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Mother's Day 2019

Thursday, 14 March 2019 11:43:49 Europe/London

Last year on Mother’s Day, my brother did one of the simplest, but sweetest, things that any of my siblings have ever done for our mum. Over the years we’ve made her plenty of scruffy cards decorated with stickers and bought her lots of chocolates. I once made her breakfast in bed, arranging some burnt marmite toast, an over-filled bowl of cheerios and a far too milky cup of tea on a tray. But, aged eleven, my brother veered off track and wowed. Using his initiative, he decided to cook her Welsh rarebit for breakfast and, to make it extra-charming, shaped it into two heart shapes. What a load of brownie points he won. He’s always been a mummy’s boy (grgh!).

Child Drawing - Mothers day gift?

Ignore my bitterness. Sibling rivalry is an essential. Plus, I’ve learnt a lot from him. In doing this, my brother showed how a small action with careful thought behind it makes a much bigger difference than something roughly done (I bought her a box of Lindor chocolates). Mums are simply the bomb. We want to help you show your mum how much you love and appreciate her, with a thoughtful and stylish gift this Mothering Sunday.   

At Rosara, we’ve got a beautiful selection of items that you can choose for your mum. How about some artisan jewellery or fancy chocolate? What about buying her a beautiful, lightweight muslin scarf? Or how about a high quality ceramic mug in enchanting light cream colours? Great for your mum’s cup of coffee in the morning. If you are looking for something really special, why not a limited edition painting from Henrietta Lawson Johnson?

As with all public celebrations, there is a history behind this day. Traditionally, in the 16th century, Mothering Sunday was a time when people returned to the ‘mother’ Church where they were baptized, or attended services when they were children. This reunited families, as adults returned to towns and villages where they grew up and people were said to have gone ‘a-mothering’. It was often the only time that whole families could gather together, due to conflicting working hours. As they walked along country lanes, children would pick wild flowers or violets to take to church, or to give to their mothers. Later, it was custom for young people, working as servants in large houses, to be given a holiday on this day in order to visit their mother. They often took a gift of food or old clothing handed down by their employers. Eventually, this religious tradition evolved into the secular tradition of giving gifts to mothers. The roots of this holiday are therefore Christian, which explains why it is always celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.  

Pancakes for brunch or scones for afternoon tea are lovely ways you can treat your mum on this day. Traditionally, the simnel cake is cooked. Consisting of fruit cake with two layers of almond paste and a marzipan icing, this is a fruity and succulent treat. Why not bake this cake to serve for tea? Or, let us do the work for you, and pop in to the Yurt to sample some of Penny’s instead!

Written by Immy Higgins (who is perfecting her cheesy hearts as she writes)

Scarfs

Ceramics

Henrietta 

 

 

 

 

Posted in News By Oli Ong

Meet the Team: Nadia Cheddi

Monday, 18 February 2019 16:30:03 Europe/London

Meet the Team: Nadia Cheddi, Shop Manager

Nadia

Nadia, you have been with Nicholsons/Rosara for a little while now, but what made you want to work here, and why?

I already had a friend in the business who saw the role of Rosara assistant being advertised. From here, I worked up to Shop manager. The job was retail-based but with a difference. It included buying, interior design and working on an up and coming brand rather than a long-established brand, which was such an interest for me. I love the fact that everyone waves to each other in the mornings when you arrive!

Since joining the team, what has been your best highlight?

The best time I have had with the team is when we were at RHS Chatsworth. To spend the whole week at the show, speaking to customers, introducing them to a new brand and hearing so much positive feedback. Also, to work alongside such a great team and be able to motivate each other when making such great progress within the show.

The Team

Moving away from Rosara and the Plant Centre, you worked at a variety of companies, some very similar to the Yurt e.g. Shakespeare’s Milkshake Bar and Brookes café, What are your Barista skills like nowadays?

My barista skills are still there…I think! The only thing I need to work on is my coffee art. But I’m sure you can teach me over in the Yurt. I can give you a good lesson on the perfect milkshake though!

Ok! Quickfire round, GO!

Early bird or night owl?

