The best shop I’ve ever been into in my life was a Japanese pound shop in Singapore. Chock full of craft stuff, homewares and beauty bits, all in gorgeous Japanese prints or with quirky slogans, and all costing the equivalent of £1 each, it was so bargainous that it was almost overwhelming (you can drool at the products, and see store locations around the world, at www.daiso-sangyo.co.jp/english/)
I assumed the experience was a one-off until yesterday, when I visited the new Tiger store in Lewisham shopping centre (of all places). A Danish concept, it’s like a cross between that Japanese pound shop, Muji, Ikea, H&M and Poundland. I spotted gorgeous craft stuff, picture frames, baking equipment, pretty napkins, homewares, bathroom accessories, unusual wrapping paper and stylish stationery – almost all costing just £1-£4.
Apparently there are 90 Tiger stores in 11 different European countries, with ten or so of them in the UK. The Lewisham branch is their newest. It’s worth making a special journey to one near you (visit www.tigerstores.co.uk), as I guarantee you’ll stock up with Christmas presents.
My top picks? Toadstool biscuit tins, £2 and £3 (see top); Babushka socks, £3; multicoloured hooks, £1; drawer knobs, £4; wrapping paper, £1 a roll; and big packs of A4 patterned origami paper, £2.