The 100 best shops in London by area: west

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


You’ve seen our list of the 100 best shops in London, but which ones are in a neighbourhood near your work, home or favourite places? Use our maps to make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of London’s best shops when you’re next out and about in the capital.

Here you’ll find the best shops to be found in west London – the numbers in the yellow hexagons denote the shop’s position in our full list.

Have we missed a great shop in your area? Let us know in the comments below.

The 100 best shops in London by area: west

The Shop at Bluebird

Best for
A high-class shopping experience

Don’t miss
The regular designer pop-ups

How much?

 

There’s something exceedingly Zen about The Shop at Bluebird. The 10,000ft space, originally used as a garage in the ‘30s, has a white tiled floor and lots of natural light, tempting shoppers to roam calmly through its delightfully curated mix of fashion, beauty, interiors, books and music.

Opened by John and Belle Robinson (who also own Jigsaw) in 2005, it now has a reputation for tempting luxury brands such as Chloé and Jonathan Saunders to the King’s Road, as well as for discovering up-and-coming designers. There’s also an in-store spa and a pop-up area that changes hands each month.

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Chelsea

Topshop

Best for
Cheap, on-trend fashion

Don’t miss
The Unique range and the Wah nail bar

How much?

 

It’s hard to avoid this Oxford Street goliath, with its garish window displays, blaring indie music and constant gaggle of loitering teens. Others have tried to steal its crown but Topshop still rules the high street. We’re not going to lie – Saturdays at the Oxford Circus flagship are living hell, like being in an awful nightclub with over-bright lighting and dodgy DJs. But weekday mornings provide the opportunity for a more civilized and fruitful shopping experience.

The ground floor is packed with accessories, from hipster sunglasses to sturdy leather satchels and hot hosiery – much of it for less than a tenner. Take the escalator down to the main collections – the brilliant denim range is located just to the right. Further to the right, you’ll find Topshop’s exclusive Unique and Boutique collections as well as special designer collaborations, which have included Richard Nicoll, Meadham Kirchoff and J.W. Anderson of late, as well as their first and best collaborator Kate Moss, returning in 2014 with her hugely popular line. There’s also an on-trend and affordable maternity line. Shoes and boots are down in the basement alongside various vintage concessions.

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West End

Harrods

Best for
Ostentatious style under one roof

Don’t miss
Toy Kingdom on the third floor

How much?

 

It might be unashamedly ostentatious, stuffed with tourists and in possession of the world’s most vulgar statue (Dodi and Diana in bronze by the Egyptian escalators), but Harrods – London’s most famous department store – is still a spectacular shop. The elegantly tiled and fragrant food halls on the ground floor are always worth a butchers and the beauty halls boast a wealth of luxury exclusives. But the store’s true delights can be found on an explorative walk.

As well as London’s first moving staircase and its very own bank, Harrods boasts an art gallery, a stunning new interiors department and a kitchenware floor that hosts live cooking lessons from household names. Got kids? Head straight to Toy Kingdom on the third floor – its enchanted forest, intergalactic science lab and bespoke sweet maker should keep them occupied. There’s always a team of shopping assistants on hand to demonstrate the latest toys and gadgets. Sadly, 2014 sees the closure of its legendary Pet Kingdom to make way for more womenswear, but we are promised a satellite pet store nearby imminently.

Elsewhere, Harrods excels at shoes – with a gargantuan footwear department stocking labels like Ferragamo, Charlotte Olympia and Giuseppe Zanotti. The Fashion Lab has recently opened on the fourth floor, by the Egyptian escalator, selling a range of young designer labels such as Zadig & Voltaire, Wildfox and The Kooples.

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Hyde Park

Celestine Eleven

Best for
Luxury labels

Don’t miss
The exclusive Niels Peeraer bags

How much?

 

If you can remember when Shoreditch had nowhere to shop other than the petrol station, then this dreamy boutique and treatment room might be a good measure of just how much the area has changed. Tena Strok was a stylist before launching this whopping lifestyle store on a very quiet backstreet this summer. While other womenswear boutiques stock up on sure-sellers like Acne boots and Mulberry bags, Tena looks for individual buys that fit her earthy aesthetic and offer exclusivity.

