“Off to @KILVERCOURT this morning to take on a shopping challenge,” I tweeted on Friday morning, “do they really have something for everyone for Christmas?”
Now I have to admit that at this point I wasn’t entirely convinced. I had been to Kilver Court in Somerset a couple of times before, but only when they had sale events on. My lasting impression was of crowds of well-dressed, middle-aged women in silk scarves fingering endless tables of cashmere jumpers. I’ve never really been a designer label kind of gal, so wondered if it was really the place for me.
I could not have been more wrong. Although they do market themselves heavily around the fashion and designer brands element, Kilver Court is actually much more than that and, as I was to discover, really does have something for everyone.
Kilver Court reminded me a little bit of the National Trust. The National Trust has a niceness about it, a predictability almost. You know that whichever National Trust property you visit, you’re likely to find some well-kept gardens, a good cafe and a nice gift shop. Well imagine that the gift shop was spread over a dozen or so shops and was a little more heavy on the designer cashmere, and that is basically Kilver Court. It’s not some sort of sterile shopping centre – it’s a maze of small shops within a beautiful old house, all set in gorgeous gardens and topped off with amazing cake. (There’s the Sharpham Pantry Restaurant too is you fancy something a bit more substantial, although the carrot cake did a pretty good job of filling me up.)
So, could you really do all of your Christmas shopping at Kilver Court? I honestly think you could. I can’t share with you everything that caught my eye, as I did buy lots of Christmas presents for people who may well be reading, but there was definitely plenty of choice, from felt satchels to magic tricks, designer shoes to sparkly baubles.
The farm shop has a fantastic range of foodie gifts and unusual wines, beers and spirits as well as local produce, gourmet chocolates and treats. Upstairs is a really fascinating warren of rooms, home to a mix of more traditional interiors and some more unusual designs. Kilver Court definitely isn’t afraid to be a little bit different.
Kilver Court has lots of fun things coming up in December, including visits from Father Christmas and of course a super Boxing Day sale. It can also be hired as a stunning venue for weddings, conferences and events. Visit on a weekday like I did and there is a wonderful quiet, calmness about the place too – no jostling or queuing, just lovely, relaxed shopping.
Can you find something for everyone at Kilver Court? Yes you can. In fact, I challenge you to visit and not find something you love.
Disclosure: I was given a Voucher to spend at Kilver Court as part of my shopping challenge for the purposes of this review. All words and opinions are absolutely my own.