Category Archives: Home

T&T 20 | Marie Kondo and Dominique Loreau

Listen to the latest episode of Tea & Tattle here or on iTunes.

This Tuesday, Sophie and I are in conversation about the best-selling books, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo and L’Art de la Simplicité : How to Live More With Less  by Dominique Loreau. Both books have had phenomenal success and developed a cult following, and Sophie and I were curious to read them to see how much we agreed with their principles and to what extent we found them applicable to our own lives.

In this episode, we’re having a frank discussion about our initial reactions to both books, what we found useful and thought-provoking about Kondo and Loreau’s ideas, and also what we did not enjoy.  We round up our chat with some actionable steps we’re already putting into practice from both books.

Marie Kondo and Dominique Loreau | Tea & Tattle Podcast

As always, too, Sophie and I are sharing what happy moments have made us ‘Jump for Joy’ lately, as well as some of the comments, useful suggestions and feedback from you, our listeners. Don’t miss my book suggestion in this week’s ‘Culture Corner’ section, as well as Sophie’s tip for if you happen to find yourself in the King’s Cross (London) area.

Listen to hear our thoughts on the internationally best-selling books, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo and L’Art de la Simplicité: How to Live More With Less by Dominique Loreau.

T&T 18 | The Art of Home-Making

Listen to the latest Tea & Tattle episode on The Art of Home-Making here or on iTunes.

In this episode, Sophie and I are turning our thoughts to our homes. With Spring in the air, we’re sharing our best tips for making your home a pleasant, comfortable place, even when struggling with the limitations of a small space. As we’ve both lived in flats for the majority of our adult lives, and in a variety of situations – sharing with university friends, boyfriends, family, as well as living alone – we feel that by now we’ve got fairly adept at creating a home wherever we are.

Explaining how William Morris’ philosophy on possessions influences us both, and how we like to consider our senses when creating a comfortable space, Sophie and I chat about the kinds of environments that suit us best and that we find most conducive to happiness and creativity.

Listen to hear our tips on making an inviting and comfortable home in a small space.

If you enjoy our podcast, please do leave a rating and review on iTunes! It’s a great way to help other people to find and enjoy Tea & Tattle, and Sophie and I would be very grateful!

Happy Listening!

Miranda xxx

5 Step Guide to Building A Capsule Wardrobe

signs of spring – this month’s blog theme – a reminder of our book club title – spring cleaning and sorting -capsule wardrobe guide

Welcome to March! I’m thrilled to see the first few hints of Spring in London; the tree opposite my flat is burgeoning into blossom, and I look out for the golden piles of daffodils at the florist next to my local tube station every morning.

With the start of Spring, there’s always a feeling of freshness and renewal in the air. It’s a time to sweep away the physical, as well as metaphorical, cobwebs; to take stock of your home and fill it with a renewed sense of energy after the inertia of winter. Although I’m no minimalist, I do think March is a good time of year to consider your surroundings and have a thorough declutter. This month’s theme on the blog, then, is devoted to home-making, and you can expect some related posts and podcast episodes centred around domesticity in the weeks to come.

Also, don’t forget this month’s Book Club choice is Longbourn by Jo Baker, which is also in keeping with the domestic theme. Longbourn tells the story of Jane Austen’s fictitious Bennet family from the point of view of their servants. I’ve started it and am thoroughly enjoying it already, so please do read along if you can as I’d love to hear your thoughts on it too.

For the first post of March, I thought I’d offer a guide to starting a capsule wardrobe. It always feels good to have a thorough sorting at the start of Spring, and these are the steps I used myself when I had a huge closet clear-out in January. I hope you find them useful if you’re inspired to take stock of your own wardrobe and make time for a bit of Spring sorting and cleaning.

1/ Make sure a finely-honed wardrobe is what you want.

This is key. If your heart isn’t really in it, then no matter how much you think your closet should be neater, you’ll never be willing to be ruthless in your sorting. Check in with yourself and make sure that a pared down, simpler wardrobe and style is really what you want. It’s ok if you are happier with a lot more choice and a full-to-the-brim closet (we can’t all be Marie Kondo, after all), but then you have to move on and realise a capsule wardrobe probably isn’t for you.

If you feel that a thorough sorting of your clothes is just what’s needed, though, then here are some great resources to get you fired up and reaching for the bin bags:

++The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. Definitely a little eccentric (I consider it part of the charm!), but I love how Marie Kondo encourages a no-guilt attitude to letting go of your possessions.

