SHOPPING IN LONDON
Ever since the city’s founding as a trading post by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, London has been honing its retailing skills. Check this guide for characterful stores, local markets and other alternatives to the big chains, plus ideas for shopping b
There’s been a market along this pretty street since the late 19th century. These days you’ll find artisan food, books, records, arty knick-knacks and vintage clothing every Saturday.
One of London’s latest venues to use old shipping containers for hosting pop-up bars, restaurants and shops, Pop Brixton is a fun community initiative with a buzzing atmosphere, especially on weekends. It hosts regular events and classes (some free), including tai chi, capoeira, yoga and wood engraving.
49 Brixton Station Rd.
Connected to the Lock Market, the Stables is the best part of the Camden Market complex, with antiques, Asian artifacts, rugs, retro furniture and clothing. As the name suggests, the place used to be a stable.
Chalk Farm Road
The Sunday Upmarket (open on Saturdays and Sundays) sprawls within the beautiful red-brick Old Truman Brewery. You’ll find young designers in the Backyard Market, food stalls in the Boiler House, antiques and bric-a-brac in the Tea Rooms, and a huge range of vintage clothing in the basement across the street.
sundayupmarket.co.uk; Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane
Fortnum & Mason
With its classic pale yellow-green color scheme, “the Queen’s grocery store” refuses to yield to modern times. Its sta still wears tailcoats, and its glamorous food hall proers marmalade, specialty teas, superior fruitcakes and the like.
An irresistible blend of contemporary styles in an old-fashioned mockTudor building (1875), Liberty has a huge cosmetics department, an accessories floor and a breathtaking lingerie section. A classic London gi is a Liberty print fabric, especially as a scarf.
Great Marlborough Street
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
One of London’s most enchanting vintage shops, this high-end boutique has costumes to make you look like Greta Garbo. Many a famous designer has come here for inspiration, so you might also get to do some celebrity spotting.
anniesvintageclothing .co.uk; 12 Camden Passage
Cambridge Satchel Company
The classic British leather satchel has morphed into a trendy and colorful array of backpacks, totes, clutches, work and music bags, mini-satchels and
» more. cambridgesatchel
.com; 31 James St.
If you love the feminine silhouette of the 1940s and the pin-up look of the 1950s, then you’ll swoon over the vintage-inspired dresses, shirts, coats, hats and accessories here.
58 Commercial St.
These stores are known for their simple but strikingly styled casual clothes, oen in bold colors with a handcraed feel. Head for No. 49 for Folk’s line of menswear and to nearby No. 53 for women’s.
Lamb’s Conduit Street
This development has created a discount fashion precinct out of an area already known for its Burberry and Pringle of Scotland outlet stores. Newcomers include big brands, such as Zadig & Voltaire, Gieves & Hawkes and Nike, with end-of-run stock up to 70 percent o regular
» prices. hackneywalk
.com; 163 Morning Lane
James Smith & Sons
Nobody makes and stocks such elegant umbrellas (not to mention walking sticks and canes) as this place. It’s been fighting the British weather from the same address since 1857 and, thanks to London’s regular rainy days, will hopefully do great business for years to
» come. james-smith.co.uk;
53 New Oxford St.
Penhaligon’s is a classic British perfumery. Attendants inquire about your favorite scents, take you on an exploratory tour of the shop’s range and help you discover scents in their traditional perfumes, home fragrances, and bath and body products. Everything is produced in England. There are lots of gi options here.
16–17 Burlington Arcade
London’s oldest bookshop, dating to 1797, sells a solid supply of signed and first editions and is bursting at its smart seams with very browsable stock. It also holds regularly scheduled literary events.
John Sandoe Books
The antidote to impersonal book superstores, this three-story bookshop in 18th-century premises is a treasure trove of literary gems. It’s been in business for six decades and loyal customers swear by it – and the knowledgeable staff with helpful advice.
10 Blacklands Terrace
Coffee-table books, magazines, children’s books and activity sets, plus plenty of design-led gift ideas are sold from this much-loved shop.
magma-shop.com; 117–119 Clerkenwell Rd.
FOOD & DRINK
Algerian Co ee Stores $
Stop for a shot of espresso or a cappuccino while choosing your freshly ground beans from more than 80 varieties of coffee (there are also 120 teas) at this fantastic shop, caffeinating Soho since
» 1887. algcoffee.co.uk;
52 Old Compton St.
This delightful Italian delicatessen has been in the heart of Soho since 1944, and is so gorgeous in its cream and pastel green that you could almost imagine eating it. Come here for picnic cheeses, charcuterie, bread and olives – or just
» to look. linastores.co.uk;
18 Brewer St.
A potently inviting scent greets you as you approach this cheesemonger, with its 500 varieties of mostly English and French cheeses. Ask the knowledgeable staff for recommendations.
ripponcheeselondon .com; 26 Upper Tachbrook St.
This teashop opened by Thomas Twining in 1706 is thought to be the oldest company in the capital still trading on the same site. There are free tastings at the tea bar at the rear of the shop, where there’s also a small exhibition tracing the history of Twinings and tea. Note the Chinese figures above the entrance. » twinings
GIFTS & SOUVENIRS
Inhabiting multiple stores on Upper Street, Gill
Wing sells shoes (at No. 192), kitchenware (at 190) and jewelry (at 182), but our favorite is its flagship gift shop, with its colorful and well-known window display full of glasses, cards, children’s toys and
» other titbits. gillwinggifts
.com; 194 Upper St.
Walking into Pickett as an adult is a bit like walking into a sweet shop as a child: the beautiful leather pieces are all so exquisite you don’t know where to start. Choice items include handbags, roll-up backgammon sets and the men’s grooming bags.
pickett.co.uk; corner Sloane Street & Sloane Terrace
We Built This City
Taking a commendable stand against Union Jack hats and black-cab key rings, We Built This City is a shop selling Londonthemed souvenirs that the recipient might actually want. The products celebrate the city’s creative side and are both artistic and thoughtful.
56b Carnaby St.
Fortnum & Mason began trading in 1707.