If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to back our businesses. And our independent stores are top of the list.
Why is it important to shop at our local businesses?
I am a magpie and still really enjoy the tactile experience of in-person shopping. Visiting independent shops and restaurants appeals to me because I love anything original where you can feel the personality and passion of the owner. Shopping small just feels more special and unique to me and I’m happy to support business owners in this way.
Where are your favourite places to shop independently in and around the City of London?
I like the well-selected array in Aimé on Redchurch Street and its own brand of pie crust shirts are irresistible. They also often have good party blouses by Isabel Marant and great gift ideas.
Where do you love to eat out in and around the City?
Brawn on Columbia Road, it’s super-cosy and serves such tasty food, including really yummy burrata with sage and hazelnuts. Its bustling but relaxed atmosphere makes it a great spot for a small celebration with family and friends this Christmas.
Where is your go-to bar to have last-minute/afterwork drinks?
I love Three Sheets on Kingsland Road in Shoreditch, which is special and vibey and reminds me a lot of the types of bars you get in New York. The Old Fashioneds are as sumptuous as the cheese board and it feels like only those in the know happen upon it.
Do you have any top tips for Christmas shopping in and around the City?
I do think flowers really help a celebration. Even if it’s just a few scattered on the dinner table or in little jars dotted around the room. Grace & Thorn in Bethnal Green do really nice wild arrangements that aren’t overly precious.
Alexa has also shared some of her favourite independent shops in support of the American Express Shop Small campaign.
The campaign aims to support small businesses by encouraging the nation to shop small throughout the festive season and beyond.
For more insider recommendations for the festive season, make sure you get your hands on the Little Blue Book of Celebration at americanexpress.com/uk/benefits/shop-small.