Early bird

What is for your favourite flower, plant or tree?

I do love dahlias!

Which historical figure would you most like to have dinner with and why?

Picasso, because I would love a painting lesson with him.

On a personal level, I know you have an ‘interesting’ taste in music. What is that one song that you can't resist a dance to?

It must be Spice Girls - Wannabe! I mean who sings that and doesn’t want to be part of the group? I’m lucky enough to have friends in the business who also love this song!

So, in 5 years’ time, where do you see yourself and/or the Plant Centre/ Rosara?

I would love for the company to grow some more in terms of what we offer here; I would like to help head up some of the development ideas and design. I think Nicholsons still has a lot of growing to do and I would like to be a part of that and offer my suggestions. 

Thanks Nadia! Need some advice on interior design? Pop into the Plant Centre and find Nadia on the front desk. 

 

 

Posted in News By Oli Ong

Valentines Day

Friday, 8 February 2019 08:16:26 Europe/London

Valentines Day 2019

Aged 13, I came downstairs on February 14th to find a card addressed for me on the dresser. It was from a ‘Secret Valentine.’ I remember how fast my heart started beating and how I spent the whole day puzzling over the unknown address and who I knew from Witney. My brother gave it away with his smirk when I started proposing possible names. So cruel. Valentine’s isn’t always so traumatic, and many do receive lovely messages of love. From giant, fluffy teddy bears and personally-engraved his & her mugs, to heart-shaped chocolates and bunches of red roses, every year there is a wide selection of Valentine’s presents in the shops. I am not saying there is anything wrong with these gifts but undeniably they are stereotypical and often enough to make you cringe. Here at Rosara we have some more classy and stylish gifts to give your loved one.

Tree Heart

Valentine’s is a popular public holiday that most are aware of but there is in fact a mysterious history surrounding February 14th.

The roots of the day go all the way back to the Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration. Two male youths, clad in animal skin, ran around Rome slapping passers-by with strips of goat skin, a tad different to a couple holding hands over a white-clothed dinner table. But who is St Valentine? There are in fact three early Christian saints by this name, all said to have been martyred on this date. Most believe the St Valentine of the holiday was a priest condemned by the Roman Emperor Cladius II. According to one legend, after Claudius prohibited marriage for young men claiming that bachelors made better soldiers, Valentine continued to secretly perform marriage ceremonies (standing up for lurve!) Eventually, he was captured and put to death. Another legend says that Valentine, once imprisoned, fell in love with the daughter of his jailer and before his execution sent her a letter signed ‘from your Valentine.’ From these origins the day then developed. It was Chaucer who first linked the day with romance when he composed a poem in honour of the engagement between Richard II and Anne of Bohemia.

For this was on St. Valentine's Day,

When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate

The modern Valentine’s evolved. In the 1850’s a graduate named Esther A Howland began mass producing Valentine’s cards, catapulting the holiday into the commercial success it is today. It is surprising how many people buy the cards, the chocolates and the flowers without knowing this rich history.

Valentines can become a little over the top, so avoid the cheesy gifts and instead head to Nicholson’s and choose from our selection of sophisticated, heartfelt items at Rosara. Why not treat your partner to a beautiful hand-woven and embroidered outdoor rug? Or a comfortable hammock that you can lounge on together under the dappled shade of garden trees? If your local, pop into our plant centre and take a look at our valentines corner and see our range of artisan jewellery to help your Valentine feel gorgeous.

Valentines Corner

Outdoor Rug

The Oli Hammock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Immy Higgins

 

Posted in News By Oli Ong

Lighting Your Garden in the Long winter months

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 16:30:29 Europe/London

Lighting Your Garden in the Long winter months

Winter really feels like it’s here. The excitement of Christmas is firmly over and it seems there is very little to be excited about on these dark, cold nights. It is in this period that it becomes very easy to neglect your garden and forget that in a few short months it will begin to spring to life again. A thoughtfully lit garden can extend your enjoyment – even if it is simply a view from the warmth of your hearth.

We asked our Landscape Designer Tina James for a little advice and she was kind enough to shine a light (sorry!) on some of the do’s and don’ts of lighting your garden.

