What do you mean it’s Christmas on Sunday? Not this Sunday? Oh dear… Ten days on from my last post and I still don’t have a tree, or tinsel, or a turkey for that matter. Thankfully, it’s not all “Bah Humbug” in the Cobaj household as I did manage to pick up a couple of presents during my trip to Miami last week – and oh what fun it was! They do Christmas shopping differently in Miami; you don’t have to deal with angry elbow-and-umbrella-wielding consumers, sideways sleet or slippery sidewalks – oops I mean pavements – instead things happen at a much more civilised pace. Here, the temperature is set to summer time all year round and if you haven’t already sent your personal shopper out to garner your gifts, you can take a leisurely stroll down through the city’s chic boutiques with the sun shining on your SPF-covered face and spring in your perfectly toned step. It’s no wonder the rich and famous choose Miami as a favourite festive destination.
Bal Harbour is without a doubt one of the swankiest malls in the world and pulls in more revenue per square foot than any other retail space in the United States – beating even New York and Rodeo Drive! Think all-out glamour darling, it’s all about luxury; expect high-end fashion houses, jaw-droppingly beautiful jewellers and gorgeous art galleries. This is the place where J-Lo comes to stock up on engagement rings, Beyonce and Jay-Z like to stop by for a spot of lunch at Carpaccio’s and Kelly Rowland comes Christmas shopping.
My favourite shop at Bal Harbour – partly because it was the only one I could afford but also because of the lovely welcoming staff – was the swish little Gee Beauty salon. Inside its sleek all-white interior it houses a modern make-up and skincare studio that offers Oxygen facials and expert eye-brow threading alongside highly covetable cosmetics and skincare ranges.
My favourite product, and the one that I hope Santa will be leaving under my non-existent tree, was the exquisitely scented and incredibly nourishing Rodin Body Oil £68
C Madeleine’s is one of Miami’s best kept shopping secrets. This 10,000 square feet boutique is located off the usual tourist trail on an unremarkable stretch of Biscayne Bay and houses one of the best collections of vintage clothing in the US. It would be a huge understatement to call it a simply a vintage store as it’s so much more than that – it’s a homage to fashion, a magnificent museum of clothing. The shop’s namesake and marvellous curator, Madeleine, personally scours the world for the highest quality pieces so prices aren’t exactly a bargain but even if you can’t afford to spend $6500 on a Dior two-piece it’s still worth whiling away an afternoon amid the extraordinary styles and trends of the last century. Take a stroll through the decades from Downton Abbey flapper dresses to 1950s Grace Kelly-esqu gowns to “I Dream of Jeanie” Kaftans to Eighties Helmut Lang power suits.