For every type of friend you have, London has a destination to help source their Christmas present.
At this point in December, it’s hard to remain in denial that Christmas is nearly upon us. If you’re something of a last-minute present buyer, then it’s a good job you’ve got a stay at a London serviced apartment coming up. The capital is a shopper’s dream – even if buying presents is usually your idea of hell – and will be the answer to your prayers. Read on to find out where to go for each of the people in your life.
For the foodie
Borough Market, just across the river from The City of London, is the ultimate foodie destination and at this time of year you can pick up some fantastic gifts for those who love cooking and eating. From artisan chocolates and homemade fudge to craft beer and wonderful regional cheeses, there are plenty of gift ideas ready to be packed up and taken home. You can look for something a little out of the ordinary if your loved one is something of a chef and restock their spice rack with beautifully packaged herbs and spices or head to Borough Kitchen for some stylish cookware. This high-class cook shop is at the entrance to the market and always worth a peruse for kitchen gadgets and metal pans.
For the designer diva
We all have that one person on our list who has impeccable taste and a designer wardrobe to match. For them, you need to head to Bond Street, where the staff at stores such as Louis Vuitton and Burberry will be able to help you pick out the perfect gift. If they have enough, in your opinion, designer handbags already, then Tiffany & Co is also close by. Nothing compares to receiving a duck egg blue box on Christmas Day and untying the ribbon to find a stunning treasure inside so this will certainly bring that festive sparkle.
For the kids
If you want to gift the kids a taste of your own childhood this Christmas, then head to Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop in Covent Garden. This wonderful independent retailer is an emporium of exciting gifts for kids that will really spark their imagination. Many of the items involve cutting and sticking, with toy theatres, shadow boxes and puppets all being best sellers. If you’re looking for something a little more mainstream, there’s also a Disney Store and Moomin Shop in the area, meaning you can tick off presents for all the little ones without having to go very far.
For the hipster
Ever wondered where you can get that beard oil for the super cool chap in your life or a retro-style camera?! Well, Carnaby is the area of London for you. With 13 pedestrian streets all lined with little boutiques, funky brands and a few big names – such as Pretty Green and The Great Frog – which have managed to stay on the right side of cool, it’s the perfect destination for hipster gifts. Take a wander and see what you find, as there may be a few quirky things that catch your eye for stocking fillers while you’re at it.
For the folksy friend
Nothing beats a handmade gift for that friend who eschews the mainstream and likes one-of-a-kind items. Luckily for those of us who aren’t in the least bit creative, there are plenty of people around who are and sell their wonderful designs to the rest of us. At this time of year, it’s even easier to find one-off artisan-crafted items, as just about every area of London has its own Christmas market. A benefit of shopping in this way is that you can treat yourself to some festive food and drink at the same time, taking the sting out of buying presents. Check out our guide to the best Christmas markets in the capital.