The Circle’s Christmas Giving Hit List 2013

Hello reader’s one and all, this is ‘The Circle’s’ Christmas Giving Hit List for 2013. It’s being constantly upgraded, so do check it out!

Our writing team, Carolyn, Jo, Janet and Helen  have contributed towards making a list of the places where you can find great gifts for those special people in your life. Gifts that help Australian creative enterprises are very popular with us all, because keep giving back to society and contribute to our cultural development.

Please consider also giving a gift that keeps on giving – supporting others by Dining Out & Helping Out – for DineSmart in December.

We hope you support the retailers and organisations we mention. Some shops are ‘real’, which means you can visit, others are ‘online’.

They all have a lot to offer. Beautiful boutique shops will enable you to find the right gift for someone you love or admire for Xmas, and many of them all year around.

Then there are all our muso colleagues, who add such a wonderful layer of richness to all of our lives with their talent, energy, enthusiasm and love for the expansion of arts and culture in Australia. If you cannot attend their concerts, consider buying their CD’s. 2014 is set to be an awesome year for Music in Australia, in all its disciplines.

Shopping for Books, but don’t want to carry them!
Buy them Online in truly offers the best prices.

Send Flowers with love from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane’s best florists Victoria Whitelaw, Susan Avery and Phoebe Stephens.

A few of our favourite places to find a fun fabulous gift are internationally based, but some of their goods are impossible to resist and they are contributing to the expansion of arts and culture on a global basis. Let me say that once you log on its very hard to resist Her Majesty’s Royal Collection Trust Shop

We will keep growing our list during December up until it is time for us to draw up stumps, which this year will be on Friday 20th. If you a gift idea you would like to share email – [email protected]

Happy Christmas Gift Hunting…

Carolyn’s Top of the Pops, Jo’s Fashionable Firsts, Helen’s Great Gift’s Tips & Janet’s Fab Fads & Fancies

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra 25th Anniversary Celebrations 2014. The ultimate in awesome celebrations of beautiful music in Australia…Paul Dyer and his fabulous musicians and all their special guests wowed us in 2013, and are set to dazzle in their very special anniversary year. Your loved one will adore you forever if you grab a subscription to the season.

Pinchgut Opera in Sydney – choice of 2 x fabulous performances in 2014. Let the power of music add richness to your life, and that of a loved one.

How about a Gift Voucher for two people for the awesome Opening Night Tickets of their stunning new comic opera production sure to delight your special guest,  Italian composer Antonio Salieri’s Der Rauchfangkehrer (‘The Chimney Sweep’).

First performed in 1781, this delightful piece doesn’t seem to have been presented professionally anywhere in the last 200 years and so this will be a world premiere exclusive. CONTACT: Genevieve at Pinchgut Opera on 0412 559 320 or email: [email protected]

Read all about the…Pinchgut Opera – Powerful Performances, July & December 2014

Book a trip to picturesque Tasmania to enjoy the opening weekend and the following week of performances for the festival of Hobart Baroque, which is offering a wealth of talent and performance art.

It takes place from the 28th March to the 5th April, 2014. Read our story Hobart Baroque 2014 – Music for a Creative Life Giving World

Queensland Theatre Company – Christmas Gift Guide 2014 – the gift of live theatre is the giving of memories and experiences – very worthwhile. Jonathan Biggin’s play  Australia Day is guaranteed to make audiences laugh, wince and think!

We have written a story about the best on offer in 2014 – Theatre Australia – Talent Text & Treading The Boards 2014. You can either subscribe for a full season, or individual shows.

In Melbourne why not take your loved one to the truly delightful Mossgreen Tearooms on the High Street Armadale, where you can enjoy a very stylish breakfast, lunch or High Tea in the afternoon on seven days a week. Read our story Mossgreen Tearooms by Peter Rowland – The Art of Living Well.

