Is Christmas starting earlier and earlier every year? :). All the ad's came out a couple of weeks ago, there’ve already been some high profile November Christmas markets and events at gorgeous locations in and around Somerset, the Bath Christmas Market is well underway and even we’ve bought a few things already (unheard of!).
If you’re looking for somewhere smaller and alternative to do your Christmas shopping though, somewhere unique that celebrates all things artisan, handmade, local or sparkling, here’s our little guide to the special ones - the cool Christmas pop up’s we’re looking forward to, that you might fancy popping in your diary for December.
1. Curate Your Christmas, Andelli Art Gallery, 1st-22nd December, Tuesday to Saturday, 10am–5pm
The beautiful Andelli Art Gallery has a handpicked selection of gorgeous potential presents for your loved ones, whether you’re buying on a budget or feeling flush! Starting on December 1st, this seasonal showcase combines 20th century and contemporary art, alongside homewares and jewellery - and it features some fab Somerset makers and artists if you’re looking to support local this year (we definitely are).
Unique pieces will include jewellery by Mags Maxwell and Penny Price, studio pottery by Jessie Alcaraz and bespoke Andelli Art candles in collaboration with Cahn Aromatherapy - alongside works by Yeovil born painter Brain Rice, Somerset based artist Victoria Ball, one of our faves Lydia Needle and many more besides. We’ll definitely be heading to Wells for a Christmas shopping trip!
2. St Catherine’s pop up and Cheap Street pop up, Frome, Saturday 15th December 12pm–7pm
We’ll be chatting to the organisers of both on our radio show, when we’ll find out more about the exciting plans. In the meantime though, you can be sure there’ll be lots of cool artisan shopping, equally cool music, fantastic food and festive fun.
At Resident, Roo Bannister will be popping up with her ancient world-inspired jewellery.
And wait for it... there'll be mince pies for pups at Winston James Woof. YES! You heard right - mince pies for pups, so our pups Petal and Flower will be over the moon. What a brilliant idea! :)
We'll be just as happy with sourdough pizza by the Rye Bakery, who are popping up on the Hill and with lots more in store, it’s definitely one for the diary!
Tune in to Somerset cool Live on Sunday 9th December from 12-1pm on www.frome.fm to hear more - and head to town on December 15th, for a magical festive atmosphere that’s uniquely Frome.
3. Pop up Somerset, For Every Cloud, Bow Street, Langport - Wednesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm until December 22nd
If you’ve been checking out our Instagram lately, you’ll have seen that we paid a visit to For Every Cloud last week to explore the ace ‘Pop up Somerset’, curated by Donna Vale. It features a selection of fantastic local makers, including Rebecca Bruton, Lucy Litchfield, Linda Green, Sue Hazelwood and many more besides.
We absolutely loved it. Donna’s Langport space has come to life with creative seasonal spirit and we couldn’t help but come home with a basket full of goodies!
There’s certainly something for everyone, with all price ranges satisfied (we even bought this little pottery sheep by Bridget Gander for a fiver!).
Donna’s a massive supporter of the Just a Card campaign too, which spreads the word about how buying one small thing from any independent business makes such a difference...
... so, if you want to shop unique, independent and local this Christmas, pay this little gem a visit.
On December 1st Langport is also having its Christmas Fair, starting at 2pm with over 50 festive market stalls, food, fun and fireworks on Cocklemoor at 6.30pm.
4. Etsy Made Local – Winter Market, 1st December 10am-4pm, CentreSpace, 9a Market Street, Wells
For an array of great gifts handmade in Somerset by a selection of really cool makers, pop on your Christmas jumper and head to the Winter Market at CentreSpace.
All the makers here sell their awesome local creations on Etsy, and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on some 'hand knitted happiness' from Chi-Chi Moi...
... and to discover more woollen wonders from Sunshine and strawberries.
The Happy Felt Club is looking mighty fine to us too...
... and when you combine that with Sheena Spacey’s stunning ceramics, Holly Stocker’s bright enamel pins and illustrations, Claire Lloyd's gorgeous jewellery, Two Dogs & Co for something for Petal and Flower (awesome collars made from pineapple fibres), plus many more fab makers, there’ll be plenty of colour and Christmas cheer at this one.
5. The Drawing Room, Compton Street, Butleigh, December 1st, 2-8pm
It’s all happening on December 1st, so you might need to do a Christmas events/seasonal pop up crawl because there’s also a unique pop up market at beautiful Butleigh coffee shop, The Drawing Room.
There’ll also be a raffle with all proceeds going to the local school. Half the proceeds from tea and coffee sales will be going in that pot too, and we think Santa would definitely approve :).
6. Kilver Court – The Christmas Room, Monday to Saturday 9.30am-5.30pm and Sundays 10am-5pm
We couldn’t really do a seasonal shout out without giving a mention to The Christmas Room at Kilver Court. It definitely puts the 'great' in The Great House at Christmas time!
We can never resist the gorgeous festive drinks in the café there either!
And of course, Father Christmas is visiting on 15th-16th December, for a truly magical occasion.
All in all, if you’re on the look out for unique Somerset gifts this Christmas, handmade with style and love, we hope something has caught your eye here. We love people who do things differently in Somerset and can't wait for a handmade Somerset Christmas in our own home too. Ho ho ho! ;)
P.S. Talking of something different, here’s a shout out for A Very Victorian Christmas at the Somerset Rural Life Museum on December 1st. Stepping back in time, there'll be seasonal craft activities, games, trails and a visit from Santa (he'll be there on 1st, 8th & 15th)! He's very busy at this time of year ;). Entry on December 1st is free, with advanced bookings to see Santa at a cost of £5 (that includes a gift).