Weaving in-between crowds, attempting to navigate around department stores the size of Brazil, the sound of noisy cash tills ringing…We love shopping, but with the addition of the word Christmas, our beloved high street turns into all-out pandemonium!
And that’s why this year we’re planning to avoid the high street altogether in pursuit of a stress-free shopping experience. From cutesy boutiques to markets brimming with character, we’re going far and wide in search of the best places for Christmas shopping. Discover our favourite UK shopping cities.
The Welsh capital is home to a number of arcades packed with exciting independent retailers. Foodies will be enamoured by Wally’s Delicatessen- a paradise of imported food from the world over. Meanwhile, a couple of arcades over Waterloo Tea serve over 50 varieties of everybody’s favourite cuppa and doorstop slices of cake to boot. Purchase a brewing, cupping and sensory coffee course for tea enthusiasts or enjoy a spot of light lunch in-between shopping.
Homeware aficionados are likely to find the perfect gift sitting pretty in Rossiters. From lemon sherbet bath salts to pug salt and pepper shakers, peruse this large yet manageable store with delight.
Veer off the beaten track and you’ll unearth plenty of interesting fashion boutiques and independent gift stores around Oxford. Located centrally, Pod is a contemporary store stocking a plethora of quirky gifts such as gin & tonic flavoured lip balm and Russian doll cookie cutters.
There’s rich pickings for fashion lovers too, Fresh Clothing is situated in Oxford’s indoor market and sells vintage inspired frocks and skirts with an emphasis on 1950’s glamour.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a wedge of brie to nibble on, so the Oxford Cheese Shop is a must-visit. Choose from a fine selection of artisan cheese hampers, personally we’re partial to the Oxford blue…
Christmas Shopping in London
While we’re aware that London is an overcrowded city at the best of times, it would be impossible to talk about Christmas shopping without mentioning the retail Mecca. Avoid touristy areas like Oxford Street and Covent Garden and instead go in search of festive markets and ritzy boutiques.
The Southbank Centre Christmas Market offers much more than the standard gingerbread and mulled wine fare. Wooden chalets are packed with numerous arts, crafts and gifts traders. Shop for treasures such as leather-bound diaries, Australian balsamic vinegar and handmade fairy lights.
Russell Square’s Darkroom is well worth a visit for one-off arty gifts you’re unlikely to find on the high street. Packed with exclusive designers, the store stocks all manner of goods from textiles to style books. Prices are on the higher end of the scale, but it’s ideal for tracking down those extra special gifts.
For a spot of culture to go with your Christmas sweep, the Victoria and Albert offer a huge array of arty gifts based on current collections. From glossy photobooks to David Bowie stationery, you’re bound to find something suitable.
And if you really can’t face trundling around city centres, there’s always the tempting option of online Christmas shopping. Visit Fiorelli to view our latest collection.