Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Guest Blogger: Nicky Sherwood, Editor of FromBritainWithLove.com

If you’re about to embark on your Christmas food shopping, it’s likely that you’ll be paying close attention to the provenance of your ingredients... maybe you’ll choose organic, free range, locally reared, or you may even buy direct from the producer. But what about the rest of your Christmas shopping list...?

At FromBritainWithLove.com, the guide to buying British, we’re here to help you find an alternative to mass-produced generic high street offerings, and discover beautiful products made by Britain’s talented designers, makers, artisans and craftspeople. By shopping local you’re not only helping to support local businesses and the wider economy, but also cutting your carbon footprint, and best of all you’ll be giving an original and distinctive gift that has been created with love and is sure to be received with pleasure. Here I’ve selected a few of my festive favourites...

MY FESTIVE FAVOURITES

I love the idea of a Christmas decoration which is brought out year after year and becomes part of the family. This Nativity Tea & Egg Cosy Set by Cornish designer Poppy Treffry is handmade using a vintage 1930’s Singer sewing machine, and has heirloom written all over it.

If you’re buying for little ones, take a look at new children’s knitwear label Picaloulou. Made from British farmed Merino and Alpaca, each limited edition garment is made by a dedicated team of local knitters, and is sure to be passed on to future generations.

One of the advantages of buying locally made products is that you can often get your gifts personalised by the maker. At The Stylish Dog Company, which sources all of its products in Britain, even your pooch can have his bone and eat it with this appliqu├ęd linen Dog Stocking.

When it comes to gift wrap I favour simple over bling, so this cheerful polka dot print on brown craft paper by Hampshire-based designer Sophia Victoria Joy gets my vote.


For the ultimate in eco-friendly seasonal greetings, why not send a personalised Christmas e-postcard by Bristol-based designer Rachel Goodchild? For an annual subscription of just £5 you can send an unlimited number of e-cards and choose from over 150 original designs.

Men are notoriously tricky to buy for, but I think any man worth his gadgets would be delighted with this jaunty red leather iPad sleeve from family-run leather company Tusting, who have been producing fine English leather goods since 1875.

One of my favourite gift companies, Biscuiteers are known for their stylish iced biscuits, but they’ve recently brought out a range of iced cakes which are just as pretty and would make a fabulous centrepiece to your festive dinner table.

These are just a handful of British made Christmas gift ideas from some of the talented businesses you’ll find on FromBritainWithLove.com. Discover hundreds more in our Directory and celebrate the wealth of talent that exists on your doorstep this Christmas!

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