With Festive events already popping up over the City & beyond, this Weekend heralds the official start of the Christmas Shopping Season in Cambridge with The Big Switch On. With so many events on offer locally, we’re spoiled for choice but, as a busy Mum, I’ve had to prioritise a few favourites. I’ve compiled my Indie & Pop picks for you with some ideas on where to shop & key dates for your Diary. One of my friends commented that my evenings lately looked ‘glamorous’ – well, they’ve all been completely FREE to attend & there’s more to come…
In the past couple of weeks some of my favourite boutiques have held in-store events which have been the perfect excuse to begin my Christmas shopping whilst picking up a few treats for myself along the way, naturally 😉 It’s been the perfect opportunity to shop in a truly relaxed setting, often with tasty nibbles or a glass of something sparkling to hand & many stores offering exclusive promotions, discounts, giveaways & goodie bags. What’s not to love?
My top tips
It’s always a good idea to get on the Mailing List at your favourite retailers. Whether it’s your local Indie or one of the big, Pop players this is your window to sh-opportunity. Yes, we all get bogged down by our overflowing Inboxes but a select few are really worth it. My favourite communications often come via good old fashioned post, so just select your subscription options wisely.
I love to share what I’m up to over on Twitter & Instagram with all of the details on how you can take advantage of special offers & attend events. Get to know the staff at your local stores or branches & check in with their Social accounts for regular stock updates & to get the best deals.
If there’s anything you need to source for your Winter wardrobe or if you’re stuck for interesting gift ideas just drop me an email or leave a comment below the post. Whether it’s a specialist item, a budget bargain or an indulgent little luxury, I’ll be sure to know where to find it or will know the person that can.
Entries from my Diary
Reiss held their ‘Beyond The Velvet Rope’ shopping series nationwide, with their Cambridge boutique on Trinity Street offering Personal Shopping advice, 10% discount on purchases, chocolates courtesy of Lindt & mini beauty treatments by Origins Cambridge. Reiss remains one of my favourite higher-end High Street retailers & is somewhere that Mr O likes to shop too (always a winner if you’re both catered for).
The staff at the Cambridge boutique are superb & always more than accommodating if you have babies or toddlers in tow; I remember comfortably being able to feed P in store when she was very small & wailing, reassured by the friendly team.
If you haven’t yet checked out the most recent addition to Rose Crescent, then do stop by Origins when you get the chance. Having only ever previously tried a few products from their range, the staff are friendly & knowledgeable, offering free consultations & samples.
They offer a range of Mini Treatments perfect for a little bit of pampering amid the Christmas chaos & a Pic-N-Mix display of miniatures perfect for stocking fillers or travel. The zesty GinZing moisturiser sample I’ve been using offers an alternative way to use Coffee for an uplifting boost & has made a refreshing sub to the strict regime I’ve been following (more on that to come in a later post).
NB: Their show-stopping sink situation is something to behold in itself!
Reiss 26 Trinity Street, Cambridge. CB2 1TB
Origins 17 Rose Crescent, Cambridge. CB2 3LL
Elegant Atelier held their First Birthday celebrations in style with the founders of RIXO London. This was an entirely self-indulgent – solo! – style scout for me which is a rare occasion nowadays; I often have a buggy with me & am almost always in a hurry when I shop for clothing.
I tried a selection of RIXO pieces & loved them all for their uniqueness & incredibly flattering cuts so allowed myself one as a treat. We’re hosting Christmas this year for the first time & thought I could perhaps swan around in this Penelope dress a bit like Beverly in Abigail’s Party (hopefully minus the fag & painful inappropriateness) while Mr O does all the hard work. That’s clearly not going to happen but thankfully, it looks just as good paired with a leather jacket & flat boots or even trainers as it would a pair of party shoes.
Elegant Atelier 12 Rose Crescent, Cambridge. CB2 3LL
Jo Malone hosted their ‘Merry Mischief’ event with Hotel du Vin providing bespoke blended Cocktails inspired by key fragrance notes – Chase Marmalade Vodka & Orange Bitters now need adding to my own Cocktail Bar Tray.
Their Signature Hand & Arm Massage allows you to take a little ‘me’ time & fully explore the fragrance collections whilst discovering The Art Of Fragrance Combining. This is part of the complimentary scented experiences on offer & you can arrange your own appointment with one of the Stylists by giving your local boutique a call.
Better still, book in with a friend or loved one for simultaneous sensory satisfaction. I took along my pregnant friend Katie, part of the Steak & Honour Family, for a little mid-week dose of R&R.
*UPDATE* There will be another event at the Cambridge boutique on 1st Dec with festive fizz & homemade mince pies.
Jo Malone 14 Rose Crescent, Cambridge. CB2 3LL
Hotel Du Vin 15-19 Trumpington Street , Cambridge, CB2 1QA
Giulio hosted an evening with PAIGE Jeans so I popped along to check it out with the lovely Laura from POCO Kids. Sera Mulgrew from Paige was on hand to talk us through the denim collection in detail during fittings & tell us about the brand.
I hadn’t visited the store in years (despite working in the old Sussex Street Womenswear store in my teens) as I’d always opted for London Department stores or individual brand boutiques for the Designers that I had preferred, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Sophie Hulme & Isabel Marant Etoile in their offering.
I spotted a great cross-body bag that would be a great investment for every day use & handy for adding a bit of practical glamour to all that buggy pushing.
Giulio 24-32 King St, Cambridge CB1 1LN
Boudoir Femme Festive Shopping soiree is always a favourite. It had been a while since I’d had the chance to catch up with store owner, Pippa, so I was as excited to see her as the collections.
Anna + Nina has been added to the carefully curated jewellery brands in store (sitting alongside the likes of Pernille Corydon & Hultquist); these are dainty pieces that make great gifts.
I stocked up on a couple of pairs of Cheekfrills knickers & yet another American Vintage ‘Jacksonville’ T-Shirt for my collection – I’ve never found a better fitting tee; they’re available every Season in a range of colours. Try one on for size & you’ll see why I adore them. They last years & just get softer plus I don’t think I’ve ever ironed one!
Boudoir Femme 2 King Street, Cambridge. CB1 1LN
Dates for your Shopping Diary
For a comprehensive guide of everything that’s happening in Cambridge pop over to Cambridge BID. They’ve also put together a mini magazine ‘Loving Christmas’ as a handy guide to what’s on. Be sure to pick up the latest editions of Velvet Magazine, Cambridge EDITION, Real Cambridge & press for local listings.
These are the events where I’ll be continuing with my Christmas shopping over the next couple of weeks. Hope to see you there! S x
19th & 20th Nov
Christmas In the Heart Of Cambridge @ Quayside, Round Church & beyond, Cambridge (12.30pm onwards)
Christmas Event @ Found & Future, 26 High Street, Huntingdon (5-8pm)
Christmas Extravaganza @ Wood Green, Godmanchester (10am – 4pm)
Christmas Pamper Event @ Sanctum Beauty, Huntingdon (All Day)
1st – 3rd Dec
Etsy Made Local Cambridge @ St. Andrew’s Street Baptist Church, Cambridge
Mill Road Winter Fair @ Mill Road, Cambridge & beyond (10.30am – 4.30pm)
Festive Fayre @ Trinity St, Green St, Rose Crescent, Peas Hill, All Saints Graden, Kings Parade & St. Mary’s Passage (5-8pm)
p.s. Check out the hashtag #ChristmasInTheHeartOfCambridge over the Weekend!