Shopping
Spread some artisan joy this Christmas with these 100% local gift ideas
We’ve got you covered with gorgeous presents for absolutely everyone on your gift list – and they’re all Maltese.

28 November 2018 Jo Caruana

This year I have made a solid gift resolution: all my presents will all be local. Why? Because we’re totally spoilt for choice – and the selection is gorgeous. From stocking fillers and Secret Santa options to truly unique items that you couldn’t get anywhere else in the world, I have been super impressed by the artisanal entrepreneurship out there.

Now, which of these would you like to receive?

Sunday in Scotland

Having opened its doors on St Lucy Street in Valletta earlier this year, Sunday in Scotland has quickly built its reputation as a chocoholic’s paradise – a place you can relax while chowing down on the most delicious cakes ever (their Le Flan is probably my favourite discovery of 2018) or a boutique for buying original, Malta-made chocolate goodies. If you really want to impress, opt for the beautifully-presented mixed bag of Sunday in Scotland chocolate Pearls, their Honeycomb, Millionaire's Shortbread, Luxury Festive Cake, Bean-to-Bar Hazelnut Praline & Sea Salt 73% Guatemala bar, the Original Bar of 70% Madagascar, a Ganache & Praline ‘HazelCake’ (how perfect is that?), and a bottle of Andresen Fine Tawny Port. You might as well just sit back and let the Christmas food coma start now.

Mediterranean Culinary Academy

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mediterranean Culinary Academy (@mediterranean_culinary_academy) on

Giving a gift experience is super ‘in’ this festive season, and this option is all that and a bottle of olive oil. As Malta’s first culinary academy, the MCA has spent the last couple of years creating challenging-but-fun courses and workshops for hobby chefs. This Christmas, you can give a foodie a gift that will keep on giving, with a festive package that includes a voucher for a course or workshop, an MCA Loyalty Card, and a bottle of Bidni Endemic Monovarietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil (250ml) – so they’ve got something lovely to unwrap on Christmas Day – and possibly even a super-chic apron and homemade Za'atar spice mix. Yum.

Villa Bologna

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Villa Bologna Shop (@villa_bologna_shop) on

Located within the Villa Bologna estate (a must-visit if you love a good wander round the grounds of a stately home), the Villa Bologna Shop and Pottery is known for its gorgeous selection of gifts – most of which are made within the pottery itself. Perfect for those who love to entertain, the one-of-a-kind bowls will complement any dinner service, while thes candleholders are super cute. If you’ve got a slightly higher budget, nothing beats the iconic Villa Bologna pineapple lamp base (after all, I would argue that nothing says Christmas better than a pineapple lamp base!)

Craft Beer Malta

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Craft Beer Company (@thecraftbeercompany) on

If you’ve got a beer lover in your life then you’d better get your skates on – because this beer advent calendar has got to be the ultimate gift for 1st December. With a different craft beer to take you all the way to Christmas Eve (including two specially-brewed limited edition Maltese beers – one of which is inspired by chocolate milk), the Hoppy Christmas Advent Beer Box is hard to beat.

Stephanie Borg

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Stephanie Borg (@stephanieborg_art) on

Stephanie Borg trail-blazed her way as a local artisan, and has become one of the most reliable go-to brands for Malta-inspired gifts. Her top buys include her mugs, coffee cups and front door prints, which always go down a treat. This year she’s also introduced a range of cushions, hardback journals, and Doors of Malta aprons and tea towels.

Stephen Cordina

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Stephen Cordina Aroma&Therapy (@stephencordina_aromatherapy) on

Here’s a cracker of a gift – literally. Gozitan perfumer Stephen Cordina’s all-natural beauty and wellness brand is very much in demand, and this cracker-filled-with-products is the perfect way to share it. Each one is busting with a diffuser, candle (which melts to become a luxurious body oil), room spray and soap. I particularly love the Citrus and Cinnamon range – very Christmassy.

The Secret Rose

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Secret Rose (@the_secret_rose) on

Handmade gifts are always the most special – especially if they’re personalised to boot. Embroidery guru Sarah Micallef is the talent behind The Secret Rose – a brand that embellishes everything from wedding album covers to hankies. This Christmas I am 100% addicted to their bauble range – which can be tailor-made to match the personality of the person receiving it.

Marpesia

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Martina (@marpesiaandco) on

When I need something pretty and on-point, Marpesia is my first port of call. Jewellery-maker-par-excellance Martina is known for crafting gorgeous hand-made jewellery in a variety of styles – and she will create something bespoke in no time and to suit any brief. And just because she’s a dab hand at all sorts of things, this Christmas she is also retailing an artistic selection of retro-style postcards and some seriously scrumptious homemade fudge. Genius.

Mint Sparrow

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mint Sparrow (@mint_sparrow) on

I am a big fan of all things quirky, and Mint Sparrow is the place I go to get my fix. With a touch of vintage to them, the products here are perfect if you’d like to give something fun and original, like their brooches and earrings, stone art, print art (including some gorgeous Valletta-inspired pieces), watches, jewellery, and clothing.

Te Fit Tazza

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Te fit-Tazza (@tefittazza) on

Time honoured Maltese iconography turned into high-quality prints? Yes please. Te fit-Tazza has developed something of a cult following since it launched its witty prints a few years ago. They’re perfect for those with a love of Maltese fixtures – like our veg trucks, pastizzi, buildings, churches, books and vehicles. Part of the fun is matching the perfect print to your chosen recipient.

Souvenirs That Don’t Suck

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Souvenirs that don't suck ® (@maltasouvenirs) on

Doing what they say on the tin, the Souvenirs That Don’t Suck team has come up with some fab Malta-centric gifts that, frankly, don’t suck at all. This Christmas, I’ll be posting their luzzu-inspired socks to friends all over the world because I think they’re the ultimate mix of tongue-in-cheek and super-style, while their U Ejja and Mela t-shirts are ideal for those with a developing love of the Maltese language.

QUE

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by QUE (@que.com.mt) on

Another must-visit on your hunt for gifts with bags of personality, head to QUE – a shop the recently took its first international strides from Malta to Manchester (proving just how fantastic the mix is). This Maltese door keyring/charm makes for a brilliant stocking filler, while their striking Gladiolus flower earrings are best-sellers for a reason.


Jo  Caruana
Written by
Jo Caruana
Jo is a magazine editor and actress who is passionate about all things foodie and cultural on her island home. Her favourite pastimes include writing in cafes, performing at the Manoel Theatre, and exploring the countryside with her three beloved dogs.

You may also like...
Shopping

Jillian Mallia
Shopping
Shopping
From artisan goodies to festive treats, you’re bound to pick up something unique.

Jo Caruana
Shopping
Shopping
Shopping
The shiny new shop opens its doors today.

Sarah Micallef
Shopping

Jillian Mallia