Holly Tucker (Founder of Not on The High Street) has launched Colour Friday as an exciting new annual alternative to Black Friday (26th November). Why? To remind us all to celebrate the colour and creativity that small businesses bring to the UK…before it’s too late.
We’ve compiled a list of local businesses to inspire you to shop small and spend some of your Christmas budget locally. In the process you’ll be supporting AMAZING businesses based in and around our local area!
- PERFUME BLENDING EXPERIENCE
Zoe Brown Perfume, a small, niche perfume business based in leafy Buckinghamshire offers perfume blending experiences. Workshops will be for a maximum of four people at a cost of £75 per person, and each person will leave with a bottle of their own hand made perfume. To enquire for dates and available spaces please email email@example.com
- WINE TOUR & TASTING
Fairmile Vineyard in Henley on Thames produce outstanding quality English sparkling wines from the foothills of the Chiltern Hills. They offer pre booked tours for as a little as £10 per person if you have a group of 6. They can also arrange for local suppliers to deliver a picnic to the vineyard for you. Just phone or email your requirements, or if you would like a tour voucher to give as a gift.
- LEARN TO SEW
Coxley Green Tash from Bobbin & Bash offers 1:1 lesson – £35 per hour, 2 hour minimum (fabric not included). Ideal if you would like to have her undivided attention for a ‘Sewing machine taster class’ or have an idea for something you’d like to sew but are not confident in tackling it alone. Alternatively you can sign up to the beginner sewing course over 6 weekly, 2 hour sessions, fabric included. You’ll cover how to set up the machine and each week you will focus on a new technique, consolidating your learning with a project to take home each week. The 6 week course costs £300.
- CAMP FIRE COOKING
There’s nothing like the taste of food cooked on an open fire. If you want to try cooking a lunch with a difference, or simply want to spend time with friends around a fire, this is the experience for you. BackWoods Experiences offer a fantastic variety of Workshops and Experiences. On the Campfire Cooking day, you will prepare and cook three dishes on your self built campfire – with some extra snacks along the way. They’ll guide you through every step, so don’t worry if you’ve never made a fire before, or if you can’t cook beans on toast. Combining elements of bushcraft and foraging, the Campfire Cooking day is an excellent introduction to the rural life. Gift vouchers are available online. Campfire Cooking for one is £55 and for two its £99
- CANDLE MAKING WORKSHOPS
Trish shares the magic of candle making the Chiltern Candle Co way in her workshops. Experience for yourself, in a small group, the alchemy that goes into candle making and ignite all your senses at the same time. The cost of the workshop is £50 per person and you will make and take home 2 candles worth over £25. Complimentary Prosecco will be offered in the evening and tea/coffee with cake will be provided for the daytime sessions. You will be provided with all materials and instruction; all you need to bring is your enthusiasm and a smile. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire.
- ACADEMY OF CHEESE COURSE
Love Cheese, want to learn more about Cheese? Take a look at No 2 Pound Street’s cheese courses. The day long level 1 AoC Associate course (which includes all refreshments and cheeses) takes place in a purpose built room behind the shop. No 2 Pound Street are registered Training Partners of the Academy of Cheese and offer the UKs first accredited cheese training programme.
FOOD & DRINK
- BESPOKE CHAMPAGNE BOTTLES
The Champagne elves are ready! Forsythe Bespoke Champagne are luxury provider of personalised Grand Cru Champagne. They can add any messages you like to their bottles – the design team will ensure you are happy with the layout and text and send you a sample label before production. Choose from single wooden gift boxes, 3 bottle boxes or for the ultimate gift; hampers of 6 bottles. Last orders: December 10th
- HANDCRAFTED CHOCOLATES
Prescotts Chocolate in Beaconsfield make high-quality handmade chocolate creations, perfect if you’re looking for unique and personal items and gifts. I’ve bought the chocolate letters from Prescotts in the past and used them as place name settings. The deadline for Christmas orders is December 10th.
- HAMPERS & FOODIE GIFTS
The Kitchen Larder, is a gorgeous independent artisan food store in Chalfont St Peter, stocking a carefully curated range of specialist food items. This Christmas they are creating stunning themed collections of KL products which they beautifully tissue wrap and place in their signature white wicker hampers, baskets and gift bags. You set the budget & theme (examples include Coffee Lover, Pretty in Pink, Christmas Pudding Pics, Dad’s favourites)and they will create a stunning original gift.
