Wednesday, November 18, 2015

These are the gifts that make the locals most
A stroll down Shaftesbury Avenue or a quick whizz past the
shops around Piccadilly Circus, and you'd be convinced that cutout face masks
of the Queen and One Direction are what Britain does best.
Despite their being
in seemingly every shop window on every street corner, though, Londoners still
don't know who buys them.
When it comes to scouting gifts in the capital, it's
best to avoid Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, and instead head to the
city's famed department stores and artsy independents.
Here, you'll spend a
little more, but find purchases unique presents entirely on point.
Beefeater Christmas Ornament Beefeaters are an icon of London, one that's
instantly recognized and thought fondly of worldwide.
Come Christmas time,
they look good on the tree in their aptly festive uniforms, and cherub-like
painted faces.
Find them at Liberty, for guaranteed luxury and that
quintessential London touch, though there's no doubt you'll be able to pick
one up at any of the city's luxury department stores ($28).
Plus, Liberty is
one of London's most celebrated shops and it's magical to visit at this time
of year Emma Bridgewater Mug Chances are if you go to a friend's house
for afternoon tea in England, they'll have at least one piece of Emma
Bridgewater crockery.
It's as popular to buy for yourself as it is to gift,
what with the brand's vast array of plates, mugs, jugs and bowls, all with
different prints and ability to be personalized.
This is a family business
that contributes to Staffordshire's heritage.
Every charming piece is designed
by Emma and her husband.
Visit the Emma Bridgewater locations in Fulham and
Marylebone, as well as online (from $30).
Rob Ryan Screenprint Rob Ryan is one of London's most celebrated
independent craftsmen, who has exhibited across the UK, illustrated 3 books,
graced many a gift shop with his products, and collaborated with numerous
international publications.
His intricate papercuts and screenprints are not
only mesmerizing and beautiful, but instantly recognizable, too, and will
brighten up any home.
Purchse them at Ryantown, Rob Ryan's small gallery and
boutique on East London's Columbia Road (from $210).
On a Sunday, when the
flower market is in full swing, you'll struggle to see or find the store for
crowds and flowers, but pick any other day and you won't miss it.
Mr Lyan Mixed Cocktails Mr Lyan is one of London's most celebrated
mixologists, known for his unusual and unexpected cocktail combinations.
bar, Dandelyan in Mondrian London, just won the title of 50th Best Bar in the
Go for drinks, then take the essence of the experience back home to
enjoy with friends.
And the Rainy Day spritz—with bitter rhubarb vermouth
and white vermouth—is the perfect gift to sum up a city that's known for its
rain ($53).
You can buy it at Selfridges (pictured).
British Tea Caddy Does is get more British than tea? Perk up anyone's
afternoon (and kitchen) with a British tea caddy.
Available at Harrods; cost
This gives you an excuse to spend an hour wandering the store, one of
the world's most famous shops.
In the food hall, you'll find all sorts of
weird and wonderful ingredients you never knew you needed.
Alice Tate covers London and Europe for Travel +Leisure.
Follow her on
Twitter and Instagram.
Souvenirs and luxury Christmas gifts to buy in London

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