Interiors

Shop Sussex this Christmas: Our Top 10 online shops

Christmas shopping online this year? Give Amazon a wide berth, show independent Sussex businesses some love, and find unique and special gifts.

In what has been, shall we say, an unusual year, many of us have changed up our shopping habits and embraced the world of online shopping. As we approach Christmas in the midst of a pandemic, it’s easy to see the benefits of logging on and avoiding the retail crowds. But shopping online doesn’t automatically have to mean supporting retail giants like Amazon, or ploughing your money into high-street chains either. In fact, online shopping can be the perfect way to support small local businesses and independent makers, whilst still enjoying that boutique shopping experience, and discovering an unusual and unique selection of gifts. With so much choice at your fingertips, how do you know where to begin?

We’ve put together some of our favourite Sussex-based online shops to get you started…

Rae Lifestyle, Rye

Rae Lifestyle, Rye

Vintage homeware and lifestyle store, Rae, is home to the most beautifully curated edit of vintage tableware, decorative objects and furnishings. Based in Rye, in the most quaint and gorgeous shop, Rae have recently expanded their online shop, much to our delight, meaning that an array of high quality, small-batch goodies are now available for the discerning Christmas shopper to buy online. They have their own in-house brand of stylish blankets, throws and cushions, but also support Sussex-based independent makers such as Joy.nd, and AEAND Studio. Depending on your budget, various gift ideas abound – from toiletries, candles, socks, and coffee to more extravagant items such as handmade quilts and jewellery.

Visit their website now.

Last Christmas shipping dates: UK & EU by 18 Dec 1pm, International by 14 Dec 1pm

Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft

Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft

If you’re looking for something a little different this Christmas, Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft’s online shop is just the ticket. Museum and gallery shops all too easily fall under the radar in favour of their high-street counterparts, but they are a wealth of unique and creative gifts. Ditchling’s online shop is no exception – as well as the anticipated stock of coffee-table art books, prints and stationery, they’re pushing the boat out with homeware, ceramics, and jewellery designed by Sussex independent maker, Phoebe. One for the creatives in your life.

Visit their website now.

Last Christmas shipping dates: UK by 18 Dec, Click & Collect 18 Dec.

Bolney Wine Estate

Bolney Wine Estate

In Sussex, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to world-class vineyards. In fact, we have some of the most exciting and innovative viticulture in the world. Gifting a bottle of something special at Christmas is an indulgent treat that is guaranteed to be well received. Shake things up this Christmas – don’t gift the predictable Champagne, gift a bottle of Sussex sparkling instead. We wholeheartedly recommend Bolney’s Blanc de Blancs but there’s no shortage of choice. For that extra special touch, they even offer you the option to personalise the bottle.

Not to be outdone, Bolney are also catering for the foodie in your life this Christmas. Their hampers, jam-packed with local Sussex produce, are second to none – think wines, spirits, charcuterie, cheeses, chutneys, snacks & nibbles.

Visit their website now.

Last Christmas shipping dates: UK by 21 Dec

Workshop Living, Brighton

Workshop Living, Brighton

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, Leonardo Da Vinci

Keep it simple and classy this Christmas with a gift from Brighton boutique Workshop Living. Known for their contemporary, minimal aesthetic, Workshop is an expertly curated collection of unique homeware and sustainable lifestyle products. Japanese homeware brands such as Hasami and Kinto sit alongside small UK brands such as Margate-based skincare brand Haeckels and Muchelney Pottery, and independent makers such as Cornish ceramicist Sam Marks. For festive stocking fillers, look no further than their range of Japanese teas, Italian Panettone, and an enviable range of cosy-looking socks. You’ll also be hard pushed to find a nicer range of candles and incense anywhere else. There’s a lust-worthy range of kitchenalia and tableware that is equally, if not more likely to make it to your own home as it is to be gifted…

Visit their website now.

 

Charleston, Firle

Charleston, Firle

Charleston’s award-winning online shop has it all – books and stationery, clothing and jewellery, artworks, prints and homeware. If you’re a fan of the Bloomsbury aesthetic, the work of artists who called Charleston home – Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, or contemporary designers such as Luke Edward Hall then you’ll be right at home browsing this online shop. It’s been a challenging year for Charleston – they have been unable to reopen since closing their doors for the original lockdown in March, and have been tirelessly raising money since. Purchasing a Christmas gift or two is a great way to support this iconic house, integral to Sussex’s artistic and cultural heritage.