FOR THE HOME
- SPARKLY LIGHTS
Seer Green based Thalia, launched her business Sparkle lighting in the summer of 2019, bringing collections of beautiful affordable lighting to interior lovers. They have a great collection of Christmas lights, including these gorgeous Star Burst Fairy Lights. You can view their collection at sparkle.lighting Get 10% off orders in November using the code SPARKLE10 at checkout.
- FAUX FLOWERS
Take a peek in Gerrards Crossed based Layered Lounge’s website and you’ll be greeted by lots of gorgeous home decor including these high quality faux flowers. I have just ordered some as a Christmas present to myself and I love them. They are so realistic and I’ll save a fortune not having to buy real flowers 😉 Get 20% off your first order when you sign up for their newsletters.
Chalfont St Giles based Johanci creates large abstract paintings on canvas and produces handprinted, limited edition Linoprints of local and London architecture. Get 15% off prints using the code ‘Chiltern15‘ at checkout.
- PLANT HANGERS
Born in Chesham in the Summer of 2020, From The Garden Room is an independent homeware and houseplant business inspired by a love of plants and creativity to produce sustainable products that look beautiful in your home. All the plant hangers and baskets are made from 100% recycled cotton and all packaging is recycled, recyclable and reusable. The hand made plant hangers look amazing and are available in 5 main styles and a range of colours, £18 each. From The garden Room also source houseplants and pots from local suppliers to go with the hangers plus they are on hand to offer plant advice, an amazing bonus to someone like me who really struggles keeping houseplants alive!
- CHOPPING BOARD
This chopping board from Knots & Embers really is a work of art! Hannah, the creator, started her little venture back in 2020 when life slowed down enough for her to get back into exploring her creativity and it’s now turned into my full-time business. If you sign up to her newsletter you’ll get 10% off your first purchase.
- POTS & VASES
Rowan Garden Centre have a fantastic selection of gifts including edible goodies, festive bling and lots of beautiful pots! I challenge you to walk out of there empty handed. The staff are amazing, very knowledgable and there is a lovely cafe, so if you fancy a break from shopping you can grab a coffee and cake.
CLOTHES, JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES
- COSY UP
Sparkle season is here! We love this Sugarhill Astrid Zap! sweater from Pop & Moo in Chalfont St Peter. There are just a few of these gorgeous jumpers left in sizes 8-12 so be quick!
Beaconsfield based, Carin Murphy from Shakara Jewellery creates gorgeous colourful and affordable jewellery. Each piece is hand made with clean contemporary lines, making it very wearable and transcends easily from a day to evening look. Prices are very reasonable and start at £35 for a ring, £22.50 for earrings and £51 for a necklace.
- PRESENTS TO POST
Hertfordshire based White Rain Designs have a selection of goodies that make perfect gifts to post. A few of my favourites include this pretty Side Stamped Jewellery Dish for £18.50 and these handmade ceramic earring studs (£19.50) with a gold lustre on a Merry Christmas earring presentation card! They would make the perfect Christmas gift, stocking filler or secret Santa pressie!
- GIFTS INSTEAD OF FLOWERS
www.giftsinsteadofflowers.com showcases unique gifts at affordable prices, created by a range of talented independent artists and small businesses many of which are Bucks based. www.giftsinsteadofflowers.com was launched after Bucks based Jan Jenkins became ill and the house was turned into a florist. Although very appreciative Jan thought it would have been so nice to receive a small gift instead of flowers which she would still have today. www.giftsinsteadofflowers.com supports independent artists and small businesses as they receive 100% of the profit of any sale.
- PERSONALISED GIFTS
Little Chalfont based Rachel from House of Airey offers handmade personalised gifts, greetings cards and party accessories. I’ve bought a few bits from Rachel in the past before including personalised baubles and personalised beer glasses and the recipients were really pleased with their gifts 🙂 Get 10% off your first order if you sign up to the newsletter.
BEAUTY & HEALTH
Buy someone a Floatation voucher at Yoga Hook and get £20 off! Floating is a wonderful way to deal with the stress and worry, muscles recovery, to rest, re-charge and escape the hustle and bustle of London’s busy lifestyle. You can read our review here of what to expect. Yoga Hook are offering Chiltern Chatter readers £20 off a float until 30th November 2021 so you’ll only pay £35 (normal price £55). Vouchers need to be used within 3 months of purchase. Use promo code: floatwell20 when booking.
