5 years, 9 months ago
Many Christmas Fairs have been and gone already in London but if you haven’t started your festive shopping yet don’t despair. Obviously, London has a gazillion shops from the High Street stores along Oxford Street to the iconic department stores such as Harrods and Selfridges but the locations and events listed here should mean the shopping itself is enjoyable for you too.
This coming weekend has lots of ideas for the foodie in your life. Taste of Christmas is at ExCel on 7-9 December 2012. Last year there were 30,000 visitors so yes, it will be busy, but some of the country’s best chefs will be there so enjoy the demonstrations and tastings before getting the shopping done in the boutique market.
Michel Roux Jr. at Taste of Christmas 2012
If only chocolate will suffice, you need the Chocolate Festival, also on this weekend, 7-9 December 2012. It’s behind the Southbank Centre and there’s no admission fee to visit. While tasting the samples you can choose some indulgent gifts from some of the world’s best chocolatiers. You can convince yourself it’s educational too by trying a free tutored tasting session.
If you need more ideas for those food lovers, try the Christmas Real Food Market behind the Southbank Centre. You’ve got two weekends on 14-16 and 20-23 December 2012 to buy gifts and all you need for your Christmas meal including seasonal meats, cheeses, chutneys and cakes.
Image © garryknight
There’s a Christmas Fayre at The Horniman Museum in south London on 8-9 December 2012. Enjoy the mulled wine and carol singing then get on with the shopping as there will be stalls selling fairtrade and recycled gifts, ethical fashion, plus locally-sourced gifts and produce such as jewellery and preserves.
Image © Laura Porter
The National Trust location in east London, Sutton House, has a Christmas Craft Fair on 8-9 December 2012. After meeting Santa in his Grotto enjoy the pop-up shops and workshops from some of the best crafts-people in the capital.
Image © Vicky Ayech
Southbank Centre Christmas Market started on 16 November and runs until Christmas Eve. It’s an atmospheric place to shop as there’s always festive music and the smells of gingerbread and mulled wine make shopping from the wooden chalets along the riverside a real treat for you too. The market is open every day until 10pm.
Image © heatheronhertravels
Greenwich Market is known for its excellent mix of quirky and unique gift ideas and the Greenwich Christmas Market runs from 10-24 December 2012. Whether it’s fashion and jewellery, or handmade toys and arts and crafts, you should be able to tick a lot off your shopping list at this delightful covered market open every day during the festive season.
Image © dee_gee
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park has a popular Christmas Market along with ice skating, Zippo’s Circus, the Ice Kingdom and a giant observation wheel. But back to the shopping where there are over 100 wooden chalets selling jewellery, clothing, handicrafts and culinary delights. There’s also a Yuletide Market this year for your Christmas decorations.
If you’re leaving the shopping to the last minute, Brixton Market in south London has a Christmas Market on Saturday 22 December 2012. There will be handmade gifts and vintage ware as well as the ever-popular street food.
Image © Danny Robinson
Columbia Road in east London has “Christmas Wednesdays” on 12 and 19 December 2012. This street comes alive on Sunday mornings for the flower market but the independent shopkeepers get together for these special Wednesday evenings, 5-9pm, only at Christmas for shopping, live music and excellent food. There are over 50 shops involved again this year making this a great place to find something unusual while enjoying an evening out.
If you wish it could be Christmas every day, it can be in London as The Christmas Shop near London Bridge is open all year round.