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From fine-dining and whiskey tours to golfing adventures and spa getaways, your loved ones will look back fondly on these experience gifts for years to come.
There’s no denying the thrill that comes from unwrapping a pile of presents - that said, there are only so many presents one can open before experiencing that inevitable gifting boredom.
That’s why we love experiential gifts. The gift that keeps on giving. Gifting an experience will encourage the recipient to try something new, create unforgettable memories and can even allow you to spend some quality time together reconnecting after the year that was. What’s more, when the presents are all unwrapped and the tree is down, there’s nothing like the thoughts of a great day out to look forward to.
We’ve sought some of the best experiential gifts Ireland has to offer. And to make things even easier for you, each gift is available to purchase in-store. So whether you’re shopping for a serious foodie or an explorer who loves the great outdoors, we’ve found an experience to suit everyone on your list.
Presented in an expertly crafted gift box with a hand-crafted cheese board made of 100% sustainable Irish hardwoods and an accompanying cheese knife, the CLIFF Aimsir Experience is the perfect gift for any green-fingered gardeners or serious foodies. The voucher is valid for two people and takes the recipient on an exclusive two-hour tour of the AIMSIR and Cliff at Lyons kitchen gardens. The expert tour guide will impart their tips and tricks on year-round and sustainable gardening and guests can also enjoy a secret pit stop in the potting shed for a fresh juice or tea distilled from the crop of the day. The tour finishes in the lounge of two-star Michelin restaurant, AIMSIR, where you can taste some of the garden’s produce via a delicious plate of snacks created by Chef Jordan Bailey.
When choosing Afternoon Tea in Killarney, there are few locations as luxurious and stunning as the 5-star surroundings of Muckross Park Hotel & Spa. The majestic setting inside Killarney National Park provides a beautiful backdrop to what is a unique dining experience. But thanks to the hotel’s recent collaboration with Veuve Clicquot, the premium Champagne house, afternoon tea is set to become an even more spectacular affair. Recipients of this experience gift will get the opportunity to sit back, relax and taste an array of sandwiches and desserts designed to reflect the beauty of the hotel's natural surroundings. Choose a delicious tea or a refreshing glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne to complement the award-winning afternoon tea experience. Presented in a beautifully crafted gift box containing a Veuve Clicquot Snipe, this is a real treat.
Whether you’re shopping for someone who is a pro on the golf course or someone eager to learn, the Golf at Carton House is an experience gift like no other. Having hosted the Irish Open in 2005, 2006 and 2013, Carton House excels in championship standards and expertise. This experience, for two people, includes a private one-hour lesson on the world-class, Golf Ireland driving range, delivered by the Head PGA professional of the Golf Ireland Academy. The lesson will be tailored to your own needs and ability and will fill you with confidence before hitting the fairways. After your lesson, just a short stroll from the Academy, enjoy 18 holes of golf on either of the championship courses at Carton House. Choose from the parkland favourite O’Meara course or the links-like challenge that is the Montgomerie course. Following this incredible experience, the voucher will also include a two-course lunch for both players in The Carriage House, one of the most popular dining outlets at the resort located within the golf clubhouse. And to make sure they're all set for a full 18-hole round, this experience gift comes with a Golf Ireland golf accessories gift set.
Specifically designed to leave you feeling revived and renewed, this experience gift provides lovers of luxury with an indulgent day spa experience for two people in The Cliff’s multi-award winning The Well spa. Choose from either a 30-minute treatment or a 45-minute outdoor bathing therapy. The treatment is then followed by a three-course lunch in either the sea-facing Bar Restaurant and Terrace in Cliff House Hotel or The Mill Restaurant and Terrace at the countryside boutique hotel, Cliff at Lyons. And to ensure this gift keeps on giving, it is presented with The Well at CLIFF Lavender and Sea Salt bath salts as well as The Well at CLIFF Comforting Bath Oil.
