Monday, 22 December 2014

12 days of discount - 10% off the entire Jellycat range for one day only!

Our 12th day of discount features 10% off the entire Jellycat range - our beloved and most popular kids range - simply adorable soft toys to love for years!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Friday, 19 December 2014

12 days of discount offer - 10% off Eye Masks

Has the christmas party season taken it's toll yet?  Revitalise tired eyes with this fabulous eye mask!  10% off for one day only!

Monday, 15 December 2014

12 days of discount - 10% off all Gift Bags

Another phenomenally busy day in store today!  It's almost the final countdown with just 9 shopping days left!  At map gift shop we wrap all the gifts you purchase, as part of our friendly service, BUT for all of you who may be buying gifts elsewhere.......keep it simple with wrap-free Gift Bags - now 10% off for one day only!

Number 6 - map gift shop - 15 Places in Islington to buy Gifts - The Resident

It’s looking a lot like Christmas… gift giving gets an extra boost if you are able to find presents that help people learn or do extra special things. Nicola Baird from takes a look around Angel to find just the right present for friends and family
This shop smells simply divine. At Christmas time it’s a bubbling emporium of hot chocolate laced with cinnamon plus a range of delicious, freshly made truffles and brownies. For a real treat in 2015 you can always learn how to make sea salted caramels (with just six other students) at a £175 workshop in Islington – that’s a gift that will keep on giving.
33 Camden Passage N1 7EA; 020 7424 5750;
15 Islington places for Christmas gifts
You can find all manner of gifts at After Noah
After Noah mixes retro chic – from sofas to wall clocks – with children’s gifts. It’s such a warm place to browse, with friendly staff to match. On the website you can find lots of under £10 gifts to delight (from moustaches to finger puppet zombies) which may be especially good if you have to help Santa fill stockings.
121 Upper Street N1 1QP; 020 7359 4281;
A gift option families might enjoy is exchanging delicious foodie treats. Smoked salmon or game (pheasant, partridge) can be ordered at the famous fishmongers. He’s a fountain of knowledge about the area to boot.
88-90 Essex Road N1 8LU; 020 7226 3963
15 Islington places for Christmas gifts
Get the kids reading at Waterstones
Books for me please! Almost anything at Waterstones on Islington Green would make me happy, even Zoe Sugg’s first chart stormer, Girl on Line. There’s a great section for children upstairs; a reasonable collection of travel guides and nice stationery too. And, of course, all sorts of books including a huge selection of cookery tomes and fiction.
11 Islington Green N1 2XH; 020 7704 2280
You can order Christmas baby Stiltons, or pick up a Vacherin (winter cheese) to bake in the oven, or even a beautiful chocolate dessert at La Fromagerie in Highbury Barn. It’s not just cheese at this atmospheric shop – there’s also a small café, a charcuterie and wine to take home and at the sister shop in Marylebone some amazing cheese courses including fondue and wine suppers.
30 Highbury Park N5 2AA;
15 Islington places for Christmas gifts
You’ll find unique Christmas gifts at Map Gift Shop
Customers at the pin-bow windowed Map Gift Shop have just voted this fabulous place as the best local shop in the Time Out awards. It’s so good that people who leave Islington make trips back for to buy cards, jewellery and Christmas baubles. There’s also the web option, but best of all is half an hour browsing. Fully wheelchair accessible too (stock is displayed on wheeled units that can be easily moved).
93 Junction Road N19 5QX;
