Have you been inspired to shop local this Christmas? Are you looking for some inspiration to kick start your festive shopping?
If so, look no further than our guide to the best of Bedford’s indies, where you’ll find unique gifts and vouchers, exceptional customer service and guaranteed festive cheer…
The Jolly Post Co
The Jolly Post Co is a letterbox gifts company in Bedford that sends curated packages anywhere in the UK by first class post. All their products are sourced from UK businesses – many of them small or independent – and every box includes a card with a personal message from the sender.
They’re also trialling a new Girls’ Night In box designed for lockdown Zoom parties and available posted in the UK or collected from Castle Road.
Each one contains a face mask, gourmet popcorn, and either hot chocolate with marshmallows for children, or a gin miniature for grown-ups.
Ready Steady Roll
Ready Steady Roll is an award-winning board game café and shop with over 400 games available to play in store (lockdown guidelines permitting) and a large selection of handpicked games available to buy online.
The Ready Steady Roll team can help you find the perfect game to play or gift this Christmas. Gift vouchers to stay and play and enjoy a slice of homemade cake are also available.
Bedford’s first and only zero-waste refill shop continues to trade, safely staying open to shoppers, also offering their online click-and-collect service.
From dried foods, cleaning products, to household and personal care items, including Christmas wrapping and gifts, you can find a range of quality, eco-friendly and refillable products.
Slide Record Shop
Slide Record Shop is an independent record shop in the heart of Bedford stocking a wide variety of new and second-hand records.
During lockdown they’ll continue to offer a ‘click and collect’ and postal delivery service via their website. You can also buy gift vouchers on the website that can be used either online or in store once we re-open.
During Lockdown2.0, The Arc will be offering a click and collect service through their website, or you can also choose to have your items posted.
Daily uploads of gifts, homewares, stationery, vintage, craft items and Christmas decorations to the website should mean you can find something you love. They are also selling vouchers.
ArloArts is a florist with a difference – all the flowers are made from paper and are perfect for any occasion.
The shop in Bedford’s old arcade has collections of gift ideas including vases, planters, candles, cards and also handmade gift wrap, Leuchtturm notebooks, origami paper and craft kits plus art and craft supplies.
Situated in the beautiful Victorian Arcade, Boutique Planet sell women’s clothes, shoes, accessories and homewares.
Owners Jo and Nick pride themselves on operating an intimate boutique where you’ll find unique and inspired items alongside well-known and trusted brands.
The new homeware selection provides an exciting fusion between fashion and lifestyle and the product mix is carefully curated with sustainability in mind.
All products are available to purchase online.
Anorak is an independent womenswear store in the heart of Bedford stocking mostly Scandinavian brands with a focus on classic wardrobe basics and edgier fashion pieces.
They stock a beautiful section of shoes, trainers, bags, hair accessories, jewellery, skincare and homeware. Also available are gift vouchers and Anorak is currently offering click and collect and free local delivery.
Don’t Get Locked In Escape Rooms
Don’t Get Locked In are a family run local and independent escape room business with 6 themed escape rooms and a bar, based in Allhallows, Bedford.
They have launched a Click ’n’ Collect service at the start of lockdown 2 selling their own Don’t Get Locked Gin and contemporary rums which are sourced locally.
They will continue to sell gift vouchers which are hugely popular throughout the year but particularly now during the festive season they make great Christmas presents. Any gift vouchers bought will have no expiry on them.
Made in Bedford No. 13
The Made in Bedford No. 13 eco cafe and shop in St Paul’s Square is a great place to find beautiful and unique gifts and cards, designed and made by local creatives.
Their shop combines with a 100% vegan cafe, serving hand made food and locally roasted coffee, making this the perfect place for your sustainable and ethical Christmas.
The Suitcase Coffee Co
Ethically sourced speciality beans from the DRC. Roasted in the UK by Manumit, who support survivors of modern day slavery. Ground and packed in Bedford. A portion of profits goes to WYLD, who support youth projects in deprived areas globally. Coffee that does good.
Christmas gift boxes now live!
Nestled on the corner of Mill Street and St Cuthbert’s Street, Coffee at Fays offers premium coffee & treats, alongside kitchen and coffee retail goodies.
