If you hear the words Christmas in July, do your eyes light up? Or do you shudder in your flip flops?
Those currently shuddering should proceed gingerly through photos ahead, but those with wide eyes — get ready for the opening of the Harrods Christmas Market... in early August.
The Christmas team at Harrods begin working on Christmas 13-14 months in advance — yes, before the previous year's festivities are even over. Their Trends Forecaster (actual job title) has the clairvoyant task of predicting exactly what we're going to want to buy in a year's time before it's even out — or in some instances, before it's even been invented.
We're always intrigued by what Harrods is going to turn into a shiny bauble (tigers, anyone?). This find among the Town & Country theme got our London senses tingling:
The broccoli was somewhat a surprise:
And for those who like a really, really good time at Christmas (because who needs memories?):
Or those who want something a little different this year:
The six themes for Harrods 2017 are Town & Country, Jet Set, Femme Fatale, Tudor Rose, Punk Princess, and Kids (yes, just Kids).
If you're looking for a particularly special bauble, Jay Strongwater has you covered with a design so special it wasn't even on show when we had a look round. Handmade with glass and Swarovski crystals, they'll set you back around £350 each. We'll take 10.
Let's talk hampers, shall we?
As you'd expect, they're chock-full of high-end booze, cheeses, biscuits and more. The glasses and jars have bought into the rose-chrome craze, and all this can be yours from as little as £35 or as much as £5000.
Of course, Harrods wouldn't be Harrods without offering the most high-tech presents available. Take for example these Snapchat glasses:
Or this Polaroid camera...
Or the... Nokia 3310? Who doesn't love a festive game of Snake?
If money is no object, we're told the jewellery and watch department is where it's at this year, with watches retailing for a cool half a mil. No problem.
Looking for something a bit more limited edition for your loved one? Designers are making just two small trees and two wreaths out of vintage jewellery for around £6000 each. Once they're gone, they're gone.
Advent calendars are a huge part of the build up to Christmas, especially if you're of the belief that Christmas shouldn't even begin until that first tiny door is opened on 1 December. We're huge fans of the telephone box calendar in the Kids section.
Beauty fans with some spare change will love this absolute beast of a calendar — yours for £250, containing £500 worth of makeup, skincare and perfume. Start clearing a space for it now:
Hands down though, our top favourite advent calendar was this beautiful box filled with a Grand Cru chocolate in each drawer, Harrods' own special chocolate blend. The pièce de résistance? On Christmas day, you undo the bow at the top and open up the 'secret' compartment to reveal a chocolate wreath made with raisins, pistachios and decorated with touches of edible gold leaf. It's touches like this that remind us, cynicism aside, why Harrods has such a reputation for carrying off Christmas so well.
So if you're already humming Christmas carols to yourself, you've not got long to wait. Us? We'll be giving it a wide berth until we've cracked open the first door of our (luxury) advent calendar in December.