Today’s post was written by Sian Edwards, She’s Unique.
I feel the festive season has truly begun when the lights go up on King street. That time of year when dog-eared ‘old family favorite’ stuffing recipes come out the cupboard, boozy Christmas cakes are already setting, those drop dead gorgeous party outfits you have been desperate to show-off are being imagined, and gift planning takes a hold. It’s begun. The quiet before the storm if you will.
It’s my first winter season in Old Town and as I sit with a mocha making my Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday to-do list, I decide I want local presents this year. I opt to start my inspired autumn day wander in Old Town, down by the waterfront and here’s what I discovered…
The Christmas Attic – a shop that sells Christmas gear all year around! Not only did I stumble upon the largest collection of beautifully hand painted Russian Dolls I’ve seen since childhood, I also discovered that no matter what your festive decoration style (be it the traditional glass blown bobbles, handmade scented candles, or the whacky likes of sushi and donut themed ornaments) the Christmas Attic is guaranteed to have you walking out with a desire to shake things up this season.
Even if your wandering isn’t purposed with finding new decorations, their ground floor (The Urban Attic) has plenty of GREAT stocking stuffer ideas and small presents for anyone who appreciates something light-hearted and fun all year round.
She’s Unique – I love buying jewelry for other people but ones taste in jewelry is incredibly personal and as such, often a hard present to buy for another. However, this is the place to go if you, or anyone you know loves minimalist yet elegantly handcrafted jewelry. I stumbled on She’s Unique almost two months ago and fell instantly for their range of blue opal pendants that come on a choice of a rose gold, yellow gold or silver chain. I fought hard to remind myself that today’s wandering was supposed to be a reconnaissance, but I caved and happily left with a set of initial charm necklaces and a Dafne Eye wrap bracelet. I loved it because each piece feels like it’s a one-of-a-kind and will definitely make anyone you buy for feel the same way.
The Hive – being a creature of habit, I often tend to stick to King Street for my wanders. But today I chose to go off the beaten path (the next street) and happened upon this charming boutique that hugely inspired me to upgrade all my clothing basics. I tend to shy away from outrageous fashions and I love the idea of an outfit that looks like it took an hour to plan, but in reality only seconds to throw together. Who says you can’t be chic in winter? The current charcoal grey range of t-shirts are so beautiful and perfect for dressing up or down all year around. The Hive brings sophistication and an edgy twist to classic styles and made me reconsider the power of a basic t-shirt!
Fleurir Chocolates – the final stop on the way home. My go-to gifting idea is usually (no, always) chocolate and since moving to the US, I have been desperately trying to avoid gifting your run-of-the-mill prepackaged chocolate gift boxes. Sorry Godiva.
To my delight, at Fleurir Chocolates you can pick what chocolate flavors you want in a gift box. They have NO preservatives. Tick. Natural ingredients. Tick. Freshly made by hand in small batches (which means every piece is like a different party in your mouth). Double Tick.
What also made their store so utterly exciting was the fact that it doubles as their kitchen and you can watch the magic as it happens – I was lucky enough to walk in during a batch of freshly made peanut brittle. Sadly, while I didn’t purchase any chocolates on this visit, I did invest in their hot cocoa range and was haunted by the smell of peanut brittle for the rest of my walk home. I found my heaven on earth.
And so, into a cupboard the secret presents are hidden. It’s not 12 days until Christmas yet, but a countdown has definitely begun.