Spe­cial South Suf­folk

The mar­ket towns and vil­lages of south Suf­folk each have many more in­de­pen­dent shops than you’ll find in other parts of the UK. Hadleigh, Sud­bury, Long Melford and Lavenham are all beau­ti­ful, his­toric lo­ca­tions for a spot of Christmas shop­ping. So let’s g

EADT Suffolk - - It’s Coming! -

WHERE TO FIND PER­FECT GIFTS

Jina of Tatty Broyds in Hadleigh has a keen eye when it comes to ac­ces­sories, and the high street fash­ion shop is laden with lots of classic and state­ment pieces from brands such as Tutti, Treaty and The Branch. If it’s stock­ing fillers you’re af­ter, take a look at the long, pat­terned Avoca socks, which are gor­geous.

Over the road, and gift store Plum Green will have its spe­cial Christmas room up and run­ning by the end of Novem­ber, which is well worth a look. You’ll find ev­ery­thing from vin­tage style Santa sacks, to can­dles, tree dec­o­ra­tions and tin­sel. A short drive away in Monks Eleigh is Bridge Farm Barns com­plex, where you can make a morn­ing or af­ter­noon of your shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence. There’s an art gallery sell­ing mixed me­dia pieces, from printed cush­ions and sculp­tures to jewellery, all made by lo­cal artists.

Next door is the life­style store, where you’ll dis­cover a huge range of So­phie All­port, and the main shop, Corn­craft, brims with all kinds of trea­sures in­clud­ing lotions and potions, pens, hand­bags, games, kitchena­lia and books. There’s a good café on site too, plus a patch­work­ing shop and vin­tage store.

Ten min­utes or so from here is Lavenham where there are sev­eral art gal­leries to browse if you’re af­ter a very spe­cial present. Well worth a trip too is Lavenham stal­wart Cu­rios­ity Cor­ner. From the out­side you might just think this is a toy­seller (the shop spe­cialises in Char­lie Bear, Steiff bears, wooden toys and baby gifts) but step in­side and you’ll see plenty of grown-up gift op­tions too, be it jewellery, bags or Bri­tish-made Moor­croft pot­tery.

A nip over to Long Melford opens up loads of fur­ther Christmas shop­ping pos­si­bil­i­ties. In this fine Suf­folk vil­lage, with its long high street, you’ll find gal­leries, an­tiques shops,

fash­ion out­lets and more. A rel­a­tive new­comer is The Duck Deli, where you can make your own Christmas ham­per from the hand­s­e­lected good­ies, which could in­clude ba­nana ketchup and cock­tail flavoured fruit pastilles.

In busy Sud­bury, no trip is com­plete with­out step­ping into the var­i­ous branches of Winch & Blatch. Span­ning four shops, and sell­ing ev­ery­thing from fash­ion to home­ware to kitchen equip­ment, you could prob­a­bly get all your presents bought in one trip.

We rather like AG Life­style too. For starters there’s a café at­tached! In­side, the shop has a French/Scan­di­na­vian feel. Ev­ery nook of AG is draped with some­thing beau­ti­ful, be it Dan­ish soft fur­nish­ings, silk dress­ing gowns or botan­i­cally scented Ital­ian bath and skin prod­ucts.

Head to Ded­ham and you’ll find a great elec­tion of gift ideas at Ded­ham Art and Craft Cen­tre. Housed in a con­verted church, the cen­tre is full of his­toric charm as well, as more than 60 spe­cial­ist shops over three floors, sell­ing ev­ery­thing from an­tiques to jewellery to fur­ni­ture, cloth­ing and books. There’s a lovely teashop, mak­ing the cen­tre the per­fect place to visit, shop and eat.

TIME FOR A CUPPA

In Hadleigh make a bee­line for Crab­trees. In Lavenham you sim­ply have to rest your bones at Suf­folk Food and Drink Awards win­ner Hadleys Ice Cream Parlour. Tea lovers vis­it­ing Long Melford need to go to Tiffins. Or, if you’re shop­ping in Sud­bury, stop at The Se­cret Gar­den Café

PARK­ING

In Hadleigh the main car parks are just a cou­ple of min­utes from the high street and you can park free for up to three hours. You’ll find both car parks on Mag­dalen Road – the largest be­ing be­hind the East of Eng­land Co-op.

The Sud­bury Christmas Tree fes­ti­val in St Peters Church.

New life­style shop at Bridge Farm Barns (Corn­craft)

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