I’m not much of a Black Friday kind of girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sale, but I hate shopping, especially in a crowd. During my student days, I often worked a summer job at Harrods, and there’s nothing that puts you off sale-season shopping more than serving customers during the Harrods July sale. People get crazy!
Whenever possible, I much prefer to browse and buy in charming independent shops that are well curated with knowledgeable staff. Even then, my shopping limit tends to be about two different places, three at most. Truth be told, I’d often much rather shop online, and I’m always looking out for good online shops that offer something different from the usual run-of-the-mill stock and shopping experience. Below, I’ve picked some of the best online shops that make browsing their beautiful websites and well-chosen products a real treat (which – even better – you can enjoy from the comfort of your sofa, cup of tea in hand). You can feel great about the fact that you’re supporting independent businesses, too. A beautifully wrapped, interesting gift from The Hambledon, for instance, makes a truly personal gift and shows you’ve put a lot of thought into your gift-buying.
++ The Foodie Bugle Shop ++
The Lowdown: The Foodie Bugle is a gorgeous food and homeware shop in Bath (I’m planning a trip to Bath just so I can visit this shop) that I first discovered through their stunning instagram feed. Luckily, they have a great online shop too, offering beautiful ceramics, pantry supplies, kitchen and homeware and pretty stationery.
Buying For: This is the place to pick up stocking fillers and larger gifts for Mum and Dad, or any of your especially domestic, country-loving friends.
My Top Three Picks: 1/ Straw Basket 2/ Paul Jessop Jugs 3/ Just Bee Votive Candles
++ The Hambledon ++
The Lowdown: Oh, how I love The Hambledon! It stocks all manner of lovely things, from kitchenware, to gorgeously designed jewellery, interesting books, good food and pretty clothes.
Buying For: All the stylish, design-centric ladies in your life. You know, the ones that spend hours on Pinterest, host great parties and produce jaw-droppingly good DIYs.
My Top Three Picks: 1/ But First Coffee Thermal Mug 2/ Asago Scarf 3/ Sticks Bracelet
++ Smallprint ++
The Lowdown: Smallprint is a family-run, independent print and book shop that sells handpicked, beautifully illustrated children’s books and charming prints. Their website features appropriate books according to a child’s age category, and I love their Book Club packages, which deliver 1 picture book a month for 6 or 12 months.
Buying For: All the children in your life who deserve an extra special story-time.
My Top Three Picks: 1/ Grandma’s House 2/ Dorothy Print 3/ A Lion in Paris
++ Luna & Curious ++
The Lowdown: Luna & Curious is a lifestyle shop in Shoreditch, which happily has a good selection of its stock available to buy online. Expect to find fun toys for children, great-quality knitwear, unusual homeware and minimalist jewellery.
Buying For: The wooden toys are perfect for young children, and anyone who appreciates classics with a twist would love anything from this shop. The ABC teacups are especially good for girl friends.
My Top Three Picks: 1/ ABC teacup 2/ Fairisle Knit Jumper 3/ Dolls’ Green House
++ The Conran Shop ++
The Lowdown: The Conran Shop on Marylebone High Street is one of my very favourite London destinations, and they have a great online shop that ships worldwide too. They specialise in design-led homeware and lifestyle accessories. It’s the perfect place to pick up unusual stocking fillers, and I especially like to browse here if I’m stuck for gifts for men in particular.
Buying For: The foodie products are super for secret santa gifts, and there’s plenty for the design and tech-centric man (or woman) in your life.
My Top Three Picks: 1/ Ipad Air Case 2/ Bluetooth Headphones 3/ Drink Me Prosecco
++ The Future Kept ++
The Lowdown: The Future Kept is the online lifestyle shop run by blogger Jeska of Lobster & Swan. It sells a collection of magazines and many handmade goods, and the shop prides itself in carefully sourcing from independent designers, makers and artisans.
Buying For: The minimalists you know, and those who appreciate handmade, quality products. The beauty products stocked use all natural ingredients, so are a good choice for people with sensitive skin too.
My Top Three Picks: 1/ Hand Turned Oak Bowl 2/ Cereal Magazine 3/ Natural Lip Paint
The Lowdown: My favourite place to get beautiful stationery online. I love their fantastic collection of Rifle Paper Co products.
Buying For: The girl who thinks you can never have too many notebooks.
My Top Three Picks: 1/ Birds of a Feather Notebooks 2/ Recipe Tin 3/ Cities Calendar
++ THECORNER.COM ++
The Lowdown: If you’re looking for high-end, high-fashion statement pieces, look no further. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of designer items that always have an emphasis on the fun and trendy.
Buying For: The fashionista in your life.
My Top Three Picks: 1/ Richkids hat 2/ Charlotte Olympia Bag 3/ Dsquared2 Gloves
++ Hornseys ++
The Lowdown: An exceedingly well-curated collection of beautiful prints. I’ve purchased all of my Emily Sutton prints from Hornseys, as well as a few other prints too! Books, children’s toys, homeware and fashion accessories are also stocked. The Karen Mabon scarves are well worth checking out.
Buying For: The art aficionados amongst you.
My Top Three Picks: 1/ Moomin Enamel Mug 2/ Advent Calendar 3/ Penguin Scarf
++ The Peanut Vendor ++
The Lowdown: Mostly (very nice) furniture, but there’s also some home accessories, and I especially like their collection of goods for under £20 – there’s a really nice selection for when you want something special, but not too pricey.
Buying For: Your favourite colleagues, or stocking filler gifts.
My Top Three Picks: 1/ Faye Toogood bowl 2/ Salt Bowl 3/ Compagnie de Provence Soap
++ Some Honourable Mentions ++
Labour & Wait: gorgeous enamel.
The French House: vintage French tableware.
The Design Museum Shop: a great place to shop for gifts for men.
Persephone Books: beautiful books for discerning readers.
Frank: handmade, British goods.
aStore: there’s something for everyone in this lovely shop.
Well, that should be the Christmas shopping sorted then, right?! Which are your favourite online shops? Do please let me know in the comments below so I can check them out.
Have a lovely weekend!
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