30 Fantastic Canterbury Businesses (Online & High Street) To Support This Christmas
This post was created in partnership with Canterbury BID. I think we’ve all realised by now Christmas is going to be a little different this year. Since 2015 one of my Christmas traditions, how I really started the holiday period was as a judge for the Canterbury Christmas Window Competition. Now, this year small businesses are under enough pressure so the decision was made to give the competition a miss this year.
However, we did not want people to miss out on all the beautiful windows in town this Christmas (we all need a little bit more festive cheer!) so yesterday Rachel and I from Canterbury BID headed out to shoot this years windows – I’ve included all the best windows below, including details on how to shop online or via click and collect if shops are offering those services if you still want to #supportsmallbusiness (and indeed for some of the larger shops featured below, keep our high street alive!) if you’d feel more comfortable staying at home.
Fitzgerald always have the most stunning Christmas windows that are a riot of light and colour, and this year their bauble festoons were my favourite! You can shop online, or stop in at 26 Burgate to talk about their custom designs.
House of Secrets
Ever since they arrived last year House of Secrets has also had one of my favourite festive windows… because it is a Harry Potter shop! Head in store for the perfect gift for anyone like me who is Potter obsessed, and for a few more non-Potter, magically themed items, too. Find them at 15 Mercery Lane.
Ortwin Thyssen at 53 Palace Street may be under new ownership, but their windows are still as stunning as always this year, and they still sell the same beautiful collection of delicate, but unique jewellery. If you don’t feel comfortable heading in at the moment, you can get in touch to speak about bespoke commissions on their website.
Under new ownership this year, this childrens shoe shop at 10C Burgate is now also a toy shop, so the perfect place to check out if you’re looking for gifts for little people! They also offer free postage on orders over £40 through their website, as well as a click-and-collect service.
The Canterbury Makers collective usually have a craft tent in the middle of the high street as part of the Christmas market, but this year they have taken over a unit in Whitefriars, perfect if you want to shop independent for some beautiful and unique handmade gifts.
Wrapped! is one of my favourite shops in town (find them at 22 Burgate) for lovely gifts, but also the most beautiful selection of unique cards, gift wraps and party supplies in their basement. I head there first for friends gifts, and you can of course also shop online with free postage on orders over £30. Also, how amazing is their bright neon festive display?
Not and independent (that is coming later in the post!) but bookshops need your support! Waterstones in Canterbury have some great selections in their windows at the moment, including their book of the year Hamnet which I can’t wait to read, and The Booksellers Tale, which is actually about running the Canterbury branch of Waterstones, when it was on their old site around the corner. Obviously you can shop Waterstones online (both of my books are in stock!), but find them at 6-8 Rose Lane.
Iconic, owned by Fitzgeralds and found at 13 The Parade (the upped end of the High Street towards Fenwick) is great for beautiful jewellery, but also branded items for example if you have a friend or family member collecting different beads and charms for existing jewellery. They do also have an online store.
Now that I have my own house to furnish, I need to be kept away from Queen Bee Home at all costs for the sake of my bank balance! My first stop yes for what is always one of the most detailed and breath taking Christmas windows in town, but also the best place to go for beautiful little bits and pieces for your house. Find them at 12 Mercery Lane (where their cafe is still offering hot takeaway sandwiches) or shop online both for in store homewares, but also for the bulk of their furniture collection.
Roly’s Fudge Pantry, also on Mercery Lane at no. 10, has three things to recommend it as a festive decoration. First, who would not want fudge as a Christmas gift? Second, often you can still watch the fudge being made in the window, something to make up for the fact you can’t do a fudge masterclass at The Fudge Kitchen down the road which I did last year. Third, they have a replica of Canterbury Cathedral, complete with the war horse and the usual giant Christmas tree in the window, made totally of fudge. It is incredible. You can of course also order Roly’s Fudge online.
Canterbury Pottery at 38A Burgate has always created beautiful festive displays featuring their quirky ceramics and this year is no exception! Great for gifting and building collections, you can shop online, and they are also offering click-and-collect this year.
Okay so Tony & Guy may not be an independent, but we still need to support our high streets! They always have beautiful painted windows, and perhaps to show a little love when you go get a cut pick up some hear products in store, rather than shopping for them online? Find them at 47 Burgate.
Who does not love a toy shop? And their festive, toy-laden windows really design themselves! Find them at 22 Sun Street, though they’re also offering free delivery on all online orders!
