I love independent businesses, and I’m an advocate for supporting them and shopping local. That’s why this blog has an entire category dedicated to my favourite local, small businesses.
It’s super important to support your local businesses around Christmas time, because not only do the reindeers smile, that business owner does a little happy dance with every purchase.
On Monday 3 December, Ten Green Bottles hosted an independent Christmas market to help raise money for Douglas Macmillan Hospice.
Twinkling Christmas lights illuminated the gin bar and the brand new gin box. Father-son duo James and Josh have been talking about converting the horse box into a portable gin bar for a while. It made its first appearance at the indie market and certainly wowed customers.
Through the doors and into the warmth of the familiar bar, musicians sung Christmas songs and craft beer flowed.
Out into the beer garden, a canopy of fairy lights led up to the cosy room hosting five Newcastle-based businesses.
The first was a local florist, selling a selection of their fresh and artificial Christmas wreaths. Had I not have made my own this year, I’d have certainly been snapping one up for just a tenner! Harriet, from local coffee shop The Cakery bought one for herself between selling her delicious cakes. Trust me, I’ve eaten enough of them to know.
On The Cakery stand, there were fresh and festive mince pies alongside different variations of brownies including mint choc and mince pie brownies. There were also a selection of cupcakes from chocolate and lemon, to Eton Mess (which I bagged a couple of).
Neighbouring her shop on Fogg Street is independent dog shop Hounds, owned by my bestie Anya. She took Hounds to the market selling festive goodies such as bandanas and toys which could not be resisted by dog owners that had brought their pooches along. Ten Green Bottles are super dog friendly, and we even spotted Phoebe and Frank’s friends Harry the Chug and Elsa from Paws Across Britain.
One of my favourite products are her Christmas Eve boxes for dogs – your pooch shouldn’t be left out this time of year! They feature a choice of three festive toys, a Soopa selection box, a Lily’s Kitchen Christmas dinner and some JR Pure turkey treats. These come personalised with your doggo’s name on the front, hand-lettered by Ali from A.R. Designs.
Ali was there selling her beautiful hand-lettered plaques, like the one we have for Phoebe and Frank featured in this post. She also creates beautiful cards, wall hangings, pet art and slate house numbers. Her super festive goodies included hand-lettered dog baubles, also featured in my pet-mad presents gift guide, and hand stamped and lettered baubles for humans.
Finally, there was Preen Beauty House, talking about all of the services they offer at their salon. They were selling gift cards for the beauty-obsessed, as well as gel eye masks for ultimate pamper nights and glittery cleansing brushes. The Beauty House provide a huge range of services from nails and lashes to dermaplaning and aesthetics.
Outside, local butchers Plant and Wilson had their stall with a hog roast serving pork baguettes and sweet potato soup, whilst inside, Ten Green Bottles were serving something a little different to warm your cockles. My new favourite beverage: Mulled Sloe Gin. The twist on a classing Christmas drink was gorgeous, and perhaps a little dangerous at how many you could easily get through.
10GB had a rage of their gin and beer gifts for sale, which are perfect for Christmas. I mentioned in my Gin Lovers Gift Guide that their Poppies gin makes a wonderful gift. They also had some craft beer hampers available to buy for someone special.
The event was a huge success and I really hope Ten Green Bottles will do something similar next year. I would love to see it grow and discover new indie businesses in the area, whilst in the very hospitable hands of 10GB and their mulled gin.