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What Matters: 20 of the best independent gift shops in London

Welcome to our What Matters guides, a series exploring what makes London the city it is today. Alongside interviews with well-loved local businesses, we’ve got guides to the best independents and articles exploring just how much history and heritage can be packed into one street. Here, we’ve put together a list of 20 of our favourite independent gift shops in London.

There are two camps when it comes to Christmas shopping: those that finish wrapping in November, and those that, right about now, realise that there isn’t a huge amount of time left before the big day. If the latter sounds familiar, read on- our list of the best gift shops in London has all you need to ensure you get your gifting just right and support your local independents at the same time. Sounds like a sure-fire way to stay off the naughty list to us.

North London

Maud & Mabel

Buying for a loved one with a subtle, minimal taste? Look no further than Maud & Mabel in leafy Hampstead. Founder Karen Whiteley chooses homeware, jewellery and clothing that fall under the principle of ‘Shibumi’, a Japanese principle of finding beauty in the simple and understated. They’ve currently got an excellent Christmas Edit on their website, and be sure to check out their Instagram to learn the story behind each object sold in the shop.

 

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Gill Wing Gift Shop

Next up on our list is Gill Wing Gift Shop, which you can also see in our What Matters: North London video here. If you’re on the lookout for an unusual gift, Gill Wing is your place: it’s particularly well known for its quirky teapots and has plenty of toys for children and babies as well. Their window displays are also always something to be admired!

Inside Store

Inside Store in Tufnell Park is your one-stop shop in North London for beautiful interiors. Whether you’re after furniture and lighting for a big home revamp in time for the New Year, Christmas decorations that are modern and playful rather than camp and kitsch, or smaller home accessories perfect for stocking fillers, it’s well worth a visit for the considered homeowner.

 

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Niddle Noddle  

Niddle Noddle in Crouch End specialise in original gifts for children. Their offerings are sourced from smaller, independent labels and include many handmade and one-off items; if you’re worried about buying the same present as someone else, this is the place to go. The store also has a brilliant bright yellow slide for keeping kids entertained; one to keep in mind for non-Covid times!

 

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South London

Max and Melia

Max and Melia is an indie gift shop with a ‘shabby-chic’ aesthetic. Full of colour, pattern and quirk, we particularly love their selection of decorative touches for your home, whether that’s delicately made sculptures or brilliantly coloured cushions and throws. They’ve also got an excellent selection of Christmas tree decorations- perfect if you’re stuck for a housewarming gift.

The Indigo Tree

Family-run The Indigo Tree is part of Streatham High Road’s excellent independent business scene, with plenty of interesting gifts for all tastes and ages. Whether you’re after a bamboo toothbrush for an eco-warrior, a whoopee cushion for a practical joker, a wine kit for a drinks connoisseur, or the perfect paper to wrap it up in, The Indigo Tree has everything you need to make your gift-giving this Christmas- and beyond- a success.

 

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The Village Card Shop

The Village Card Shop is a Streatham institution: it’s been open for years and is well known throughout the area for doing cards for every occasion, as well as selling balloons and quirky gifts. The customer service is always brilliant, with staff happy to help you find the perfect card no matter what your requirements are.

Jo’s House

Jo’s House in Herne Hill is another of our favourite independent gift shops in south London. It sells a gorgeous selection of subtle homewares, natural beauty products, minimalist art, books and more. Walking through the shop- or scrolling through their Instagram- is a soothing experience guaranteed to make the rigmarole of Christmas shopping that little bit easier.

 

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East London

Luna and Curious

Independent shop Luna and Curious, based in Shoreditch, offers mostly British-made gifts, and is the best place to discover a favourite new brand. The shop is described by its owners as a ‘miniature department store’ and recently expanded into selling its own line of ceramics, knitwear and homeware. We’d recommend checking out their stocking fillers edit to keep your loved ones happy this Christmas.

 

 

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Labour and Wait

Labour and Wait has been an East London institution for 20 years, offering high-quality, useful products designed to be used for years to come. Both owners have a background in designing menswear; the concept was born as a result of their frustrations with the temporary nature of fashion trends. The shop sells a mixture of new and vintage hardware and clothing, all carefully selected with longevity in mind; perfect for the discerning loved one in your life.

