As grateful as Dad might appear for his two-for-£5 socks from M&S or Grandma for her lavender draw liners, these days we’ve got no excuse to not get at least little more creative with our gift buying at Christmas.
As the longest stretch of independent shops in the UK, Gloucester Road provides ample opportunity to do just that, with everything from screen-printed artwork and handmade jewellery to home brew kits:
Fig is the venture of a small co-operative of six creatives, who each bring their own skills and disciplines together in a beautiful independent gift shop.
Here you'll find India-born Chitra Merchant’s prints; kiln-formed glass by Robyn Coetzee; Sinead Finnegan’s embroideries; elegant silver jewellery by Jemima Lumley; and Jane Ormes’ humorous prints and hand-stitched portraits can be commissioned to textile artist Kate Tarling.
Gifts here are packed with the skill and unique charm that simply can’t be replicated on the high street.
206 Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8NU
Founded back in 2000, Born started when two sisters wanted to bring natural, organic, fair trade and practical baby products to the people of Bristol. Since then the pair have garnered a great reputation for offering baby essentials, in-store events or just good advice.
It's also one of the city’s most environmentally friendly businesses, having won the Sustainable Business Award back in 2004, before being induced into Bristol Zoo’s Walk of Fame as Most Eco-Friendly Business in 2013.
Born stock all manner of Christmas gifts, including tiny Padraig Cottage sheepskin and hand-crocheted slipper boots, Blabla soft toys, Wheely Bugs, timeless wooden toys and more – the perfect alternative to the poor quality plastic and hyperactive flashing lights often found under the tree.
64 Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8BH
A family-owned designer jewellery and gift shop, Artemis is best known as the home of Catherine Amesbury Contemporary Jewellery, who works exclusively with silver, semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals and cultured freshwater pearls.
There’s also Berkeley Square Toiletries inspired by the elegance of the 1920s; Little Earth handbags made from recycled American license plates; silver keepsakes from Tales From The Earth and much more.
If you don’t want to pick anything from the shelves, you can also commission or customise a new piece of jewellery to create something entirely unique.
214 Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8NU
The Reclaimers Reclamation is a treasure trove of vintage, retro and upcycled goods that’s accessed by a narrow alley off Gloucester Road. Once inside, you’ll see it may not produce the most obvious of Christmas gifts. But what it might lack in straightforwardness, it more than makes up for in sheer charm.
If you’re willing to dedicate some time to sifting and searching, you’ll be able to unearth beautiful old sewing machines, mirrors, light shades, kitchenalia, pre-loved artwork, kitsch statues, old toys and just about anything else if you look hard enough.
The perfect opportunity to inject some old-time magic to the heap of presents under the tree.
347 Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8TG
Having been trading in the same shop since 1984, Brewers Droop is a home brew supplier and off licence that’s been keeping the thirst of Bristol quenched for decades.
Here, there’s a selection of wine, beer and cider kits that make brilliant boozy presents for anyone interested in making their own drinks at home, with varying price brackets depending on what you’re after.
If you’re after something a little less interactive, there’s also a huge range of bottled craft beers, ciders, meads, wines and liqueurs – plus speciality coffee, books and GingerBeards preserves for ready-to-go gifts.
36 Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8AR
7th Sea is an independent emporium championing all things handmade, run by designer-makers Phoebe Song, Linda Thomas and Emma Garner, who pack the small space with both their own work and that of other local names.
From tote bags designed by Song and Thomas’ peacock inspired jewellery to personalised prints by Garner, the shop also features handmade clothing, ceramics, brooches, T-shirts, cards and other gifts from skilled artists and designers.
They’re also open on Sundays and until 8pm on Thursdays in the lead up to Christmas, meaning you’ve got no excuse to get off the high street, off the internet, and into Gloucester Road’s brilliant boutiques.
198 Cheltenham Road, Bristol, BS6 5QZ
Alternatively, take a look at the indie shops that Clifton Village has to offer.