Hide All

Greenwich Market, SE10

A classic “Gift Shop,” Hide All sells (as one might expect from the pun)leather goods. It’s one of those places I visit when I’m beginning to despair whilst trying to find a present for a difficult relative, and perhaps the fact that I have never found the solution to this periodic misery in this shop has made me a little jaded to its (many) charms.

It’s not that it doesn’t try – and try hard. It has some lovely things, mainly of the accessory variety. Gloves, handbags, keyrings, purses – that sort of thing. They’re good quality, and come in nice colours – pastels as well as strong classics; browns, blacks and reds. There are some very sophisticated lilac gloves. But (and this is obviously just me because the place has been going for years and clearly must be popular) nothing really jumps out at me, either as a must-have for the difficult-relative-du-jour or for me to put on my own wish list.

If I’m honest, I suspect I’m not the target audience. These are simple, high-quality items for the discerning woman(mainly); the sort of things that become much-loved treasures, not for the likes of a scruffy old phantom who starts out with good intentions but ends up with carrier bags and woolly mittens after the lovely leather tote bursts and one of the lilac gloves gets left on the 177…

Hide All doesn’t just carry leather goods, though. It has a small section of very nice toiletries – L’Occitane, Burts Bees etc – which makes it smell very lush indeed. But again it’s a no for me, present-wise. Personal prejudice makes me never buy smellies for someone, however difficult they might be to buy for and however lovely the smelly item, because I had it ingrained into me at an early age that buying toiletries looked like I hadn’t tried hard enough to think of something individual for someone – the “easy” option, if you like.

On the other hand, Hide All does have a nice (small) selection of tasteful greetings cards, so my trip wasn’t completely wasted this time. But a gift? The Phantom’s still trudging the streets…

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