Looking for Christmas pressie inspiration? Here's our hand selected gift guide, featuring exclusive Londony present ideas, and beautiful things crafted by independent London companies. By the end of this article, you might have most of your festive shopping done!
Colouring Map of London
Inspire kids and adults alike to park the boxsets, and gen up on the geography of London from Catford to Cricklewood, while colouring it in with this delightful map, hand-drawn by artist Cally Lathey. Detailed with song lyrics, boozers, landmarks and green spaces, it should keep you going till New Year's... 2023. House of Cally, £30
Personalised Vintage London map scarf
The streets and parks of central London appear vintage-style, on this elegant lightweight fashion scarf, which can also be personalised to the giftee, with their name scrawled in gold. One of Londonist's editorial team received this as a Christmas pressie some years back, and it's been a much-cherished wardrobe item ever since. Lisa Angel, from £22
Routemasters of the Universe
An ode to the versatility of old London buses, this book goes in search of 50 vehicles repurposed into everything from a posh B&B in County Durham to a promotional vehicle for a circus in Moscow to a McDonald’s in Germany. Written by Londonist alumni Harry Rosehill, this alternative history of a true London icon wheely is a must-have, whether you're a transport geek or not. Safe Haven, £12.99.
Neal's Yard Cheese of the Month selection
When asking what people want for Christmas, plenty of people will tell you that they already 'have enough things'. For such people (who aren't lactose intolerant) consider getting them a Cheese of the Month selection from Neal's Yard Dairy (they of Covent Garden fame). The fromage virtuosos handpick four different cheeses each month, including seasonal and experimental varieties. Even better, the selection includes a live online tasting session. Neal's Yard Dairy, £45.50
London Honey Co hamper
And now for dessert. The rooftops of London are alive with hives these days, and this hamper from the London Honey Co is an unctuous showcase of what the bees have been busy making. Honey, honeycomb, beeswax candles and balm combine to make this truly sweet gift. London Honey Co, £39.50
London Brick vase
The simple form of a London brick creates this instantly-iconic vase from Stolen Form. It comes in a spectrum of colour choices, including yellow, turquoise, teal and orange (pictured). The only trouble is it'll upstage whatever plant you stick in there. Stolen Form, £34
London walking tour gift vouchers
Give the gift of London itself, with vouchers for one of the city's best walking tours. Both Look Up London — who do everything from Bankside Behaving Badly to Feminist Jack the Ripper — and Footprints of London — who'll show you Literary Soho, Mayfair's Bright Young Things and Joseph Conrad's Fitzrovia — sell gift vouchers. Another option is buying tour tickets from the excellent Black History Walks.
London's got plenty of gin distilleries, but the first dedicated to rum is Mile End's Taxi Spirit — named after the profession of its founder, Moses Odong. Cabby's white rum is described as having rich, full-bodied notes of sweet cane, delicious black treacle, a hint of oak and refreshing coconut and citrus. Perfect for Christmas cocktails, we reckon. Taxi Spirit, £29.50 (50cl)
One seriously enchanting toy museum, Pollock's in Fitzrovia is also home to a wonderful little shop, brimming with toys harking back to yesteryear. Maybe you'll even nurture the talents of the future director of the Globe theatre, with one of these charming toy theatres. Pollock's Toy Museum, from £15
London scented candles
What if you could make a living room smell like the apothecary gardens of St John's? Or make your bedroom redolent of the vine tomatoes sold on Exmouth Market? That's exactly what these upmarket scented candles from Marby and Elm do. There's also a 'Victorian Brothel' one, which apparently gives off aromas of "the perfume of a courtesan, the velvet & leather of upholstery, the smoke of cigars and remnants of a good cocktail…". Still, probably not one to give your mum. Marby and Elm, £30
Black History Tube Map
Hot off the press, the Black History Tube Map replaces the usual Underground station names with pioneering Black figures — everyone from abolitionist and writer Ignatius Sancho to Notting Hill Carnival co-founder Claudia Jones — as well as institutions like the Black Cultural Archives, which co-created this map with TfL. It's a gift that'll be studied and enjoyed over and over, and a great way to explore how Black people have inspired and changed Britain for the better. Black Cultural Archives, £14.95
Cereus peruvianus monstrose, and other such houseplants
You can hardly go wrong with the gift of a houseplant — especially if you're buying from Dalston-based specialists, Prick. Cacti are their bread and butter, but they also sell aloe vera, begonias and the like. The cereus peruvianus monstrose variegated is especially pretty, and also fun to say when your recipient asks you what it is. Prick, various prices
For aspiring young rockers, to devs looking to get away from the screen during down time, a ukulele is a savvy gift. In London, there's only one place you should go to — Duke of Uke, an emporium dedicated to the four-stringed instrument. If you've got time, pop into the shop just off Brick Lane, to discuss your uke needs. Duke of Uke, various prices
Londonist merch (aka the shameless plug section)
Show that someone special (and the Londonist team) how much you love them with a Londonist mug, t shirt, tote or hoodie. We've got dozens of decently-priced gift ideas on our online shop, all of it designed exclusively by yours truly.
We've also written two books, don't cha know — Londonist Mapped (£15.79), which throws London trivia at you left, right and centre and is accompanied by enchanting hand-drawn maps — and Londonist Drinks (£15.79), a liquid history of the capital from historic boozers to milk rounds.
Our editor-at-large Matt Brown, has just published Atlas of Imagined Places (£25) too; with illustrations by Rhys B. Davies, it's a stunner of a coffee table book, which started out as a Londonist article.