++ L’Art de la Simplicite by Dominique Loreau. This book will make you want to make everything in your life a little (or a lot) simpler.

++ Dominique Davis’ e-guide to building a capsule wardrobe. Dominique does a great job holding your hand through what can be quite a traumatic process, and she feels like a friendly big sister by your side, urging you on with practical advice. Of course, you can also listen to my Tea & Tattle interview with Dominique for some capsule wardrobe inspiration as well.

++ Un-fancy blog. This blog is perfect for inspiration on making the most out of every item in your closet and re-mixing and matching pieces to create great looking outfits.

2/ Define your personal style.

Before starting the clear-out, it’s essential that you’ve a clear idea of your personal style and what types of items you want in your capsule wardrobe. It makes the sorting process much easier, as you’ll be far less likely to be tempted to keep clothes that clearly fall outside of your capsule wardrobe parameters.

When refining your personal style, I think it’s a good idea to create a Pinterest board (it doesn’t have to be public – mine is currently private!) and to start to build up a collection of images that match the type of style you’d like to develop. Also key to this process, is to think about your lifestyle: do you realistically ever iron those cotton blouses? How many party dresses do you actually need, or, alternatively, do you in fact use any of your ‘loungewear’? I, for instance, realised that I love to wear comfortable, practical clothing a lot of the time, so I kept a lot of my jumpers, denim shirts, breton tops, jeans and trousers. These are the kinds of clothes I like to wear when I’m working from home, but I also realised that I needed slightly different outfits for when I’m teaching in schools and also for when I attend blog events or go out in the evening. This realisation brings me to the next tip….

3/ Think about the different types of capsule wardrobes you need.

This suggestion was one of the most useful hints I took away from my interview with Dominique. She said to think about having more than one capsule wardrobe, depending on your lifestyle. So, for instance, you may want a capsule wardrobe for work as well as weekend wear (and adjust the size of each according to what you wear most).

As I said, I have 3 capsule wardrobe categories: teaching, home and blog / evening wear. Thinking about the type of clothes I wear and use the most really helped me to be especially strict about not keeping too many clothes, like evening dresses, that I wear only a few times a month. I have to admit, I’m currently not too fussed about sticking to an exact number of items in each capsule collection; I’m just happy that now all seasons of my clothes fit together in my wardrobes and drawers. As long as that continues to be the case, I consider that I have the right amount of clothing for me.

4/ Set aside two whole days and get someone (non-judgemental) to help you.

It’s surprising how long a thorough sorting of your closet can take. Make sure you clear a weekend from any other distractions, and (so you won’t drive yourself insane debating whether you really do need one more black top, or if you’ll regret getting rid of it later) make sure to ask someone close to you to help and who won’t raise any judgemental eyebrows at the number of ballet flats you happen to own (cough).

5/ Plan what to do with the clothes once you’re finished sorting.

It’s to easy to pile everything you don’t want into bags, feeling virtuous at how much you’ve managed to wean out of your closet, but then promptly forget about it all and never quite manage to get to the charity shop for a drop-off. Make sure you don’t fall into this trap by carefully planning how and when you’ll get rid of your discarded clothes and try to clear everything out of your home as quickly as possible.

Will you be doing any Spring cleaning this March? Are you tempted to pare down your closet and create a capsule wardrobe? I’d love to hear how you get on if so!

T&T 06 | Party Etiquette Tips

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Click here to listen.

In this episode, Sophie and I are getting into the festive spirit, as we discuss etiquette tips to help guide hosts and guests alike through the whirlwind of the party season. We provide our most handy hints for smooth sailing when you’re entertaining and tackle common bug-bears such as how to get people to RSVP promptly, whether it’s acceptable to ask guests to remove their shoes (assuming there’s no cultural custom to do so) and what hosts should do when a drink invariably spills.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts too!

What are your best etiquette tips for parties? Do you have any handy hints for getting people to RSVP, or how to deal with early arrivals as a host? Do you mind being asked to take off your shoes?

Happy Listening!

