Now that we are in advent, you will, I am sure, be inundated with gift guides pointing you to perfect presents you can buy from your sofa and which may even arrive already wrapped, thus doing away with much of the annoying graft surrounding Christmas.
This is a godsend for many a busy person. Christmas shouldn’t be a time of self-flagellation in the form of endless spending and paper cuts from wrapping fifteen sets of board games and books for all your nieces and nephews. So do whatever works best for you.
But don’t discount the fun of shopping in actual shops for things nobody really needs. I yearly traipse around real bricks and mortar shops to find gifts because I like to see the assortment of Christmas lights twinkling, am thrilled on the odd occasion when I see carollers singing on a corner, and quite enjoy the challenge Anneka nature of trying to find something for everyone in a set time.
This in mind, here are my favourite spots to go for Christmas gifts in London //
Marylebone High Street / Not as bustling as Regent Street, Oxford Street, or Knightsbridge, you’ll nonetheless find many gems here from Daunt’s book shop to Space NK and Emma Bridgewater, and there’s a cosy little village feel to the street that makes it feel enormously festive.
The King’s Road / It’s easy to dismiss the King’s Road as simply Sloane enclave (which it unquestionably is), but the shops are excellent, the lights and atmosphere always charming, and they have a huge Peter Jones in which I am convinced that you could, at a push, find a gift for absolutely anyone.
Liberty London / My favourite place to shop bar none. The building is old-fashioned and creaky, and the wares well-curated. I often tell those at a loss when it comes to buying for me that they should just head to Liberty London because it’s almost impossible to go wrong. Also, remember to walk down cheery little South Molton Street while in the area.
Fenwick Bond Street / Oft-forgotten, but a very good egg. Won’t be as busy as other department stores and contains a very good selection, with a beauty hall that’s excellent.
Hamleys / I hate shopping for children, but if I have to do it, I just go to Hamley’s and ask what’s appropriate for a certain age group. Note, this isn’t the most pleasant experience as it’s always heaving with people, but if you go in with the mindset of finding one particular thing, it’s not too hideous.
Lambs Conduit Street / This little nook will make you feel like you’re wandering through London of yore, though it’s not home to loads of shops so it’s more of a stop than a destination. I’ve previously written about it here, but primarily go there for Persephone, where I always end up buying many books both for others and for me.