Secret suppers held just one Saturday a month (approx. £35 per head) or a cooking course (baking, pickling etc) with the Culinary Anthropologist in her beautifully decorated N5 house, just close to Arsenal tube, are always a treat. Definitely something to look forward to in 2015.
15 Islington places for Christmas gifts
Buy the gift of pampering at Angel Therapy Rooms
organise a gift voucher to help your significant unwind with pampering ranging from pregnancy massage and hot stone massage through to treatments with lava shells. Or how about something to look forward to next summer – an alfresco holistic pedicure in their Italian styled courtyard using an antique footbath filled with rose petals perhaps?
16b Essex Road N1 8LN; 020 7226 1188;
Space – the independent gift shop – has been on Exmouth Market for 17 years run by the Brennan family. Its bright blue front should lure you in, inside you’ll find practical items (aprons, hand creams and cook books); gorgeous (notebooks) and frivolous presents (paper pets ideal for flats and Mr & Mrs mugs). I’ve put a hardback children’s book Hickory Daiquiri Doc: cocktails with a nursery rhyme twist on to my wish list.
25 Exmouth Market EC1R 4QL; 020 7837 1344;
15 Islington places for Christmas gifts
Find time to unwind thanks to Neal’s Yard Remedies
This has an enviable collection of skin and beauty creams plus plenty of testers. Book pre Christmas treatments or give your beloved a voucher for a new year treat such as facial rejuvenation, holistic massage, reflexology, foot or head massage.  There’s even a gift the three kings would have approved of – frankincense essential oil (allegedly relaxing).
295 Upper Street N1 2TU; 020 7359 4149;
Until recently based in Amwell Street, In With The Old on Exmouth Market oozes charm and creativity. It is a good place to choose witty ceramics and other items by London makers. Downstairs are workshops and at the rear selected vintage items are on sale including 1920s hand-painted lead soldiers and a builder’s trestle ladder. I’m hoping I’ll be given one of the cool side plates decorated with animals and a witty catchphrase.
15 Islington places for Christmas gifts
The Estorick Collection is famed for its terrific exhibitions, such as the recent La Dolce Vita
The Estorick Art Gallery is such a surprise: a real Italian collection with Giacomo Balla and Giorigio de Chirico (and many others) in the heart of Canonbury. The gallery has regular exhibitions, but also offers £50 annual membership, which gives you free entry to their innovative Italian shows, use of the library, plus 10% discounts at the Estorick Caffe. I loved the paparazzi exhibition in early 2014 but you can still go see the Roman treasures and in early 2015 the Renardo Guttuso exhibition looks a treat.
39a Canonbury Square N1 2AN; 020 7704 9522;
Family Tree has a snowman photo booth outside the shopfront on Exmouth Market. It is run by designer Takako Copeland and stocked with her own design textiles, fair trade and local items. In January Jo Waterhouse – who makes gorgeous fish toy cushions – joins the partnership.
53 Exmouth Market EC1R 4ql; 020 7278 1084;
15 Islington places for Christmas gifts
Buy cheese boards for special occasions at Pistachio & Pickle
This is a great place to find artisan cheese or get New Year’s Eve cheese board inspiration. I love the way you can also order Christmas cheese here too. It’s a lovely shop which runs cheese tasting, supper clubs and can even provide a cheese wedding cake.
6 Camden Passage N1 8ED; 020 7354 0656;
15 Islington places for Christmas gifts
Buy the gift of quality theatre at the Almeida
The Almeida Theatre shows are so often sell outs that by joining as a £50 supporter you support the theatre and get the chance to book early. Or just buy yourself and your friend a ticket for the popularKing Charles III or new show the Merchant of Venice (until 14 February 2015).
Almeida Street N1 1TA; 020 7359 4404;

