5 Days to Christmas and and a fond farewell

19th December 5 Days to Christmas

Well we are 5 days away from Christmas and we have been so busy elving we have forgotten to do our shopping. Madness really but there we go! So today is not only another mega showcase it is also our farewell blog. We were hoping to keep it going until the 22nd but sadly we have run out of time : But we are going out with a bang and a big bang!!! Today we are not just doing one showcase collage, we are doing three collages showcasing all of the fantastic shops we have featured over the past month and a half.

Since starting The Christmas Elves back in early November we have showcased over 62 shops and over 75 gifts-  we have been busy elves!! We are happy to say that we have loved every moment of elving and we have met some fantastic people from the independent shops and artisan businesses along the way.

The original aim of The Christmas Elves was to showcase all the unique gifts from independents in the Cambridge area and we know we have showcased lots. We would have loved to showcase many more and if we didn’t manage to showcase you all – well we will do more next time because – we shall return or in the famous words of a mega elf, “we’ll be back.”. But for now we are going to start our Christmas shopping and enjoy visiting some of the great shops we have showcase!!

Now lets get down to business and kick off our mega and final show case for Christmas 2012 we have a great selection of unique gifts that some of you may remember and hopefully have bought!!

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To every one who has joined in the retweeting and have featured us on their blog-roll we’d like to say a big thank you for helping make The Christmas Elves so popular!!! We’d like to end today’s blog wishing everybody a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and remember SHOP LOCAL, SHOP INDEPENDENT!!

If you’d like to see the prices and info of any of the gifts featured in our mega showcase then please check out our gifts for galleries

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6 Days to Christmas

18th December 6 Days to Christmas

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Panettone exclusively made for Limoncello by Bonifanti £16.00

Gift of the day 750g Panettone exclusively made for Limoncello Deli by Bonifanti

The aim of the blog today is to leave your mouths watering!!! Meaning we are dedicating todays blog to gifts for foodies!! We have rounded up the perfect foodie gifts that are definite people pleaser’s, to help out all you last minute shoppers (like us)!! We’re are going to kick off today’s foodie gift ideas with two of the best Italian deli’s we know, starting with Limoncello 212 Mill Road, Cambridge. Limoncello is a charming little Italian deli selling all sorts of wonderful Italian goodies including fresh pasta, sauces, fantastic cheese and of course irresistible panettones!! We love the wide variety of authentic Italian food Limoncello has to offer. So if you know anyone who would love to indulge in some fine foods this Christmas, then why not make your own gift hamper of all the great products from Limoncello!!

Our other favourite Italian deli in Cambridge is an old family favourite BALZANOS!!! We have always loved Balzanos (204 Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge) and their amazing range of Italian products- we not just elves we are Italian elves!! They to have their very own exclusively made panettones and they are fantastic!! Balzanos is not just a shop, it has recently been renovated so their is a gorgeous little café at the back, where you can enjoy a nice Cappuccino and a Panino whilst finishing off your Christmas shopping. Whether you want to put together your own foodie hamper for as a gift or you want to buy them an exquisite panettone, Balzanos will definitely give your gift recipient a true taste of Italy.

Now from fine Italian foods to traditional English foods, there is one place that is pure quality, which we think is really worth a visit. Gog Magog Hills Farm shop (Heath Farm, Shelford Bottom, Cambridge) is a lovely family run farm shop offering the customer outstandingly good British farm foods!! From their great selections of meats to their incredible range of cheeses Gog Magog hills has something to suit everyones taste. Whilst on their site we noticed that they are offering “make you own food hampers” starting with small wooden boxes (£5 box only) to extra large wooden boxes (£25 box only) once you have filled you fantastically foodie hamper they then wrap it with a nice bow ready for your recipient!!

