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A little over ten years ago, the words Christmas shopping and Malton would have been met with derision, but such is the huge transformation of the North Yorkshire market town, this is no longer the case. Moreover, shoppers are discovering the array of small independent shops and stores that offer a wide range of well sourced products, and for those who like to see things in the flesh so to speak, Malton offers the opportunity polish off the Christmas list. Bowley & Jackson has resided at 11, Market Street for close on twenty years and we have witnessed the changes first hand, and this year I thought it would be fun to impart some of my local knowledge with our inaugural Malton Christmas Shopping Guide....
Here are 10 of my go to stores for Christmas presents, listed in no particular order, as that would be like naming my favourite child!
In my experience the hardest people to buy for are nearly always men, when asked, they don't need anything, or worse want anything! Well, located opposite Bowley & Jackson is Macmillans, a gem of a shop, stocked with fine malt whiskys, small label gins and fine wines. Jim & James have come to the rescue many a time when I've been stumped for a gift and their knowledge of their product means you are purchasing something more meaningful than a bottle of Grouse. Incidentally, if your Christmas shopping is progressing well & refreshment is required, I recommend stopping off at the Library bar, handily located upstairs.
Kemps is the brainchild of Liz Kemp, combining an independent bookshop with a gift shop that is stocked full of inspiring gifts that will ultimately be appreciated, Kemps offers lots of choice for all the family. The book department is located at the rear of this former bar and offers the peaceful environment associated with all good bookshops, well stocked with grown up and children's books and both fiction and non fiction, I have found many a hit stocking filler here.
Now residing in new premises, The Rusty Fox offers fabulous women's wear in Malton sourced from small niche labels. The range is mid priced and eminently wearable, and there is also a great range of accessories including jewellery, hats & scarves, hand bags and make up bags. Such is Jane's ability as a buyer, there are pieces here for my teenage god daughter, best friend and mother.
Yates is the oldest store in Malton and probably the most infamous, founded in 1845 as an agricultural merchants, it remains a one stop shop for just about everything and the kitchen sink. Aside from the white goods, feed merchants, and DIY department...it would be easier to list what Yates doesn't sell! For Christmas shopping I would suggest a visit to the the toy department. As you would expect from an agricultural suppliers Yates offer an amazing range of Britains, Bruder & Siku toys. They stock toys for girls too, but the offering for boys is really excellent, I can always strike lucky here. Elsewhere, the country clothing department is excellent as is the range of wellies- wellies quite often feature on my Christmas list!
5. The Shambles
I can never resist a wander up The Shambles at any time of year, but I very often find something here for that tricky recipient at Christmas. When we came to Malton, The Shambles was an arcade of purely antique shops, in recent years it has become a mixture of designers, makers & antique dealers but has retained its eclectic appeal. In The Shambles you will find Magpie Antiques, which over a total of three units offers a range of kitchenalia, prints and garden brocante. The Wood Lark stocks hand made wooden boards, perfect for cheese and tapas, and on most Saturdays I encounter customers in our store with a vinyl LP tucked under their arm, having visited Fascinating Rhythms in the shambles. Gale & Temple is also recommended for such as artisan napkins, lampshades & basket ware. And located on the corner is The Country Cobbler, a traditional cobbler who also offers a large range of Loakes shoes & boots.
Back on Market Street, and into Swallow & Son for the men in your life. Swallow & Son offers really good menswear design & accessories. Such as Blundstone boots, tweed tailoring, knitwear & chinos....
As well as the beautifully cut range of clothes, there are smaller accessories on offer here such as socks (I personally love getting socks for Christmas), sunglasses and belts.
If you're shopping for girls, then call into Plum. Plum stocks contemporary gifts and here you will find pretty pieces of jewellery, (including a great range of earrings), cashmere scarves & wrist warmers, purses and make up bags, all hand picked by owner Yvonne Slack. The stock changes regularly and the staff are always super helpful, which I find particularly useful when shopping for teenagers!
8. The Gallery
The Gallery offers a shop window for local artists and makers including the owner & founder Christine Hughes. The range includes fine art paintings, jewellery, ceramics & wood carving. The work on display is bold and interesting and offered at a range of price points.
Okay, this isn't a shop...however, Gilly Robinson presides over The Cooks Place where she runs year round cookery courses in a range of disciplines including game, fish, garden produce and Indian cuisine to give but a few examples. Also on offer is Dinner With Chef, where diners are invited to watch dinner prepared by chef whilst dining. All of the above and more is available to purchase as a gift, perfect for the person that has you truly stumped.
10. Bowley & Jackson
And last but not least... yes, Bowley & Jackson. Christmas at Bowley & Jackson starts with our well known twig ceiling display; home to a glittering display of baubles that twinkle & inspire. Our range of Christmas decorations are sourced from Germany & Denmark in the early part of the year, to offer a range of the very best Scandinavian Christmas decorations. Our range of Christmas gift ideas is carefully considered to offer lots of excellent gift ideas at different price points, such as wall mounted bottle openers or pretty indoor plant pots. Our colourful Danish dinner candles are a lovely gift alone or team them up with a pressed glass Clemmie candlestick. There's always lots to choose from.
All of the above business's are family owned and run, offering in depth knowledge about their products. I hope this has inspired you to shop in Malton this Christmas, this blog post only touches the surface, there are many more independents in our lovely town including a raft of specialist food producers and the many eateries where you can take a breather. Check out my earlier blog post where to eat in Malton for further details...
A couple of dates for your diary...Visit Malton for further details
Saturday 25th November '23: Malton St Clement's Festival
Saturday 2nd December -Sunday 3rd December: Malton Christmas Festival
Good luck with the shopping x