|Photo by Number Seven|
'Where do you do your Christmas shopping?' asked the lovely Emma Britton on BBC Somerset radio. 'High Street or Internet?'
I don't do a whole lot of Christmas shopping, truth be told, but what I do do I do in Dulverton. I do, I do.
Why? Because it's lovely. We're spoiled here, really - there are all the everyday shops you need but also a fine and dandy sprinkling of all the ones you really don't need; full of things you really really don't need but that I suspect many of you would want. It's big enough to offer a bit of choice (but not too much because, seriously, too much choice is stressful -I don't know much but trust me on this one, okay?) but not too big that your feet ache.
What else? I like supporting small shops. I like supporting local people. I don't like the push and shove of the High Street. I love the feel of Dulverton in the run up to Christmas. Truly, it's magical.
This Sunday is even more special. If you don't know Dulverton and you live within kicking distance of this small Exmoor town (in Somerset, but you're nobbut a hop and a jump from Devon), could I invite you to come over for Dulverton by Starlight. The roads will be open (yes, I know, those pesky road works have been a pain but the nice guys from South Wales promise me). The shops will be open late and most put on mince pies, mulled wine and so on. There's all the usual malarkey (Father Christmas, church fair, horse and carriage trips, a display of cribs) but mainly it's just rather lovely and bustly and twinkly. The pubs are buzzing, the parking is free and it all ends with a delicious firework display over the church.
Let's take a walk around town...
Number Seven. Just gorgeous ceramics, arty things, tasteful children's toys and a carefully mind-picked selection of books (very strong on children's fiction plus an eclectic mix of literature, cookery and countryside delicacies).
Acorn Antiques - yes really. This bunch always get my 'best traditional' award - sheer class this place. Again, a seriously good eye at work. Actually two pairs - Peter sources the antiques and paintings (which are beyond covetable) while Maggie is the interior design maven (if you fancy traditional country style with a twist, talk to her).
The camera and photography shop. Yeah, really. This used to be the absolutely daft but fabulous shoe shop but that folded. Not too surprising as the prices were as sky high as the heels. Now we have this which, if photography is your 'thing', will delight.
|Woods - from the outside looking in|
What can't you buy? Umm... Music. We don't have a music shop. No trashy teen stuff or mainstream toys (you gotta brave the High Street for that). We're poor on porn and damn it, there's no weirdy beardy witchy emporium. But anyway. You don't even have to buy anything really. Just come along for the craic. And, if you see me (probably lurking in a corner at Woods or going oooh and aaaah at the fireworks), say hello.