London's best African shops and markets

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The best capital places for food, fabric, fashion and music, as well as a round-up of markets selling African goods and produce

  • London's best African shops and markets

    Francesca Fabrics (© Vizualeyez Ltd)


  • Books, music, film
    | Fashion | Health & beauty | Markets | Textiles

    Books, music and film

    Arthur Probsthain

    This bookshop has been going strong for over 100 years, stocking titles on African culture, art, literature, religion, performing arts and theatre.41 Great Russell St, WC1 (020 7636 1096/www.oriental-african-books.com) Russell Square tube.

    Centerprise Bookshop

    Specialists in black writing and books about Africa, including children’s titles.136-138 Kingsland High St, E8 (020 7254 9632) Dalston Kingsland rail.

    Grant

    Browse the shelves or catalogue at G&C and you’ll unearth dictionaries in a wide range of African languages.55-57 Great Marlborough St, W1 (020 7734 2012) Oxford Circus tube.

    Headstart Books and Crafts

    A long-established shop, devoted to books and crafts from, by, or about the African diaspora.25 West Green Rd, N15 (020 8802 2838) Seven Sisters tube.

    Jeppestown Press

    This London-based publishing house provides an online mail order service for reprints of vintage African reference and history books.www.jeppestown.com

    Marifaa Books

    Books and information ‘for, by and about black people’ from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. Plus carvings, crafts, pictures, CDs and health and beauty products.6 Bradbury St, N16 (020 7503 0300) Dalston Kingsland rail.

    New Beacon Books

    Specialises in black Britain and Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, African America and Asia, plus multi-ethnic children’s books. Mail order service.76 Stroud Green Rd, N4 (020 7272 4889) Finsbury Park tube/rail.

    Sterns Music

    A huge distributor of African discs with a catalogue of 3,000 titles.74-75 Warren St, W1 (020 7387 5550) Warren St tube.Books, music, film | Fashion | Health & beauty | Markets | Textiles

    Fashion

    The African Waistcoat Company

    Specialises in custom waistcoats with African designs made from the African cloth known as aso oke. Merging British tailoring with African craftsmanship, the shop also offers traditional robes.33 Islington Green, Camden Passage, N1 (020 7704 9698) Angel tube. Weds-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12noon-6pm, or at any time by appointment.

    Pempamsie

    Shop selling African-inspired clothing from a host of designers, alongside jewellery, accessories and art.102 Brixton Hill, SW2 (020 8671 0800) Brixton tube. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm.

    Baye Fall

    Unisex Senegalese tailor selling fabrics that can be made to measure.7a Deptford Broadway, SE8 (020 8691 2422) New Cross tube/rail. Mon-Sat 10am-10pm.

    Giwa

    Specialists in Nigerian designs like buba, sokoto and iro.40 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 (07960 892 460) New Cross gate tube/rail. 77 Middlesex St, London E1 (020 7247 2991) Aldgate tube. Mon-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 11am-4pm.

    Tina Atiemo

    Modern African designer who designs womenswear and exclusive hand-made greeting cards that she sells from her Limehouse studio. Tina Atiemo (020 7987 6855/www.tinaatiemo.com) By appointment only.

    Nkwo

    Nkwo Onwuka’s African-inspired designs have been called ‘Afro-boho’. Her collection is stocked in London stores including CC’s Dressing Rooms in South Woodford (020 8925 4533). (07984 997 577/www.nkwo.co.uk).

    African Connection

    African fabrics can be bought from this small venue in Brixton, which also sells West African gold and accessories. 6 Tunstall Road, SW9 (0207 501 9445) Brixton tube/rail. Mon-Sat 9.30am-6pm.Books, music, film | Fashion | Health & beauty | Markets | Textiles

    Health

    Adornment365

    New inside Morley’s department store in Brixton, Adornment365 offers natural hair styling and treatment for locks and braids, as well as beauty treatments, massage, nutrition and reflexology. Open Tue to Sun.Morley’s, 472-488 Brixton Rd, SW9 (020 7737 5533) Brixton tube/rail.

    Morris Roots

    With salons in Tooting, Fulham and Archway, Morris and his team are keeping busy providing all manner of treatments for Afro hair.184 Tooting High St, SW17 (020 8672 8003), Tooting Bec/Tooting Broadway tube; 21 Fulham High St, SW6 (020 7731 7999), Putney Bridge tube; 357 Archway Rd, N6 (020 8347 6478) Highgate tube.

