Buying local and handmade is more important than ever this year. The benefits are endless and you’ll certainly notice the difference in doing so. Your money will go much further, as handmade is forever. Unless it’s handmade chocolate, of course! A quality handcrafted object is obvious, especially compared to today’s disposable products, and they’ll become ones to treasure.

As you’ll read, buying handmade keeps authentic craft skills and traditions alive. Some of these preserved skills have been passed on for over 100 years. Not only does it celebrate the history of an institution but also the diversity and people of the city. You'll be supporting real, local people and putting you’re hard earned money back in to your area - you’ll also get a warm, fuzzy feeling from buying from them too.

With all of this in mind, where will you enjoy shopping this Christmas?

Room 212, Gloucester Road

If you're looking for something beautiful and made in Bristol, make sure you head to the treasure trove that is Room 212. Full of prints, bags, mugs and even lampshades made by local creatives. Their shop is currently open for click and collect orders. Room 212 is also at the hub of the North Bristol Art Trail, which takes place online between 27 November - 6 December 2020.

  • Gloucester Road is home to one of the longest stretches of independent shops in the UK. You could easily spend a whole afternoon, if not a whole day, here. 

Room 212
Image - Room 212

The Original Bristol Blue Glass, High Street & Bath Road

It'll be a blue Christmas but for all the right reasons when shopping here! Bristol Blue Glass started in 1988 with the aim to re-establish a glass making tradition back into Bristol that had been lost for over 60 years. At this time, a lot of the traditional English glass making techniques were in severe danger of being lost forever. After mastering the skill, their glass makers now blow all of their glass using only the simplest of techniques and basic hand tools. The whole range of glass is free blown, therefore every piece is unique. You will find beautiful handmade glass, jewellery, gifts and souvenirs here. Don't be fooled, though they are called Bristol Blue Glass they are able to blow everything in clear Crystal as well. Click and collect is available.

Bristol Blue GlassImage - Bristol Blue Glass

Beyond Retro, Bristol Shopping Quarter

Shopping in vintage shops is an ethical, environmental and economic winner with treasures waiting to be discovered and re-homed. This Christmas, get your fashion fix from Beyond Retro with must-have iconic brands like Levis, Carhartt and Dr Martens. Inspired by catwalks, street style and customers, the brand’s curated collection is always on trend and affordable. The brand also makes a conscious effort to stay green in all elements of the business, from packaging to shipping, to minimise any impact on the environment. Free UK delivery on orders over £75.

Beyond Retro
Image - Beyond Retro

Guilbert's Chocolates Ltd

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without booze, cheese and chocolate. The latter of the yuletide trinity can be sought out in this Bristol institution. Piers Guilbert opened his first chocolate shop factory on Park Street 100 years ago. They've since moved but, Guilbert’s still handmake chocolates and confectionery by traditional methods. Online you will find their classic and modern handmade boxed collections, plus their best-loved loose chocolate creams, truffles and fondants.

Guilbert's Chocolate

Image - Guilbert's Chocolates Ltd

Papadeli, Alma Road

Winners of Indie Retail UK Best Small Shop and 7 years runner-up in the Observer Food Monthly Awards, treat yourself or a loved one to the taste of Papadeli. You can now have any of the artisan deli products found on their shelves delivered to you door, as Papadeli deliver through Good Sixty. If you're after foodie hampers, this is the place for you. Choose from ready made hampers or make up your own by choosing a basket and all the treats to go in it, for a truly scrumptious gift.

Papadeli Cafe/Deli

Wylde Jewellers, The Mall Clifton

Thinking of popping the question this Christmas? With over 30 years experience, and their own patented diamond cut – the Wylde Flower Diamond® - this award winning, designer boutique jeweller is a must-see in your search for bespoke jewellery. Enjoy a glass of champagne whilst speaking to one of their jewellery designers by appointment, or chat with a highly trained consultant, all with zero obligation. Plus, bespoke pieces cost no extra than if they had made them for their shop window. Shop online with zoom appointments and WhatsApp virtual shopping available.

  • Indulge some more this Christmas with Bristol's Harvey Nichols store

Wylde Jewellers
Image - Wylde Jewellers

Wapping Wharf

Home to an eclectic mix of independent shops, you're sure to find something you love here. From a florist to an ethical clothes shop, jewellers to a gift and homeware shop, this popular harbourside quarter is brimming with goodies not found on the high street. The neighbourhood also includes an organic food shop, a cheesemongers, a fishmongers, a butchers and a bakers – so you can even get your festive food shop done too!

Cargo 2 - independent shops for Christmas shopping in BristolImage - Cargo 2

Bristol Attractions' Gift Shops

Bristol is home to some awesome attractions and many have a great gift shop too. Be sure to check out the latest range from Brunel's SS Great Britain, exhibition themed gifts on Bristol Museums' online shop, stocking fillers at Arnolfini's Bookshop, memberships and animal experiences at Bristol AquariumWild Place Project and Bristol Zoo Gardens and gift tickets from Aerospace Bristol

  • Keep a look out for special offers and support Museum Shop Day on 29 November 2020.

Arnolfini - Independent shops for Christmas shopping in BristolImage - Arnolfini

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Papadeli cafe counter

The deli is open for takeaway salads, savouries, bread, coffee, cake, frozen meals and all the delicious treats. To order hampers and frozen meals, cakes, catering, check out their shop or email info@papadeli.co.uk. Delivery available in Bristol with Good Sixty.