90-minute Christmas blitz at Camp Hopson
Yes, doubters, it can be done! Memorise Muddy’s brilliant gift buying masterplan, grab your credit card, face mask and let’s do this.
You’ve made your list, you’ve checked it twice and, yep, you do still have eight million presents to buy for all the various offshoots of your family. Yikes!
But fear not, we’ve devised a handy 90-minute festive plan – you’ll have it nailed in your lunch hour, promise. All you need to follow our foolproof trail of our favourite brands at indie store Camp Hopson in Newbury – your one-stop Christmas stop. Less time masked up, more time for mince pies and mulled wine. Plus don’t miss the chance to win a £100 gift voucher.
Jo Malone London
It’s fancy, it’s fragrant and you always get a kick out of opening that little black ribbon tied cream box. Jo Malone London is an iconic perfumer that has a luxury collection of scented candles and diffusers, colognes and bodycare for men and women. Perfume is a Christmas gift classic – indulgent and thoughtful. We’re loving the new London Townhouse candles (£90). A collection of six scents to suit the mood of your rooms. Jo Malone London also offers a gift builder service, so your box can be totally bespoke. Prices from £16.
Teenagers can be pretty tricky to buy for, but any girl worth her salt knows that brows, lashes and skin absolutely need to be #onfleek – so she’d love to open Benefit Beauty Thrill gift set (£19.50) on Christmas morning. Benefit has nailed the Christmas gifting matrix with a range of super-cool sets, packaged in pop art tins with full size bestsellers and available in different shades.
There’s a real commitment to quality skincare in Camp Hopson’s beauty hall. You’ll find all the regulars: CHANEL, Clarins and Estée Lauder. But there’s a wall of brands that skincare addicts will swoon over. You’ll find Dermalogica, REN, ThisWorks and Dr Hauschka – a luxury organic, 100% natural skincare brand that beauty addicts swear by. Not only do the products stand up to scrutiny, the company is also ethically and ecologically sound. The trio of Daily Companions at £20 is a one to add to your basket.
If you haven’t embraced loungewear this year, have you even done 2020? Having spent all of our time at home, we have all embraced PJs as daywear, and now that temperatures are sub zero, it’s time to invest in slippers too. UGG is still the no.1 brand for cosy sheepskin footwear andI’m a big fan. Personally I love the slip on Scuff (£80) for comfort, durability and the rubber sole keepS your feet firmly on the ground. Camps has them in three colours and they also stock the short boot too.
If there was ever a year to buy a totally extra bag, sling it over your shoulder and sashay into 2021, it’s this one. Kurt Geiger’s Kensington rainbow bag is a stunner (£230). Made from soft metallic leather, crystal-encrusted eagle motif, and some serious hardware, this is not a gift for shrinking violets. Camp Hopson also stock classic black, embellished and solid colour versions of this beauty.
Don’t be fooled into thinking socks are boring. Oh no. Most men I know countdown the days to Christmas to throw out their threadbare socks and embrace a fresh out of the box new pair. This also applies to pants. Swerve the boring black, navy and grey and make the annual sock fest a good one. Swedish brand Happy Socks puts colour, quality and joy into what is a pretty dull everyday essential. If you’re buying socks this year, put a smile on his face with this fab four gift set, £36. Also available individually.
If there’s a bloke in your life who spend more time getting ready than you do (*yes, you Mr Muddy*) then Hugo Boss is usually my go-to for a gift. It’s a luxury brand that has on-trend designs sitting alongside failsafe classics, so you’ll pretty much always find something he’ll like. On my list is this urban Boss quilted coat made with a recycled filling. It’s an investment at £369, but the chances are it’ll be frequently borrowed by the teen too. You’ll also find Polo by Ralph Lauren, Gant, Hackett and Barbour in Camp Hopson’s Menswear department.
