coconut body butters (clearly was super concerned with moisturising as a 12-year-old) even though I couldn't buy anything. Fast forward 16 years later and now I can actually afford their bits, and to say I'm obsessed is an understatement. Their pear scent is particularly dreamy (as someone who doesn't like eating them, the smell is divine).
Not only are they cruelty-free, but this year The Body Shop is working closely with the Dublin Simon Community, which only makes purchasing from them that much better.
Check out the full range on The Body Shop website or in-store.
36. Dublin Cookery School 4-week course
I'm a divil for a course, you just need to have a look at my house which is strewn with handmade pots, lumps of stained glass and mismatched hand-turned furniture. Especially during this time of year, when the dark cold evenings pull me towards the couch with the power of a magnet, I need a course. I'd consider myself to be a pretty accomplished home cook and baker but there's always room for improvement. The 4-week course in Dublin Cookery School is aimed at everyone from beginners and amateur cooks. This is a bit of a pie-in-the-sky gift as it's a full-time four-week course and is on the pricier end, but you can't blame a gyal for trying.
For more info click here
42. 1/4 Zip Fleece from Seeking Judy
Seeking Judy is an eco-conscious Irish brand with some gorgeously unique pieces. I’ve had my eye on something from them for quite some time, as not only are the designs beautiful but the quality is also excellent. Their funky green ‘eye see’ scarf is also on my wishlist, but I mainly have my eye on one of their 1/4 zip fleeces - it's so thick and warm, which is ideal for the winter months.
Browse the full collection here
41. A dry ager
Every time I see one of these in a restaurant or online I get a surge of dry-aged jealousy, and picture it set up in the corner of my mojo dojo casa house kitchen, dry ageing succulent meats to a level of funk that would make James Brown blush.
You can source a dry ager here.
40. A dog jumper from Fashund
This is a present for my lurcher, not for me - I'm hoping one day I'll be able to train her to talk but for now, I'll ask on her behalf. Small Irish biz Fashund specialises in handmade, custom fleeces for sighthounds, in an extensive range of colours with various sleeve lengths with additional dinosaur spikes if that's what your heart desires. Even if you don't have a dog, I'd recommend a scroll through the business Insta page - it does the soul good.
39. Sculpted by Aimee HydroGlo Serum
It's been truly special seeing the rise of an Irish cosmetic brand, reaching such incredible heights in the relatively short period of time it's been in operation. Most Irish gorls will have something by Sculpted By Aimee in their makeup collection, and I'm no exception to that - but I'd love to dip into her skincare, which is where the next item on my wishlist comes from.
I have well and truly been #influenced into wanting this product after seeing Keelin Moncrieff rub it on her face in TikToks and YouTube videos and seeing the stunning glow that radiates from her skin as a result. Not only does the product have beautiful results, but you can also get refills to avoid packaging waste next time you're all out.
The HydroGlo costs €30 on the Sculpted by Aimee website.
38. A gùna from Ríon Hannora
I've been obsessed with Ríon's work since I peeped it on Keelin Moncrieff at an awards recently, which was giving Marie Antoinette levels of exaggerated coquettishness. Their work is all beautifully made by hand, with all off-cuts being made into fun little bags and bits. These are slow-fashion investment pieces that will no doubt be handed down to the gens.
You can find Ríon Hannora on Instagram
37. Harp Scarf from MNW
Irish designers have been absolutely killing it as of late, and Megan N.Walsh (MNW) is no exception. I would happily take any of her designs, but my eyes are currently set on the new harp scarf. The design is inspired by old Irish Coins and the attention to detail on our old currency - cool, right?
You can browse the rest of the shop here.
36. An electric bike
Dublin is a great city to cycle around, it’s flat, we have the Phoenix Park and an amazing stretch of coastline, and with an electric bike, you can get further, faster, and easier, perfect for exploring the city and popping the odd wheelie going down Camden Street.
You can have a look at the various electric bikes on offer here.
35. Print from Niamh Gillespie Design
Every time I visit a friend's house or even peep the background of someone's Zoom call, I get print envy. While others artfully curate maximalist gallery wall displays with colourful abstract creations, I look on longingly, dreaming of the day my own wall might look even a quarter as aesthetically impressive. I feel a print from Niamh Gillespie could be a good place to start - an NCAD graduate, Niamh has designed for the likes of Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen and Topshop and also has her own range of beautiful silk scarves under her brand Tidings. Prints start at €75.
You can have a browse right here.
34. Forbidden Fruit Tickets
I am in no way cool enough to know the majority of the acts that play at Forbidden Fruit but given that 2024 will be Nelly Furtado's Irish festival debut, you can bet your bottom dollar that I am so buzzing to go, and if anyone has the intel on what day she is playing, as well as the desire to buy me a ticket, well, I wouldn't say no.
