With the festive season approaching, we invited local savvy shophound, Lily Oliver to The Old Cinema to hunt out some desirable gifts…
Ok, I give in; illuminated Santas twinkle above crowded streets, trees, baubles and tinsel are everywhere and the heavy scent of cloves,
cinnamon and roasting chestnuts hangs in the air. Christmas is definitely coming. But this year, instead of sticking my head in a box of Heston’s mince-pies and leaving everything to the last minute,
I’m determined to be more organised, and I’ve also got a new present-buying strategy.This year I intend to eschew the Serengeti-like stampede into the West End; all that pushing through crowds
in hot department stores; hastily grabbing random items which I later find myself trying desperately to match to names on a list; ‘hat for her, socks for him’ etc. These are my nearest and dearest; surely they deserve
a little more care and goodwill than this?
My Christmas shopping experience this year, will be altogether more enjoyable and rewarding. To start with, I’m staying local. As well as an enviable selection of
restaurants – including the odd Michelin star – we Chiswickians, also have a fair smattering of interesting and unusual shops, so buying needn’t become a chore but can actually be a pleasure.
My plan is to buy gifts that are special, and unique; that speak of another world or a bygone era; something different to the usual high-street offering. So, after a fortifying cappuccino at High Road House;
favoured hangout of cool media types, I wander next door to The Old Cinema; a West London bastion of freer thinking spirits (and the occasional celeb), who come in search of something unusual, interesting or fun.
It’s all here; retro, vintage, antique, up-cycled, contemporary chic, or plain eccentric and hard to narrow it down to just a few suggestions – but here are some of my favourites.
A MEAN MARTINIFor hard-to-please men in your life, who maybe aspire towards a little Bond-like glamour, (or who could do with a little shaking and stirring) a cocktail shaker is a handsome and practical gift –
and will also help the party go with a swing! There are lots to choose from here, in all styles and to please all pockets. Cocktail shakers from £45.
DIG THE PIGHere’s one to bring a smile. Anyone would be charmed by these wonderful farmyard animals, cleverly made from old tin oil barrels.
They come in an assortment of colours and sizes and make delightful and unusual house gifts – or maybe an amusingly appropriate one for
a couch-potato brother-in-law who never offers to do the washing-up! Selection of tin animals from £45.
The Old Cinema has a trove of delightful brocante pieces which are always welcome and unusual presents.
Photo frames are perennially popular and almost impossible to go wrong with and you’ll find many to choose from here.
These, in gloriously decadent Art Deco-style are a dream for starlets and divas, or in fact anyone with memories to cherish.
Even Great Uncle Rodney will look grand in one of these.
Art Deco-style frames from £45.
CHRISTMAS BY CANDLELIGHTThere is no better way to add warmth and atmosphere to a room than a glorious array of beautiful brass candlesticks.
And use them to maximum effect by distributing as many as you can in different shapes and sizes, wherever you have a dark corner.
The effect is magical – and somehow everyone looks so much better in candlelight.
Edwardian brass candlesticks from £10.
NORTHERN ROCKSThis stunning agate pendant, suspended from a simple silver choker is a real statement-with-style piece.
Fabulous worn with an evening dress and bare shoulders; it would also look great with a simple shirt and jeans
Part of an intriguing collection of 1970’s Scandinavian silverware – now becoming highly collectible – this has an understated Nordic cool.
1970‘s Silver pendant £180.
WHAT A DISH…For those who like a mix of contemporary, up-cycled and delightfully non-shabby, chic – Ines Cole offers a deeply desirable collection of stylish homeware.
These bowls make a beautiful rustic centrepiece are individually carved from solid marble. You’ll also find chunky re-cycled glass rummers in different colours,
quirky wooden candlesticks, upholstered stools and ottomans; colourful vintage storage tins, woven rugs and an array of unusual lights and lamps. Marble bowls in various sizes, from £45.
TOP OF THE TREEInes also has some fabulous hand-blowntree decorations for the smartest trees in town – but get them quick; they are going fast!
Glass tree decorations from £8.