‘Tis the season for spiced lattes and Santa’s sleigh! Since the Triangle is brimming with exceptional craftsmanship, like vinyl hand bags and award-winning bakeries, we’ve curated treasures for our own holiday gift guide. Hidden nooks, surprising gems and even well-loved hotspots — give these goodies a gander!
Best of the South Basket
Raleigh’s beloved wine bar and art gallery doesn’t just offer memorable sips and savory bites. Tastemaker and owner Lindsay selects hallmarks from southern artisans — an array of whimsical wares, delightful reads and scrumptious flavors. Her stylish gift basket might feature a savory sauce, wine-themed candles, Bloody Mary mix or the Garden & Gun Southerner’s Handbook. Stop by Vita Vite to collect your own treasure basket, and check out her retail selection for other goodies, like a wine bag or decanter. And of course, peruse VV’s collection of local southern art — distinct pieces perfect for a holiday gift.
Chocolate Bars, Boxes and Bon Bons
Local favorites Sam and Starr Ratto take chocolate from cocoa bean to Christmas blessing. Luscious, gourmet chocolates include festive holiday bark and collections of truffles, like Bourbon, Maple Curry Caramel and Cranberry Ganache truffles (with a whiff of rosemary). Or ask the master chocolatiers to select their prize favorites in a personalized box — packaged, ribbon-wrapped and ready for under the tree!
The Gift of Health (and abs)
Located in Raleigh’s Five Points, barre3 offers a heart-pumping deep-muscle workout by combining functional training with ballet barre, pilates and yoga. We love the spa-esque studio, complete with towel service, purified water and, of course, a play lounge for the kiddos. The small class sizes and wide offerings accommodate any schedule, from you brave 6 a.m.-ers to the late-evening exercisers. Gift a membership!
The Gift of Relaxation
Let’s face it. Meditation is hard — especially amidst the holiday hustle. But what if you could give that special someone the gift of relaxation that doubles as an interior design and party planning feature? Now you can with Spectiv — a TV channel that streams 4K content, creating a relaxing atmosphere with beautiful scenery. From Alabama to Italy…from snowy peaks to sandy shores, you can take your room somewhere new that matches your mood and provides calm and clarity. As a bonus, you can choose art for your walls with Spectiv or set a backdrop for an event — like a white Christmas for your holiday party. At $9.99 per month on Apple TV or Roku, this one’s an affordable luxury.
Stocking Stuffer Paradise
We just can’t help ourselves with this one. Briggs Hardware, nestled downtown on Hargett Street, spruces up the traditional stock of rakes and brooms with a cornucopia of delightful gifts. In addition to customizable gift baskets, they display everything from teddy bears to special sauces to craft beer tap handles. Grab a box of Chapel Hill Toffee or a prized Melissa Doug toy for the tyke.
Supper for Your Soiree (Did you know?!)
We think this might be Raleigh’s best-kept catering secret! Give yourself the gift of a stress-free office party or holiday gala; let someone else do the cooking. Mellow Mushroom has transformed its signature flavors into a crowd-pleasing catering menu that is so much more than just pizza. From bruschetta to triple-chocolate brownies, you can customize a spread of fresh, flavorful dishes.
Happy holidays and happy shopping! Got any favorites we should mention? Go on — tell us!