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Fantastically foodie hampers from Gog Magog Hills Farm shop

 

 

 

 

 

Now what really makes the perfect match to a luxurious panettone is an luxurious bottle of bubbly, we have chosen to feature one of our favourite fizzies from Joseph Barnes Wines Direct, 13 Market Row, Saffron Walden. Casa Coste Piane, Prosecco di Conegliano Spumante NV- also known as very, very, very nice Prosecco!! Whether you want to complete your foodie hamper or you’re going to a dinner party, a bottle of great wine or bubbly makes a perfect Christmas gift!! Especially if you’re sourcing it from a great wine merchants like Joseph Barnes!!

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Casa Conte Piane, Prosecco £14.99 from Joseph Barnes Wines Direct

 

7 Days to Christmas

17th December 7 days to Christmas

We are officially a week away from the big day so we are doing another mega showcase today!! As you may have noticed we have showcased lots and lots of women’s Christmas gift ideas, so today we thought we’d showcase some great gifts for men- for all those last minute shoppers stuck for ideas!! So we have lined up a great selection of 9 spectacular men’s gift ideas from independents in both Cambridge, Saffron Walden and online.

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As you probably have guessed by now, we are complete shopaholics!! However we do take into account that not everyone has the same taste in gifts, so in our mega showcase we have tried to put in something to suit everyone. Mind you we elves don’t discriminate- we love all gifts!! Hopefully everything we have showcased today will make the perfect gift for a friend or loved one, but don’t fear if there isn’t anything that takes your fancy in today’s showcase collage we have more great gift ideas in our gifts for galleries!! Plus we are still elving all of this week so no need to panic, we are continuing our mission of promoting great unique Christmas gifts from local independents and artisans in the Cambridge area until the 22nd!!

After Christmas we will no longer be elves 😦 But we will still be showcasing!! So if anyone would like to join our collection of review pages and galleries just give us a shout- although you may want to call us Laura and Nikki instead of The Christmas Elves or Cupid 1 and 2 seeing as Valentines day will come around rather quickly after the New Year!!

If you have seen a gift you like in the collage and you’d like to know how much it costs and where to get it from then please check out our Gifts for Him gallery

9 Days to Christmas

15th December 9 Days to Christmas

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Tattoo Mighty Wallet £14.00 from Breeze

Gift of the Day Tattoo Mighty Wallet from Breeze

As we get closer to Christmas we originally planned to start giving you great stocking filler and tree present ideas we have one today, but then we found some more fabulous gift ideas from independents in the Saffron Walden area-sorry Cambridge. Our first idea for gift of the day today was going to be another mug but then we thought you may be getting a bit sick of our addiction!! So we decided to go with this rather funky Wallet which would make a great tree presents or stocking filler!! Breeze as we’ve mentioned before is a fantastic shop in Trinity street, Cambridge (34), they have a great selection of gifts for her, him, babies and grandparents and to make them even better they have an entire section on their website devoted to stocking fillers!!

Our first shout out today goes to a very interesting online Vintage site called Vintage Archive. They have an amazing collection of interiors gifts that are incredibly unique they are certainly not your average home décor store!! We particularly liked their original coca cola tin signs which would be a great gift to anyone with a feature wall in their house (like us)- hint hint Mr elf.  Each piece is completely unique and most pieces are sourced from around the world!!

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Orginal Coca Cola tin signs £375.00 from Vintage Archive

 

 

 

 

 

Our final shout out for today goes to another excellent independent in Great Dunmow Table Art, not only have they got a great store (12 High Street Great Dunmow) They also have a really attractive website, which always makes us elves excited!! Table Art stock a beautiful range of products from photo frames to wall mounted beer buddies they have something for everyone. Whilst on their site we noticed some rather luxurious looking bath bomb gift sets which we think would make a great little present for every working women who likes to unwind at the end of a long day!!

We’re off tomorrow elving away as usual but we’ll be back on Monday showcasing more fantastically unique Christmas gifts from Independents!!!

