The secret to good Christmas shopping I think is to find unusual, eye-pleasing items of discernible quality that don’t break the bank.
Sounds tricky but in fact isn’t when you hit upon somewhere like the Somerset Souk
in Lovington, a treasure trove of immaculately sourced Eastern textiles, antiques, furniture and jewellery which also has a range of small gifts ideal for Christmas.
The Somerset Souk is a collaboration between textile designer Frances Ronaldson and fashion buyer Caroline Williams and it takes place in a restored barn at Caroline’s house in Lovington (weekends only Friday to Sunday 10- to 4 until Dec 13).
It’s safe to say both have impeccable taste and alongside fabulous, covetable homeware (cashmere bedspreads, vintage furniture upholstered in kantha quilts) you will find a whole plethora of stocking fillers and small presents to suit your style-savvy friends.
We love the gorgeous Indian elephants (£60) which come in a range of colours, embroidered in gold and velvet or the light wool dip dye scarves or the beautiful Venetian glass necklaces from Maria Calderara.
There are Volupsa scented candles in jewel colours, wonderful antique Kasbah lights (pictured), wildlife inspired tea towels from printmaker Angela Harding, chocolates from the Somerset Chocolate Society, beautiful cards and wrapping paper from Cressida Bell, painted pots and jardinières planted by garden designer Jane Fairclough.
There is also a wreath making course at the Souk on Tuesday 24 November, a chance to nail your entire Christmas in one fell swoop.
Find the Somerset Souk at Old Rectory Lovington Nr Castle Cary Somerset BA7 7PR. More information at www.somersetsouk.co.uk