It’s the season to be jolly. Apparently. But not if you’ve ever had to ruthlessly elbow your way through Waterstones on Christmas Eve, or battled your way past pensioners in St John’s Market. We think even Jesus himself would lose patience with that.

Pre-Christmas present buying in the city’s shopping district is stressful, nervewracking, and totally avoidable. So here’s the SevenStreets rundown of five of the best ways to joyfully dodge doing any of it. But don’t blame us when your mum’s angry you’ve not bought her anything she wanted.

Have an Xmas pizza in TriBeCa
We enjoy TriBeCa at the best of times – it’s airy bar-slash-restaurant is just as delicious as it is cheap. This season they’ve layed on a Christmas dinner pizza – roast turkey, pigs in blankets, brussels sprouts and gravy – which brings you all the fun of a Christmas meal minus the buttock-clenchingly awkward family conversation.
TriBeCa, Berry Street

Polar Bar
Go to the Polar Bar
We covered it earlier in the month, and this ‘pop up bar’ is gaining a lot of fans already. Interesting cocktails, cool atmosphere and cozy Scandi-chic interior make it a (temporary) must-see. It certainly makes a change from having a drink in the city centre’s Christmas-party-packed pubs, where you’ll have to dodge Dave from HR vomiting in a corner and Janet from sales chatting up the work experience lad.
Chavasse Park, Liverpool ONE

Weave a present
Everyone’s skint at the moment, so what better way to show your appreciation for someone than with a crafted present, made with your own fair hands? The Bluecoat Display Centre are putting on an afternoon weaving workshop with craftswoman Caroline Gregson, where you’ll be taught how to manipulate willow into a unique, organic basket. Better than anything you’d find in the bargain bin in Boots, that’s for sure.
4th December, 12.30pm – 4.30pm

Visit a vintage wonderland
One of the best buildings in the city – the Contemporary Urban Centre, in the Baltic Triangle – houses a big vintage fair in December, a safe distance from the city’s pumping and thumping retail hub. Amongst the thrifting fun and clothes-related digging, you’ll find cakes, confectionary and a vintage hair and make-up salon. Christmas never sounded so chilled out.
4th December, 11am – 5pm.

Head to a farmer’s market
If all the glitzy neon and twinkly lights of the city centre’s megashops are giving you a migraine, how about a shopping trip that’s a little better for the soul? Waterloo’s Farmers Market & Food Fayre is a traditional knees-up that features the best of the region’s producers, all in the lovely setting of Waterloo’s Old Christ Church. Here you’ll find a slew of impressive cheeses, meats, vegetables, cakes and all sorts of hand-grown, hand-made goodness. Amen.
9th December, 10am – 3pm
Old Christ Church, Waterloo Road, Waterloo

8 Responses to “Five ways to dodge Christmas shopping hell”

  1. Or do what I do. Xmas is for kids, buy them a few (and I mean a few) things when they’re young and that’s it. I actually enjoy strolling around the shops etc. soaking up the atmosphere without having to worry about buying anything. Apart from food and drink of course.

  2. The trick is to do it as early as possible and avoid the high street! If bustling markets aren’t your thing then maybe just ignore this, but I thought I should tell you I’m helping to organise the annual Winter Arts Market at St George’s Hall where we’ll have many lovely local artists and makers selling work, 120 stalls in fact… It’s 10am – 5pm on Sat 3 & Sun 4 December.

    Also…I like brussel sprouts.

  3. Katy Moussaada

    Thanks Seven Streets we love your recommendation for Vintage Wonderland at CUC 4th Dec and we totally agree…the way forward for Christmas Shopping no traumas for us.

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