Five Kemptown places … to shop for Christmas

Local gifts

Christmas shopping? Kemptown Insider takes a look at five local options for gifts and decorations:

MARMALADE STORE – Having taken over the  former electro bus station opposite her Marmalade cafe, award-winning Tania Webb has breathed a kind of Roald Dahl magic into the neglected little kiosk: a spruce lick of paint and lights on the outside, and, inside, a pantry of delights. Homemade cakes, plump sandwiches, mince pies, pretty jars of preserves and chutneys, a tempting dairy section including organic products and some delicious-looking home-cooked ready meals, including vegetarian options. If you have a foodie to buy a present for, or feed this Christmas, this would be a great place to look. They also stock some attractive Christmas wreaths and foliage. Marmalade Store is at 238 Eastern Rd, BN2 5JJ.

PORTLAND – If you are looking for something original, affordable and artistic, then the friendly, tranquil interior of Portland may have the answer. The Cafe — conceived from the start as a ‘shop with food’ — is hosting the work of several artists and craftspeople, including beautifully turned wooden bowls by David Lilly, photographs by Hannah Shillito, patterned textiles and lampshades by Madeleine Manns, tactile sculpted heads by Ingrid Boucher and charming concertina fold-out notebooks by Annie Kerr. Can’t make up your mind? There is some great coffee, cake and sandwiches to be had while you decide. For location details, click here. 

WENDY KELLY FLOWERS – Conveniently just along from the Kemptown Bookshop, the pavement outside this tiny florists bursts with seasonal colour and the doorway is hung with slightly unusual Christmas wreaths, including the magnificent silver grey one pictured above. For shop details, click here

THE EGG & SPOON COOKBOOK SHOP – The team which runs the excellent cafe Egg & Spoon know a thing or two about food: one of the best breakfasts in Brighton, a popular and innovative cafe throughout the day – plus a longstanding catering business. Now they have just opened a cookbook shop in their hidden basement area. The selection goes beyond your mainstream on-the-display-table-at-Waterstones cookbooks — there are some fascinating titles, many of them beautiful books — and chosen by people who really love cooking. For how to find Egg & Spoon, click here. 

RICCI’S – No tree yet? Need a traditional holly wreath? Mistletoe? Some chestnuts to roast — or a wonderfully camp glitter painted succulent in a pot? The Fruit and Veg shop Ricci’s has an alluring pavement display of festive vegetation and flowers to bring to parties. Inside there are all the vegetables, herbs and spices you will need for Christmas Day. For shop location, click here