Secret west London shops

Time Out unearths the buried treasure troves west of Marylebone

  • Secret west London shops

    Bags of style at Eco (© Ed Marshall)

  • Last Place on Earth

    Sandwiched between an ironmonger and a bookmaker and situated just 20 paces from the tube, this unassuming little shop is far from the last place on earth. In fact, it’s a destination for restored and distressed furniture and retro gifts and clothes. Among its oddities you might find anything from a dressmaker’s dummy to a 1970s cheesecloth sundress. Happy hunting.Best buy Union Jack re-upholstered stool, £45.Last Place on Earth, 37 Bramley Rd, W10 (07958 244 609) Latimer Rd tube. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun by appointment.


    The first of Oxfam’s new boutiques opened its doors in May, with an auction of unique pieces by British designers including Giles Deacon, Henry Holland and Christopher Kane. Its current stock is a mix of donated designer gear, fair-trade fashion and garments reworked by students from the London College of Fashion. It seems the days of moth-eaten knickers and whiffy cardigans are well and truly over.Best buy Kitty Cooper vintage fabric shoes, £240.Oxfam, 245 Westbourne Grove, W11 (020 7229 5000/ Notting Hill Gate tube. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12noon-4pm. Other branches: 123a Shawfield St, SW3 (020 7351 7979); 190 Chiswick High Rd, W4 (020 8994 4888).


    Brother-and-sister team Nicola and Livia Giuggiolo, plus Livia’s hubby Colin Firth (yes, that Colin Firth), want to help you go green. As heralded in Time Out’s recent guide to London’s 100 best shops, their Chiswick showroom sells all manner of products for energy-efficient homes, and offers a consultancy for ethical DIY-ers. Eco’s building leads by example, using solar panels, recycled water and a wind turbine. It even has grass growing on the walls – now that really is green.Best buy Solar-powered sun jar, £20.Eco, 213 Chiswick High Rd, W4 (020 8995 7611/ Turnham Green tube. Open Tue-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-4pm.


    It’s not so much a shop as a ‘way of life’, or so Pedlars would have you believe. And if the new emporium’s wares are anything to go by, it just might be right. On sale here are toys, music, games and gifts so that you can buy the sorts of things you didn’t know you needed – like finger drum kits, bowls made from seven-inch vinyl and knitted egg cosies in the shape of animals. And how you lived without a magnetic map of the world will be beyond you once you clap eyes on theirs. You have been warned.Best buy 1950s Bakelite table telephone, £295.Pedlars,128 Talbot Rd, W11 (020 7727 7799/ Ladbroke Grove tube. Open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm.

    Pistol Panties

    Transform yourself (or your partner) into a pin-up girl by slipping on a Pistol Panties bikini. Designer Deborah Fleming has perfected the art of frilly swimwear and has her own beach boutique modelled on a 1950s holiday resort to prove it. Alongside her frou-frou bathers, there’s all you need to look glamorous sur la plage including statement jewellery, floppy sun hats, bejewelled flip-flops and flattering cover-ups.Best buy ‘Lola’ one-piece, £149.Pistol Panties, 75 Westbourne Park Rd, W2 (020 7229 5286/ Royal Oak tube. Open Tue-Sun 12noon-6pm.

    The Vintage Home Store

    A tumble-down shop stuffed to the rafters with yesteryear homewares. Owner Sandy Stagg is an authority on all things decorative and sources flowerpots, garden tools, furniture, textiles, mirrors and kitchen goods dating as far back as the Victorian era. Her other store, The Antique Clothing Shop (282 Portobello Rd, W10), shuts its doors next month after 15 years of service – her closing-down sale is not to be missed.Best buy Striped deckchairs, £20.The Vintage Home Store,103-105 Churchfield Rd, W3 (020 8993 4162) Acton Central rail. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-5.30pm, Sat 10am-6pm.

    House of Weardowney

    Get stitched up at House of Weardowney, a Mecca to all things woolly. As well as supplying knitting needles, patterns and yarns, its ‘getUp boutique’ range reveals the brand’s flirty designer knitwear. The grade II-listed building also doubles as a knitting school and has a seven-room guesthouse upstairs where knitters can rest their weary heads.Best buy ‘Knit Couture’, a book of knitting patterns, £20.House of Weardowney, 9a Ashbridge St, NW8 (020 7725 9694/ Marylebone tube/rail. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm.


    Loop is a boutique-style swap-shop for babies’ and young children’s gear. Make an appointment to sell them the clothes, books and equipment you don’t need now your tiny tots are all grown up, or pop in and pick up some nearly-new bargains. Loop also boasts a choice selection of eco-friendly infant products, hosts regular Gymboree classes and has an in-store kids’ hairdresser for the full one-stop-shop experience.Best buy Second-hand Monsoon dress, £8.50.Loop, 49 New Broadway, W5 (0845 202 4533/ Ealing Broadway tube. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12noon-5pm.

    Blenheim Books

    What began as a specialist gardening bookshop in 1996 has since slowly expanded to incorporate tomes on design, architecture, art, photography, biography and poetry. Happy to source any book in print for you within 24 hours, owner Valerie Scriven originally made it her mission to make Blenheim Books a salon for Notting Hill’s creatives seeking an inspirational read. Mission accomplished.Best buy ‘The Man Who Planted Trees’ by Jean Giono, £5.99.Blenheim Books,11 Blenheim Crescent, W11 (020 7792 0777/ Ladbroke Grove tube. Open Mon-Sat 9am-6pm,
    Sun 12noon-5pm.

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