WE STRONGLY support shopping in Shaftesbury and Gillingham for the Christmas tree and table. But if you have moved away from the area, and would like a seasonal reminder of the auld home, then shopping online is a perfect way to browse for gifts and treats.
Many of the area’s retailers have now built a shop online, 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 presence, and there is still plenty of time to place your orders for this Christmas and support your excellent Shaftesbury and Gillingham retailers.
If you are a producer in the vicinity 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. Thanks!
WHERE TO BUY NORTH DORSET ONLINE
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 Dorset oak cheese carver retails for £30.
The company is based in Shaftesbury and employs 70, a figure which trebles in the run-up to Christmas – hardly surprising, as it will send out 400,000 hampers this month! The firm was set up in 1984 by Gin and Geoff Hayward and it remains wholly family-owned. Prices range from under £25 to £300+. They sell many local products: cheeses include cheddar from Dorset’s Ford Farm, Dorset Blue Vinny, Bath soft cheese and Godminster cheddar from Bruton.
This West Country hamper, with Donhead cider, Godminster brie, Ford Farm cheddar, chutney and Dorset crackers, retails at £34.99.
“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 Frost Bracelet contains a mix of white and vintage rose freshwater pearls, with glass droplets hanging from a silver chain and retails at £38.
A 20-mile cycling foodie tour of North Dorset, beginning and ending in Shaftesbury, via Gillingham, was devised this 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 place, 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.
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 North Dorset, 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.
Turnbull’s is the cheese deli in Shaftesbury, stocking local classics such as Montgomery and Dorset Blue Vinny, plus the finest examples of the European Greats, says founder Charlie Turnbull. It also has an online shop selling a broad range of products, also local and from further afield. It includes fresh produce such as soup (£15) and cottage pie (£23) for six. Cheese, naturally, meats, hampers, gifts – and an ‘everything else’ category, from Somerset cider vinager to paella kits.
This home-branded extraordinary sweet garlic pickle with Nigella seeds retails at £3.85
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.
The Udder Farm Shop at East Stour, three miles down the Sherborne road from Shaftesbury, was set up in 2005. All the beef sold came from the farm next door, which has been in the same family since 1938: then, three years ago, the distribution was widened to meat boxes and hampers sold online, with the rest of the meat from other producers in the west country.
This ‘Udderly Delectable’ meat box includes steak, pork belly, leg of lamb, chicken, burgers, mince and bacon and retails at £85.50
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
Two established, independent flower shops in the heart of Shaftesbury – we are blessed. Over and above flowers, F&F offers seasonal bulbs, vintage and antique furniture, home and garden accessories including glassware and rustic pots. There is a wide choice of bouquets and wreaths on offer this Christmas. BB has three types of wreath on offer, from £35-£55, as well as a festive bouquet (£30-£70). It has other seasonal bunches, and is running wreath workshops.
This Christmas wreath from F&F comes in standard or deluxe versions, and costs from £45-£70.
The jewellery, watch and gift shop in Shaftesbury has been running for 20 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 are currently nine items in the online shop – necklances, bracelets and earrings – ranging from £15 to £189.
This pair of pale mint and silver drop earrings are made of Amazonite gemstone in sterling silver and retail at £15.
MORE SHAFTESBURY/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.
* Do you make your own bread for Christmas? Stoate & Sons of Cann Mills, Shaftesbury, has been milling stoneground flour since 1832, and sells 1.5kg, 8kg and 25kg sacks online