The festive season is upon us and now is a good time to give you some inspiration for all things Christmas. We are very pleased to introduce our Shop Local in Milton Keynes: Christmas Guide which features wonderful independent businesses from Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.
Before you jump straight into the guide we wanted to say a few words about ‘supporting local’ this Christmas.
The most important thing here is the support we can give and show to these amazing small businesses. It’s been a rough year for many. We’ve seen businesses close permanently, which is heartbreaking and if we can all help support them just a little, then we are helping to keep other businesses open. Even if you shop local for just one thing this Christmas, then you are helping. Spread the word and help the local business community thrive during these tough times. Here’s 5 reasons why we should shop local.
We’ve had so much fun putting this guide together, discovering many brilliant local businesses that we didn’t even know were on our doorstep. We hope there is something for everyone who is looking for ideas during the Christmas period. Grab a cup of coffee or a festive hot chocolate and click on a link below to jump to that category section.
Rags Boutique is an independent ladies clothing and accessories boutique, based on the High Street in Stony Stratford selling individual, easy to wear, affordable ladies clothes and accessories – sizes 10-22. During Lockdown 2.0 all items are available to buy online with a low P&P of £1.50 and FREE local pickup (click and collect) with pickups on Tuesdays and Saturdays 10am-12pm. Visit their website: ragsboutique.co.uk to take advantage of a November offer – spend £50+ and choose a free gift.
Krissies Creations, based in Buckingham, is run by Krissie and she makes fused glass jewellery and fused glass gifts. She started her business in September after falling in love with glass fusing as a hobby. Here are some photos of of her personal favourites which are available on her Etsy shop.
Party Box by Design provides kids themed party supplies coordinated and delivered to your door! And to make Christmas extra special this year, the owner Emma has added some festive boxes to the range. Whether it’s for the big day itself, a pre-Christmas mini party at home or to brighten up a rainy afternoon in December, the Christmas party boxes will be sure to get the party started! As always, tableware is standard, but these boxes come with some exciting extras. Cute character cutlery holders that double as decorations for the tree, novelty character glasses, and mini Christmas hats to complete your Christmas look. For more details head to partyboxbydesign.co.uk
Afternoon Teas MK are offering a delivery service of their Christmas Family Boxes during the festive period for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. These boxes are packed full of the classic flavours of Christmas and come in 2 sizes to feed up to 6 (£45) or made for a couple (£25). Free home deliveries in Milton Keynes are on 28th November and 20th December. For details on what’s included and how to order, visit them on Facebook: @afternoonteasmk
Smart Raspberry Cookery Milton Keynes teaches children all about healthy eating and learning new skills. Their classes help build confidence in children, self belief, and help fussy eaters overcome the fear of trying new ingredients. They are offering Christmas gift vouchers for upcoming classes and workshops. They also have Christmas tree cake pop kits available to order as well as a line of beautiful children’s Christmas aprons. For more details visit their website: smartraspberry.com
Showtime Circus is opening a purpose equipped circus venue in Milton Keynes! They teach babies, children and adults all of the skills of the circus including: Aerial Hoop, Aerial Silks, Trapeze, Acrobatics, Tightrope, Stilts, Hula Hoop, Contortion, Yoga, Wellness and other classes too. They are running taster sessions at their venue (Denbigh Business Park) on the 3rd January for children aged 3+ and adults. They are also doing gift vouchers for the perfect Christmas present, something to look forward to in the New Year. You will find these on their website here: showtimecircus.co.uk and details on how to book the taster sessions can be found here: showtimecircus.class4kids.co.uk
