It’s official, we are now in December which means we can really get excited about Christmas! Picking out the perfect Christmas gift for loved ones is something which can bring the most grounded person to their knees in panic, especially if you are Christmas shopping in London. What was once a quiet, peaceful high street becomes a scene for Christmas shopping carnage. Everyone runs to get the last 2-4-1 variety chocolate boxes, terrible smelling perfume gift boxes or, even worse, the novelty tie and socks!
This year Best LDN Walks and Who London are taking a stand. We have created a London walking tour around some of London’s heritage stores to help you find gifts with a meaning, with a story, with history and with love.
Over the course of two and a half hours we take a slow stroll around the historic village of St James and visit a series of fantastic family owned British heritage shops, with a cheeky mulled wine break half way through with splashes of funny facts and strange stories along the way.
On Saturday 13th December we will sample, taste, nibble, smell, drink and laugh our way through the sometimes tedious chore of Christmas shopping. This London walking tour… anything but tedious!
• Sample and pick up English cheeses from a 200 year old cheese shop, the same place that introduced Stilton to high society in 1700.
• Fill your home with Christmassy candles in a Victorian perfume shop and smell personalised fragrances of Winston Churchill, Ian Fleming and Marilyn Monroe.
• Visit an iconic London cigar shop which supplied Winston Churchill, Napoleon 3rd, The Queen Mother, George 6th and Oscar Wilde. Look upon the oldest box of Havana Cigars in existence and of course grab some unique stocking fillers.
• Sip some exclusive liqueur, wines and brandy in a 16th century alcohol store, which supplied The Titanic, Lord Byron and still supplies the Queen. This extra special stop is a brilliant place to grab small stocking filler bottles or for Christmas breakfast champagne!
• Try on hats in the world’s oldest hat shop, the very shop which invented the bowler hat and supplied Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. Wrap yourself in fur scarves and twirl your cane in this beautiful historic shop.
• Men need pampering too so we step inside a Gentleman’s Club Pamper Salon, in fact the world’s oldest male grooming salon. They have all sorts of shaving accessories and fine smelling bathroom essentials.
• What is Christmas without chocolate? We sample a handful of handmade chocolates in the shop which still supplies the Royal Family. From silky caramels, to creamy fondants, champagne truffles and simply delicious after dinner mints this place has it all and it will be hard to drag ourselves away.
• Books are an easy Christmas present to pick up and we step foot in London’s oldest bookshop famed for its signed editions. You’ll be able to pick up signed cookery, photography and autobiography books, and special edition novels.
• We finally end in a very famous department store which sold the world’s first batch of Heinz baked beans and even invented the Scotch Egg.
If you want to find some beautiful crafted gifts this year which won’t be destined for the rubbish bin then join other Who London members on Saturday 13th December. All you need to bring is a little money and a sense of humour. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll discover in this special Christmas shopping in London tour.
Guest blog post by Charlotte at Best LDN Walks
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