a dickensian welcome
Stepping Back In Time At Ebenezer’s Christmas Shop
With its roaring (faux) fire, wood-panelled effect wallpaper and dark wood furniture, you would be forgiven for thinking you’d walked onto a Dickensian movie set when you step foot into Ebenezer’s Christmas Shop.
Set on Church Street in Sidmouth town centre, the store opened in 2018 when local resident Caroline Baker realised her lifelong dream of running a Christmas store.
‘they’re digging in before they realise it’s a humbug’
Scrooges Welcome Too!
For Christmas-loving Caroline, it’s the romance of the season that really captured her imagination.
‘[People] have more time for you [around Christmas] and there’s a real hubbub about the place. Our customers are the same; they’re all so happy.
Even the Scrooges are cheered up when we offer them a sweet – they’re digging in before they realise it’s a humbug.’
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Let’s sprinkle Christmas cheer far and wide!
The shop is beautifully presented with festive décor arranged across sideboards, bookshelves and baskets.
And, whilst they offer the full range of decorative flourishes, focus is on conversation starters – ornaments and statement items that spark a story or remind visitors of their holiday.
‘The tree fillers, as I call them, look quite nice but you can’t talk about them like you can a tree covered in years of memories,’ explains Caroline.
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Christmas lunch all year round!
Opening Scrooge & Marley’s Tearoom
At the time of visiting, stock was limited, as the pandemic had made predicting sales challenging.
Not one to waste an opportunity however, Caroline had used the extra time and space to implement part two of her vision – a café where customers could enjoy Christmas lunch by the tree whatever the time of year.
And so, as the store reopened post-lockdown in 2021, Scrooge & Marley’s tearoom opened its doors as well.
With roast turkey not quite on the menu yet – the café was only two weeks’ old when visited – we enjoyed sandwiches and full tea service as we listened to carols by the fire in our shorts and t-shirts!
The juxtaposition was not lost on us or other guests, but made for a great talking point and particularly friendly atmosphere.
Christmas cheer for all
Celebrating Community at Ebenezer’s Christmas Shop
Caroline is clearly full of Christmas cheer and festive inspiration.
Come advent, the shop holds children’s story-time sessions in Santa’s study, with a professional storyteller and visit from the man in red himself.
In her first year, a live display of a Victorian author at work won top prize in Sidmouth’s best Christmas window competition.
And 2019 saw nearly all of Church Street dressed in full Dickensian regalia for late-night shopping under Caroline’s enthusiastic steer.
We can’t wait to see what else is in store!
PERFECT FOR: Afternoon tea by the fire and Christmas tree, no matter what the time of year.
FIND IT HERE: Church Street, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8LZ
DATE OF VISIT: 4 June 2021
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