Eeeek, it’s Christmas in less than a fortnight and I’ve still got so many things on my shopping list. I’ve normally bought everything by now and got it all sitting beautifully wrapped under my tree but a bout of tonsillitis and a couple of hectic weekends have put me well and truly behind schedule! Time to get organised!
Thankfully, Newcastle is ‘Alive after Five’ which means permanent late night shopping till 8pm weekdays and 7pm Saturdays all year round (this has saved the day for me on many occasions!) Plus there’s an extra hour of shopping time on weekdays in the run up to Christmas so I can shop till 9pm in the city centre.
Europe’s biggest indoor shopping centre, Intu Metrocentre, is also on my doorstep in Gateshead; so making sure all my family and friends have a present to open on Christmas morning shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
To help me stay focussed I’ve put together a little gift guide featuring some of my favourite stores. If you’re picking up last minute presents in NewcastleGatehead it might come in rather handy!
For Toys – Fenwick
As the imaginative festive window display currently suggests, Fenwick knows a thing or two about lighting up the faces of little ones. The third floor of the North East’s favourite department store is devoted to children. As well as the usual dolls, board games and books etc there’s also a Build a Bear Workshop, a huge Lego section and a special Star Wars pop up shop to celebrate the release of the new film!
Northumberland Street, Newcastle, NE1 7AS
For Jewellery – Northern Goldsmiths and Bcharmd
Northern Goldsmiths is one of the most beautiful stores in Newcastle, it’s recently had a one million pound facelift, restoring the landmark building to its Edwardian splendour. Shopping here for jewellery and watches really is a special and luxurious experience. I recently tried on a dazzling diamond ring worth 50k (a girl can dream) but they also have gorgeous gifts from as little as £25.
Blackett Street, Newcastle, NE1 5AU
For contemporary costume jewellery and eye catching accessories I absolutely adore Bcharmd. The small but perfectly formed independent boutique on Shakespeare Street is staffed by ‘jewellery stylists’ who will help you pick out the perfect gifts.
Shakespeare Street, Newcastle, NE1 6AQ
For Local Gifts – Upside Down Presents
One of my favourite little gift shops can be found tucked underneath the Tyne Bridge on the way to Newcastle Quayside. Upside Down Presents is full to the brim with unique and quirky homewares produced by local businesses plus a huge range of greetings cards featuring Geordie sayings. It was also the first and only place you could order a limited edition Lego model of the Tyne Bridge, they sold out in just 48 hours but I hear they’ll be back in stock in the spring.
Upside Down Presents was one of the shops I wrote about it in my guide to Newcastle’s best independent shops for Wow247, read the full article to find out what my other favourites are.
The Side, Newcastle, NE1 3JE
For Gift Experiences – The Quadfather and Karting North East
Stuck for a gift idea for an adrenalin junkie or wondering what to buy the person that already has everything? A gift voucher for The Quadfather is sure to raise a much bigger smile than boring old socks. The 11 acre site is a mudtastic challenge for anyone over the age of 12. I had so much fun when I went there earlier this year. Check out my review for more details.
Arcot Ave, Cramlington NE23 7QP
I also visited Karting North East this year (review HERE) and although I found it a little scary and ended up being the slowest person on the track I still had fun. I’d love to return and have a go at the other activities on offer including paintballing and archery!
Warden Law Motorsports Centre, Sunderland, SR3 2PR
For Fashion – H&M and Warehouse
As well as all the presents I need to buy I’d also like to find a new outfit for Christmas day. H&M and Warehouse never let me down, I can always lay may hands on something on trend and within budget that doesn’t make me look like mutton dressed as lamb. I also get a discount at Warehouse in Newcastle with my NE1 card which can even be used on sale items.
H&M is on Northumberland Street and Warehouse is on Blackett Street
For Food – Fenwick Food Hall
I recently wrote a full post about my love of Fenwick Food Hall (HERE), it’s a foodies dream! My other half James is definitely head chef in our house so at Christmas I like to put together a little hamper of special treats for him (that he can then share with me, ha ha!). This year I will be stocking up on cheese, olive oil, coffee beans, chocolate truffles, local beer and sparkling wine, all from Fenwick Food Hall.
Northumberland Street, Newcastle, NE1 7AS
For Beauty – House of Fraser
I definitely consider House of Fraser to be the jewel in Intu Metrocentre’s crown and can easily lose a few hours in their expansive world class beauty hall. After a recent facelift and the introduction of several new brands, House of Fraser now has an unrivalled range of luxury counters offering Jo Malone, Tom Ford, Nars, Urban Decay, Crème de la Mer, Kiels and loads more, Beauty services such as a SHOW blow dry car, Nails Inc nail bar, Estee Lauder 10 minute beauty bar and a Decleor spa make it it the perfect pampering destination and I’m sure any girl would love to be treated to something special from here.
Intu Metrocentre, Gateshead, NE11 9YG
For Homewares – TK Maxx & Homesense
I love the variety of brands and huge discounts off RRP that you can discover in TK Maxx & Homesense and I’ve managed to unearth some real treasures there. The only downside is that you often don’t get the original packaging but some fancy tissue paper and a luxury gift bag soon sorts that out and you can pretend you’ve scoured boutique stores to find the perfect gift! I can often be found rummaging in the Northumberland Street TK Maxx but I love the one at Intu Metrocentre as there’s a Homesense store attached too!
For Stocking Fillers – Cath Kidston, Urban Outfitters and Primark
These are definitely my top three shops for cute and quirky stocking fillers, I love the socks, bobbles and scarves you can get for just a few quid in Primark. Urban Outfitters is a great place to shop for teens as they have some really unusual books and cool accessories and Cath Kidston… well you just can’t get go wrong in there can you? Especially when buying gifts for females and kids, everything is just so pretty!