When faced with the prospect of endless Christmas shopping for family and friends, most people head straight for the High Street or their computer to get gift ideas.
In the town and city centres, you’re up against crowds of people ruthlessly charging for the same products and, with internet shopping, it hardly puts you in the festive mood.
So why not try some of Dorset’s local companies for inspiration? You’ll find a wide range of unique and quirky gift ideas if you look hard enough, and here’s a few suggestions to get you started…
1) Dorset Gifts is based on the quayside at Poole, and offers a range of unusual nautical gifts and beach décor. If you’re trying to find an out-of-the-ordinary present to brighten up somebody’s lounge, kitchen, bedroom or bathroom, this would be a great place to start.
Dorset Gifts, Wessex Gifts Limited, Grace House, Poole Quay, Dorset BH15 1HJ. Telephone: 01202 683319.
2) At Home Farm Shop at Blandford Forum, not only will you find some splendid local produce for possible gift ideas, but also plenty of edible Christmas treats for the family. The shop calls itself ‘a treasure store of fine foods’ and specialises in Christmas hampers. In addition, you’ll find meat, cheese, fruit and veg, preserves, juices and plenty of other tasty choices.
Home Farm Shop, Tarrant Gunville, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 8JW. Telephone: 01258 830083.
3) Do you know someone with a sweet tooth? If so, a visit to Message Muffins is a must. The Dorchester-based online company has a wide range of edible Christmas gift ideas, including gift boxes for mince pies, Dorset shortbread, cupcakes and Christmas puddings among many others. You can visit its website www.messagemuffins.com to find out how staff will send everything to the recipient of your choice.
Message Muffins, Home Farm Office, Woodsford, Dorchester, Dorset. Telephone: 01305 849264.
4) For a wide selection of unique gift ideas, head along to the Christmas Craft and Gift Fair at Highcliffe Castle, Christchurch. Held over the weekend of December 3 and 4, the fair offers a range of quality gifts including photography, hand-painted china, textiles, Christmas decorations, cakes and much more.
Highcliffe Castle, Rothesay Drive, Highcliffe, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 4LE. Telephone: 01425 278807.
5) Bridport’s annual Christmas Festival promises to get all visitors into the festive spirit. It’s held in the town centre, combined with late night shopping on December 7. From 6pm onwards, there will be a variety of craft, food and charity stalls where you’ll be sure to find a quirky gift or two.
Bridport Christmas Festival and Late Night Shopping, Bridport Town Centre, Bridport, Dorset. Telephone: 01308 425298.