Levi’s are like a rite of passage for most teenagers – effortless, cool and, for a brand that 147 years old, still managing to woo a new generation of fashion followers. Camp Hopson has a men’s (ground floor) and women’s (first floor) concessions, stocking the iconic Levi logo T shirt (£25), the bestselling jean cuts, shearling lined jackets and cord shirts.
The White Company
Possibly one of the most exciting spots in Camp Hopson is The White Company and The Little White Company. You simply cannot go wrong buying gifts from here. The PJs are luxurious, the clothes are classic, they stock Veja trainers (a vegan brand loved by celebs and fashion eds), plus I spotted a decadent silk pillowcase (£60) which helps keep wrinkles and bad hair at bay. Who wouldn’t want that on Christmas Day? Over on the kids section, they do a small selection of heirloom toys and beautifully made clothing (the nightwear is cute) for minis. The best bit, they’ll gift wrap your purchases – think Rowan Atkinson in Love Actually.
Don’t forget to treat yourself during this festive flyby. Having spent an unhealthy amount of time in anything with an elasticated waist, I’m treating myself to a frock. Whistles nail it every single time with designs that are flattering, feminine and versatile. So when you calculate price per wear, your one treat to self will feel like a steal. Fancy this green ditsy print dress? It’s yours for £139. You’ll also find LK Bennett, Jaeger, Hobbs and Barbour in Camp Hopson’s Womenswear department.
With a coat like this you’ll be gifting a duvet day every day. Long quilted coats are everywhere right now. As soon as the temperatures plummeted, influencers and fashion editors added a duvet coat to continue their lockdown ‘just out of bed’ style. Esprit is an underrated brand offering quality and value for money. This is just one of a few quilted coats available here and at £99, it’s a bargain. Perfect for working off your Christmas dinner.
Thanks to Phil Schofield’s top Christmas must-haves TV show – How To Spend It Well – this interactive pooping flamingo (£33) is now top of many kids’ wish lists. Everyone loves a poo joke. But much like every other toy featured, it’s pretty much sold out everywhere. Lucky for you, Camp Hopson has it in store. You’ll also find Lego sets, Sylvanian Families, traditional board games, stocking fillers and Our Generation dolls with more wardrobe changes than Katy Perry at the MTV Awards.
Le Creuset is the sort of investment purchase you sneak onto your wedding list it’s so expensive. But it is a worthy investment and if you have a foodie friend to buy for, they’ll definitely appreciate it. Not only does it look amazing, it makes you look like a competent cook and comes with a lifetime guarantee. So it’s a gift that keeps on giving. The signature casseroles start at £99-£325 with the accessories and kitchen essentials in a ball park that won’t make your bank manager wince. The best news? You can get 40% off the marine range at Camp Hopson and 20% off the rest.
Great design will always be appreciated and Robert Welch is a name synonymous with it. He started his design studio in the Cotswolds with a desire to make functional, affordable products which possessed a timeless elegance. It’s craftsmanship at its very best. Small or large, the pieces all have the wow factor. These salt and pepper pinch pots are £40, but something like large Champagne bucket will set you back £250.
If in doubt, it’s gin for the win. LSA International’s pink tinged balloons are a gorgeous – and incredibly good value at £45 for two. They’re mouthblown with hand painted pink detailing and you can even buy a bottle of Pinkster Gin from the ground floor to ensure the lucky receiver is ready to christen these beauties.
Hungry yet? Sashay up to the second floor for refreshments and views. Grab a mince pie and a coffee, soup and a sarnie, there’s always something to tickle your tastebuds. This is a great pitstop after some intense shopping and a welcome break from wearing your mask. If you’re about ready for a cocktail and a Scotch egg, there are plenty of other options in Newbury – The Newbury Pub, Cobrizo Lounge and The Dolphin should hit the spot.
**While Camp Hopson’s doors are temporarily closed, why not explore and shop online at their sister store, elyswimbledon.co.uk, where a collection of Home, Gifts, Beauty, Accessories and Toys await?!
Camp Hopson, 7-11 Northbrook St, Newbury RG14 1DN