It’s time for Christmas lights, pop-up ice rinks and twinkling shop windows.  Visit London in December and get to see the city at its very best.  Here’s a guide to the best shopping streets during the run-up to Christmas.

Which are London’s best dressed Christmas windows?

Selfridges’ and Harrods’ windows are always a treat and 2018 is no exception. At Selfridges this year, the theme is Rock’n’Roll Royalty. Prepare to be dazzled by vintage microphones bejewelled with Swarovski crystals and 5kms of shimmering glitter curtains! Meanwhile, over in Knightsbridge at Harrods, the theme is familiar British festive rituals. Tableaux include unwrapping gifts, the Queen’s speech and a Leftover Fridge.

Next stop, Covent Garden

Visit the cobbled streets of Covent Garden’s Piazza to see one of London’s largest Christmas trees, beautifully decorated shop windows and street performers. Mistletoe chandeliers and a magnificent silver reindeer complete the picture.

Actually, Covent Garden’s Neal Street is one of our favourite shopping streets for gift-buying. Get inspiration at The Tea House, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Pylones which have plenty of original ideas.

Foodie gifts

Christmas can never come too early at Fortnum & Mason, London’s answer to anyone in search of classy food-related gifts. Choose from a mouth-watering selection of superb tea and hampers packed with traditional British favourites. Beautifully packaged Shropshire honey, blackberry and apple preserves and  shortbread biscuits also make great gifts.

Slip into the side streets

When you need a break from the crowds, head away from the big lights of Oxford Street and Regent’s Street. Lovely boutiques and restaurants and designer name line Marylebone High Street and nearby St Christopher’s Place. If you’re shopping with teenagers, however, make tracks for the pedestrianised streets around Carnaby Street.