Friday, December 5, 2014
Christmas At Selfridges: Paddington Bear and Personalized Nutella
After exchanging my birthday gift from John for a smaller size at Monica Vinader in Mayfair yesterday, I realized that I was standing just yards away from Selfridges. And so, I did what any insane person would do at this time of year ... I stepped right through those doors. Yes, that's right, I went right for the jugular: the Christmas shop on the 4th floor.
But I had a very specific goal in mind. Weeks ago, I read about the personalized jars of Nutella that Selfridges was producing in their Food Hall and decided that I just had to get one for my best friend, Udita, who's a Nutella ... nut. Of course, since the article was published, these little pots of personalised hazelnut spread became so popular, they had to move the Nutella station to the 4th floor because the lines were overcrowding the Food Hall. Gulp.
As I made my way up to the top of the store (and accidentally gatecrashed a much-cooler-than-me Wildfox party that was in full-swing in womenswear ... oops. #definitelyinmythirties), I saw the line for the Nutella station and paused: roped off and managed by staff, there were probably about 25 people in line and I was told that it'd be about a 20-minute wait.
Undeterred, I jumped in and was given a slip of paper to write the names I wanted on my jars (each customer was limited to 3 jars, and each name had a limit of 9 letters. Sorry, Cassiopeia.) At first, I'd only wanted to make one for Udita, but at £3.99, they were fun little gifts, so I added a couple more to my list (including one for my Secret Santa gift at work!).
In reality, the line moved quickly, so I wasn't standing around for more than 8 minutes or so. Once we paid for our jars of Nutella, staff would print the labels on printers attached to laptops and stick them on the jars - not rocket science, but it's been funny to see all the flabbergasted comments on Udita's Instagram and Facebook feed this morning, including, "WHAT?? HOW???"
At the end of the whole process, I left with this:
Isn't that fun? They were also doing personalized Christmas ornaments, Christmas cards, stockings, and even personalized Mr. Men and Little Miss prints and mugs. Definitely a great place to swing by if you're feeling stuck for Christmas gifts - and it wasn't even that busy at 7 p.m. on a Thursday night.
I then made my way back down to the Food Hall to finish up buying some presents for people back home and tried a mince pie martini (so delicious), made from Tipplesworth mince pie syrup, dark rum, and pressed apple juice. I loved that the lady who made the cocktail was actually the brains behind the Tipplesworth mince pie syrup, so I walked away with a bottle for a friend's birthday present (you can also put it on waffles, pancakes, etc.!).
Before I left, I snapped a photo of one of the Paddington Bear windows at the front of the store. I always love Selfridges' windows (they rival those of Galleries Lafayette and Printemps in Paris), but the display with the gold London cab and Paddington surrounded by jars of marmalade was stunning. I've got a soft spot for Paddington, as he reminds me so much of my Dad! The way he looks, with his eyes peering out from under his bucket hat with his famous duffle coat slightly straining at the seams around his belly, is so sweet and so similar to my Dad's posture (minus the belly) when he's sitting and sketching various bits of architecture and landscape during his travels. I'm looking forward to the movie.
If you can bear Oxford Street at this time of year (no pun intended), I'd definitely suggest swinging by Selfridges - at least for the Food Hall. Lots of easy gifts there and I tend to do a "supermarket sweep" type of thing where I don't think I'll need a basket, then end up balancing wine on top of panettone on top of a tin of shortbread biscuits. So, yeah. Get a basket.
Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? Are you looking forward to the holidays? Happy Friday!