19 Amazing Last Minute Gift Ideas You Can Buy From Hereford’s Independent Shops

There are certain people who never learn and end up doing their Christmas shopping at the very last minute. To tell you the truth, 2016 has been one jerk of a year for many across the world and perhaps the thought of Christmas was not a priority until the pressing date was a upon them. No worries, I have come up with some interesting gift ideas your family or circle of friends will find fun and appreciate – all the while supporting your local independent businesses. Get ready, get set, go shopping!

It’s A Novelty Idea

1.

'On Your Bike' Bicycle Repair Kit £15 Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street

‘On Your Bike’ Bicycle Repair Kit £15 Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street Hereford. For the cyclist in the family. Comes in a sweet retro style tin.

2.

Men's Society Sneaker Cleaning Kit £25 Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street in Hereford.

Men’s Society Sneaker Cleaning Kit £25 Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street in Hereford. Do you have someone in your life who matches their trainers / sneakers to their hats or outfits? The type that have a meticulous collection? This will keep them happy. Again in a cool retro style tin.                                                                                                   

3.

Ted Baker Rose Gold Fountain's Pen £50. Available at Tailor + Printer on Widemarsh Street Hereford.

Ted Baker Rose Gold Fountain’s Pen £50. Available at Tailor + Printer on Widemarsh Street Hereford. Also available in other colours and traditional black and gold. Make sure your loved ones sign on that dotted line with style.

 

Tattoo Connoisseurs 

4.

Tattoo Vouchers

Tattoo gift vouchers hereford

Why not support your fellow tattoo connoisseur or someone getting a tattoo for the first time? Show them how much they mean to you this Christmas by supporting their passion and putting a bit of cash towards their next tattoo with a gift from Hereford’s local tattooists. These gift vouchers are available at Blackfriars Tattoo on Maylord Street in the Hereford City Centre and can be purchased in any amount you desire.

5.

Skinzophrenic Tattoos on Aubrey Street and Black Dragon Inc on Eign Street are also offering tattoo vouchers.

Skinzophrenic Tattoos on Aubrey Street and Black Dragon Inc Tattoos on Eign Street are also offering tattoo vouchers. I would practically jump over the moon with joy if I was given one. £50 vouchers left only at Skinzophrenic Tattoos.

6.

Lost World Clothing

Find a selection of local Hereford independent clothing brand Lost World clothing at Blackfriars Tattoo on Maylord Street £10 each.

Find a selection of local Hereford independent brand Lost World Clothing at Blackfriars Tattoo on Maylord Street £10 each. This is a true bargain for such great design collaborations from tattoo artists worldwide. We all have that one friend we need to buy for who kept the budget to £10 so these will make a great impression.

Organic Wine and Chocolate

Fodder is Hereford’s most respected independent health food shop located in the beautiful independent quarter on Church Street. They have built a loyal following through their personalised customer service. Nothing more indulgent than a beautiful box of Organic chocolate truffles and a bottle of organic wine for friends and relatives with special tastes and diets. Delightful!

7.

Booja Booja Gourmet Selection Dairy Free, Organic, Gluten and Soya Free truffles. Mmmm
Booja Booja Gourmet Selection Dairy Free, Organic, Gluten and Soya Free truffles. Mmmm

8.

A wonderful and very brief presentation on their organic wines and sulphur free wines as well. Certainly a great last minute pick up from Fodder on Church Street.

 

Special Gestures

9 and 10

 

Cath Kidston Umbrella £35. Powell-Craft rag dolls £16.99. Selection may vary depending on stock but always available at Coco’s Vintage Living on Maylord Street in the Hereford City Centre.

11.

The Berkeley Hotel in London has released 'Prêt-à-Portea High-Fashion Bakes & Cakes'. Printer + Tailor Hereford

The Berkeley Hotel in London has released ‘Prêt-à-Portea High-Fashion Bakes & Cakes’. This book merges the world of couture fashion and baking for some really delightful treats you can show off to your friends with. A must for the savvy baker in the family. Available at Tailor + Printer on Widemarsh Street £12.95.

