I would give up my birthday to have Christmas twice a year. I’m one of those people who have all Christmas present done in October, start decorating the house with red kitchen curtains in November, host a combined Swedish gluhwein & wrapping party in early December and then just enjoy Christmas in peace. Since all big department stores have started their real Christmas campaigns in London, I thought I should give you my top picks for Christmas baubles and ornaments. Lots of pictures and three luxury department stores below!
Peter Jones, the John Lewis store at Sloane Square, is by far my favourite this year. They have come up with eight Christmas tree themes to decorate by. My favourites are Helsinki (traditional red and white things), Chamonix (tasteful ski-resort style) and Snowshill (frosty blues, whites and metallic baubles). But you better be quick if you want any of the good ones. The “yummy mummy” from Chelsea and Fulham has already been once and twice and picked up the most popular decorations. There was a white reindeer I had my eye on, but he is sold out everywhere. Bauble prices range from £2-4.50 which is cheaper than most places selling quality glass ornaments. Favourites include red with white frosting, the penguins and also the Helsinki reindeer fur balls..! Pick a theme you like, grab what you can and head to Harrods just up the road.
Harrods, Knightsbridge’s pride with almost 100,000 square meters of retail space, is every tourist’s dream. Unfortunately Harrods is aware of this and has therefore made TWO Christmas shops with one selling Harrods branded ornaments and the other one trying to supply the locals with upper class baubles retailing for £8 and upwards. Just like John Lewis, there were two strong themes to choose from. Traditional tree to the right and crazy rebel punk tree to the left. The Harrods novelty ornaments isn’t exactly something you would expect from a luxury department store. Apparently bright mink fur balls, peacock feathers and credit cards are what we should have in our 2016 tree. Christmas cards retail at £35 per card. Happy Luxury Christmas! Eat lunch in the Harrods Food Hall on the ground floor. Burberry has taken over all the Christmas windows at Harrods and also has a little café section at Harrods. After lunch, take all your green Harrods bags and white John Lewis bags and jump in a taxi to Fortnum and Masons on Piccadilly.
Fortnum and Mason is a lot smaller than the previous two, but their Christmas section on the top floor is just as big, if not bigger! Just walking around in the old historic department store would give even the most evil of villains a cosy Christmas feeling. There are decorated trees everywhere! You can find a No 10 Downing Street bauble here as well as reindeer approved treats. Who would go for that? Normal baubles priced at £8 and upwards. The No 10 one is around £65 from memory…
Rules of engagement: Start early in the morning, preferably be there when they open if you are going on a weekend. Christmas decorations do sell out fast and if you are planning to give your tree a facelift I suggest you buy ornaments before December. Try and stick to a theme when you buy baubles for your tree. I don’t want to mix too many colours, themes and novelty ornaments with each other. You are decorating a tree, not painting an Andy Warhol replica.
Locations (all open Sundays!):
Peter Jones, Sloane Square, Chelsea, London SW1W 8EL
Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
Fortnum and Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER