MUST DO: E20 Christmas Markets

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Go creative in your gift choices in the next two weekends before the big day

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A chilled place to browse: the festive markets. Photo: ME
Still got Christmas presents to buy but can’t face the crowds at Westfield? Oh, and while we’re at it, aren’t you looking for a shopping experience with a bit more soul?

Well, for the next two weekends, after ticking the dinosaur/Frozen/superhero-loving littles off your list, swerve the high street hordes, head out of exit at the Waitrose end of Stratford’s shopping behemoth and make your way to the pop-up E20 Christmas Makers Market.

Stallholders include Earl Of East, selling sweet smelling soy candles and beautifully curated lifestyle loveliness for that tricky to buy for person (we all have one, right?). Then check out Inger for serious Brownie-point scoring handcrafted jewellery with a cool modern vibe (I couldn’t resist treating myself to a pair of earrings, which have already had lots of ooh-where’d-you-get-those comments).

And this Saturday, 12th December, catch Lamplighter London at their only shopping event of the season, where they’ll be selling calligraphy kits, ink sets and stationery goodness.

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If you’re into the ceramics trend but haven’t been organised enough to get yourself on a course and craft your own gifts (because, like who has the time, and if we’re being honest, the talent?) there are beautiful bowls and pots from Blue Guy Pottery which have that handcrafted vibe, but are way better than anything I for one could ever dream of creating. As well as getting to talk to the creators and curators behind the stalls you can take the opportunity to skill up and take your gifts to the #MadeByMe next level by signing up for workshops including spoon-carving, candle-making and terrarium planting.

Feeling tired/hungry/in need of alcohol? They’ve got that covered too. Top up your caffeine levels with coffee from We Are Here, get stuck into baked goodies from Signorelli or to take the edge off with Pickle House Marys and Pickled Hot Toddies from The Pickle House. You can also pick up their Original Pickle Juice and pickled cucumbers for an unusual foodie pressie.

Secret Santa? Done.

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Find the E20 Makers Market at 15-19 Penny Brookes Street, East Village, E20 1DA on 12th and 13th December and 19th and 20th December, open Saturdays from 11 to 6pm and Sundays from 11 to 5pm. Workshops info here
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