Yes every year we hear the horror stories about all the online purchases that aren't delivered in time for Christmas but touch wood I've never had a problem and the majority of online UK store still seem to be guaranteeing Christmas delivery if your get your orders in quickly.
I was recently contacted on behalf of one such online store - Not On The High Street. I have to be honest I'd browsed the store on a few occasions and I liked what I'd seen but I'd never placed an order. The store provides a unique online retail space which supports and sells items from around 3,000 small businesses selling everything from furniture, to personalised items, to clothing, to jewellery, to bath products, and foodstuffs. The stores tagline is "Where everything has a story" and that certainly seems to be the case, they stock a range unique and unusual products that it would be hard to find on the high street, and each and everyone is accompanied by an online description of the item which more often than not tells a little bit about the thoughts and ideas behind it. I personally think that you could find a gift for even the most awkward person on this site, it really does have something for everyone.
The lovely people from Not On The High Street kindly gave me £50 to spend on the site. I really was like a child in a sweet shop they have some many amazing hand crafted and unusual items, that it took me a good 3 days to decide what to get. The products that I've chosen were items that I felt would be great for stocking fillers, or that would good unusual gifts for someone in your life. I've tried to pick some things from a few different categories just to give you a taster of what the site has to offer.
Purple Cat Cushion By Cat and Mouse Designs - £15.00
This was the most expensive of all the items, that I chose and I don't suppose you could really fit it in a stocking, but I know a lot of you are like me and are huge cat lovers. This purple cat cushion is beautifully made, it's patchwork based and made from all different type of 100% cotton ditsy floral fabrics, with turquoise buttons for eyes. The cat also features a bright applique flower design which I couldn't resist as I absolutely love daisies. I love this cushion, it's so well made and a real talking point unfortunately as I type it appears to be out of stock, but there are several other cat design cushions on the site and the word cat alone brings in 841 items and the word cushion gives you 3040 items, so if this one isn't to your taste they have plenty more to choose from, from the practical, to the quirky to the glamorous. My other cushion picks include these sleepy cat cushions, and these biscuit design cushions - how fun are they? My Purple Cat Cushion also came in brown and retails at £15 plus £2.75 for delivery from Cat & Mouse Designs.
Hand Cream Tin - Violet -By Pots and Potions - £8.50
Since I am predominantly a beauty blogger I had to have a beauty product in their somewhere, and I was a good girl and chose something for Mummy Lou. Like me she loves her hand cream so I thought that this one would make a nice gift, especially since I went for one of her favourite fragrances.
This hand cream comes in a choice of 5 floral fragrances - rose,lavender, lily of the valley, orange flower and violet. Mummy Lou is a huge fan of violet fragrances, and this one is spot on, it smells exactly like parma violet sweeties.It comes in a super cute vintage look 100ml sized metal tin, and contains amongst other things glycerin and shea butter. It has quite a thick texture but it seems to absorb really easily.
The Hand Cream Tin comes in 5 varieties and retails at £8.50, plus £1.75 for mainland UK delivery from a seller named Pots and Potions. The hand creams also come in a metal paint style tube and retail at the same price. I know Mummy Lou is going to love this if I can bear to part with it that is :)
The majority of beauty items on Not On The High are very much geared towards the handmade and natural market, my other gift picks include the Relaxing Bath Sprinkle, Handmade Soap Lollies, and these cute Bath Pamper Gift Boxes which can even be personalised :)
Macaron Trinket Box - Lavender - By Posh Totty Designs - £6.95
Mmmmm I love proper French style macarons, the thought of them makes my mouth water. Yes Not On The High Street do sell the real thing I mean how amazing is that, you can buy them here, here and here :) but if I'm being honest if I'd chosen those I would never have reached the photography stage, so I went for a longer lasting alternative x
How cute is this? I can't think of a single lady or young girl that wouldn't love one of these Macaron Trinket Boxes. The macaron shells are made of high quality ceramic,and the filling (the hinges and clasp) is made from a gold tone metal with bow detailing. There are 6 colours to choose from and the one I went for was Lavender - I know what your thinking and I thought the same initially that's not lavender, well the listings has since been amended and the lavender shade is now described as a pale creamy white with a hint of lilac rather than the violet shade that's pictured.
You know what though I don't really care about the colour, this is so, so sweet, and again very well made. You can't fit an awful lot it remember this is a trinket box not a jewellery box, but its perfect for popping your earring or small rings in at the end of the day. I think that is sooo cute and that it would make a perfect stocking filler. The Macaron Trinket Box comes in 6 colours and retails at £6.95 plus £2.75 delivery from a seller called Posh Totty Designs. Again the site has lots and lots of storage ideas for all sorts of things including your jewellery - I love this heart jewellery stand, this cute mini chest of drawers and this unusual pineapple trinket box.
Silver Heart Coil Dress Bracelet By Kathy Jobson - £4.50
Speaking of jewellery I had to try out just one of the fabulous pieces of jewellery that are available on Not On The High Street. The site sells everything from fashion jewellery, to gold, silver and gemstone pieces ranging in price from just £2.00 for a piece of child's fashion jewellery up to over £500 from a bespoke, made to order silver necklace. Sticking to my theme of stocking fillers I decided to go for one of the sites more budget friendly options.
