A stylish Christmas in store at Shackletons in Chatburn
- Credit: Archant
Stunning seasonal displays mean Shackletons Home and Garden is Mairead Mahon’s first destination for gifts
Thousands of people visit the Ribble Valley each year, many attracted by the award-winning Shackletons Home and Garden destination store in the pretty village of Chatburn, near Clitheroe.
Owned by the Shackleton family for 15 years, it’s a place that’s all about ‘experiencing different’ – one that offers personal and friendly service and has a huge range of premium quality items, from sofas to scarves, including many exclusive to the region.
While the emphasis is very much on advice and personal attention, co-owners David and Paul Shackleton have a horror of being approached as soon as they walk into a store, and make sure that none of their customers suffer that fate.
‘Is there anything worse? We want people to relax and enjoy our beautiful things. They come to us for an afternoon out, not to spend their time dodging sales assistants,’ laughs David.
Christmas is probably the busiest time selling everything needed for a stylish festive period, starting with the tree. And not just any old tree. You can be sure that if it has made it through Shackletons doors, it will have satisfied some stringent criteria. Premium fresh trees up to 9ft can be bought in the garden centre but if you want a skyscraper of a tree, then feel free to order one that reaches 20ft or more. Best to bring your room measurements with you.
Of course, not everyone wants a fresh tree so, among its extensive display of artificial trees, Shackletons stocks a stunning range of ‘Feel Real’ trees that have actually been formed using moulds of real tree branches.
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All trees need to be dressed and Shackletons have a range of carefully sourced decorations, displayed by theme, that would make Santa envious. From traditional red and gold to this year’s fashionable bronze and amber and with everything - including a woodland theme - in between. The only problem is deciding which to choose.
Mind you, Shackletons can solve that. Bring in a photograph of where the tree is going to go and they can advise you. They have even been known to dress a tree for a customer in store. It’s all about taking the stress out of Christmas, whether a customer wants one bauble or is decorating the whole house.
Lots of items can’t be found just anywhere - from the latest Gisela Graham fairy, wooden deers from Iceland to beautifully crafted and original outdoor ornaments.
Tree and decorations sorted, next on the list are gifts and, as a purveyor of all year round superb gifts, you just know that Shackletons is going to come into their own at Christmas with a fine array for family and friends, including the family pet.
‘Yes, anything from festive collars and Christmas jumpers to advent calendars with healthy pet treats. In fact, we even have our resident cat, Archie, who lives in our gift department. People make a special trip to see him. He even has his own fan club,’ says Kirsti Shackleton, who runs the gift department. All the pet gifts have passed the Archie test and all the children’s gifts have passed the Shackleton Children test.
The emphasis is on quality: there is even a range of Emilie et Rose British children’s clothing. One of the joys for Kirsti, though, is the many people that tell her a quality toy they bought at Shackletons many years ago has become a family heirloom.
‘That’s particularly true of our British rocking horses and push and pull toys. I love the dolls’ houses and garages and that’s nothing to do with the fact that they occupy children for hours....honestly’, laughs Kirsti.
Ladies, or those who buy for them, can pick timeless Spanish and Italian bags; the softest scarves, luxurious scented candles and eye-catching costume jewellery. Never let it be said that Shackletons isn’t bang on trend: there is also a good selection of this year’s must have accessory - the pom pom.
There is also plenty for the chaps from beautifully coloured woollen jumpers to the most chic vintage grooming kits, including real bristle brushes and wooden soap dishes. Yes, there are slippers too but it has to be said that they are luxury ones, in Harris Tweed, sheepskin or luxury velvet. There is even a range of wine scented candles but if you want the real thing, round the day off in The Pavilion, the stylish and brasserie and coffee house
The secret is out: Shackletons Home and Garden is the place to go for the stressless sparkle and effortless style that makes your Christmas extra special.
Shackletons Home & Garden, Clitheroe Road, Chatburn, BB7 4JY.
Breakfast with Santa
Santa will spend some time sitting in locally crafted sleigh in the Christmas shop, with plenty of room for your little one to pop in next to him, while you take a photograph or have one taken free by the professional photographer (charges for prints apply, with a proportion donated to the North West Air Ambulance charity).
However, for the three Saturdays leading up to Christmas there will be a special Breakfast with Santa event. Children will find him in the Pavilion Coffee House, snoozing by the fire. When they’ve had their breakfast, they can wake him up, chat with him as he wanders around and join in a Colouring With Santa competition.
Neptune the Reindeer hasn’t quite passed the exams for Flying School, but every year from the first weekend in December, she’s polished and groomed and takes up residence in her own deluxe log cabin at Shackletons Home and Garden.