Top 10 London Specialist Shops - Yay - there we are at lucky number 7!

Our Top 10 London Specialist Shops

With so many of us focussing our attention on Christmas shopping it seemed a good time to choose our favourite London specialist shops. Some of them famous ones, some of them not so famous. If you get tired of shopping though you can always come on one of our walks to get in the Christmas mood
1 James Smith & Sons umbrella and stick shop

James Smith Umbrella Shop
Stephen Benton likes James Smith and Sons at 53 New Oxford Street. “It is quite a survival but the umbrellas do not come cheap – one in the window was £85, but their hand made range is actually a lot more expensive than that – over £200. Not the sort of thing you would want to leave on the train.
Established in 1830, they apparently make some of their product on site. They do walking sticks too and according to one of the old shop front signs whips and sword sticks (although this product range does not seem to be on their website catalogue!).”
James Smith ShopJames Smith Umbrella Store - picture Neil Sinclair
2 Penhaligon’s parfumier
Penhaligon's at the Royal Exchange
Tina Baxter chose Penhaligon’s at The Royal Exchange “The brand was created by William Penhaligon, who concocted his first perfume Hammam Bouquet in 1872. It was inspired by the heady, musky aromas emanating from the Turkish baths on Jermyn Street. Penhaligon set up a barber shop on the same road, and traded there until it was bombed in the Second World War. Winston Churchill’s particular favourite was ‘Blenheim Bouquet’ and Penhaligon continue to bring historical references into their lines, this summer they featured trading with East. They company also have a Royal Warrant. 
There is also a Penhaligon’s situated at the south side of The Royal Exchange in the City of London, in an area once known as ‘heart of empire’. This seems appropriate as he current building (there have been three on this site) was designed by William Tite and opened by Queen Victoria in 1844. It was the original idea of Queen Elizabeth’s financial adviser, Sir Thomas Gresham, who wanted a trading building in the City similar to that of the Bourse in Antwerp. The first building was opened in 1571. A story goes that near to the time of the opening only half the shop spaces were occupied so an offer of ‘buy one get one free’ was offered, so the new building was full at its opening. So you see, it’s all been done before!
“The Eye of London,” as Stow affectionately calls the first Royal Exchange, rapidly became a vast bazaar, where fashionable ladies went to shop, and sometimes to meet their lovers.
Contemporary allusions to Gresham’s Exchange are innumerable in old writers. Donald Lupton, in “London and the Country Carbonadoed and Quartered into Severall Characters,” published in 1632, says of the Exchange “Here are usually more coaches attendant than at church doors. The merchants should keep their wives from visiting the upper rooms too often, lest they tire their purses by attiring themselves. . . . .”
A mention in the Spectator, as late 1712 the shops continued to present undiminished attraction. They were then 160 in number, and, letting at £20 or £30 each, formed, in all, a yearly rent of £4,000. Steele, in describing the adventures of a day, relates that, in the course of his rambles, he went to divert himself on ‘Change. “It was not the least of my satisfaction in my survey,” says he, “to go up-stairs and pass the shops of agreeable females; to observe so many pretty hands busy in the folding of ribbons, and the utmost eagerness of agreeable faces in the sale of patches, pins, and wires, on each side of the counters, was an amusement in which I could longer have indulged myself, had not the dear creatures called to me, to ask what I wanted.”
Today the shops in and around the Royal Exchange continue to sell luxury items, sadly they are not as well attended as in days gone by, but do window shop and the assistants are pleased to see you, Penhaligon’s in particular. So after one of our City walks why not have a look around, a far more enjoyable experience than the hustle and bustle of the West End”
Tina has regular walks in the City of London see our website for the next one
3 Paul Rothe and Son
Paul Rothe and Son
Richard Watkins chose Paul Rothe and Son in Marylebone Lane. “Paul Rothe, a German immigrant, opened the shop in 1900, and the look has hardly changed since.  Locals love the old fashioned style: from the blackboard beckoning in passers-by, shopkeepers, dressed in white coats who greet customers like old friends to the shelves packed with homely jams, relishes and biscuits, as well as unexpected items like Krakus Polish pickles.  Menu includes: homemade soup, fresh salmon and bratwurst.  In short, a lovely local, independent, traditional shop standing up to all the horrible chains – and part of Marylebone’s high street history!”
Richard’s “Mad World of Marylebone” walk stops right outside Paul Rothe and Son along the atmospheric Marylebone Lane which follows the course of the Tyburn (one of London’s lost rivers).
4 Sotherans Antiquarian Bookshop
Joanna Moncrieff chose Sotherans bookshop in Sackville Street in Mayfair
Founded in York in 1761 and celebrating its bicentenary in London in 2015 Sotherans is the oldest established antiquarian bookshop in the world. As well as whole libraries – the shop dealt with the collections of both Lawrence Sterne and Charles Dickens – today there is something for everyone at a range of prices. They also sell posters and they recently held an exhibition of vintage travel posters within the shop. The shop can be found in Sackville Street, just yards from Piccadilly. 
Sotherans features on Joanna’s walk “Poets Prose & Paperbacks” which next takes place on Tuesday 27th January at 6.30pm 
5 The Who Shop
The Who Shop
Sue Sinton Smith chose The Who Shop in Barking Road East Ham
This part of town is full of surprises and for Dr Who fans this is somewhere you have to visit. The Who Shop is the place where you can buy all things Dr Who, old and new. You can order online, to be delivered anywhere in the world. but nothing beats the experience of visiting the shop and being surrounded by anything and everything Dr Who. You can even go through the Tardis to discover the museum of props and sets from Dr Who and other TV shows. 
Sue has a  walk looking at the history of the East Ham area see website for details of the next one
6 Twinings
Elaine Wein chose Twinings at 216 The Strand
Twinings were one of the first importers of Tea into Britain and is the oldest shop in the City of Westminster trading on the same site with same family with the same products. It was opened in 1706 by Thomas Twining who decided to offer tea to compete with the other coffee houses springing up throughout London.
For most of the 17th and 18th centuries, tea was a luxury few could afford – a pound of tea cost half of the daily wage of a London tradesman and it was bought by the ounce or pound and weighed out on apothecaries scales.  Prepackaged tea not available till 1826. 
Don’t forget to go inside and have a look at the  small museum showing the history of Twinings. Have a look at a wooden box which has the initials T.I.P.  – to insure promptness.  Patrons of the coffee house would drop a few pennies into the box to encourage swifter service.  The origins of the modern day tip!
You can see Twinings on Elaine’s walk “Strolling Around The Strand” – Look at Footprints website for the next date.

