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Image: Gareth HackerFee Fee La Fou

Six shops for great birthday gifts in London

Is a difficult person getting a little bit older? Swing by one of these ever-reliable London shops bursting with ideas for birthday gifts

Written by
Miriam Bouteba

We’ve all been there – after a busy week you suddenly glance at your calendar and realise that one of your nearest and dearest is about to hit a special milestone. Rather than frantically wrapping up the contents of your own flat at random or hoping the local corner shop can deliver the birthday gift of their dreams, head to one of the brilliant shops below – simply the very best places for birthday gift ideas in London.

RECOMMENDED: Ten great birthday ideas for celebrating in London 

Shops for birthday gift ideas

  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Bankside
The gift shop at the Tate Modern scoffs at the thought of just selling rainbow rubbers and giant pencils. It’s packed full of genuinely lovely things for all of the family, from Georgia O’Keeffe prints and Grayson Perry cushions to David Shrigley dominoes and Guerrilla Girls tea towels. It’s cleverly positioned at the entrance to the gallery, so you don’t even need to pretend to be cultured and all that to shop there. And deep down you know that your cat deserves a Tracey Emin water bowl.
  • Shopping
  • Bakeries
  • Oxford Street
It’s easy to forget just how ginormous Selfridges is; the length of an entire block, this sprawling store is expanding still – which is great when you have to pick up a last-minute present. The sheer scale of the operation means it accommodates a breadth of brands that span all price points – from Primark to Prada, it’s all here. It’s also got something suitable for everyone, from your granny to your best-friend’s new sprog. The only difficulty is staying on track and not getting distracted by all the other things happening in there.
Fee Fee La Fou HQ
  • Shopping
  • Art, craft and hobbies
  • Dalston

If a ringmaster retired in order to fulfil his lifelong ambition of owning a gift shop, he’d probably open somewhere a lot like Fee Fee La Fou HQ. Part gallery, part shop, almost everything on display here is available to buy, from the artfully mismatched wallpaper down to the eccentric poodle lamps. This bright store is packed full of everything you could possibly want and nothing that you strictly need, which makes it the perfect place to pick up presents.

Couverture & The Garbstore
  • Shopping
  • Womenswear
  • Notting Hill
The contents of this slick three-storey boutique are flawlessly curated. The ground and upper floors house Couveture, which stocks an enticing array of homeware, furniture, women’s and children’s fashion and the odd vintage knick-knack. The basement is home to Ian Paley’s menswear label The Garbstore, which garners nods of approval from the snootiest of fashion insiders. A great place to pick up gifts for the sartorially minded.
  • Shopping
  • Department stores
  • Clerkenwell

This confusingly named super stylish store stocks cards, beautiful stationery, lovely homewares and smart accessories. It also has its own wine shop – ideal for your friends who like their gifts a bit more drinkable. In the basement is The Well at Clerkenwell, a tranquil spa and beauty salon that sells luxe spa packages, so if you don’t find anything in the shop upstairs you can really treat someone on their birthday.

Paper Mache Tiger

Paper Mache Tiger

PR and sales agency Paper Mache Tiger specialises in fashion and accessories. With showrooms in New York, Paris and London, it’s set up shop at the front of its Islington office. The living incarnation of a particularly well-executed Instagram post, the shop is full of bleached wood, succulents and even has its own artisan coffee shop. But it’s not just window dressing; the shop also stocks some pretty nice pressies, like playful jersey from être cécile, Finnish homewares from Marimekko, sleek Japanese stationery and homewares from Darkroom.

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