Give someone the gift of glow with a voucher from Rachel Farr Advanced Beauty! A few weeks ago I visited Rachael following a fantastic review by Hollie from Baby in Bucks and I can highly recommend her too (I’m booked to go back again next month – I never have facials but I’ve decided I need to invest in my skin after 40 plus years of being rubbish ;)). Rachel was previously a trainer for an aesthetic skin care line before owning her own skin clinic. She is extremely passionate about skin, delivering results and looking after client’s needs. She offer bespoke facial which involves a full consultation (I took photos of the products I currently use) and she then tailors the facial and products used to your skin. You can buy gift voucher via Rachels website which can be used against any treatment. New clients get 20% off their first booking (see her website for further info).
- PAMPER TIME
Bucks based Fizzy Fuzzy makes a range of handmade, luxury bath and beauty products using traditional method of making cold process soap, and they never make their products from pre-made bases – they are all handmade by Vicki, from scratch. All materials are responsibly sourced, without any parabens or sulphates, and all products are vegan and not tested on animals. Products include bath bombs, soap, hand & foot butters, shampoo and conditioner bars, candles and lip butters. Know a gin lover? The Gin & Tonic Luxury Gift set (£28.50) is perfect pampering gift including bath bombs, soap, candle and a flannel, presented in a luxury white gift box.
- PERSONALISED TENNIS HAMPER
Looking for a good Christmas gift/stocking filler this year? Check out these personalised tennis hampers from the tennis Pro Shop at Dukes Wood Tennis Club in Gerrards Cross. Let them know your budget and desired gifts and Alex will do the rest 🎾❄️🎄
- BEAUTIFUL ECO CONSCIOUS SPORTS WEAR
Pokita was set up by local parents, Amy & Hannah to produce beautiful sportswear that packs a punch on the course, court or studio but doesn’t harm the planet. I have 2 of their tank tops and a Vest top and I love the designs and patterns.
All of Pokita’s products are made from repurposed plastic waste as well as their packaging. Their designs have been made with real women in mind – high waists, longer lengths and feminine shapes mean a more flattering silhouette that will leave you confident that you can look your best and perform to your best ability.
- CHILDREN’S SUNCATCHER WORKSHOP
Fired Works in Chalfont St Peter run a variety of workshops including a Children’s Sun catcher workshop. Let your creative ones (over 8’s) make their own fused glass sun catchers which they get to keep once they’ve been fired in the kiln. A selection of different shapes and sizes will be available to choose from. Each child will make 3 decorations. Workshops are kept to a maximum of 4 children per session and take place at Fired Works in Chalfont St Peter.
- CHRISTMAS BISCUIT DECORATING KIT
We love the Christmas Biscuit Decorating Kit (£10) from Great Missenden based Teacup & Tandems. The kits contain 3 or 4 biscuits, 3 bags of icing, a bag of sprinkles and some instructions if you need them. Perfect for a fun activity at home or why not send a kit to someone special so they can perfect their icing techniques. Lovely stocking fillers or secret santa present.
- STATIONERY LOVERS
NEW IN! These christmassy A6 notebooks from Seer Green based Ellie Good Illustration would make great Secret Santa gifts or stocking fillers. Useful + 100% recycled + printed in England + 5p donated to environmental charities with each one sold = clean conscience. Get 15% off your first order with the code ‘Chatter21’ when you spend £5 or more, until midnight on January 1st 2022
- WOODEN SNOWMEN & REINDEER
15 year old Jasper from Beaconsfield hand-makes wooden creatures with character: Reindeer, Snowmen, Bunnies, Owls… This Christmas he is donating 15% of his sales to The Roald Dahl Charity and The Chesham Leys care home. I have bought an Easter Bunny from him and it’s sooo cute. Have a look at his instagram page and you’ll see his different designs.
Oh my goodness, I don’t think I could be any more in love with these Liberty Print Lavender Rabbits but you’ll need to be quick as there are only a few left. If you don’t manage to bag the bunnies, High Wycombe based Made by Maggies has so many gorgeous goodies on her site including these Lavender Sachets Bears.