7 Map Gift Shop
Map Gift Shop

Map Gift Shop  is one of Archway’s hidden gems. It recently won a Time Out Love London award for the best shop in N19
MAP was founded by the design partnership of Ian Morris and Kathryn Phalp in 1990 and moved to their current premises, a former butcher’s shop on Junction Road, in 2000.
The shop stocks a large range of unique gifts and cards for all occasions, many produced by local artists and designers. And you can have your purchases expertly gift- wrapped.
It’s a real treat to visit. Ian is a mine of information on the history of the local area and has a great collection of historic photos which he’s always pleased to show to visitors.
Jen’s walk, Archway, My Way, possibly the only guided walk that exits through the gift shop, finishes here and will be coming up again in the new year.
8 Walden Books
walden books
Dave Brown chose Walden Books of 38 Harmood Street – half way between Chalk Farm and Camden Town.  This is a second hand shop with amongst other collections a really good selection of old London books. It’s delightfully ramshackled, gives the impression of still being back in the 1940s – and the opening hours seem rather erratic – so it is a delight when you find it open.  See (I’m pretty sure the catalogue online only contains a fraction of the books they have).
9  The Society  Club est 1957
Alan Fortune chose The Society Club 1957
I nominate one of Soho’s, indeed London’s, quirkiest shops. The Society Club 1957 in Ingrestre Place.  It is a bookshop specialising (not exclusively) in poetry, both new, first editions and second hand.  It has tables where you can sit with your laptop and read, as well as drink coffee and  wine.  And it also specialises in – wait for it – dog food and moustache wax.  You really couldn’t make this place up!  It also holds book launches and poetry readings in the evenings for members only, but in the daytime functions as a book/moustache wax/dog food shop for all the public, were you can also drink. Bizarrely wonderful.
Alan has regular walks looking at the literary and restaurant history of Soho
10 Paxton and Whitfield
picture courtesy Paxton and Whitfield
picture courtesy Paxton and Whitfield

Rob Smith chose Paxton and Whitfield on Jermyn Street
Just walking in the door of Paxton and Whitfield is enough to provide a quick hit for the cheese addict, it has to be one of the most distinctive aroma’s of any shop in London. The company can chase its roots back to a market stall run by a man called Stephen Cullum in 1742. During the 18th century dairy food became more fashionable and in 1770 Cullum moved to  a shop in Surrey Street with a partner called Harry Paxton, before Cullum’s son took over the business selling cheese to the aristocracy from a shop in Piccadilly.  A third partner Charles Whitfield  joined the business which moved to Jermyn Street in 1835. They were appointed cheese makers to Queen Victoria in 1850. Things were not all plain sailing though – the business was bought and sold a number of times, and tastes had changed – the farmhouse cheeses the shop sold were not as fashionable as imported cheeses, leading to the shop going bankrupt in 1888
From The Times 1888
From The Times 1888
Luckily new owners were found and fortunes changed again with Royal Warrants to supply Edward VII and indeed every other monarch since. Shortages during wartime briefly led the shop to become a general grocers, but since the 1960’s the shop has been a specialist cheese seller exporting and importing cheese all around the world.
You can hear more about the dairy trade in London on Rob’s food history walk in Islington

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Saturday, 13 December 2014

12 days of discount - cards

Ok so if you are like me - you still have your cards to write - here's a little discount incentive to do it today!  Frankly it's the right time, not too early not too late! It's time to send those Merry Messages!  Here's 10% off!