Weekend tickets have already gone on sale for Forbidden Fruit 2024.
33. Birkenstock Tokio/Boston
Sure as dark turns to light, a trend will come along that I hate and then over time come to love and ultimately want to acquire. My brother bought Birkenstock Bostons last year and as is the family way, we all slagged him relentlessly. Now I want to swallow all the comments I made about the "clogs" and get a pair of them myself. The pair I want have shearling on the inside and will act as a kind of bridge between a slipper and the outdoor shuffler.
You can find the berks here.
32. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
While my ‘to be read’ pile is still an absolute mammoth, there are still a few books that I’d be willing to let jump to the top. I’ve heard absolute rave reviews about My Brilliant Friend, the first novel in a four-part series. The book was written by Italian author Elena Ferrante and has been made into an HBO TV series.
You can nab a copy here from Kennys Bookshop.
31. A set of Pioneer PLX-1000 turntables, a Pioneer DJM a9 and 2800 assorted house and techno records
A must for any burgeoning turntablist or DJ in your life, a good set of turntables and a huge curated collection of records to go with it is a perfect stocking filler this festive season.
Get all the DJ bits on Promusica.
30. Feather Bag from Sorcha O'Raghallaigh
Offaly-born Sorcha O'Raghallaigh has had her designs worn by Beyoncé, Madonna, Kate Moss and Lady Gaga, and hopefully, if Christmas goes my way, by me too. All her pieces are glam and playful in equal measures, from the colourful crystal chokers to these ostrich feather handbags with Swarovski-studded handles. As one commenter on her IG shrewdly observes - "it looks like an oil painting".
Keep up with Sorcha's work HERE.
29. Flo Illustrate Print
I got put onto this incredible Irish designer a few years back when a friend gifted me some of her work. Since then, Flo Illustrate has teamed up with H&M, a huge accomplishment and a token to the incredible work she does. While commissions are currently closed, Flo Illustrate currently has loads of prints and greeting cards, any of which I'd be delighted to receive for Christmas.
You can check out all the prints and greeting cards for sale HERE.
28. Vest from Pickle's Knitwear
I'm strongly considering stumping up the £150.00, shipping and UK import tax for this little beauty. It's handmade with Scottish wool and will no doubt be the ultimate talking point for any trip to the pub over Christmas, making it absolutely worth every penny, right? RIGHT?
More info about Pickles Knitwear here.
27. iGlow Lash Maximiser
Years of abusing my lashes have eventually caught up with me, and they’re in need of some serious TLC. I’ve heard some absolutely rave reviews about this serum from multiple sources, so my fingers are crossed that this will be under the tree for me.
You can purchase the serum here.
26. A Wine Subscription
I love wine, it’s always good to have a few bottles on the shelf at home for entertaining, for a glass by the fire or to stick in a rack for future special occasions, so something like a monthly wine subscription from The Allotment is a great gift for anyone you know who likes swirling fermented grape juice in a stemmed glass and talking about it.
You can sign up for a wine subscription here.
25. Furry Bucket hat from Rashhiiid
Rashhiiid's giant faux fur hats are the pinnacle of Gen Z style, and this crusty old millennial wants in on the action. These made-to-order works of art have been sported by Ariana Grande and Addison Rae to name a few, and are a substantial step above your average bucket hat. They come in a range of colours but I'm personally eyeing up the pink because I want people to be able to see me from space. Is that too much to ask?
See more of Rashhiiid's work HERE.
24. Heartbreak Social Club Tattoo voucher
A Tattoo Voucher is a great shout for someone who won't stop talking about getting one or has set their mind on getting more. Even if getting inked isn't their thing, Heartbreak Social also do piercing, clothing, jewellery and now coffee!
You can take a look at the wonderful artistry at HSC on their Instagram.
23. A piece by Ciana Fitzgerald
I've been obsessed with Ciana's work for quite some time and was delighted to see she was awarded the grand prize by the anonymous patron the Art Riddler last year. She's undoubtedly one of the country's most talented surrealist-realist painters, her paintings capture a vulnerability and a reliability that's rarely seen in oil-based paintings nowadays. If I won the lotto I'd love to get my hands on one of her pieces and hang it over the mantle (once I purchased one of those lol).
23. Green Adidas Munchen
You can never have too many pairs of shoes in my book, but I’ve mainly been sticking to my Doc Martens and New Balance as of late. These mossy green Adidas add a little bit of colour to an outfit and look dead comfy to boot.
You can purchase them here.
22. A Banh Mi
I’m a man of simple tastes. I know for a fact that a beautifully wrapped Vietnamese Bahn Mi, stuffed with pork belly, pate, pickles and herbs under the tree on Christmas morning would set me up for a day of cooking, making Irish coffees and generally being a profoundly festive guy.
