Holding court with Fortnum & Mason and other Piccadilly royalty is London’s oldest surviving bookshop, dating back to 1797. Its old-school charm and refined aura have helped it maintain an ambience all its own (even though it’s now owned by HMV). The grand shop is extensive in its stock, but particularly good for travel and biography, new hardback fiction and signed editions. Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Byron and Oscar Wilde are former fans. These days, celebrated authors come to sign the books – recent visitors include Antonia Fraser, Ian McEwan and Philip Pullman. Mowbray’s religious booksellers is located on the third floor. Hatchards prides itself on its knowledgeable staff and professional service.