When vintage doyenne Numi Solomons told us us about a Christmas shopping event in wonderful Whitby, it set off a festive train of thought.
Why not shun the big city stores for a day out by the seaside with some last-minute shopping thrown in? And this is not a purely selfish idea.
Yes, it’s true I can stroll on the sand, have a bag of chips with loads of vinegar and gaze at the truly magnificent views of the Abbey from the West Cliff. But I am bound to find something special for friends and family in those great, little independent shops.
Some of my favourite shops are on Skinner Street, where Numi and husband Charles have The Stonehouse, a vintage emporium par excellence. www.thestonehouse.co.uk
They and other retailers have agreed to have a late night opening this Friday, December 19. “We will be open until 7pm, dispensing cheer and offering great service and the sort of items that are not available from multinationals on the high street,” says Numi. “There is everything from clothing, jewellery, antiques, retro and vintage clothing, toys, musical instruments, tattooing, live music …and Becketts café and The Courtyard Creperie for when people need refreshment, and possibly some mulled wine!
Phew! Sounds too good to miss. If you are present hunting I’d also recommend a visit to Church Street in the old town, where you will find WH Hammond – The Original Whitby Jet Shop at number 112. It sells beautiful jewellery. whammond.com
The Shepherd’s Purse, at number 95, sells organic foods, fresh breads, cheeses, teas and coffees, chutneys and preserves. Further inside the shop is a range of enchanting clothes in cottons, silks and wools, and fascinating accessories. www.theshepherdspurse.com
For chocolate lovers, there’s Justin Chocolatier at 129. He has sumptuous chocolates, toffees and fudge, all handmade. For the goth in your life there’s Dracula Dream Fudge. www.justinchocolatier My daughter and I love fossils so a visit to the Natural Wonders fossil shop on Grape Lane is a must. www.fossils-uk.com
For lasting memories of Whitby, a 2015 calendar from the Sutcliffe Gallery is a great gift idea. It has 12 sepia prints of old Whitby taken by the town’s most famous photographer, Frank Meadow Sutcliffe. The pioneering Victorian snapper would be surprised to see how the fishing port has changed since he captured it for posterity. www.sutcliffe-gallery.co.uk
For more ideas for a Whitby day out see our previous post http://www.gorgeousyorkshire.co.uk/great-stay-whitby-gorgeous-guide-best-places/