One place you can get a class Banh Mi is Happy's Bar on Aston Quay.
21. Subtle Poison swimsuit
It’s a known fact you’ll be more likely to hurl yourself into the Irish Sea if you have the right swimwear, and this Saved By the Bell meets The Little Mermaid number from Irish independent brand Subtle Poison is just the ticket. Made with recycled polyethene and elastane and designed in Ireland, this is the kind of swimsuit that’ll have everyone bolting into your DM’s, begging to know where it’s from. With Barbie hysteria a key part of 2023’s cultural landscape, evolving into a fully formed Beach Barbie is the next natural step.
The swimsuit costs €92.99, and is available to order via the Subtle Poison website.
20. Biabelle Tanning Bundle
My absolute favourite tanning brand just happens to be from Irish company Biabelle. It gives the most incredible finish and lasts for ages, definitely coming off less streaky and patchy than other tan brands. Biabelle feels more moisturising on the skin than the average tan too, so a bundle from them would be a great Christmas gift to receive.
19. An Electric Car and a magicked electricity port
The guilt of owning and running a gas-guzzling car in the middle of a climate crisis is undoubtedly weighing on my mind (alongside eating meat and taking a couple of holidays a year). I've considered getting rid of the car altogether but that isn't feasible for me right now, so I'd love an electric car and a magicked electricity port that somehow has been installed into my apartment car park- dream big right? I'm genuinely not fussy about what electric car santy gets me, I'll take anything.
18. Beyond The Pale weekend camping ticket
In the cold, dreary depths of December, it’s always nice to have something to look forward to helping get you up in the morning. For me, it’s the thoughts of all of the amazing music festivals in Ireland this summer - with Beyond the Pale being at the top of my hit list. The full lineup hasn’t been announced yet but with Jungle, Novo Amor, Tourist, and Jessie Ware already on the list it’s bound to be a good one.
You can purchase a ticket here.
17. A Joshua Reynolds Signet Ring
Joshua Reynolds is a jeweller from Dublin making absolutely beautiful bespoke jewellery in a workshop in Dublin 2. His rings caught my eye a while ago and I’ve been thinking about them since. Very very cool.
Check out the Joshua Reynolds website here.
16. Giant tote from Anxious Preoccupied
I'm a last-minute gal when it comes to packing, which means a giant vessel I can throw everything (maybe even including the kitchen sink) is essential as I attempt to organise myself at 2 am after an all-nighter before a 6 am flight. Enter this jumbo-sized metallic tote from Anxious Preoccupied, a new fashion line from comedian Joanne McNally. It's soft, it's oversized, and it's everything I crave in this world.
The Anxious Preoccupied tote is €120 - have a closer look right here.
15. Silver jewellery from Lynott
Irish and female-owned, Lynott has quickly become a go-to for the gals when it comes to picking up gorgeous premium-feeling jewellery without breaking the bank. I'm someone who likes to wear and stack a lot of jewellery, particularly earrings and rings, and am always welcoming more pieces to my collection. If you're someone buying me a gift, remember I've been a silver girly since I exited my rose gold era along with everyone else after 2016 (I kid, I kid) so just, something to make note of.
Lynott Jewellery can be found online or in Arnotts.
14. Chunky gold frkl chain
I swear anything style-kaween Angela Scanlan touches turns to gold plate, her jewellery brand Frkl produces clean and slick pieces that are stunning on their own or are buildable. Typically I wouldn't have considered myself to be a bejewelled gyal, but I was gifted some class rings from my friends and family for a recent round-y birthday. As a result, I am shamefully necklace-free, and wouldn't mind remedying that.
Check out the frkl collection here
13.A place to live in Dublin
The most ambitious of all my entries perhaps? While many would dismiss this as impossible, I still remain hopeful that someday I will find a place to live in Dublin that won’t cost €1k a month for a single room.
12. Big Smoke Vintage Voucher
Big Smoke Vintage in Temple Bar have an absolutely insane selection of garms to suit every person, and is a definite must if you’re into the feeling of finding a vintage belter shirt, a pre-loved leather jacket or just supporting a great sustainable Irish business.
You can have a scroll on the Big Smoke website here.
11. Vintage Designer drip from Lou's Lot
Investing in a designer bag is, as you'd imagine, an expensive business, but there are some amazing resellers in Ireland sourcing incredible preloved and vintage pieces that are gentler on your wallet and the environment. Whether it's a classic Burberry backpack or a Fendi baguette you have your heart set on Lou has you covered.
You can browse her wares online or in person at her store in George's Street Arcade.
