Esther’s guide to Christmas shopping

Love it or hate it, it’s that time of year again. When you compile your present list, umm and ahh – then head out into the hustle and bustle of London’s famous shopping streets. With so many gifts to buy – and so much choice on offer – it can all feel rather overwhelming. So here are my favourite destinations for successful shopping – and some much-deserved downtime…

  1. For sybarites: What do you get for the girl who has everything?! For a great range of beautiful choices all under one roof, you can’t beat the traditionalism of Liberty. Housing everything from lovely make-up to pretty stationary, handbags to jewellery you’re sure to find something for that luxury-lover.
  1. For men: Aren’t men impossible to buy for? With a husband and two sons to buy for, I know this only too well. Luckily, I’ve found that the gizmos, gadgets and generally practical wares offered in the Conran shop generally tick all the right boxes if the man in your life likes to think of himself as a bit of a Gordon Ramsay.
  1. Shopping high street at Christmas For an afternoon pit-stop: Oxford Street is one of London’s busiest and most popular Christmas shopping destinations – but all those crowds can be exhausting! When you need a sanctuary from the madness and fancy a little treat, my favourite place for a classic afternoon tea is Claridges. Marvel at the spectacular Christmas tree, soak up the splendour – and refuel on their exquisite array of sandwiches, scones and mini pastries.
  1. For the bookworm: Yes, you can order anything from Amazon, but I like to support my local independent bookshops. Daunt is full of gems for those that love to travel – whilst Taschen in The Duke of York Square has a collection of the most beautiful coffee tables books covering a whole range of subjects.
  1. For a pre-party pamper: When I’ve been on my feet all afternoon and shopped until I’ve dropped, I’ll whizz into Paul Edmond’s salon in Knightsbridge for a quick hair spruce and a mani/pedi. A flick through the monthly magazines with a glassy of bubbly in hand is the perfect way to wind down after the bustle of the crowds!
  1. For a job well done: When I’ve ticked off that present list and am on my way to the party, Iove to pop into PJ’s on the Fulham Road – a real Chelsea classic. After a few glasses of Taittinger and some snacks, I’m ready for a festive night ahead!
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