The best Christmas shops in London

Whether you like to get your Christmas shopping done early or you leave it till the last minute, you're guaranteed to find everything you need in these stores
Selfridges Christmas windows
Selfridges
By Time Out editors |
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Christmas is fast approaching so it's time to plan your festive shopping. But with so many shops scattered across the city, it's pretty tricky deciding where to begin your annual present hunt.

So we've rounded up the best Christmas shops in London to help you avoided the dreaded gift rush. Have a wander through the list below and you'll find original gift ideas, beautiful baubles and the most spectacular decorations. And don't forget to pay a visit to London's Christmas markets and fairs and our gift guide while you're at it. Get wrapping people.

RECOMMENDED: Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London

1
Tate Modern
Art, Galleries

Tate Modern

icon-location-pin South Bank

Good for: arty accessories and soft furnishings
Forget rainbow rubbers and giant pencils, Tate Modern’s gift shop is full of lovely things you’d actually use, from Tracey Emin Christmas cards to Grayson Perry cushion covers. You don’t even need to pretend you’re a modern art fan to shop here – thanks to its handy position at the museum’s entrance.

2
Shopping

The Goodhood Store

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Good for: designer streetwear

For casual clothes and quirky homeware that doesn’t take itself too seriously, take a trip to this game-changing concept shop, full of handpicked items for Goodhood’s very hip customers, from hand-carved skateboards and affordable accessories to branded tees. It’s all good in the ’hood.

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3
Shopping, Toys and games

Harrods

icon-location-pin Brompton

Good for: all-around elegance

You know you’ve made it when your Christmas tree is covered in silk-panel baubles from Harrods. Gloriously grandiose, with its famous grotto, this London institution really comes into its own at Christmas. You could easily lose hours here floor-hopping from Toy Kingdom to the heavyweight fashion brands to the elegant beauty halls. This is London shopping at its most decadent.

4
100 best shops in London: Liberty
Shopping, Home decor

Liberty

icon-location-pin Soho

Good for: decadent gifts

Wandering through this doyenne of department stores is a little like exploring a stately home. Except that instead of portraits of dead ancestors it houses a lovingly curated selection of beautifully designed floral fabrics, designer fashion and beauty brands.

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5
Best shops in London: Selfridges
Hotels

Selfridges

icon-location-pin Marylebone

Good for: a bit of everything
With nine floors’ worth of designer goods, a well-stocked beauty hall and a wealth of price points, you could tick off your entire Christmas shopping list here. Sick of shopping? Try a panto in the basement theatre. Plus, the Christmas window displays always make a pretty addition to your Instagram account.

6
2106_Pollocks945_RG.jpg
© Rob Greig
Shopping, Toys and games

Benjamin Pollock's Toy Shop

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Good for: throwback toys 

In these times of VR headsets and child-centric iPad games, it’s heartening to see there’s still an appetite for playthings of the more traditional variety – as found at this timewarp of a toyshop. Founded in 1856, Benjamin Pollock’s houses an intriguing jumble of toy theatres, books and puppets – kids and grown-ups love it so. 

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7
Shopping, Toys and games

Sylvanian Families Shop

icon-location-pin Brownswood Park

Good for: cute collectables

A testament to the enduring popularity of these adorable soft toys, the Sylvanian shop in Highbury has been around since the early ’90s and continues to attract both serious collectors and fickler younger fans. It’s the only store of its kind in Europe – a genuine retro delight.

8
Shopping, Bookshops

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

icon-location-pin Hoxton

Good for: amusing oddities

Selling ghoulish-sounding sweets such as ‘Fang Floss’ and ‘Cubed Earwax’, plus stationery, t-shirts and letterpress cards, this inspired east London store feels like something JK Rowling might have dreamed up. In fact, its takings help fund the Ministry of Stories, a charity co-founded by Nick Hornby that provides writing workshops and coaching for youngsters.

