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Essex Lifestyle
November 27, 2020

Brush off the cobwebs of Covid-19 and support your local businesses

It’s too easy to just fire up the tablet, log on to Amazon and proceed to do all your Christmas shopping from your armchair.

However, will that give you the cheer we all need? as what about all those small rretailers relying on your patronage?

The advantages of Amazon: (Whatever happened to the monopolies commission?)

You sit in comfort, you spend less time shopping and you won’t have to worry about parking tickets…

The disadvantages of Amazon: (AKA the advantages of high street shopping)

You barely have to think about you are buying gifts for – There’s no Christmas cheer or Carol singers to get you in the right mood.

The aroma of coal and timber fires , the High streets all ablaze with lights and huge trees, yes Christmas is here offering a chance to feel normal normal again after this crazy time.

Luckily, here in Essex we have a plethora of amazing opportunities from farm shops to craft centres and independent stores offering some really inspirational produce and gifts.

Lords Farm Shop – Gosfield Shopping Village

Lords Farm Shop at Gosfield Shopping Village is a great place to pick up those hard to get presents for those difficult aunties or uncles. You can choose a bespoke hamper, including some Christmas Pudding Wine, or perhaps some wonderful liqueurs. You can even buy your spuds, there’s a great choice, Desiree, Maris Piper, Nadine, Esteema or King Edwards, free range eggs and wonderfully fresh fruit and veg. Lots of animal feeds too . . .brussel sprouts and free range eggs too! Plus Free Parking too!

If you like horses or riding, you’ll love Lords Farm Shop, they have a separate area for new and second hand tack. You can buy rugs, saddles, riding boots, jodphurs..all at amazing prices.

Lords Farm Shop 

Gosfield Shopping Village, Petersfield Lane, Gosfield, Essex CO91PU

Tel: 01787 477784

Wonky Wheel is an independent gallery and gift shop.

Wonky Wheel is dedicated to promoting local Artists and Makers, from across East Anglia.

The contemporary, 5-days a week operation opened its doors one year ago on the 4th October.  The business has uniquely transformed the way both locals and visitors to the Finchingfield area can browse and buy affordable local artwork and unique gift items. Wonky Wheel is situated in Finchingfield, a popular tourist destination and one of the most picturesque villages in Essex.

For the past year, Wonky Wheel has brought a boost to Finchingfield community and its many tourists, during the Pandemic when many UK inhabitants chose a ‘staycation’.

The Wonky Wheel continues to run its popular creative workshops onsite and provides a welcome and important service to the local community, bringing a sense of peace and harmony to support mental health and wellbeing.

Owner Mary Turley is passionate both about art and the local community.  She noted: “I wasn’t sure what to expect in my first year, but I wouldn’t change it. We had a great programme of Workshops pre-lockdown and it was so rewarding to see people arrive all stressed and flushed from their busy lives to then learn a new skill in a relaxing environment and walk away from the workshops all de-stressed.  That gives me great joy.”

There is something for all at the Gallery, whether it’s that piece of original local artwork that you have been looking for the wall in your home, a present for your sister or brother’s birthday, or just a unique gift.  When you come into the Gallery and start browsing you will notice the light and warmth of the gallery with plenty of eye-catching artwork on offer.

Wonky Wheel gift box

The gallery was set up to support local artists as there was no avenue for them in the area to display their artwork.  They now have a delightful space to display their work in a unique setting overlooking the beautiful picturesque village of Finchingfield in Essex.

Items can also be bought online at the website And for something totally unique the gallery can commission work from their local collection of artists.

So why not pop along to Wonky Wheel Gallery and pick up your free entry form and get drawing? Alternatively, you can go right away to the website and download the entry form without delay. Best of luck to all participants.

Finchingfield Village Shop and Post Office

We are an award winning little village shop and Post Office. We specialise in local produce – and we even have our own Finchingfield Gin! We work closely with local suppliers – working directly with local farms and producers to source our pork, beef and poultry products and in addition we work with Shire foods to source Christmas treats from across the Anglian region. They also brand their own products with our distinctive duck logo for us, for Christmas. We also sell local beers, wines and spirits all to help with festive cheer! Our local spirit producer – SoDrinks has some amazing fudge vodka this year and of course Toppesfield Vineyard provides some of the best British bubbly in the world! We create bespoke hampers of local Christmas goodies to order and to suit all budgets –  and I’ve added some photos as an example.

Every year we put a model village shop in our window with animations and a working train set – and every year a local artisan adds to it by creating models of the village buildings. So far – we have models of our post office, the Fox on the Green, the Causeway cottages and the Guildhall – if all goes to plan this year we should also have a working windmill in the window. The centre piece of the display is, of course the village pond, which has animated skaters. We put the display up on the 1st December every year. I’ve attached some photos for you to get an idea although the pictures probably don’t do it justice.

Finchingfield Post Office,

Bardfield Road,

Finchingfield, CM7 4LS 

Tel:  01371 810 310

The village shop and Hyacinth Tearooms in Greenstead Green

Another great place to visit and enjoy a wonderful cream tea (or something more substantial). There is plenty of parking at this historic 17th century barn. There is a lovely little shop that includes clothing and gift ideas too. You can enjoy a wonderful cosy supper in their teepee – all very covid friendly with open sides and a lovely fire pit to keep you warm. Booking for this is essential!

Maggies Fashions – Inspired Womenswear

Maggies Womenswear nestles in the pretty village of Ingatestone. It is an alladins cave of premium clothes and accessories. 

It’s a great place to buy the partner in your life a wonderful gift, and don’t worry if you haven’t got a clue, Carol is always on hand to offer some experienced advice! 

41 High Street Ingatestone CM4 9DU

Tel 01277 356262

The Hyacinth Tea Rooms

Greenstead Green


Essex CO9 1QY

Tel: 01787  476000

We will be updating this listing over Christrmas so if you run or know of a place that would like to be included – please contact us.


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