If, like me, you want to get into the festive swing of things but are filled with dread at the thought of the inevitable crowds drawn to Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, or need to make a start on your Christmas Shopping but with rather gorge your eyes out with hot forks that pay Oxford Street a visit, then luck is at hand. Tucked away in a pocket of London beyond the hives of tourists in Covent Garden and Leicester Square is Clifton Nurseries, London's oldest and most beautiful garden centre, which dates back to 1851. Located in Little Venice (nearest tube is Warwick Avenue) it's known for being an oasis of tranquility that provides everything from outdoor plants to exotic indoor arrangements, and this year for the first time, Clifton Nurseries will be opening their doors to an enchanting Christmas Market. Held in the outdoor seating area, the nursery will be dressed up in all its Christmas finery and showcase seven independent and very stylish companies that will offer Christmas shoppers brilliant gift ideas and inspiration, in addition to those already found at the nursery.
The stalls will be able to satisfy even the most choosy of shoppers and there will be Christmas merriment a-plenty! For anyone with a sweet tooth, Baruzzo Fine Italian Chocolates offer an exlusive selection of the finest Italian chocolates, while Westbourne Grove resident Tom's Deli will be bringing oodles of Christmas treats including hampers and a selection of their favourite unique confectionary.
The handmade furniture and gifts from Emily Readett-Bayley include carved letters and her bespoke 'posh graffiti', both of which make perfect presents for someone wanting something a bit different. And with stalls including Tamara Fogle: Bags and Accessories, RS Currie & Co. Traditional Toyshop, Runaway Coast: Homes and Gifts and Prometheus Bound Books, there'll certainly be no excuse to dishing out novelty socks this Christmas.
The Clifton Nurseries Christmas Market is open on the first three weekends of December from 12-5.30pm on Fridays, 10-5.30pm on Saturdays and 11-5pm on Sundays and even better entry is free. See you there!