BECKLEY OUTDOOR LANTERN

How is it best to use lighting in your garden?

Subtley! Gardens are generally very dark and a little light goes along way. Warm white light is best as it is gentle on the eye. If you have large areas of glass, these just reflect black at night, subtle exterior lighting relieves this and gives a depth of field to your vision helping interiors feel more spacious and less oppressive.

How important is light position?

Light position is important, better to wash light down rather than to direct a light up into the air which almost always gives uncomfortable eye glare. Try to place the fitting with its back to the area it is mostly viewed from to direct the light away from the viewer to eliminate eye glare. Also, it is less disturbing to any nocturnal creatures such as bats if you are lucky enough to have them. You want to see the light, not the fitting, so discreet fittings are best. Rosara have carefully designed a weathered bronze finish that blends with the garden. In-ground uplighters are avoided by the Nicholsons design team as they nearly always miss their mark …unless you have a helicopter coming in to land!

Lighting

 The Rosara spot light is a more flexible, directional, versatile light greater range of options and has an anti-glare shield. You can direct it down to wash light over paths and patios, or direct it to wash light over a tree canopy and as it is warm white and only 3 watts you are not going to disturb bats etc.

How can you stay environmental with all of this?

At Rosara, we are driven by protecting our wider natural environment and so our motto is “just enough” when  it comes to lighting. You can light an entire garden with as little as 10 watts with today’s LED fittings, but design is crucial – so do give us a call to support you in your scheme.

Thanks Tina, that was some great advice. As mentioned, Rosara does offer a lot of lighting options so check out our full range here. As you would expect, when you combine electricity and the outside elements, things can get quite dangerous. This makes outside lighting that little bit more tricky. We have made leaflet that puts this process into simple terms and describes how our light fittings work, click here to see it.

 

Written By Chris Ash & Tina James

 

 

Posted in News By Oli Ong

Burns Night

Friday, 18 January 2019 13:09:13 Europe/London

Haggis. One of Scotland’s iconic symbols. I first tried it when I visited some friends in Inverness this summer. During previous trips to Scotland, I had refused to eat it, having discovered what it consists of. Now obliged into eating it to be polite, I was shocked. How can something that looks, and sounds, so unappealing taste so good? It’s like snails, frog legs, black pudding or caviar - you don’t know what it’s made of but close your eyes and appreciate the flavoursome taste.

Bag Pipes

 The Scottish poet Robert Burns immortalised the haggis in his poem ‘Address to a Haggis’. Here is a link to a copy of the poem http://www.robertburns.org.uk/Assets/Poems_Songs/toahaggis.htm which provides a translation (you will see why!) The 25th January is the day of the Burns supper, a tradition that arose after some of Burns’ friends held a memorial supper for him on the fifth anniversary of his death. Come on lads and lassies, grab some tweed and get friends and family together for your very own Burns Supper!

Guide to having your own Burns Supper

From formal dinners, to informal boozy gatherings, you can very much make Burns supper your own. All, however, involve traditional Scottish food, whisky and an appreciation of Burns’ works. You need your basic key players: a willing host, a capable chef, a musician who can have a blow on the bagpipes and a ‘master of the ceremonies,’ who ensures the whisky’s flowing and the music’s playing. A burns night is not complete without a toast to the haggis, and the chants of ‘Auld Lang Syne’! Oh did we not mention? You of course need a large beautiful table that can seat all your guests... just like our Long Compton (suitable for inside and outside).

Long Compton Oak Table

This is the traditional events of the evening, but you can alter it to your own liking. Ideas? Ask friends to bring their own bit of poetry, prose or song to perform. Nothing provides more laughs than watching friends make fools of themselves. You could even add a whisky-tasting element to the evening. Glenmorangie, Dalmore, or Macallan? There’s a huge variety and the activity could be useful in helping your guests get revved up for the performing element!

