The Phantoms Greenwich Gift Guide

After the gloom of yesterday, I thought I’d try to get myself back into the festive spirit by writing my annual Greenwich gift guide.

This doesn’t necessarily mean things that are just made or sold here – though there are plenty of non-themed crafty things for sale in the market – but gifts with a distinctly Greenwich flavour, wherever they actually come from.

So here we go:

1) A Case of Meantime Brewery Beer…
…To get you in the mood. There are various shops around town that sell bottles individually, but to get an entire case, containing every single type of beer they’re currently brewing, you’ll need to go online to Cave Direct. This may all change next year when the new Brewery opens in the ORNC…

2) The New Warwick Leadlay Poster.
A colourful, divided poster, depicting various scenes from the town. If you’re not really into posters and you’d rather have a map or one of those strange circular photos by Edward Hill, there’s a large selection there too.

3) Membership of the London Bubble Fan Made Theatre Scheme
For those of you who joined Fan Made Theatre last year and went to see The Odyssey at Oxleas Wood, they’re continuing it next year. By joining your pal up for the scheme, it costs a couple of quid more than a theatre ticket, but it includes with the ticket, the chance to decide what show they’ll put on, plus invites to rehearsals and the after show party. I can’t actually find the link any more, but email Bubble and I’m sure they’ll point you to where you can sign your friends up to a lovely evening next summer.

4) Anthony Quiney’s A Year In The Life Of Greenwich Park
My favourite picture book of the past year, it’s both colourful and beautiful – if you missed my review, find it here. It is available, along with one of the best selections of London-based books I know of, at Waterstones in the town centre.

5) A Greenwich Cup and Saucer From Arty Globe
I still can’t decide what I think of Hartwig Braun’s intricate picture of Greenwich that Arty Globe (in the covered market) turns into all kinds of things from tea towels to T shirts, but one thing’s for certain, it bears close scrutiny. The ones I like best are the monochrome, retro-look versions and I utterly love the breakfast cup & saucer sets they’re doing at the moment.

6) Nelson’s Pride Rose
I’ve been looking for a particularly beautiful Greenwich-themed rose for ages, and the best I can find is Nelson’s Pride, a white, lightly-scented floribunda. It apparently makes a good hedge…

7) The Worm of Death
For the retro-cheese-whodunnit fan in your life, this late 1950s/early 1960s-set potboiler by none other than the poet laureate at the time, C Day Lewis, stretches the credulity a bit, but for a fog-swirling, grit-crunching, danger-lurking, Olde Greenwich, set at a time when the docks were still in use and the Trafalgar Tavern was a doss-house, you’d be hard pressed to find an odder read. Try to ignore the ridiculous premise and just immerse yourself in the Nicety-Nice Crooms Hill world of poet-detective Nigel Strangeways. My review is here. It’s been out of print for years, but you can get vintage copies for 35p on Amazon marketplace – hell – it’s Christmas – treat ‘em to the collectible version for £12.27…

8) Warren King’s Greenwich Calendar
Warren produces one of these photographic calendars each year – I haven’t seen any for sale in shops yet, but you can get one online here. For a more traditional version, Fergus Noone in the covered market will sell you a very tasteful calendar too.

9) A Theatre of Wine Tasting
I don’t know that they actually do gift certificates, but if they don’t they should. ToW’s Thursday tastings are legendary – and would make a great gift. I’m sure they’d write you out a lovely card if they don’t do gift vouchers, and you could attach it to a bottle of something lovely for quaffing now.

10) A Queen’s House Plate
The National Maritime Museum will sell you a rather funky line-drawing plate in white and purple – tradition and modern in one…

Nothing here that takes your fancy? Take a stroll round the market – there are some lovely (if non-Greenwich, though I’ll accept that not everyone is obsessed…) crafty things. One of my favourites is this puppet stall near the South Entrance.

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