Windermere’s art, jewellery and gifts Christmas shopping experience starts this weekend at the Cedar Manor hotel.
A range of exclusive items all made by local designers will be on sale at the hotel throughout November.
The latest local artist to reach their shelves is Kendal-based Thuline de Cock whose striking horse, dog and cow images are on a new range of china mugs.
And a Christmas fair with a difference will be staged at the end of the month, with a most unusual Father Christmas grotto. Santa will be welcoming visitors and handing out presents in a seasonally decorated yurt in the hotel grounds.
The shopping experience is the idea of owners Caroline and Jonathan Kaye who have a small selection of jewellery, crafts and other locally produced items for sale in their welcome lounge all year round.
“Christmas shopping has become an ordeal,” said Jonathan. “In towns and cities the shops are bombarding customers with seasonal items earlier and earlier. There’s no sense of festivity any more, and going to big shopping outlets nearer Christmas can be a nightmare.
“We have some wonderful local designers who make jewellery, fine art, skin-care products, exclusive jams and chutneys, chocolates and wooden toys. Their work will be available here, without any of the crowds or the traffic jams of most shopping trips.”
The Christmas Fair, on Saturday November 29, will raise money for the charity Lupus UK which Caroline Kaye has been supporting this year. She took part in the Great North Run and has organised other events, and has raised more than £3000 so far. Next year she is running the London Marathon for the charity.
The fair, from 11.30am till 4pm, will feature afternoon teas and home-made mince pies as well as the Christmas grotto. It’s hope that a mystery celebrity guest will perform the official opening ceremony..
Throughout November, the hotel’s “shop” will be open till late each evening. Said Jonathan: “We know there are people who panic because it’s their wife or girlfriend’s birthday the next day and they’ve forgotten! They are realising now that they can come here even at 9 at night and find a lovely present.
“It is also a great way for us to showcase the fantastic design talent that we have in this area.”