The 100 best shops in London: 50-41

Going shopping in London? Plan where to head with our round-up of the city’s finest retailers, from cheap vintage shops to world famous department stores

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50

V&A Shop

Best for
Arty accessories and exhibition-related books

Don’t miss
The limited edition prints

How much?

 

There are plenty of great museum shops in London, but none have the same scale, breadth of product and sheer inspiration as the V&A’s capacious store at the heart of the building. Not only will you find an excellent array of art and design books but also beautiful, decorative greeting cards and inspired gift ideas for children. The themed products tied to exhibitions are always well-picked and super-covetable.

  1. Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
  2. www.vandashop.com
    South Kensington tube
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49

Pringle of Scotland Outlet

Best for
Bargain British clothing

Don’t miss
The discounted argyle jumpers

How much?

 

It’s easy to forget about Pringle, the eccentric Scottish uncle of knitwear. Make a trip to Hackney to refresh your memory at this weirdly brilliant discount outlet, fashioned out of an old sports pub just around the corner from Burberry’s famous factory shop.

Although it’s known for knitted sweaters, the brand also does striking accessories like colourful clutch bags – you’ll find them here for £95 (from £225). Pringle products are consistently well-made, although sadly no longer in Scotland, and beautifully designed. At this store, they’re also brilliant value. It’s one of London’s hidden gems.

  1. 86 Morning Lane, E9 6NA
  2. www.pringlescotland.com
    Hackney Central tube
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48

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

Best for
Activity-based toys for all ages with a gory theme

Don’t miss
The story-making workshops for kids by Ministry of Stories

How much?

 

Purveyor of quality goods for monsters of every kind, this curious little shop is just the ticket for vampires, werewolves and humans on the prowl for a jar of Thickest Human Snot (£5) or pot of Salt Made From Tears of Anger (£7.50). Follow the creepy music past a pinboard plastered with notices for missing brains and gravestone engravers, and you’ll find a wall of cabinets piled high with the above (aka lemon curd and gourmet smoked sea salt), plus Milk Tooth chocolate bars, Witches’ Brew tea and Tinned Fear – stories courtesy of Zadie Smith, Joe Dunthorne and Meg Rosoff. Proceeds support the Ministry of Stories’ creative writing and mentoring centre for local children set up by Ben Payne, Lucy McNab and Nick Hornby. Mind the invisible cat on your way out.

  1. 159 Hoxton St, N1 6PJ
  2. www.monstersupplies.org
    Hoxton rail
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47

Folk

Best for
Hip clothing and accessories for men and women

Don’t miss
Ashley Williams’ cult designs

How much?

 

Folk keeps things nice and simple with its range of good quality, everyday casual clothing. The aesthetic is homespun, comfortable and lived in – the kind of jackets, knits and jeans you could as easily wear down the pub or up a mountain. But the devil is in the detail, such as a foldaway hood on a raincoat, or concealed buttons on a flannel shirt.

Founded by Cathal McAteer in 2001, Folk originally catered to men only, then shoes for both sexes were added in 2004 and womenswear launched in 2012. There are now four stores, each with its own charm but with consistent features such as rope hung lighting and shelving made from architectural salvage – handily enough, they’re for sale too.

  1. 12-14 Shepherd St, W1J 7JF
  2. www.folkclothing.com
    Green Park tube
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46

Merchant Archive

Best for
Quality, hand-picked vintage items

Don’t miss
The vintage party frocks

How much?

 

Carrying an edited selection of its own label, new designer duds, homewares and fine vintage, Merchant Archive is a Notting Hill treasure. On the main floor brands like Mother of Pearl and Studio Nicholson are shown against a backdrop of glass tables and artwork, with the odd 1920s feathered headpiece tossed on top a rack. You’ll find Comme des Garcons leather clutches alongside the brand’s own flatteringly feminine collection, including its signature sophisticated frocks.

Head downstairs to discover most of the vintage stuff – like a Victorian beaded jacket for £340 set among gorgeous nineteenth century confit jars (from £100) and a smattering of art books. It's certainly come a long way from its roots as an appointment-only vintage collection selling solely to designers.

  1. 19 Kensington Park Rd, W11 2EU
  2. www.merchantarchive.com
    Holland Park tube
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45

Daunt Books

Best for
An inspiring range of books

Don’t miss
The wonderful array of travel books

How much?