The Fruity Farmer make a range of fruit gins and liqueurs, along with cold-pressed rapeseed oil, all on their farm at Stoke Goldington. Prices for Gins/Liqueurs range from small bottles (200ml) £10; to large bottles (500ml) £20. Rapeseed Oil – Classic £5/500ml bottle; Lemon-infused £7/500ml bottle. Buy any 3 products from their range to receive a complimentary natural hessian gift bag. Order and collect from them by appointment at Stoke Goldington, or they can deliver free of charge to doorsteps within 10 miles. Visit their Facebook page to order: TheFruityFarmer
Blackened Sun Brewing Company is a local craft beer brewery based in Stacey Bushes, Milton Keynes. Owned and run by Gary and Sharon Morse, they have been brewing beers in MK for just over 3 years and have been fortunate enough to win Micro Brewery of the year MK two years running. They brew a variety of beer styles something to suit every palate. All beers are brewed and packaged on site and the majority are vegan friendly. Open weekends for take outs only, Friday 5pm-8pm and Saturday/Sunday 12pm-4pm. They also offer a home delivery service in MK. You can find more about them on social media or via their website: blackenedsunbrewing.co.uk
Clipstone Dairy is a family run dairy farm in Leighton Buzzard who sell farm fresh milk via their vending machine. Their milk is not homogenised, separated or standardised. This means it has been gently heated to kill any harmful bacteria but importantly retains all its flavour and goodness. After the milk has settled the cream will even rise to the top just like it used to! Their vending machine also stocks fresh eggs and cheese. The Shuttleworth Camembert is a soft, handmade cheese made exclusively with Clipstone Dairy fresh milk. For more information visit their website: clipstonedairy.co.uk
Chin’s Kitchen is a catering company based in Milton Keynes offering authentic Indian food for private functions, weddings, funerals and weekly takeaway. Safina, the owner, also runs cookery classes as well as making treats and gifts. During the Christmas period Safina will not only be offering her weekly curry nights, but also Christmas afternoon teas for adults and children, treat boxes for all and many more goodies. Check out Chin’s Kitchen on Instagram for regular updates or visit the website: chins-kitchen.co.uk
Brick Street Coffee Roasters is a small-batch coffee roastery based in Milton Keynes with the very simple ambition of showcasing fine speciality grade coffee beans. Currently offering two types; Ethiopia – Mustafa Abakeno, Outgrowers – 200g (£8.50) and Colombia – Terruño Montalvo Excelso – 200g (£7). Both available as whole bean, espresso, cafetiere, V60 or stovetop. Visit their website to check out flavour notes and the shop to order some: brickstreetcoffee.co.uk
The brunch box are offering festive feast box at Christmas. A combination of some sweet and savoury festive favourites. The box includes some bakes and pastries, fresh fruits and vegetables, pigs in blankets, selection of cheese and meats and much more! The festive feast grazer is £25, feeds up to 4 people and will be available to order from 20th November until Christmas Eve. For larger families they offer a discounted deal of two boxes for £45! Non-festive boxes will still be available to order throughout December and they are also offering custom boxes for special occasions. For orders message them on Instagram @thebrunchboxmk
Giovanni’s Downtown Gelato are producers of handmade Italian artisan gelato. They sell their gelato online and also have a permanent kiosk at centre:mk. They have some festive flavours that look and sound so tasty and worth trying. Ones on our list to try are; Christmas Pudding, Ginger Bread and Mince Pie. For more details on flavours, head over to their website: giovannisgelato.co.uk
LongRow Christmas Poultry and LongRow hog Roast, based in Leckhampstead have a Christmas pop-up shop this year selling turkeys, sausages and bacon. The festive poultry available to pre-order is grass-reared Norfolk black turkeys (£4.77 per pound). The different sausage flavours include; old English, cracked black pepper or Spanish sausages. If you are looking for bacon and gammon for a breakfasts and lunches over the festive period, then their bacon cured in black treacle could be a winner. The pop-up Christmas shop will also feature some food from other local businesses. You can get your hands on festive breads and mince pies from Whittlebury Bakery. And finally, to compliment your cheese board, they also have spiced plum jam. The Christmas shop will be open on December 22nd 10am-4pm and December 23rd 10am-7pm. To place an order for meats you can ring Kevin on: 07901 904793 or Des on: 07791 198931.
