THE iLPH GUIDE TO CHRISTMAS IN PRIMROSE HILL: GIFTS, FOOD, DRINK, ALL CAREFULLY CURATED BY EDITOR JOANNA REEVES. THIS IS HOW PRIMROSE HILL DOES CHRISTMAS.
Year after year, these shops are where I do my Christmas shopping or where I hope my pressies will come from. I’m always overjoyed to find a few of these bags under the tree on Christmas morning! But what about you? Use the comments form at the bottom to tell us your favourites!
Gorgeous clothes, jewellery and gifts for women. Manager Isabella and her team offer the best advice on fit and styling. Nothing will faze them. My top festive tip is the Isabel Marant Etoile Madlen skirt (£245) which would look as great with a black jumper and boots on Christmas Day as it would dressed up with heels for a Christmas party .
Pamela’s collection feels luxe, pretty and eclectic; she has an eye for detail and stocks hard-to-find brands with a design twist. Her love of fashion comes shining through! Party-wear and off-duty chic that really draws the eye. I especially love the snuggly faux fur.
Tucked around the corner on Erskine Road, Press has a loyal following but if you don’t know it’s there you might never find it. Cool and slightly edgy in a wearable and charming way.
BESIDE THE WAVE GALLERY
Another slightly tucked-away destination that you have to seek out, Beside the Wave stocks Cornish art of all genres including some beautiful ceramics. Prices range from around £30 for a hand-made cup, under £100 for a print, up to a few thousands for a large canvas. If you’re looking for a unique gift, go and have a browse. You’ll find them next door to L’Absinthe on Chalcot Road.
PRIMROSE HILL BOOKS
A much-loved institution stocking all manner of books but with an excellent line in local authors – of which there are many! Signed copies abound, which I find particularly thrilling; various members of my family have come to expect to find a signed Alan Bennett in their Christmas stockings.
Not unique to Primrose Hill of course but a Christmas shopping joy none the less. A truly lovely emporium of goodies for the face and body. The staff are charming and I recommend their loyalty scheme – their points convert into prizes surprisingly quickly.
GRAHAM AND GREEN
If you’re stuck for a gift, you’ll find it here. A gorgeous shop packed to the rafters with quirky, charming things for the home. They have a few branches (Notting Hill, Bayswater, Bath) and an online service.
We have always been delighted with our trees from Chloe’s. You’ll find them on the railway bridge at the end of Regent’s Park Road on the way to Chalk Farm Tube. The coffee’s not bad either!
BREAKING NEWS! CHRISTMAS TREE UPDATE! This year we ended up buying our tree from Yeoman’s – no offence to Chloe’s, it just worked out that way. A beautiful tree, delivered with a cheery smile within the hour. Excellent.
Sam Larkin and her team will be working overtime to get us all party-ready and she is offering some Christmas treats in the form of some really tempting offers, below. And don’t forget, all treatments and courses can be bought as gifts and vouchers are available in any amount. Hair, face and body sorted.
Christmas offers for readers of iLPH:
20% off laser treatments and microdermabrasion facials
Free Keratase fusio dose treatment worth £20 with every cut & blowdry
Keratase Christmas boxes from £42 – receive 20% off all hair services in January with every purchase
Positioned as a ‘a five-star clinic that bridges the gap between the precision and efficacy of a cosmetic clinic and hospitality and pampering of a spa’ Aesthetics Lab offers a wide array of highly technical anti-ageing treatments, including Biologique Recherche and their famous Yoga Facial. A voucher, available for amounts above £50, would make a great gift.
For iLPH readers Aesthetics Lab is very kindly offering complementary LED light session with every purchase (worth £75).
They say “Healite LED Therapy uses yellow, red and blue wavelengths to offers a variety of benefits such as skin rejuvenation, acne treatment and pain relief. It also stimulates the healing process which makes it an excellent treatment post any invasive procedure. It is painless, non-invasive, safe, clinically proven and effective for all skin types.”
Lovely lingerie! Goug and her team are experts in their field and offer excellent advice. Great gifts but also a treasure-trove of solutions for those conundrums thrown up by party dresses, such as hiding away bra straps or eliminating a VPL.
PRIMROSE HILL PETS
We’re all crazy about our dogs and cats in Primrose Hill! Luckily we have a fantastic independent pet shop so we can spoil them with treats and toys. You can pamper your dog too with grooming and a haircut!
