Top Hat

Critics' pick
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1/4
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Top Hat

2/4
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Top Hat

3/4
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Top Hat

4/4
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Top Hat

Lower East Side
New York native Nina Allen opened this home-decor and gift boutique to showcase international finds from Sweet Bella, a wholesale company she started seven years ago that sells a mix of goods like stationery, birdcalls and bags. The minimalist shop specializes in oddities from small companies and family businesses, whose craftsmanship techniques, such as ceramics and leather working, have been passed down for generations. Allen travels the globe, handpicking eclectic items such as Atelier NL by Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum clay dishes from Holland ($30–$130), Valenki wool boots from Russia ($130), Kyouei Design balloon lamps from Japan ($35), gorgeous Sweet Bella signature hand-painted Venetian leather pouches ($56–$90) and Patrick Fray Industrial Design cloth unraveling calendars ($90), which have strings you can pull away until you reach the end of the year. Bonus: During the winter months, patrons can rent handmade wooden toboggans and sleds ($15–$20 per hour) or purchase them ($140–$350) and get them custom engraved for $18.
Venue name: Top Hat
Contact:
Address: 245 Broome St
New York

Cross street: between Ludlow and Orchard Sts
Opening hours: Tue–Sun noon–8pm
Transport: Subway: J, Z, M to Delancey–Essex Sts; F to Delancey St
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P S

I stumbled upon Top Hat completely by chance when walking to China town for a massage from my LES hotel.

It was a great pleasure to find this little gem.

Well curated with genuine creativity and flair, a wonderfully unusual offer of gifts and homewares of fine taste which makes you feel you have discovered a rarity. A positive experience and it wasn't over priced. Win win.

It is precisely this type of independent boutique which gives downtown manhattan the identity it is in danger of losing to Williamsburg.

Well done and keep doing what you do.

Website please.....I live in London!

P Saraff