The people's 101: shopping

Discover the best things to do in the capital as recommended by real Londoners



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After creating our own list of 101 things to do in London we decided to let you have your say. We asked Time Out readers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers to tell us their top things to do in the capital. Kayak tours, daytime clubbing, rooftop cinema and candlelit gigs – Time Outers named them all. Check out the people's 101 and explore this city like a true Londoner.

What's missing from the list? Have your say: on Facebook | on Twitter using #BestofLondon or in the comments form below

Shops and markets in London

Stroll down Brick Lane on a Sunday

According to Noemi Fumagall, Brick Lane on a Sunday offers ‘brilliant food and shopping’. She’s not wrong – the UpMarket has rare treats from Lithuania, Venezuela and Tibet; the Boiler House food hall has great Gujarati and Cuban dishes, the Tea Rooms boast vintage fashions and characterful collectibles, and the Backyard Market can’t be beaten for handmade clothes and accessories.
Read more about Brick Lane

  1. Brick Lane (north of railway bridge), Cygnet St, Sclater St, Bacon St, Cheshire St, E1 6SB
More info

Fill your home with flowers from Columbia Road Market

Bohemian shopping joins forces with ‘yours-for-a-paaand’ Cockney patter to ensure this Sunday flower market remains a firm favourite among readers.
Read more about Columbia Road Market

  1. Columbia Road, E2
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Indulge with cakes and Comme des Garçons at Dover Street Market

  • Critics choice

The sole department store to bag a gong from our readers, Dover Street Market mixes designer labels with a market-style layout. A large number of respondents cited the cakes at Rose Bakery on the fourth floor as being worth the visit alone.
Read more about Dover Street Market

  1. 17-18 Dover Street, W1S 4LT
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Find your signature scent at Floris

Readers including Vicky Dennis and Samantha Doyle follow in the footsteps of Florence Nightingale and Mary Shelley in frequenting this Jermyn Street seller of fragrances, established in 1730.
Read more about Floris

  1. 89 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6JH
More info

Lose yourself in a book at Foyles

  • Critics choice

It’s tempting to mourn the dusty, disorganised charm of twentieth-century Foyles, but modernisation has been a rewarding process for London’s most famous bookshop. While its rivals struggle to stay alive, Foyles continues to delight our readers with its enormous collection and laid back coffee shop.
Read more about Foyles

  1. 113-119 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0EB
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Follow in Byron's footsteps at Hatchards

London’s oldest bookshop is also one of its best, a temple for collectors in search of rare and signed editions. Current patrons include a large swathe of the Time Out massive: past patrons include Lord Byron and Oscar Wilde.
Read more about Hatchards

  1. 187 Piccadilly, W1J 9LE
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Get your facts straight at the London Review Bookshop

The capital’s foremost purveyor of non-fiction. Everything you’d expect from a shop owned by the London Review of Books, plus brilliant cakes.
Read more about the London Review Bookshop

  1. 14 Bury Place, WC1A 2JL
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Say cheese at Paxton & Whitfield

Having sold cheese from the same Piccadilly location for more than 200 years, Paxton’s (‘where the Queen gets her cheese’ according to @Mariacos82) stakes a convincing claim for the title of Britain’s Greatest Fromagerie. Sublime.
Read more about Paxton & Whitfield

  1. 93 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6JE
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Put the needle on the record at Rough Trade East

When Virgin and Tower Records folded and everybody predicted the death of the record industry, legendary London label Rough Trade didn’t merely fight for survival. It responded by raising its game, opening a large new home in east London, staging fantastic in-store gigs, and leading London’s vinyl revival.
Read more about Rough Trade East

  1. Dray Walk, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL
More info

Discover literary gems at South Bank book market

‘A badly hidden secret’, says Amir S of a book market that occupies prime tourist territory under Waterloo Bridge and yet never feels crowded. Expect well-thumbed paperbacks and an unpredictable assortment of out-of-print titles and manuscripts.
Read more about South Bank book market

  1. Riverside Walk (outside BFI Southbank under Waterloo Bridge), SE1
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Get your gourmet food fix at Spitalfields Market

It’s been almost ten years since Spitalfields Market was renovated and relaunched under a Norman Foster-designed canopy. Some have levelled accusations of gentrification but others, such as Gail Underwood, love the ‘strollable shopping and lovely restaurants’.
Read more about Spitalfields Market

  1. 1 Crispin Place , E1 6DW
More info

Shop arts and crafts at Willesden Windows

Willesden Green has never been the coolest of areas, but a brand new group of short-term arts and crafts shops have taken over a former textile factory and made an instant impression. ‘It’s created a lovely destination in something of a grotty area,’ reports Rob Gore.
Read more about Willesden Windows

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