Shop local: Twelve West Hampstead Christmas presents

Finished your Christmas shopping yet? If panic is starting to set in, fear not. West Hampstead Life has scoured the shops in the area to bring you these twelve hand-picked local presents. Instead of getting into fist-fights at Westfield, why not have a leisurely shopping trip without leaving the neighbourhood. And if you’re out and about on Saturday, there’ll be more gifts – and mulled wine – available at the West Hampstead Christmas Market.

1. Build A Robot kit, £14.99
West End Lane Books, 277 West End Lane


For inquisitive children – or adults for that matter – this cool kit contains all you need to build your own wind-up robots and learn about them in the process. It’s unclear whether the robots can cook or clean up after the Christmas lunch though.

2. Craft beer selection, £14.99
Brooksby Wines, 278 West End Lane


This selection of craft beers is great value and includes two chalice glasses in case you’re feeling fancy. While you’re there, Brooksby also sells a good range of champagne, wine and spirits for all your Christmas drinking requirements.

3. Gourmet hamper, prices vary
Sherriff Centre, St James Church, Sherriff Road


The Sherriff Centre has plenty of delicious treats for your foodie friends and relatives. Either pick a custom-made selection or create your own hamper of artisan goods – post boxes and bubble wrap are available at the attached post office if you need to post your gift. Also look out for Moleskine notebooks and other covetable stationery, as well as a good range of children’s gifts including pencil sets, friendship bracelet making kits, notebooks, bookends and cute cushions.

4. Vintage brooch, £95
Passionate About Vintage, 66 Mill Lane


Passionate About Vintage is a treasure trove of beautiful and unique gifts. This quirky gold-plated peas-in-a-pod brooch caught my eye. It’s a genuine Trifari piece from the 1960s and is bound to be a talking point. And on Small Business Saturday, the shop is offering a 10% discount.

5. Venison marrowbone cracker, £6.99
Nutts 4 Mutts, 108 Fortune Green Road


This cracker “for paws only” contains a satisfyingly chewy venison treat, as well as a silver hat and a joke (which your dog may or may not get). Nutts 4 Mutts, despite the name, also stocks a good range of treats for cats.

6. Silver strand bracelet, £79.95
North West 6, 122 West End Lane


Delicate strands of silver beads catch the light in this pretty and fluid bracelet, made by Navajo craftspeople. North West 6, next to the tube station, has a big range of silver and amber jewellery and is well worth a browse.

7. Ms Marmite Lover’s Secret Tea Party book, £20
Order from West End Lane Books, or buy online from the publisher


Ms Marmite Lover‘s, (aka Kerstin Rodgers) legendary supperclubs at her house just down the road in Kilburn, have made her a star of the food world not just locally, but far beyond NW6. Who better to pick up tips from on hosting your own tea party? This would be a good gift for a baking or tea fan, with the bonus that you might get invited round in the new year…

8. Beanie hat, £16
Social, 184 West End Lane


If there’s a hard to buy for, but fashion conscious man in your life, Social has some good ideas. There are wallets, scarves, shirts and jumpers, and these hats from Danish denim label Revolution.

9. Wine tasting vouchers, from £25
North London Wine School, Cotleigh Road


The North London Wine School is opening in West Hampstead in the new year, at the old library on Cotleigh Road. It will offer wine tasting courses for beginners or just for fun, as well as the more serious industry-recognised WSET qualifications. You can buy vouchers (with no expiry date) on the website.

10. Frog slipper socks, £10
JoJo Maman Bébé, 258 West End Lane


These slipper socks are perfect for keeping tiny feet warm and cosy – and with their anti-slip suede soles are perfect for first walkers. Available in sizes up to age 4-5 (Sadly, adult versions not available.)

11. Chocolate covered walnuts, £20
Cocoa Bijoux, Broadwell Parade, Broadhurst Gardens


You can find all sorts of delights at Cocoa Bijoux, including these sophisticated French walnuts coated in chocolate. There are many less expensive items too. The shop carries a great range of chocolate, conserves and other gourmet products you won’t find in the supermarket.

12. Nutcracker, £27.99
James Nicholas, 166 West End Lane


According to the shelf sticker, this is “the world’s best nutcracker”, and at that price you’d hope so. The shop staff kindly let me try it out, so I can vouch for its effectiveness at cracking an almond shell. It’s very solid and stylish, too.

Happy shopping! Let us know in the comments if you have any more local present-shopping tips.

The Twelve Best Christmas Presents You Never Knew You Could Buy In West Hampstead

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?