Miranda Loves: Baking Books

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I feel I have to start this blog post with an apology that it took me SO LONG to do a second video on my favourite cookbooks (in case you missed it, you can see the first here). I find videos generally a little horrifying – the making of them, the watching them back (do I really look like that??) and then the editing. Frankly, the only editing I do is stick on an image at the front and end, add a tiny bit of music and hit the ‘amplify voice’ setting, but somehow I still find it a pain. Despite my grumpiness about it though, a part of me really does enjoy producing videos; they feel more intimate than blog posts, and it’s so nice to be able to properly show you all some of the things I especially love, like my cookbooks (and we all know how much I adore my collection…).

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In this video, I’m discussing some of my favourite baking books. In honour of those of you who share my love of baking (and because Thanksgiving is next week), I’ve also created a recipe card for my favourite pumpkin pie, which is a recipe adapted from one of the books I mention in the video, Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook, by Kathleen King. If you’re already a part of the Miranda’s Notebook Newsletter, then you’ll have received the link to download the recipe in this morning’s Postcard From London (so check your email!). If you’ve yet to join, then sign up at the bottom of this post, and you’ll receive the link to download.

I do hope you enjoy the video! Click on the image below to watch it on youtube, and scroll down for links to all books mentioned.

favouritebakingbooks

Books mentioned in the video are:

Delia’s Cakes, Delia Smith

Geraldine Holt’s Cake Stall, Geraldine Holt (sadly only available secondhand)

Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook, Kathleen King

Honey & Co: The Baking Book, Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer

How To Be A Domestic Goddess, Nigella Lawson

Homemade Memories, Kate Doran

Gail’s Artisan Bakery Cookbook, Roy Levy and Gail Mejia

Vintage Cakes, Jane Brocket

Fika and Hygge, Bronte Aurell

How to Hygge, Signe Johansen

Please do share what your favourite baking books are with me; I’d love to hear them.

As promised, here’s the Pumpkin Pie recipe card. Simply fill in your details to download the pdf file!

Miranda Loves | Autumnal Homeware

Miranda Loves | Autumnal Homeware

Whereas for me Summer is the season for socialising outdoors, meeting friends for picnics in parks, BBQs and drinks on a pretty terrace, Autumn marks the start of cosy evenings at home. As the nights get colder and longer, I like nothing better than lighting some candles and inviting a good friend over for a chat as I stir some warming risotto on the stove and open a bottle of wine. Increasing my time at home means I look at my living space with a more critical eye, and in the list below I’ve selected some pieces that I feel would add comfort and style to my everyday living.

1/ I’m looking for a chair to go in my office, and Cox & Cox have a great selection. Of course, I’m particularly drawn towards the ones inspired by Scandinavian design. This one is a favourite and looks straight out of Pinterest. Add a pretty cushion and a cosy throw, and I could see myself happily in this chair for hours as I write and research blog posts.

2/ I use my Wonki Ware plates all the time (they offer the perfect plain background for food shots when I publish recipe posts, but I also use them everyday anyway), and I’ll add a couple more to my collection this season.

3/ If you’re also an admirer of Scandi fashion and home decor, then the Gudrun Sjödén shop in Seven Dials, Covent Garden is a must visit. I popped in the other day and instantly fell for these apple tumblers, which I think would be perfect for serving warm apple cider or mulled wine.

4/ Although more often than not, I’m eating meals at my desk with my laptop open, I do try to make the majority of our suppers proper sit-down meals, when I can have a chat with my Mum about the day. To set a cosy mood, I like to have candles on the table, and Heal’s has the most wonderful range of colours.

5/ I’m yearning after pretty much everything on the Cloudberry website, but I’m especially taken with their new range of art photography posters. They’re seriously gorgeous, and this ballerina poster is a real favourite of mine. It’s a simple image that inspires me to aim high and jump for my goals, but also serves as a reminder that even things that look elegant and easy generally require a huge amount of strength, stamina and determination.

6/ With the mornings getting darker, a cheery mug is just what I need for my first cup of tea.

7/ I have a plain grey sofa in the living room, and I’ve been looking for some attractive cushions to add a pop of colour. I love this Boeme cushion, which has such pretty autumnal tones, and yet would go well with the pastel accents I’ve used throughout the flat.

8/ Apparently green is all the rage this autumn, and I like this plant pot in a frosty mint shade for my herbs.

9/ As I live in a tiny flat, finding floor lamps that don’t take up a lot of surface area is a must. I’ve got my eye on this floor lamp, which has a simple, pleasing design and wouldn’t take up a lot of room.

How do you like to prepare your home for Autumn? Which items are your favourites from this list?

