With winter nights drawing in, many of us are in full present planning mode.
While some are happy to do all their Christmas shopping via the internet, or leave it until the last minute on Christmas Eve, others like to make an event of it, perhaps spending a weekend away, doing it all in one go.
And why not make a thing of it? It takes the pressure and strain out of the ‘big shop’.
St Ives, Cornwall is better known as a picturesque coastal town, but it is fast becoming a favourite with Christmas shoppers thanks to its interesting eclectic shops and independent boutiques. Not to mention the confectioners, jewellers, and wine sellers.
Ready to mix shopping with pleasure? Here are a few suggestions to get the balance just right this Christmas.
Beauty Salons and Spas.
There are several spas and salons in and around St Ives.
The biggest decision is whether you need pampering after a hard day’s shopping, choosing vouchers for your loved ones to enjoy a treatment at their leisure, or both!
Chain-led stores in St Ives:
Joules is renowned for selling brightly coloured clothes for the whole family, as well as homewares. Joules draws inspiration from British heritage designs.
Crew Clothing specialises in casual clothing for men and women with a timeless style.
Seasalt retails clothes and homewares with coastal-themed prints.
Cath Kidston has bright, vintage-style homewares, bags, clothing and more.
The Painted Bird a lovely gift shop with a unique and diverse choice of gifts and crafts.
The Glass Tree is a very pretty, eclectic style shop, with unique gifts, cards and home accessories.
Crowan Crafts shop here and find a selection of Cornish wares handmade in Cornwall.
Fabulous 28 sells a wide range of products including clothing, jewellery, homewares, and a lovely selection of toys, clothes and children’s shoes.
The Silver Wave a boutique haven for ladies, with fine jewellery, gold and silver designs, precious and semi-precious stones and costume jewellery.
Silver Origins is a family run company designing and selling unique silver jewellery and gifts.
Food and Drink
The Cornish Deli quality local meats, cheeses, seafood. Sit and enjoy a tasty snack, that way you’ll not only be relaxing, but tasting the wonderful food that you can buy as presents.
St Ives Brewery Gift Shop hand crafted beverages, beer or cider for that taste of Cornish brewing.
John’s Wine Store specialises in fine wine, spirits and Cornish produce.
St Ives Farmers Market
Open every Thursday in December, 9:30- 2:00 pm. A wide range of local produce including meat and vegetables, baked goods. There are refreshments to be had and live music!
I Should Coco offers artisan chocolate, handmade in St Ives.
St Ives Cornish Fudge Shop yummy fudge, a perfect gift for Cornwall lovers, a taste of holidays already experienced and of those to come.
Art and Galleries
There will be a host of Art Exhibitions in the run-up to Christmas, only fitting as St Ives is such a draw for artists who love the light and inspiration that St Ives emits. After all St Ives is the art mecca of the South West.
Tate St Ives
Tate has opened its new £20 million pound gallery “sunk into” a cliff in St Ives. Clad in handmade blue-green tiles, it’s designed “to reflect the changing colours of the sky and sea”.
Its new size means it will stay open all year round, when exhibitions change. Forthcoming events include a retrospective of Patrick Heron’s vibrant paintings and an exhibition of female artists inspired by Virginia Woolf.
Artists and the local landscape are the focus of the shop at Tate St Ives.
Visit Sloop Studios where a collective of talented people including printmakers, jewellers, artists, potters, illustrators and textile designers showcase their work and offer a range of locally made gifts.
So there you have it. St Ives steps up to the mark to make your Christmas shopping experience a real pleasure.
Just make sure you schedule twenty minutes to sit down in front of the harbour, take in the views, relish a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine and you’re guaranteed to make sure this year’s Christmas Shopping is an enjoyable part of the season’s festivities.