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35 perfect little places that brighten up London

Guy Parsons

True beauty may come from the inside, but you have to admire those fetching little places that brighten up London's streets. As we gather your votes for your favourite local businesses in our Love London Awards (support yours now – it takes just two minutes!) we thought we'd celebrate the irresistibly pretty shops, cafés and other establishments that crop up on our Instagram feed with astonishing regularity.

1) Peggy Porschen, Belgravia


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Dishing up cakes and other treats at 116 Ebury Street.

2) Biscuiteers, Notting Hill

Ice your own biscuits – or have some made for you by their team – at 194 Kensington Park Road.

3) Maddox Gallery, Mayfair 

Check out an exhibition at this often well-coiffed art gallery. 9 Maddox Street.

4) L'Absinthe, Primrose Hill


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Dig into some French comfort food at 40 Chalcot Road. (No word on the green liquor, though.)

5) Donovan Bros, Spitalfields


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Pretty sure you can't still buy paper bags here. But some nice vintage signwriting remains.

6) The Family Business, Clerkenwell 

Get inked at this tattoo parlour at 58 Exmouth Market.

7) Monocle Café, Marylebone

Have an Allpress coffee at this café run by the magazine for the 1% at 18 Chiltern Street. 

8) Monmouth Coffee, Covent Garden


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Grab a bag of beautiful beans from the famous Seven Dials coffee shop. 27 Monmouth Street.  

9) The Creaky Shed, Greenwich


#thisislondon 🍊🍏🍎🌶🍌

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Get your greens at this gorgeous Greenwich greengrocer. 20 Royal Hill.

10) The School of Life, Bloomsbury

Expand your horizons at this bookshop/gift shop/teaching space. 70 Marchmont Street. 

11) Postcard Teas, Mayfair

Cosy up with a cuppa at this twinkling tea room. 9 Dering Street.

12) John & Jessie, Kensington

Stop and smell the flowers at this fine florist. 131E Kensington Church St. 

13) Café Pistou, Clerkenwell


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Share some Provençal dishes with a friend at this beautiful bistro. 8-10 Exmouth Market.

13) Cass Art, Leicester Square


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Pick up some paints and get creating – it's all these guys dream of. 13 Charing Cross Road.

14) Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, Hoxton


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Pick up a jar of something ghoulish at this magical shop, which raises money for children's literacy charity Ministry of Stories. 159 Hoxton Street.

15) Neal's Yard Remedies, Covent Garden


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Cure what ails ya at this organic remedy shop. 15 Neal's Yard.

15) The Step, Bounds Green


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Get on the naughty step and have a glass of wine at this cute little bar. 101 Myddleton Road. 

15) Paxton & Whitfield, Piccadilly

If it's cheese that you need then Paxton will please. 93 Jermyn Street. 

15) The Chipping Forecast, Notting Hill


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Just the plaice for pun lovers. 29 All Saints Road.

16) Paper & Cup, Shoreditch


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A good book plus a hot drink. What more could you want? 18 Calvert Avenue.

16) General Store, Peckham

Stock up on sundries at this Peckham deli. 174 Bellenden Road.

17) Well Street Kitchen, Hackney

 A pretty little café to while away an hour in. 203 Well Street.

18) Verde & Company, Spitalfields


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Dig into some breakfast or get a whole hamper of treats at this east London shop. 40 Brushfield Street. 

19) Lock and Co, St. James's

If you want to get ahead, get a hat – and why not from the oldest milliners in London? 6 St James's Street.

20) 26 Grains, Covent Garden

There's posh porridge and more at this healthy little café. 2 Neal's Yard.

20) McBeans, Chelsea

Get an orchid, our kid. 11 Cale Street.

21) The Fine Cheese Co, Belgravia

Stop in for a snack or get some fromage to go. 17 Motcomb Street.

22) Sylvanian Families, Finsbury Park


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Literally a whole shop dedicated to those anthropomorphised rabbits. 68 Mountgrove Road.

23) By Appointment Only Design, Marylebone


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Have a blow-out at this boutique. 38 Chiltern Street.

24) Alice's, Notting Hill


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Knick-knacks, bric-a-brac and gee-gaws at this Portobello Road antique shop. 86 Portobello Road.

25) James Smith & Sons, Holborn


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Beautiful brollies and hand-crafted canes at this long-standing store. 53 New Oxford Street.

26) Liberty, Soho

 Okay, hardly a hidden gem, but perhaps London's most beloved store. Regent Street.

 27) Miss Poppy Cakes Café, Camden

Eat some cake. Cake is great! Camden Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road.

28) Lina Stores, Soho

For cured meats, fresh pasta and more, check out this Italian deli. 18 Brewer Street.

29) Palm Vaults, Hackney 


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This east London café is a tropical choice. 411 Mare Street.

30) Regency Café, Pimlico



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Art deco design, full English breakfasts. 17-19 Regency Street. 

31) Cundall & Garcia, Spitalfields

It's not called A Gold and it's not a French milliner's. But it is a café! 42 Brushfield Street.

32) Novelty Automation, Holborn 


#novelty #automation #shopfront #design #lights #fun #quirky #art #london #summer

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There's no missing this amazingly bonkers collection of wacky home-brew robots. 1A Princeton Street.

33) Pollock's Toy Museum, Fitzrovia 


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This collection of old wooden toys may be even cuter, though. 1 Scala Street. 

34) Sherlock Holmes Museum, Marylebone


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Okay, it's mostly a tourist magnet, but at least they've made it look sweet. 221B (where else?) Baker Street.

35) Campania and Jones, Bethnal Green


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And finally! One last fetching southern Italian restaurant in east London. 23 Ezra Street (off Columbia Road Flower Market.) Salute!

We love discovering little local places – take two minutes to vote for your favourites in our Love London Awards!

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