Mughal Indian necklace, the woven gold chain hung over 27 'jasmine bud' pendants mounted with pearls, decorated with enamel and set witih lasque diamonds, terminating in pearl and pink tourmaline drops. The reverse decorated with red, white and green enamel circa 1880. Provenance: The Margaret Olley Collection courtesy Anne Schofield Antiques

Anne Schofield Antiques in Sydney has a superb selection of divine antique jewellery in her 2013 Christmas Collection. Anne is a member of the AA&ADA, the International Society of Jewellery Historians and an Approved Valuer for the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, offering unparalleled service, specialist restoration and rethreading of pearls.

Anne Schofield Antiques includes in the Xmas collection elegant items from the Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, each one chosen for its beauty, design, quality and wearability.

At Malvern in Melbourne, Allpress Antiques has some wonderful ceramimc collectables for you to consider, as well as stunning art and antique furniture. Jamie’s Jugs are a particular delight.

“I have a fabulous one from Allpress Antiques with reindeer on it”, said our writer publisher Carolyn McDowall…

At Valentine’s Antique Gallery in Bendigo, Peter Valentine has a fabulous selection of boxes to choose from in among all the many and varied collections he offers.

J’adore his cameo range. Be sure to check it out as well.

Home and Abroad, South Yarra Melbourne, Gorgeous Gifts all year around

Home and Abroad - 4 Avoca Street, South Yarra 3141 Melbourne. This beautiful boutique is stacked to the rafters with all sorts of gift delights all year around.

However at Xmas, the girls pull out all stops and present their range ever so stylishly, a wonderful array of gifts for babies, children and adults.

Read our article.  You can also find them Online

Australia's favourite cook, Maggie Beer and her delicious summer's always time for a festive recipe from Maggie

Maggie Beer’s Christmas - Maggie’s latest recipe book – best prices Australia – , and delivered to your doorstep.

Maggie Beer and her cook and chef contemporaries helped to educate and inform the Australian palate and to develop what is today a thriving international food industry so we have a lot to thank her for.

She has a Food Club you can belong to for FREE, sharing the table all year around. Particularly like the idea of Saskia’s Christmas Hams !

Pie Society, yummy Xmas mince pies...

Pie Society – Give The Gift Of Food

Emma Bagnell and her team produce delicious, hand crafted pies filled with quality ingredients that are free range, chemical free, hormone free, nitrate free and grass fed.

Gift Vouchers also available and the Pies are delivered to your door. Don’t forget your mince pie order.

Merlo Coffee, outstanding range of beans and accessories

Coffee Fiend?

Merlo in Brisbane has the Giotto Rocket Plus Espresso Machine as well as many others to choose from.

The Rocket would be an ultimate gift for any budding barista!

A premium plus coffee machine packed with advanced features, stylish design and perfect for coaxing the best out of the bean. A total Christmas indulgence (albeit one the whole family will ultimately enjoy!). Merlo, a family concern, also have the best beans available. Roasted Daily and Delivered to your door.

In the fashion stakes Jo recommends Le Louvre, at South Yarra in Melbourne – the ultimate place to shop ’til you drop and just perfect for unique gifts the whole year around.

Hard to you believe, they are having a ‘flash’ sale, something not really heard of much, just in time for your Xmas buying.

Fabrile, High Street Armadale in Melbourne, specialising in Art Deco Jewellery, Clothes, Furniture and Furnishings is just too divine!

Jo said, “I purchased a stunning tortoishell necklace there this year, and it’s had rave reviews with people even gasping!”

Fine collection of home wares from Co-Design, Portside Precinct, Brisbane

Helen adores Co-Design at Portside, a sophisticated shopping precinct in Brisbane. They are all about wonderful products from jewellery to furniture taking you on a journey through Aladdin’s Cave and all that is lifestyle, venturing through health and beauty, teas, homewares and extending back in time to antiques and vintage pieces.

She’s also quite enamoured with ‘Thousand Island Dressing’ in Paddington, where all the arty, quirky stores hang out. It’s also about jewellery, homewares and lifestyle.

Our Janet is a ‘bookaphile’…she loves a good story.

She says The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, a scholarly work of important social and historical significance, is a definite for your wish-list. By Clare Wright, you can buy the book Online here…

Don’t forget the marvellous CD’s that have been released by some of our fav music greats.

