London's best specialist shops

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The best of the rest: London has a shop for just about everything, so here's a mere fraction of what's around

  • London's best specialist shops

    L Cornelissen & Son (© Britta Jaschinski)

  • Bookshops | Fashion boutiques | Department stores | Erotica and Lingerie Gifts | Health & beauty | High street | Interiors | Jewellery | Menswear | Shoes Specialist | Sports & Technology | Vintage fashion | Shopping Awards 2008

    T Fox and Co

    GENTLEMEN'S ACCESSORIESFox and Co started out as a purveyor of gentleman’s umbrellas in 1868, perched on the edge of the City of London. These days you can still pick up a decent umbrella for a rainy day, but it’s more about luxe all-English bespoke tailoring. Leather briefcases and wallets are T Fox and Co’s speciality, as are handmade ties, smart shirts and shoes. The power-broking businessman’s outfitter of choice.Best buy Seersucker linen jacket £595.118 London Wall, EC2 (020 7628 1868/www.tfox.co.uk) Moorgate tube/rail.

    L Cornelissen

    ARTFor those who like their umber raw, burnt or somewhere in between, legendary artists’ supply shop L Cornelissen & Son (specialising in gilding, printing and restoration) has offered up hundreds of pigments in stoppered glass jars since 1855.Best buy Equine lay figure £59.95.105 Great Russell St, WC1 (020 7636 1045/www.cornelissen.com) Tottenham Court Rd tube.

    International Magic

    MAGICFancy sawing someone you know in half? This friendly, family-run magic emporium is crammed with playing cards, garish silks, arcane books, lengths of white rope, DVDs and boxes of assorted tricks, props and gimmicks.Best buy Beginners’ Close Up Magic DVD set £25.89 Clerkenwell Rd, EC1 (020 7405 7324/www.internationalmagic.com) Chancery Lane tube.

    Decathlon

    SPORTSNeed a canoe? The London branch of this global superstore stocks big-name and own-brand equipment for more than 60 sports, in what it describes as ‘separate sporting universes’. ‘Destination Summer’ offers discounts across the full range of outdoor activities. You can also have your tennis racket restrung or take your bike in for a comprehensive service.Best buy Artengo 720P beginner’s tennis racket £19.95.Canada Water Retail Park, Surrey Quays Rd, SE16 (020 7394 2000 /www.decathlon.co.uk) Canada Water tube.

    Holly

    PETSA gleaming beacon of a shop in Bermondsey Street, dedicated to brightly coloured, posh pet accessories. Here you can buy hand-made dog collars and leads in eye-catching animal prints, bright leathers and tartan. Cats aren’t forgotten either, with a range of similarly chi-chi collars. Best buy Swarovski hearts-and-pearls collar £72.103 Bermondsey St, SE1 (07836 592 415/www.hollyandlil.co.uk) London Bridge tube/rail.

    North One Garden Centre

    GARDENINGThis award-winning independent garden centre could entice the most reluctant gardener to get their hands dirty. The owner imports seasonal accessories such as furniture, pots, lanterns and outdoor candles from Holland, based on high-street trends. Best buy Franch’s Custard White squash seeds £1.99.The Old Button Factory, 25a Englefield Rd, N1 (020 7923 3553/www.n1gc.co.uk) Essex Rd rail or 76, 141 bus.

    Morgan Davies

    BRIDALA charming wedding shop tucked away on Islington’s Cross Street, with a vast range of classic dresses by a hand-picked selection of designers. Labels stocked include Stephanie Allin, Paloma Blanca and Jenny Packham. Super-helpful shop manager Annalize has an uncanny ability to spot the dress of your dreams. Prices range from £1,500 to £3,000. Veils and accessories also available.Best buy Chantilly lace-and-silk Beverley Lister gown £1,200.62 Cross St, N1 (020 7354 3414/www.morgandavieslondon. co.uk) Angel tube.

    Scarlet

    FLORISTThis exquisite flower shop takes your breath away the moment you walk in the door. An abundance of flowers are displayed casually in old jugs, buckets and glass jars, drawing your eye to the beautiful array of bunches made up in the very personal style of the owner, Victoria Brotherson. Old-fashioned and country flowers are plentiful including peonies, hollyhocks and delphiniums. Best buy Pretty bunches made up on-the-spot from £10.76 Chamberlayne Rd, Kensal Rise, NW10 (020 8969 9446/www.scarletandviolet.co.uk) Kensal Green tube.

    Angels

    FANCY DRESSThis year Angels, founded in 1840, acquired the BBC’s wardrobe when its costume departments closed, so you can now find pieces from ‘Blackadder’, ‘Monty Python’ and ‘Doctor Who’. The hire price starts at £94 for a whole outfit for one week. There is also a wide selection of new costumes for sale starting from around £12. Best buy Sultan costume, £31.50.119 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2 (020 7836 5678/www.fancydress.com) Piccadilly Circus tube.

    Bookshops | Fashion boutiques | Department stores | Erotica and Lingerie Gifts | Health & beauty | High street | Interiors | Jewellery | Menswear | Shoes Specialist | Sports & Technology | Vintage fashion | Shopping Awards 2008

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Bookshops | Fashion boutiques | Department stores | Erotica and Lingerie Gifts | Health & beauty | High street | Interiors | Jewellery | Menswear | Shoes Specialist | Sports & Technology | Vintage fashion | Shopping Awards 2008

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