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Where Can I Buy Unique or Ethical Christmas Gifts?

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
Published November 26th 2019
Christmas is upon us again and the pressure to find new presents in London, unlike anything from years before, can be stressful. On top of that, more people are seeking ethical gifts.

unique christmas gift guide
A guide for unique and ethical gifts for Christmas


With that in mind, here is a guide to unique Christmas gifts for London shoppers offering something special for even the hardest to buy relatives.

For the Bake Off fan

For those that dream of being able to bake like Paul Hollywood, or become the next Masterchef champion, how about a voucher to a cookery class?

The Cookery School at Little Portland Street is billed as London's "most sustainable cooking school" and offers workshops in everything from French pastries to Spanish dishes and bread.

cookery school great portland street, london, christmas gift guide
Cook up a gift for the long term


With "good home cooking" as the basis of everything it teaches, you can buy a gift voucher towards a class or a longer course - suitable from absolute beginners to those wanting to master their skills.

The Cookery School at Little Portland Street, which is one of the leading cookery schools in the capital, runs its kitchen with the environment in mind, using sustainable, primarily organic ingredients, so it's an ethical gift as well. Gift vouchers start from 50 here.


For both the candle lover and art enthusiast

A candle with a difference is the new PyroPet - which slowly exposes a metal sculpture as it melts away.

pyropet, candles with a difference, unique gift guide
Burn, baby, burn with a Pyropet


With a range that includes cats, dogs, reindeers and even dragons, 54 Celsius is behind the uniquely stunning yet also slightly creepy Pyropet candles that reveal the skeleton of the creature as its finale.

Creator Thorunn Arnadottir came up with the idea when she was studying at the Royal College of Art in London and turned it into a start-up candle business with Dan Koval.

Pyropet as an attention-grabbing art piece for the home is now being sold in art galleries and independent stores across the city along with online.

pyropet candle, reindeer, christmas gift guide
A reindeer Pyropet


You can find more information on the unusual candles, which start from 14, here.


Ethical gifts for children and new mothers

Not only does Best Years make the most adorable knitted toys from dodos to dinosaurs, the independent company also works with Fair Trade and handmade producers.

That means that you are also supporting communities in Bangladesh, Egypt, China, Vietnam, Peru and Nepal when you buy these cute products for babies and toddlers.

Best Years, soft toys, gifts at Christmas, dodo
Soft toy dodos are among a range of adorable toys at Best Years


Best Years also has a London range of soft knitted toys if you want to embrace the capital even more - like a red bus and black taxi.

The company has become famous for its knitted Dinosaur toys and rattles but has many more products, such as 100% organic baby comforters.

best years soft toys, christmas gift guide, london
The London range has soft knitted toys associated with the capital


Toys by Best Years are available at Jo Jo Maman Bebe stores in London or from the Best Years website here.


Bring some happiness

There's something about the scent and sight of floral bouquets that add an extra special element to a present, but there are now also flowers aimed to reduce stress and depression.

Award-winning independent florist, Serenata Flowers sells a Wellbeing Bouquet to battle the winter blues.

serenata flowers, wellbeing bouquet, christmas gift ideas
Bright yellow flowers aim to help people feel happier


Floral experts have devised a selection of mood-boosting stems that include large yellow chrysanthemums as a happy colour and stress buster and playful gerbera daisies, known as air purifiers to improve respiration and promote a restful night's sleep. There are also white oriental lilies, often used in aromatherapy to treat headaches and depression and high altitude roses with a relaxing scent.

There are also special Christmas bouquets with festive titles like Mrs Claus Bouquet, Red Robin and Christmas Bells.

Serenata delivers across London and further afield across the UK with free next day delivery on orders placed as late as 10pm, seven days a week. That means that you don't have to worry if you are doing very last-minute shopping before Christmas. View various bouquets here.


For ballet fans

So cute you could just eat them... and you can. The Royal Opera House in London has teamed up with gourmet food company Biscuiteers to produce adorable ballerina biscuits.

Royal opera house, biscuiteers, gift guide
Prettiest biscuits you've ever seen from the Royal Opera House and Biscuiteers


The celebrated biscuit company create the new and exclusive ballet-inspired box to capture the essence of dance and artistry at the Royal Opera House.

The beautifully presented tins of biscuits are available to buy exclusively at the Royal Opera House shop next to Covent Garden or online at shop.roh.org.uk


For the insomniac

There's nothing like a good relaxing sleep and the Calm: The Magic of Sleep book offers everything from wellness tips to cutting edge techniques and advice on mindfulness.

calm magic of sleep book, christmas gift guide
A calming gift


This book offers readers the chance to find out how to sleep better and is penned by Calm founder Michael Acton Smith.

The Magic Of Sleep costs 9.99 but alternatively, you could even give a subscription to the award-winning Calm app using a gift card. Calm is the top app for sleep, meditation and relaxation.


Give mindful encouragement

Inspire positive change with a box of Sea Soul Blessings featuring cards with messages of encouragement.

sea soul blessings, christmas gift guide, positive mindfulness
Encouraging positive mindfulness through Sea Soul Blessings


Sea Soul Blessings is inspired by the sea and also helps it too - bu donating to environmental causes for every sale.

With messages like "may you be courageous", Sea Soul Blessings aims to help people overcome their inner critic, find greater compassion for themself and others and move forward with greater confidence.


For the gamer

Add a little fun to a gamer's life with this Spyro The Dragon collectable, phone and controller holder from Cable Guys.

cable guys, ice spyro phone and controller holder, christmas gifts
Spyro is a useful dragon to have around


It's just 8 inches tall but Spyro, from the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, is the ideal size to charge and hold smartphones, gaming controllers and even TV remotes. It's suitable for both PlayStation and Xbox controllers and looks adorable.

Spyro The Dragon is available at various retailers including Smyth's toy shops or Game stores from around 19.


For the gadget lover

Lumpy mashed potato is a thing of the past with the Masha gadget - the new piece of kitchen tech.

This electric hand-held electric masher uses a special rotor-cone technology so people can make creamy mashed potato, butternut squash or even guacamole to the standard of top restaurants.

Masha, gift ideas, Lakeland, kitchen tech
The Masha in action


Along with mashing veg, this handy piece of equipment can help to create smooth baby food or even help to whip up a silky hummus or whisk up batters for Yorkshire pudding and sponge cakes with the change of a blade.

The Masha costs around 39.99 and is available at Lakeland stores in London.




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