Chichester is brimming with Christmas spirit! How do we know? Well, we took a festive stroll through the city and saw for ourselves how much festive cheer was on out there.
We were equipped with plenty of fancy-dress accessories for shop workers and residents to don and show off their yuletide spirit this holiday season.
And we made sure we wrapped up warm and braced ourselves for the freezing weather, but we still needed warming up and so took up the offer of a nice hot drink in No.1 Northgate. There we met a couple of elves in the form of Andrew and Rob.
The next stop on tour was fitting as we visited Gorgeous, the colourful, quirky clothing shop. There we found Nigel Purkis, who was sporting a very vibrant scarf and was happy to pose in front of the shop.
Next on the tour was a visit to Chichester Harbour Hotel & Spa and we were greeted by the receptionist, Andre Goncalves, who was eager to show off the beautifully decorated Christmas tree.
Meanwhile, staff and customers were definitely in the festive mood in Comics, Games & Coffee — with Max, Toby and Tom happy to show off wearing our Christmas gear.
Just along the road we stopped in at the now fully independent, family-run North Opticians and Eyewear, formerly Cross Eyes. Full of Crimbo spirit was optician Iain Thompson, Helen and Tish who were all smiles as they posed in front of some of their stylish brands.
Next up we crossed the road, looking out for any low-flying reindeer, to visit Q Hair & Beauty. Upon entering we were greeted by the cheery staff and took a photo of Chloe Rafferty, Madison Dawling, Stefano Sbuttoni and real-life angel Nat Baker, under their lovely arch.
Susie Watson Designs was next on our tinsel tour of Chi. There we caught up with Oliver, Rose, Caroline and Amy who were just sitting down to an early Christmas dinner, they must have been saving that extra seat for Santa.
Onwards, we went to see Gavin and Damian at Cloud Gallery: Fine Art Specialist, who relished the opportunity to throw on a cheeky elf hat.
We doubled back to visit branch manager Daniel and Jo at Lowery, who assure us there’s plenty of beautiful jewellery that would make any loved one’s Christmas dream come true. Daniel told us that business was brisk and we was fully expecting trade to pick up further as Christmas approached.
He added: “There is a lovey anticipation of yuletide — it’s palpable. I think we are in for a merry old time and we look forward to contributing to everyone’s Christmas cheer.”
Next, we cut down Crane Street and it seemed fitting that as our feet tired we should happen upon Shoe Repairs, where we met customer Elizabeth and Robert, both of whom were as jolly as could be.
The new kids on the block, Kutchen Haus, who have been open for two and a half months, were next on our list and, amongst all of the stunning kitchen designs, we caught up with Andy and Linda. Co-owner Paul wasn’t in when we called and Linda explained: “He’s out on his sleigh keeping our lovely customers happy.”
We were on our way to West Street when we were lured to the middle of town by the mouth-watering aroma of hot roasted chestnuts. There we bumped into John, who was raising money for the Rotary Club, Castle and the main man himself, Saint Nick.
We had to push our way through the crowds of patrons downloading the new Stagecoach app as they were waiting for the bus. The lovely bus driver Leigh as well as riders Elizabeth and Linda were full of yuletide glee as they posed for a photo.
Then we headed off to House of Fraser to visit Doris the Mannequin. She was a bit shy, so she enlisted the help of Annie, Sian and Matt, who all looked fantastic in their jingly accessories.
Plenty of shoppers flocked to Whirligig to look to peruse their brilliant collection of toys and games. In what be one of the busiest shop in town we met Frances Da Vall and Jane Wedlock, as well as some of their animal companions.
We were treated to a pleasant surprise in Present Surprise when we met Terry and Adrian, who were packed with Christmas cheer as they showed off some of their beautiful glasses.
Elsewhere, the joyful staff at Glorious Spa Company, including, Abbi, Emma, Abi and Katy, were eager to don the elf hats and antlers for a photoshoot in between pampering clients enjoying a pre-festive treatment.
The winter wonderland that was Cred Jewellery was our next stop. There we met Bianca, who struck a pose in front of a delightfully decorated Christmas tree.
After all that traipsing, a rest was in order so we stopped in at The Fountain for some food. Amongst the warm and cosy environment, we found Teresa (on a week-long celebration of her birthday!), Brad and Shirley all enjoying a drink.
We found some more elves on our travels. This time we met Cut & Shave’s very own Tamara and Jay, as well as ESP’s Jamie, posing with one of the shop’s various extreme sports products.
The penultimate venue for our whistle-stop tour of Chichester was Drapewise. Brimming with yuletide happiness was Anand, Dil and Jeannie, and their very own reindog, Rio. If Santa ever needs a new reindeer give Drapewise a call.
What could be a better way to conclude the trip than with a quirky cocktail (or two or three…hic!) at The Rocking Horse? Sporting the pinnacle of Christmas accessories was Sam Fraser and Patryk Nieznanski.
That was the end of our jolly journey around the town and it is safe to say that Chichester is definitely one of Santa’s favourite cities.