Can’t face Westfield this weekend? The best local shops for last-minute gifts

So here it is: the weekend of the year when all the ‘last chance to order before Christmas’ emails start to clog up your inbox. If you aren’t one of those smug people who already have a pile of perfectly-wrapped gifts under the tree, fear not. You don’t need to brave Oxford Street (unless you are actually crazy and want to go there), or stump up for express delivery when there are so many unique gifts for even the most awkward of relatives right on your doorstep. Here is a selection of my favourite independent boutiques and gift shops to visit in E2 and nearby, many of which have late opening hours in the run-up to Christmas.

 

Cheshire Street

Just off Brick Lane, Comfort Station offers jewellery hand-made in East London, and beautiful ceramic dinnerware. For something really special, there is also a personalisation service in store. Just down the road is gourmet chocolate shop, Paxton Chocolate. The giant thins are a great stocking filler or secret santa gift at £3.95 . Our favourite is the white chocolate raspberry and rose. For the chocoholics in your life, also check out Dark Sugars on Brick Lane, where you can re-fuel with a luxury hot chocolate.

 

Box Park

Head to The Gift Box and Secret Santa Baby for stocking fillers and secret santa gifts ranging from Pez dispensers, troll dolls and wine-scented candles, to quirky lamps and NASA merchandise. Hopt sells craft beers, wines and spirits, selected based on the mood you are in, whether you’re having a chilled evening in or you’re getting ready for a big night out. Nearby BrewDog on Bethnal Green Road also carries a wide range of beers.

 

 

Redchurch Street

Redchurch Street is a design-lover’s paradise, lined with contemporary boutiques and hipster cafes. Labour and Wait household goods may seem like an unlikely choice for gifts from the outside but, inside, it is a treasure trove of beautifully designed functional items, perfect for shopping for awkward dads, with products ranging from combat survival kits and garden tools to rum butter and beer bread mix. For foodie friends and relatives, Albion’s grocery store stocks gift foods and British store cupboard essentials in retro packaging.

 

Calvert Avenue

For gifts for someone you live with (because you won’t be able to part with such things of beauty), Charlene Mullen specialises in embroidered textiles. The city skyline cushions and lamps are a highlight, though the dinnerware is more affordable yet equally as striking. On the other side of this peaceful boutique-lined street is Luna and Curious, great for gifts for adults and children including books, clothing, stationery and jewellery.

 

Columbia Road

To really get into the festive spirit, head to the last Christmas Wednesday shopping evening at Columbia Road on the 21st December, from 5-9pm. Wander the cobbled streets and enjoy a mulled wine and the sounds of carol singers whilst finishing your shopping. Jessie Chorley has a perfect range of gifts for craft- lovers including the Make your own Journal kit. For the gardener in your life, head to Keeping House for accessories for the garden.

 

Museum gift shops

The V&A Museum of Childhood offers a great range of gifts for children of all ages, including books, games, and stationery, as well as a small range of gifts for adults including luxury preserves, and homeware featuring William Morris designs.

The Geffrye Museum of the Home is ideal for hunting down gifts for retro-lovers and home-birds. Alongside mugs, candles and gift books, there are quirky gifts like neon-coloured globes and retro telephones.

 

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