Festive Adventures: Three Ways to Make Christmas Shopping More Fun

Forget Wham tunes and mad panics, for there is another way...

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Thinking forward to the inevitable Christmas shopping expedition, it's not usually something we'd bill as an 'adventure' or even as something particularly enjoyable.

Some of the really prepared amongst us might have learnt how to take festive purchasing at a leisurely pace, with a plan in mind for each recipient.

But for most of us, the scenario consists of trudging repeatedly up and down the same stretch of high street; keeping your head bowed and falling in step with the person in front of you so as to be as efficient as possible and desperately trying not to trip over people as you escape from the hustle and bustle in plenty of time for a mulled wine with friends somewhere far away from the shops.

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Does all of this sound familiar?

However, instead of history repeating itself and Grandma Roberts having to pretend to love the flannel and toothpaste you bought her in a mad panic on Christmas eve, let us enlighten you about an opportunity to have a much better time.

Covent Garden is determined to give you a Christmas shopping experience that is as pleasurable for you, as it will be for the person on the receiving end of your benevolence. And ELLE have teamed up with them to make it even more special for fashion and beauty enthusiasts.

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A couple of ways you'll have loads more fun:

Having Someone Else Do The Organising

One of the most stressful things about Christmas shopping is usually figuring out where to go, to buy what and for whom. If you haven't made a list, plotted out your co-ordinates and given yourself a time frame, you'll probably find yourself repeatedly dashing up and down the same stretch of road trying to find a suitable store.

Not this year.

Heading into the Covent Garden neighbourhood, you'll find that all the boutiques have been organised according to genre, with an easy to understand plan.

You'll discover a Beauty Quarter - home to more stand alone beauty stores in one square mile than anywhere else in London, from Burberry Beauty Box, through to Charlotte Tilbury - which will be based around the popular Piazza.

There will also be a stretch dedicated solely to womenswear and accessories, between King Street, the Royal Opera House Arcade and Floral Street.

And if you're shopping for him, you will be able to find everything you need on Henrietta Street.

Taking Home Some Freebies

And lastly, it gets a bit tiring and irksome spending precious pounds on other people all day. So, as well as the ELLE event sending you home with a goodie bag and many of the shops offering miniature testers, there will also be a fun digital reindeer dash with a daily prize worth coveting at the end of it.

The mobile app Blippar - as well as bringing every part of your shopping experience to life through augmented reality - will be giving a new person the chance to win prizes worth up to £200 every day.

By scavenging around Covent Garden in search of their lost, blippable reindeer, you could be in with a chance of winning some valuable presents to give to Grandma Roberts, before wrapping up your day with some well deserved mulled wine.

What is more, this year the whole of Covent Garden has been made interactive by way of augmented reality. Not sure what that means? Look out for window stickers and swing tags in selected shops and Blip them to discover an enhanced version of your shopping experience.

To find out how to use Blippar to make your shopping experience more fun, click here, for all other information about the Covent Garden boutiques, click here.

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