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Shops you should know about: the Southbank Centre shop

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It’s possibly a little too late for this post, but I just had to quickly mention the wonder that is London’s Southbank Centre shop, in case anyone was still trying to get hold of last-minute Christmas presents! This amazing little gem is tucked away right by the Royal Festival Hall (yay for culture!), slap bang in the middle of a load of chain restaurants (boo for commercialism!). It’s brilliant for finding quirky, one-off, design-led pieces that make absolutely smashing stocking fillers.

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Poster by Red Gate Arts

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Prism cushion by Kangan Arora

The focus probably leans towards homewares – lots of fab cushions, prints and mugs – but there’s also a really lovely selection of jewellery that’s perfect for those who want something unique. When I visited a few weeks ago they also had a brilliant range of unusual and handmade Christmas cards and decorations.

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Light necklace by Inca Starzinsky

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Scandinavian candle set

The shop works with social enterprise Cockpit Arts to source products from designer-makers, and refreshes its stock every three months. Meaning you really will find stuff that’s not on the high street.

Some of the products are available online but for the true experience you need to visit the actual shop. It’s right by the river, and at this time of year the whole Southbank area (my favourite part of London) is covered in twinkly lights so really you have no excuse not to go.

Also, every now and then, a tube train trundles underneath the shop and you think you’re in a the middle of an earthquake. Which is mildly exhilarating. What more could you want?

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