I’ve always thought that 925 Silver is the best affordable jewellery shop for beautiful, independent designs in Canterbury. Find them at 57 Palace Street, or shop online before December 18th to get your gifts in time for Christmas!
Cheese and Christmas go hand in hand. Don’t go to the supermarket or rely on Ocado, go to The Cheese Shop for lovely cheeses made with care as well as all the trimmings, as well as festive hampers loaded up with local wine. Find them at 55 Palace Street, though you can also order their cheese boxes and hampers online, and they’re offering free local delivery.
Fenwicks, at the top of the High Street is a Canterbury institution, and always have stunning windows. You can’t shop online, but I find it is the perfect place to browse if you’re stuck for ideas – actually even if you just feel more comfortable looking in their many, many beautiful windows. Remember to head around the back near the bus depot to see the children’s department windows, where they still have the turning knex ferris wheel that used to be in the toy department when I was very small!
Cosmo China, at 26 Palace Street is all about highlighting their artists in the window this year, as well as letting their usual papier mache festive friends come out to play! You can also shop all their beautiful designs and filter by artist online.
When we’re judging I’m always impressed how this Danish furniture store manages to create a festive window with product that is just never Christmassy, and this years window really made me smile. I think this year we’re all looking to work on our homes a bit more as we’re spending more time in them, so if you can’t pop in to browse at 4-5 Orange Street, do check out their website.
T & B Cousins
They’re not present online, but this years windows at Cousin’s jewellers are well worth a walk past. It is also heading in if this year you need to shop for a truly special occasion, it is the destination in town you should be heading for if you’ve got something to mark; they made both my 21st birthday present from my parents, and my childhood best friends engagement ring. Find them at 8 Sun Street.
Level Up Games
The geek in me loves Level Up Games at 40 Palace Street for all the retro gaming goodness – if is worth heading down there to find something nostalgic – and they do also have an eBay store!
Okay so glasses are not exactly Christmassy, but I could not included Pybus because their lit up glasses tree in the window always makes me smile! Find them at 5 Palace Street.
Rock Paper Scissors is a fantastic new artists hub at 22-24 Stour Street that sells beautiful handmade lifestyle items by British makers. Seriously, have a browse, everything is so beautiful! They do also have an online store featuring free online delivery, and a click-and-collect service.
Between The Lines is another fantastic destination for gifts, homewares, party products, cards and wrappings. I’m also giving it bonus points because it is next to Hotel Chocolat at 25 St. Margaret’s Street. You can also shop online.
Life still goes on, so if you’re planning on getting married next year, do make sure you go to Amore Brides at 78 Castle Street. And yes, I have included the in this roundup because from where I usually park I always walk past and I love looking at their stunning dresses in the window!
Lady Penelope’s at 19 Castle Street always has one of my favourite windows for sheer beauty, and this year is no exception! Head in to pick up some flowers or one of their rapidly expanding selection of houseplants, or shop online.
Sowley also always has a window I love, this time with a fireplace ready for santa! A great gift shop full of unique items, they also have artwork at the back, great if you’re shopping for someone with a new home to decorate! Find them at 7a St Peter’s Street (the lower half of the High Street).
Yes Stark Gallery at 68 Castle Street is all about artwork, but Christmas whopping this year they also have lots of beautiful, quirky and unique artist made jewellery which is well worth checking out!
The City Fish Bar
How do you decorate a fish and chippy for Christmas? The answer is with some beautiful window painting! I’m flagging The City Fish Bar 30 St Margaret’s Street because I am a food blogger, after all, so I ought to tell you my favourite place in town for a bag of chips!
The Chaucer Bookshop is my favourite second hand bookshop. Ever. Housed in a lovely old building stuffed with books, I’ve always loved all their beautiful, paper-driven, almost Victorian displays. They do some really beautifully unique books, and you can find them either at 6 Beer Cart Lane, or fantastically for a second hand bookshop, you can also shop online.
Tiny Tim’s Tearoom
Another festive favourite, it was like a festive hug turning the corner to see Tiny Tim’s all lit up for Christmas yesterday. Located at 34 St. Margaret’s Street, they are still open for takeaway!
Okay, so we may not be heading to Angels for party dresses this year, but they still have plenty of sparkly accessories to browse for Christmas at home, and also (I can’t believe I’m typing this…) Zoom Christmas parties! Find them at 29 St. Margaret’s Street.