There’s little nicer than a festive shopping trip, an opportunity to see the Christmas lights, soak up the atmosphere and, of course, buy gifts. Here’s our guide to the best places to shop this year – and the most tempting onefinestay homes to retreat to afterwards.
London really shines at Christmas, with its high streets, boutiques and markets all abuzz. We think a visit to Harrods is a must – in this famous Knightsbridge department store you’ll find everything from designer fashion to gourmet food. Just a five-minute walk away is Hasker Street, a four-bedroom home which despite its central location has a calm, country air, thanks to a pastel color palette and printed soft furnishings. If you prefer somewhere livelier, you can’t go wrong with a Soho home. We especially love Goodge Street – a contemporary two-bedroom home that’s right by bustling Oxford Street, so you can easily head home between trips to the shops.
Paris’ cobbled streets and characterful cafés feel even more romantic at this time of year. Le Marais is the place to seek out if you’d like to see the historic side of the city – it’s known for its fantastic antiques and art shops, as well as being close to some of the city’s finest museums and galleries. Rue de Thorigny Loft is right in the heart of this charming neighbourhood, a sleek two-bedroom home that has a standout collection of design furniture and artworks. Another of our favorite Paris homes, Rue Gît-le-Coeur II, is just as smartly done – it’s almost wholly monochrome – but is situated closer to Le Bon Marche, another haven for Christmas shoppers.
Rome’s splendid Piazza di Spagna is the place to go if you’re looking for upscale boutiques, and its many cafés are perfect for shoppers needing a break. Via dei Maroniti is within easy walking distance – an elegant but unpretentious two-bedroom home with plenty of space for a couple or small family. If you’re after something a little different, why not stay in the old Jewish Quarter – an atmospheric part of the city that’s full of vintage shops and independent bookshops and also has plenty of authentic eateries. Via del Tempio is the ideal place to stay here, a one-bedroom home with a refined open-plan living area and restful ensuite bedroom.
The first stop for shoppers in New York has got to be Fifth Avenue, a five-mile stretch of designer boutiques and jewellers. It’s here that you’ll find the famous Bergdorfs department store, where the Christmas window display is not to be missed. Right nearby is East 74th Street– a lavish six-bedroom home where, after a busy day, you might savor a private chef-made dinner in the generous dining room. Another one of our favorite homes in the area is East 83rdTownhouse II. This converted carriage house has a beautiful collection of design furniture and contemporary artworks and is a serene sort of place – perfect for when you want to escape the crowds.
Looking for more inspiration for your travels? See our homes here.