Goodhood

Struggling to find a gift for a fashion-conscious friend? We’d recommend heading to Goodhood, where you can find a tastefully curated collection of the latest streetwear and design-focussed lifestyle products all under one roof. We particularly love their edit of ‘unusual gifts for the person who has everything’; this will make shopping for the trickiest customer a breeze.

 

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Aida

Shoreditch’s Aida is a multi-concept store, with an offering of intentionally made products chosen to reflect the vibrant location of the shop. Once you’ve finished browsing clothes from brands such as Colourful Standard and Outland, joyful homewares and eco-conscious picks, be sure to stop off in their café and enjoy a speciality latte to recharge.

 

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West London

Mooch

Co-owners of Mooch Sandra and Evelyn have a background in making and selling artisan crafts, which eventually lead to the opening of their own shop in Ealing. Mooch offers a carefully curated selection of goods from local artists and makers, as well as gorgeous local-themed cards and wrapping paper: perfect for when you need a gift that’s thoughtful from the get-go.

 

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The Old Cinema   

Chiswick’s The Old Cinema is an institution famous throughout London for its vintage and antique offerings. Whatever era or style you’re looking for, they’re sure to have it; those looking for a special one-off piece for the home really can’t go wrong here. It’s also a brilliant place to stop off for unusual gifts whether- with items such as a Czech rhinestone Christmas tree or an Art Nouveau crocodile print brass jug, you’ll have as much fun shopping here as your loved one will have receiving your gift.

 

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Couverture & The Garbstore

Concept store Couverture & The Garbstore is another must-stop for anyone buying for a fashion-forward friend or family member. Arranged over a three storey Notting Hill townhouse, its eclectic selection of womenswear, menswear, interiors and accessories are from up-to-the-minute brands that will be sure to thrill the recipient. Check out their website for styling tips, interviews and forecasts: endless inspiration for those stuck in a gifting rut.

Mia Wood

Family-run Mia Wood is nestled in the heart of Kew Village, selling the prettiest home and lifestyle products for all tastes and ages. We particularly love their selection of stunning wrapping paper, which makes gifts almost too lovely to open! The store itself is beautifully decorated in a soothing selection of pastels, and always smells amazing; definitely one of the most calming shopping experiences this list has to offer.

 

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Central London

Choosing Keeping

Got a stationery lover in your life? You can’t go wrong with a visit to Choosing Keeping, which sells the best in pens, paper, tools, archiving kit and more. As the name suggests, every piece on offer is selected with the wish that the customer will carefully choose and keep it for years to come. A visit to the store is a fascinating exercise in learning how the most functional item can also be beautiful, with rubbers and hole punchers being taken from an afterthought to something that could take pride of place on your desk.

Egg

Belgravia’s Egg is well-known for its beautifully timeless clothes and objects. A browse of its collections, which are released bi-annually, will always reveal a new artist or maker to name-drop, perhaps unsurprising when you consider owner Maureen’s background in fashion. You’re guaranteed to leave inspired by everything from the building itself right down to the tiniest object on sale.

 

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Mouki Mou

Chiltern Street’s Mouki Mou sells timeless clothes, jewellery and beauty products in line with its ethos of slowing down and buying carefully- perfect for the conscious-yet-stylish shopper. We particularly love their selection for babies- brilliant for the fashionable new parent- or the jewellery selection for those wanting to splash out on a truly special gift for a loved one.

 

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We Built This City

Last on our list but certainly not least is We Built This City, a pop-up shop that is best described as selling souvenirs that aren’t going in the garage the second they get home. Whether you’re gifting yourself after a trip to London or sending it to a lover of the city, it’s a brilliant place to shop for London-themed goods that are genuinely stylish. Buying here is a brilliant way to give a gift to remember, all while supporting London’s creative community. Due to Covid-19, the pop-ups are currently on pause- fortunately, you’re able to shop online in the meantime.

 

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