Bryony Morgan, the founder of Made in Bristol, curates arts and crafts events and pop-up shops in venues across Bristol to celebrate, showcase and promote the region’s artistic talent. Bryony believes that buying local and handmade is important for our society, culture and economy and has some great reasons to shop independent this Christmas:

1. Handmade is forever (unless it’s handmade chocolate!) In a time when so many purchases are disposable, buying a quality handcrafted object you love and will treasure is better for the environment and your soul.

2. Buying handmade and from independent businesses supports real local people and keeps your hard-earned money in the economy where you live. Good for your community, good for you.

3. Buying handmade keeps authentic craft skills and traditions alive, preserving skills that can be passed to future generations.

4. Handmade celebrates people, history, diversity and the magic of imagination.

So with all that in mind, here’s Bryony’s guide to her favourite independent shops for Christmas shopping in Bristol.

Bryony Morgan - Made in Bristol - Independent shops for Christmas shopping in Bristol

Image - Bryony Morgan

Source Food Hall & Cafe, St Nicks Market

The go-to establishment for Christmas food; from the bird to your cheese board, the pudding, fish and veg, these experts have it all covered. No festivities would be complete without consulting their knowledgeable staff and selecting something special from their beautiful array of produce. You really can have restaurant-style food at home with the right guidance and quality ingredients. Linger over lunch at their café while you decide if it will be duck or turkey, beef or salmon at the centre of your winter banquet, and pick up a few foodie gifts too.

Cheese counter Source Bristol - independent shops for Christmas shopping in Bristol

Image - Source cheese counter

Weber & Tring, Christmas Steps

In need of wine for your festive table, Pisco, for your Pisco sours or Kirsch for your Black Forest Gateau? Look no further than these pedlars of fine spirits and liqueurs, on Christmas Steps. While you’re there, you can revel in the fact that you’re doing your Christmas shopping to the most seasonally named row of shops in the city.

Arnolfini Bookshop, Narrow Quay

In some families, magazines are a stocking staple and this is a great destination to peruse a range of titles that aren’t available on the High Street. Independent publications, with beautiful illustrations and inspiring, positive stories that are high enjoyable to browse with a mince pie in bed.

Arnolfini - Independent shops for Christmas shopping in Bristol

Image - Arnolfini

Lowlands, 72 Colston Street

A delightful little design shop, with a perfectly-curated selection of gifts, tucked away on Colston Street. Their selection is so tempting, you’ll pop in for wine glasses and probably leave with a new lamp and reusable water bottle too!

Toyville, North Street

Another strip of independent joy, North Street (the East Street end) has only recently found its identity and lots of new offerings have opened over the last couple of years (the Albatross Cafe is epic!) For toys, Toyville can’t be beaten, beautiful wooden animals nestle among ethical brands and perfect stocking fillers for all ages.  

Amnesty Bookshop, Gloucester Road

Shopping in charity shops is an ethical, environmental and economic winner with treasures waiting to be discovered and re-homed. I don’t think it is possible to own too many books and the right tome would make the perfect gift, you just have to start hunting….

Loop Massage, Cargo, Wapping Wharf

Loop is a boutique massage studio set in a converted shipping container on Bristol's Harbourside. Owner Polly creates a small and highly-curated range of candles, bath and body products made by hand from all-natural ingredients that complement her massage business. It’s small and curated because Polly is super fussy - in a good way – and you’ll quickly become a fan!

Cargo 2 - independent shops for Christmas shopping in Bristol

Image Cargo 2

Zara’s Chocolate, North Street

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without booze, cheese and chocolate. The latter of the yuletide trinity is best sort out here, the newly moved and reopened temple to handcrafted, delicious chocolates and real hot chocolate to drink while you browse. All that is missing is Johnny Depp!

About the author:

Bryony Morgan, the founder of Made in Bristol, works with a huge range of quality designer-makers, including illustrators, painters, jewellers, designer-makers, sculptors, and photographers, to curate the Made in Bristol Gift Fair, which begins its 10th outing on 24 November for a two-day special event in association with Fair Saturday (a global movement bringing together artists, performers and social causes to sing, shout, create and reflect on what it means to be a fair society, supporting social causes in the process) on the 24 November. Bristol – a place that is proud of its creativity and activism – is the first city in the UK to celebrate Fair Saturday.

The Made in Bristol Gift Fair, a free family event in Colston Hall’s shimmering foyer, will then return on 1 and 8 December. The Gift Fair presents hundreds of locally made artisan products, celebrates local creativity and provides the perfect opportunity to start your Christmas shopping.

Made in Bristol Gift Fair



Made in Bristol Gift Fair at Colston Hall
Free Event
Made in Bristol Gift Fair at Colston Hall

Made in Bristol will take over Colston Hall foyer across three full weekends, featuring over 70 makers over each of the weekenders!

Fair Saturday Bristol
Arts and Culture
Fair Saturday Breakfast 2018 with 91 Ways to Build a Global City and ACH © Paul Blakemore

Bristol will become the first city in England to join Fair Saturday, a global movement which aims to boost arts, culture and social causes every last Saturday of November.

Christmas Steps arts quarter
Christmas Steps Bristol

Ancient and picturesque stepped hill flanked by unique shops, galleries and cafes.

Arts Centre
Arnolfini at Bristol Harbourside

Arnolfini is a centre for contemporary arts based on Bristol’s Harbourside. The organisation is dedicated to producing and presenting visual arts, performance, film, music and events.

Colston Hall Bristol
Event Venue
Colston Hall Foyer - CREDIT AARDMAN

Colston Hall is Bristol’s largest concert hall, presenting concerts and entertainment by major names in rock, pop, jazz, folk, world and classical music, stand up comedy and light entertainment.