Christmas shopping can be an arduous task, so why not embrace one of London’s special shopping events, where fizz and festivities turn the gift hunt into a fun afternoon or evening out…
Words: Andrew Zuccala
1 With Love From Oxo late Night Shopping Night
The Dazzle contemporary jewellery exhibition has been an annual event at the Oxo Tower Wharf creative community for four years now. This year the event will be joined by 25 resident independent boutiques for a huge Christmas shopping event on 1 December. Oxo Tower Wharf retailers will be offering festive treats, adult face painting, meditation trials, personalising services, make-your-own gifts, discounts, exclusive previews and live music from strolling band The Busketeers. 5-8pm.
Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank SE1 9PH; oxotower.co.uk
2 Greenwich Market’s Lantern Parade and Lights On
The Greenwich Lantern Procession and Lights On event falls on Wednesday 23 November. The lantern procession – a marvel of festive lanterns made by local school children – starts at 4pm in front of the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre at the ORNC before winding its way to the market, lead by a jazz band from Trinity Laban. The lights-on countdown starts at 4.45pm and this year the honour of flicking the switch falls to Sarah Jane Honeywell from CBeeBees with characters from Greenwich Theatre’s panto. All can then join in singing Christmas Carols, meet Father Christmas in his Greenwich Grotto and shop late through to 7pm. From 1-24 December, Greenwich Market will be open seven days a week to help you find that perfect gift.
3 Petersham Nurseries’ Christmas Shopping Events
On Thursday 1 December, Petersham Nurseries hosts its annual candelit Christmas Carol and Shopping Evening from 6-9pm. The braziers will be lit, the fairy lights will be glistening and mulled wine and mince pies will be offered for a small donation to the nursery’s chosen charity. It’s a must for those seeking Christmas gift and decor inspiration. And to add make things even better, on the morning of Friday 2 December, the nursery is holding their Prosecco and Panettone Shopping Event from 9.30am-12pm, where guests can grab some breakfast in the café before strolling around the grounds and the nursery’s shop.
Church Lane, Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB; petershamnurseries.com
4 The New Zealand Cellar Garage Sale
On 10 December, The New Zealand Cellar will once again host its coveted Garage Sale at Pop Brixton. For one day only, the award-winning wine purveyors will be offering up to 30% off across their extensive list of New Zealand wines. They’re encouraging all wine enthusiasts to drink and gift wisely this festive season as they try out wines from a diverse range of producers. The day itself will incorporate wine tastings, master-classes, DJ’s and plenty of fun. Tickets are on sale for £10 and are expected to sell out early.
49 Brixton Station Road SW9 8PQ; thenewzealandcellar.co.uk
5 Chiltern Street Late Night Shopping
West London’s annual Christmas calendar highlight, the Chiltern Street Christmas Shopping Event, returns this year on Wednesday 23 November. For one night only, shops on Chiltern Street will extend their opening hours until 9pm, where shoppers can enjoy a host of special promotions and offers, alongside complimentary festive drinks and delicacies in stores. To keep shoppers going, Cadenhead’s will be offering a free whisky tasting while Monocle Café will be handing out mulled wine. Chiltern Street will also be running a social media competition on its Facebook page, offering shoppers a chance to win a Christmas gift hamper worth over £800.
Chiltern Street, Marylebone W1U; ChilternStreetW1.co.uk
6 East Dulwich Christmas Cracker & Love West Dulwich Christmas Fair
East Dulwich will host a street festival with all the trimmings when the Christmas Cracker returns on Saturday 3 December from 11am-5pm with an especially festive North Cross Road market brimming with gifts and festive foods. Now in its fifth year, the 2016 East Dulwich Christmas Cracker will offer even more to get everyone in the festive spirit, with musical performances from local bands, choirs and theatre groups, roaming festive entertainers, a kids’ treasure hunt, arts and crafts workshops and sports activities, plus exclusive offers from fantastic local traders and businesses. The Love West Dulwich Christmas Fair takes place on Park Hall Road, Croxted Road and Rosendale Road on Saturday 26 November from 10am to 4pm with even more festive fun.
See southwark.gov.uk / facebook.com/lovewestdulwich
7 Chelsea Christmas Shopping Weekend
Chelsea will be offering a touch of festive sparkle for gift-hunters with a spectacular Christmas Shopping Weekend and Gourmet Gift Market on 3-4 December. Complimentary horse and carriage rides, jolly entertainment, music and twinkling lights all add to the festive atmosphere as you enjoy some retail therapy, including carol singers performing in support of local charity Glass Door. Santa’s Grotto has also returned to Duke of York Square and is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 23 December.
80 Duke of York Square, Chelsea SW3 4LY; dukeofyorksquare.com
8 Tooting White Christmas Fair
The annual White Christmas Fair has taken place in different locations around Wandsworth and Battersea since being founded in 2012, and this year it comes to Tooting Market. Taking place on Saturday 17 December, you can peruse the wares of a handpicked range of independent designers and talented makers, and enjoy an abundance of festive food as you sip mulled wine beneath a canopy of twinkling lights. With resident market holders also offering up a mix of world cuisine, vintage stalls and vibrant cafés and bars, it’s the perfect setting for a spot of late night, last minute gift shopping.