 

Beautiful People

12.

Clinique's 'The Iconic Red' collection - Chave and Jackson hereford

Clinique’s ‘The Iconic Red’ collection is based around the classic look made popular by icons and screen sirens. Achieve a beautiful look with a fine black liquid liner designed to create the ultimate flick, high impact mascara and Clinique’s beautiful – and my personal favourite ‘Pop Colour + Lip Primer’ in Passion Pop. Available at Chave & Jackson on St. Owens Street in the Hereford city centre £30.

13.

Chave & Jackson in the Hereford city centre on Broad Street. Michael Kors Wanderlust gift set.

Available at Chave and Jackson in the Hereford city centre on Broad Street. This is a deeply romantic scent with notes of pink peppercorn, almond milk. dianthus, cashmeran wood, sandalwood and heliptrope. Gift set includes 1.7 fluid oz Eau de Parfum Spray, 3.4 oz body lotion and a Michael Kors keychain £63.

14.

It’s a bit of elegance and a lot of rock’n’roll. French designer clothing label Zadig & Voltaire has released his and her fragrances that are bound to please the edgiest people on your Christmas list.

This is Her! Zadig & Voltaire in the white bottle is a floral, woody gourmand scent containing notes of pink pepper, Sambac jasmine, milky chestnut cream, vanilla and sandalwood. Bottles begin at 30 ml retailing at Chave & Jackson on Broad Street in Hereford for £38.

This is Him! Zadig & Voltaire fragrance for men is a woody, oriental scent with notes of grapefruit, black pepper, incense, milky sandalwood and vanilla. The bottles seamlessly connect, perfect for couples. Men’s 30 ml bottle £36. This is a strong contender in the men’s scent category for me.

Cocktails All Around!

15.

Pair of True Viski Seneca Faceted Crystal Whisky Tumblers £31.50. Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street Hereford.

Pair of True Viski Seneca Faceted Crystal Whisky Tumblers £31.50. Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street Hereford. This is high-style.

16.

Esquire 'Drink Like A Man' is the ultimate cocktail guide with over 125 cocktail ideas

Esquire ‘Drink Like A Man’ is the ultimate cocktail guide with over 125 cocktail ideas spanning 83 years. Most certainly what Don Draper may have in his glass at the end of a long day. Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street in Hereford. £14.99

17.

Kikkerland Tall Bartending glasses. Printer + Tailor Hereford

I have to admit these are one of my favourite items on the list. These bartender glasses come with cocktail recipe measures on them…simply the perfect idea when hosting a house party with your mates. It is like you are a pro already. Kikkerland Bartending Glass, Set of 4 Tall £22.00 Set of 4 short glasses £17.50. Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street in Hereford.

 

Pen & Paper Loyalists

18.

 

52 Lists of Happiness Moorea Seal at Printer + Tailor Hereford

2017 won’t let you down if you maintain ’52 Lists of Happiness’ by Moorea Seal £11.99. This beautiful journal is full of illustrations, beautiful images, and even velvet ribbon. Beautiful to hold and it encourages readers to reflect, acknowledge, and invest in themselves, and ultimately transform their lives by figuring out exactly what makes them happy. This could be the best gift you could give anyone this Christmas.

19.

Perpetual Disappointments Diary Printer + Tailor Hereford

I let out a rather loud laugh when I picked up this diary, and as everyone stared to my dismay, I dug my head in deeper discovering templates for apologies and passive aggressive notes. This is a diary for the brutally honest, the cynics and the downtrodden. Available at Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh Street in Hereford £9.99.

 

That is the end of the list, so tick off those last few people or start your Christmas shopping immediately. I also did find shopping earlier in the day more manageable than the evening. Just prepare yourself for Christmas mania. Have a couple jolly mulled ciders to relax you and to feel festive. Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping!

