Christmas countdown: shopping, skating, reading

by Bernadette Fallon

If you’re on the lookout for that ‘elusive’ gift, try somewhere a little more unusual than Amazon this year. Gallery and museum shops are treasure troves of unique and beautiful gifts and many are available to buy online. The V&A and National Gallery in London are two of my favourites, The Tate is also good and has gallery shops in London, Liverpool and St Ives.


But if you’re coming to London in the next few weeks, maybe think about timing your visit to coincide with one of the Christmas shopping evenings at Sir John Soane’s Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.


The building is a wonder of architecture, furniture, books, paintings, sculpture, and other artworks, with finds from all over the world, cleverly arranged to maximise impact and titillate the senses. Our sister title Harper’s Bazaar hosts a shopping evening on Monday December 8 from 6 to 9pm, tickets £45 with a complimentary glass of Perrier-Jouët champagne – buy tickets here.

There is also a free shopping event on Thursday December 18 from 6 to 9pm, with a complimentary glass of Monk’s Parlour Punch, as well as free gift-wrapping for all purchases. Go along and browse the museum shop’s bespoke collection of jewellery, glassware, prints, postcards, tree decorations, and home fragrances.


If you can’t make either of these, make a note in your diary for 2015; there’s late night opening until 8pm on the first Tuesday of every month, where the interiors are atmospherically lit up by flickering candlelight. Wonderful!


While you’re in London, check out the ice skating rinks in the capital – now in full flow. A new addition this year is the rink at Wembley, where you can skate in the shadow of one of the most famous stadiums in the world. (There’s also a designer outlet if you fancy squeezing in a bit of shopping while you’re there). Get more information here.


And see our round-up of the best ice rinks for Christmas 2014, right across the UK


But back to London to finish up. If you’re looking for a ‘capital’ book – chortle – for somebody’s stocking this year, have a look at the recently re-issued British Library Crime Classics from the 1950s. We love the glamorous cover of ‘A Scream in Soho’ – and ‘Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime Story’ is rocking our festive boat. Other London titles include ‘Murder Underground’ and 'Murder in Piccadilly'; books cost £8.99 and are available to buy here.


Just the thing for curling up with, post turkey …


And counting ... your Christmas Countdown clock

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Escaping to the country, abroad or just down the road for a long weekend – exploring the world around you. Follow our team of staff writers and add your comments to kick off the debate.
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About The Authors

Carla  Griscti

Carla Griscti

Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

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Emma Marsden

Emma Marsden

Food consultant of All About You, loves creating something out of nothing and decluttering.

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Bernadette  Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

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Adrienne  Wyper

Adrienne Wyper

Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

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Carol  Muskoron

Carol Muskoron

Associate editor of All About You, loves life (mostly) and one-pan recipes (always).

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