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Miranda Loves {Video}: My Favourite Cookbooks

My Favourite Cookbooks

M Y    C O O K B O O K    C O L L E C T I O N

As was made abundantly clear by this instagram photo, I adore cookbooks and have a rather sizeable collection! My first priority, as soon as I moved into my new flat, was to get all my books on the shelves, and one of my favourite things to do is to spend time browsing through my collection, pulling out books and getting inspiration. It’s like having my own personal little library! Some people, including the lovely Melanie, asked if I could share some of my favourite cookbooks with you all, so I thought it would be fun to take you on a tour of my shelves with a little video (click here or scroll to bottom to watch it). I could honestly talk for hours about my books, but I only had time to give you the very briefest of highlights (I may do another one, though, if you’re keen!). If you don’t have time to watch the video (or prefer to read a post), then I’ve summarised it below.

My Favourite Cookbooks + Video

M Y    C O O K B O O K    C R I T E R I A

Although it may not seem like it, I am in fact very particular about which cookbooks I buy, and in general I select a cookbook based on 4 main criteria:

1/ The recipes have to be fantastic. That goes without saying, but I also tend to prefer cookbooks that focus on simple, often seasonal, ingredients with incredible flavour.

2/ The books must be visually pleasing. I’m fascinated by lifestyle and food photography, and a lot of my inspiration comes from the cookbooks I buy. For instance, I love Donna Hay’s books, not only for their recipes, but because I think the photography is always exceptionally good.

3/ Well-written, please! I find reading cookbooks one of the most soothing things I can do. If I’m having a bad day, then I find reaching for a well-loved cookery book often calms me down (currently, I’m enthralled by Seven Spoons; Tara O’Brady is one of the best food writers I’ve ever come across, and now I realise she has a blog too – yay! – I’m devouring every word of that as well.).

4/ A great personality. This is linked to the writing quality, as when I read a cookbook I like to get a real sense of who the author is and whether I think we could get along. I enjoy making recipes from people I feel share a philosophy on life and food that is similar to my own.

My Favourite Cookbooks + Video

A    F E W    O F    M Y    F A V O U R I T E S

My cookbook gurus: these are the authors I turn to time and again, and who never fail to disappoint. The Barefoot Contessa (aka Ina Garten) is one of my absolute favourites. Her recipes really are foolproof, and I appreciate her laid-back philosophy to entertaining. I rely on The Pioneer Woman (aka Ree Drummond) whenever I’m throwing a big party, as her recipes are delicious, easy to double (or quadruple!) and are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Giada de Laurentiis is my go-to for lighter, Californian-meets-Italian style cooking, and Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver are my weeknight heros.

As good as they look: for fantastic photography (and holiday planning / dreaming!), I turn to Tessa Kiros‘ books (mentioned in the video are Limoncello & Linen Water and Venezia). I also love the cookbooks Sugared Orange and Rose Petal Jam for their stunning imagery, as well as their classic Polish recipes.

Wonderfully written: My absolute favourite food memoir is Molly Wizenburg’s A Homemade Life (it also has some great recipes!).

Scandi style: I adore Scandinavian food, especially when it comes to baking! Fika is a sweet book, full of traditional recipes, and personal favourites of mine are Signe Johansen’s Scandilicious and Scandilicious Baking (the Banana Spice Cake mentioned in the video is in fact in Scandilicious Baking).

Lesser known: A cookbook I believe deserves to be much better known is French & Grace’s Kitchen & Co, which has a terrific selection of easy recipes that burst with flavour (one of my favourites is their Barley Risotto with Blue Cheese and Spinach).

For more about my favourite cookbooks, watch the video below!

What are your favourite cookbooks? Please do share your recommendations – I’d love to hear them, and let me know if you’d like a Part 2 to this video, covering a few more recommendations. Be sure to share it with a friend who loves cooking too!

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5 Lessons I’ve Learnt From Life-Long Moving

5 Lessons I've Learnt From Life-Long Moving | Miranda's Notebook

Throughout my life, I’ve moved a great deal. It often felt hard to be uprooted every few years, but it made me who I am today, and I’m thankful for all the experiences I have had. As I’m getting ready for another move now – back to North West London – I’ve been reflecting on all the lessons a life of packing and unpacking brown boxes has taught me. Here are my top 5:

1/ You experience both the good and the bad of friendship.

