WE STRONGLY support shopping in Shaftesbury for the Christmas tree and table (Nb: Dec 16 – Shaftesbury Christmas Street Fair, 100 craft and food/drink stalls, 10am-4pm.)
But if you can’t get into town, or perhaps have moved away and would like a seasonal reminder of the auld home, then shopping online is the way to browse for North Dorset gifts and treats.
Many of the area’s retailers have now an online presence, and many more will follow – perfect for North Dorset ‘expats,’ and for those living here who’d like to send a gift to friends and family further afield.
All the retailers mentioned here have an online shop, so fill your boots with orders for this Christmas and support your excellent Shaftesbury and surrounding area retailers. Happy Christmas!
If you are a producer selling North Dorset-related Christmas gifts or food and drink, and have an online shop – do let us know! Leave a comment with a brief description of your product and the website.
WHERE TO BUY NORTH DORSET ONLINE
Maxine exhibits her leaded glass artwork at the Cygnet Gallery in Shaftesbury – a great source for Christmas presents. She has 10 years’ experience working with glass, and produces all her work from her dedicated studio in Marnhull, including freestanding spectrum glass panels for the garden. Visit the gallery, and shop online for glass crazy birds and decorations, and a range of cards.
The Christmas glass collection includes an angel, candle, holly, robin and tree decorations: a great addition to your Christmas tree. It retails at £35.
Jemma began her personal love of plants in childhood: her mother and grandfather were passionate gardeners and she grew up with an understanding of that special relationship between plants and people. She has a degree in Health Science and Medicinal Plants with a specialism in treating skin conditions. She returned to her country roots and set up shop in Shaftesbury in 2007. All her products are now Soil Association certified as organic and natural and her latest product is Dorset Flowers Botanical Face oil (£48 for 30ml).
Tumeric Tangerines, a certified organic juicy and uplifting stocking filler. Scented with tangerine, bergamot and litsea and enriched with turmeric, cocoa butter and olive oils. £6.95.
The Botanical Candle Co started making soy wax candles in 2014 as an alternative to paraffin. Now upstairs from Enchanted Plants in Shaftesbury there is a team of six hand pouring, packing and dispatching thousands of candles every month. It’s a story of rapid growth and brilliant marketing – you can also buy direct from their Instagram page on mobile, a thing of wonder.
The utility tin soy wax candle is the newest addition and comes in recyclable or reusable steel tins and six flavours, including green fig and Darjeeling Tea & Rose, £14.50.
Don’t be put off by the name – craftsman Martin Allen designs cuts and hand stitches his vegetable tanned leather into bags, totes, satchels, belts and other accessories at home in Guy’s Marsh, using only hand tools and traditional methods. All his products are named after places in the area – the Pimperne Clutch, Tisbury laptop bag, Wardour satchel etc., You can visit and buy at Martin’s workshop by appointment. Read a feature on Martin here.
This is the Donhead Duffel, made from tanned leather with brass fittings, £100.
“I’m no expert gardener, naturalist or botanist but I love observing, I love detail and I love the way the changing seasons affect the landscape and its colours. This tends to be the primary source of inspiration for my jewellery,” she says. She works from a studio near Shaftesbury, “where it all began: the landscape around the studio is very much part of my work, as it always has been.”
This scarlet glass flower necklace is one of several in a similar range, £15. The online selection is only necklaces as I write this
A 20-mile cycling foodie tour of North Dorset, beginning and ending in Shaftesbury, via Gillingham, was devised last summer – you can read about it here. It includes The Real Cure, an excellent charcuterie sourced primarily from Dorset pork and venison. There’s also some smoked trout. James runs the joint at Hartgrove Farm, and he’s a passionate pioneer: there’s no shop on his farm but you can call in advance (07970 000681) and he’ll try and accommodate a visit.
This classic 150g pork chorizo is made using smoked paprika and smoked again over oak chips. It retails at £7.
Planked is a small Dorset company making stuff out of wood! Setup by designer/maker Lucy Ball in 2010 with a passion for woodworking, it produces handmade contemporary British small furniture, sculptures and homewares. Everything is designed with both practicality and aesthetics in mind, to form very unique products from sustainable timber, sourced both locally and from afar.
This 36cm high oak and ash stool finished in oil and beeswax costs £75.
This Semley couple met as furniture design students and, since 2000, have produced bespoke furniture. Then one day… “It was by chance, in the workshop, that a section of ash veneer was left on the lightbox. Inspired by its translucent beauty, we designed our first light, combining a single sheet of veneer and a rectangle of brass. That has since grown into a range of lights, all designed with a regard for simplicity of form and made with attention to detail and finish. You don’t have to become a wood fanatic (like us), but everyone needs a light, so why not make it a great one?”
This is The Moth, a ceiling lightshade in ash or walnut with brass fittings. It retails at £540.
Based near Shaftesbury, with the aim of helping to keep the heritage craft of the Dorset Buttons industry alive. Set up by Anna McDowell, who sells buttons through the Cygnet Gallery, Shaftesbury (see above). Rings, kits and instructions for making Dorset Buttons are sold online.
This booklet has comprehensive instructions on how to make Dorset Buttons, including all four ranges of Dorset Buttons and their variations. Areas covered include High Top buttons, Dorset Knobs, Birds Eye and Singleton buttons, Dorset Cartwheels and Blandford Crosswheel buttons. The booklet also covers the Cartwheel variations including how to work with beads and the bouquet and tree buttons. It retails at £6.
Hand made dog coats and terrier tunnels are made from the company base near Shaftesbury. All shapes and sizes, handmade in a range of fabrics including waterproof, tweed, wool and hi-viz. Also harnesses and dog accessories, from collars to toys and beds. The ‘Perfect Fit’ harness offers maximum adjustment to ensure a perfect comfortable fit for all breeds of dog (and cats, even rabbits.)
This is a dog lifejacket for small dogs weighing under 7kg, with a Grab Handle and Padded chest straps. It retails for £29
The jewellery, watch and gift shop in Shaftesbury has been running for 21 years. Martin and Tina Dyer also design and create their own jewellery which is exclusive to the shop, and made by hand in Dorset using fine gemstones and pearls with sterling silver and gold vermeil. There is currently a huge range items in the online shop – necklaces, bracelets and earrings – ranging from £15 to £189. Hurry: a lot of items have sold out!
Sterling silver drop earrings with butterfly charms in filigree design, £19.
MORE SHAFTESBURY AND NORTH DORSET PRODUCTS AVAILABLE ONLINE
* MV Winery: the winery just south of Shaftesbury has, since October, made its wines and sparkling available online
* Treasures of Dorset is a county-wide shopping portal that includes greeting cards featuring Shaftesbury scenes, and Flaming Coffee products, whose roastery is based in Shaftsebury.
* The Donhead Cider Company, which is produced in Shaftesbury, has its cider in bottles and pouches available, also a sparkling cider and presentation pack.
* Stoate & Sons of Cann Mills, Shaftesbury, has been milling stoneground flour since 1832, and sells 1.5kg, 8kg and 25kg sacks online. Make your own bread for Christmas!
* Virginia Hayward hampers is a family firm based in Shaftesbury and employs 70, a figure which trebles in the run-up to Christmas: it sends out 400,000 hampers in December!
MORE ONLINE (BUT NOT BOOKABLE) GIFT IDEAS FROM SHAFTESBURY AND NORTH DORSET
* Merlin Sundials: Keith Bunting creates bespoke dials from his home in Shaftesbury – a beautiful gift