You can also add a personal touch to the supper by serving different food. If you know haggis will be a big crowd-pleaser why not make some haggis, rosemary and leek sausage rolls to serve as canapés? Kedgeree scotch eggs also make a good tray-treat with a twist if you have a lot of hungry guests. How about whisky-cured salmon with fennel, mustard sauce and sourdough toast as a starter? And if haggis doesn’t tickle your taste buds then beef stew, using top-quality Aberdeen Angus beef, makes a great alternative. Warm oranges in spiced whisky served with vanilla mascarpone makes a wonderful desert.

Don't believe all of this can work? Well, we were a little too busy over Christmas to have staff party so instead, the Nicholsons (and Rosara) teams celebrated Burns night instead - we scrub up quite well despite the outdoor day job. 

Staff Party

Staff PartyStaff Party

Posted in News By Oli Ong

Meet the Team: Inga Kebleryte

Wednesday, 16 January 2019 13:58:22 Europe/London

With the Yurt re-openning for 2019, we found some time to sit down with Yurt Manager Inga for a little catch up.

 

Inga! It’s nice to have you back. So from what I hear, last year the Yurt really went from strength to strength! How did you find it? And what would you say was your biggest highlight?

Inga - Yurt Manager

Hi Chris, it’s nice to be back after a long Christmas break! I think the Yurt has definitely become busier and we had a crazy summer, which is great! We have more and more regular customers and word of mouth is really spreading. My biggest highilight was The Christmas Fair – the busiest day since the Yurt opened. This was quite a challenege as I didn’t know what to expect or how busy it was going to get. Fortunately having a great team made it all easy.

The Yurt under your reigns has added some special artisan suppliers, can you give us a few examples and why you decided to go with them?

One of our newest suppliers is UE Coffee Roasters, a local award wining British company who supplies wood roasted coffee, consistent with Nicholsons sustainability ethos. I have to say having UE coffee every morning is one the biggest perks of working in the Yurt!

Now the Yurt is almost back from it’s Christmas break and some changes have been made. Could you tell us a little more about this?

Well Chris, I am glad you have asked! There will be quite a few changes, from freshly painted floors to carefully selected wines this year, but the biggest change will be a Scandinavian twist throughout the Yurt menu.

So you have been with us for almost a year now but you joined us with a whole load of experience, what were you up? And what made you want to work at the Yurt?

Well, I have worked in catering for nearly 10 years now, from a local café to John Lewis to Ha Hotel in Woodstock. All of this was a great experience but none of it compares to working in the Yurt. I love it here with its beautiful setting, friendly colleagues, simple but surprising food, lovely customers and great bosses. What else could you ask for!?

Moving away from the Yurt, tell us a little more about yourself. Do you have any hobbies or interests?

Money

I love being outdoors; a long walk or a bike ride in the mountains is my perfect weekend. I wish I could spend more time travelling, seeing places and experiencing new cultures. I also have a hobby, if I can call it that, of collecting coins. Most people are surprised when I tell them that, but it all started with the Beatrix Potter collection and now I have all sorts of coins, including a very rare Kew Gardens 50 pence coin. But don’t get me started talking about it…

Ok quick fire round, Go: Early bird or night owl?

I will say Early Bird, only because you can get more done during the day.

Favourite dish on the Yurt menu?

Hard to choose… but I will go with Salmon Fishcakes.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Being positive in a negative situation is not naïve; it’s leadership!

And lastly in 5 years’ time where do you see yourself and/or The Yurt?

Hopefully we will be busier than ever and have more than one Yurt! Maybe even hosting weddings and all sorts of other events!

Thanks Inga!

 

The Yurt is back open from tomorrow at 9am. Head over to the Yurt’s website to see more about some of their suppliers, menu and team!

 The YurtUe CoffeeThe Yurt

 

 

 

Posted in News By Oli Ong

Upcycling your Christmas “excess”

Monday, 7 January 2019 14:15:03 Europe/London

Upcycling your Christmas “excess”

The frantic busyness and hangover of Christmas is over and the house may be a little messy from all this Christmas fallout. As expected, the kid's old toys are out, and the new ones are in, Christmas cards are piling up and it’s time for a New Year clear out. A perfect time for Upcycling?