Moving as a child taught be some fairly tough lessons about friendship. From as young as 5, I was moving 1000s of miles away from best friends, and I learnt pretty quickly that people can get angry with the ones who leave. I remember a friend from ballet school who refused to speak to me for 6 months when she found out I was leaving California for New York, only to break down in floods of tears on my last day. Experiences like these though, tough as they are, can make you pretty invincible: I learnt to go after what I wanted, and live wherever I wanted, without worrying or being held back by what other people thought. Moving also teaches you the best of human nature, with friendships that can stand the tests of both time and distance.

2/ Home is wherever you’re living.

People who have moved around most of their life always hate the dreaded question ‘so where are you from?’ I’ve become content with the fact that I don’t really feel like I’m from anywhere in particular (although I felt a particular affinity with London the very first time I visited it at 16); instead it’s important to make ‘home’ wherever you happen to be.

3/ Possessions both do and don’t matter.

Having certain well-loved and familiar items with you goes a big way in making any house or flat feel like a home. I remember when I was younger I had my ballet posters, as well as my John William Waterhouse prints, which instantly made any new bedroom feel familiar and homey. At the same time, though, it’s also important to know when to let certain possessions go. Constantly moving means that sometimes you just need to lighten the burden!

4/ Change should always be embraced.

You can never fight change, and in general I like to view it as a good thing. It can feel scary, as well as exciting, to move somewhere new, but conquering new experiences always makes you a stronger and more interesting person.

5/ Always make the effort to make the best out of wherever you’re living.

I’ve lived in places I’ve loved and places I haven’t, but there’s good to be found wherever you’re living, and it’s important to always search it out.

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Original image via here

Fun Things To See And Do In December

fun things to do and see in December via Miranda's Notebook

The holiday season is well and truly here, and December is a month that should certainly be filled with lots of joy and laughter. Here are some of my best recommendations to make the most of this month.

++ Buy a special Christmas ornament. I know a lot of people (myself included) have a tradition of buying one special Christmas ornament a year. I love having rituals like this that instantly put you in a festive mood. My favourite places for a special ornament-buying outing are Liberty and Petersham Nurseries.

++ Create a Christmas playlist. Now is the time to embrace Christmas tunes blaring all day long. As soon as December 1st comes around, I hit play on Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.

++ See a ballet. The Nutcracker is a classic, of course. This year though, I’ve got tickets for Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Opera House (crossing my fingers the flu I’m currently suffering from won’t prevent me from going…). The ROH has a truly magical atmosphere this time of year (remember my pictures from seeing Don Quixote last year?).

++ Attend a Christmas jumper party. Having spent the majority of my childhood in the States, where Christmas jumpers weren’t really a thing (are they now?), it took me a while to understand the culture of the Christmas jumper in the UK, but now I fully embrace it!

++ Go ice-skating. Somerset House is a magical experience (even for those who – like me – are frankly terrible on the ice), and I also like Hampton Court Palace.

++ Write and send out your Christmas Cards. Get this done asap (why not tonight?) so they’re not preying on your mind.

++ Take care of yourself. December is an incredibly busy month for most people, which can lead to higher stress levels. Make sure you’re still committed to fitting in your workout and allow time for yourself to slow down, take a breath and relax. It’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and sticking to healthy food choices as much as possible. Two of the best ways to counter-act stress and to remain focused on your positive habits are meditation and keeping a gratitude journal.

++ Decorate the house. Because I’ll be in the midst of packing and moving, I’m not having a Christmas tree this year, but that isn’t stopping me from making the flat feel as festive as possible. I’ve got Christmas santons to set out and have a ordered a wreath with candles that will act as a table centrepiece from the wonderful Little Lake Flower Co (I can’t wait to pick it up this weekend!).

++ Watch your favourite holiday films. For me, these include Love Actually, It’s a Wonderful Life and Die Hard (what can I say, I love a good action film, and there are plenty of Christmas references!).

++ Make your own glögg. Glögg is the Scandinavian version of mulled wine and is absolutely delicious. I love Signe Johansen’s recipe for it in Scandilicious.

What’s on your list of fun things to do and see in December?

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The Best Online Shops

Guide to the Best Online Shops.

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

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++ 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

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++ 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

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++ 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

Best Online Shops: Luna And Curious

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++ 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

Best Online Shops: CONRANSHOP

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++ 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

thefuturekept

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++ Papermash++

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

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++ 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

thecorner

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++ 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

hornseys

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++ 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

thepeanutvendor

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++ 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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