Shop independent in Bristol this Christmas

"When you buy from a small business an actual person does a little happy dance"

We certainly think it is fair to say that 2020 has been a tough year for most. Our hearts continue to go out to all our amazing couples who have been with us every step of the way and our fantastic wedding suppliers based here in Bristol – the photographers, florists, décor providers, make-up artists, entertainers, cake designers who are working so hard to accommodate a mass of postponed weddings whilst holding their businesses up through this pandemic.

It has never been so important to support each other and with the arrival of lockdown 2.0, it’s the perfect time to shop independent and support the local community. Bristol is a proudly creative city with hundreds of independent retailers and makers and we need them to keep our corner of the South West special.  Not only is shopping local beneficial for the local business owner, but also for you, the customer and for your local area as a whole!


Why you should shop local & Support small…

Personality, Character & All round community

Small-business owners love what they do, and they play an important role in supporting their local communities. Therefore you get a different kind of care and quality in their product because their work is a reflection of themselves. Bristol businesses bring amazing creativity, originality and variety making it the gift that keeps giving and offers alongside it a great sense of community.

Customer service & The shopping experience

Of course, all businesses will have helpful and friendly staff, but local business owners go above and beyond to look after their customers. They’ll often know their regulars’ names and orders, and more often than not go out of their way to make sure that customers are kept happy with the service as well as what they buy! It is that personally touch that really makes a difference.

Healthier environment

Supporting local removes a big part of the supply chain that you would get from the commercial chains. Fewer air miles, or products travelling from one continent to another. Local businesses are also more likely to care about the little things when it comes to being environmentally friendly, especially when it comes to things like saving electricity and reducing their waste.

Giving back to our local area: Bristol & Somerset

It is a proven fact that buying local can give back to the local community in so many ways. Not only are they more likely to spend their money on local labour but they are also more likely to hire other local professionals (Accountants, marketing team, advertise in the local area, staff etc…) These smaller-sized businesses help to create and sustain jobs as well as keep the area vibrant and buzzing with shoppers and tourists.


A Couple of independent supplier shout outs…

The Little Wilde Bunch

"So I thought it was about time I introduced myself! I’m Abby the face behind The Little Wilde Bunch. You will mostly find me busy creating in the workshop whilst listening to a podcast usually about food!!! Or off exploring the pops of nature Bristol has on offer! The Little Wilde Bunch has been created as an offshoot of @thewildebunchflorist our Wedding and Event floral ‘emporium’, where I work as a senior designer. However, there has always been a little part of me that wanted to create a floral delivery service providing the same personal design process for any and all occasions. Also adding in a couple of fun houseplants, funky pots and the joy of having fresh seasonal flowers at home via a local independent florist giving that ‘little’ extra touch.

So watch this space as I am on a mission to spread joy and happiness to all through the power of petals!"


Holly Boo

“If you’d have told me at the beginning of 2020 we would be here now as the year is drawing to a close making Christmas face masks when usually we are rushed off our feet decorating the most beautiful Christmas weddings and corporate events wishing for time off, then I would have laughed for sure……..and here we are!  

We’ve diversified and aren’t we lucky, we have made nearly 2000 masks and it’s literally been the best lifeline we have had to see our business dreams push forward to next year, the very thing that has ruined our business is also helping keep it afloat.

I am sure this year has bought out the best of us, it definitely has with us, appreciating our nearest and dearest for just being there and not taking for granted that I could ever do that “next week” again. 

When I look back at 2020 and the challenges faced both personally and for our business I do give us a pat on the back to say “we’ve got this” and look forward to the day when we can get back to doing what we absolutely love best and working with our industry friends as one happy team."

Merry Christmas everyone, especially the team at Coombe Lodge, who are forever there for us, we definitely appreciate you all xx”

The perfect stocking filler for 2020...


Emma Castle

“My mission is to provide a high quality and personal design service while always making conscious environmental business decisions.”