David Hansen’s RIVALS: Arias for Farinelli & Co is glorious. The style of singing, the changes in technique and re-interpretation of early music that is sung by Hansen, played by the Academia Montis Regalis and conducted with such amazing sensitivity on Rivals by Baroque specialist Alessandro de Marchi, is a wonderful achievement.

While this music may have been composed for high male voices in the past Hansen and his team have a whole fresh new approach to their genre as they celebrate living in this age and time on this wonderful CD.  Log onto the website of the ‘guy who sings high’ to purchase.

The Marais Project ‘Lady Sings the Viol’ is another stunning CD produced in 2013. You can purchase it on iTunes.

Jennifer Eriksson originally founded The Marais Project in 2000 to perform the complete works of Marin Marais an 18th century genius of the viola da gamba. Over the years their repertoire has greatly expanded and now includes a huge range of wonderful vocal and instrumental music for the viola da gamba from the 1300?s to the present day. They also commission and arrange new music for the ensemble.

If you want a stylish easy listening CD that your friends will all love, then consider Janet Seidel Trio’s Far Away Places. I adore my copy says Carolyn.

Tracks include: Far Away Places, La Paloma, Midnight Sun, Moon River,  Golden Slumbers, Sand in My shoes, La Javanaise, If You Go Away, Historia de un Amor, Recado Bossa Nova, Kiss of Fire and many more. Available on iTunes.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra have an early bird discount of 5% on all 2014 tickets, and their online store is full of CDs & DVDs. Do be sure to order any Christmas presents by 5pm Thursday 19 to receive them in time! BUY

Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving

Dick Smith’s Patriotic Hampers showcase their complete range of products and is the ultimate gift for those who like to support their home team.

By buying Dick Smith products you can be really proud when they sit on your shelf or table. You will not only be helping Aussie farmers but also supporting worthwhile charities, as all profits are donated to charity.

Dick Smith have donated more than $5.1 million so far.  And more importantly, their products are as Australian as you can get, so most people reckon they taste better.

The Patriotic Hamper contains:

  • Dick Smith’s Bush Foods Breakfast 500g
  • Dick Smith’s OzEhoney 400g
  • Dick Smith’s Canola Oil 750ml
  • Dick Smith’s OzEChoc Chocolate Drink 250g
  • Dick Smith’s Tomato OzEsauce 500ml
  • Dick Smith’s OzEmite 175g
  • Dick Smith’s OzEnuts Smooth Peanut Butter 375g
  • Dick Smith’s OzEnuts Crunchy Peanut Butter 375g
  • Dick Smith’s Cream Cheese 250g
  • Dick Smith’s Magnificent Australian Honey 340g
  • Dick Smith’s Magnificent Raspberry Spreadable Fruit 285g
  • Dick Smith’s Magnificent Strawberry Spreadable Fruit 285g
  • Dick Smith’s Magnificent Apricot Spreadable Fruit 285g
  • Dick Smith’s Magnificent Sweet Fig Spreadable Fruit 285g
  • Dick Smith’s Magnificent Orange Marmalade Spreadable Fruit 285g
  • Packed in an Australian made cardboard gift box

Stunning Conversation Piece by ceramic Australian artist Stephen Bowers

Supporting Arts, Society & Cultural Development

Membership Art GalleryArt Gallery NSW in Sydney, | National Gallery in Melbourne, Victoria, |  QAGOMA at Brisbane, | National Gallery Australia, Canberra | Art Gallery of South Australia | Art Gallery of Western Australia | MONA, Tasmania | Museum & Art Gallery Northern Territory

All have membership plans and shops with often unique and wonderful gifts you cannot find elsewhere.

Favourite International Institutional Online Shops Supporting the Growth of Arts & Culture

H.M. Royal Collection Shop, a fav online shop for us all...

The Royal Collection – Shop – (very hard to resist)

Metropolitan Museum of Art New York – Store

Victoria & Albert Museum London – Shop