The recently published coffee-table book of dreams, The Bloomsbury Look, would make a great Christmas gift for anyone creative – there’s even some signed copies available. Otherwise there’s plenty of unique gifts decorated in the original designs of the Bloomsbury artists that are more than a little bit special.

Visit their website now.

Last Christmas shipping dates: UK by 17 Dec, International by 10 Dec

Rathfinny Wine Estate

Rathfinny Wine Estate

We’ve said it before and have no hesitancy saying it again – step away from the Champagne and give the gift of Sussex sparkling this Christmas! For an added curveball, how about gifting a sparkling Rosé? Pigeonholed as a summer drink, Rosé is actually a multi-faceted drink that lends itself to a multitude of dishes and occasions year round, including your Christmas dinner. Rathfinny Wine Estate are no stranger to critical acclaim, so with their Rosé Brut 2017 you’re guaranteed to have quality on your side. Complimentary gift boxes are available on single bottles, and free delivery on cases – Rathfinny have a Sussex Christmas Selection which we’ve got our eye on. Unexpectedly perhaps, there’s also a great range of Seven Sisters spirits – it’s going to be a boozy Christmas.

Visit their website now.

Last Christmas shipping dates: UK by 22 Dec

Radical Giving, Lewes

Radical Giving, Lewes

The clue is in the name, this is radical gifting! Radical Giving is situated in the gorgeous, historic Needlemakers building in the heart of Lewes, East Sussex. It’s home to a wide range of handcrafted, ethical, and sustainable home goods perfect for the conscious Christmas shopper. They have an especially nice selection of Christmas essentials including cards, wrapping paper and decorations. This charming miniature Log Cabin Burner is all the Christmas kitsch we need right now, and would make an undeniably cute gift. There’s plenty to browse and something to suit all budgets from hand-dipped candles and soaps, to curated gift boxes, ceramics and throws. You can read more about the inspiring makers that they support here.

Visit their website now.

Last Christmas shipping dates: Second class post, 18 Dec. First class post, 21 Dec. Special Delivery, 23 Dec.

Towner Gallery, Eastbourne

Towner Gallery, Eastbourne

Towner Gallery have recently won Museum of the Year, and if that’s not a glowing recommendation then we don’t know what is. This really is a one-stop shop for the gallery-going culture-vulture in your life. There’s art books galore, and for a true bargain look no further than the now half-price exhibition catalogue from Towner’s acclaimed show Alan Davie and David Hockney: Early Works. This is very much on our Christmas list. At the pricier end you’ll find some particularly special limited edition prints by artist Eric Ravilious, but there’s also a great range of affordable, art-oriented gifts – from stocking filler socks and tote bags, to stationery, handmade pots and homeware.

Visit their website now.

Last Christmas shipping dates: UK by 17 Dec

Oxney Organic Estate

Oxney Organic Estate

Oxney estate is home to the ‘best-ever English wine’ – their Chardonnay received the highest score, a perfect 20/20 no less, from renowned wine writer Matthew Jukes. With that in mind, feel safe in the knowledge that gifts from here are of the highest quality, and all organic! If a magnum of the bubbly stuff is out of your price range, you can still support a local Sussex business and gift something unique and special with Oxney’s affordably priced, beautifully presented bottles of Cider. There’s also the option to pick up a voucher for a vineyard tour for two, which would make an ideal gift for couples.

Visit their website now.

glyndebourne-hockney

Glyndebourne

From classic to quirky, Glyndebourne offers a touch of luxury and refinement this Christmas. As a Grade II listed English country house, and one of the UK’s leading opera houses, it’s really no surprise. Their expansive online shop is home to everything from the finest, Sussex-made Montezuma chocolates, to high-end clothing, jewellery and leather goods. From the looks of things, everything on offer is exquisitely packaged – from infinitely gift-able soaps and candles, to cup and saucer sets. You might be surprised by just how much is on offer here, there’s even an online art gallery.

Visit their website now.

 

This list could easily have been twice, even three times as long! There’s a wealth of boutiques, independent makers, and small businesses in Sussex and, lucky for us, more of them than ever are offering their wares online. Shopping small and supporting local businesses is not just for Christmas, it’s a year-round responsibility but also a pleasure. With travel restrictions making it harder than ever to get to the shops that we know and love, it only takes a moment to have a look and check if they’re selling online. 

Happy Shopping!

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