Fig and Sparrow’s Christmas Gift Guide 2015: Have yourself a stylish little Christmas

Polly Checkland Harding

Stuck for gift inspiration? Fig and Sparrow share their Christmas shopping ideas.

Fig and Sparrow feels like one of the most effortlessly festive shops in the Northern Quarter. This independent shop throws a welcoming glow out onto the pavement, and is always cosy inside – the fairy lights, beautifully arranged gifts and smell of coffee brewing helps, too. In a way, we’re glad that their products aren’t available to buy online; it gives us a solid excuse to go and browse in person. And, as a taster of the superb things they’ve currently got artfully arranged on their shelves, the team behind Fig and Sparrow have put together a gift guide just for us.

A taster of the superb things they’ve currently got artfully arranged on their shelves

Winter is – historically, and now decoratively – the best time for candles. Think about it; the nights draw in earlier, and an actual flame offers the kind of warm flicker electric lights just can’t compete with. Fig and Sparrow have a good range of holders, including (from left to right in the main image) a Copper Candlestick (£12), a bangle-like Twisted Metal Tea Light Holder (£20) and a Geometric Tea Light Holder (£12) that we reckon designer-y types will be writing to Santa for.

Baubles are a rather lovely, traditional thing to give someone. Fig and Sparrow’s Glass Christmas Baubles (the proper sort, £3-£4.50) come in a range of rich colours and are hung from patterned strips of materials. Alternatively, if you’re after something similarly decorative, we like both the Squares Sculpture (£28), or the two rather unusual vases the team have chosen – one a circle of concrete with a gold base (£16), the other Antique Copper (£16). Crossing the boundary between decoration and usefulness is the Pharmacy Bottle No.1 (£9), which has a quirky look whilst being a container for assorted sundries, if you should so wish.

Finally, kitchenware. Unique to the city is the Mr.PS for Fig and Sparrow Manchester Vintage Map Tea Towel (£14.50) – for anyone who’s fond of its winding streets. Then there’s the Ceramic and Terracotta Teapot (£51), which is beautifully tactile (we had a bit of a hold of one), a Gold Plated Spoon to stir your tea with, or put in the mouth of a baby (you know the saying… £8) and funky Chopsticks set (£8). Fig and Sparrow must be one of Father Christmas’s most stylish stop-offs…

Spotlight on

Things to Do in Cumbria

Our guide to the best things to do in the Cumbria and the Lake District, including Penrith, Kendal, Carlisle, Keswick and Cockermouth.

Take me there

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

Spotlighting global artists who all, in one way or another, break the mould, we preview the best gigs happening this side of Christmas and beyond.