Christmas Shopping in Looe, Cornwall

Christmas Shopping in LooeChristmas Shopping! Have you finished yours? I haven’t even started yet but I’m not concerned as I have a plan. I also have a little secret which I’m going to share – just with you!

You see, every year for the last few years I haven’t suffered any stress when it comes to doing my Christmas shopping. No parking hassles, no seething crowds, no worries about driving or traffic. Infact the whole Christmas shopping experience is quite enjoyable really. Here’s how I do it…

My Christmas Shopping secret – revealed!

I do my Christmas Shopping in Looe! “Wow”, “No way”, “Really”, “I don’t believe it” I hear you say.

Yep, it’s true and this year I’m going to do most, if not all my shopping for presents, wrapping paper, cards and even some food, in Looe. Because of this I thought I’d go visit some shops in Looe and dig out some unique and affordable items that might help you with your last minute Christmas Shopping ideas. Here goes…

Start at the beginning

Okay, I’m only going to pick some of the shops in Looe as I don’t have time to visit all of them! Needless to say they all have something unusual and special tucked away that will make a  wonderful Christmas present. You’ve just got to take a look around and get in the Christmas Spirit.

Christmas opening times

Most of the shops in Looe stay open all year round apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Having said that some, such as Larssons Coffee House, will be open every day, so I advise checking websites and calling if you are concerned. Having spoken to all the shop owners today (Wednesday 15th December) I can safely say that most will be open right up to closing time on Christmas Eve – I wouldn’t leave it that late though!

Opening times vary but most shops will be open from 10am to 4.30pm. Some open at 9.30am and close at 5pm, so arrive a little later and you’ll be fine.

Click the images below to see larger versions.

Lovely Lane Interiors on West Looe Quay

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Lovely Lane Interiors is a family run business located on the waterfront of West Looe Quay. They sell a wonderful selection of shabby chic furniture, ceramics, home accessories and lifestyle gifts for those who love simple country or coastal style living. The shop over looks the Looe River and is crammed with all kinds of handcrafted and bespoke items from some of the UKs leading designers. If you have an eye for style or you know someone who likes being made to feel special at Christmas (go on, spoil her rotten, you know you want to), then pop down to Lovely Lane and see what you can find.

Website: www.lovelylaneinteriors.co.uk

Purely Cornish

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Purely Cornish have an exquisite deli style shop in Fore Street, East Looe. They supply a wide range of Cornish produce which can be bought individually or added to a DIY Cornish Hamper. It’s a great idea and allows you to choose exactly what delectable food gifts you’d like to put in your hamper. The friendly staff at Purely Cornish will gift wrap your hamper for you too which saves you the hassle! I was particularly drawn to the Cornish beers (10% for one of them) and the jams and chutneys. I love making jam so I like to search out new ideas and give them to family for Christmas. They also stock the famous Cornish Orchards Wassail which is also a particular favourite of mine!

Website: www.purelycornish.co.uk

Moshulu

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Moshulu started their business from an overgrown tin shed and swiftly developed the brand into a “holiday feeling” footwear company inspired by a bright, colourful and fun colours. Moshulu don’t stock boring shoes and they make great presents for family and friends due to their unique and colourful designs. They stock shoes and slippers for men and women although the shop in Looe specialises in shoes and slippers for women. If you’re looking for something colourful and unique then Moshulu is worth a look. They’re in Fore Street in East Looe just past the Post Office.

Website: www.moshulu.co.uk

Ginger in Looe

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Ginger in Looe practice ethical purchasing which helps support suppliers and their families who are mainly in India, Indonesia and Southern Africa. Ginger, stock a vast range of unusual and specialised items that you just cannot find anywhere else. They do this by sourcing most of their stock themselves and travel to India and other countries to buy the items for the shop. You can find the bright and colourful shop in Fore Street in East Looe, you can’t miss it. Below is a small list of the different items Ginger have in stock.

  • Rare minerals from the Deccan Traps in Maharastra.
  • Intricate carved stoneware from Uttar Pradesh.
  • Fabulous jewellery from Uttaranchal.
  • Handmade and painted papier-mache from Kashmir.
  • Luxurious wall hangings from Gujarat and fashions from Goa.

Website: www.gingerinlooe.co.uk

Pendragon Crafts

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Pendragon Crafts is run by a local Looe family. They specialise in finding gifts, toys, art materials, books, crafts and holiday items for all the family. If you need to get Christmas presents for children then visiting one of their shops is a must. Pendragon also stock the highly collectible range of fantasy ornaments called “Myth & Magic” which is made of solid Pewter! They have a huge selection in the shop ranging in price from a few pounds to well over one hundred. The main item above is called “Battle for the last Fire Crystal” and is made by Xystos.

Website: www.looegifts.co.uk (under development)

Mayflower Studios

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Mayflower Studios in East Looe sell everything from wrapping paper to picture puzzles. They also sell cards, art materials, gifts and toys by the score. This is the main reason I go to Mayflower, the range of toys is superb and caters for most age groups but especially young children. Above are three images from the toy department. As you can see, if you need something for a member of your family, you’re bound to find something.

