Made in Dorset December 2013 - Christmas gift guide

A special swing

A special swing - Credit: Archant

Editor Helen Stiles has scoured the county to give you her pick of the best Christmas gifts

A Special Swing

For a traditional gift which lasts these beautiful, handmade rope swings by Sitting Spiritually of Lyme Regis come in oak or chestnut and can be hand carved with names or a special message.

Prices start from £149 for the child’s size (uncarved) to £279 for a double, suitable for an adult. Delivery time is 7- 14 days and last order date for Christmas is 16th December. More details: or call 01297 443084.

Dorset’s Doggy Savile Row

Dorset Dog Togs have a dog-friendly showroom between Gillingham and Shaftesbury where dogs can try on their huge range of coats. Their made to measure service is at no extra cost and includes coats to cover the underbelly where all that mud goes. Ready made coats start from £10. Open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8.30am to 2.30pm. Shearstock Farm, Shearstock, Motcombe, SP7 9PS or visit

Wagging the Dog

Handmade at their workshop in Sixpenny Handley these wagging tail dog clocks by the Dorset-based Labrador Company include Dachshund, Labrador, Spaniel, Pug, Scottie, Westie and Jack Russell (£44.95,, 01305 755621). Or simply click through to and discover a whole world of doggy themed armchairs, cushions, ottomans, dog beds and foot stools and gorgeous cashmere scarves.

For Your Star Baker

Dorset-based Rachel Bright is not only the brilliant illustrator of children’s books, who we featured in Dorset Magazine earlier this year but she’s also the genius behind The Bright Side range of quirky gifts with their smile inducing mottos. These are now available at Mollie & Fred, who are based in Weymouth. There is a Baking Genius Notebook (£6.99), a ‘Lovely Cakey Sugary Snow’ Flour/Sugar Shaker (£5.99) and A Life Is What You Bake It tin (£6.99). More details or call 01305 830095.

A Mug for Art Lovers

Sir Michael Butler GCMG, a senior British diplomat, started collecting 17th Century Chinese Porcelain back in the Sixties. The Butler Collection uses designs from Sir Michael’s personal collection and other 17th Century porcelain to create beautiful products that can be enjoyed everyday. The mug designs (there are six in all) have been adapted by Dorset artist, Sarah Hough. I particularly like the colourful Demon Slayer (Zhong Kui), the Dragon, and 100 Boys, which draws on the Confucian philosophy that abundant male offspring are essential to perform the duties and rituals of family life. The mugs are available from at £12.50.

Most Read

A Good Read

Le Vieux Four by Lynette Fisher, with illustrations by Bridport artist, Marion Taylor, who created the November cover of Dorset Magazine, is a must for cookery book collectors. Lynette runs the award-winning bakery of the same name in Beaminster and this is a collection of recipes gathered during her travels. Find it in local book stores at £15.95. For younger readers The Palace Library, by Dorset author Stephen Loveridge, is a thrilling tale about three children who stumble upon an extraordinary library full of magical books. You can discover more at (£6.99 plus £2 P&P). For a great stocking filler, Sarah Lovell’s UK Wildlife Colouring Book will keep budding artists entertained for hours. Available in Gulliver’s Book Shop, Wimborne (£4) and online at (£5.50 including P&P).

Festive Food

Bird & Wild, which roasts its coffee beans in Ferndown, is the UK’s first ‘bird-friendly coffee’. This certification guarantees the coffee is organic and grown in the shade of natural forest, preserving habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife. It won two gold stars at this year’s Great Taste Awards. Bird & Wild coffees are available exclusively online at in packs of 2 x 227g for £10.90 plus P&P. With a connoisseur’s coffee what better than a slice of the Baking Birds’ multi award-winning Mother’s Ruin Christmas Cake, featuring plump fruit soaked in sloe gin. Order online at or call 01305 816378. And to finish maybe a chocolate or two from House of Dorchester? Their innovative Christmas range, made in Poundbury, includes Christmas Pudding or Mince Pie Truffles (£3.99), Mint Chocolate Stars (£2.99) and Gold Dusted Honeycomb (£4.49). Find them locally or at .