London's Most Stylish Festive Stores & Markets

Words by
Sphere Editors

25th November 2022

If you're looking for the most stylish pop-up Christmassy markets, stores and events in London, team SPHERE has the answer. From Edmund de Waal's exquisite Burlington Arcade residency in central London, to an array of brilliant festive markets - from the Cockpit Arts Open Studios to Peckham's own offering, Pexmas - there are distinctive gift-giving opportunities galore.

Edmund de Waal at Burlington Arcade
Edmund de Waal at Gagosian
Edmund de Waal has taken over Gagosian's Burlington Arcade store for the festive season

Celebrated ceramicist and writer Edmund de Waal has taked over the Gagosian Shop in London’s historic Burlington Arcade with de Waal +, until Christmas.

The store, beautifully curated by de Waal into a peaceful space in which he hopes visitors will take a moment to sit and read, collates recent artworks, treasured objects, and a selection of the artists favourite books.

“I’ve filled it with books.. on music and photography, writing on artists I adore and poetry that sustains me,” says de Waal, “and I’ve added some pots that I have just made.”

The shop is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am–6pm, no booking required.

Burlington Arcade

Christmas at Covent Garden
Christmas at Covent Garden
The Christmas Tree at Covent Garden features 115,000 lights

Covent Garden market is London's best one-stop wonder for festive thrills this Christmas. It already has its 60 foot-high-tree festooned with 115,000 twinkling lights up and sparkling, and the entire market is swagged with rather brilliant giant Mistletoe chandeliers.

Covent Garden Market
Covent Garden Market has it all for Christmas - even fake snow!

But you'll definitely want to get down there from December 1st, when its annual 'snow' begins to descend onto the Piazza, where you can mix a pitstop at Chanel, Apple, Mulberry or Ganni with a snowy selfie for your Instagram grid. Our advice though? Mark your calendar from December 10th until Christmas Eve, when Covent Garden launches ‘The Winter Warmer Fortnight’. 

All of Covent Garden's hottest food and drink spots including Balthazar, Frenchie, Sushisamba, Mariage Frères, Ladurée, La Goccia, and Mirabeau, are taking part in offering over 100 varieties of mulled wine and hot toddies, teas and more, alongside festive dishes and treats. 

Cockpit Open Studio Weekends
Meron Wolde at Cockpit Arts Bloomsbury
Meron Wolde's recycled gold and silver jewellery is available at Cockpit Arts Open Studios event from 25-27th November

Cockpit Arts have two studios in London and between them they host the working studios of 160 both up-and-coming and world class artists and makers of all disciplines. The studios open their doors to the public twice a year, and this weekend, and next, sees their Christmas shopping events taking place at their Bloomsbury and Deptford sites respectively.

Whether you’re looking for jewellery, weaving, glass, textiles, wood-turning, sculpture, homewares, ceramics or fashion accessories, prepare to be inspired, and to come away with something uniquely special.

Highlights at Bloomsbury include award winning Swedish/Eritrean jeweller Meron Wolde, and the original founder of Whistles, Lucille Lewin, now a renowned and award-winning ceramicist and artist.

Photograph by Ester Segarra
Ferrous Shift by Eleanor Lakelin at Cockpit Deptford, 2-4 December

At Deptford, discover Eleanor Lakelin, a sculptor in wood, who was a finalist in the Loewe Craft Prize this year. Eleanor has had work exhibited at the V&A and the Mint Museum of Craft & design, USA.

Cockpit Arts Deptford, 18-22 Creekside, Deptford, London SE8

Public opening: 2nd – 4th December, Friday 12pm – 8pm, Saturday & Sunday 12pm – 6pm

Book tickets here.

Southbank Christmas Market
Image by Jamz// Matt Pitman
Southbank Centre's Winter Market until December 26

The Southbank Centre’s festive Winter Market is back in business on the banks of the Thames, it's lights shining alongside traditional alpine-style chalets hosting an array of seasonal pop-up bars, restaurants and, for the first time ever, The Curling Club.  Book the Curling now to get involved. Or if camp festive fun hosted by Ru Paul's Drag Race stars iwith Christmas singalongs is more your thing, check out Electric Winter, entry is free. 

House of Voltaire's Unique Artist Editions
House of Voltaire
House of Voltaire's store in Clapham is a trove of limited edition finds

If you’re looking for highly creative - and fun - limited edition gifts that double as collector’s items, House of Voltaire is the place to discover. As a charity it commissions and sells unique artworks, limited edition prints and specially-commissioned homewares, blankets, clothing and accessories by artists and designers of local and world notoriety, including David Shrigley, John Booth, Jeremy Deller, The Guerilla Girls and Wilma Johnson. All purchases support leading arts and education charity Studio Voltaire's world-renowned artistic and public programmes.

Visit Studio Voltaire, 1A Nelsons Row, London, SW4 7JR or shop online.

The Claridges Christmas Tree by Jimmy Choo
Claridges Christmas Tree, 2022
Jimmy Choo's Sandra Choi has created "The Diamond" for Claridges

There is no more fabulous thing to do than celebrate the festive season at Claridges. The design world’s favourite London hotel unveils its annual fashion-inspired Christmas tree this week in partnership with Jimmy Choo Creative Director, Sandra Choi. Her sculptural tree is inspired by diamonds, and will gleam from the foyer of the hotel throughout the holiday season.

If you’re visiting SPHERE recommends full engagement. Choi has designed her tree to be experienced from within, so guests and visitors are invited to step into the sculpture, to take in the magical, light-filled diamond-refracted space.

Claridges also offer a range of very chic festive gifts, from hand-painted Art-Deco baubles inspired by the hotel’s décor, to boxed editions of their house Gin and Whisky, and curated hampers offering afternoon tea, and wine selections.  

Coal Drops Yard at Kings Cross Canopy Market
Kings Cross Christmas
The Canopy Market at Coal Drops Yard hosts artisans and makers

If Coal Drops Yard tucked behind Kings Cross and St Pancras International hasn't hit your radar as a retail, eating out and social nirvana yet, then make it your business to discover this formerly derelict patch of London this festive season.

It already has all the stores that make Christmas gifting easy, from Aesop to Cos and Nike, and for something more spectacular visit Tom Dixon for lighting, or Caravane for interiors. In addition, Coal Drops is fast becoming a cultural hub to rival Covent Garden for socialising and fun. Ten festive markets are taking place from 11 November until 22 December, offering the  festive street food, fashion from emerging brands, vintage vinyl, arts and crafts and much more.

Markets include Canopy Vegan Market, Independent Label Market, Lower Stable Street’s regular weekend market, Shotengai Market, The Drops Market, Mexican Christmas Market, The Illustrators’ Christmas Fair and Crafty Fox Christmas Market.

Plan your visit here.

Peckham does Pexmas
Pexmas takes place at Copeland Park on 3-4 December

If Peckham is the the new Shoreditch, with London's creative community firmly decamped to this south London neighbourhood, it follows that the area's annual Christmas market is a throroughly creative and fun affair. 

So, bring on Pexmas at Copeland Park, where 50 local traders per day will share their work, and the organisers have created on online store featuring their star creatives too, including Talia Designer Maker and the young artist Bryony Moss. 

Pexmas at Copeland Park, 3-4 December, 10-6pm