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9
Shopping

Ottie and the Bea

icon-location-pin Westcombe Park

Good for: contemporary kids toys

A trip to this Blackheath toyshop will lighten the mood of even the grumpiest of little ’uns, while parents can treat it as a reconnaissance mission for scouting potential gifts. Win-win. The store touts itself as a ‘modern children’s shop’ and as such stocks Japanese collectables, comics and designer Maileg dolls’ houses.

10
Camera
Shopping, Specialist food and drink

Paul A Young Fine Chocolates

icon-location-pin Angel

Good for: cocoa alchemy

Willy Wonka has nothing on Paul A Young, the pastry chef-turned-chocolatier behind this boutiquey store, and others in the city. This is where you’ll find the good stuff: quirky truffles in fantastical varieties (Marmite, for one), gooey brownies and bingeworthy boxes that can be made up with an assortment of your faves.

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11
Camera
Shopping, Cheesemongers

The Cheeseboard

icon-location-pin Greenwich

Good for: specialist queso

Sniff out this Greenwich outfit to find one of London’s classiest cheese shops. It celebrates some unusual British varieties along with Continental classics, with biodynamic wines, crackers and chutney thrown in for good measure. Staff are happy (in general, probably) to let customers try before they buy.

12
Camera
Shopping, Specialist food and drink

Greensmiths

icon-location-pin Waterloo

Good for: artisan bread and local food

A supermarket for those who don’t much care for supermarkets, Greensmiths is tucked away round the back of Waterloo station on the cobbles of Lower Marsh. Each of its four floors teems with gastronomic treasures, from the excellent butchery on the ground floor to a basement jam-packed with craft ales and wines.

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13
Gucci, Dover Street Market, 2017
Shopping, Womenswear

Dover Street Market

icon-location-pin Mayfair

Good for: up-and-coming labels

This multi-coloured mecca for the fashion-obsessed houses some of London’s brightest stars, from Grace Wales Bonner’s elegant tailored menswear to Molly Goddard’s dreamy dresses. Besides, where else can you find polka-dot Converse alongside a beautiful menagerie of stuffed birds?

14
Shopping, Music and entertainment

The Shop at Bluebird

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Good for: luxury threads and unexpected fashion

You’ll need to set aside an entire afternoon to browse the beautifully arranged racks of fashion-forward pieces that occupy this airy 10,000- square-foot space, formally an art-deco garage. There’s even an in-store spa for you to take a breather before the allure of a ruffled blouse by Alexander McQueen pulls you back to the shop floor.

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15
Blitz London
Shopping, Music and entertainment

Atika

icon-location-pin Brick Lane

Good for: trending retro gear
Anyone with an eye for vintage should head to this fabulous old furniture factory. It’s filled with rails of coloured denim, silk kimonos, seersucker blazers and shiny, lace-up brogues, plus a floor for accessories and a great book collection. You won’t find that musty charity shop smell here: all the stock is cleaned, steamed and folded before it hits the racks.

16
Shopping, Menswear

Oi Polloi

icon-location-pin Soho

Good for: menswear

Founders Steve Sanderson and Nigel Lawson have been supplying the snappily dressed men of London and Manchester with stylish yet understated garb since 2002. Buy from them now, then sit back and watch all your mates follow suit.

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17
Shopping

Pam Pam

icon-location-pin Brick Lane

Good for: fancy footwear

Not all girls are Barbie-pink glitter fiends, and those who aren’t will appreciate the relaxed, boyish clothing, eclectic jewellery and pastel ceramics sold at Pam Pam. With a front room dedicated entirely to women’s trainers, it’s the ideal shopping destination for anyone who isn’t a girly-girl.

18
100 best shops London: Other Shop
Shopping, Womenswear

OTHER/Shop

icon-location-pin Soho

Best for: cult and niche brands

For wearable labels with a creative twist that will almost certainly provoke a ‘I love your top, where did you get it?’ from fashion-savvy mates, it has to be Other. The uncluttered, industrial-style space provides a cool backdrop for unfussy designs from the likes of Lemaire and Peter Jensen.  

