This second part of our independent shopping guide comes to you written mostly from my bed as the dreaded Winter Cold has finally caught up with me! It has nearly gone now thank goodness and as my brain has come out of the cold fuzz, I can finally proof read this blog post and get it up online.
You can’t shop much more locally than buying jewellery from the studio next door. Alexis Dove has also just opened a new shop on Lewes High Street. I have yet to visit the new store properly, but if it is anything like the old shop then you are in for a treat. I am in love with her Menagerie collection which features adorable metal versions of animals. My mother alternates between a kitten and a rabbit necklace while I am a steady wearer of my lion pendant.
For modern minimal jewellery made from mostly recycled silver, look no further than By SP. Only recently launched by Sadie Perry, By SP is beautifully branded and understatedly beautiful. I think Sadie has stopped taking orders for Christmas but her jewellery is too lovely not to include and you can still buy ahead for birthdays!
Nancy Meiland fragrances are beautifully nuanced and a delight to wear. While at a Winter’s Eve shopping event I was able to try Nancy’s latest fragrance which (and apologies because I am not great scent expert!) started quite floral and fresh but settled into something much warmer. I will admit to sniffing my wrist frequently during my drive home! There is something elegantly refined about Nancy’s fragrances that draw you into them.
Liz Temperley creates whimsical illustrations and printed goods at Blank Inside with a studio just down the stairs from me. Liz also sells some wonderful wrapping paper designs to complete your gift giving. I have my eyes on the fairy cat wrapping paper.
Flint is a beautifully edited shop with clothing, accessories and homeware just down the road from the Mille Saisons' studio. I’m in love with the Christmas centrepiece in the shop at the moment as well as the selection of flowers available.
Half framers, half homeware and gift shop, Kings Framers provides a more colourful counterpart to Flint’s tasteful neutrals just up the high street. The varied colour range of Undercover leather products make excellent gifts.
Bonne Bouche is a tiny chocolate shop in a narrow lane just down from Lewes Castle. I imagine everyone who visits think of it as their hidden little secret. The business was started over twenty years ago by Elizabeth Syrett who ran the confectionery department at Fortnum and Mason prior to opening Bonne Bouche. This year the business was bought by another lovely lady and the shop has been kept just as it was- a little old-fashioned and quaint but lovely with many of the same Fortnum and Mason chocolate suppliers. There is something wonderfully indulgent about selecting your own box of chocolates in this shop and there are now Christmas patterned boxes available. The new owner is wonderfully friendly, and well, very sweet!
Finally, both Charlotte Elizabeth and Grace Gordon produce wonderful leather bags made in Britain with classic and timeless designs which have me thinking of upgrading my velvet backpack to something more grown up and lady-like.
There are plenty more wonderful independent designers out there but these are the ones I know and love best and while I’d like to, I don’t have time to write about all of them!