According to Mayan prophecies, the world is finally coming to an end and we’re in for an old fashioned apocalypse this Friday. Although in reality it seems it is all about a select few who aren’t able to pop out and buy a new calendar. Has no-one told them to check out Paperchase’s selection? They’ve got some good ones in this year.
Regardless of how outlandish the claims may be to some of us, it hasn’t stopped people in parts of Russia panic-buying torches, matches and for some reason, salt. However, the impending apocalypse doesn’t seem to have effected Christmas shoppers in Leeds this year. And I can only hope my efforts to shop local haven’t been in vain this Christmas.
Previously I have done my Christmas shopping solely online, so I thought I’d repent my sins by paying some attention (and more importantly giving my hard-earned cash) to some of the city’s fantastic independent businesses. Starting with the markets, I wandered casually from stall to stall picking items my family and friends would like. The items were packaged in quirky, individual styles and are usually unknown labels, which is a nice touch. And by the time I had finished I was pretty impressed with my purchases, which ranged from Xmas pudding flavoured fudge to a chilli plant. When I finished perusing the Farmers’ Market on Briggate, I took a look at the German and Moroccan markets. At the Moroccan market I was able to pick up exotic spices and I looked at the cooking pots. I didn’t have a clue how to use them, but they sure were pretty to look at.
There were lots of handcrafted gifts on display at the German Christmas Market. The brightly painted toys and quaint Russian dolls looked lovely. I, however, ended up sampling the mulled wine and to tell you the truth that’s as far as I got… whoops.
After my short *ahem* mulled wine break, I continued on to the Corn Exchange. In recent years the Corn Exchange has undergone a slight transformation from goth hangout to a spot for trendy boutique shoppers. I took a look at what has become a very different set-up inside. Amongst the boutiques I found that the store Made in Leeds stood out for me. The shop hosts collections from home grown designers who use locally sourced materials. But it’s only open for a limited amount of time, so check it out while it’s still there!
And then I took a trip to Bird’s Yard. I say ‘trip’ like it’s in a far away land – I actually live opposite, which was good for carting back the many gifts I found. Bird’s Yard is a creative space which can be found along Kirkgate. From the moment I stepped inside I spotted about five items that would be perfect gifts. This creative space spans over three floors and sells vintage clothing, quirky gifts and lovely household items. Oh, and if you get tired you can stop for an indulgent treat at The Marvellous Tearoom on the first floor. Ah, I do love this department store with a difference. Show it some love this Christmas and you won’t be disappointed.
So there you have it: my Xmas shopping journey thus far. But don’t worry – there’s more! I’ve been rather lazy about my Christmas shopping this year, but I’ll keep you posted on the wonderful independent shops I visit between now and the big day 🙂