The Health Food Shop and Coffee Bean Paradise That is The Polish Community’s Hidden Treasure In Hereford

Sometimes when running errands in town I am so rushed I can walk past a shop several times and never notice it was there.  In fact, at times I will walk past a shop for years on end and not notice. This year though I have tried to notice, especially as I run a blog that not only features music and culture but independent businesses.

Shift health food store aubrey street hereford

I often am attracted to window displays and one’s with a lot of effort put into them. A shopping experience should never be mind boggling, it should flow and be easy on the eyes. Hence why places like TK Maxx scare me. So this particular day walking along Aubrey Street up from King Street towards High Town Hereford I was drawn in by a window that wasn’t very well lit or exposed, but I did notice a line of clear canisters that looked like they had coffee beans in them, of course, in I ran as I am a coffee connoisseur or maybe just a coffee guzzler and was greeted by a sort of random health food store. There was a giant desk upon entry and that not very warm fluorescent lighting, but as I approached the shelves I realised I had discovered a jewel!!

 

It is a family run Polish health food store that specialises in various brands of Russian and Eastern European potions, tonics, essential oils, beauty products and all things of similar value you would find in such a shop – but then they also sell a BEAUTIFUL selection of coffee beans and loose leaf teas. I couldn’t believe it was there!

The Polish community has been keeping this gem to themselves. They worked hard, saved up and still don’t have a proper sign, but it is called Shift Store and the address is 26-28 Aubrey Street and is located half a block down from A Rule of Tum and practically across the street from Skinzophrenic Tattoos and Piercings.

Shift health food store aubrey street hereford

They sell Strawberry’s and Cream coffee beans amongst a variety of very interesting flavours I don’t usually see in Hereford. The teas are exotic and sound delicious. They are marked with expiry dates to guarantee they haven’t been sitting there an eternity and are reasonably priced.  So this Christmas pop in and pick up some exotic teas and coffee beans for the Secret Santa at work or just to spoil yourself whenever you please. Try some lovely health products, but most important of all support your local independent retailers.

The Underground Revolution bring you Culture Shock, Atterkop and Alvin and The Angry Barrels with Special Guest Dub DJ’s Last Tree Squad TONIGHT!!!!

Thursday 1 December @The Booth Hall Hereford HR1 2LW.  $8 Entry and £5 with N.U.S card.  Join us for a night of Ska and Punk Beast legends. 

 

The Underground Revolution present Culture Shock Dec 1 2016 at the booth hall hereford

One November Night Hereford Rocks Warmed Up The Crowd With A Trio Of Indie Rock, Blues and Folk Punk Fusion

Hereford Rocks with Turquoise Llama, Mexicola and Freeborn Rising @ The Booth Hall 4 November 2016

The Autumn chill is briskly creeping upon us and the inclination to hibernate is the backlash wanting to keep us behind closed doors in cosy slipper socks drinking tea and turning us into social lepers. Meanwhile, there is gig after gig filling the musical void that once plagued Hereford’s sluggish pubs and music venues.

Say no to hibernation!! Last Friday November 4th was an exceptionally chilly evening and the Tropic of Cancer blood that flows through my veins was rebelling against the elements. The brick and mortar was at the ready for me to put up that winter wall, not to mention that extra winter layer…after all we know that “Winter is Coming”.

Continue reading “One November Night Hereford Rocks Warmed Up The Crowd With A Trio Of Indie Rock, Blues and Folk Punk Fusion”

The Power of the People – The Hereford Music Community Strikes Again

Saturday October 15th, 2016 brought a community of Herefordshire musicians, music lovers and promoter’s (The Underground Revolution) to Hereford’s latest popular music venue The Booth HallThey hosted a free We Shall Overcome anti-austerity gig requesting food or cash donations for Hereford’s local food bank. Similar communities also hosted events all over the country during the first week of October proving that the UK is a nation of charitable hearts.

