Top shopping tips for Easter by Kate Hardcastle

It’s always great to enjoy the true value of any holiday season – which for me is always about family. As I prepare for the annual Easter Egg hunt with my family – and cross my fingers for some good weather, nothing will be further from my mind than the retail scene. However with Easter now being one of our major shopping hotspots – I will certainly be heading out at some point, to make sure I get the best of Calderdale’s great offers. So let me help you shop like a pro – with some of my recommendations for the holidays!

Friday, 11th April 2014, 9:10 am
Kate Hardcastle has been granted ambassador status for the Diana Award.

Cancel the Easter Eggs! Gifts for children

Is its just me, or do children seem to be overwhelmed with confectionary each Easter? (I always donate our surplus treats to a local food bank – Google The Basement Project) With the massive offers on in the big supermarket chains for chocolate overload – why not buy an alternative gift instead?

Its a great time of year to start buying toys & games for outside – there is a wealth of choice to be had. Spirals in Hebden Bridge always have some beautiful wooden toys & crafts.

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Head to the gift shop in Eureka – for some brilliant toys & learning games. I love the range in there and you can always find something different & on a budget too.

Parents will welcome a gift of clothing - a t shirt or summer dress. Take a look in Sowerby Bridge at the Dolly Peg Boutique. They have some gorgeous wooden learning toys and cute sock gifts and they deliver!! Call 01422 836460

If the budget will allow, or a few of you can club together - the ultimate gift for any child in Yorkshire this year has to be – a bike! Can you honestly think of a better time to get excited about cycling with the Grand Depart excitement ahead? You can find a wide choice of ‘pre loved’ (second hand to you and I!) through to the more prestige newer brands at The Bike Shop in Halifax. I have also recently learnt of the CycleRecycle Project (07835 840989) who recycle, restore & distribute bikes to disadvantaged families. GO GRAND DEPART!

If chocolate be your love, eat on....

If the idea of Easter without the chocolate overload, isn’t for you – then here are just a few of our brimming confectionary parlours & treats!

One brand that I have a lot of admiration for, indeed, I have spoken about in many countries – is the Calderdale based – Lottie Shaws. A mixture of traditional Yorkshire cakes & biscuits and twists on the classics. You can pick up Lottie Shaws in many places around Calderdale – but home is their bakery based in Elland. A must for Easter family gatherings. 01422 372 335

This sweet shop in Hebden Bridge really is something special – Something Sweet brings olde worlde charm & a huge range of delights to impress a sweet tooth connoisseur 01422 845444

You cant miss out the Milk Bar – whilst you are there! The Easter special is a MaltEASTER (get it?) Bunny Milkshake! If you have never been – then its one of Calderdales most quirky experiences – and I have a great respect for the owners who, despite the floods – have kept going & offer something different. Have a Crème Egg Milkshake and forget your cares for a while!

Crafty School Holidays

Entertaining children for the holidays is always a challenge – you can rely on Calderdale to bring you some brilliant things to do.

Cupcake decorating is always fun – but if you don’t want to live with the mess in your kitchen and stickly cupboard handles – then head to Lippylicious in Elland. The café also offers cake decorating classes, with experts on hand to help.

Jenny at The Mouse House 01422 646919 – in Elland offers a lovely studio where your budding artist can choose from over 150 pottery items to paint and decorate. This starts at an affordable £5 and Jenny is said to have a Saintly patience with children. Call in advance to avoid disappointment. You can also head to The Pot Spot in Brighouse for a similar treat 01484 400602

Eureka is offering extra activities for visitors this Easter, with the Spring Fairy trails and activities.

An absolute date for the diary with when the hardworking Halifax branch of the RSPCA join forces with Eureka for a petting day on 15th April. Call Eureka for more details.

Theatre treat

At our gorgeous Square Chapel theatre – be sure to watch out for Dogs Don’t Do Ballet – the charming theatre production for Young children – a great first experience for a young child. 01422 349422

Savvy Shopping

Harvey’s have just announced they are now proud stockists of both Phase Eight & Cath Kidston – so whether you can enjoy a new outfit from the gorgeous collection at Phase Eight – or you want to brighten up your home with the distinctive charm of Cath Kidston – now’s the time to do it. Harvey’s are promising some exceptional Easter offers & always have the added benefit of their tearooms.

I love Le Metropolitan just opposite Harvey’s – great service, friendly staff & a menu of gorgeous treats. Top tip is they open for breakfast! A perfect way to start your shopping day in Halifax!

Nicholls Fashion & Beauty at Skircoat Green, Halifax, have classic fashion brands such as Basler & Gardeur & beauty treatments on site too – with gorgeous Decleor products. I personally could not recommend Decleor treatments highly enough – with rich balms and beautiful scents. Discovering we have this magic find in Calderdale is fantastic - 01422 330556

Spring time Beauty

Just 5 minutes from Halifax town centre, you can find Christys Beauty Salon & Pamper Boutique. They have a wealth of treatments available from official HD Brows through to the Lava Shell Massage (amazing heated massage) and the offers are a delight –bargain treatments with either wine or treats included. Call them for their late availability – 01422 839 222

Top Tip(ple)

If you haven’t already heard (although they have been doing a fine business for 10 years) – we have the Halifax Wine Company to help us through the maze of wine selection. Calling Andy & the team on 01422 256333 will put you through to on hand wine expertise & help with a great selection & bespoke service for all budgets. I will be trying the team there for an order of my favorite Sancerre soon!

Whatever you do this Easter – enjoy our wonderful Calderdale – from our parks & the traditional boating at Shibden Park – to our museums and galleries – Dean Clough is an exceptional local destination – we have everything we need on the doorstep. Always mention my guide & the Courier if you visit any of these businesses – and you may enjoy some added value too! See you next time for our summer holiday round up