 

One of London’s most charming bookshops, this Marylebone branch of Daunt is pretty as a picture. The Edwardian building is literally packed to the rafters with books (there’s a mezzanine level dedicated to maps organised by country) and it’s quite something browsing the generous travel section in the elegant three-level back room complete with oak balconies, green walls, vaulted ceiling and stained-glass window. At the front of the shop, you’ll find recommended literary fiction, biography, children’s books and much more besides.

James Daunt’s commitment to providing proper careers for his staff ensures there’s usually someone informed on-hand to help you navigate the choice, and there’s also a wonderful village-like feel to Daunt's style, with its William Morris wallpaper accent walls and creaking floors.

  1. 83-84 Marylebone High St, W1U 4QW
  2. www.dauntbooks.co.uk
    Baker St tube
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44

Stella McCartney

Best for
Cool British womenswear

Don’t miss
Non-leather shoes and bags

How much?

 

It’s hard not to adore Stella McCartney’s Bruton Street flagship, surrounded by other fabulous British designers like Matthew Williamson and looking super-sleek in shiny black with the well-known brand emblazoned in fuchsia. The space has three distinct areas, with the current collection presiding over the refined main space decked out in lots of white marble and pops of pink.

If you can’t afford to spend upwards of £1000 on Stella McCartney’s chic tailored blazers, or the chain carryall ‘It’ bag of the year, look to her signature shades at £156 or some pieces of delicate jewellery. The kidswear line sits in a well-lit atrium near the rear of the shop where you can snap up a kiddie cardigan for £55. Further still, you won’t want to miss the footwear shrine in a cosy back chamber where you can ogle Ms McCartney’s latest creations. The best feature? One gigantic fitting room, where you’ll have all the space you need to play dress up.

  1. 30 Bruton St, W1J 6QR
  2. www.stellamccartney.com
    Bond St or Green Park tube
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43

KJ’s Laundry

Best for
Lovely small labels and accessories

Don’t miss
The Laura Lee jewellery range

How much?

 

As its terribly nice and well-to-do Marylebone location suggests, KJ’s Laundry is a welcoming store catering to fashion conscious women in search of wearable, flattering fashion. Since opening in 2006, proprietors Kate Allden and Jane Ellis have curated a delightful mix of both established and lesser known designers from around the globe, with the emphasis on timeless elegance rather than cutting edge style.

Samantha Sung’s colourful printed dresses are best sellers, as are brands such a Tibi, Filippa K, YMC, Sessun, Hoffman and 10 Crosby by Derek Lam. Luxury knits, skinny jeans, floaty tops, cowboy boots and charm jewellery are all hardy perennials here.

  1. 74 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2PW
  2. www.kjslaundry.com
    Bond St tube
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42

Pokit

Best for
Sleek suits and smart accessories

Don’t miss
The stylish manbags and leather goods

How much?

 

Where can you get a handmade suit to swing an axe or bust a move in? A rough and tough suit for the street corner, film set, art studio and nightclub? Your favourite brand’s creative director, photographer or stylist probably already has one, this being one of the industry’s best-kept secrets.

Pokit have swept away all the waste and pointless ritual of traditional bespoke to create something faster, better value and, ultimately, a lot more relevant to how people dress today. But they do it without losing any of the quality. Their cloths are sourced from the best British mills and the fit and make compares to anything on Savile Row. Pokit also designs canvas and bridle leather bags, the most popular being the ‘Classic Capsule’, instantly recognisable by its curved, almost dome-like shape.

  1. 132 Wardour St, W1F 8ZW
  2. www.pokit.co.uk
    Oxford Circus tube
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41

OTHER/Shop

Best for
Curated pop-up fashion ranges

Don’t miss
Their own line and collaboration collections

How much?

 

Matthew Murphy and Kirk Beattie are the best-turned-out stalwarts of London’s fashion scene. Their now defunct b Store project – a shop selling new and offbeat design from their Savile Row address – was one of the capital’s most influential boutiques. Their latest project, OTHER/Shop on Kingly Street, draws on the pair’s near-decade of experience, but has a fresh new outlook – like b Store, but with a creative kick up the arse.

The simple, two-floor store is a pared-down, glitz-free boutique with OTHER’s full range of men’s and women’s fashion and footwear, with books, jewellery and art on the walls. In store now is Our Legacy, Etudes, OTHER/Store’s own-name label and longtime favourite of Murphy and Beattie, Danish London-based designer Peter Jensen. A reworked version of a classic London shop.

  1. 21 Kingly St, W1B 5QA
  2. www.other-shop.com
    Oxford Circus tube
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Continue to numbers 40-31 in our list

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