Talented London designers like J.W.Anderson and Atalanta Weller are here, but so are amazing new finds like it-label-of-the-future Niels Peeraer – remember the name, bag lovers. A library of beautiful coffee table books and holistic treatment rooms cater for body and soul. Our only concern is that it’s so out-of-the-way no-one will find it, so do try.

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Brick Lane

The Conran Shop

Best for
High-end homeware

Don’t miss
The design classics range

How much?

 

The Conran Shop presents a knowledgeable edit of investment pieces like Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair and reinterpreted Chesterfields in the flagship Michelin House store. Its less well-known strength is the unusual and beautiful collection of decorative wares from international designers. We particularly like Kate Hume’s hand-blown glass pebble vases in muted jewel hues, the stunning La Volière Table Lamp – inspired by a vintage birdcage, complete with kaleidoscopic birds – and the whimsical Italian pink sand hour glass. It’s also the best London design shop for children with Anne-Claire Petit’s stripy crochet homewares, re-issued tin toys and a brilliantly extravagant tree-house bed leading the charge.

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South Kensington

JJ Fox

Best for
The ultimate cigars

Don’t miss
The museum at the back of the shop

How much?

 

There are a million ways to waste your money in Mayfair, so why not set fire to it? There are other cigar shops in London, but Foxes is the grandest and most storied. Oscar Wilde died owing money here and the iconic image of Winston Churchill with a cigar clenched between his teeth is down to the fact he used to buy his Montecristos here. It’s worth a visit just to see the clientele: a curious mixture of aging Euro playboys, old Etonians and Mayfair gents. They come to get away from the world for 20 minutes or so, wreathed in sumptuous blue smoke.

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St James's

Browns Focus

Best for
Cutting edge designer labels

Don’t miss
Exclusive designs by Jeremy Scott

How much?

 

What’s the point in London’s creative designers churning out dramatically different, adventurous clothing and accessories if no one will take a chance on stocking them? Without Browns Focus, many of our more edgy brands would die a fast retail death. This is the gutsy, punky younger sister and next-door-neighbour of the more sedate Browns fashion store established by Joan Burnstein in 1970, and it’s the best place to find a hot-off-the-catwalk design that will impress even the most discerning sartorialist.

A 2013 refresh has seen the boutique given a nightclubby feel, with black walls and neon pops. That zeitgeist feel extends to the range, with club kids Sophia Webster, Ashish and Kenzo all represented on the rails. The highest of high fashion doesn’t come cheaply, and this isn’t a place to come if your focus is on your purse strings rather than your ‘IT’ bag. But window shopping doesn’t get much more fun than this, so don’t let that put you off a visit.

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Mayfair

Couverture & The Garbstore

Best for
Original gifts and home accessories

Don’t miss
Odette jewellery for women

How much?

 

Cult shop Couverture & The Garbstore sticks it to The Man with an under-the-radar collection of independent labels and up-and-coming designer fashion (sell out and you’re out, basically). On the lower level of this slick three-storey boutique (unrecognisable as the bath salesroom it once was) is designer Ian Paley’s menswear label The Garbstore, whose own-label crew knits (£200), contrast-pocket tees (£75) and limited-production Japanese selvedge denim garner nods of approval from even the most insider-y of fashion insiders.

The ground and upper levels house Emily Dyson’s much-admired lifestyle concept Couverture, where you’ll find an enticing array of homewares and beautiful women’s and children’s fashion. Think hand-printed cushions by Finnish designer Klaus Haapaniemi, simple but chic stationery by Hay, understated tailoring from Tocca and kid-heaven alpaca dress-up knits by Oeuf NYC.

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Ladbroke Grove

Harvey Nichols

Best for
Designer fashion and luxe food

Don’t miss
The excellent personal styling

How much?

 

This luxury Knightsbridge department store isn’t the bastion of cool it once was – Liberty, Selfridges and even Harrods seem to be more engaged with their customers and are hosting more dynamic shopping events these days – but it’s still a worthy port of call for any fashion-conscious shopper. The rails are filled with top labels like Alexander Wang, Balenciaga and Givenchy.

Head here for a well-stocked luxury beauty hall, an excellent array of accessories and the top beauty buys from luxurious brands like Tom Ford and COR (whose soap contains real silver). Finish off proceedings by taking lunch on the fifth floor (where the buzzy food department is located).

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Hyde Park

Debenhams

Best for
Cheap and cheerful fashion

Don’t miss
The designer collaborations

How much?

