It is SO nearly Christmas ⛄️⛄️🎁🌲☺️ and I have almost finished my Christmas shopping, with only a few little things to find.
I really do like shopping very very much, but even I dread the prospect of panic trawling the shops the day before Christmas 🎄 desperately hoping for inspiration. The hoards of other people 👦👩, their children 👧, buggys and dachshunds 🐶 constantly getting in the way, the overwhelming amount of completely pointless STUFF 🎀💄👠 to sift through, and Michael Buble singing ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ 🎤everywhere you go is enough to make even the most experienced shopper wish they’d bought all their presents online 6 months ago 🙈.
So, to help you out, I thought I would put together a few ideas for last minute present 🎁 shopping in London – whether you are nipping out at lunch time 🍴 tomorrow, or spending a day of shopping on Saturday, the key is to know exactly what you are looking for and where to find it ☺️. I would also advise ringing in advance, don’t fall into the trap of assuming the shop has the item in stock, just because they are displaying it on their website.
Good luck, and happy speedy shopping.
Go to Joy. The shops are everywhere, and have all sorts things for girls, boys, random cousins and even your dog, don’t be shy just get stuck in. Books on silly and serious things, accessories at very reasonable prices, and both useful and useless gifts. Tiny stocking fillers will be near the till, and they have very good cards.
For your Sister
Oliver Bonas is the place. They have great not-t00-pricey jewellery, make-up bags, self-help books and scarves in fun prints.
For your Great Aunt
Zara Home is excellent – rather than giving her Duchy Originals biscuits again, choose something homely from Zara. She probably hasn’t heard of it, unless she of course is a proud older owner of #ThatCoat.
Making it all look pretty
Peter Jones. You need to go to the 4th Floor, I would recommend entering from the King’s Road and taking the lift to avoid the main Christmas mayhem. They have one of the best selection of cards (they have the funny non-crude type), wrapping paper galore, and lots of ribbon. They also do an excellent selection of notebooks.
For your cousin who has just had her third child
Kikki K is great and they currently have a pop-up in Covent Garden. I am totally sold on everything about this brand. The perfect present for someone who enjoys stationery with inspirational messages, or needs a very specific diary layout.
To bring to Boxing Day lunch
John Lewis Cheese Shop – you want to enter from Henrietta Place, go straight down the escalator into the food hall and on the right hand side is a wonderful room full of cheese, and they have all the right biscuits to go with it.
To Impress the In-Laws
Humble Grape does very good wine, and the people working there know about wine, so this is ideal if you need a bottle quick sharp. There is one in Battersea and one in Fleet Street.
Because you need something a little different this year
Potterton Books – books of all shapes and sizes, vintage and new, but more excitingly art work. They have prints and originals, big and small prices, you will definitely find something in this eclectic little shop.
Because you took After Eights last year
Artisan du Chocolat – there are so many great chocolate shops in London, so you really shouldn’t be grabbing the most expensive looking chocolates off the shelf in Sainburies. Artisan du Chocolat do all sorts of exciting things, and they taste great. If you aren’t near a shop nip into the ground floor of Liberty, entering from Carnaby Street and pick up a box of Prestat.
For your nephews and nieces
TK Maxx, I know, I know, it sounds like agony – but it’s just a quick nip in, grab what you want and out. I would recommend the wallets / clutch bags, usually near the door on the ground floor on shelves – if you see Kate Spade buy it. And the headphones, either on a table near the door or hanging up by the tills, not expensive, you might even find some wireless ones.
For your Aunt who is hosting Christmas
Appleyard London – bouquets and plants in pots, they do all sorts and they are still taking orders for Christmas. Either take flowers with you or send as a thank you gift after.
For the Uncle with a beautiful home
Any bookshop, they do still exist. Books are excellent, but don’t just grab one at random, best to try and make it a bit personal. A beautiful coffee table book is generally appreciated, as long as no one has to carry it too far.
The Intrepid Grandson
The British Library – they currently have an exhibition on called Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line, and their shop is full of map type things. They have two shops, one on the left as you enter and one on the right, have a look in both.
The Irresponsible Godparent
Trotters – for smaller godchildren (age not stature) this shop has everything wonderful. You could stick with clothes or a book, or you could make it really very fun.
For the host
The Conran Shop – there are many pleasing things in this shop, so if you are prepared to browse, you are sure to find something very nice.
For your Grandmother
Pentreath & Hall – this shop has charming things in all shapes and sizes – pretty card sets, notebooks, mirrors and stylish lampshades. And make sure you drop into the Poplin pop-up shop next door, they have THE best pyjamas.
For the person who has everything
The New Craftsmen – they have the most beautiful selection of handmade pieces all made by British Craftsmen, you will absolutely come out with the present the person doesn’t already have.
Something a little more special
Sophie Breitmeyer – Don’t just go to Pandora and buy another charm or buy the first thing the sale assistant suggests in Tiffany’s. Do visit Sophie Breitmeyer and choose one of her wonderful creations.