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Retail guru Kate Hardcastle gives her tips for Christmas shopping

Kate Hardcastle's shopping tips for Christmas. The Old Treehouse, Market Street, Hebden Bridge.

Kate Hardcastle's shopping tips for Christmas. The Old Treehouse, Market Street, Hebden Bridge.

You know the story? No matter how organised you are, or how many trips you have taken to the collection depot to pick up those parcels – you are always going to have a last minute present to buy! With no more online options available, you will find your saving grace here in Calderdale – where I always purchase up to 50 per cent of my Christmas presents – and support our local economy.

As an expert in retail – and, some would say, shopping - I wanted to share my top tips for your last minute Christmas needs.

I love shopping in Calderdale – we have a wonderful and diverse mix of shops and products. My first stop is always Hebden Bridge – it’s a place you can really enjoy as well as picking up your shopping.

Here I head to one of the jewels in the Calderdale crown – the Heart Gallery.

Hebden Bridge

Heart has a brilliant gift selection, you can be guaranteed to get something exclusive, something unique and there is a great selection of Yorkshire themed products. They have jewellery, art, homeware and so much more. I have picked up Clare Caulfield limited edition prints there, a wonderful Yorkshire artist. As some of my present budgets are smaller, one thing I have done is bought a Clare Caulfield greetings card and framed it myself. That way, I have been able to share this beautiful work at less than £10! Mention this article and get free gift wrapping (Heart Gallery, The Arts Centre, 4a Market Street, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 6AA, phone: 01422 845845).

Whilst you’re in Hebden Bridge you can tick off any younger children at The Old Treehouse – a beautiful toy specialist with gorgeous products. I love the fancy dress ranges, the learning toys and cute little pick ups in the baskets near the counter (all which tend to fit into a pocket money budget). A quick plea from a mum – think twice before buying someone else’s child a toy that creates a lot of noise, so maybe avoid their percussion toys.

If you are in the market for a very special purchase, I love the buying selection at Elements.

Recently renovated, the store offers expert advice and the guarantee that you will buy something that will feel special. I love the Gold Bell Earrings at £40 and, if it’s a really special Christmas, the Festive Ring Stack at £335 01422 847700

Halifax

Harveys – it really makes me feel Christmassy just to go into Harveys, it must be all those memories of meeting family there for treats and drinks in the restaurant. Harveys has really evolved since then – but they have some great products for Christmas.

Recently, I have spied the Cath Kidson brand in thehomewares section. Helpfully, their cosmetics department is open until 5pm on Christmas Eve – and the team in there are fantastic for offering guidance. My best tip for under £10 - Cath Kidston Handcream Trio, £6.50., gifts department.

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a massive fan of our beautiful county – and a proud Welcome To Yorkshire Patron – so it is with great delight that I look forward to Le Grand Depart in 2014!
 And what better to gift to get everyone in the mood than a purchase from Cycle Gear – pop in at Horton Street, Halifax for a helpful hint on a gift for your keen or amateur cyclist!

Elland

Lucky enough to host the National winner of the Customer at the Heart Awards (www.customerattheheart.co.uk <http://www.customerattheheart.co.uk> ) - Elland hosts the fantastic Anon Lingerie at 5a Victoria Road. Here you can pick up a gorgeous range of brands with expertise advise and lots of fun too!

Ranges include Aubade, which is a beautiful French brand and “experts in seduction” (check out their website for more details, as this is a family article, I couldn’t possibly suggest it here!)

There is also a great fitting service, as well as some less risqué nightshirts and pjs to choose from. This shop really rocks for customer service – so enjoy excellence on your doorstep.

If you have a present to buy for anyone who loves outdoors, climbing, camping, snow sports and more, then Bac Outdoor Leisure is the place to go. Whenever I have shopped at Bac – albeit mainly for festival camping – the team have been friendly and supportive with great advice. I’m amazed with just how much stock they carry .

Brighouse

I recently conducted some research on local shopping districts, and Brighouse was frequently mentioned for its convenience. It has a great blend of shops, and some ideal present pick up spots.

You can try Marshall & Marshall (33 Bradford Road, 01484 721881) a unique mix of gifts, clothing, accessories and jewelry – all under one roof. I have regularly picked up lovely gifts for £10 and under in here – including writing books, bracelets and homeware.

Sowerby Bridge

You can always say it with flowers – and unlike Valentines Day and Mothers Day, we don’t traditionally send them. I love flowers and A Little Bit of Eden Flowers in Sowerby Bridge always create beautiful displays (61 Wharf Street 01422 834189).

And finally, for all your deli and food needs – head straight to Robinsons Farm Shop who will have the perfect food and treats to delight everyone (Wall Close Farm, Score Hill, Northowram, Halifax HX3 7SH, just off the A644 to Queensbury, telepone 01422 201065).

We hope that this feature will lead to some stress free last minute shopping, allowing you plenty of extra time to enjoy the areas wonderful cafes and restaurants. We wish you a great Christmas and look forward to bringing you some top shopping ideas in 2014!

By Kate Hardcastle

5 quick tips - for those in need of inspiration:

- Last minute fun for kids

If you are really last minute and buying for a child you think is going to be overfaced with plastic toys – why not try a wonderful balloon creation from Cardelium 07813 777075

lGet mum something she really wants (ps its not soaps or toiletries we have never heard of!).

Hair and beauty vouchers are so much better than soaps or the wrong perfumes – so ensure you pick up some from our stand out salon - Saks in Halifax - 01422 385125– who always perform highly in ranks and polls and have a glamorous lash extension offer now for only £35

- Get personal and local

A hamper is a sharing gift, but personalise yours – you will be surprised how much you might save . Where you might budget £30 you could get everything together for £25 /£27, and at this time of year all the savings make a difference. Buy a basket and fill with produce from somewhere like Berties Deli in Elland

- Turn Teen Nightmare into a Teen Dream!

Difficult teenager? Head straight to Jack Wills in Dean Clough, and maybe get a smile from even the most furrowed of brows

- Sweet Thought

What about a box of homemade cupcakes, which can even be personalised with initials, dates or characters from The Wee Bakery. I have used gift boxes of cupcakes from the team at The Wee Bakery for the last six months now. Telephone them on 07527 236089 – but remember you will need to collect these.

 

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