    Nubian Natural

    A source of skincare products based on traditional African ingredients.3 Vining St, SW9 (020 7733 8277) Brixton tube/rail.
    Books, music, film
    | Fashion | Health & beauty | Markets | Textiles

    Markets

    Brixton Market

    Known as Europe’s largest Caribbean market, there are also plenty of African foodstuffs in the shops and stalls along its labyrinth of streets. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm. Brixton Station Rd, Granville Arcade, Electric Avenue, Station Arcade, Market Row, Tunstall Rd, SW9 (020 7926 2530) Brixton tube/rail.

    East Street Market

    Along the length of East Street you’ll spot stalls selling African food, and on nearby streets like Westmoreland Road you’ll find small pockets of African shops. Open Tue-Sat, 8am-5pm; Thur, Sun, 9am-5pm.
    East St, SE17 (020 7375 0441) Elephant & Castle tube.

    Petticoat Lane

    Over 400 years old, Petticoat Lane Market is still a huge draw on Sundays. Along Middlesex Street are shops selling fabrics, popular with customers from African nations.Middlesex St and nearby streets, E1. Liverpool St tube/rail.

    Ridley Road Market

    At what’s known (at least locally) as ‘Dalston Market’, African fare is among the exotic provisions on offer.Ridley Rd, E8. Dalston Kingsland rail.

    Rye Lane Indoor Market

    Small enclaves in this indoor market are dedicated to African clothes, textiles, food, spices and music.Rye Lane, SE15 (020 7732 2202) Peckham Rye rail.

    Shepherd’s Bush Market

    You’ll find African printed textiles among the stalls at this market, as well as fruit and vegetables from west Africa. Open Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat 8.30am-6pm, Sun 8.30am-3pm.Uxbridge Rd and Goldhawk Rd, W12. Shepherd’s Bush/Goldhawk Rd tube.
    Books, music, film
    | Fashion | Health & beauty | Markets | Textiles

    Textiles

    Adire African Textiles

    This West African fabric outlet also sources and advises on vintage and contemporary African costumes for film, television and theatre.Alfie’s Antique Market, 13-25 Church St, NW8 (020 7723 6066/www.adire.clara.net) Marylebone tube.

    African Connection

    This textile specialist also stocks French jewellery and accessories popular for African social occasions. 6 Tunstall Road, SW9 (020 7501 9445) Brixton tube/rail, Clapham North tube.

    Afrique Fabriks

    All manner of African fabrics are sold at this Dalston store.134 Kingsland High St, E8 (020 7241 5127) Dalston Kingsland rail.

    Flamingo Textiles

    One of several textile shops along the edge of Petticoat Lane, Flamingo sells both bright and sombre cloths, mainly from west Africa. 75 Middlesex St, E1 (020 7247 4681) Liverpool St tube/rail. Also at 13 Goldhawk Rd, W12 (020 8740 0080) Goldhawk Rd tube.

    Francesca Fabrics

    This boutique-style, family-run business sells gorgeous west African textiles, with regularly changing window displays. 2 Wentworth St, E1 (020 7377 8886) Liverpool St tube/rail.

    Glemk Fabrics

    Gladys Amadi's upbeat manner makes a visit to this Dalston-based fabric shop a bit of a treat. Lace, prints, silks and brocaded fabric for African dress are what you'll find stocked in every nook and cranny.124-126 Ridley Road, E8 (020 7923 0620) Dalston Kingsland rail.

    Hello Dolly

    Behind the doors of this store – named in homage to Barbra Streisand’s film – there’s usually a buzz of activity between the bartering West African clientele and the long-time owners of this business.89 Middlesex St, E1 (020 7377 0814) Liverpool St tube/rail.

    Joss Graham Oriental Textiles

    This specialist in antique fabric from West Africa also stocks objects, masks and jewellery, with some items from South Africa as well. 10 Eccleston Street, SW1 (020 7730 4370) Victoria tube/rail.

    Nasseri Fabrics

    Nasseri in Brixton and its east London sister branch sell a vast selection of African textiles that draw in West African customers. 38 Atlantic Rd, SW9 (020 7274 5627) Brixton tube/rail. 41 Wentworth St, E1 (020 7375 2706) Aldgate East/Aldgate tube.

    Rontex Fabrics

    Rontex’s colourful printed wax and lace fabrics are persistently popular with its loyal West African client base. 11-15 Cricklewood Broadway, NW2 (020 8208 1236) Kilburn tube.

    Sovereign Textiles

    Specialises in unique and unusual West African textiles, wool, leather and fur. Retail and wholesale.113 Mitcham Rd, SW17 (020 8682 1444) Tooting Broadway tube.

