buying presents can be a lovely day out…

11th November 2016

By Helen Parker


It’s that time of year again, the time when you either get super excited or want to run away and hide in a cave. It’s been such a beautiful summer, long warm days that are now fading into cooler but startling sunny and bright ones. It seems a little churlish to start complaining, so I’m not going too. I notice the light much more than I used to since taking photographs with Tim, you realize the joy of a crisp sunny morning and what a difference it makes to a photograph. Images are so important to us, they are like paintings, they have to lure you in and make you feel something. Seeing something as a picture is meant to give you a sense of the place where it was taken and make you long to go there.


At Christmas people can get anxious and stressed and the thought of parking in a multi storey car park on a busy cold wet Saturday and pushing your way through the crowds just isn’t appealing. There is a sense of people coming together and beautiful sights and sounds and smells in the city and that’s the fun bit, but weighted down with bags and lists, that’s no fun. I think Christmas should be something we look forward to and buying and giving gifts should be something we enjoy,  it’s so exciting when you find something special for a special person and you can’t wait to see them open it. Something special to me is something they wouldn’t buy themselves, something which makes them feel special. It’s not easy I understand that, finding the perfect treasure that you know will be kept and loved.



I have a few things that I have been given that I treasure, a special piece of jewellery, a beloved book, an adventure trip or a simple mug. The things you remember are because they have been bought with thought and care. When we buy or make things to sell at Cotes Mill we try to think in the same way as you do when you buy a present, we want everything to be beautiful, or different or interesting or just plain lovely. You won’t find every conceivable option for Grandma or the newest little baby in your world, but you will find something special for them. It may be a beautiful book full of colour or it may be a wonderful bag of heirloom seeds that will give them a garden full of flowers next year. 


Inspiration is important in the purchase of any gift, sometimes it just comes to you and you know you have found or imagined the perfect thing for the person you are thinking of. But, sometimes you need a bit of help and a nice place to contemplate. At Cotes Mill we are lucky, we have so much space inside and out so you can take time to make your choices. The car park is big and we have acres of meadows and river banks, so if you get a fuzzy head from too much thinking you can take a mug of coffee outside and have a wander. You can bring the dog too, he may have to stay on a lead though!



I wish I could arrive for the first time at the Mill and to have never been before. There is so much to see and find and I know I would be wide eyed with excitement, maybe it’s because I choose the things we sell!! When Tim and I do a collection of photographs I always notice a new beauty in something I never really gave much consideration to before, a simple stool with paint splatters suddenly becomes the star of the day when it features in a new and beautiful photograph and I want to take it home with me because it has become special.



Something for everyone, even the eccentrics in your world will be happy with gift from deVOL.

The winter days and the dark evenings and the cold icy air can be enough to make you feel properly melancholy, but then think of an open fire and all of a sudden it’s all a bit more romantic and exciting. Everything in life has a way of being good or bad depending on how you look at it. Some people are lucky enough to look on the bright side of everything but others are a little more selective in their decision to be positive. I think if you feel good about what you do for your friends and family, if you know that you have something special to give them at Christmas you will feel good about life. Making people happy puts a spring in your step and is the best antidote to winter blues. So please make a trip to deVOL and Cotes Mill and try a different way of Christmas Shopping this year. Try unique and different, try special and laid back, try original and hand made. Try stress free and chilled and a world away from the high street.


We are open weekdays from 8.30am until 5.00pm, except Saturday when we open a little later at 10am. 

Need any help?

Cotes Mill
- 01509 261000

St. John's
- 020 3879 7900

Tysoe Street
- 020 3837 5900

Need any help? Please email:

Cotes Mill - 01509 261000

St. John's Square - 020 3879 7900

Tysoe Street - 020 3837 5900

© 2018 deVOL Kitchens.
Cotes Mill, Nottingham Road, Cotes,
Loughborough, LE12 5TL.