Many of us have been touched by the cruel hand of austerity, and during desperate times have accessed local food banks in order to put food on the table for our families. It isn’t a joke when you have to decide whether to pay your rent or buy food, especially when both are not an option.

“The support for the cause was amazing, I think Hereford has a big heart”

We Shall Overcome 2016 Hereford
Clockwise: Starting Top Left – Terminal Rage, Moshing Crowd, Alvin & The Angry Barrels, Nick Davis

This sentiment must have hit home for many as food donations piled in, merchandise was sold and a £100 in cash was collected for the food bank. People of all ages took matters into their own hands showing support for the less fortunate.

Hosted by The Underground Revolution, the idea came to U.R. Co-Founder Rich Lovell after his band Terminal Rage was asked to perform at another We Shall Overcome event taking place at The Rigger in Newcastle-Upon-Lyme alongside notable bands including Headsticks and Sons of Clogger – all performing free.

underground-2

You don’t have to be loaded to support your local charity. A pound means a lot when they add up. I asked Rich if he expected the turnout and support on the night, he replied “It far outweighed my expectation, both in the number of people who attended and the amount of food that was donated. The support for the cause was amazing, I think Hereford has a big heart”

Artists performing on the evening were: Nick Davies bringing in the crowd with his acoustic songs, setting the tone for a soon-to-be ferocious musical evening, Alvin and the Angry Barrels getting the mosh pit going and the ladies dancing to punk and ska, and lastly, Terminal Rage, whose local following is increasing leaps and bounds with every chord of Pretty Vacant. Warning, there have been a few bruises and bumps in the process…ah well that’s PUNK for you.

You can’t quite picture a room of headbangers, crusty’s and punks of all ages mingling with your average Joe too often, but it certainly was the case at Hereford’s 2016 We Shall Overcome fundraiser…living proof that diversity creates stronger communities. Power to the People!

We Shall Overcome Hereford 2016

Photography by Nickie Bates

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Sascha Kindred OBE: A Hero’s Welcome

Hereford Paralympian hero Sascha Kindred OBE was treated to a warm homecoming celebration along the picturesque River Wye which flows through the middle of the Hereford City Centre 

Hereford Mayor Welcomes Sascha Kindred
The Hereford Mayor welcomes paralympian hero Sascha Kindred, his wife Nyree and daughter Ella to a grand fireworks display

I popped over to the Left Bank on Saturday (albeit a bit late) expecting the party to be over. The honour guard from Hereford Swimming Club had been and gone, the speeches had finished and all the carnival crafts from the Hereford River Carnival organisers had been crafted and put away. But what I found was a busy and vibrant courtyard outside De Koffie Pot with wonderful live music emanating from the Bandstand Stage courtesy of Sam Huffer and a plethora of happy children having a good jig thanks to the ever impressive organising efforts of John Steven Hales.

Hereford Mayor Jim Kenyon gives Sascha Kindred grand welcome home
Hereford Mayor Jim Kenyon. Praised as Mayor of the People.
Freeborn Rising playing folk music for Sascha Kindred welcome party in Hereford
Freeborn Rising playing folk music to the welcome party.

Continue reading “Sascha Kindred OBE: A Hero’s Welcome”

Sounds From The Sofa: Mass Intrusions, Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Fidel Castro, Curry Houses & More With Young Feminist Punks – The Delinquents

The term “Feminist Punks” might possibly seem like a contradiction to those unaware of what PUNK actually is all about. The average lost soul often generalises punk as debauchery without a cause…please say it isn’t so! With this movement in its 40th year, it is finally receiving the respect it deserves.

The term “Feminist Punks” might possibly seem like a contradiction to those unaware of what PUNK actually is all about. The average lost soul often generalises punk as debauchery without a cause. Please say it isn’t so! With this movement in its 40th year, it is finally receiving the respect it deserves.

Granted at the time of Punk’s origins, the world was in quite a state, and the only way to make a point and break up an establishment that had us saying “yes sir and no sir” and living life under their candy coated values, was to stand up for yourself and fight back. Not so simple.