 

Until its £25million refurbishment, the Debenhams flagship was one of Oxford Street’s drabbest and most down-market department stores. But things have changed dramatically for the 200-year-old brand. The seven-floor store has been completely redesigned with a new interior, an impressive shimmering kinetic metal façade (which resembles a wave) and a chichi new shoes department. There’s also a chic bistro in the basement.

The store now features 21 designer collaborations including Henry Holland, Matthew Williamson and Jenny Packham, but our favourites are the Todd Lynn and Jonathan Saunders Edition ranges. Up on the fifth floor you’ll find kids’ clothing and toys plus an airy new family friendly restaurant. Finally, it’s a light-filled, easy-to-navigate store you’ll want to linger in.

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West End

Wolf & Badger

Best for
Fresh designer labels

Don’t miss
The Chisel & Mouse architectural models

How much?

 

Wolf & Badger’s Notting Hill shop (there’s also a newer second store on Dover Street in Mayfair) has garnered an almost cultish following since it opened in 2010. A hotbed of emerging design talent, the innovative boutique champions the work of up-and-coming (mostly) British fashion and homewares designers by offering them retail space and a sizeable return (over 80 percent) on anything they sell.

New designers are introduced every three months, giving the space a constantly evolving, one-step-ahead vibe that makes it a first port of call for show-stopping dresses, edgy tees and statement accessories. Recent hits include Finlay & Co’s 1950s-style wooden sunglasses, beautiful jewellery by CF Concept and crazy-high high heels by award-winning designer Richard Braqo. The weekly in-store events, trunk shows and launches are also a hit.

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Westbourne Grove

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.

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Ladbroke Grove

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.

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Mayfair

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.

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Hackney

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.

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Knightsbridge

Caravan

Best for
Quirky home accessories

Don’t miss
The original range of lamps for kids

How much?

 

Fans of interiors expert Emily Chalmers’s eclectic style will be pleased to discover the latest incarnation of her Caravan boutique is by appointment only (think bonus one-to-one interiors advice as you shop). The unlikely housing-estate location gives an otherworldly feel to the treasures within: pineapple wall sconces (£99), Lee Broom crystal bulbs (£189), tiny satin baby shoes (£8.95) and billowy handmade drapes (£199) made from the stitched-together spoils of a lifetime scouring markets for silk scarves.

Chalmers’ eye for offbeat home accessories is showcased to perfection here but it’s her knack for spotting vintage classics that feel right for now that really sets her apart. She no longer stocks the French-industrial Jieldé lamps she made an interiors-spread staple but one look at her re-issued Stoke-on-Trent ceramic swans (£55) and you won’t be able to imagine your living room without one.

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Brick Lane

James Smith & Sons

Best for
Umbrellas of every description

Don’t miss
The classic malacca handled umbrella

How much?

 

If there’s one essential accessory for life in London, it’s an umbrella. James Smith & Sons have been selling them since 1830 when James Smith opened up a shop in nearby Foubert’s Place. It moved to its current position in New Oxford Street in 1857 and has been doing a roaring trade in umbrellas ever since, no doubt thanks to the British weather.

The attractive gold gilt shopfront with distinctive black lettering has remained unchanged for the past 140 years and the customer service here is old school too. As well as a whole array of ceremonial umbrellas there are plenty of beautifully designed everyday styles such as the classic malacca handled city umbrella. Just don’t go leaving your new purchase on the tube.

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Holborn

T&F Slack Shoemakers

Best for
Elegant and unusual shoes for men and women

Don’t miss
The affordable made-to-order service

How much?

 

Think you can’t afford handmade shoes? Or that they’re just for City gents with a taste for the traditional? Think again. T&F Slack – a west London shoemaker run by couple Tim and Fiona Slack – has made it its business to create hand-cobbled shoes with a price tag you won’t baulk at. Not only that, but the designs are creative, contemporary and just a little tongue-in-cheek.

For girls, there are oxfords jacked up on heels, loafers with blood-red soles and lace-ups on wedges. For men, oxfords, derbys, desert boots and creepers all star colourful bottoms and subversive twists – prices start at £185. If you opt for a bespoke service (an additional £50), you can add your own tweaks to the material and colour of the soles, upper and welt. Then just stand back and watch them being made in the open-plan workshop-cum-boutique up near Golborne Road.

