20th Dec 2018 in Uncategorised

At this stage in December, most of us fall into one of three broad Christmas shopping categories:

  1. Haven’t started… sure it’ll be grand!
  2. Been putting off tackling the ‘hard-to-buy-for’ list…

Whoever it is you have to buy for, and whatever your budget, the CQ gift guide will provide the inspiration you need.

You’re welcome!

For the culture connoisseurs:

Treat the dedicated arts patrons in your life to Black Box Membership or a 2019 Out To Lunch Golden Ticket.

Black Box Membership is a glorious gift – it not only entitles you to great perks like cheaper show tickets, money off food and drink and entry into a regular ticket prize draws, but it also comes with a little goody bag of treats including a designer tote bag, special edition pen and postcard (stationery klaxon!!) and Black Box badges.

OTL membership brings membership to an exclusive club of just five people, who can attend any number of festival shows (certain exclusions apply) and the warm fuzzy feeling that they’re helping this awesome local festival to grow and thrive in the future.

If they love all the fun of the fair, book them a seat at The Winter Circus. This spectacular show brings internationally acclaimed circus performance to the Big Top in the middle of Writer’s Square. It even boasts Northern Ireland’s youngest ever circus performer!

Give the gift of a cultured 2019 with early bird tickets for the many excellent NI Science Festival events taking place in the Cathedral Quarter between 14th and 24th February, including a live heart dissection in The Black Box on Valentine’s Day!

Of course, you can let the object of your festive affection choose what to see and do themselves with a gift voucher for The Black Box, The MAC, CQAF / Out To Lunch,

For a real touch of class, pop into Keats and Chapman and select a book you think they’ll love. This secondhand bookstore is the real deal; it’s been in the CQ for about 13 years, it’s staffed by book lovers and it’s stocked to the rafters with books worth reading.

Tumble Circus

To get to their heart through their stomach:

Mike’s Fancy Cheeses is one of the newest kids on the block in CQ Belfast, and they’re already building a loyal following of cheese lovers obsessed with its artisanal raw milk cheeses, particularly Young Buck, their blue cheese. In-store, you can buy a gift bundle of cheeses, for 4 or 6 people, including Sheridan’s brown bread crackers, Irish black butter and a tote. Or if they’re a hands-on foodie, get them a ticket for their Cultured Butter And Fermented Dairy Workshop on 24th February.

Arrange a private tasting session at The Friend At Hand for the whiskey lover you know (minimum 6 people) – email friendathand@dukeofyorkbelfast.com. You can try buying them a bottle here, but half are them are strictly never for sale…

The Merchant offers gift cards and e-vouchers and this handy guide shows you all the things your lucky recipient could buy with your present, including afternoon tea, lunch in the Cloth Ear or dinner in Bert’s Jazz Bar.

We’re delighted to announce that Coppi and Buba are offering a free £10 voucher with every £100 purchased, and £5 free voucher for every £50 voucher bought when #cqbelfast is quoted! This is for telephone or restaurant purchases only, so pop in or give them a ring. Coppi: 028 9031 1959, Buba: 028 9568 0162.


For the art appreciators…

Golden Thread Gallery online shop has art books, original artworks, limited editions and gifts for sale.

If you’re buying for someone with an interest in photography, Belfast Exposed has an impressive bookshop and also has a huge range of courses running in 2019, from Photoshop Basics to Studio Photography, as well as bespoke courses.

The Belfast Print Workshop’s annual Christmas exhibition runs this year in the Cotton Court Gallery, from 6th – 20th December, with work available to purchase. For the creative have-a-go-hero in your life, BPW runs a fantastic year-round programme of technical print courses and workshops. The first two of 2019 have already sold out, but there are still lots of interesting classes and workshops to sign up to.

Belfast Print Workshop

Christmas gifts wrapped up:

As well as its historical, architectural and spiritual significance, Belfast Cathedral is also the location of a rather beautiful and well-stocked gift shop. It offers textiles, jewellery, cards, books and much more, with many of the items sourced from local suppliers – Manna cards, MaiBendyArt, Cowfield Design to name a few, along with gifts from Ireland and further afield.

The Dean of Belfast has just begun his famous annual fundraising sit-out, so do add to the pot and say hello if you’re in the Cathedral. For a really special shopping opportunity, head to the Black Santa Christmas Bazaar in Belfast Cathedral on Thursday 20th December. 60 stalls will be there between 5.30 and 10pm, including The Cultured Club’s funky ferments, The Belfast Beard Company’s luxurious beard care, Red Earth Designs’ stunning creations, Another World Belfast and their ethical not-for-profit coffee scrub and Suki Teas’ delicious teas – plus so many more. There will also be live music and tasty refreshments, so don’t miss it.

Unique at University of Ulster is ideal if you want something truly original, that will appeal to someone with creative or quirky tastes – plus, it’s a fantastic and affordable way to support the talented artists and makers of the future. The art and design shop is a student-led initiative with everything from paintings to furniture available to buy or commission.

Buying for a fitness fanatic?

Jacksons Sports have this excellent gift guide if you have someone active and outdoorsy to buy for, and they also offer gift vouchers if you just can’t choose for them.

Flow Yoga opened Flowco recently, Northern Ireland’s first yoga-inspired boutique. If you have a keen yogi to buy for, they have a beautiful range of high quality yoga supplies, including yoga mats, yoga towels, handmade jewellery, fashion and accessories.

Flow Yoga Studio

Beautification and modification:

Gift vouchers for The Make Up Pro Store can buy an application, course or products and it’s just one of many amazing spots for beauty and hair in the CQ. Check out MACC, Bill Harris, Bellaire, Tivoli Barbers and Hair Friendly for vouchers or treatments for the beauty queen you’re shopping for.

The Cathedral Quarter is fast becoming the unofficial Tattoo Quarter of Belfast, so if you’re looking for body mod vouchers or appointments for pressies, you will be spoilt for choice – Addinktion, A Sailors Grave, Joker Tattoo Studio, Penthouse Ink and Inkcastle are all in The CQ. Addinktion also has an online shop, Bella Muerte, which sells goth-inspired beauty and clothing, and A Sailor’s Grave stocks the Sullen clothing range in its Royal Avenue studio.

Penthouse Ink

For even more shopping inspiration, check out our Destination CQ business directory.

We hope this was helpful – tag us on social media or use the hashtag #CQBelfast to share your CQ Christmas shopping experiences, and do let us know if there are any shops or destinations we need to add to this guide.

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