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Bomb cosmetics flower to the people bath gift set £12.25 from Table Art

10 Days to Christmas

December 14th 10 Days to Christmas

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White Angels on a shelf £27.50 from Just Like Wendy’s

Gift of the Day White sitting shelf Angels from Just Like Wendy’s

Calling all foodie’s in Cambridge, the Eat Cambridge event is on this evening at Urban Larder 9 the Broadway, Mill Road between 6.00pm and 9.00pm. We visited Urban Larder a couple of weeks ago and found some great foodie treats. We noticed today (and it made us extremely hungry) they are advertising the famous Pavitts Christmas pies including the Turkey and cranberry pie (filled with chestnuts, apricots and thyme). Individual pies £4,20 and large sharing pies for 6 to 8 people for £14.50. So if you can, get down to Mill Rd tonight and join in the Christmas fun at urban larder.

More new independent shops getting a shout and first, “Just Like Wendy’s” which has a great range of Shabby Chic gifts, furniture and Home décor. It’s based just outside Saffron Walden and we particularly loved the little loved the festive cherubs which is our gift of the day.

Our second new mention is a wonderful push along toy monkey from Ballyhoo Toys. A great present for the little ones and a great price at £12.50. Ballyhoo Toys is based in Thaxted Rd, just outside Walden and if you check out their blog you’ll see some really excellent toys.

Lastly we’re giving a shut to the Blueberry Store, 43 King St, Saffron Walden. We love this shop which specialises in Americana and today we’ve picked out a great present for a Foodie stocking from the Aspen Mulling Spices range – the Aspem Egg Nog Mix at £4.50. All you need to do is add milk to it and you have the perfect eggnog!

Finally, we mentioned yesterday the 50% off sale at Ladytron and we note today that three other independent shops in Walden are also having pre Christmas sales. These are Petrus 14 High Street, Saffron Walden, Blue 20 high Street, Saffron Walden and Anna 19 High Street, Saffron Walden. On a positive note, it’s great we’ll all be able to get bargains from all these great shops and before Christmas. On a slightly less positive note, we cannot help feeling the introduction of some of the major retail chains to Walden who are having sales before Christmas is putting added pressure on the independent High Street.

So please, support independent shops – make the most of their sales – shop local, shop independent!

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Aspen Eggnog spices £4.50 from The Blueberry Store

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Push along Monkey £12.50 from Ballyhoo Toys

 

11 Days to Christmas

13th December 11 days to Christmas

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Pumpkin Lamp £140.00 from Design Essentials

Gift of the day Pumpkin Lamp from Design Essentials

Just for a change we’ve been to …. Saffron Walden. Yes we are slightly (very addicted) and despite our many visits we always manage to find something new. But before we talk about that we have a very important announcement – Ladytron are having a sale and everything is HALF PRICE! That does include all the latest stock in for Christmas. So, any gentlemen still in a quandary about what to buy the lady of their life for Christmas, now is the time to visit Ladytron. Not only will you get some very stylish and unique gifts, you’ll also get a real bargain.

Back to our latest find – we’ve been browsing the luxurious clothes, jewellery, shoes and bags in Belle Couture, 4 Market Hill, Saffron Walden. If you’re looking for the top names in design like Chanel, Moschino or Dior, then you can find it right on your own doorstep at Belle Couture. They have some stunning pieces of fine jewellery (I found a beautiful gold and sapphire bracelet for £645.00) and some equally luxurious costume jewellery starting at £5.00. We adored the shoes which were absolutely decadent – not sure I could walk in some of the very very high heels but I’d be quite happy to have them anyway, just because they were so beautiful.

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Heels by Grasp £17.00 from Belle couture

 

 

 

 

 

We also popped in to Talents today 13 King Street Saffron Walden. This is a perfect shop for all sorts of gifts, cards, paper and all sorts. Elf 1 was looking for a pretty note book and she found a great selection of beautifully bound note books in various sizes and designs. Ideal for writers of all genre’s and anyone who loves beautiful paper (there are a lot of us out there). The prices started at £3.95 – add a stylish pen and that would make a great present.

