At a time when high street chains are all-pervasive, a shop like Ottie and the Bea is a breath of fresh air. It’s part gift-shop, part bookshop, part family-friendly homewares. It’s also part children’s fantasy and a reminder of the excitement of being a child. There are wonderful craft books and projects, nostalgic iron-on transfers, Maileg bunnies, farm animal stencils, glitter pens, neon melamine plates and giant city colouring posters. There are also numerous items by local makers, such as Lara & Ollie teething necklaces, which show the depth of the owners’ commitment to their locale. The whole shop manages to project good design without being pretentious or stuffy.
It’s so full of heavenly things that you’ll have to exercise considerable discipline, but if you have a tricky gift to buy, this is a great place to start.
web, 0208 465 5318, 12 Old Dover Road, Blackheath SE3 7BT, Mon-Sat 9.30am-5.30pm