So, with crushing inevitability, you’ve left all your shopping to the last minute again. At this late stage in the game, Oxford Street is a no-go, unless apocalyptic shop-floor scenes and punch-ups by the checkout are your bag. Like the helpful elves that we are, we’ve rounded up the best independent stores for gift-gathering.
From graphic blankets to stylish leather backpacks, this is the place to head if you’ve got someone you want to spoil with something beautiful. This Notting Hill boutique, brought to you by an impeccably turned out husband and wife team, is stocked with a flawlessly curated edit of gift potential. It’s not all wallet-stretching fare, either – trinkets start from less than £3. 188 Kensington Park Rd, W11 2ES
Best for: little luxuries
Vintage Fisher Price toys, origami nightlights – kids’ presents have never been so modish. This Crouch End treasure trove is full of high quality things for little ones, many of which are sourced from under-the-radar brands that you’ll struggle to find anywhere else. 5 Topsfield Parade, N8 8PR
Best for: gifts for kids
As a former Vogue beauty director and co-founder of make-up brand Ruby & Millie, the credentials of BeautyMart founders Anna Marie Solowij and Millie Kendall aren’t to be sniffed at. At this Boxpark beauty emporium, you’ll find a rigorously curated edit of lotions and potions that are near impossible to come by offline. Unit 28, Boxpark, 2-4 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6GY
Best for: off-beat beauty
For simple, well-made and aesthetically-pleasing objects for the home, this place is a sure bet. Set up by two former menswear designers, the shop sells items with a minimalist leaning, from simple enamel candle holders to perfectly-crafted pocket knives. Pop in to the Shoreditch shop for timeless, useful gifts that’ll look great around the house. 85 Redchurch St, E2 7DJ
Best for: homewares
This cutesy pop-up brings together Anorak’s whimsical homewares and well-designed kids’ products from Molly-Meg. Head by for all sorts of kitsch, colourful stocking fodder – from brightly printed melamine plates to pocket-sized toys, plus some limited edition designs. Prices start at just 50p, so you can stock up on little surprises without blowing your budget. 15 Lordship Lane, SE22 8EW
Best for: cheap and cheerful stocking fillers
If you devised a checklist of shopping lusts for a London man about town, you could tick most boxes in O’Dells. Smart Northampton-made shoes? Old-fangled wallet? Cold-pressed coffee? Beard oil? Full house. Every product has a pleasing provenance, from Italian hand-knitted ties to rugs woven in a sitting room in Pimlico. If you have a fellow to buy for, and you’re feeling a bit clueless, come here – stick a pin in anywhere and you’ll pick a winner. 24 Calvert Avenue, E2 7JP
Best for: stylish menswear
Find more gifts in our ultimate Christmas gift guide.