Black Friday and online shopping have left me a little cold this year. I have been trying to buy at least a few of my gifts from local shops. Buying from independent shops is a great way to support local businesses. I also think you can find a more unique gift than you would after trawling online for hours! With autumn already far behind us and only a couple weeks of Christmas shopping left, here are some tips on the best places in Sussex to shop for unique gifts.
WILLIS AND CO – CUCKFIELD
With a real down to earth charm, this shop is in the heart of picturesque Cuckfield. It has an eclectic mix of antique, vintage and new homewares. I love this shop as it has a more modern approach to country and has some really unique items. Nicky, who owns the shop, also sources one off objects of treasure with real character. The shop has a really welcoming atmosphere, making the experience feel really enjoyable and relaxed. My favourite items are the oversized baubles and the Danish lanterns that are currently gracing their shop window.
Visit their website at www.willisandco.co.uk
TIGERS TO LILIES – CUCKFIELD
Tigers to Lilies is a beautiful and stylish flower studio in Cuckfield. More than just a florist, the shop is a treasure trove of interesting gifts. Emma has a wonderful eye for homeware and interior gifts, with items that have a natural charm and are always a little bit different. Many pieces are sourced from local craftsmen. As well as Christmas gifts this is always my failsafe source for thank you presents!
I always buy my Christmas wreaths and garlands from Tigers to Lilies. They have a real natural beauty to them with seasonal foliage, seedpods and unusual flowers. Tigers to Lilies is just a few doors down from Willis and Co in Cuckfield, so you could combine in one trip!
Visit their website at www.tigerstolilies.co.uk
HOME BOTHY – PEASE POTTAGE
Run by the wonderful Sam and Barney James, this couple specialise in sourcing unique decorative antiques. Their theme is finding rare, unusual and often humorous decorative pieces which bring a interesting edge to a modern country home or garden.
I particularly love the art and signs that they source, which often have a amusing edge or whimsical twist. The beautiful doves shown below also make a special gift.
Their showroom is open by appointment but their stock is also included on their website.
Visit their website at www.homebothy.co.uk
TALLULAH FOX – PETWORTH AND PETERSFIELD
I stumbled on this lovely shop when sourcing for one of my clients in Petworth. It’s situated just off the main square in Petworth on such a charming street and has such a great selection of homeware and gifts. I couldn’t resist one of their Wonkiware bowls when I popped in there recently. I also love their chevron wooden boards, which I think make great gifts for the hard to please!
I would recommend making a day of it in Petworth. Have lunch in the Leaconsfield and enjoy wondering around the antique shops which the town is renowned for.
Visit their website at www.tallulahfox.co.uk
DOODIE STARK – LINDFIELD AND HORSHAM
A independent fashion boutique, this is not strictly a place for gifts for the home! I didn’t feel I could do a summary of my favourite local shops without mentioning this fantastic shop. It’s an ideal spot to pick up Christmas presents from brands you don’t normally find on the High Street. The owner Liz sources clothes from all over Europe and there is always a wonderful variety of stylish options. She also has a great range of stocking fillers including lovely jewellery, scarves and candles.
Doodie Stark has been such a hit in Lindfield that it has now opened a new store in Horsham.
Visit their website at www.doodiestark.co.uk
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