Our Kadai Range

Maybe it’s a generational thing but I have not been part of the upcycle culture….up until now…. but now I do. Upcycling is the process of reusing/recycling old ‘things’ and giving them a better use and/or purpose, ideal for those of us who have the creativity. Upcycling has most definitely come back into the fold with the importance of the environment, saving the planet and making use of the resources we already have. Rosara is already a big fan of upcycling, you just have to take a look at our Kadai range which upcycles steel oil drums from India. It has worked for us, so we thought we would help you out and give some creative suggestions on how to reuse your Christmas clutter.

1) Christmas Cards: This is a major part of Christmas and I get it, during the holidays this Christmas expression of love between family and friends is great! However, post-New Year’s, cards start to be like litter! Instead of just whacking them into the recycling bin, you could re-use them in a different way. Top results are Christmas bookmarks or Gift Tags or even next year’s decorations. With the simple use of some scissors and glue, you could be all set for next year!

2) Old Toys: The post-Christmas clear out of the kid's toys is quite possibly the best (and easiest) time to get rid of those toys cluttering up the house. But this year why not try to make those toys into drawer knobs, a toothbrush holder or my personal favourite, the Dino iPhone tripod – what a shame I don’t have kids!

3) Bad Clothes: Although you always love the thought and care put into a gift, sometimes as much as you want to love them, it’s just not going to happen. Clothes often can hang around in the back of the wardrobe and tend to stay there until a clear out a year or two later. Why not use this clothing creatively and make into something unique and wearable all year round. There are countless options from skirts to t-shirt tank tops right up to hats and scarfs, the options are limitless! Why not check out the Sewing Loft ‘100 ways to upcycle’.

Dinosaur

An alternative that isn’t really upcycling but a way to give back to the local community is donating these toys and clothes to a good home. Below are my top 3 places locally pop down and donate.

1)    Salvation Army – As one of UK’s leaders in supporting and caring for those who are struggling. By the simple donation of clothes, it can make a real difference to those who need it.

2)    Oxford (Children’s) Hospitals Charity – As the charity helping the JR, it plays a vital part in supporting staff and children. Just like Helen & Douglas House, the Children's Oxford Hospitals charity is always on the hunt for new toys.

3)    Helen & Douglas House – One of Oxford’s best and most important charities. All children love to play and for those being helped by Helen and Douglas house, it is all the more important.

4)    Helen Hodgkins Trust – As a relatively unknown charity, Helen Hodgkins Trust has been providing clean drinking water to 1000’s of Ghana’s over the past 5 years. They have a special emphasis on helping children and any toys or clothes will go to a good cause.

 

And just saying if you are given a Bridget Jones like Christmas jumper – can you send it my way?

Written by Chris Ash (Nicholsons’ best coffee brewer)

Posted in News By Oli Ong

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Friday, 21 December 2018 13:44:21 Europe/London

We know you’ll currently be busy making stuffing, attending drinks parties and wrapping presents so we want to keep this short and sweet. Merry Christmas! 4 days from Christmas Eve and the streets are packed with last-minute shoppers, stair bannisters are adorned with tinsel and holly wreaths are beaming from our doors. We hope you are feeling as calm as possible in the festive frenzy and are making some wonderful memories with family and friends. If you’re hosting a big Christmas at yours, don’t panic. Burnt turkeys and family feuds make it all the more entertaining! 

Underneath all of our modern-day consumerism, remember what Christmas is all about; bringing the family together to celebrate the year and each other.

We have really valued your fun, friendship and support this year so and look forward to Health and Happiness in 2019

Merry Christmas from all at Rosara, The Yurt and Nicholsons.

P.S. Don't forget that Nicholson's (and Rosara) close tomorrow from 4.30pm and open again on the 2nd of January. The Yurt will re-open on the 17th of January.