LONDON FROM THE ROOFTOPS
James Burns has made a name for himself by taking the most beautiful photos of London from the highest points. I’m a fan – and also the proud owner of a couple of his stunning panoramas. His 2017 calendars (with a lovely snowy and unusual shot of Primrose Hill for December) make fantastic gifts and can be bought from his website:
PRIMROSE HILL MARKET
Festive cheer abounds every Saturday 10-3pm at St Paul’s School (entrance on Primrose Hill Road between the Park and Elsworthy Road). Food and produce from an array of excellent traders, plus fun and Christmas spirit all around, such as an appearance by London Metropolitan Brass Band on 17th December. You can pre-order for Christmas Eve, when the Market will be open 10-2pm. On November 26th the school will be holding its Christmas Fair so the Market is budging up a bit to make room. And great news for readers of iLPH: free hot chocolate! Use this link and the code ILOVEPRIMROSEHILL: http://eepurl.com/buTSZn (available 3rd, 10th and 17th December to anyone not already on the Market’s mailing list).
PRIMROSE HILL BUTCHER
The only place I ever buy meat to cook at home. Everything you would expect from an excellent butchers such as steak, sausages, sunday roasts plus highly unusual and delicious herb-fed chickens. They make their own burgers, lamb koftas and marinated meats and despite being so busy they always have time for a chat. They would be more than happy to take your Christmas orders.
PRIMROSE HILL CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
Street food, music, gorgeous stalls for Christmas shopping, fairground rides for the kids, mulled wine, off-duty celebs and a dog show! And this year actress Sadie Frost is switching on the lights.
Need I say more? But if more is what you want, you’ll find it here: https://iloveprimrosehill.com/2016/11/17/roll-up-for-the-primrose-hill-christmas-festival/
PRIMROSE HILL DESIGNER SALE
10th December, 10-6pm
Held annually at St Mary’s Church, you’ll find a beautiful selection of simply lovely gifts.
Oh my, the best cupcakes and everything else that’s sweet, plus a few non-sweet things! Their afternoon tea would make a great Christmas treat or buy a voucher to give as a gift.
MELROSE AND MORGAN
Foodie treats – and you can order your whole Christmas feast from them! Their festive offering is a scrumptious modern take on a traditional Christmas with all the trimmings and is winning accolades far and wide, such as number one Best Mince pie in the Evening Standard. Buy them as gifts or keep them for yourself! http://www.standard.co.uk/shopping/esbest/christmas/food-drink/best-mince-pies-to-buy-in-the-uk-aldi-sainsburys-harrods-iceland-a3407446.html .
We are lucky enough to have a lovely French wine shop, Nicolas, and also Bottle Apostle, who offer a wide range of craft beers alongside their wines and spirits.
CHRISTMAS EATING OUT: MY FAVOURITE PLACES
L’ABSINTHE To be honest it always feels like Christmas here thanks to the jaunty atmosphere that owner JC Slowik just seems to generate. And don’t forget they offer catering as well (when I had friends to supper recently one of the guests declared “this chicken liver parfait tastes just as good as L’Absinthe’s!” Now, why would that be, I wonder?).
And especially for readers of iLovePrimroseHill, JC is offering these special Christmas deals:
LA COLLINA Authentic modern Italian cooking. I have had some lovely times here and highly recommend.
MICHAEL NADRA Absolutely brilliant food, which I would describe as modern, asian-inspired genius. The restaurant is an unusual series of spaces, including a swish cocktail bar.
GREENBERRY CAFE Chic healthy fare here, exactly what my girlfriends and I like to eat for lunch when we get together. Evidently we are not the only ones as the place is always heaving! Open in the evenings too.
NEGOZIO CLASSICA I love to settle down here with aforementioned girlfriends for an Aperol Spritz or two and plate of Italian cheese. Perfect.
ODETTE’S The Grande Dame of local restaurants, elegant modern Welsh cooking by Bryn Williams. Diolch to Bryn and the team – and a very nadolig Llawen to you!
AND IF IT’S A PUB YOU WANT...we are well served. The Engineer, the Landsdowne, the Queens, the Pembroke, the Princess. All excellent so try them and see which one suits you best.
Anna Paolozzi’s stylish food blog, http://www.myprimrosehillkitchen.com, will keep you busy and inspired if you fancy a spot of home cooking this Christmas. I often turn to her recipes and I will definitely be trying her Christmas suggestions.
Check out Melrose and Morgan’s recipes too.
Wrapsody’s Kirsten Westlake and her team wrap all the best gifts, being in-house wrapologists to high-end London stores and to a host of private clients. Their work is stunning and anyone who receives a gift wrapped by them is very lucky indeed. And they will wrap your gifts too! Don’t be daunted, their prices start at £3 per gift and they are offering iLPH readers 20% off.
Here’s my review from last year:
My absolute favourite local Christmas service is the Christmas Eve 5pm Nativity at St Mark’s. Rev William Gulliford leads the congregation of mainly families through the Christmas story so charmingly and sensitively, last year even involving a pet dog in the enactment of the crib scenes. If you need to be reminded what Christmas is all about, this is for you.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, ONE AND ALL.
© 2016 Joanna Reeves, all rights reserved.