If you think about it, you really had to be an intelligent, brave individual to stand up to authority, and even more so to stand up for women in a society that is very condescending to them for shits and giggles and to stroke the male ego. Things have progressed somewhat in that respect, but society is in chaos again and The Delinquents are just not having it.

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Squatting in true Delinquent style

Continue reading “Sounds From The Sofa: Mass Intrusions, Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Fidel Castro, Curry Houses & More With Young Feminist Punks – The Delinquents”

The Underground Revolution presents Friday 13th Dark Entries Night @The Booth Hall, Hereford. A Guide For Beginners.

A couple of lost souls have approached me recently and asked, “What is the Dark Entries Friday the 13th night all about at The Booth Hall?”   I began my replies with “Well you don’t want to miss it”  But here is a more comprehensive explanation. It’s underground, alternative, dance, with a touch of industrial, goth post punk edgy, delirium infused tunes that push the boundaries of your inner freak, poetic, music loving, uncontrollably exuberant, morbid but totally pleasant and sexy self.  Do you get it now?  I really hope so because this kind of night doesn’t happen everyday and may not happen again….so be there!

the booth hall hereford and underground revolution

Continue reading “The Underground Revolution presents Friday 13th Dark Entries Night @The Booth Hall, Hereford. A Guide For Beginners.”

Building Festive Childhood Memories at the Hereford River Carnival 2016

Hereford River Carnival 2016

As a child growing up in Pasadena, California I attended the annual Rose Parade New Year’s Day celebrations without falter.  It began as a child and carried on until my later years when I was able to camp out on the street during New Year’s Eve so that I could have the best view of the parade in the morning, and party like a rock star all night long whilst nearly freezing during my mere 2 hours of sleep. Nonetheless, I was able to watch the parade in all its majestic glory, even if it was with one eye open and one eye shut. People generally wake up in a tent full of friends they don’t recognise, yet partied with the night before…it is just how it is. I have never forgotten this grand event that as a Pasadena native I am extremely proud of and support any time I am there.

The tradition carries on with my oldest daughter, and so and so forth. Here’s to hoping that Hereford adapts this same enthusiasm for our unique local carnival that kicks off the Wye Valley River Festival and is buzzing with entertainment for our children and adults alike. Certainly a family affair in a gem of a location. There are puppet foot processions, float competitions on the river that people genuinely pour their heart and souls into to create, a children’s carnival section, lots of live music, stalls selling food and crafts…and the usual Carnival festivities.

I took my daughter along and asked her what she thought. Here is what she said:

“I enjoyed it…it was fun, I would like to go again.  The Fun house was my favourite and the floats were my second favourite. I would like to be a cheerleader in the parade next year”

And there you have it.  As simple and straightforward as they come.

 

 

There were two live music stages being hosted by the Music Pool Charity and The Underground Revolution in the beautiful river view courtyard between the Dutch-inspired De Koffie Pot and The Left Bank Venue which was holding another Hereford Rocks featuring Deborah Bonham, and had a surprise visit by Robert Plant.  Here we capture some of the acoustic acts which included Tobion, Mark Stevenson, Shannon Walker, Kaptive 8, The Boondogz, DJ ‘Jus Jay, Nick Davis and Robin Shaw.

It’s All Free Love And A Lot Of Music Makin’ With SKINHORSE

Skinhorse band hereford England
Left – Ben Davies Right – Andy Williams, Skinhorse

Sitting by the inglenook fire with Skinhorse during The Underground Revolution’s gig at The Victory Pub & Brewery, headlined by Hereford Art College band Silverfield, felt pretty rock n roll.  It was a buzzing Friday evening, and the weather was on point, making for a very relaxed and fun interview, regardless of the live grunge tunes ruling the sound waves over our voices. Continue reading “It’s All Free Love And A Lot Of Music Makin’ With SKINHORSE”