The Quirk Space CIC is a multi-use venue situated in the heart of Olney, incorporating a Cafe (with lots of vegan/gluten free/allergy aware offerings), a retail space (for both specialist food items and gifts) and an event & workshop venue (with a full timetable of creative programmes, one-off workshops and events with a difference). As a CIC, all profits generated are used to support our objectives and missions within the community. The Quirk Space is a truly welcoming space for everybody with big plans moving into 2021 and beyond. For more details head over to their website: thequirkspace.co.uk
Introducing The Willen Ice Cream Company, a family run business in Milton Keynes that produces and sells artisan ice cream. Lots of great flavours on offer but do look out for their festive flavours. The Christmas pudding with brandy soaked fruits sounds amazing! You can order ice cream for home delivery or collection by visiting their website: willenicecream.co.uk
Graze Everyday have just launched two Christmas boxes; Christmas Tree Grazing Box which includes cured meats, cheese, nuts, seasonal fruit and crackers and then Christmas Indulgence Box which includes gooey fudge brownies, Christmas rocky road, festive biscuits and seasonal fruit. Orders to be placed by 18th December and collection/ delivery deadline is 11am on Christmas Eve. Visit them on Instagram for more details about ordering: @graze_everyday
A staycation is what everyone needs, right? Introducing Hill Farm and Orchard. Four luxury en-suite wigwams based on a working farm in rural Buckinghamshire adjacent to the towpath of the scenic Grand Union Canal, and with breathtaking views of the Ivinghoe Hills Nature Reserve. If you would like to buy a Gift Voucher for friends or family to put towards a stay at Hill Farm & Orchard head to their website to order: hillfarmandorchard.co.uk
From small tree decorations to larger statement pieces, CH Resin Design has developed some extraordinarily eye-catching full resin Christmas decorations. Varying from £5 bundles to £15 for statement pieces. CH Resin Design also offers stunning Olive Wood or Arcacia one-of-a-kind serving boards with an abstract resin design, specifically chosen and designed with uniqueness in mind. Ranging from £28 – £55.
One of a kind, hand painted miniature people. Custom made with love and care, for the perfect personalised gift or piece for your own home. Each miniature is worked on from photos and descriptions from customers to ensure the little dolls look exactly how you would like. Each finished set is presented in a perspex fronted box frame to display and keep them protected. To order your own ‘Little Dolly Daydream’ work of art or a gift voucher, you can contact Little Dolly Daydreams on Facebook: @littledollydaydreams
Quirky and unusual gifts, cards, wrapping, vintage finds, kids retro toys and everything in between, Mrs B’s Emproium in Wolverton is the place for stocking fillers. Mrs B’s also sells her own range of scented candle range called Skewhiffs which would also be a great gift or stocking filler. Her festive ones include ‘Bah Humbug’ and ‘Behold! Christmas in a jar’. Head over to her Facebook page for more info: @MrsBsEmporium
Elliot Hearts Bear is a new independent small business, owned and run by Milton Keynes local Lizzie Brown. Lizzie creates bright and colourful film inspired prints and greetings cards. The Christmas cards have just launched, with 4 greetings cards designed around some favourite Christmas films, Home Alone, Elf, Gremlins and the lesser known A Christmas Story. Head over to the Elliot Hearts Bear Etsy shop to find out more or at On The High Street in Stony Stratford. Website shop: ElliotHeartsBear
Jeeves & Co. is a small, eco-friendly business specialising in creating beautifully fun and affordable personalised stationery and paper-based gifts. Founded by designer Pippa Geaves (pronounced ‘Jeeves’), Jeeves & Co. was established in 2016 with one simple agenda… to help share happiness. The ‘Make Someone Happy’ principle, as Pippa calls it, is simple… make products that bring joy to our customers while doing no harm to the environment. Their unique and thoughtful gifts and keepsakes are lovingly designed and handmade with this principle always at heart. To view their range of products, visit their website: jeevesco.co.uk
Jo from Jono’s Art is a resin artist based in Milton Keynes producing bespoke tables, serving boards, trays and coasters. Jo also runs small workshops, when Boris allows it. Her serving boards make a perfect Xmas present for a loved one (or yourself!) and cost £25. You can pick your own colours and design your own bespoke board. Find out more here: @jonos_art
Katie from FAVOUR HQ creates handmade gifts for the the home and nursery. She has a great selection of Christmas decorations which would be perfect for your home or to buy as a gift for others. She is currently offering a 15% discount on orders and can be used in conjunction with her ‘Buy 3 get 1 Free’ offer. For details on ordering, please head to her website: favourhq OR visit her Instagram page: @favourhq
