Christmas shopping at Brogdale Farm
Christmas shopping can be a real chore, fighting for spaces in car parks just to join the crowds at busy shopping centres.
So take it easy on yourself this year and combine your shopping trip with a visit to Faversham.
Start your day at Brogdale Farm, set in beautiful orchards on the outskirts of the town. It’s the perfect place to pick up an unusual and thoughtful gift. There’s plenty of free parking, public toilets, a place for children to play and the popular Courtyard café where you can relax with coffee and cake, or a light lunch.
You’ll find a great range of gifts at Tiddly Pomme, including homeware, skin care and candles, as well as festive food and drinks, many from local producers. You can also pick up your cards and wrapping paper here.
Chocolate lovers will be thrilled to open a present from Kakawa Artisan – choose from slabs flavoured with Christmas cake, Christmas eve bundles, peppermint candy cane bars, fudge and lollipops. If you want to go big, check out their giant showstopper bar – a kilogramme of pure indulgence!
Vouchers make great gifts for those who can be difficult to buy for. Country Practice offers beautifully wrapped vouchers for massage and beauty treatments, and award-winning hairdresser Vicky Lord Hair could give your gift recipient a whole new look.
Mad Cat Brewery is producing not one, not two, but three delicious Christmas beers this year. You can buy them singly or in gift packs.
Your gift could last a whole year if you buy them an orchard pass for Brogdale Collections. It’s a great gift for families or keen gardeners, who get to see the orchards change throughout the year.
If you still have gifts to buy, head for Faversham town centre …
Start your shopping in Preston Street – perhaps pop in to The Yard or Kitchen@Oscar’s for a coffee while you check your list. If you want to get ahead with the food shopping, you could order a local veg box from The Yard while you’re there.
If there’s a child in your family (or even an adult) hoping to find a shiny new bike under the tree this year, The Bike Warehouse will be able to advise you – as well as pushbikes, you’ll find electric bikes, accessories and a great repair service.
Have a look around No 77 for unusual homeware, handmade jewellery and soaps – a great place to find something different for that person who has everything. Pick up something for the men in your life at West 1 clothing shop, or perhaps try The Hobby Shop for everything from Warhammer to model railways and Playmobil.
As well as a great range of stylish furniture, you’ll also find some unusual ornaments, pictures and wooden boxes at Faversham Furnishing, but if you want something to remind you of Faversham, try the Fleur de Lis shop and Visitor Centre for local books, art and music.
On the corner of Preston Street, an unusual selection of bags, shoes and clothing are on offer at Gridlock. Across the road, Creekside Vinyl is the place to pick up a rare LP for a music lover.
There’s a real buzz about town on market days – the general charter market is here on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and offers a fantastic choice of food including meat and game, pies, cheese and delicious baked goods as well as fruit and veg. Other stalls offer clothing, scented candles and diffusers, artisan beers and ciders, textiles and much more.
On the first and third Saturdays of the month, you can pick up unusual presents at the Best of Faversham makers’ market and there’s an Antiques and Vintage market on the first Sunday of the month.
You can make a weekend of it from December 10-12th, when the Christmas markets see stallholders from all our usual markets and from further afield – enjoy some festive food and perhaps some mulled wine while you explore.
As well as sourcing your Christmas food and drink from Faversham Market. While you’re in town, why not order your Christmas meat? Both Hurlinghams in East Street and Tommy Butchers in West Street will be happy to go through what you need and have it ready for you to pick up.
Complete your Christmas table with a beautiful floral centrepiece – Lotty’s Flowers in Market Place, and D&G Florists in East Street will be able to make up something to suit your theme, and a beautiful bouquet or houseplant is always a very welcome gift.
Before you wander down Court Street, it’s well worth taking a diversion into West Street – tucked away down this beautiful cobbled street are some delightful shops that will take the stress out of your gift shopping.
Take Top Hat and Tales, for example – there aren’t many shops that have such a great selection of headgear, for men and women. And anyone who says socks are a boring Christmas present can’t have seen the colourful selection here! You’ll also find beautiful clothes and accessories as well as children’s books and stationery.
Natural skin care, herbal medicines and candles are available at Apotheca, which also offers complementary therapies and massage – perhaps consider a gift voucher for someone who deserves a bit of pampering.
Keen cooks and foodies will be delighted to open a package from OysterCatcher foods – flavoured vinegars, exotic spices, curry blends and a huge range of mustards are just a few of the ideas here. And the great thing about buying edible gifts is that it doesn’t matter if you double up!
Market Place and Court Street
Back in the Market Place, Ollie Bongo’s pet shop makes it easy to buy for your four-legged friends – treats, toys and even Christmas outfits ensure they won’t be left out on the big day.
If you’ve a keen reader to buy for, the helpful staff at Tales on Market Street will help you choose the perfect present. You can pick up stylish stationery, cards, jigsaws and wrapping paper here, too as well as prints by local artists.
At Presentimes, you’ll find delicious chocolates as well as a huge selection of cards, gifts and celebration balloons – it’s a one-stop party shop.
Crafters are well catered for in Faversham too – whether you want to make a special present for a loved one, or perhaps buy a kit so that they can enjoy making something themselves, All Stitched Up and The Yarn Dispensary in Court Street have something for everyone, from beginners to experts.
The reassuringly-traditional façade of White of Kent, a few doors down, hides a treasure trove of potential gifts, from Christmas pyjamas and bed linen to tea towels and aprons.
Also in Court Street, Barley Mow has a well-chosen range of keepsakes, jewellery, soft toys and accessories. You could pick up something special for a wine lover at Vino – and perhaps something to go with your Christmas lunch, to. Fabio will be only too happy to advise you on the right bottle to go with your menu.
Carry on down into Abbey Street, and you’ll soon come to Creek Creative Studios. As well as a great café, this community interest company also has a gallery and a selection of goods from local makers – perfect if you’re looking for something that’s unlikely to be available elsewhere!
Be sure to check out their Christmas Emporium, running throughout December, showcasing gifts from some of the region’s best artists, sculptors and makers.
After a quick refuel with tea and cake, head along medieval Abbey Street to Standard Quay. It’s a pleasant walk passing medieval buildings, and you’ll be rewarded with a view of the creek and a selection of quirky and individual shops. Explore the antiques and bric a brac stores, choose from a huge range of herbs, spices and rubs as well as fruit and veg at Salt and Spice, put in your Christmas seafood order at Hermann’s Plaice, and select your meat from Duck and Blade.
Macknade Fine Foods
By now, you should have been able to tick off everyone on your present list, and enjoyed a great day out. But if you still have shopping to do, it’s worth a trip to Macknade Food Hall, on the edge of Faversham. Here you’ll find wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables, those elusive food ingredients, a cheese and cured meat counter groaning with tempting delicacies and a café where you can put your feet up after a rewarding day!