Our final shout today goes to another of our great favourites, Design Essentials. If you’re looking for a truly unique and artistic gift, Design Essentials is definitely the place to go.

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Julietta Jumper by Passport Sale price £44.50 from Ladytron

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Deco gold top by FEVER sale price £19.98 from Ladytron

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Jonny Q jeans sale price £47.50from Ladytron

 

12 Days to Christmas

12th December 12 Days to Christmas

We have been having such fun elving and showcasing all the fantastic unique gifts from local shops and artisans, we have decided today that we or not just going to showcase one gift of the day, we are going to showcase 9!! Since doing the Christmas elves we have found some marvellous Christmas gifts that we have just fallen in love with!! So we have decided to do another mega collage of some of our favourite Christmas gifts we have featured!!

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As many of you know we are going to continue our showcasing of local independents and artisans into the new year-Yeah!! So even if you’ve finished your Christmas shopping we’d like to point out that nearly every gift we have featured on our blog is not just a unique Christmas gift, they are unique gifts in general. Whether you are buying for someone’s Birthday or a anniversary the independents in this area can definitely cater to all your gift needs!! -Men you have no excuse now, not to get your wife the perfect gift on your anniversary we have done half the work for you!!

As we get closer to Christmas expect to see a large range of individual gifts of the day and collages as we want to maximise our showcasing in the final run up to Christmas. We are going to focus of promoting some great stocking fillers and tree presents in the next few days as they are the great last minute bits we always need to buy!

If you’d like to find out more about any of the gifts we have featured in our collage today please click on the appropriate link:

Gifts for Her

Gifts for All

Gifts for Kids

13 Days to Christmas

13 days to Christmas 11th December 2012

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Spotty dog money box £6.95 from Angela Reed

Gift of the day: Spotty Dog Money Bank £6.95 from Angela Reed.

Our house is divided into chocoholics and ‘rather have some olives’. But last year we came across the Bellina Chocolate House, 8 Bridge Street, Cambridge and everyone suddenly had a passion for chocolate – so we want to give them a mention. They have a seriously seductive selection of Belgian chocolates and other treats including a very affordable ‘Gifts from Cambridge’ section which we always find go down well with relatives abroad.

With so few days left until Christmas Day many people will (of course) be putting up the tree and despite the fact we all have Christmas decorations (not to mention the inherited ones), it’s always tempting to add a couple of new ones. Which is why we have to mention ‘Santa On A Scooter’ (£3.95) and ‘The Flying Reindeer’ £2.95 from Angela Reed, 20 church Street, Saffron Walden.

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The Flying Reindeer £2.50 from Angela Reed

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Santa on a scooter £3.95 from Angela Reed

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the years we’ve found some really great gifts in Angela Reeds and no doubt this year will be the same. For example, our new editions to the family will both be getting our gift of the day Spotty Dog Money Banks. There is something for everyone in this shop – from small personal gifts to very stylish furniture which you may think an unusual gift but I did get 6 new dining room chairs from my step son last year – which I love and were a bit more impressive than the giant pork pie and local ale he got. Still, it’s the thought that counts.

On the subject of decorations, our last shout today is a bit further afield than we normally go and is a company called ‘An Angel At My table‘ which is based in Good Easter. As far as we can see it is an online company – so if you like what you see (which we definitely did), you’d have to order soon. ‘An Angel at My Table’ has a very eclectic choice of very unique gifts and we liked most things. But here’s an example of some very unusual jewelled tree decorations (a set of six costs £19.50) and also an absolutely charming French Lantern (£47.50)

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French Lantern £47.50 from Angel at my table

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Set of six Jewelled decorations £19.50 from Angel at my table

 

14 Days to Christmas

10th December 14 Days to Christmas

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Think Stone black shoes £140.00 from Sundaes

Gift of the day Think Stone Black Shoes from Sundaes

Sundaes is a charming shoe boutique based in one of the fantastic back streets of Cambridge (Green Street) which has been trading since 1973!! They offer a beautiful collection high quality shoes, clogs and slippers for both Men and Women. Sundaes is a great family run business that ensures the customer not only an excellent choice of shoes but also promises the most up to date and stylish shoe designs from across Europe. Every pair of shoes is made from either the best material or the highest quality leather!! Shoes always make a great Christmas gift and if you want to ensure that you give your loved ones comfortable and luxurious looking feet for the new year then you will definitely be impressed with what Sundaes has to offer.

