How To Survive Christmas Shopping… on Oxford Street

It happens every year. You swear that never again shall you enter within a mile radius of Oxford Circus Tube station beyond the 1st of December. Or indeed ever. And then, somehow, there you are again.

Whether you’ve left it too late to go online, it’s the only place the shop you’re after is open late, or it’s simply the nearest to your office and you’re not feeling very imaginative, there’s only one way to make it bearable, and that’s by making lots of stop-offs.

Get your fill of hot drinks, top snacks, nourishing meals and boozy pick-me-ups, and you never know, you might even enjoy it. Here’s where…

Morning coffee

Let’s assume you start your shopping by Oxford Circus station. It might be early, given the time of year you may well be hungover, and even if not, you’ve just fought your way out of London’s busiest tube. You need a coffee. Head to Soho Grind a few minutes away and enjoy a strengthening espresso, and remember the location for later: those espresso shots also come in martini form.

It’s not dough bad

You’re still in the Oxford Circus area despite your best efforts to move on, but you’ve picked up at least one present and it might not even be for yourself. You deserve a treat. Head down to Broadwick Street and grab a doughnut or three from Crosstown and the sugar should just about sustain you for an hour or so. Try the seasonal mince pie flavour for the festive kicks, but don’t miss a classic peanut butter berry for sustenance.

Patty & Bun

Burger break

Let’s not play around with sweets any longer. The shopping is getting serious, the bags are getting heavy and you still haven’t found half of what you’re looking for. There are only two words you need to know: patty and bun. You’ll find Patty & Bun, the area’s most banging burger joint, on James Street, just a short walk from Bond Street station. Order an Ari Gold, which is the crew’s awesome answer to a cheeseburger, complete with brioche bun, gooey American cheese, smoky mayo and 35-day-aged Aberdeen Angus patties. Even the Disney Store doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

bar termini

Afternoon aperitivo

You’ve negotiated the big department stores and have a bad case of escalator dizziness, plus you’re stranded at the Marble Arch end of the street, which feels like a desert when it comes to drinks. Fear not: just behind Selfridges lies Bar Termini Centrale, sister site to master mixologist Tony Conigliaro’s original in Soho. You’ll get an excellent coffee here, but you’ll also find negronis and spritz aplenty. And remember: when you’re shopping, every hour is aperitivo hour.


A margarita moment

You’re flagging and you’ve just managed to successfully negotiate the crossing at Oxford Circus for the seventh time today, so you deserve a drink. Nip down past Liberty to Kingly Street and head to Breddos Tacos. Besides a little Mexican munch, you’ll want to venture to the bar downstairs, where margaritas come in half a dozen different varieties. How many you try will depend on how the day has gone.

A quick jar

The daylight has gone, the Christmas lights are on and closing time is drawing in. You’re waning and you need a quick pitstop with no time to spare. Depending which part of Oxford Street you find yourself on — or what you feel like drinking — make a dash for BrewDog on Poland Street for a swift half of craft, or 28-50 on Marylebone Lane for a small wine. It will make you more productive; we promise.

Celebratory spice

You’re done, and it’s dinner time. Head to Maddox Street for some celebratory spice in the form of Mumbai-style curries and small plates at Bombay Bustle. Newly opened by the team behind Jamavar nearby, it might just pack enough of a sensory punch to rouse you from your shopping-induced stupor. Its décor is inspired by the railways of India, so what better way to delay getting back on the tube with all those bags?