Many of us have busy lives, where time is a precious and scarce commodity. As Christmas approaches, and there are seemingly a million and one things to buy, prepare and organise, many of us opt to do our shopping online.
This obviously enables us to shop and compare prices from the comfort of our living room, but one downside is that you can’t pick up, smell, and really look at something on a computer screen, in the same way that you can by buying it in a real shop. Buying a fragranced candle on the basis of what it looks like, is no substitute from experiencing the aroma for yourself, and comparing it to the others on the shelf.
Another downside is the delivery of the item that you’ve ordered online – invariably, you are out when the item was due to be delivered, if it even arrives on time, as promised.
Nothing really beats enjoying the festive window display of a shop on the high street, popping in for a browse, and discovering the perfect present perched on a shelf. An added bonus is that you are supporting your local high street, and the people that own and work in the shops there.
Battle High Street is dominated by the historic and imposing Abbey, around which, the town grew. It is now a bustling shopping street which boasts an exciting and eclectic mix of shops and products on offer. We have visited some of the shops in the street, and found out about their Christmas best-sellers and gifts that are sure to be a hit with the lucky recipients.
Battle is hosting its annual late-night shopping Gala-night on Thursday 11th December, with shops open until 9pm and traders in fancy dress. There will be live choral entertainment and there is free car parking in the Abbey car park, plus the chance to speak to the man in red himself at the Abbey grotto. Keep up to date with news of Battle Christmas Festivities. So get ahead of the game, by looking at what is on offer in a selection of the shops, and get your list ready to go…
7 Battle High Street
Situated on the Green, in the shadow of Battle Abbey, is the wonderful chocolate and confectionery shop Spoilt Rotten. A hit with both adults and children alike, there is so much attention to detail in the handmade creations that are whipped up in store, and so much variety in the range of sweets and handmade chocolates on offer. You really are spoilt for choice with gift ideas for chocoholics of all ages! They specialise in bespoke creations that are made to order, so please order soon to ensure they will be ready for Christmas. If you visit the shop, you will notice the red post-box by the counter which is an initiative inviting children to buy a special reindeer stamp for their letter to Santa. You can then post your stamped letter in the postbox, and replies will be arriving in the shop from the 17th December. The stamps cost £2.50 per letter, and a donation is made to the town’s Battle and Langton School and St.Michael’s Hospice when you buy a stamp.
Here’s a little taster of what they offer:
Clockwise from top left –
A large decorated chocolate house (white or milk chocolate) £25
A small decorated house with a polar bear, penguin or elf £9.95
Empty sweet jars to be filled with sweets of your choice £1 + weight of sweets
Hamper boxes in a range of designs to be filled with the sweets of your choice
The Christmas display
Maltesers Christmas pudding £7.95
Gift tins for a range of family members £7.50 upwards
The Christmas window display
Handmade luxury Belgian chocolates to select
3 High Street, Battle
Just a wander away from Spoilt Rotten, is Aurelie and Rose, which has been in Battle for just over a year, but has already cemented its place as a great choice for gifts, jewellery and craft materials. It is an Aladdin’s cave filled with a great selection of gift ideas, which are unusual and interesting, whilst remaining affordable. They have embraced the Christmas spirit with an enticing display both inside and out, and have come up with a great idea to help you get what you really want this Christmas! Instead of just crossing your fingers and hoping that a loved-one intuits what you’d like from their gorgeous selection of gifts, you can now use their ‘wish list’ online or in store to provide a not-so-subtle- hint, whilst still retaining the element of surprise when you receive something from your preferences.
Here is a potted selection of what they have for sale:
Clockwise from top left –
Children’s craft sets (individually priced)
Woollen snoods £8.95
Fragranced candles £4.95
Festive fragranced candles e.g. gingerbread, Christmas spice, Frankincense and myrrh (Price according to size)
Chiffon scarves £8.50
Little Hotties – wax fragranced shapes for use with a ceramic burner. Pick and mix your favourites – fill a box for £6.95
Outside Aurelie and Rose
Craft materials to pick and mix, including Christmas jingle bells, snowflakes and beads, £2.75 per pot. Snowflake organza giftbags are 40p each or £3.50 for 10.
Bags – mostly £15.95
Lunch Bags – £3.95
Jewellery making sets £8.95 or £9.95
Jewellery – a range of styles and prices
65a High Street, Battle
Battle Bakes and Cakes offer both delicious savoury and sweet baked goods to either eat in with a hot drink, or to takeaway. They offer a range of bespoke hampers that can be assembled according to your preferences. One of their most popular gift ideas is the handy hessian bag including the award-winning ‘The Cherry Tree’ range of award-winning chutneys. Their handmade Christmas cakes are a feast for both the eyes and the tastebuds, and they even offer beautiful ‘Frozen’ themed cakes for lovers of the film.
Here are some highlights:
Clockwise from top left –
Christmas cakes from £12.95 upwards
Polar bear Christmas cake
Hamper – made to order – selection of sweets, chocolates, Christmas puddings, chutney, marmalade and jams. Large hampers priced from £25 – £55.
Father Christmas cake
Small Christmas cake
Hessian bag containing ‘The Cherry Tree’ range of award-winning chutneys
Chocolate Santas £12.95, 2 for £20.00