Campbells Creations is a small family run business creating bespoke family prints and quotes. Ideal for displaying around the home and to give to loved ones as gifts. For Christmas designs this year they have an array of quotes, Santa stop here signs and family representation pictures such as stockings and Christmas jumpers. DM them on Instagram for ordering: @campbellscreations
Emma (Beau’s mum) started knitting years ago for her mental health and over lockdown she made ‘bit and bobs’ for her friends and family which they loved so Beaus Knits and Bobs was born. Emma loves making gifts and it’s a way for her to relax. She says: “If it helps me and puts a smile on someone else’s face, win win!” Check out her recent Christmas creations for inspiration. For ordering, message her on Instagram @beausknitsandbobs
Little Things By Lucy is all about gifts you can’t wait to give. Lucy wants you to enjoy shopping for the perfect gift that says everything you want it to say. Her handcrafted designs are heirloom quality, intended to be loved for years to come. Her personalised gifts are all original designs which she creates in her studio. With her ‘gifts delivered’ service it has never been easier to give a unique, bespoke gift and brighten up someone’s day. Check out her Christmas collection here: littlethingsbylucy.com
Got2jot is an online stationery shop selling gorgeous yet practical stationery and gifts. With beautifully gift wrapped Christmas gift boxes packed full of goodies for him, her and ideas for kids, Got2jot make gifting easy. You can also get organised for next year with their 2021 diary collections. Shop online at got2jot.co.uk
CraftyH create personalised gifts – from beautiful bespoke baubles to family wooden signs, cake toppers and drinks bottles. The personalised gifts are perfect for a family member, teacher, friends or a loved one. For more information on creating something special for you, visit their Facebook page: @CraftyH
Olive & Pip create gorgeous gifts and playful clothing, made from your little one’s artwork! The team at Olive & Pip love working with children’s drawings; they are so full of personality and are always a huge hit with kids and grown ups alike! They say: “The best part of our day is hearing about how excited your little ones were to see their artwork transformed, and how proud they were to give their gifts.” Find out more about the range of products on their Etsy shop: oliveandpip
Fruta Cards etc. started out wanting to create fun, unique cards to make people grin during this odd time. “What was important is to make our products good for the planet, and not filling landfills and contributing for unsustainable practices,” says owner Genevieve. “Our cards are eco friendly, using recycled card stock that’s is FSC Certified and using plant based inks, and compostable packaging,” she adds. Their Christmas cards come in a multipack with each of the 4 designs. To order, head over to their website: frutacards.com
Yaniiknots is run by Rhiannon who is a hobbyist crocheter trying to make it in the big craft world. Rhiannon is making Christmas baubles and crochet earrings either as a treat for yourself or lovely gift idea for others this Christmas. She has a selection of colours available so that you can customise any items. Message her on Instagram for more information: @yaniiknots
Gemma Fernandez Beauty Studio offers a range of massage and beauty services including; massage, facials, nails and spray tanning. Due to the Covid restrictions Gemma is not open at the moment but keeping everything crossed she will be able to open her doors again on the 3rd December. Gemma is selling gift vouchers with no expiry date and also skincare products from the award winning brand Sienna X. For more information visit: gemmafernandezbeauty.co.uk
At The Dr Jenni Clinic they offer you an individual, personalised and empowering approach to your health and wellbeing, helping you to look great, feel great and live better. Dr Jenni is an experienced medical doctor, GP and aesthetic medicine specialist, offering an ever-expanding range of healthcare and skin treatments from her beautiful clinic in Blisworth, Northamptonshire. Their xtensive treatment menu includes anti-ageing and aesthetic treatments, Hydrafacial, microneedling, massage, medical grade skin peels, laser hair removal, thread vein removal, Ultherapy, skincare consultations, allergy & intolerance testing, Private GP services, and more. The Dr Jenni Clinic gift vouchers are a wonderful idea for Christmas. They can be made out for a value of your choice, are redeemable against an extensive range of luxury treatments and/or products, and can be posted directly to your door. To order a gift voucher visit their website: drjenni.co.uk
Love Fragrance, based in Milton Keynes, offers affordable luxury perfume, aftershave, body mists and diffusers. They have gift boxes available (£36) which would make a great Christmas present. Choose from the following to go into your gift box:
- 1x 50ml Pure Fragrance or 1x 15ml Pure Royal Fragrance
- 1x 150ml Body Spray or 1x 150ml Body Mist
- 1x Wardrobe Fragrance or 1x Car Air Freshener
They will also add a few little extra treats! DM them on Instagram here: @lovefragrance_kjw to place your order. Last order date guaranteed before Christmas is Sunday 13th December.