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London

Albam

Best for
Cool, simple men’s classics

Don’t miss
The slim fit cotton shirts

How much?

 

With contemporary, pared-down British menswear having a bit of a renaissance, it's easy to forget who did it first – and best. When Albam opened in 2006 on Beak Street, it was a tentative bricks-and-mortar version of a Nottingham-based men's clothing brand, bravely going up against the high street heavyweights with a simple eight-piece collection of unfussy shirts, jackets, chinos and tees.

Eight years on and Albam has opened three other stores across London (Spitalfields, Covent Garden and Islington), has expanded far beyond their original mini-collection, and even includes ceramics, furniture and special collaborations in their edit. These days big ticket items like Shetland wool jumpers, floral printed cagoules and even quilts abound, but Albam can still pull off a tapered chino, crisp shirt and a brilliant basic tee.

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Soho

T&F Slack Shoemakers

Best for
Elegant and unusual shoes for men and women

Don’t miss
The affordable made-to-order service

How much?

 

Think you can’t afford handmade shoes? Or that they’re just for City gents with a taste for the traditional? Think again. T&F Slack – a west London shoemaker run by couple Tim and Fiona Slack – has made it its business to create hand-cobbled shoes with a price tag you won’t baulk at. Not only that, but the designs are creative, contemporary and just a little tongue-in-cheek.

For girls, there are oxfords jacked up on heels, loafers with blood-red soles and lace-ups on wedges. For men, oxfords, derbys, desert boots and creepers all star colourful bottoms and subversive twists – prices start at £185. If you opt for a bespoke service (an additional £50), you can add your own tweaks to the material and colour of the soles, upper and welt. Then just stand back and watch them being made in the open-plan workshop-cum-boutique up near Golborne Road.

Read more
London

Albam

Best for
Cool, simple men’s classics

Don’t miss
The slim fit cotton shirts

How much?

 

With contemporary, pared-down British menswear having a bit of a renaissance, it's easy to forget who did it first – and best. When Albam opened in 2006 on Beak Street, it was a tentative bricks-and-mortar version of a Nottingham-based men's clothing brand, bravely going up against the high street heavyweights with a simple eight-piece collection of unfussy shirts, jackets, chinos and tees.

Eight years on and Albam has opened three other stores across London (Spitalfields, Covent Garden and Islington), has expanded far beyond their original mini-collection, and even includes ceramics, furniture and special collaborations in their edit. These days big ticket items like Shetland wool jumpers, floral printed cagoules and even quilts abound, but Albam can still pull off a tapered chino, crisp shirt and a brilliant basic tee.

Read more
Soho

Fara Kids and Baby

Best for
Bargain children’s clothing

Don’t miss
Secondhand designer kidswear labels

How much?

 

Stumble unawares into this airy space on Ledbury Road and you could be forgiven for not clocking that it’s a charity shop. Part of the Fara charity’s 50-strong London chain, this is one of 13 outlets specifically focused on kids’ clothes. And as you’d expect from this part of town, the pickings are prime.

Stock is constantly changing but on a recent visit we effortlessly unearthed a handmade newborn matinée jacket (£10) and a Petit Bateau raincoat (£9) from the beautifully displayed baby rails. The adjacent kids’ room is similarly fruitful, with clothes from Bonton, American Apparel, Gap, Jigsaw Junior and Caramel Baby & Child at double-take prices. Meanwhile, the annex packed with great quality books and toys (from £1) will have you swearing never to pay full price again.

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Westbourne Grove

G Baldwin & Co

Best for
Old-fashioned herbal remedies and tinctures

Don’t miss
Their own-brand health and beauty range

How much?

 

As is proclaimed proudly on the shop’s red and gold frontage, G Baldwin & Co have been ‘purveyors of natural products since 1844’. Arguably London’s oldest apothecary, its original location was just a few doors down at 77 Walworth Road and at its peak there were 12 Baldwin branches across London.

This one remaining location has had staying power since the ’70s and has become something of an Elephant & Castle institution. It retains a nostalgic atmosphere thanks to the tinkling brass counter bell, personal service and floor-to-ceiling wooden shelves brimming with herbs, tonics, tinctures, aromatherapy oils, beauty products, health foods and supplements.