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19
Liberia bookshop
Iwan Baan
Shopping, Bookshops

Libreria

icon-location-pin Spitalfields

Good for: distraction-free literature

At this fun, stylish, tech-free bookshop, you can leaf through literature, which has been arranged into themes such as ‘Wanderlust’, ‘Enchantment’ and ‘The City’, which should make discovering new authors easier as well as speed up any last-minute gift-buying you happen to be doing.

20
Camera
Shopping, Bookshops

London Review Bookshop

icon-location-pin Bloomsbury

Good for: renowned literature and bijou tea

With informed and enthusiastic staff, invitingly arranged bookshelves and two floors packed with politics, poetry and philosophy, plus sections for audiobooks, classic and new fiction, this petite store is well worth a visit. Refuel and flick through your purchases in the excellent onsite café.

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21
Shopping And Style__DSC9123.jpg
© Britta Jaschinski
Shopping, Bookshops

Book Art Bookshop

icon-location-pin Hoxton

Good for: unusual editions

This cute corner shop provides shelf space for small press publications, artsy limited editions and carefully selected small runs of collectable books. Beautifully designed cult magazines and coffee table tomes make this tiny haven a lovely place to grab something special for a bookworm with eclectic taste.  

22
Shopping, Bookshops

Daunt Books

icon-location-pin Marylebone

Good for: travel books

Oak balconies, stained-glass windows and viridian-green walls combine into what could well be London’s most beautiful bookshop. Its Edwardian walls are packed to the rafters with paperbacks and the travel section’s especially great: ordered by country and bound to induce wanderlust in the homeliest of homebodies.

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23
Shopping, Bookshops

Foyles Charing Cross Road

icon-location-pin Soho

Good for: popular reads

After moving into the old Central Saint Martins building in 2014, the dramatically made-over Foyles can make a decent claim to the title of London’s best bookshop. Its 37,000 square feet of floor space is packed with more than 200,000 books, as well as a floor dedicated to events and a swish café. With that amount of real estate, you’ll find all the latest cookbooks and high-profile releases as well as plenty of niche titles, plus very well-read staff.

24
Art, Home decor

Heal's

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

Good for: modern aesthetics

Heal’s puts its 42,000 square feet to good use with an aspirational edit of fancy furniture, Nordic dinnerware and Tom Dixon fragrances and candles. If you’re short on gift-getting inspiration, its gift-laden ground floor is sure to provide a eureka! moment or two, and its customer service has been a virtue throughout its long history.

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25
Shopping, Home decor

The Conran Shop

icon-location-pin South Kensington

Good for: designer homeware

Sir Terence Conran’s eye for dazzling design is as sharp as ever judging by the offerings at his Fulham Road flagship. Bringing together trendy investment pieces, ornaments and cookware, it’s the ideal place to pick up gifts and goods for the home. The art deco building itself was formerly owned by Michelin, and there’s a Michelin-starred restaurant, Bibendum, and oyster bar housed within.

26
House Of Hackney, 2016
Shopping, Home decor

House of Hackney

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Good for: luxe interiors

Cross the threshold of this Shoreditch emporium and you’ll be greeted with an audacious array of prints – from ’70s-style Palmeral to dusky Dalston Rose – which adorn fabric, mugs, wallpaper and garments. Minimalism is not the vibe here, nor downstairs where you will find statement furniture and ahead-of-the-curve accessories.

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27
Shopping, Home decor

West Elm

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

Good for: budget-friendly decor

Owned by the brains behind Pottery Barn, this is the place to unearth some lovely interior designs at affordable prices. As well as top-notch homeware and artwork from local artists, West Elm boasts a convenient gift-wrapping service for frazzled Christmas shoppers.

Fancy one of these Christmas jumpers?

Shopping, Fancy-dress

20 of the best Christmas jumpers

Christmas jumpers are hot stuff. Whether you're wrapping yourself up in a vintage sweater or you're rocking a comedy pullover, there's no better way to show your appreciation for the festive season (or cover that Christmas excess). 

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