10. Cosimac Dry Robe
I tell myself every new year that I'm going to take up sea swimming, and every year I fail. But not for lack of motivation, I've realised. For lack of equipment (and okay, maybe a little lack of motivation too). If I had a decent Dry Robe, maybe I would achieve my goal, and so a Cosimac robe makes its way onto the wishlist.
There are tons of great Irish Dry Robe brands, but you can check out Cosimac here.
9. Monthly wine subscription from Neighbourhood Wine
I'm unwisely or wisely gearing up from my level WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) 3 in January and seriously need to broaden my tastes in the lead-up. Like a lot of people, I tend to go for what I like and what I know, making this monthly subscription from one of the best wine shops in the biz a great shout. The wines chosen are from small, independent family-run vineyards and the box includes tasting notes and pairing suggestions. Oui oui!
You can grab (me) or someone else a 3 or 6-month subscription at €50 a month, more info here.
8. Kash Beauty Midnight Metals Palette
While I have enough makeup to last me years (I try to tell myself that expiry dates are a myth), I’ve been doing so much travelling recently and my other eyeshadow palettes just aren’t cutting it - they’re too big and bulky to travel with me, and I’ve been resorting to using bronzer as eyeshadow whenever I’m away. This Kash Beauty palette is the perfect size for travelling and the perfect mix of eyeshadow shades.
You can shop the palette here.
7. A Gozney Dome oven
I’ve been using a Gozney Roccbox pizza oven almost weekly since I got it, rain or shine, to cook everything from fish, to steak to vegetables quickly and at extreme temperatures. When I saw they released the Dome as a bit of kit I had a burning desire to occupy half of my tiny garden with this magnificent duel fuel monster and cook in the rain all day long.
You can browse the pizza oven range here.
6. A booking at Host
Some of the most coveted presents aren't something you unwrap - they're things that are hard to come by, things that you experience, things that you proceed to recommend to everyone you meet for the rest of your life.
With this considered, I'm asking somewhere out there to secure me a booking at Host for 2024. Since its opening in 2017, a seat in Host's dining room has consistently remained one of the most sought-after in town. It's the kind of outing you look forward to for months (or more specifically, for 62 days, which is how far in advance they accept bookings), with fresh pasta made in-house and paired with a rota of regularly changing, simple ingredients, and Irish meat and seafood grilled to perfection. I wasn't able to wrangle a table for Christmas but if anyone wondering what to get me is reading this, a January booking will suffice.
5. A dog
So my last entry is one that I'm highly unlikely to receive, and it's on my list every year, so I'm putting it down anyway. A pup from the Dogs Trust would truly make my Christmas (although if you're getting ideas for yourself, only make this move if you can properly care for a pup - dogs are for life, not just Christmas!). I already sponsor a puppy playgroup, and sadly that's likely to be the way it remains for now, as I don't have my own space for a dog, but one day I'll fulfil owning my own pup. For now, my puppy nephew Freddie will be the main apple of my eye.
If you're genuinely interested in sponsoring or adopting a dog, you can have a look at your options HERE.
4. Unlikeable Female Characters by Anna Bogutskaya
Heard about this book in a podcast recently, and have added it to my 'to be bought and then read list' in my notes app for the last few months. Tracking women in pop culture, tv, film and beyond who have been classified as "unlikeable", "mean" or a "slut" for a variety of reasons. Broadcaster Bogutskaya tracks the evolution of characters like Samantha Jones in Sex and the City to the iconic Mean Girl, Regina George, and examines what makes audience respond in such a strong way to them, and how pop culture is allowing a more nuanced view in film/tv, finally allowing us to celebrate the complexities of being a woman. Yup the mna!
You can grab (me) or someone in your life a copy from Dubray here.
3. Dyson Air Wrap multi-styler
An absolutely optimistic (delusional) entry, I’ve been wanting one of these bad boys for years. I’m blaming Sophie Murray, as seeing her use it to give herself bouncy blowouts has made me think maybe my own hair could look that good.
You can browse the range here.
2. A wardrobe full of Louis Copeland suits
I’m getting married to my wonderful partner Rachael next year, so there’s no harm in getting a few suits hanging in the wardrobe. A well-made suit makes you feel great, but ten well-made suits? That makes you feel ten times greater.
You can browse the Louis Copeland suits on the website here.
1. Velvet dress by Aoife McNamara
Even though my Christmas nights out aren't as glam as they once were, I still fantasise about the dream festive gúna and this pink velvet number from Irish designer Aoife McNamara is just the ticket. It's probably something I would have wanted to wear at age nine, but the corset waist and square neckline make it a bit more of a grown-up piece and I don't have to think too deeply about the fact my fashion preferences haven't changed since primary school.
The 'Winter is Magic' dress is priced at €380 and is available via the Aoife McNamara website.
Let's hope Santy is reading this eh?