Rosara HQ in Winter

 

Posted in News By Oli Ong

Weird and wonderful Christmas Traditions

Wednesday, 5 December 2018 16:18:54 Europe/London

Weird and wonderful Christmas traditions

What are England’s favourite Christmas traditions? Easy; from glittery Christmas cards wishing a ‘Merry Christmas’, to a plate of carrots, mince pies and a glass of sherry left out on Christmas Eve for Father Christmas and his reindeer, we have distinct and culturally-engrained rituals. The classic roast turkey with stuffing and sprouts followed by Christmas pudding is a must. Although each family has their own personal traditions, Britain’s overall traditions are clear and, I’d say, fairly conventional. There are some far wackier global Christmas traditions out there that are a far stretch from our basic carols and crackers.

Day of the Little Candles, Colombia

Antique Nickel Kudia

This tradition is rooted in the Catholic Church because it is a celebration of the Immaculate Conception. Held on December 7th, celebrants place paper lanterns and candles on their windowsills, porches, balconies, streets and public places in the evening in order to honour the Virgin Mary. Some of the best light displays are found in Quimbaya where neighbourhoods compete for the most impressive arrangements. The following day the lights are extinguished and all houses hoist white flags with the Virgin’s image to fly all day. For Colombians, this begins the Christmas season.

The Yule Lads in Iceland

Unlike most traditions which involve a single Father Christmas figure, Icelandic children are lucky enough to be visited by 13 Yule Lads. Children leave a shoe in their bedroom window each evening in the 13 days before Christmas. Every night one Yuletide lad visits, leaving either sweets and small gifts or rotting potatoes depending on how the child has behaved the day before. Each lad has an individual bizarre name and quality, such as ‘Door-Slammer’, ‘Meat-hook’ and ‘Spoon-licker.’ Other Icelandic folklore even states that every Icelander must receive a new piece of clothing for Christmas or they will find themselves in mortal danger. An enormous black cat prowls around the country on Christmas Eve and eats anyone who doesn’t follow the rule. How bizarre is that! 

The Gävle goat in Sweden

In 1966 a man named Stig Gavlén decided to design a giant version of the traditional Swedish Christmas straw goat to attract customers to shops and restaurants. Since then, all 13 metres of it have been erected every year and it has made it into the Guinness Book of Records for being the world’s largest straw goat. It takes a whole truck full of straw from the local village of Mackmyra to build it. No easy feat. Unfortunately, its construction has led in itself to a rather destructive tradition of people trying to burn it down. Since 1966 the goat has been burned down 29 times. In 1970 it was burned down 6 hours after construction! It is now possible to follow the progress of the goat by watching a live video stream on the Visit Gävle website. That is truly weird.

Philippines Giant Lantern Festival

This festival is held in the city of San Fernando, ‘The Christmas capital of the Philippines’, on December 17th. It consists of a stunningly colourful display of lanterns made by the locals. Originally, the lanterns were simple, made from origami paper and lit by candle. Now, however, the creation is far more complex. Usually made with bamboo frames, steel, coloured plastics or fibreglass as well as homemade paper, they also involve more than 5,000 coloured light bulbs and hundreds of wires to make them colourful and vibrant. Eleven villages (‘barangays’) take part in the festival and the competition is intense as everyone tries to build the most intricate lantern. This certainly goes above and beyond our humble Christmas tree displays with twinkly white lights. If only we were able to marvel at this show of kaleidoscope beauty!

These traditions make our candy canes, chocolate Yule logs and calendars seem dull! Yet, for us, they are treasured parts of our cultural identity. Who could get through a Christmas in England without munching on a mince pie or belting out a classic carol like ‘Come all ye faithful’? Our traditions probably seem just as weird to people in Sweden, the Phillipines and Iceland as theirs do to us. Each to their own, I’d say.

Beckley Lantern

The North Aston LanternSanta Claus'sThe North Aston Lantern

 

 

 

 

 

Written By Immy Higgins

Posted in News By Oli Ong

Christmas @ Nicholsons: Part Two

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 13:40:01 Europe/London

Christmas @ Nicholsons: Part Two

November is drawing to a close, which means one thing. Advent calendars are just round the corner! As the Christmas celebrations grow ever closer, we want to get you in a joyful, festive mood. And what better way to do so than with a Christmas Fair!