Nicola, from Little Crystal Shop, makes crystal infused fragranced candles that are made with soy wax and fragrances which are all vegan. The Little Crystal Shop in Milton Keynes also has a selection of lovely crystals and jewellery which will make perfect gifts for Christmas. Visit their website here: littlecrystalshop.co.uk
Alban Hill Nurseries, Sherington, near Newport Pagnell has a great range of fresh, British grown Christmas trees. They stock 6 different varieties including the UK’s most popular Nordmann fir. They also offer a selection of beautiful hand made wreaths. Website: albanhillnurseries.co.uk
Funky Pet Art is a small local business run by pet loving family, Mark, Sue and their daughter Kesia.
How does FPA work? You send them your favourite pet photographs and tell them what makes your pet special, whether its something about their character, something they love to do or maybe their favourite toy. They create a funky graphic print, characterising your pet perfectly, and personalised with your own special message. Visit their website for more details: funkypetart.co.uk
Local artist, Claire Tillyart creates abstract expressionist paintings which reflect the inner self. If you are looking for unique artwork for your home or business go check out her amazing artwork on her Etsy shop here. Claire is also taking commissions so please message her for more details.
Jesita Patel, a young artist by the name of Jepati Art and based in Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes loves bringing animals to life by painting them in lots of vivid bright colours, whilst adding her own personal touch. Her artwork is now available in the form of limited edition jigsaw puzzles which would make perfect gifts this Christmas or something for yourself to brighten up those rainy days. She currently has two designs on sale: 1000 piece Three Elephants Jigsaw (£50) and a 500 piece Pink Elephant Jigsaw (£40). The puzzles can also be personalised with a handwritten message and signature at no extra cost. For ordering please message her on Facebook @jepatiart or on Instagram: @jepatiart
Anna is a local wedding and lifestyle photographer from Milton Keynes. Her doorstep photo sessions were very popular during the first lockdown so she decided to continue this with her festive doorstep photo sessions. This would be a perfect photo gift featuring family, friends or pets. The photos above are of our gang. We would highly recommend booking a session. It was so much fun and the photos we received were fantastic. For more details and how to book, visit Anna’s website: annaticreates.com
Milton Keynes resident, Jayant Roy is a photographer who captures London cityscapes at night. Once a hobby, he’s now turned his hobby into a business. He sells these views of the city as A4 prints which are perfect Christmas gifts for any wall decor, home or office. Visit Roy Prints on Etsy
Run by Molly, The Beans Bakery, based in Stony Stratford, is an entirely vegan bakery that specialises in brownies, cupcakes and personalised biscuits. Checkout the Christmas treats Molly is creating during the festive period which are now available to order. Message Molly on Instagram for orders: @beans.bakery
These sweets are made from sweetend egg white foam on top of a wafer, then covered in chocolate. The consistency is quite fluffy, not sticky or gooey and today they are available in many different flavours. The guys at Chocolate Kisses MK are delighted to offer local delivery of Schokokuss (translated Means ‘Chocolate Kisses’) within an 8 mile radius of Stony Stratford. Visit their website for more details and to order: schokokussmk.co.uk
The Shires Pantry is a pop-up pantry offering mouth watering sweet treats and puddings as well as coffee and milkshakes. They are regulars to the Woburn Sands Market with treats such as Biscoff cheesecake, chocolate and caramel cheesecake, baked vanilla cheesecake and stuffed cookies with Nutella. Visit their Facebook page: @theshirespantry for upcoming events and to also keep an eye out for their festive goodies.