By shopping online you can not only bring a little bit of Orkney to you but you will also support local businesses and ensure their survival so they are still around when people are able to visit again.
So many people have told me how disappointed they feel about having to cancel their Scotland travel plans this year, including visits to Orkney, the place I am lucky enough to call home.
This blow hasn't just been felt by travellers, In Scottish island communities like Orkney, local businesses have been hit hard as many of them depend on tourism for survival.
As an islander, a small tourism business and someone who has had to cancel several trips of my own, I can relate to all these difficult circumstances.
However, just because you can't travel to Scotland or Orkney right now, it doesn't mean you can't immerse yourself in an island experience. By shopping online you can not only bring a little bit of Orkney to you but you will also support local businesses and ensure their survival so they are still around when people are able to visit again.
To make things easier an online shopping page has been set up so you can find a wide range of Orkney businesses including food, drink and crafts, that can deliver to your door. To give you a flavour of the diverse Orcadian goods you can buy, check out the listings below.
INDULGE IN SOME OF THE FINEST ORKNEY FOOD
Even though you can't dine in Orkney right now, you can still sample local Orkney produce thanks to all these businesses that deliver to your door.
Jolly's of Orkney - a one stop shop for a wide range of Orkney produce including cheese, fish, tablet and sweeties. If you just can't decide then one of their hampers with a selection of goodies is a great way to sample some of the fabulous local produce. There are also themed hampers covering everything from local whisky and gin products to baked goods made from beremeal, an ancient local grain.
JP Orkney - JP Orkney use seasonal and locally sourced ingredients to create the tastiest chutney, piccalilli, relish and jam - I can personally recommend their caramelised carrot jam which is perfect with crumbly cheese and an Orkney oatcake.
Orkney Craft Vinegar - The chef James Martin recently stated that this is 'the best vinegar you can buy' and many other well known chefs have also been singing the praises of Orkney Craft Vinegar. Some of the incredible flavours include Highland Park, Rosehip, Sugar Kelp and Rhubarb. The organic ingredients for each vinegar are foraged by hand on the island and the business strives to be sustainable.
Westray Bakehouse - Westray Bakehouse has been following family recipes since 1892 and today they produce a range of biscuits, shortbread, crackers and oatcakes which are perfect for a cup of tea or a snack. I particularly recommend pairing the oatcakes or crackers with some Orkney cheese and a JP chutney or relish for the full Orkney experience!
Barony Mill - With baking mania gripping the UK, now is the perfect time to experiment with Orkney beremeal, an ancient form of barley grown and milled in Orkney for over 300 years. Order a bag from Barony Mill and whip up some bannocks, scones and biscuits.
SAMPLE SOME OF THE LOCAL TIPPLES
Whisky, gin, wine, liqueurs, rum, beer, ale and even tea and coffee are some of the speciality drinks produced in the Orkney Islands and they can all be ordered online from the businesses listed below.
Whisky - Highland Park produce one of the best known drams in Scotland. Established in 1798, their extensive range of whisky is shaped by the wild climate, stormy seas, and by the Vikings who settled in Orkney over 1,000 years ago.
Gin - Orkney has several well regarded local gin distilleries - Deerness Distillery, Orkney Distilling and Orkney Gin are all available to purchase online. If you're not sure where to start, some have gift packs with a range of smaller bottles perfect for sampling a few flavours.
Rum - Award winning Scottish island rum inspired by pirates and distilled beside the sea is available to order online from J.Gow. They also have rum and raisin tablet for sale made in Orkney to a family recipe.
Wine - Orkney Wine Company is a family business that produce handcrafted, sulphur free, vegan friendly, fruit wine and liqueurs the classic way, using 100% natural ingredients. Some of the interesting flavours include Elderberry Borealis, Cask Gorse and Cask Strubarb.
Beers & Ales - The Orkney Brewery has a range of bottled beer, ale and mini casks available for delivery. Swannay Brewery are also offering to deliver their award-winning beers from Orkney to your door.
Tea & Coffee - The Orkney Roastery are on a continuous quest to release the natural excellence of flavour in every coffee bean they roast. They have also developed their own range of tea blends based on highly graded estate teas. They also run a subscription service which would make a nice gift for the coffee lover in your life.
PURCHASE A LOCALLY HANDCRAFTED SOUVENIR
Orkney has a brilliant Creative Trail which allows tourists to watch crafters at work in their studios and buy from them directly. With no tourism at the moment, these talented makers are depending on online sales to help them survive.
If you were visiting Orkney, I would normally recommend the trail as a way of finding a unique souvenir and supporting a local business. Since you are unable to do that right now, I recommend visiting their websites instead.
I have listed some of the Orkney handmade goodies and gifts available below.
Photo credit - Orkney.com
Jewellery - Some of the online jewellers with designs inspired by their Orkney surroundings include Alison Moore Designs, Aurora Jewellery, Celina Rupp, Fluke Jewellery, Heilagr, Marion Miller, Ola Gorie, Orkneyinga Silversmiths, Ortak, Sheila Fleet and Zoe Davidson
Art - From paintings to tapestries, the following makers produce beautiful works of art or are galleries that sell works by local artists - Andrea Holmes, Aries Gallery, Hoxa Tapestry Gallery, Bill McArthur Seascape Art, Toumal Art Studio, Artworks of the Earth, Giuliana Criscuolo, landscape Painter
Glass - Carrie Paxton and Made it Orkney both create unique glass designs
Pottery - Harray Potter produces pieces inspired by Orkney's rich archaeological history
Textiles - From clothing to homeware, the following makers produce a range of cosy textiles Hilary Grant, Isle of Auskerry, Spirit of Creativity
Wood - Leo Kerr Mirrors are individually created using the finest Scottish hardwoods, while Michael Sinclair is a woodturner influenced by the Neolithic inhabitants of ancient Orkney
Orkney Chairs - Both Orkney Hand Crafted Furniture and Scapa Crafts specialise in handcrafting traditional Orkney Chairs
Soap - Orkney Star Island Soap and Textiles produces natural hand-made soaps, shampoo bars, solid conditioners, balms and textiles.
Local Shops - Hume Sweet Hume, Judith Glue and Castaway Crafts all sell a wide variety of goods including homeware, clothing and gifts.
Disclaimer - This blog post is part of a sponsored partnership with Orkney.com to promote local online businesses
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