Website: www.looegifts.co.uk (under development)

Solitaire Jewellers

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Solitaire Jewellers in East Looe is run by Douglas Jones and they stock a fantastic selection of high quality jewellery. Jewellery makes a lovely and thoughtful present for loved ones at Christmas so if you’re looking for something special, try Solitaire.

Solitaire specialise in Troll beads and have the only franchise for South East Cornwall – you can’t get them anywhere else! Troll Beads are a collectable charm bead jewellery, hand crafted from gold, silver and Italian glass. They are worn to celebrate specific personal experiences and create an exclusive life story bracelet or necklace.

Website: www.solitairejewellerslooe.co.uk

Jack Bray and Son

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Jack Bray and Son have a couple of shops in Looe, one in Fore Street and the other on the quay in East Looe. I popped into the the shop in Fore Street today to have a look around and a chat. From the outside, the shop has a very inviting exterior and has to be one of the prettiest and oldest looking shops in Looe. The windows are dressed with quality outdoor clothing, hats and gifts for people who love the outdoors. The boat model above is made of highly polished stainless steel and mounted on slate. It was designed and created by a man in Cornwall and is immaculately made. I think I’ve taken a photo of the back of the model (sorry about that) but I can assure you it’s quite special. I believe that Jack Bray are the only stockists in Looe too. The hat is a quality item made by Barbour. I thought they only made waterproof coats so that was a nice surprise. It’s luxuriously soft and would suit my other half – don’t tell her!

Entertaining the children

Paint a Pot in Looe

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Looe has great facilities for entertaining the kids in the summer but what if you want a bit of time to yourselves to do some Christmas Shopping in the middle of winter! Well the best place to leave them (over 11 years and up, younger children must have one adult with them) is Paint a Pot in East Looe. Run by Sarah Lee, one of the loveliest people in Looe, your children can paint a pot, mug, plate or any number of things whilst you go and do the shopping. They could even paint a  Christmas present which would solve another of your late Christmas present dilemmas!

Website: www.potsinlooe.co.uk

Feed me now!

We all need a little pick me up when shopping and Looe has a range of superb cafés and restaurants to help you indulge in the Christmas Spirit.

Larsson’s Coffee House

Christmas Shopping Looe Larssons Coffee House

Larsson’s Coffee House is a probably the best coffee house in Looe. It’s named after the famous Swedish artist, Carl Larsson and has a completely unique atmosphere being both rustic and contemporary at the same time! Martin who owns and runs Larssons, is always good for a natter (if you feel like it) which makes a welcome change from moody teenagers who have no idea about customer service! Specialities of the house include various continental style coffees (obviously), sweet and savoury crepes, paninis, gorgeous gateaux and soft drinks for the children. Larssons is also a licensed coffee house so you can order from a selection of beers and spirits to suit your Christmas Shopping mood!

Website: www.larssonscoffeehouse.com

Sarahs Pasties and Christmas Cakes

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Sarah’s Pasties in East Looe, for me anyway, are the best pasties in Looe. I love them and I also love their ‘Steak and egg pies’ which I regularly buy for when I walk to Polperro along the coastal path. The Looe family who run Sarah’s Pasties also own Sarah’s Cakes and Robbie’s Ice Cream Parlour down by the Quay. All the shops sell home made produce that you just can’t beat and most are made on the premises. The pictures above show some of Sarah’s Pasties and their speciality Christmas Puddings which can only be bought at this time of year. If you’re looking for Christmas Cakes then the friendly staff can sell you one or make one to order.

Christmas Shopping facilities in Looe

Car parking – There are hundreds of car and coach parking spaces in the Looe Millpool Car Park.

Shops – Looe has dozens of small independent shops. Because they’re independent, they sell all unusual items that you don’t see in the major superstore chains.

Cafés – Looe is full of un-crowded and cosy cafés! You can get a perfect cup of coffee in Looe with friendly service into the bargain.

Restaurants – Looe has some of the best restaurants in Cornwall. Three, namely Squid Ink, Trawlers on the Quay and Barclay House have all won Gold and Silver awards at Taste of the West, beating the likes of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant “15”.

Pubs – Most pubs in Looe serve home made food whilst others concentrate on serving a great tasting pint. Either way they’re all friendly, welcoming and full of Christmas Cheer.

Hotels – Looe has more hotels than you can shake a lobster at, many of them with fantastic views of Looe and Looe Bay. They make a great place to stay, relax and do your Christmas Shopping from.

B&Bs – Looe specialises in the traditional guest house with breakfasts you just love waking up to. Again, they make a great base from which to do you Christmas Shopping.

Let’s wrap this up (no pun intended!)

Let’s face it, why go to a place like Plymouth or Truro. It’s more expensive, you can’t park and you’ll probably get squashed by the hordes of other Christmas shoppers!

Enjoy yourself this year – come to Looe for your last minute Christmas Shopping.

It would be great to hear how you got on or your thoughts on any of the shops and cafés above. Please leave a comment below.

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About iLoveLooe

Cornwall was always one of our dream places to live, so we upped sticks in 2007 and moved to Looe. I now run iLoveLooe.co.uk and various social media locations for Looe on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Say 'Hi' sometime.