Although the ‘winter’ lights have been up for while and the shop-fronts are festooned with decorations, you can tell that Christmas is really just around the corner when the first real trees start to appear. But don’t fret if, unlike some of your smug Facebook friends, you haven’t finished (or even started) your Christmas shopping because everything you could possibly need can be found right here in Stokey.
From miniscule budgets to those with no limits, from obvious choices like a book token for the ‘impossible to buy for’ friend or scented candles and picture frames from Hamilton’s, to a truly unique one-off original Stokey has it all.
There is an amazing array of glass vases in every imaginable colour to be found at Nana Doobies, priced from £15. Keeping with the retro theme, both The Cobbled Yard and Pictures and Light are fantastic hunting grounds for unique presents as they are both home to vintage curios. Stock changes often, but the Cobbled Yard currently has an amazing set of four bejewelled shot glasses – perhaps not strong enough for slammers, but certainly suitable for Sambuca.
Ribbons and Taylor have distinctive accessories and a good selection of costume jewellery from just £5 to £47 for a huge butterfly bangle. Over on the High Street, there are lovely velvet make-up bags at Rouge that cost £12 that your girlfriends would love as well as pretty cloisonné trinket boxes at just £5.50.
Casino are putting the fun back into the festive season with their high comedy 70s style Christmas men’s jumpers – complete with snowflakes emblazoned across the chest. While for the more discerning, both Hub outlets have a good selection of upmarket clothing and accessories, like lovely 100% wool Maniyak scarves for £35 which are available in both his ‘n’ hers at the respective shops.
Little ones are well catered for with toys and clothes at Olive Loves Alfie and Route 73, who incidentally have seen puppet sales going through the roof. And the little funksters would look adorable in Casino’s ‘Keeping it pre-skool’ range of baby clothes which includes leopard print tops and stripy long sleeve tshirts with a ‘Bad Boys Rock’ slogan in pastel blue.
For your significant other you can’t go wrong with something from Metal Crumble who design and make silver jewellery onsite. They have a huge range of pieces for both men and women and if money is no object, you can even commission your own unique piece.
If your lover has a musical bent, why not get them a range of CDs by local bands like the Morning Bride or the Brick Lane Boogie Boys. Or stock up on vinyl records from Lucky Seven, the new music shop where Ocean Books used to be. They have a huge range of records from the 50s to punk to house and everything in between and the friendly staff will even try to track down that hard to find rare-groove if you are after something in particular.
And as if our local retailers aren’t offering enough, the Rude pop-up shop makes a welcome return to the area, this time in collaboration with the Cobbled Yard. As well as designer interior wares and soft furnishings, a new collection of Rude prints and original artwork will be available. They are also planning to have a Santa’s Grotto so the little ones can meet the Big Man without having to traipse into town.
Purveyors of fine frippery Of Cabbages and Kings are also running two Christmas Markets at Abney Hall featuring fabulous hand made toys and bags as well as original stationary and artworks, jewellery and home wares from over 30 designers. Take a moment to relax at their café with delicious mince pies and mulled wine.
And finally, when the sky is the limit, what do you buy for someone who has everything? Get them the world! Handmade, 50cm diameter, floor standing globes are available from Stokey’s latest retail residents, Bellerby and Co. The workshop is hidden away from the bustle of Church Street at 51 Kynaston Road but is well worth a visit. Only 100 globes are being produced for their limited edition first run, and while they don’t come cheap at just under £1000, the globes will certainly become family heirlooms.
So sit back, relax, there is no need to face the throng of Oxford Street or worry about internet purchases getting caught up in possible postal strikes, everything you could possibly need can be found right here.
Christmas Markets Opening times:
Of Cabbages and Kings
Abney Hall – Free Entry
10:30 – 17:00
Saturday 12th & Saturday 19th December
Rude Pop-up Shop
1 Bouverie Mews, N16
10:00 – 18:00 (Santa’s Grotto open between 12:00 – 17:00 only)
Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th December
Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th December
Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th December
Monday 21st, Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd December