Norfolk Online urge us to get into the Christmas spirit and support local businesses by shopping within East Anglia this year.

Phew, what a year! Can we be the only ones who feel like 2021 has whizzed by and, despite the challenges we’ve all faced, are rather glad to be looking ahead to the festivities of Christmas and New Year? Of course, it’s in our name, but the holiday season has to be Norfolk through and through for us – from the food on our table, to the gifts we give.

nourish is undoubtedly your guide to finding the county’s best food and drink, but a Godwick Norfolk Bronze turkey is an unbreakable tradition as the centrepiece of our Christmas table. It goes without saying that locally grown produce knocks the socks off supermarket vegetables and our farmers are worth their weight in gold, so get out and support your local greengrocer or farm shop as you shop for all the trimmings. 

Then, instead of that bargain bottle of supermarket bubbly, why not support some of our county’s fantastic vineyards with a Norfolk tipple? From the award winning Winbirri Vineyard to sister-run Burn Valley Vineyard, order online or talk to your local independent wine merchant for their recommendations – try Satchells at Burnham Market or even treat someone to a tasting session with TFW Fine Wines. Stock up on some Norfolk spirits too; with a wealth of Norfolk gins on offer, the standout star for us is WhataHoot, handmade at the company’s King’s Lynn distillery, where you can even treat a gin fan to a make-your-own gin experience as a novel gift. 

When it comes to gifting, get creative and let Norfolk Online’s directory and blogs be your starting point – let your mouse do the walking and discover the county’s many brilliant independent stores and destinations. Climate change is at the front of everyone’s minds at the moment and the Sustainability Station in the heart of Norwich is a superb stop for green inspiration – with gorgeous environmentally friendly gifts for all ages, you can shop consciously and support a great local initiative at the same time. 

There are plenty of Christmas events taking place in the run up to the big day, where you’ll discover artisan makers and producers aplenty. On the north Norfolk coast, Creake Abbey’s Christmas Gift Fair on 27 November and Holkham’s Christmas Food, Drink & Gift Market on 18-19 December are on our ‘must do’ list, while Deepdale’s Christmas Shopping features a series of brilliant pop-up shops which change twice weekly from 5 November to 23 December. Don’t. miss the annual Christmas lights switch on at Holt on 19 November and Burnham Market on 27 November – both a magical way to get into the festive spirit and nab some early Christmas gifts.

However you prepare for the festive season, do it with thought for the many local businesses who will hugely appreciate your support, particularly this year. Think of it as a gift from your house to theirs – we all want our local communities to be thriving, vibrant places to live and work, and this is one way we can all do our bit to help ensure our independents are here for the future. 

  • Norfolk Online is Norfolk’s noticeboard, written by locals for locals. Get involved and explore all Norfolk has to offer at norfolkonline.co.uk

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