Leaving Christmas shopping to the last minute is a mistake many of us make every year. Although we vow to “buy our gifts early” it simply never happens. Luckily, London has some of the best department stores in the world, so if you’re looking for last minute gifts, there’s absolutely no need to worry.
No Christmas in London would be complete without a visit to Harrods. While the whole store will be filled with festive surprises, nothing beats the 2,000 square foot Christmas World department on the third floor. Here you can find everything from cards and decorations to six foot Santa’s with a whopping £4,000 price tag. Harrods really goes all out at Christmas, especially with Santa’s grotto –every child leaves with a present.
Some people just can’t wait; despite the fact that it was the beginning of August, Selfridges were the first department store in the world to open their Christmas floor. With an estimated 46,500 decorations on their stock list, it probably wasn’t a bad idea either. All jokes aside, the floor was opened for tourists who won’t be around during the festive season and want to bring home a Christmas souvenir. Now the store is in full swing and is the perfect place to find some Christmas gifts before time runs out.
John Lewis in Oxford Street may not have the prestige of Harrods and Selfridges; however, the prices certainly make it a more appealing option for Christmas shopping; and with quality goods and excellent service, you can’t complain. What’s great about John Lewis is that it splits everything up into specific categories, to make the shopping experience as simple as possible – tech gifts, fashion gifts, etc. With over 20 different departments spread across seven floors, it’ll be difficult not to find what you’re looking for.
With its Tudor style and old Victorian décor, Liberty is without a doubt one of the most visually striking buildings in London. Liberty is held in very high regard and stocks only the best of the best, so don’t expect presents to be cheap; if you seek quality, then look nowhere else. Liberty’s Christmas Shop is unbelievably stunning and filled with a wide array of arts, crafts and gift opportunities.
Harvey Nichols is often referred to as the younger and more fashionable version of Harrods. The store has been around since 1813, but back then it sold only simple linens. Nowadays it’s more than just a store, it’s one of London’s premiere tourist attractions. All over the world Harvey Nichols has a reputation for quality; even the produce from their Christmas Hampers has been sourced and imported from around the globe – perfect if you’re lost for ideas.
Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason is famed for its afternoon tea and is the store of choice for the Royal Family. The store’s Christmas hampers range from £45 up to £5000, containing various assorted delicacies from around the world. One of the most popular items, however, is their handmade wooden advent calendars, which are said to last a lifetime. Throughout the Christmas season Fortnum & Mason will also be holding a number of workshops including cake making with Fiona Cairns (the Royal Wedding baker) and a Yule log master class.
When you’ve finished your last minute shopping, there’s nothing better than a relaxing trip on the London Helicopter to de-stress and recuperate.