At the moment they are open for takeaway drinks, pastries and brownies Monday – Friday 8am – 10am & Saturday and Sunday 9am – 11am.
Visit their website for their hamper selections, brownies delivered, movie night boxes and their coffee lovers’ gift set – all available for free local delivery or collection.
épanoui is an independent lifestyle shop based on Mill Street where you can discover something new for yourself or share a thoughtful gift.
Owner, Hannah, creates fine silver and gold jewellery which she sells alongside artisan homewares, wellbeing products and gifts.
During lockdown you can browse épanoui’s website with free UK postage, use their click and collect service or arrange local delivery.
Beerfly is Bedford’s independent craft beer and cider shop, with a range of over 150+ different beers from the best breweries across the UK and around the World.
Customers can expect friendly, relaxed and knowledgeable service from Tim and Wes, offering a range of different styles from light, sessioning pale ales to heavy Imperial Stouts, the guys promise to find the beer you’ve been waiting for.
Flagons: 2L fills of fresh draught beer. Drink, clean, fill, repeat.
Gift packs: 3, 6 and 12 packs of cans, bottles – pre packed or fill your own.
Local delivery service
Gift vouchers: Beerfly can load up a card of cash so you can give the gift of free beer.
Otter & Moose
Otter and Moose are passionate about supporting local makers and specialise in creating beautiful curated gift boxes full of products sourced from Bedfordshire and the surrounding counties.
They can post gifts to anywhere in the world complete with your choice of message, but they’re also very happy to make doorstop deliveries in the Bedford and surrounding area.
Bedford Escape Room
Bedford Escape Rooms is an exciting and interactive escape room centre where teams of players work together to solve a series of puzzles to try and escape from the room.
Players are given 60 minutes to work together, find clues and solve puzzles to escape. The pressure is on, have you got what it takes? Of course, if you managed to escape, you can stay for themed cocktails in their fully licenced bar.
Brewpoint’s online store is now open and between their exclusive range of canned beers and branded merchandise, you’re sure to find the perfect lockdown treat or stocking filler for the beer fan in your life.
Bedford locals can also ‘click and collect’ their range of delicious pizzas and beers fresh from the tap at Brewpoint’s landmark HQ on Cut Throat Lane, Fairhill, available every Friday and Saturday from 5-9pm.
Bedford Cheese Company
Decant bar presents the Bedford Cheese Company… for all your essential cheese needs.
Offering cheese and charcuterie grazing boards to take away and a pop-up cheese deli with Christmas cheeses too, you can order online for click and collect or visit the shop at 20 Castle Lane Bedford Mk403US every Friday and Saturday from 10am-3pm.
Herrings Green Farmshop
Herrings Green Farm Shop in Wilstead is your one stop farmshop for all your festive needs, stocked with fresh fruit and veg, dairy, cheeses, chutneys and pickles, cider, ale and gin, sweet treats and stocking fillers.
You’ll find Brockelby’s Pies, Field Fresh frozen produce, Grimsby fish and more. Fresh cut and potted Christmas Trees and handmade wreaths available.
Open Monday to Sunday 10am – 5pm and for deliveries to Bedford and surrounding areas. Place orders via email: email@example.com
Arcadia (sweets), Baker Bros (jewellers), The Barn Cardington (artisan foods), Barovic (jewellers), Black Cat Farm Shop, Buzz Bee Cards, Charisma (gifts), Close Encounters (graphic novels and collectibles), Eagle Bookshop (rare and second hand books), Eagle Gallery (art), GCH Fishmongers, Harpur Centre Florist, Harrison & Simmons (gentlemen’s emporium), Holmes Sweet Holmes (artwork), Indie Fox & Moo (handmade jewellery), John Bull Jewellers, John Cook Goldsmiths (jewellers), John Medhurst Jewellers, Kean & Co (ladies and menswear), Lingers Butchers, Lola’s Garden (plants and gifts), Magic Garden (florist), Maysons (menswear), Max & Mitty (personalised items), Michael Bailey (ladieswear), Music Centre, My Local Calendar (Bedford Calendar), Pegalicious (balloons), Proven-Salle (home accessories), Pumpernickel (health and nutrition), Pharaoh’s Gold (handmade chocolates), Rewind (retro merchandise), Rollback Word (scooters and wheels)