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December 2014 / Diary / by Charlea Glanville

Fabulous Festive Fairs

PortobelloOstrichHandmade in Britain
Nothing screams “thoughtful” quite like a one-off gift that will be treasured for years to come, and lucky Londoners can now pick up something truly unique from Maida Vale, no less. Handmade in Britain’s Christmas Pop Up is a haven for the artistic gift-giver, with offerings such as hand-blown glass decanters, bespoke iPad holders, still life clay sculptures and even ostrich eggs bearing bold designs (an unbeatable stocking filler, for sure). If that all sounds a little overwhelming, fear not; there’s some more traditional – yet still handmade – gifts available too, including luxury cashmere scarves and hand-crafted jewellery. Time to earn some serious gift-giving brownie points. Until 24 December, 4 Formosa Street W9  www.handmadeinbritain.co.uk 

North London Vintage Market
For the nostalgic retro giftee, there really is no present quite like something vintage – and for the gifter, no place quite like North London Vintage Market. The weekend event promises to fulfil your every vintage Yuletide desire – from unique gifts, 1950s Christmas cards and original festive décor, to retro homewares for seasonal entertaining, and vintage cocktail dresses and jewellery for those all-important parties. If the promise of a new party dress isn’t enough to sway you (and we can’t imagine why not), enjoy a spiced hot chocolate and a mince pie (or ten) from the on-site caterers, as you marvel at your own old-school gift-buying genius. 6 – 7 December, St Mary’s Parish Hall N10. £1.50 entry www.northlondonvintagemarket.blogspot.co.uk  

Secret Emporium
30 independent designers and even more mulled wine come together under one Shoreditch roof for Secret Emporium, a winter paradise for distinctive gifts. Expect to find unique streetwear, homeware, illustration, musical instruments, and more curated by handpicked British designers. Hungry shoppers, brace yourselves, as this fair is as much about grub as it is gifts. On-site is the exclusive Rochelle Canteen, alongside a variety of eclectic and delicious street food vendors. There’s also mulled wine on tap, which is persuasion enough for us. 13-14 December, Arnold Circus E2 www.secretemporium.com

The Winter Cabin Pop Up
The frosty London breeze and cutting cold is enough to make even the most seasoned St. Nick lose his gift-buying mojo eventually, and crave the warm, fuzzy comfort of a blanket and hot chocolate. Luckily the Winter Cabin at the York & Albany is on hand to serve as this season’s stop-and-stay sanctuary, promising faux furs, toasty tipples and fabulous food in a ski cabin setting complete with live music, scented candles and all-important outdoor heaters. Indulge your weary self with a wild boar burger and black pudding scotch egg, or kick back with signature cocktail Winter Is Coming – made from eclectic ingredients including gingerbread liqueur and orange marmalade. You earned it, after all. Until 28 February 2015 from 4-11pm daily, York & Albany NW1 www.gordonramsay.com/yorkandalbany

And if you’re after more seasonal edible inspiration, look out for our December issue for our favourite festive foodie, drinkie dens (out Friday).