Monday, 7 December 2015

#London Christmas Shopping Guide 2015 No's.9 & 10. @paxtonscheese & @berrybrosrudd #xmasinlondon #londonxmas

Welcome to our London Christmas Shopping Guide 2015. 

Over the next few weeks we'll be pointing you in the direction of our favourite shops and shopping neighbourhoods near the meeting and ending points of our London Walks …

No's. 10 & 11. Paxton & Whitfield and Berry Bross & Rudd

Here's Daily Constitutional Associate Editor and award-winning London Walks guide Kim with a follow-up to yesterday's post…

Yesterday I recommended the shop at the Old Operating Theatre on St Thomas Street which is great for gory stocking fillers and gruesome books - think (artificial) blood filled syringes as pens, skull rubbers etc or a fascinating history of syphilis! This is easily accessed at the end of Darkest Victorian London (and includes a discount on entry to the museum if you've done the walk) which goes on Monday mornings at 10.45am from Monument.

It's still a great place but I do feel it necessary to come up with something new so I'm now going for something much more "high end" and easily bought at the end of The Old Palace Quarter walk at 2.30pm Fridays from Green Park.

I may not be able to fill my Christmas cupboards here but I'm definitely paying a visit to two shops in St James. The first is a must for any cheese lover and that is Paxton & Whitfield on Jermyn Street.  It's been there for over 200 years and it supplies cheese to HM The Queen and Prince Charles.  The cheeses are piled up on wooden shelves and tables and they offer hampers and cheese board selections and the stilton is to die for - they are the people that introduced stilton cheese to London so it should be.  Go, smell, taste and buy.

Having a nice bag of cheese you now need something to wash it down with and so I hop round the corner to St James's Street and Berry Bros & Rudd.  

Here your Christmas purchase is a bottle of The King's Ginger.  Same Royal Warrants here (so do look carefully at who's waiting to be served before you) and a history that goes all the way back to the 1600s. The shop is once more a journey into a time when supermarkets were not thought of and there is a dizzying selection of wines on offer, not all of which are expensive by any means.  The King's Ginger, however, is the perfect winter warmer.  It was created in 1903 for King Edward VII who liked to take an invigorating morning ride in his new horseless carriage - a Daimler!  It even comes with a medical recommendation as it was Edward's doctor who asked Berry Bros to come up with something that would protect the King's health after his cold rides.  It's a wonderful warming drink but is also useful for cocktails - which is something I need to try out this year. 

So there you have it.  Fill the kids' stockings with gruesome bits & pieces, send interesting books to your friends so they'll be busy over the holiday period and then sit back and enjoy the peace & quiet of  Christmas Day with a plate of fabulous cheese and a glass or two of King's Ginger.  You'll be fortified and revived and will be ready to send your husband off to work on Boxing Day!

That's what I'll be doing as Rex ventures out on Spies and Spycatchers in St James' and Mayfair on 26 December at 2.30pmat Piccadilly Circus.  I'll stay home, watch the football and break out the stilton that's been hidden from the rest of the family!


Kim, who has worked in the House of Commons and the European Parliament, is another 24-carat Blue Badge Guide: she won the London Tourist Board's Guide of the Year award in 2001.

Christmas 2015 With London Walks

The Amazing Old Shops Walk takes place on the 19th December – meet Judy at Green Park Station at 10:45a.m

The Christmas Lights & Seasonal Cheer Pub Walk takes place on the 19th December meet at Embankment Tube 7:15p.m

On Christmas Day there are TWO London Walks:

Walk up an appetite with The Christmas Morning 1660 Walk – meet at 11:00a.m by the big tree in Trafalgar Square

Walk off the pudding with The Christmas Day Charles Dickens Walk – meet by the big tree in Trafalgar Square at 2:00pm

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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