Primavera Kings Parade is the home of unique jewellery, ceramics, glass, silverware and much more!! Their eclectic range of goodies brings together the best of old and new up coming artists and designers, many of which live in Cambridgeshire. We loved their assortments of beautiful and quirky sculptures including Nick Mackman’s lying down Polar bear cub (see below). The shop is located opposite Kings College and is spread out over three floors all of which are very different and incredibly unique. Their amazing collection of products are such a treat and truly define the greatness of British arts and crafts- they could give Santas work shop a run for it’s money!!

This shout out is a rather comical one and we think their products would make ideal stocking fillers and joke presents. Talking T’s is a fab family run business that has been trading for over 12 years and their great collection of garments are mainly made inside their work shop on the outskirts of Cambridge. Unfortunately we can’t provide a photograph of any of their humorous T’s or Aprons but we can give you a taster what to expect!! One of our personal favourites was an Apron captioned: “I like to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put some in the food.” Our other favourite was a T-shirt which we felt was rather a true statement “Grandparents- so easy even a small child can operate them.” – Not that our one year old Grandelf has us all wrapped round her little finger!

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Nick Mackman’s Lying Polar Bear Cub sculpture £145.00 from Primavera

 

 

 

16 Days to Christmas

8th December 16 Days to Christmas

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Victorian Cardigan £32 from curious Orange

Gift of the day Victorian Cardigan from Curious Orange.

Curious Orange as we’ve mentioned before is a fantastic online clothing boutique that sources all of their clothes from independent designers. They have a fabulous range of outfits to suit all occasions for both men and women. Their unique collection showcases some great Christmas gifts! whilst at the Christmas Secrets event that Nikki organised with Wendy from Design Essentials we were able to see that quality of the curious Orange range and it is brilliant!! They have an amazing selection of beautiful fabrics, colours, embellishments and patterns-what more could an elf ask for.

Our first shout out goes to a spectacular online home accessories and gift shop. Sujivanna’s wonderful range of products are ethically sourced from small producers and artisans around the world! We love her range as it offers pure luxury to the consumer, the range is full of quirky, comical, elegant and unique products making it is easy to cater for every individual you are buying for this Christmas. Since we are self confessed foodies we just loved the Mildred the Hen cheese board (see below). Every host needs a good cheese board to serve on after a nice meal, so why not buy yourself a little Christmas present and treat yourself to your very own Mildred the Hen.

Now onto a womans best friend- jewellery! Vida Moda were showcasing some amazing jewellery on Thursday including a pair of absolutely stunning red earrings (see below) their selection of jewellery was incredibly classy and affordable. Their range of earrings would make ideal stocking fillers and tree presents and are guaranteed to put a smile on the recipients face!

Our third and final shout of today goes to a Christmas Elves favourite. Design Essentials, is a great collection of unique interior gifts. The White coin panel (see below) was chosen by our honorary elf on Thursday night who has agreed to be our Easter bunny when the time comes. The Design Essentials range is classy, modern, elegant and could spruce up the dullest of rooms. So if you know anyone moving into a new house this Christmas you are guaranteed to find them the perfect house warming gift from her collection.

Well we’ve had a great week of elving this week, we hope you’ve enjoyed all the fantastic unique gifts that have been showcased. Lots more to come next week as we get even closer to Christmas, see you all on Monday!

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Red Earrings £5.00 from Vida Moda

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Mildred the hen £16.00 from Sujivanna

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White coin panel £30.00 from Design Essentials