12 days of discount - we must be crackers!

Friday, 12 December 2014

12 days of discount

10% off new products daily! TODAY 12th December Christmas Lights!

For a little extra bit of Christmas Cheer - we have decided to bring you our "Twelve Days of Discount"  10% off a new product range each day - but for 1 day only! So at number 12......Are you planning to decorate your tree this weekend?  You'll need lights and boy do we have lights!  We have a huge range of lights instore indoor, outdoor, green cable, clear cable, berry & fairy coloured and white, speciality & battery operated - we really do have lights for everyone please check in store 020 7687 4005 there is a selected range of products online!  Please read our lighting blog here.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Light up your world!

If you have walked past our window this year - you must have noticed the map gift shop illuminations.  Rivalling Blackpools - we have a veritable variety of lights this year - what are you waiting for - lighten up!

PEACE Carnival lights Symbols online call shop for letters 0207 687 4005
Bottles and Squishy Baubles

Indoor, outdoor, green cable, clear cable, speciality & battery operated - we have lights for everyone please check in store 020 7687 4005

Islington Faces

Islington Faces
Everyone has a story. Archway is due a complete makeover by 2016 – but already Junction Road, N19 is a surprisingly good place to go for gifts, food, pet supplies and pubs. Here’s how Ian Morris, co-owner of the wonderful Map gift shop has helped improve his bit of Islington. Interview by Nicola Baird

Ian Morris with a 1904 photo of his shop. Back then it was a butcher’s shop. Even now the pink-fronted Map Gift Shop on Junction Road has butchers’ hooks.
Ian Morris with a 1904 photo of his shop. Back then it was a butcher’s shop. Even now the pink-fronted Map Gift Shop on Junction Road has butchers’ hooks.
“We always put up our Christmas display on the first Sunday after Halloween. Over the years I’ve seen parents with children come in November to buy special Christmas decorations for their tree. It’s a tradition for them,” says the very friendly Ian Morris who runs Map Gift Store on Junction Road in Upper Holloway (what the rest of us call Archway).
The striking pink store along this swiftly gentrifying shopping street was once a butcher’s shop – one of five. Now it’s a Christmas gift buyers’ paradise stocked with baubles, cards, jewelry, novelties, books and scented candles. Whatever the season, Map also offers gift wrapping – this may feel like cheating, but it certainly makes your present look exceedingly stylish.
Ian, 56 this month, is a brilliant champion of Archway. For some years he’s been part of the Town Centre group – run by traders with help from Islington Council’s Anna Woodward and Sarah Hitchcock. “Over the past few years the group has focused on improving the appearance and conception people have of Archway. The group has run many schemes such as visual merchandising, business development and allocating grants to improve the look and feel of Archway to enable locally-owned shops to compete with bigger business,” says Ian.
As Archway is due a complete makeover by 2016 – with three major building redevelopments and a re-routing of the busy A1, helping the shops to cope with these changes can only be a good thing.
In 2013 Map Gift shop got its own makeover – renovating it with a curved glass window just as it was in 1904.