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Elephant & Castle

Ben Day

Best for
Dazzling jewels

Don’t miss
The bespoke service

How much?

 

Ben Day was making exquisite jewellery using a kaleidoscope of coloured gemstones long before the glossies started shouting about sapphires being the new diamonds. You’ll find plenty of both at his beautiful Notting Hill boutique where luminous opals shimmer in mirrored cabinets alongside chains of black diamond beads.

Everything is handmade in the studio below the shop and, although you can buy off the shelf, bespoke is what Day does best. Love the green chrysoprase cocktail ring but have your heart set on purple? No problem. Thirty years of sourcing rare and beautiful stones ensures there’s no one better placed to track down that perfect hue.

Best of all, whether you’re a jewellery novice on the hunt for a spectacular engagement ring or a gem collector with a sky’s-the-limit budget, Day’s discretion, enthusiasm and down-to-earth manner make shopping here a pleasure.

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Westbourne Grove

Honeyjam

Best for
Old-fashioned toys and kids’ clothing

Don’t miss
The exclusive Honeyjam Merrythought teddy bears

How much?

 

This Notting Hill independent toyshop is a veritable treasure trove brimming with pirate ships, old-fashioned dolls, bath ducks, fairy dust and a healthy dose of nostalgia. Bright orange dinosaur costumes hang from the ceiling, toy mice peep out from trays of wooden play food and a kid-height central table is stacked with pocket-money novelties including jumping frogs, temporary tattoos, mini magic wands and retro jokes.

Owners Jasmine Guinness and Honey Bowdrey have seven children between them, so you can rest assured that when they say the Pucket elasticated table game (£44.99) is capable of tempting a teen away from his Xbox, they are speaking from experience.

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Westbourne Park

Twentytwentyone

Best for
Hip, Scandi-orientated homeware

Don’t miss
The designer furniture and home range for children

How much?

 

There’s a definite Scandi-slant to north London furniture store TwentyTwentyOne. Set over two spacious floors the sleek lines, muted colours and clean outlines display minimalistic furniture, accessories and ceramics at their most appealing. We love the functionality of the Lonneberga Wood stacking beds, which will transform a study into a guest room, and the off-kilter angles of Martino Gamper’s colourful Arnold Circus stool. The El Baúl golf ball-like storage box is perfect for hiding kids’ toys somewhere chic. You can also find the world’s most stylish smoke alarm here – a tactile pastel ingot that simply sticks to the ceiling.

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Islington

Mungo & Maud

Best for
Posh pet gear

Don’t miss
The leather dog collars and leads in a rainbow of shades

How much?

 

Like the Conran Shop of the animal kingdom, Mungo & Maud redefines the pet store as a luxurious shopping experience. It focuses on cats and dogs, offering their owners the chance to shower them with gorgeous essentials and indulgent accessories. It would be a very lucky pooch indeed that got to sleep in a 100 percent quilted cotton bed, or walk around on a pretty leather lead.

Cats can toy with knitted playthings and sport a collar with lucky charms. Humans, meanwhile, can also get in on the action, as Mungo & Maud makes beautiful bags, blankets and clothes (puffer jackets, scarves and the like – ideal for dogwalking), as well as lovely gift items, from cards and books to dog fragrances and treat jars.

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Belgravia

Tatty Devine

Best for
Laser-cut perspex jewellery

Don’t miss
On-the-spot perspex name necklaces

How much?

 

Shoreditch pioneers Tatty Devine (AKA art-school pals Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden) began making and selling their distinctive Perspex jewellery back in 2001. In the decade-plus since they opened a bijou Brick Lane boutique, they’ve opened a second shop in Covent Garden (44 Monmouth Street), a so-successful-it-had-to-go-permanent pop-up in Selfridges, collaborated with everyone from Ashish to Rob Ryan, and seen their designs sold in over 200 shops worldwide.

As well as now-classic perspex pieces like the anchor and dinosaur necklaces (£15 and £125) and volume-control brooch (£18), you’ll find rings, cufflinks, necklaces and earrings in enamel, wood and silver. The recently added Charm Collection (an imaginative array of charm bracelets and necklaces) looks set to give their iconic name necklaces a run for their money.

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Brick Lane

Mungo & Maud

Best for
Posh pet gear

Don’t miss
The leather dog collars and leads in a rainbow of shades

How much?

