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Royal Opera Arcade

Shopping, Bookshops St James'

The passage with the most curious collection of shops has to be the Royal Opera Arcade. Designed by John Nash (who went on to make the Brighton Pavilion), it is the oldest arcade in London and has survived fire and the Blitz.

It’s an eclectic collection of odds and ends: shoppers can get politically schooled at Ducketts political bookstore before stopping off for some acupuncture at the Chinese Medical Centre; Pall Mall Printers and Stationers have a wide range of cards, and you will find beautiful arrangements at Vivella Rose Florist; old tribal artefacts are bought and sold in the dusty D Barrett which looks like somewhere Indiana Jones might be found browsing; old men doze outside the Sandwich Centre where waiters in bow ties serve off-duty thespians and homesick New Zealanders head for Kiwi Fruits, which this year won an Artisan Award, selling books, food and jewellery. The Stephen Wiltshire Gallery features work from the autistic artist of cityscapes.


Venue name: Royal Opera Arcade
Address: between Charles II Street & Pall Mall
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus tube or Charing Cross tube
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