Choosing my favourite shops for Time Out’s 100 Best Shops In London list wasn’t difficult. I’m not a big online shopper because I prefer to make really considered purchases and I find the whole store ambience and experience adds to the value of what I’m buying. My top five stores are the ones I visit on a regular basis, not just to buy, but also to ‘keep my eye in’ and research what’s out there.
THE SHOP AT BLUEBIRD, 350 King’s Road, London, SW3 5UU
‘It’s curated and merchandised in a way that lets you discover lovely new things on every visit. Plus the staff members are knowledgeable and helpful without hovering around you and getting under your feet.’
COUVERTURE & THE GARBSTORE, 188 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2ES
‘It has a great mix of international labels that tend to be quietly interesting and under the radar. The womenswear is quite expensive but the buy isn’t your average fashiony fare so you tend to get things that you’ll wear over a period of time as you can’t put a date on it.’
HARVEY NICHOLS, 109-125 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RJ
‘It has a magnetic pull that drags me to its fourth floor for all those cool Brit labels and then to the fifth floor for rocket salad and chips.’
CLAIRE DE ROUEN BOOKS, 121-125 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0EW
‘There aren’t many fashion bookshops left in London. This one is really browse-friendly and a fantastic place for gifts and new discoveries of photography books. Plus, it has the best window displays.’
LABOUR & WAIT, 85 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ
‘It’s one of those shops full of things you didn’t know you needed, such as almond-scented glue and balls of twine.’
If you fancy checking out The Shop at Bluebird, make sure you hunt out Dagmar’s AW11 collection that has just arrived. Also, I’ve just been told that December will see a special installation from House of Hackney. The Shop At Bluebird’s wonderful merchandising is a huge part of its appeal so I’ll definitely be making that visit (not that I need much encouragement).
Here’s the complete Time Out 100 Best Shops In London list, as chosen by fashion insiders and design experts like Sharmadean Reid, Deyan Sudjic (love his list) and Stephen Jones. Being the nosy parker I am, I’d love to know your favourite London shops. Let me know in the comments…
[Harvey Nichols image/Fashion Foie Gras]