Our annual Christmas fair is happening THIS SATURDAY (Dec 1st)  and it's time to reveal the full details. Open from 10am until 6pm, this festive event will celebrate local arts and crafts and seasonal food with its thrilling bonanza of stalls.

Christmas @ Nicholsons

The fair is a perfect opportunity to begin your Christmas shopping, if it isn’t already, and pick up some delightful gifts with ease. For art-enthusiasts, we have the charming French artist Anne Marie Lerprette selling her colourful and abstract prints, paintings and photographs. Her love of pattern is complimented by the inspiration she takes from maps, signs and symbols to create some exciting and vibrant pieces. For alcohol-lovers, Cotswold distillery is selling their dry gin, single malt whiskey and cream liqueur. Ensuring the highest quality ‘from grain to glass’, this elite company creates outstanding natural spirits, crafted with delicious flavour in every bottle. The ideal gift for someone with an appreciation for good booze.

For those with a passion for fashion, we have a range of clothing stalls available, including the men’s shirt company Irvine. Boasting a floral signature style with eye-catching, original design on every item, these shirts are great for enlivening a pair of plain chinos. the stock ranges from daring, jazzy shirts in full bloom to those with a more subtly floral yet fabulous look. So there’s a choice for everyone! As the founder Alisdair Irvine says, no one ever says to someone that their white shirt looks good. Spice up a loved one’s wardrobe with one of Irvine’s hand-tailored, ethically made shirts!

For food fanatics there is no end of choice. At Shelley Chocolates stall you can grab some mouth-watering, handmade chocolates, great as party gifts and stocking fillers. Lovingly made in the local village of Kirtlington, these luxury treats vary from classy hazelnut pralines to amaretto-infused truffles. Who can resist!  

Christmas @ Nicholsons

Believe it or not, I’ve only named a few of the stalls at the fair. There’ll also be tempting Italian Christmas specialities, such as panforte, panettone and biscotti, available to buy as well as local British honey and honey-infused spirits. Any sweet tooth will be satisfied that’s for sure. We also have some more unusual stalls with unique gifts on offer. Witches Britches is selling hand crafted ladies bloomers, petticoats, socks and stockings and SAYA Design offers unconventional hair slides, sticks and forks created from root wood salvaged in Indonesian plantations. You can go basic or bold. Simple or unusual. There’s a gift for everyone, from toddles to teens to great-grannies.For those who like to be beauty-pampered, you can find an excellent gift. The Perfumed Workshop is setting up a stall to display its fragrant luxuries including aromatherapy candles, organic perfumes, essential oils, bath salts and room sprays. Thoroughly opposed to synthetic and commercial perfumes, the founder Nicholas Jennings explored, trained and tested organic fragrances in the south of France, ensuring all products use organically certified essential oils.  Further beauty products are available to indulge in at the Ila Spa stand. The Christmas candle, incense, aroma rollers, room spray and bath salts on sale are all designed in the hope to nourish and relax the user. Ila is the ancient Sanskrit word for Mother Earth which captures the priority of this company to create wholly organic products. The intent is to nurture beyond the skin surface and leave the customer smelling, and feeling, good. Go on, your loved ones deserve it.

If you get peckish whilst shopping, and want to avoid shamefully eating any of the treats you’ve bought as gifts for others, the Yurt Café will be open for your pleasure. The Busy Bean coffee van will also be on hand to reinvigorate your shopping energy and, if you want to grab something to eat and keep browsing the stalls, treat yourself to some delicious takeaway food from Pollock’s van. It will, inevitably, be an event full of hustle and bustle. But we want to add a second dimension to the noise of shoppers and sellers and upcoming singer song-writer Dolly Mavies will be playing some of her beautifully lyrical songs. Described by Radio 6 music as ‘breathtakingly atmospheric’, her soulful, heart-rending voice will guide you peacefully through the stalls.

This is a wonderful event for all the family. Children can wander freely and adults can get down to some shopping without enduring heaving high-streets and chaotic, messy shops. A must-attend event here at Nicholsons!

Christmas @ Nicholsons

Christmas @ NicholsonsChristmas @ NicholsonsChristmas @ Nicholsons

  

Posted in News By Oli Ong
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