Ian Morris: co-owner of Map Gift Shop: “Christmas is our busiest time but then it’s Valentines, Mother’s Day and Easter. Summer is probably our least busy time – however tourist trade can be good.” (c) Map Gift Shop
Ian Morris: co-owner of Map Gift Shop: “Christmas is our busiest time but then it’s Valentines, Mother’s Day and Easter. Summer is probably our least busy time – however tourist trade can be good.” (c) Map Gift Shop
“When the Northern line was built every property was photographed in case there was subsidence,” explains Ian showing me the old photo with a butchers’ block outside where the meat was cut up and hooks for carcasses hanging all round the outside. “Back then the station was called Highgate. We wanted to change the shop frontage to how it was over 100 years ago.
Fortunately subsidence hasn’t been a problem, even though you can hear the trains from Map’s basement. But over the 20th century Archway suffered from other problems: its department store and an Odeon cinema shut, as did the butchers shops. Fortunately it seems the doldrums are over: Archway is not just looking better, it is bustling again with daytime shoppers and night time revellers. “Many Archway stores are taking part in the Islington-backed regeneration scheme, smartening up and regaining a sense of their local importance,” explains Ian.
Even Ian – with his business partner Kathryn Phalp– have had several reincarnations. They began in 1990 selling decorated ceramics, moving in 1993 to Junction Road (at 165 which is now a flower shop). “We were selling to many stores such as Saks 5th Avenue, Heals and Liberty and shops as far away as Singapore and Hong Kong, but we decided to switch from wholesale to retail business,” explains Ian.
“We wanted to sell a mix of locally made items and I really enjoy meeting clients.People in Archway are a fascinating mix and many customers have become close friends. There are a lot of artists and designers in the area. Even now we sell their jewellery, cards and some stationery. The Lazy Leopard books are made by Nina Dogmetchi who used to work with us, then went to the Royal College of Art and is now forging a career as a successful illustrator.”
Eventually the business partners moved to their current home, 93 Junction Road, and sold the kilns to make more room for stock.

Jacqui Staniforth opened Deli Junction, which stocks unique locally produced items from Tottenham cheese to Islington-smoked salamis, in November. Her son, Eden, is in charge of the coffee.
Jacqui Staniforth opened Deli Junction, which stocks unique locally produced items from Tottenham cheese to Islington-smoked salamis, in November. Her son, Eden, is in charge of the coffee.
Five places Ian Morris likes around Archway
  • Ian, is a proper champion of Archway. He has lived in the area since 1991, but his home is currently in Islington, just off Stroud Green Road.
  • All day I’m looking at two pubs – though I don’t drink. St Johns’ Tavern, 91 Junction Road, N19 is a great gastro pub with a big dining room. If you look at the 1st floor you can see where the brickwork changes. That’s a repair after a bomb went off in World War Two. TheOak and Pastor is good too and it has an upstairs party room. 86 Junction Road, N19.
  • There’s a new deli three doors down, Junction Deli, which has got Tottenham cheese.
  • I do a lot of local shopping in Yildiz (the baker and café) and the co-op.
  • I go to the Gate Café run by Fiona on Archway Island. She makes cakes and pastries beautifully. And there’s a small garden. I sometimes go there for lunch when it is quiet. @TheGateArchway
  • You’ll often see me jogging in the borough.
Ian’s background is textiles – he’s spent time lecturing at Loughborough, Harrow and Bristol. “I do miss the creative side,” explains Ian who is often in the shop but also regularly goes to drawing and painting classes. He’s also surrounded by beautiful designs that he and Kathryn have hand picked as potential gifts. In the store at the moment there are some ceramics that make you want to sink into a cosy sofa and sip hot chocolate… Such a feeling isn’t unusual it seems, as recently MAP’s customers voted it as the best shop in the area in the 2014Time Out local shop awards.

Ian Morris from Map Gift Shop: “When we redecorated we thought of a classic colour, greys and greens, but we’re known as the pink shop, and our customers wanted us to stay pink. This colour is actually Russian velvet.”
Ian Morris from Map Gift Shop: “When we redecorated we thought of a classic colour, greys and greens, but we’re known as the pink shop, and our customers wanted us to stay pink. This colour is actually Russian velvet.”
But running a shop, which employs five staff, needs a strong business understanding and local savvy, not just idiosyncratic or beautiful taste. That’s why you’ll find state of the art tills, cycle parking outside and money spent on disability accessibility. “We have a customer, Diane, who became ill and couldn’t come up the step. I would have to stand in the door and show her cards in the wind and rain. It was awful for her,” explains Ian, “it’s what made me want to champion Archway as a disabled friendly place.”
If you’ve never been to Map, then making a visit for Christmas shopping might be the perfect time. Indeed making a trip to Junction Road to shop and then pop into some of the restaurants and pubs just a few metres from Archway tube is going to be quite a surprise for anyone who doesn’t yet realise just what’s going on in Archway, Upper Holloway or as the estate agents allegedly call it, ‘Highgate Slopes’. Whatever name you pick, the area is changing fast. Go see.
Map Gift Shop, 93 Junction Road, N19.
 Open seven days a week, check times: tel: 020 7687 4005.