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By Hannah Valmadre
December 15, 2015

The Eight Best Melbourne Shops For Unique Christmas Gifts

Because there's no international Christmas shipping deadline when you shop local.
By Hannah Valmadre
December 15, 2015


Because there's no international Christmas shipping deadline when you shop local.

We're going to bet that you've left some (okay, maybe more than some) of your Christmas present shopping to the last minute — or at least too last minute to safely order online. And it doesn't help that so many people are so hard to shop for, whether they're super fussy family members or friends who seemingly have everything they could already want. If you're looking for something special, or unusual, then these are Melbourne's best local shops you should scope out.

Words: Hannah Valmadre, Shannon McKeogh and Lauren Vadnjal

  • 8
    Perimeter Books

    When tired old Dymocks just won’t cut it for that special someone with wild bookish tastes, look no further than the quaint shelves at Perimeter. Browsing this bookshop and art space is a delight — as well as breathing in the aroma of paperbacks, you’ll enjoy running your fingers over the stacks of independent small press books from international and local publications on art, photography, design and architecture.

  • 7
    Greville Records

    Melbourne is pretty packed with excellent record shops, but Greville Records is one of the oldest, having stocked local and international independent albums for over 30 years. Digging around for records could be considered half the fun (even when you’re purchasing it as a gift for someone else’s collection), so in terms of shopping adventures, this is a good one. The friendly staff here are up for a chat, and they can even order something specific in for you if they don’t have it in stock; all you have to do is ask. Whether you’re after a new release or a golden oldie, it’s a pretty sure bet that these guys will have it, no matter how obscure the request.

  • 6
    Third Drawer Down

    This gift shop has the element of humour on its side, making it a perfect stop-off for a gift for younger family members or the office funny guy. Looking for mustard and ketchup highlighter pens? What about an ice cream sandwich pool float? They can be found here. Third Drawer Down serves as both a retail space and museum, and you can visit either the Prahran or Fitzroy store depending on what side of the river you’re located. We particularly like the David Shrigley pieces (like the playing cards and frisbee) for those who like art and like to giggle.

  • 5
    Blackhearts & Sparrows

    Blackhearts and Sparrows specialise in wine, with drops from all over the world that will suit any budget. The staff are incredibly helpful and patient when you’re making a selection, and are excellent at offering advice to find something to suit your recipient’s tastes. If wine is not so much their thing, why not create a mixed six-pack of international boutique beers or cider? See, something for everyone.

    As well as their Brunswick East location, Blackhearts and Sparrows can be found in Fitzroy, Fitzroy North, St Kilda East, Kensington. Richmond and Windsor.

  • 4
    Corky Saint Clair

    If Melbourne-made jewellery tickles your fancy, may we suggest the adorable creations at Corky St Clair. They do a lot of great simple silver pieces with cute pendants, we love the envelope necklace that you can actually fit a little note inside of. They also do fantastic homewares like unusual bookends, skull-shaped candle-holders and white plaster antlers to hang your jewellery on. Another great thing about Corky St Clair is that it’s a hidden gem in the city, located under Flinders St Station. Searching for the right present here is like going on your own little adventure; just try to walk out of there without something for yourself.

  • 3
    The School of Life

    Know a pondering and philosophical soul? Give them a gift to fuel their late night wine-fuelled deep and meaningful chats. Part cafe, part shop, you’ll find a range of books discussing the questions of modern life (e.g How to Find Fulfilling Work, How to Worry Less About Money, and How to Stay Sane). There’s also a plethora of consoling gifts such as a ‘comfort blanket’, inspiration cards and philosophy games — because soul-searchers deserve a little fun too, don’t they?

  • 2

    Melburnians love Melbourne. So why not get them a piece of the city for Chrissie? Featuring a diverse and masterfully selected spread of local designers’ jewellery, artisan-crafted gifts, and quality homewares, this little gem of the tourist trade is so thoughtfully curated it will have the most seasoned Melburnian impressed by a novelty tea-towel or self-declaratory cushion. With a large focus on local design, Melbournalia houses products from over 50 local makers ranging from the cute greeting card artists Able and Game to the produce of local beekeepers Rooftop Honey. This store has a much more refined selection of souvenirs than just toy trams and kangaroos.

  • 1

    Wanna know what will make you the best Christmas gift giver in all the land? Cheese. We’re not talking the four pack combo you can get from Woolies — no, we’re talking about to-die-for artisan cheeses and gourmet accompaniments from Melbourne’s fave fromagerie, Milk the Cow. The holy cheesemongers always put together some cracking Christmas hampers, which include a handpicked artisan cheeses, house-made lavosh, wine and all the trimmings. Hampers range in price, and can be picked up from their St Kilda Store — or delivered for an extra fee.

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