The summer months are always busy for Orkney’s creative community.
Our crafts makers open their doors to welcome visitors into their workshops and studios, and our food and drink producers help keep local shops, bars and restaurants well stocked. They also somehow manage to find time to create new products that could be the perfect present or souvenir from the islands.
If you’ve ordered a tipple or two from the Orkney Distillery then you’ll already have seen the beautiful bottles the award-winning range of gins come in. Now, in a spirit of sustainability, the distillery has teamed up with Nature Reclaimed Shop to offer a stunning range of candles and glassware created from the bottles themselves. The scented natural wax candles are inspired by the botanicals found in the delicious Beyla and Aurora gins, and the glasses come from Kirkjuvagr Origin and Arkh-Angell Storm Strength gin bottles. Pick them up from the distillery’s shop in Kirkwall.
These beautiful sculptural pieces from local jewellery maker Zoe Davidson feature beautiful opals and emeralds, complemented by gold and silver swirls. They’re full of colour and character, and they’re all individually handmade at Zoe’s workshop in Stromness, so each piece is completely unique.
Burnside is Orkney’s newest handmade cheese and is already earning rave reviews from customers delighted with its smooth, creamy character and delicious flavour. This farmhouse-style cheese can be enjoyed on its own or as an Orkney alternative to halloumi or paneer and is handmade in small batches using local pasteurised cow’s milk. Two new flavours – smoked, and pepper & chive - have recently been added to the range, sitting perfectly alongside the original and chilli-flaked options already available. Find out more on Facebook and on Instagram.
This talented craftsman and his team have been busy creating new designs at their Leo Kerr Mirrors base over the last few months, including these beautiful charred mirrors, new for 2023 and made from sustainably sourced Scottish wood. The bespoke mirrors are all handmade here in Orkney and really capture the beauty of the wood. The charred effect gives the wood a real depth while the 24ct gold leaf on the river design offers a pop of colour and luxury. You can view the full range online or at the showroom in Burray, Tuesday to Friday, between 9am and 1pm.
It’s set to be a busy year for Highland Park, with the distillery gearing up to celebrate its 225th anniversary in September. To mark it, the team has launched the fourth edition of its Cask Strength series, the latest coming with tasting notes of spiced citrus fruit, toasted oak, and floral peat smoke. It’s a blend of whiskies bottled at 64.3% ABV, mostly made up of first-fill sherry seasoned European oak casks, alongside ex-bourbon casks, American oak casks, first-fill ex-port hogshead and a small number of refill casks.
One of Sheila Fleet Jewellery's most admired collections now features beautiful new pieces. The latest additions to the Tidal range have been inspired by the ever-popular Tidal bangle and include a stunning three-part pendant, as well as contemporary hoop-style dangle earrings with one, two and three-part options, all available in gold, three-tone gold and sterling silver. You can explore the range online and in-store.
Orkney’s talented food and drink producers are no strangers to collaborations, and that’s the case here with two Stromness-based businesses. Argo’s Bakery’s delicious Smoked Cheese Biscuits are made using cheddar from the Island Smokery, found next door to the bakery. The unique smoky taste really brings the flavour to the fore and the biscuits are perfect paired with cheese and chutney toppings. You can pick the biscuits up in all three Argo’s Bakery shops in Orkney, at other local food and drink stockists, and online.
Inspired by Neolithic pottery found at the Ness of Brodgar excavation in Orkney’s World Heritage Site, this stunning Orkney sycamore bowl was hand-turned by Michael and finished with oil and buffed. The rim decoration carved on the wooden piece is influenced by the clay-applied decoration on the original fragment of ancient pottery, with the colouring coming from hematite (iron ore). The completed bowl is an interpretation by Michael from the original find. There is just one available so be quick if you want to own this unique piece.
Orkney’s only remaining working water mill, the Barony Mill is a fascinating place to visit during the summer, when you can see all stages of the process of milling bere, an ancient form of barley that has been grown and milled in Orkney for more than 300 years. But the winter is when the real action happens, with grinding taking place and the mill alive with the sounds of its traditional machinery. The end product is beremeal, perfect for use in Bannocks, scones, and biscuits. But the mill also produces its unique Bere Berries – the whole bere grain without the husk. They’re perfect for making soups, stews, salads, and risottos, and can be ordered online from the mill.
Orkney is one of the best places in the country to spot whales and Aurora Jewellery's new orca collection celebrates the pods that can be found in the waters surrounding the islands. The new range features silver necklaces, cufflinks, brooches and charms and is the latest jewellery from Aurora inspired by the sea, sitting alongside the puffin collection and the beautiful heart-shaped sea pebble, which comes in drop or stud earrings, and neck wire in silver or gold.