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Looking for some Christmas shopping inspiration? Instead of getting caught up in the Christmas rush and making some not-so-great-value-for-money impulse purchases, read our guide to some of the best small retailers in Norwich and Norfolk. With many selling incredible local products.
Whether you want to order some food and drink gifts online, or do a bit of browsing in person, there’s plenty of places we’d recommend going to (or visiting online) for a bit of shopping.
St George’s Distillery, home of The English Whisky Company, was the first distillery in England in over 100 years when it opened and a key part of Norfolk’s heritage. Why not buy a gift voucher which a loved one can used towards a tour of the distillery itself? There are multiple tours to choose from which include whisky samples, or there’s a create your own whisky experience too! There’s also plenty of different whiskies and gifts you can purchase easily online or in person. Keep an eye out for some of the new releases, and bottles of whisky that come with free whisky stones!
In the same grounds as St George’s Distillery is the OakVilla Restaurant and Distillery. Here, as well as serving up scrumptious food, they have on offer their very own gins for sale which you can order online. You can get stuck in too! Book a gin tasting experience for only £25 or go the whole hog and create your own gin in an experience lasting three hours. Visit the website for more information.
Bullards is a name that’s synonymous with the history of Norwich, and well known for their award-winning, handcrafted gin. Visit online (or pop into their Chantry Place shop to try before you buy!) to get hampers, eco refill pouches and more. And if you sign up to their newsletter you can grab yourself a cheeky 10% off. Need something to do with friends? Book a Gin Experience to take place in their Chantry Place store. You’ll learn about the history of gin, tasting techniques, and you’ll get to sample some signature gins. Experiences last 45 minutes and are only £25 per person! Bargain.
Lacons create handcrafted beers from their brewery in Great Yarmouth, and there’s plenty of delicious, unique and award-winning drinks to choose from. We’d recommend going for the deluxe beer and cheese pairing box for only £40. Including three artisan cheeses, crackers, and six bottles of beer, it’s the perfect Christmas gift for anyone who loves a good beer (or you can always treat yourself!).
This stylish independent cocktail bar houses an impressive collection of spirits. But it’s not just a great place to go out for a Christmas tipple or two. Visit their website and you’ll find their very own gins available to purchase, as well as gift vouchers for their Gin Academy. Enjoy a gin making experience where you’ll get to learn about the distilling process, create your unique recipe gin, enjoy some samples, and then take your own bottle of gin home with you! And they’ll store your recipe in case you want to go back for more.
This may not count as one independent to visit in the run-up to Christmas, but you’ll definitely want to spend some time shopping at Norwich Market this winter. As well as wine, cheese, chocolate and other locally sourced products you can take away, there’s plenty of hot food and drink to fuel you up as you shop too! That’s not to mention the brilliant clothing, art and gift stalls on the market too.
Norwich’s well-loved independent department store, Jarrold is the place to go for homewares, fashion, beauty, gifts, toys, furniture and more! Black Friday offers are available across the store up until the 29 November – so whether you prefer to shop online or see for yourself, there’s plenty of time to find a bargain or two.
If its unique and beautiful gifts you’re after, Country and Eastern, the museum shop for The South Asia Collection is perfect. With rugs, furniture, books, fabrics, clothing, accessories and even some handmade Christmas decorations, often featuring beautiful Asian inspired patterns, you’re guaranteed to find something stunning and unique. Go in person to see the museum itself and take in the gorgeous artefacts on display, or you can shop online!
Lovingly crafting jewellery at their in-store workshop, you’ll be wowed by the beautiful rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets on offer at Sonkai. Using only materials sourced from other UK based suppliers, all their pieces are made to highest standards. Head to the Royal Arcade to browse the range in person, or to have a chat about creating a bespoke piece – ideal for a special occasion. You can also browse some of the range online on their website and order from the comfort of your own home too!
Richard Bainbridge of Benedicts is famously known in Norfolk for his passionate belief of using and supporting local produce and producers. In 2020 when we were living in and out of lockdown Richard launched his R Bainbridge Provisions which can be purchased online or in the restaurant. His products are perfect for the foodie in your life from hand-prepared Breakfast Granola and homemade Jams, to a range of unique Sauces, Jus and ready-made Stocks. There’s also a very favourable hamper, RB’s Christmas Trifle and delicious looking chocolate log!
Richard’s state of the art kitchen at The Assembly House is the perfect place for a new starter cook or someone who considerers themselves pretty experienced. The cookery programme is packed full of different courses from classic game cookery to cake decoration and everything in between. There’s something for everyone. These courses make fantastic Christmas presents or experiences to do with friends and if you sign up to the Passport scheme you get 10% off the price too. And if you really fancy splashing out why not make a break of it and book a room a luxury room as well?
Fancy having all the magic of a German Christmas market just a 10-minute drive from Norwich? Then the Christmas Shed is the place to go. The original farm shop has been transformed into a unique festive shopping space, packed with gifts and goodies for all the family. And in the build-up to Christmas there will be product tastings, carol singers and bell ringers, a Letters to Santa service for the little ones, Christmas wreath workshops, plus mulled wine as the weather gets colder. Open now and throughout the Christmas period into the New Year.