Forget Oxford Street, Regent Street and Covent Garden - when you’re shopping for something special, it’s worth seeking out one of London’s much-loved alternative retail destinations. Often filled with independent boutiques and carefully curated specialist stores, these are the streets to head to when you’re looking for something a little bit different.
Lambs Conduit Street, Bloomsbury
This little-known London gem is just a short walk from Holborn tube station, and even though it only takes a few minutes to walk its length, you could easily spend an hour or two exploring its irresistible offerings. Start by fuelling up with a flat white and cake at Knockbox Coffee, then stock up on fragrant beauty buys from Aesop, lovingly selected homewares from Pentreath & Hall, stylish accessories from Folk Clothing, and beautifully bound books from Persephone.
Camden Passage, Islington
Shopping on this tiny winding passage in north London is an almost magical experience. Whenever we’re in the area we can’t resist a visit to Smug to pick up quirky prints and tableware, and if we’re feeling crafty we’ll also pop into Loop to feast our eyes on some of the best knitting supplies in London. After that it’s time to browse the charming antique sellers and then stop off at The Breakfast Club for a hearty all-day American brunch.
Marylebone High Street
Just a stone’s throw from Oxford Street, Marylebone High Street is a design-lovers dream. Make your first stop at Skandium, the store which prides itself as being ‘the home of Scandinavian design’ and is filled with aesthetically pleasing and minimalist home buys. Next up, treat yourself to some delicious macarons and eclairs from Pierre Marcolini’s luxury emporium, and finally make a visit to long-time London favourite The Conran Shop - which sells the best in everything from toys to gadgets to furniture.
Regent’s Park Road, Primrose Hill
A perennial favourite with local celebrities, Regent’s Park Road in Primrose Hill is a treasure trove of much-loved independent businesses. Stop by Primrose Hill Books to pick up your next page turner, then drop into Sweet Pea Jewellery for beautifully made accessories and Fitzroy’s Flowers for showstopping boutiques and house plants that will fill your home with greenery. Once you can shop no more, head to local favourite Lemonia for a feast of mouth-watering Greek dishes.
Broadway Market, Hackney
This east London market street is a hipster’s paradise nestled in the heart of Hackney. The weekly Saturday market is the biggest selling point, and offers everything from delicious haggis toasties to vintage books, flowers and crafts. There are also plenty of farmers’ market-style produce stalls for a weekly shop with a difference. If you’ve paid a chilly winter visit to the market and need to warm up inside, head to Belgian boozer The Dove for an extensive range of craft beers and and a proper pub lunch.