Some might argue that the lead-up to Christmas is just as thrilling as the big day itself: coffee shops with gingerbread lattes, ice-skating amid staggering architecture, majestic window displays – London becomes enveloped in a glistening splendour.
Offering world-class shopping all year round, London, in all its festive delight, is an unparalleled experience at Christmas. From extravagantly dressed department stores to quaint markets, the Capital offers a veritable shopping paradise.
Not quite sure where to venture first? Fret not. The lettings staff across the branches at Benham & Reeves
Estate Agents have compiled the definitive festive shopping list in London. Time to start ticking them off!
The festive season would not be the same without Harrods with its Edwardian terracotta draped in fairy lights that illuminate the Brompton Road. The world-famous department store heralds an utterly luxurious Christmas— fine jewellery, state-of-the-art children’s toys (including Benedict, the most refined furry fellow on the market), Dom Pérignon hampers and intricate glass ornaments. And if all that decadence gets exhausting? Simply sink into the velvet armchairs at Harrods’ flagship restaurant The Georgian, for there is no better reward after a long day’s shopping than a tea-inspired cocktail.
For shoppers willing to embrace the wintry cold, Belgravia’s charming cobbled streets transform into a Christmassy haven with a sprinkling of festive events on the 5th and 6th of December. Amongst cosy, village-like surroundings and independent design and antique shops, a number of boutique stalls will offer quirky gift ideas. Drift from stall to stall to the sounds of live Christmas jingles and make sure the kids get a photo with Santa in his (quintessentially English) black cab grotto.
Only a short bus ride away on Central London’s Tottenham Court Road lies Heal’s & Son, Fitzrovia’s home of iconic and modern design. A furniture store as a Christmas shopping destination might seem unconventional, but Heal’s is a connoisseur of festive gifts. Boasting gold plated candle holders, mulled cider syrup, espresso makers and everything in-between, Heal’s offers an endearing range of presents. Its combination of friendly staff and impeccable store layout makes for a wonderful shopping experience, plus, if you’re playing host on Christmas Day, their stylishly curated tableware will definitely appeal.
Harrods – www.harrods.com/christmas
The Georgian – www.harrods.com/content/the-store/restaurants/the-georgian-restaurant
Heal’s & Son – www.heals.com
Take a stroll towards West End’s Oxford Street under the glittering Christmas lights and you’ll reach what’s been voted ‘the best department store in the world’. With a staggering 90,000 Christmas baubles hung across the store’s balconies and ceilings, as well as breathtaking festive window displays, it’s no wonder Selfridges holds the revered title. Its Christmas shop, spread across the fourth floor of the iconic London store, knows no boundaries: cashmere scarfs, Moët & Chandon stocking fillers and monogrammed glass baubles are but a fraction of its wide, and sumptuous, selection of presents. Don’t leave without sampling the chocolate and cherry Panettone at the food hall.
Just around the corner in Piccadilly stands the esteemed Fortnum & Mason, its mint-green exterior and regal gold cornicing catching the eye of every passer-by. Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatters Tea Party imagined in a department store, Fortnum’s offers fanciful delicacies that seem too good to be true, like chocolate-dipped orange slices and a Christmas pudding Madeira. Whether you’re on the ground floor deciding between the ‘Mayfair Hamper’ and the ‘Foie Gras & Sauternes Box’, or wandering up the store’s palatial spiral staircase in search of a rose-gold tea infuser, it is simply impossible to walk out of Fortnum & Mason empty handed.
Selfridges – www.selfridges.com/GB/en/content/destination-christmas
Fortnum & Mason – www.fortnumandmason.com/
When Central London gets to be too hectic, there’s the Barbican’s whimsical Christmas market to enjoy. Set within the building’s Brutalist walls, the Barbican’s ten days of seasonal shopping (runs 12th – 21st of December) is one to be reckoned with. Its vast foyers will host independent designers and artisans selling everything from handmade toys to designer clothes. Enjoy a stroll with a mince pie and a glass (or two) from the cauldrons of steaming mulled wine.
If you start to imagine yourself living nearby, Clerkenwell offers the perfect mix of lifestyle and proximity to the City. Our local lettings team can assist in finding you the perfect urban home.
Barbican market – www.barbican.org.uk
You can also find solace from the bustling crowds at The Conran Shop, nestled in the historic Michelin House building on Fulham Road, Chelsea. From prosaic to outlandish, retro to futuristic, the Conran Shop is a gift utopia. Pick up a quirky greeting card, a leather chess set, or even an impossibly-cool speaker in the shape of a gramophone. It’s the one-stop shop for highly-imaginative, highly-personalised presents.
While you’re browsing in Michelin House, venture through the shop’s connecting archway into the tiled foyer that is Bibendum’s Oyster Bar where you can feast on fresh seafood accompanied with a glass of champagne to toast the day’s successes.
If you’re on the prowl for an unusual gift this Christmas, Alfies Antique Market holds the answer. Hosting an after-hours event on the 3rd of December, the Marylebone bazaar will offer precious antiques and unique home decor from more than 75 specialist dealers. With canapés, festive drinks and vintage-inspired music to complement a nostalgic ambiance, it doesn’t get more charming than Alfies.
The Conran Shop – www.conranshop.co.uk
Bibendum’s Oyster Bar – www.bibendum.co.uk/oyster-bar
Alfies Antique Market – www.alfiesantiques.com
And, lastly, what to do with all these incredible gifts? Wrap them with Christmas ribbons and trimmings from V V Rouleaux. Tucked away in Marylebone Lane, the shop’s treasure trove of fabrics and gifting accessories will inspire the most innovative and artistic of wrapping.
V V Rouleaux – https://vvrouleaux.com/productcart/pc
With the presents gleaming under the Christmas tree, all that’s left to do is pour yourself a glass of something and put your feet up. Enjoy the festive season everyone.
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