21-23 Tooting High Street SW17 0SN; whitechristmasfair.co.uk
9 East End Independent’s Day Shopping at Columbia Road
Make your way over to the glorious Columbia Road on 3 December to do a spot of shopping while enjoying a number of festive tunes from Christmas carollers. The Royal Oak will be offering up mulled cider and hot chocolate to keep you warm while The Alternative London Shopping & Making Tour will include a spray paint workshop at their premises. You can even take part in a ukulele workshop with the Duke of Uke at Newspeak House! 10am-6pm.
Columbia Road, London E2 7RG; eastendtradesguild.org.uk
10 Enchanted Christmas Market at Sutton House
Every weekend in the lead up to Christmas, Sutton House in Hackney is hosting a number of indoor, family friendly, Christmas pop-ups. Enjoy warm mulled wine, crackling wood fires and the many halls and chambers of Sutton House filled with an extravaganza of pop-up shops and stalls run by local artisans. It is one of the cosiest Christmas shopping spots going around.
2 & 4 Homerton High Street E9 6JQ; nationaltrust.org.uk
11 Maze Hill Pottery Christmas Open Studio
The Maze Hill Pottery Studio is opening its doors to the public on 3 and 4 December from 10am till 6pm, allowing guests to see artists making their unique designs while getting the chance to buy some alternative Christmas gifts at wholesale prices. Maze Hill Pottery will also be offering pottery classes to all of those creative souls out there who want to re-enact Ghost after a few glasses of mulled wine…
The Old Ticket Office, Woodlands Park Road, Maze Hill SE10 9XE; mazehillpottery.co.uk
12 Traces at Fenton House: Lives, loves and loss.
Delve into the intriguing world of the Gee family as Traces present an immersive festive experience from 3 December. Unfold forgotten stories in a theatrical experience and challenge your senses as you wander through the abandoned rooms of Fenton House and unpick their secrets as fictional narratives are interwoven with factual discoveries. Discover spaces reimagined by artists, designers and makers with a wealth of specially commissioned objects, all available to purchase.
Hampstead Grove, Hampstead NW3 6SP; nationaltrust.org.uk
13 Camberwell Arts Open Studios
For two weekends, Camberwell artists, makers and creators will once again open their doors to art lovers, collectors and gift seekers where everything you can imagine will be on show. Expect bespoke jewellery, paintings, textiles, fashion, photography, ceramics, homewares, accessories and more. The first event will be held at Vanguard Court from 3-4 December while the second will take place from 10-11 December across a number of different locations. Check their website for the full list of locations and artists.
Vanguard Court, 36-38 Peckham Road SE5 8QT; camberwellarts.org.uk
14 Rainham Hall Frost Fayre
Traditions from three hundred years ago are revisited at Rainham Hall on 26 and 27 November. Back in the good old days, Frost Fayres would take place when the river froze over and stalls and entertainment took place on the ice. Rainham Hall reimagines this seasonal spectacle with stalls selling gifts from local designers and makers accompanied by music and merriment. This will surely be one quirky Christmas market.
The Broadway, Rainham, Havering RM13 9YN; nationaltrust.org.uk
15 Vera Blagev’s Christmas Open House
This December, for one weekend only, London-based abstract artist Vera Blagev is opening the doors to her home in Wandsworth to showcase her latest artworks. Vera’s home will be open to visitors all weekend from 10am to 6pm on both Saturday 3 December and Sunday 4 December. To celebrate the Christmas season, Vera is gifting 100 plants to the first 100 visitors to her artist open house. These plants are cuttings that Vera has taken over the past several months from her own London garden, from her favourite houseplants, and from her mother-in-law’s garden on the Isle of Wight.
62 Brookwood Road, Wandsworth SW18 5BY; veraveraonthewall.com
16 Camden Passage’s Festive Thursdays Late Night Shopping
Join the independent shops and cafes of one of London’s prettiest festive streets as they open their doors for special evening openings until 9pm every Thursday in December. Camden Passage is home to some of London’s best independent boutiques specialising in antiques, homewares, jewellery, lingerie and new and vintage clothing. Celebrate the Dickensian Christmas atmosphere with carol singers and special seasonal events in each boutique including designer appearances, free gifts and promotions and indulge in complimentary mince pies, mulled wine and food tastings while you tick off your Christmas shopping list.
Camden Passage, Islington N1 8EA; camdenpassageislington.co.uk
17 Christmas by Design at Osterley Park and House
Osterley Park and House deconstructs the elements that make up Christmas in a Christmas by Design showcase running every weekend throughout December. Explore key features of the festive season such as Christmas trees, decorations and more across the Robert Adam’s neo-classical mansion and get the chance to buy some festive goodies along the way. You can also take part in some of their wreath workshops while the kids explore Santa’s Grotto.
Jersey Road, Isleworth TW7 4RB; nationaltrust.org.uk
18 The Old Dalston Christmas Market
On Sunday 27 November, Hackney’s largest vintage market, is hosting an indoor Christmas shopping event at Epic Dalston with a food hall, mulled wine and Festivus sound system. Housing over 50 vintage traders, there will be plenty of original festive gift ideas, vintage decorations, mid-century furniture, retro clothes, and all manner of yesteryear winter wonderment. 11am-6pm.
13-15 Stoke Newington High Street N16 8BH; hackneyfleamarket.com