Perky, little pop up Christmas Shop, in Sutton Valence

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Sutton Valence, you saucy little thing, I’ve discovered your secret! For three months of the year The Old Butcher’s Shop in this pretty rural village, between Maidstone and Headcorn turns into a perky, quirky Christmas pop up store – and it’s soooo worth a visit. Wander down the narrow street into the heart of the village (it feels very quaint – possibly Medieval?) and you’ll find it packed with gorgeous unique decorations – think wreaths, garlands, baubles, lights and ornaments of every kind, all hand-made and cute-as-they-come. Take a look…

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It’s a cinnamon-scented Aladdin’s Cave of sparkle and festive cheer. What’s more Sue Davies, the lady behind the genius idea, runs her florist (all year round) from the room next door. So should you need a Christmas garland or stunning wreath to wow the neighbours, then look no further. Sue makes both artificial door wreaths and garlands (I bought one) plus she creates natural (hedgerow foliage, berries and twigs) wreaths from 14 Dec (put your order in now).

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This is only the second year for the pop up and it’s still very much a word-of-mouth discovery – meaning you’re some of the first in the know *wink*. So if you fancy a break from the plastic-tat-shop (and the *cough* carefully crafted loo roll snowman) then escape the Christmas crowds and head here. And of course you’ll need refreshments after – for tea and cake try Lilypie Café, in Chart Sutton, or for a proper slap up lunch one of my new faves The Curious Eatery in Boughton Monchelsea or Frankie’s Farm Shop in nearby Staplehurst.

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The Christmas Shop at The Old Butchers Shop, Old Butchers Shop, Broadstreet, Sutton Valence, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 3AJ

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Kent