Before I even mention the piece that I got - how pretty is the sellers packaging? My item came wrapped in an almost Tiffany turquoise blue shade of tissue paper and packaged in a cute chiffon bag, what was inside though, well this
As you've probably realised at the moment I'm really loving bracelets and I thought that this one would make a nice addition to my collection. It made of silver plated metal, it's a stretchy metal coil bracelet that comes complete with along heat charm. My charm is a little bit different to the one in the picture but that is mentioned in the item description, and it only to be expected that things sometimes change when items are made by hand or in small quantities.
I'm really loving this bracelet and it looks great layered with some of my other jewellery pieces. I think for the price it's great value and that it would be a great stocking filler for any ages from teens, to people my ages, and even people my mums age. The Silver Heart Coil Stretch Bracelet by Kathy Jobson retails at £4.50 plus £1.75 for UK delivery. My NOTHS jewellery picks? personally anything from Kathy Jobson or any of their silver jewellery in general
Pintail Cinnamon and Orange Candle By Little Red Heart - £5.99
It wouldn't be Christmas for me without a candle, I love my candles and home fragrancing ideas in general, so it made sense when I was looking for stocking filler ideas to see what Not On The High Street had to offer. Searching for the word candle came up with over 1000 items, so I narrowed it down and went for something affordable and Christmassy.
This gorgeous Cinnamon and Orange Candle, comes from the Pintail brand which are based in the Lake District, and is sold on Not On The High Street by a seller called Little Red Heart. The candles are packaged in small paint style metal can.
This candle just smells of christmas, with the zesty orange, and the warmness of the cinnamon. This wasn't a brand that I was familiar with but I was really impressed by this one, the packaging looked stylish and it really did scent the room. There is nothing worse than buying a scented candle that just doesn't smell when you burn, I definitely didn't have that problem with this one and it scented our large living room, and beyond with five minutes of lighting it, good value when you consider that this one has a burn time of 18 hours. Unfortunately this one not surprisingly appears to be out of stock but you can save it to your wish list and wait for it to come back into stock. If not the same seller also sells several other festive themed Pintail Candles including Mulled Wine, Spiced Pear and Misteltoe and Wine. The Pintail Cinnamon and Orange Candle retailed at £5.99 plus £1.75 for UK delivery from Little Red Heart.
White Chocolate Eton Mess By Martins Chocolatier - £3.50
Nothing screams Christmas or in fact any other day of the year to me than chocolate I love chocolate with a passion so I always make sure I pop some chocolate in my friends and families christmas stockings, and I certainly expect some in mine :)
Not On The High Street has a huge range of original and bespoke chocolate treats from personalised chocolate bars, these fabulous chocolate christmas trees, chocolate shoes, and even chocolate pizzas. I decided to go for just a basic chocolate bar, that I'm sure would be welcome in most peoples christmas stockings.
Martins Chocolatier sells a wide variety of chocolate delights from boxed chocolates, to bars flavoured like classic English desserts but with a twist. I was tempted with a few of the flavours especially the Cambridge Burnt Caramel but instead I went for the Eton Mess bar.
Unlike traditonal Eton Mess which includes strawberry and meringue, this bar combines high quality white chocolate, with honeycomb candy and raspberry extract. It wasn't quite what I thought it would be but both me and Mummy Lou enjoyed it - you couldn't taste the fruit really but the chocolate was lovely and creamy, and the honeycomb provided a nice crunch. These bars retail at £3.50 for 100g, which is fair enough but they charge £4.75 for mainland UK delivery which in my opinion is a tiny bit steep so I would probably recommend you order a few things from them to justify the purchase. Obviously chocolate isn't the only foodstuff that you can buy on Not On The High Street, you name it you can probably buy it from cheese, to personalised cookies, to wheat free cakes and personalised vodka.They really do have something for everyone.
Wooden Nordic Reindeer Decoration By The Contemporary Home - £3.99
The final I chose was a Christmas decoration - We always add a few new decorations to our tree every year, so I decided to go for this little chap from Not On The High Street's extensive Christmas decoration selection.
From renowned shabby chic and christmas decoration design Gisela Graham this super cute reindeer is made from wood, and has pride of place on our tree. He retailed at £3.99 plus £2.75 for delivery from a seller called The Contemporary Home. Alas he's no longer availble on the site but their are plenty morre cute tree decorations including these cute stars, these gorgeous carved wood pieces and this super cute robin.
I really like the concept of Not On The High Street, unlike sites like Etsy and Ebay, you can find all the items you want under the one banner. You just fill your basket like you would at any other online store and then you just check out. It is worth noting though that all of the items come directly from the individual sellers, so as a result they charge their own postage and packing charges, which you can find quite easily on the individual item pages. Don't worry though if you forget to look, the invoice you see during checkout will detail the separate delivery charges from each seller. I know what your thinking this could get expensive, well don't worry about that either a lot of the sellers seem to offer free UK delivery on all sorts of items which is a huge bonus and help at this time of year. The last posting dates for Christmas also vary depending on the seller so it's worth checking on individual items. Whilst browsing the site I've found so many things that I love, and that I know other people would too, so this will definitely be a site I'll return to when I'm looking for a gift or for a little (or large) treat for myself. Have you ever used Not On The High Street? let me in the comments and also let me know if you have any questions.
(All The Featured Products In This Post Were Provided For Review / Promotional Purposes By Not On The High Street)