Aw, 10 days till Crimbo, 9 gifts still to buy, 8 hours of free time left, only 7 Christmas cards written, 6 Christmas parties down, 5 loads of laundry to do, 4 sleeps till Heathrow madness with a 10 month old, 3 bags to pack, merely 2 hands and 1 frantic shopping day left to get myself sorted. Eek, got to love this time of year.
No seriously, I do. I adore Christmas and London is such a wonderful city to explore right now. Festivities at every corner to warm even the sternest scrooge. With a mini human in tow, thank goodness for the British High Street. London is busting with them and the good ones are a great mix of well know brands and cool independents. Pick a good one and you’ll be able to sort most of your Christmas list in an afternoon. Here are some of my favourites:
Arguably one of the most famous shopping streets in the world, Bond Street at night is something to be seen. By far, my favourite street lights in the city. Start at Fortnum and Mason and stroll through the Burlington Arcade to pick up for vintage jewels. Stop off at Cecconi’s for an overpriced coffee but some amazing people watching. Cut down to Bond Street and you’ll be presented with ever major fashion house you can wish for, all enticing you to leave some of your dosh at their doors. Once you’ve made it to Oxford Street, you’ll be standing in front of a massive John Lewis, where you can easily tick off a few gifts. However, if your wallet doesn’t stretch that deep don’t worry, there are plenty of fabulous options.
Marylebone High Street isn’t too far a walk away, that is, if you can avoid the allure of Selfridges. Push through, it is a lot smaller, far less commercialised, and oozes with charm. By Marlene Birger, Sandro, Kooples and The White Company are all there, all fabulous and all perfect for personal presents. I don’t know about you but gifts from me to me are always exactly what I want. However, the big draw is to Marylebone High Street is the Conran Shop, where I could spend hours drooling over the furniture, imagining my grownup house. Plus, their bauble collection is incredible. It’s the perfect place to pick up a few smaller gifts for the designer on your list.
If you’re heading west and plan to stroll down the famous Portobello Market, don’t miss Westbourne Grove. For nothing else, have lunch at the Daylesford. If I owned a restaurant or café, this place would be my inspiration. Plus, their kitchen department down stairs will easily cater for any homebody or kitchen enthusiast you’re buying for. A much more manageable size, you’ll find labels such as Maje and Zadig & Voltaire sitting besides Brissi and one great Oxfam.
If like me, your pushing a pram most days and know more about Elf on the Shelf than the lastest pop up, head south of the river to the Northcote Road, the heart of Nappy Valley. Perfectly catering for mummies and minis alike. Jojo Maman and Bebe, Trotters and Petit Bateau, will ensure the little ones in your life are dressed for the occasion. If you can find space for your buggy, Brew for coffee and cake is not to be missed. Wander a little further down and you’ll find, Question Air, by far, one of my favorite shops in the city. I’d buy my whole wardrobe there if I could. They’re stylist are fabulous from sweat pants to formal dresses and sweaters for your man, they have you covered.
I hope you all manage to enjoy this festive season with you and yours. May the spirit and glamour of the season follow you into a lucky 2016!