If you are looking for that personal touch with your Christmas cards then take a look at the beautiful artwork by Emma...


What can we do to help?

Tell them what you think!

Another great thing about small businesses is that they are usually easy to get in contact with. This means you can get chatting to them about the product about any questions you have and also let them know what you think about their small business!

Every comment matters to them and helps them improve – it’s always amazing to hear what your customers think about you, so don’t forget to let them know.

Share the love & Spread the word

So you’ve found an amazing small business who has offered quick and friendly service with a wonderfully unique product. Now it’s time to shout about them! Share your photos and thoughts on social media, leave a review, tell your friends about your new discovery and help others find this small business!


Our Bristol Recommendations offering the perfect gift experience...


Unsurprisingly, Bristol’s attractions have been struggling this year but it’s still possible to show your support for these brilliant places…

Brunel's SS Great Britain Gift Ticket 

A ticket to Brunel’s SS Great Britain will be redeemable on a date of your recipient’s choice, and valid for 12 months, Gift Ticket holders will receive a whole year of free access to the SS Great Britain, Being Brunel museum and Brunel Institute. Add the ‘Make it a gift package’ option to your transaction and they’ll post out your order in a gift box with a gift certificate and special postcard.

Bristol Zoo

Sister attractions Wild Place Project and Bristol Zoo Gardens offer annual passes to their individual venues as well as joint membership to both attractions. A great day out for a family!

Take to the skies in hot air balloon

If you’re happy to splash out on something incredibly special, treat someone to the most unforgettable experience of floating over the city in a hot air balloon. Bailey BalloonsBristol Balloons and Elite Air (UK) Ltd all offer gift vouchers for flights.

A luxury night stay at Coombe Lodge

We have been delighted to have found a way for Coombe Lodge to be enjoyed by guests over the summer and autumn of this year, albeit in a different way from what we are used to but we have loved every minute of it! From the success of our Dine, Stay & Unwind events we’re now also offering gift vouchers so if you’re looking for the perfect gift for a loved one, why not buy them dinner for two in our restaurant, an overnight stay or Sunday lunch?

Contact us on 01761 463 355 or email on to find out more.

Events coming up to look out for…..

The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that many of Bristol's events have been postponed or cancelled, but whilst we aren't able to go out there are still ways to experience Bristol’s incredible event's programme from the comfort of your home.

‘Winter Pop-up Shop’ in Bristol


Founded and run by the Bristol Etsy team this ‘pop-up shop’ will be bursting with over 80 talented local makers, artists and designers to help you get started on your Christmas shopping. This Winter Pop up Shop is a real community event - every small creative business involved is local to Bristol and handpicked because of their top quality, handmade products.


‘Online Streaming: A Christmas Carol by Bristol Old Vic Theatre’

Get yourself into the festive spirit by watching this Christmas classic in the comfort of your own home. A great family occasion or even a gift for that special someone...


‘The Bath Christmas Markets’

With its recent sad announcement of being cancelled, the Bath Christmas market is still giving you the chance to shop from so many local creatives, you can tick off everything on your Christmas list and feel reassured that you’re supporting small businesses.

Small businesses are easy to overlook in favour of big-brand names and high street retailers but they can be the key to bagging that amazing gift for someone special in 2020.  And when you buy from small business owners, you’re making a big difference to the lives of the people behind these extraordinary products.

Head to our Instagram for some more supplier love and gift inspiration!

Keep Safe & Keep Positive everybody X


About the Author...

Martha has been part of the Coombe Lodge team since 2012 and with many years of experience in the weddings and hospitality industry she plays an instrumental role in ensuring that all couples hosting their wedding at Coombe Lodge have the most amazing experience. She has acute attention to detail and loves nothing more than helping Brides and Grooms plan the perfect wedding at our breath taking wedding venue near Bristol.  Martha is a hugely valued member of the Coombe Lodge family and if you have any questions regarding her most recent blog she would love to hear from you.

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