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Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

24th November 2016

I am so lucky with Lewes and Brighton on my doorstep. Independent stores are plentiful! Here are my top ten.

Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

24th November 2016

Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

24th November 2016


The grandaddy of health food stores is set in the heart of the North Laines. It has grown and expanded into the shop next door over the years. Now it is a mecca for all things veggie and organic. I shop here every week, mainly for fresh produce; their seasonal greens and roots are tasty and reassuringly rugged! I love the bunches of fresh herbs and the fact that I can buy a large tray of biodynamic eggs too. Also great for baked goods and packs of nuts, cereals, coffee, dairy produce and loads of tantalising raw chocolate and beauty goodies too.


This is a great example of how you can sell a huge amount of goodness in a small space. It’s really well designed and you can pick up everything you need for a wholesome family meal in store. Great fresh produce and new deli counter added this year alongside fab treats from local producers. Perfect place to pick up goodies for Christmas hampers or ask lovely staff to make one up for you. While you wait, settle in the window seat of the adjoining cafe for coffee or delicious lunch!


If you are into cycling then this shop/cafe will delight you. And even if you’re not, it’ll probably still be a treat. The shop is so enticing, minimalist design with gorgeous bikes and great little ideas for presents. Pick up a copy of Rouleur magazine, grab a table and sample a Velo House breakfast. A very good start to the day.


Got gifts to buy? Head to the marvellous Union Music Store (conveniently located opposite Laportes) which is a tiny space packed to the gills with brilliant stuff - CDs, vinyl, record players, ukuleles, cowboy boots and much more. Pick up something to listen to at the weekend while sorting out a large portion of your Christmas list. And the staff? They are knowledgeable, sparkly and fun to talk to. Shopping here is a tonic for the soul.


When you need a notebook/pen/wrapping paper/birthday card, Pen to Paper is the place to shop. It has a great selection of beautiful stationery and is run by passionate staff. There’s always a reason for a new notebook right? Pick up a special one here.


For gift shopping, it has to be Popsicle in Lewes. Some of my favourite pressies have come from this colourful, uplifting emporium in the Needlemakers. Founder, Sharon Mackgill encourages customers to ‘Live Life in Full Colour’ and here you’ll find gorgeous jewellery, accessories, clothing and homewares. Perfect place to pick up Christmas pressies for everyone!


Looking for a new dress? Check out the racks at this delightful store in Brighton with big bold prints - we love the Frida inspired patterns. Also now selling menswear, but stay on task and buy yourself a handmade dress - you deserve it! Plus pick up a bag of fabric offcuts at a super-nice price, which we use for bunting, patchwork and hair ties.


I love the vintage clothes stores in the North Laines and my daughters and I get most of our clothes from Beyond Retro, Dirty Harry and To Be Worn Again. Great selection of coats and some fab jeans too. Brilliant place to shop for clothes if you want to wear something a bit different from the crowd.


This is a fab place to go for gifts - we especially love the thick cotton pyjamas that come in at this time of year. It’s a Christmas Eve tradition that my children get a parcel with pyjamas and wooly socks on the night before Christmas and I always get them from here. Plus usually a stocking full of other goodies too. There’s great art equipment, toys, soaps and other lovely stuff.


I love magazines! This store is a beautifully curated celebration of all thing print publishing. Pick up a copy of a niche, inspiring title that you didn’t know existed here. The owner is knowledge, passionate and like me secretly sniffs magazines ‘cos he finds the smell uplifting. A wonderful pick-me-up and a chance to explore different worlds through beautiful magazines.

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