85 Redchurch St, E2 7DJ
Number 26 in the full list
A pernickety edit of objects, many with a utilitarian use, is somehow transformed from the mundane to the magical in the surrounds of Labour and Wait's London shop (and concession at Dover Street Market). Tea-towel rails, old-style school beakers and wooden spoons become clever gifts – and are priced as such. As a shopping concept it’s a no-brainer, but visit this Redchurch Street store and you’ll see scores of shoppers leave clutching a scrubbing brush, say, or that most essential of essentials – the rotary apple peeler. Read more about Labour and Wait
Recommended by: Navaz Batliwalla, Charlie Casely-Hayford, Nuno Mendes, Melanie Rickey and Brix Smith-Start.
V&A, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
Number 27 in the full list
Curated with as much thought and flair as any exhibition, with a mix of merchandise that reflects or – in the case of the commissioned items – responds to the V&A’s collections and temporary shows. Boldly putting the shop right at the heart of the museum has made it a destination in its own right and it’s a strategy that has paid off – visitors nip in to buy a birthday present, then find it impossible to leave without dipping into the galleries. Read more about V&A Shop
Recommended by: Fred Butler and Sara O'Reilly.
Unit 3B Regent Studios, 8 Andrew's Road, London, E8 4QN
Number 33 in the full list
If you nosey around Hackney’s Broadway Market you’ll find this hidey-hole of unusual vintage homewares and gifts tucked away in a block of unpromising-looking studios. Collected and curated by husband and wife team V and Jane, Dog & Wardrobe (which runs alongside their design business) is a trove of industrial bric-a-brac from old hospitals, car-boot sales, schools and factories. Read more about Dog & Wardrobe
Recommended by: Dan Jones.
196 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ
Number 43 in the full list
This Tottenham Court Road icon has been furnishing Londoners’ homes since 1810. The ground floor is devoted to kitchen gadgetry, Diptyque candles, soft furnishings and well-picked gifts but the upper floors are a little more serious, with Heal's branded furniture for every room of the house, alongside classic design brands (Ligne Roset, Tom Dixon, Kartell). Clever projects underline a surprisingly contemporary edge, such as the collaboration between Heal's and the Slade in 2011, which saw art students create work live in the shop windows. And don’t forget the fantastic façade. Read more about Heal's
66-67 Colebrooke Row, London, N1 8AB
Number 52 in the full list
It doesn’t really matter if you go in with a genuine reason to browse for paints, paper and general arts and crafts tools of the creative trade. You’re bound to walk out with something – whether it be a stash of glitter glue or a very reasonably priced portfolio case for the sketches you haven’t quite got round to drawing. Read more about Cass Art
135-139 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3BX
Number 55 in the full list
While most other premises in Shoreditch have turned into bars in the past 15 years, SCP has remained a popular, extremely classy homeware shop doing a roaring trade in contemporary furniture. The interior looks a bit like the coolest advertising agency you’ve ever been in, but that’s no reason not to go and have a mooch around. While the sofas are expensive, you can buy a Moomin cup and saucer for a few quid, and still get excellent service from the stylish staff. Read more about SCP
11 Mare Street, London, E8 4RP
Number 59 in the full list
You’ll be hard put to find an odder shop than The Last Tuesday Society outside of the League of Gentlemen and the eerie atmosphere does little to relieve the first impression that you’ve wandered into Royston Vasey’s ‘local shop for local people’. If you can get past the staff (they don’t like window shoppers) you’ll find two headed teddy bears, the odd pickled foetus, and vintage erotica, plus some offbeat taxidermy. London shopping at its oddest. Read more about The Last Tuesday Society
13-25 Church Street, London, NW8 8DT
Number 63 in the full list
A topsy-turvy collection of antiques and oddities packed into a 1930s art deco department store in Marylebone. With about 100 units selling glass and ceramics, fine and costume jewellery, furniture, vintage fashion, and knick-knackery, there’s something of a ‘living history’ museum feel about Alfie’s – perhaps it’s the larger-than-life sellers, or the fantastical stock arranged artfully in every nook and cranny? One of the best markets in London and a truly unique shopping experience. Read more about Alfie's Antique Market
Recommended by: Peter Jensen.
14 Hinde Street, London, W1U 3BG
Number 75 in the full list
You may not think of yourself as a billionaire art collector, on the very reasonable grounds that you are not, but you can still grab your very own piece of Damien Hirst at Other Criteria. Not an original work, perhaps, but one of Hirst’s ‘diffusion lines’ – the limited-edition prints, lushly bound books, jewellery, snow boards and posters emblazoned with motifs from his famous past works. The minimal white space also features products from similarly popular British artists such as Banksy as well as London photographic royalty, David Bailey. Read more about Other Criteria
Recommended by: James Frey.
188-196 Regent Street, London, W1B 5BT
Number 78 in the full list
This 250-year-old toyshop sells everything from mini replica Bugatti coupés to Justin Bieber dolls and more life-size teddies than seems entirely sane. The Hamleys in our heads – a joyous celebration of a childhood lost but not forgotten – rarely matches the actual experience of shopping there. Avoid it like the plague during school holidays where bloodcurdling screams of excitement echo down the escalators. Read more about Hamleys
Recommended by: James Frey.
39 Park Road, London, N8 8TE
Number 82 in the full list
Hélène Allen set up this tiny French outpost in Crouch End in 2009. The front of the shop is full of small gifts, bags and jewellery, but out back is London’s best collection of Gallic industrial furniture and oddities, all sourced from Hélène’s monthly buying trips across the Channel. In the past, the large, unique pieces have included the grille of a Citroen Avant and a fantastically intricate watchmaker’s dresser, but there’s a bricolage of smaller bits and bobs to rifle through, like old film and medical posters, crockery and lamps. Read more about Little Paris
36 Chiltern Street, London, W1V 7QJ
Number 86 in the full list
Candlemakers to the Sun King, the Trudon family lit up Versailles via its contract to supply the court of Louis XIVth. These days, Trudon creates scented candles for Hermés and Dior, but it’s the brand’s own collection of historically inspired fragrances that astounds. This is Trudon’s first London shop on a relatively obscure Marylebone street; a Hogwarts-like emporium, flickering with candlelight and full of the smells of Marie Antoinette’s boudoir (no cake though). Read more about Cire Trudon
Wharf Building, Portobello Dock, London, W10 5BU
Number 93 in the full list
A major destination on the London design scene, Tom Dixon’s Dock does not disappoint those who have made the pilgrimage. Yes, it stocks Dixon’s designs, but also hosts a wealth of other brilliant concessions, many unavailable anywhere else in the UK. From Denmark there’s lava stone tile manufacturer Made A Mano, from Spain rough-luxe textiles brand Teixidors and ultra-cool, reclaimed furniture and ‘Scrapwood’ wallpaper from Holland’s Piet Hein Eek plus much more. Read more about Tom Dixon Shop
Recommended by: Deyan Sudjic.