Thursday, December 13, 2012
We all have our favourite places to shop for Christmas gifts so as part of our daily guide to the top 10s for Christmas, Emma Harrowing gives her guide to her top ten shops for gifts in Norfolk.
Its one of Norfolks biggest independent department stores and it brings all the big brand names to those who like to support the local economy by shopping local. Jarrold is the perfect place to find beauty and fashion gifts, books, food hampers, toys, sportswear, creative crafts and homeware. And if you cannot decide what to get that perfect someone they also have gift cards.
Who needs festive fairs when we have our very own permanent market with over 190 stalls? Alongside cards, wrapping paper and decorations you can also find some gifts. Vintage lovers will love something from one of the retro stalls at the back of the market and foodies will love the cheese stall. In fact there is also a stall selling wicker baskets so you could make your own Christmas food hamper for the food lover on your list.
There are many vintage boutiques in Norfolk so it is difficult to choose just one. Pipping the others to the post by a retro whisker is Vintage Deli in Burnham Market, thanks in part to the fact that many of the items for sale can be bought via their website and on international shopping site ASOS. This means that we can shop for vintage clothes and accessories from the comfort of our armchair with a cup of tea in hand and still support the local economy rather than brace the cold and the crowds.
Verandah, Upper St Giles, Norwich and Holt
Both shops in Norwich and Holt bring art, textiles, ceramics and fashion made in Norfolk to the masses, making Verandah the must-shop place for finding unique gifts with a local twist. The gallery is run by Vanessa Burroughes whose prints sit alongside other local designers such as Jemima Pine (jewellery) and Liz Clark (textiles and prints). The brightly coloured embroidered beach hut make-up case has caught my eye and there are many fabulous finds to be had each time you visit.
The Marmalade Tree, Wymondham
The perfect place for finding a gift for someone who has it all or is tricky to buy for, The Marmalade Tree offers inspiration in every corner. The shop is a treasure trove of gifts from jewellery to home decor and its relaxing atmosphere brings some cheer to the chore of gift shopping.
Collen & Clare, Southwold
This year Southwold boutique Collen & Clare received the accolade of being one of the top 50 boutiques in Britain thanks to the Sunday Telegraph.
Stockist of all that is luxurious in fashion, beauty and homeware, the boutique is home to some of the best brands in the world such as the amazing Hudson jeans - a must-have for any woman over a certain age, Ren skincare and fashion and interiors lifestyle brand Lexington.
Hidden between Upper St Giles, through Upper and Lower Goat Lane and Pottergate, across Exchange Street, down Bedford Street and Bridewell Alley to London Street lies a myraid of independent shops, cafes and businesses that make up the quirky shopping quarter of Norwich Lanes.
Its an area in Norwich where you can buy everything you need this Christmas in one place. From Christmas knits and traditional socks to this years must-have Furby toy and skin and beauty vouchers, to whisky and food gifts, Norwich Lanes is the place to find gifts that everyone will love.
Upstairs at Baileys, Beccles
The perfect destination to find a gift for those who love their food, Upstairs at Baileys has a deli that offers bespoke hampers so that you can choose the gift that suits your budget. Choose from cold meats, jams and chutneys to over 50 varieties of cheese to create a personalised gift. And when you have finished shopping relax in the Tapas Bar or the restaurant and tempt your tastebuds with some Spanish cuisine. Who said you couldnt treat yourself after all that shopping!
The Living Rooms, Poringland
Many of us are aware of the impact consumerism has on the planet, so for those with an eco-conscience The Living Rooms is the ideal place to buy your Christmas gifts. The shop is home to a wide range of sustainable, ethical and fairly traded furniture, but if your budget will not stretch that far they also stock a range of affordable gifts such as photo frames, vases, candles, crockery and even musical instruments made from bamboo. Look out for the Alpaca scarf (16.99) in bright orange which is perfect for those fashionistas on your list as the colour is similar to an outfit Victoria Beckham was recently spotted wearing.
Big Blue Sky, Wells-next-the-sea
It made it in national style bible Vogues top 100 shops to visit outside London and it is easy to see why. Big Blue Sky offers some big ideas when it comes to gift buying and most items are made in Norfolk. For arty types paintings, photographs and prints from local artists will make a delightful present. Book lovers will love one of the many local books and those that take pride in their home will adore one of the many interior accessories many with a coastal theme.
Clematis armandii is a great favourite of mine but, it has its drawbacks. First of all, it is not the hardiest member of its tribe, and being evergreen, once its foliage becomes frost damaged this becomes a permanent feature.