Indulge in a day of whiskey tasting at the historic and iconic hotel, The Shelbourne. The hotel’s Horseshoe Bar offers private whiskey tastings with a vast selection of fine Irish whiskeys. Led by one of the Bar’s knowledgeable bartenders, you’ll be guided through the tasting. Sip on timeless classics and discover new favourites as well as discovering the history behind the Shelbourne’s Bullet Glass, a unique way of showcasing the Shelbourne Hotel’s association with the historic event that is the 1916 rising.
Enjoy a truly wonderful afternoon in Hugh Brown’s elegant all-day dining restaurant. As tasteful in food as it is in decor, Hugh Brown’s makes for one stylish affair with its vibrant colour palette. Another bonus: there is a small but perfectly formed cocktail list and a children’s menu for the smaller shoppers. Experience the illustrious dining at Hugh Brown’s with a two-course lunch for two people with a bottle of wine and a glass of champagne on arrival. What's more, the gift even comes with a personalised bottle of Moët. The ultimate Christmas treat!
Whether you’re looking to sharpen your basic cookery skills or discover a new cuisine altogether, there’s no finer training ground than the Ballymaloe Cookery School. Exclusive to Brown Thomas this Christmas, the Ballymaloe Experience with Rachel Allen will see an intimate group of guests partake in a private cookery class with Rachel Allen. Join Allen in Ballymaloe for a tour of the school’s organic farm and gardens, then it’s into the kitchen for a cook-along where you’ll cook a three-course meal in real-time under Allen’s expert guidance. Presented with a special gift of Newbridge Silverware Measuring Spoons, this is a must-buy gift for any food lover. Recipients of this spectacular experience gift will be able to choose one of five extraordinary classes:
Learn the secrets of preparing the perfect and stress-free dinner party.3-course meal including canapes, bread and petit fours.
Quick and easy recipes that are perfect for a casual supper and which all the family will enjoy. Including basic breads.
Poaching prawns with homemade mayonnaise, steamed mussels with basil cream, pan-fried fish with buerre blanc or hollandaise and the perfect fish pie.
Learn the secrets of a perfect iced sponge cake, chocolate tart and cloud-like meringues.
Exciting new sauces, marinades, dips and salads to complement your favourite barbecued meats.
For an evening they’ll cherish forever, gift Ireland’s most unique dining experience with a spectacular dinner aboard the Orient Express. Located on the shores of Lough Corrib, The Pullman restaurant is made up of two original carriages from the famous Orient Express which have been beautifully restored and now sit on the grounds of the Glenlo Abbey Hotel. The lucky recipient of this gift will experience what it’s like to step back in time and enjoy a luxurious experience dining in true style. Sit by the window and take in the spectacular views overlooking the Glenlo Abbey Estate as the perfect accompaniment to the scrumptious meals served aboard. Presented with a personalised bottle of Moët, this is one gift they’ll never forget.
Because what’s Christmas without a toast of bubbles? This year level up the toasting experience with a Champagne dinner at the award-winning SOLE Seafood & Grill Restaurant on South William Street, Dublin. Indulge in an incredible six-course Irish Seafood tasting experience with Veuve Clicquot Champagne which has been specially created by SOLE’s Culinary Director, Richie Wilson and in house Sommelier, Victor Nedelea. The recipient will be brought on a journey through exquisite Champagnes, each perfectly paired with a fresh Irish seafood dish. Beautifully presented with exquisite Veuve Clicquot snipe and lemon squeezers, this is one experience gift you might be more reluctant to give away.
There’s dining out and then there’s dining out at The Cliff, a truly unforgettable experience. Beautifully presented in a CLIFF wine box with a bottle of CLIFF House red and white wine inside, this voucher will entitle two people to a three-course dinner for two and a bottle of CLIFF House Wine in either the Seaside Bar and Restaurant in the 5-star Cliff House Hotel Ardmore or the Mill Restaurant and Terrace in the boutique countryside hotel of Cliff at Lyons. A thoughtful and relaxing gift that’s sure to be appreciated after the busy festive period.