i always prefer to buy from independent retailers – support the individual, buy something that hundreds won’t have; but increasingly there are fewer of these shops around and sadly as they close, the multiple chains start to replace them. here are a few of my favourite shops, some are out of london, but they are always on my list when i visit these places. whenever i go to visit my mother, i always pop into moth in didsbury manchester; the new general store tidy street in brighton has become a fave as well as workshop. vanil in woodbridge has a lovely selection of gifts and homewares (including my book), frank in whitstable has always been a firm favourite for artists works and gifts, cornercopia in brixton has great kitchen stuff, candles and other gifts. choosing keeping in columbia road fulfils my passion for stationary and paper items – its something i have always collected – they make lovely gifts for just about anyone. also on columbia road is mason and painter, an interesting mix of vintage and new; native and co is a japanese shop based in portobello selling beautiful tableware and gifts; and of course my longtime favourite shop is summer hill and bishop, there is the kitchen shop, plus tablecloths dyed to beautiful colours. here in spain my favourite shop is el antiguo correo, which sells handicrafts from all around the world and the ajonjoli that sells moroccan flat bread and sweet pastries. and of course i still love and support all the market stalls that pop up . happy shopping! i picked these roses from my garden – roses are so beautiful, romantic, nature’s wonder…..