It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Mulled wine. Chestnuts roasting by an open fire. And of course, the annual ritual of present-shopping. Trying to seek inspiration in the same old chain stores on Oxford Street, or waiting anxiously for Amazon deliveries, can really put a dampener on the festivities, don’t you find?
But wait! What if you could shop for your nearest and dearest without even leaving the ‘hood? Your wish has been answered, for here is a small selection of the most desirable gifts in West Hampstead. I truly am dreaming of a #whamp Christmas…
1. Box of 24 house truffles, £36
Cocoa Bijoux, Broadwell Parade, Broadhurst Gardens
You won’t find any dull selection boxes here – Cocoa Bijoux is a treasure trove of unusual and delicious gifts. There’s something for every budget too, starting at chocolate snowmen for 65p.
2. Bodum travel coffee press, £16
James Nicholas, 166 West End Lane
The coffee-loving commuter will be thrilled to receive this stylish cafetière that doubles as a portable cup.
3. Massage voucher, £40 (usually £50, 20% off)
Yi Dao Clinic, 61 Mill Lane
This great-value voucher for an hour’s deep tissue massage or reflexology is a lovely present for anyone in need of a relaxing treat to kick off the New Year.
4. F. Scott Fitzgerald special editions, £14.99 each
West End Lane Books, 277 West End Lane
Fitzgerald fans will love these special edition hardbacks of seven books, each with a different gorgeous art deco jacket.
5. Vintage silk scarf, £10
Marie Curie Cancer Care, 216 West End Lane
With five charity shops on West End Lane, you’re sure to find some gems. This Pierre Cardin scarf is a bargain at just £10.
6. Potted cyclamen, £4
Mill Lane Garden Centre, The Open Space, 160 Mill Lane
While you’re at the garden centre picking up your Christmas tree (hurry, because they’re selling out fast), pick up a pot plant decorated with festive ribbon. It’ll flower year after year, making it the gift that keeps on giving.
7. Revolution jumper, £59
Social, 184 West End Lane
For the fashionable man in your life (or woman – I was quite tempted to buy this for myself), this cool graphic-design sweater is expertly modelled here by boutique owner Jake.
8. Independently bottled single malt whisky, £85.99
Robert Graham Whisky & Cigars, Broadwell Parade, Broadhurst Gardens
As its name suggests, this is a shop that takes whisky and cigars seriously. There’s even a walk-in humidor filled with a huge selection of Cuba’s finest. This bottle of Highland malt would make a special gift.
9. Mini canvas, £29 each
Monsters of Art, 112 Mill Lane
The Monsters of Art gallery has a fantastic selection of urban and street art, including limited-edition prints by resident tattooist Dan Gold. These mini canvases are quirky and fun.
10. Penguin sewing kit, £10.95
The Village Haberdashery, 47 Mill Lane
Ideal for crafty kids, this cute kit contains everything you need to sew a family of three penguins. The Village Haberdashery also runs sewing classes for adults and children: gift cards are available.
11. White furry hat, £16
La Secret Boutique, 132 West End Lane
Big, furry and glamorous, this snuggly hat is the perfect gift for the snow-bunny in your life. It’s really warm, too.
12. Selection of ales, £9
Oddbins, 229 West End Lane
As well as a great selection of festive wine and champagne, Oddbins also has something for the ale-lover. This gift box from the East London Brewing Company should hit the spot.
That’s my selection – what wonderful locally-sourced gifts will you be leaving under the tree this Christmas?