Harrods Christmas World, 2016

Harrods have opened Christmas World, a whole 24 days earlier than last year.   The entire range will be in store by the 28th August, but I went along to see what you can pick up now.

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The famous luxury Department store is the third biggest tourist attraction in the capital, and hundreds of thousands of people flock here each year to wander it’s seven floors.  At the beginning of August their anticipated Christmas shop opens.  On the Hans Road side of the Knightsbridge store, it’s housed in the Harrods Gift Shop and the Buckingham Palace Collection. I’m specific here because I asked both the security guard on the ground floor entrance and a sales assistant in the kitchenware department on the second floor and they didn’t know.  I do.  I’ve been and you must.  Here’s a map from Harrods’ online site.

Snip20160804_3Bears have a strong connection with the store which goes back to 1921 when a Winnie the Pooh bear was bought at Harrods by Christopher Robin’s Mother.  In 1986, the first Harrods Christmas Bear was sold, and the tradition continues. Collectors from all over the world descend on the store when they go on sale.

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Hugh the 2016 Christmas Bear is the star of this year’s show and takes up a commanding position at the front of the Shop.  A smaller version is £24.95 with 2016 sewn onto the poor chap’s left paw.  If money or space is no object, then the huge Hugh can be yours of £1,200.

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The collectors 30th Anniversary Plates are £24.95 and the Mug £16.95.

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The ‘My First’ Christmas range includes a white stocking £19.95, a 2016 Bear Decoration £14.95, 2016 Bear on a Bauble £9.95, 2016 White Crown Bauble £9.95 and a set of 3 silver decorations £14.95 and the snowglobe, £24.95.

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The ‘My First’ range includes a puppy,  a teddy and a kitten all at £14.95.

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For the tourist, there’s plenty of suitcase-friendly souvenirs, great for their own Christmas Tree and all at £7.95.

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So apart from baubles what else can you dangle from your non-drop Nordmann Fir?

Gold Glitter Harrods Bag £9.95

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Glitter Present Decoration £9.95

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Glass blown Harrods store £9.95

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Hand finished decorations for the Christmas decoration connoisseur.

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Bear in Bell Decoration £9.95

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Set of four teddies decorations £14.95

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Set of three bears £19.95

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Snowglobes, with the Harrods Westie wearing a Santa hat.

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Festive Westie toys are £12.95.

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As well as Christmas decorations the store also has a small range of their Christmas tins which include teas, hot chocolate, biscuits, chocolate and jam.

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The Advent Calendar is simple, and while there’s a star pointer to determine the date, there’s room for a small treat as well, £19.95.

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In November, Christmas ramps up, and the store will launch with the fashion house Burberry, and it will be the first time they’ve teamed up with a brand for the festive campaign.  We do know it’s called ‘A Very British Fairy Tale’  and will follow two children on an adventure through a snow-swept English country house, complete with flying cars, floating bathtubs and secret passageways.  Expect the Burberry plaid to feature as it takes over the store’s Christmas tree and windows on Brompton Road.

And, if you want to meet Santa in-store this year, don’t forget to register ahead of its opening on the 4th November.  Bookings start on Monday 19th September 2016. All customers registered to Harrods Rewards by Sunday 28th August will receive priority booking based on their Rewards tier and will be eligible to book their tickets first before.

 

 

Prestat

Crystallised ginger has been given a makeover this Christmas by the Royal Chocolatier Prestat. Dismiss the idea of sugar-encrusted cubes and think twice-dipped fiery stem ginger in 70% dark chocolate.   Sure to pack a spicy punch and warm up a chilly winter evening.  A beautiful A5 size ruby red box is embellished with gold lettering and is a reasonable £12.50.

The Mint Box costs £10.50 and in the gorgeous box you’ll find a selection of three mint chocolates – the double mint, a coffee mint and the strawberry mint.  If you’re a fan of flavoured fondants you’ll love these – they’re all dipped in mint-infused chocolate.  I’m personally not that keen on flavoured mint fondants but that said the box is empty.

Available in the Prestat shop, Liberty, Selfridges, John Lewis and Harrods Prestat concession.

Prestat Truffles

Prestat has launched another truffle which means another weakness to add to the growing list, which in turns means my bank account gets lighter as my body takes on the extra pounds. I’ve already got a soft spot for their Sea Salt Caramel Truffles and I could have done with the praline line like a hole in the head.

Prestat aren’t a brand that comes cheap, but then what good quality chocolate does? They’re an indulgence, made from top notch ingredients. They taste great, look expensive and they’re a total pleasure to receive. Even the boxes are a work of art, beautifully designed by the artist Kitty Arden.  Her silk robes are exquisite and I’ve got a red one on my Christmas wish list.

I head straight to Liberty’s Chocolate Room who stock a great selection of Prestat chocolates when I need cheering up, someone else needs a chocolate hug, or simply to get them as a good substitute for desert when I’m cooking at home for friends and don’t have time to go beyond main courses.

Like their other truffles, Marc de Champagne and Pink Marc de Champagne,  they’re bite sized balls of naughtiness. The handmade chocolate shells are filled with hazlenut praline and dusted in dark cocoa. But beware, they’re a little like Pringles – you just can’t put them back in the cupboard – that is why no one else got to taste them!

Can’t wait to try out their Christmas range. I’ll keep you posted when I get samples.

Prestat Praline Truffles £10

Stocked in Liberty, John Lewis, Selfridges, Harrods and Prestat in Princes Arcade, Piccadilly.

Truffles courtesy of Prestat