Nine of the best London shops for buying presents

Discover the boutiques brimming with gift ideas, from costume jewellery to Jurassic fish, Scandi knick-knacks to Japanese ceramics

Maggie Owen offers original costume jewellery by off-the-radar designers
Maggie Owen offers original costume jewellery by off-the-radar designers

Maggie Owen: a cult costume jewellery boutique in Bloomsbury Secluded since 2006 in a former Georgian dairy on a lane in Bloomsbury, this is a beautifully bright trove of meticulously sourced costume jewellery and accessories – one with an ardent fan base that includes Channel 4 News journalist Jon Snow, Brian Eno and the Duchess of Bedford. Provocative, original designs by relatively off-the-radar names are a speciality. 13 Rugby St, London WC1 (020-7404 7070; maggieowenlondon.com).

Minimal-cool boutique Momosan sells understated made-in-London ceramics and elegant Japanese homewares
Minimal-cool boutique Momosan sells understated made-in-London ceramics and elegant Japanese homewares
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Momosan: a hip Hackney homewares boutique This minimal-cool boutique reveals a gallery-like collection of glorious objects – from walnut and ash salt and pepper grinders to understated made-in-London ceramics and tactile Japanese brushes – thoughtfully selected by owner Momoko Mizutani. Ceramics are a strong point, as are pieces with a connection to Japan. Even the most pedestrian of items are chosen with design heritage in mind, such as the cast-iron kitchenware (frying pan, £25, patterned trivets, £50) from Morioka in Japan. 79A Wilton Way, London E8 (020-7249 4989; momosanshop.com).

Alex Eagle has curated a mix of sophisticated fashion labels alongside stylish artworks and homewares
Alex Eagle has curated a mix of sophisticated fashion labels alongside stylish artworks and homewares
Venusrox has an intriguing array of stones and crystals, such as this cluster of Uruguayan amethyst
Venusrox has an intriguing array of stones and crystals, such as this cluster of Uruguayan amethyst

Alex Eagle: a fashion and lifestyle mecca in Soho Eagle opened up shop in Walton Street, Knightsbridge, in 2014, attracting clients of the calibre of Julianne Moore and Alicia Vikander with her curation of new fashion labels and own-brand collaborations, alongside artworks, homewares and beauty finds. Now the shop is in a new home in Soho, but the philosophy is the same – to create “an entertaining, fun experience that is not provided by a traditional shop”. In terms of fashion, this means a mix of daytime tailoring, informal eveningwear and a luxe-boho look. 6-10 Lexington St, London W1 (020-7589 0588; alexeagle.co.uk).

Ultra-hip design store Monologue London features high-end furniture and homewares, such as these colourful vases
Ultra-hip design store Monologue London features high-end furniture and homewares, such as these colourful vases
Native & Co’s elegant artisanal wares come from Japan or Taiwan
Native & Co’s elegant artisanal wares come from Japan or Taiwan

Venusrox: a tantalising Notting Hill emporium of the world’s finest crystals This auspicious light-filled haven glistens tantalisingly with an intriguing array of stones, from huge pieces such as a 98cm-high cluster of Uruguayan amethyst to smaller pieces in vitrines, such as a smooth pebble of Carnelian and a sphere of pretty pinky-red gem rhodonite. Handmade jewellery includes silk tasselled gemstone bracelets with gold, silver and clear quartz beads, and natural gems wrapped in gold to create stylish pendants. 25 All Saints Rd, London W11 (020-7792 4957; venusrox.com).

Peter Layton’s London Glassblowing studio produces world-class free-blown glass in a range of vibrant colours
Peter Layton’s London Glassblowing studio produces world-class free-blown glass in a range of vibrant colours
A natural history treasure trove, Dale Rogers offers an eclectic variety of fossil-based finds
A natural history treasure trove, Dale Rogers offers an eclectic variety of fossil-based finds

Monologue London: an ultra-hip Shoreditch design store This is a rare thing – a high-end design store with soul and a truly original spirit. Seeking out designs less ordinary, these pieces challenge conventions visually and through their innovative use of materials. The aesthetic is minimal and elegant, but the stock is far more interesting than that description implies. There is a lot to see, from furniture to lighting to homeware – and all of it invites close inspection. 93 Redchurch St, London E2 (020-7729 0400; monologuelondon.com).

Louisa Guinness Gallery has collectable artist-made jewellery by the likes of Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso and Damien Hirst
Louisa Guinness Gallery has collectable artist-made jewellery by the likes of Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso and Damien Hirst
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Native & Co: a Japanese-inspired lifestyle boutique in Notting Hill The calm ambience of this independent homewares and lifestyle boutique owes everything to its artisanal wares. Each piece is from Japan or Taiwan and shares a similar aesthetic – a straightforward simplicity that stems from a no-fuss approach to design and the use of honest materials. It’s the perfect place to buy presents you won’t find elsewhere: from a butter dish with lid and integral knife to the 1950s-style canvas school bags – just the thing for carrying home your purchases. 116 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 (020-7243 0418; nativeandco.com).

London Glassblowing: a mesmerising glassmaking showroom in Bermondsey Peter Layton’s London Glassblowing studio has been producing world-class free-blown glass for over 30 years. The gallery hosts regular exhibitions by guest artists, but is mainly used to display work by Layton and his team of 10 glass artists. Selected for their promise (as “skill you can teach”, says Layton), the designer-makers include emerging star Louis Thompson, winner of both the 2012 Jerwood Makers Award for Glass and Best in Show at 2012’s Glass Biennale. But it is, of course, Layton’s own luminous work that is the main attraction. 62-66 Bermondsey St, London SE1 (020-7403 2800; londonglassblowing.co.uk).

Dale Rogers: Pimlico’s natural history treasure trove Dale Rogers, the Indiana Jones of fossil-hunting, is on a quest to source geological and natural-history specimens several millions of years old, and his shop is testimony to this. Decorative wall-panels are embedded with Jurassic crocodiles and fish, while downstairs you might find a pair of obsidian discs from Mexico, a 90m-year-old fossilised turtle from Morocco or a pair of panels with palm fronds fossilised some 50m years ago. 77 Pimlico Rd, London SW1 (020-7881 0592; dalerogersammonite.com).

Louisa Guinness Gallery: a Mayfair cache of collectable artist jewellery Discreetly tucked above a West End hairdressing salon is a cool, calm space gleaming with an engaging display of artist jewellery by the likes of Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. Mounted like artworks on pale-grey walls or presented in glass cases, these one-off designs are signed, numbered extensions of their creators’ artistic oeuvres. “These are more than pieces of jewellery. They’re wearable artworks also designed to sit as sculpture on a coffee table or hang on a wall,” says gallery owner Louisa Guinness. 45 Conduit St, London W1 (020-7494 4664; louisaguinnessgallery.com).

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