It’s less than a month until Christmas which means it’s time to start thinking about gift shopping so you can avoid the dreaded last-minute mad dash around town on Christmas Eve. Dig out your comfiest pair of winter boots, pack a couple of trusty tote bags and head out there, armed with a list of all the family and friends you’re going to be spoiling this year. If you want be be organised this year and get as much shopping done as early as possible, this itinerary is for you; we’ve selected our favourite unique Edinburgh shops and mixed them all together in an easy to follow one day schedule.
9.30: Shop Online with Love From Indie Street
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Ease yourself into a busy day of shopping by browsing Love From Indie Street‘s website whilst you sip your morning coffee. Making it super simple to support local businesses, Love From Indie Street’s gift vouchers are available for a huge range of independent shops in Edinburgh. Choose a specific experience, like a massage at Zen Lifestyle Spa, or a voucher to be spent in your giftee’s favourite store, such as £20 to spend in The Brotique. If you’re trying to find a gift for that awkward person who is impossible to buy for, opt for the Love From Indie Street Multi Store Voucher for the best of both worlds: you get to give them a thoughtful and unique present, and they get to choose their own gift!
11.00: Quirky Jewellery at Hannah Zakari
Unwrapping a new piece of jewellery on Christmas morning always goes down a treat, so make Hannah Zakari your first stop of the day. Their beautiful little shop, hidden away on Candlemaker Row, is full of pieces from a range of indie jewellery designers. Everything is very fun, modern and colourful so it’s the perfect place to find a gift for those who like their accessories to stand out. Some designers we’d recommend looking out for in Hannah Zakari are Wolf & Moon for their geometric shapes and Swank for their fruity creations.
12.00: Rose Street Project
Next, wander over to Rose Street to check out the Rose Street Project. Start at the west end and work your way along, keeping your eyes peeled for the 10 different window displays along the way. The artist-led project has brought together 10 local artists and 10 Rose Street shops to create imaginative festive window displays for the Christmas shopping period. Look out for magical sparkling clouds by Fiona Hermse in Rockcandy Gallery, intricate papercuts by Astrid Jaekel in Wolfits, festive illustrations by Louise Smurthwaite in Social Bite and a unique advent calendar by Izzy Bocchetti in Mail Boxes Etc. Don’t forget to pop into the stores to find out more about the windows and pick up some Christmas gifts along the way. Find a full list of artists and businesses taking part on the Rose Street Project website.
13.00: Admire the Jenners Christmas Tree
The Jenners Christmas tree is somewhat legendary in Edinburgh. How do they get it in there? Where does it come from? Nobody knows. One thing we do know, however, is that it puts us in the festive spirit as soon as we see it. Pop in to admire the twinkling lights and the three-storey-tall tree and you’ll instantly feel ready to battle the crowds and get your Christmas shopping done. Whilst you’re there, have a wander round the Valvona & Crolla food hall for some luxury gift hamper inspiration or check out the beauty counters for this year’s festive makeup releases.
13.30: Refreshments at Mimi’s Cake Cabin
After a busy morning walking around town, it’s time to treat yourself to a wee energy boost from Mimi’s Bakehouse. You can find them at the super cute Cake Cabin in St Andrew Square as part of this year’s Scottish Christmas Market. As well as offering a selection of their famous traybakes and cupcakes, Mimi’s Cake Cabin can also whip you up a deliciously festive hot drink. Take it from us, the Crunchie Hot Chocolate is not to be missed! Have a look around the ice rink to see the rest of the stalls; there’s food and drink, gifts, decorations and accessories from lots of other Scottish producers.
14.30: St Margaret’s House Makers’ Market
Once you’re full of chocolate treats, walk it off with a short stroll down to St Margaret’s House for the Christmas Market & Winter Gathering (12th – 13th December only). Local artists and makers will be setting up shop in the indie arts centre to create a festive pop-up market where you can buy cards, prints, handmade crafts, accessories and more. Lots of St Margaret’s House’s residents will be there, including Lucky Cloud Skincare; go behind the scenes with us at Lucky Cloud HQ in our recent post.
16.00: Christmas Cards at Paper Tiger
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Now that you’ve bought lots of gifts, don’t forget the Christmas cards and wrapping paper to go with them! Jump in an Uber to take you across to Stafford Street to visit stationery heaven at Paper Tiger. With hundreds of card designs to choose from and loads of different wrapping papers, ribbons, bows, tape and gift tags, you’ll be able to put together a personalised parcel for each of your friends. There are plenty of wee stocking filler bits and bobs too, from notebooks and pens to desk accessories, diaries and coffee table books.
17.00: Accessory Collective Pop-Up Boutique
Finish off your shopping with a couple more unique local gifts from some Scottish designers. The Accessory Collective Pop-Up Boutique (5th – 10th December only) at Hill Street Design House has been organised by Patience Jewellery and also features work from the likes of Cora Studio, Jessica Buckley, Euan McWhirter and Rhodesian of Edinburgh (as well as our own Lucky Cloud again!). Grab yourself a wee glass of fizz or a mug of mulled wine and browse the handmade jewellery, homeware and accessories on offer in this festive wonderland.
19.00: Dinner at El Cartel
Exhausted yet? After an hour or two browsing and buying at the Accessory Collective Pop-Up, head round the corner to Thistle Street for a well-deserved sit down and some delicious Mexican street food from El Cartel. You’ll no doubt be sick of all the turkey, stuffing and mince pies by the time Christmas Day rolls around, so take this opportunity to indulge in some non-traditional December fayre. There are plenty of tacos and other little bites with fresh Mexican flavours, and just a sprinkling of festive spirit. Winter berry frozen margarita, anyone?
Have you got any tips for Christmas shopping in Edinburgh? Let us know in the comments below!