The best Christmas gifts for the culture lover in your life

Roisin O'Connor

It can feel impossible trying to find the perfect present for your loved ones at Christmas, especially when there’s so much choice available.

But if you're looking for something for a Netflix binge-watcher, a music fan or a friend who can always be found stalking the halls of the National Gallery, we've got you.

After a year that saw a number of cultural high-points, from Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag, to the Downton Abbey movie, the Game of Thrones finale and Beatles aficionados celebrating the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road, there is a plethora of zeitgeist-inspired presents to shop from.

From state-of-the-art headphones to masterclasses in creative writing, these gift ideas should be enough to keep even the most discerning of culture fans happy.

Fleabag Christmas jumper: £39.99, Not Just Clothing

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Save the Children teamed up with Not Just Clothing for this seriously cool range of festive jumpers, including one emblazoned with the face of star of the moment, Phoebe Waller-Bridge herself.

£5 from the sale of each of these limited-edition knits will go to Save the Children ahead of Christmas Jumper Day, so this is a fantastic gift for the more socially conscious of your friends and family. Or anyone with great taste in TV, of course.

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Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 headphones: £349, Amazon

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These outstanding headphones are the third generation of Sennheiser’s noise-cancelling Momentum Wireless range, continuing the brand’s reputation for consistently excellent sound and comfort.

While the aesthetics aren’t too different from the previous model, these have a sleeker look thanks to a monochrome design with stainless steel sliders and sheepskin leather earpads. A “sandy white” finish is also available.

Users no longer have to fumble for the on/off switch; these bad boys switch on and pair to a recognised source automatically when unfolded. What's not to love?

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Pogues Single Malt Whiskey: £23.95, Master of Malt

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Soothe those family arguments about which is the best Christmas song (it’s “Fairytale of New York”, though) with a glass of The Pogues’ single malt.

This triple-distilled whiskey is matured in bourbon barrels and features hints of caramel and chocolate, while on the palate you’ll detect spices and cinnamon with a sweet aftertaste. It’s versatile enough that you can drink it neat, use it as a base for Irish Coffee, or mix it with classic ginger ale. Pour us another.

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The Art Fund National Art Pass: From £45, Art Fund

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Enjoy 50 per cent off entry to major exhibitions at galleries and museums across the UK including the Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Museum of Scotland, plus free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic venues nationwide.

Membership also gets you a comprehensive annual guidebook on using your pass, and a subscription to Art Fund’s magazine with plenty of interesting and insightful features.

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Thanos Infinity Gauntlet bottle opener: £12.66, Etsy

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After a busy day at work destroying worlds, Avengers fans can come home and crack open a cold one with this fun bottle opener built into Thanos’s infamous jewelled glove.

If you know, you know.

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William Blake Ancient of Days hoodie: £50, Tate Shop

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This striking hoodie was created exclusively for the Tate’s William Blake exhibition. It’s made from Earthpositive climate neutral organic cotton (comfy), and features a flat double pocket, drawstring hood and ribbed cuffs.

The design comes from Blake’s Europe Plate I: Frontispiece, ‘The Ancient of Days’, completed in 1827, and shows the artist’s authoritarian character, Urizen, separating light and dark with a pair of dividers.

Pro-EU supporters will appreciate the fact that it was originally used in Blake’s poetic work Europe a Prohecy – a mythological telling of the problems Europe was facing in his lifetime.

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Lady Macbeth hand sanitiser: £6, National Theatre Bookshop

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“Out, damned spot!” For those who can’t afford all the perfumes of Arabia, washing your hands is at least more fun with this Lady Macbeth hand sanitiser.

Blood of King Duncan not included.

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Adam Driver mug: £13.41, Etsy

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The Hollywood heartthrob du jour has starred in some of the year’s biggest films including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Golden Globe-nominated Marriage Story.

Now, you can enjoy a cup of tea with him in the comfort of your own home. An ideal stocking-filler.

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Pre-Raphaelite Sisters by Jan Marsh – Amazon, £35

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The National Portrait Gallery in London is hosting an exhibition inspired by the oft-forgotten women who were so essential to the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Jan Marsh, one of the curators, worked with Peter Funnell and Charlotte Gere put together this exquisite guide to one of the most important revolutions in British art. A must for the feminist art historian in your life.

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Game of Thrones boxset​: £99.99 for DVD and £119.99 for Blu-ray, Amazon

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Winter is here, so why not immerse yourself in the epic fantasy series that had the whole world talking for an entire eight seasons.

Iron Throne sold separately.

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A tour of the Downton Abbey castle: £120 per person, Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle (PA/Airbnb)
Highclere Castle (PA/Airbnb)

Whether you’re a fan of the series, the film, or both, explore the stunning architecture and inspiring landscape of the real-life setting of Downton Abbey – Highclere Castle.

Special guided tours are being offered for March and April 2020 for a limited number of visitors, with guides who have an exceptional knowledge of the building, and the works of art housed within it.

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Wretch 32's Rapthology: £10.29, Amazon

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Wretch 32, born Jermaine Scott, is one of the most influential and respected rappers in the UK.

In his ground-breaking autobiography, Rapthology, he offers insight into his creative process along with lessons in lyric-writing for other budding artists.

Part memoir, part guide, this is a must-have for any fan of British rap.

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Masterclass: Learn from the world’s best: Two passes for £170, Masterclass

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Some of the most prolific and respected figures in the arts and entertainment world have signed up to offer their knowledge to anyone willing to learn.

You can learn about composing film scores from Hans Zimmer, storytelling from David Sedaris, singing from Christina Aguilera, beatmaking from Timbaland, screenwriting from Aaron Sorkin, ballet from Misty Copeland or photography from Annie Leibovitz… or all of it, if you have enough time on your hands!

A holiday offer currently gives two people access to 70+ instructors for £170.

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Beatles Abbey Road vinyl: £19.76, Amazon

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One of the most famous and iconic albums in history was re-released in 2019 to mark its 50th anniversary. Newly remixed by producer Giles Martin (son of George Martin), this edition of Abbey Road is accompanied by 23 session recordings and demos, most of them previously unreleased.

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