 

Like the Conran Shop of the animal kingdom, Mungo & Maud redefines the pet store as a luxurious shopping experience. It focuses on cats and dogs, offering their owners the chance to shower them with gorgeous essentials and indulgent accessories. It would be a very lucky pooch indeed that got to sleep in a 100 percent quilted cotton bed, or walk around on a pretty leather lead.

Cats can toy with knitted playthings and sport a collar with lucky charms. Humans, meanwhile, can also get in on the action, as Mungo & Maud makes beautiful bags, blankets and clothes (puffer jackets, scarves and the like – ideal for dogwalking), as well as lovely gift items, from cards and books to dog fragrances and treat jars.

Read more
Belgravia

Tatty Devine

Best for
Laser-cut perspex jewellery

Don’t miss
On-the-spot perspex name necklaces

How much?

 

Shoreditch pioneers Tatty Devine (AKA art-school pals Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden) began making and selling their distinctive Perspex jewellery back in 2001. In the decade-plus since they opened a bijou Brick Lane boutique, they’ve opened a second shop in Covent Garden (44 Monmouth Street), a so-successful-it-had-to-go-permanent pop-up in Selfridges, collaborated with everyone from Ashish to Rob Ryan, and seen their designs sold in over 200 shops worldwide.

As well as now-classic perspex pieces like the anchor and dinosaur necklaces (£15 and £125) and volume-control brooch (£18), you’ll find rings, cufflinks, necklaces and earrings in enamel, wood and silver. The recently added Charm Collection (an imaginative array of charm bracelets and necklaces) looks set to give their iconic name necklaces a run for their money.

Read more
Brick Lane

Sh!

Best for
Sexy undies and naughty accessories

Don’t miss
The plethora of colourful vibrators

How much?

 

Sh! owner Kathryn Hoyle set up this girly pleasure purveyor after a disappointing trip to Soho’s many sex haunts, where she found ‘the only women welcome were the blow-up variety’. Sh! is the antidote to that kind of seedy, cheesy retailer – aimed at women’s tastes and comfort zones, and designed to be inviting and fun rather than embarrassing and odd.

The main stock in trade are sex toys, and plenty of them – from best-selling slimline vibrators to more exotic accoutrements such as a raspberry-shaped vibrating butt-plug called the Assberry. These take centre-stage on a large central table on the ground floor, and no-nonsense, witty staff can talk women through their options – or leave them to quietly browse.

Crucially, although you don’t have to be a woman to shop here, you do have to be accompanied by one – a policy that sets the feminine tone of the place. Downstairs, the S&M department caters for the ‘Fifty Shades’ brigade, with made-in-London spankers and paddles beautifully designed in quality leather and attractive colour combinations. But the service extends beyond just products to perk you up; with its sexual health advice, upbeat attitude to sex, and erotic workshops for women and couples, Sh! has been keeping London’s women happy for more than 20 years.

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Old Street

David Saxby

Best for
Vintage men’s suits

Don’t miss
Silk top hats

How much?

 

Authentic British country clothing is hard to find in London now. Most of what passes as country clothing from so-called ‘heritage’ brands is a pale imitation of the hardy, indestructible and brightly-coloured clothing that looks as good on a grouse moor as it does on Fulham High Street.

Yes, this is the home of the loud trouser. Fire engine red, lilac, turquoise and banana yellow, cut high on the waist and slim in the leg in heavyweight Brisbane Moss cloth, are a Saxby speciality. As are Norfolk jackets, plus fours, heavyweight linen jackets in bright pastels, tweed covert coats in bold checks and moleskin trousers with fishtail backs.

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Fulham

Design Museum Shop

Best for
Design-related accessories

Don’t miss
The plumen light bulbs

How much?

 

The Design Museum philosophy that design should be innovative, intelligent and stylish is brilliantly apparent in the small but well-stocked on-site shop. There’s a pleasing mix of techy and decorative amongst the products and one of the best selections of design books in the capital.

Our recent finds have included Black and Blum’s slick stainless steel Thermo Pot with magnetic spoon – perfect for soup at the office desk. Similarly the ergonomic cake server and kitchen roll holder are subtle homewares that make life easier. We also like the flashes of humour in Hella Jongerius’s Elephant mousepad and the sartorial super trump cards.

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Tower Bridge

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