A trip to Käthe Wohlfahrt York will melt even the most Grinchy of hearts. It takes year-round Christmas shops to another level and genuinely brought a tear to my eye.
If I were to summarise, it would be like this – GO! You will not regret it!
Just a few days prior to my birthday, it felt as if all my wishes had come true when I was treated to a private tour around the store before the day began with Store Manager Helen and Account Manager Pam. Had it not been for childcare duties, they would have found me still in a corner of the store at the end of the day!
unique designs in a unique venue
Setting The Scene
Pam tells me the store inspired Emma Thompson’s Christmas Shop design for her 2019 blockbuster Last Christmas. It’s no wonder!
Every space offers a different Christmas décor style. From wood to glass, metal to fabric and baubles to table top décor, advent calendars to rocking horses, there is truly something for everyone and products at every price point – pocket treats to stunning heirloom pieces and limited edition designs retailing into the £1000s.
The store sells a mixture of products sourced from wholesalers worldwide as well as their own unique Käthe Wohlfahrt designs – marked with a special label and not available anywhere else.
Many of the products are handmade or hand-finished and displays around the store show the sheer number of intricate pieces that are fitted together to make just one single ornament design.
Bonkers For Baubles
With a two storey rotating Christmas tree standing proud in the centre and hand-painted mural of York city centre on the wall, the room houses one of the main bauble displays in the store.
Covered from top to bottom in glistening baubles, this is surely why the expression ‘child in a sweet shop’ exists?! Organised by colour and twinkling under the store lights, the room is simply breath-taking. Later, I overheard a customer exclaiming that they didn’t know where to look first; I can sympathise!
Top Trends For Christmas
a pocket of Saxony in York
Traditional German Delights
You can buy your very own replica of Wilhelm and Käthe’s original Saxony music box too*!
Many of the designs originate from creations by former miners looking to supplement their income as the mines closed down.
Such heart-warming stories make the decorations even more precious –as if you’re purchasing a piece of history as well as a festive addition to your home display.
first & foremost a family business
* The Käthe Wohlfahrt Story
It All Started With A Music Box
Wilhelm and Käthe had brought a traditional music box with them from Saxony to Stuttgart when they moved. This attracted the attention of an American officer friend when he visited for Christmas in 1963.
Eager to gift the officer a music box of his own, Wilhelm tried to find a vendor out of season but found he could only make a wholesale purchase.
He and his wife started selling an expanded range of products at charity bazaars and from their own front room before setting up a showroom first in Stuttgart and then Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
The company has since expanded its portfolio of shops across Germany and into five other countries worldwide and since 1991 has been designing its own Christmas products.
A store still remains in Rothenburg ob der Tauber where the company has also opened a Christmas Village (complete with Christmas museum).
How Käthe Wohlfahrt York Came To Be
The Wohlfahrt family first discovered Mulberry Hall in York around 40 years ago. And it was love at first sight – the magic of the building, its setting within the city and the position of York itself ticked all their boxes for a year round Christmas shop in England.
But it wasn’t until Harald revisited the city some 30+ years later whilst visiting his son at university that he discovered the building was available to lease and the dream could finally be realised. And so in 2016 Käthe Wohlfahrt York welcomed its first customers.
it needs to be seen to be believed
When To Visit Käthe Wohlfahrt York
A word to the wise: do not let the queue deter you; you need to see this store for yourself!
Trust me –you will not regret it!
Spread The Word!
Like what you’ve seen? Be sure to share with your friends.
Let’s sprinkle Christmas cheer far and wide!
FIND IT HERE: Mulberry Hall, 17 Stonegate, York YO1 8ZW
DATE OF VISIT: 6 August 2021
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