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East meets West

Need a great gift shop in a hurry? Muddy loves Me and East in Totnes for an eclectic range of Devon art, jewellery and soap you have to fight for.

Gift shops. Bit of a lottery aren’t they? Some are full of things you would quite happily sell your grandmother for, others well, you just wouldn’t. So you need to have a goodie in your armoury for those days when you wake up and realise it’s your 20th wedding anniversary and even though you’ve known it’s been coming for, erm, 20 years, you have done absolutely sweet FA about it. (Yes, that’s me – hangs head in shame). So to spare you the same ignominy, I’m letting you into one of my fave gift shops, Me and East.

I love, love, LOVE the curated range of jewellery, ceramics, cards and art in this bijou Totnes gift shop. It’s not on the High Street literally – which is unusual for Totnes, as almost everything else is – so you need to make a special trek to the top to make sure you don’t miss it or yay! you can shop online. When I was last there, the scented soaps were going out so fast, I practically had to wrest one from someone else’s grasp – apparently it’s the pink French clay and added silk combined with natural oils which make them addictive.

Owner Chloe O’Brien is a trained jeweller so has an excellent eye and goes out of her way to find talented British makers and artisans from Devon, like this ‘Rita’ Mermaid Print in Glass Frame (£45) by Faye West of Blostma + Merewif. Encased in glass and handmade in her Ilfracombe studio by the North Devon coast, the gold-leaf, coral colours, and summery Carmen Miranda vibe, make it just the thing for a man who loves the coast. And perfect for a bathroom near you.

Me and East, 24 Leechwell Street, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5SX Tel: 07709 392992.

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