    Vogue Fabrics

    Predominantly from Holland, Vogue’s textiles are snapped up for occasions from weddings to christenings. 81 Middlesex St, SW1 (020 7730 4370) Victoria tube/rail.

    Books, music, film | Fashion | Health & beauty | Markets | Textiles

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Browse the shelves or catalogue at G&C and you’ll unearth dictionaries in a wide range of African languages.A long-established shop, devoted to books and crafts from, by, or about the African diaspora.This London-based publishing house provides an online mail order service for reprints of vintage African reference and history books.Books and information ‘for, by and about black people’ from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. Plus carvings, crafts, pictures, CDs and health and beauty products.Specialises in black Britain and Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, African America and Asia, plus multi-ethnic children’s books. Mail order service.A huge distributor of African discs with a catalogue of 3,000 titles.Books, music, film | Fashion | Health & beauty | Markets | Textiles Specialises in custom waistcoats with African designs made from the African cloth known as aso oke. Merging British tailoring with African craftsmanship, the shop also offers traditional robes.Shop selling African-inspired clothing from a host of designers, alongside jewellery, accessories and art.Unisex Senegalese tailor selling fabrics that can be made to measure.Specialists in Nigerian designs like buba, sokoto and iro.Modern African designer who designs womenswear and exclusive hand-made greeting cards that she sells from her Limehouse studio. Nkwo Onwuka’s African-inspired designs have been called ‘Afro-boho’. Her collection is stocked in London stores including CC’s Dressing Rooms in South Woodford (020 8925 4533). African fabrics can be bought from this small venue in Brixton, which also sells West African gold and accessories. Books, music, film | Fashion | Health & beauty | Markets | Textiles New inside Morley’s department store in Brixton, Adornment365 offers natural hair styling and treatment for locks and braids, as well as beauty treatments, massage, nutrition and reflexology. Open Tue to Sun.With salons in Tooting, Fulham and Archway, Morris and his team are keeping busy providing all manner of treatments for Afro hair.A source of skincare products based on traditional African ingredients.
Books, music, film
| Fashion | Health & beauty | Markets | TextilesKnown as Europe’s largest Caribbean market, there are also plenty of African foodstuffs in the shops and stalls along its labyrinth of streets. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm. Along the length of East Street you’ll spot stalls selling African food, and on nearby streets like Westmoreland Road you’ll find small pockets of African shops. Open Tue-Sat, 8am-5pm; Thur, Sun, 9am-5pm.Over 400 years old, Petticoat Lane Market is still a huge draw on Sundays. Along Middlesex Street are shops selling fabrics, popular with customers from African nations.At what’s known (at least locally) as ‘Dalston Market’, African fare is among the exotic provisions on offer.Small enclaves in this indoor market are dedicated to African clothes, textiles, food, spices and music.You’ll find African printed textiles among the stalls at this market, as well as fruit and vegetables from west Africa. Open Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat 8.30am-6pm, Sun 8.30am-3pm.
Books, music, film
| Fashion | Health & beauty | Markets | TextilesThis West African fabric outlet also sources and advises on vintage and contemporary African costumes for film, television and theatre.This textile specialist also stocks French jewellery and accessories popular for African social occasions. All manner of African fabrics are sold at this Dalston store.One of several textile shops along the edge of Petticoat Lane, Flamingo sells both bright and sombre cloths, mainly from west Africa. This boutique-style, family-run business sells gorgeous west African textiles, with regularly changing window displays. Gladys Amadi's upbeat manner makes a visit to this Dalston-based fabric shop a bit of a treat. Lace, prints, silks and brocaded fabric for African dress are what you'll find stocked in every nook and cranny.Behind the doors of this store – named in homage to Barbra Streisand’s film – there’s usually a buzz of activity between the bartering West African clientele and the long-time owners of this business.This specialist in antique fabric from West Africa also stocks objects, masks and jewellery, with some items from South Africa as well. Nasseri in Brixton and its east London sister branch sell a vast selection of African textiles that draw in West African customers. Rontex’s colourful printed wax and lace fabrics are persistently popular with its loyal West African client base. Specialises in unique and unusual West African textiles, wool, leather and fur. Retail and wholesale.Predominantly from Holland, Vogue’s textiles are snapped up for occasions from weddings to christenings. Books, music, film | Fashion | Health & beauty | Markets | Textiles

Users say

2 comments
Aero Lillian
Aero Lillian

this is a much more organized way, every thing is good and well organized. thank you for making our shopping more comfortable.