As much as we love perusing the latest offerings from our favourite brands, there’s something extra special about exploring the hidden treasures of an independent shop.
The last couple of years have seen a boom in the number of people setting up their own small businesses, and as a result, there’s never been a better time to familiarise yourself with everything the UK’s independent shops and boutiques have to offer.
There are plenty of ways to do this without leaving the comfort of your own home – The Drop by Stylist is home to a wide range of independent brands – but if you fancy doing some physical shopping, then taking a trip to London is a great place to start.
Alongside the big names, the capital is awash with plenty of brilliant independent shops and boutiques just waiting to be discovered, selling everything from artisan chocolates to stationery and sustainable fashion. The only problem is knowing where to start – and that’s where this article comes in.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite independent shops across the city to get you started. Happy shopping!
The Pantry Underwear
Located in Islington, The Pantry Underwear’s flagship store is a haven for underwear lovers. Offering a selection of bras, underwear, pyjamas and swimwear from both household names and British female-founded independent brands, the shop has a bright and airy feel that’s a joy to browse.
Location: Unit 14A, North Mall, Islington Square, 129K Upper Street, London N1 1QP
Opening Hours: Tue-Thu 11am-7pm, Mon, Fri and Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm
We’re big fans of Dar Leone’s vibrant and colourful homeware and jewellery here at Stylist, so we had to include the brand’s physical shop on this list. Founded by Sierra Leonean-American Isatu Funna, Dar Leone sells a range of items including jewellery, textiles, wallpaper, cushions and objects, all inspired by Funna’s travels around the world and her childhood memories in Freetown.
Location: 42 Cross St, London N1 2BA
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm, Mon closed
A bookshop, events and social space all in one, BookBar is the perfect place to sip on a glass of wine while you pick up a gift for the resident book lover in your life. You could even time your visit to make the most of one of the shop’s Christmas events.
Location: 166 Blackstock Road, London N5 1HA
Opening Hours: Sun & Tue 10am-6pm, Wed-Sat 10am-9pm
This sustainable fashion boutique nestled towards the northern end of the Picadilly line in Wood Green is home to a wide range of items. Produced entirely from surplus or deadstock fabric, Pop London’s products are made with sustainability and ethics at their core. Whether you’re buying for yourself or a fashion lover in your life, you’re sure to find something you love.
Location: Boutique 9, Blue House Yard, 5 River Park Road, London N22 7TB
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 10:30am-6:30pm, Sun 11am-5pm, Mon closed
Jen’s Plants and Florist
Located in the middle of Brick Lane, this independent plant shop and florist is simply a joy to visit. Full to bursting with healthy plants, Jen set up the shop after she left behind her career in investment banking to embrace her love for interiors. Alongside all the live plants and flowers, Jen’s Plants and Florist is also home to a brilliant range of pots as well as dried flower arrangements.
Location: 106a Brick Lane, London E1 6RL
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 10:30am-6pm
The Every Space
Dark Sugars Cocoa House
Nestled amongst the busyness of Battersea’s Northcote Road lies Maison Curate, a peaceful home and lifestyle store full of lovely pieces. Products on sale range from houseplants and home accessories to books, games and jewellery.
Location: 61 Northcote Road, Battersea, London SW11 1NP
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5:30pm, Sun 11am-5pm
Wine & Such
A neighbourhood wine shop focusing on natural wines, traditional ciders and craft vermouths, Wine & Such is a must-visit for anyone looking to elevate their wine collection this Christmas. Plus, with most of the wines priced between £10-£20, you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy something special.
Location: 57 Loampit Hill, Lewisham, SE13 7SZ
Opening Hours: Thu & Fri 2pm-7pm, Sat 12pm-6pm
Founded by sisters Disha, Apee and Yukti in 2018, D.A.Y is a Peckham-based boutique offering Scandi-inspired clothing and accessories from around the world. Built from the sisters’ love for independent retail, the shop is home to a broad range of brands, each of which have been handpicked by one of the trio.
Location: 143 Bellenden Road, Peckham, London SE15 4DH
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm
One of the three Papersmiths stores across the country, this blood orange-themed boutique on Chelsea’s Pavilion Road is a stationery lover’s heaven. Inside, you’ll find an exciting range of notebooks, pens and stationery products from cult brands and independent designers alike.
Location: 170 Pavilion Road, London SW1X 0AW
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm
Tada & Toy
If you’re a fan of dainty, intricate jewellery, then you’ll want to pay Tada & Toy’s Portobello Road boutique a visit. The brand, which was founded by young designers and friends Tansy Aspinall and Victoria Van Holthe, offers a range of playful, chic jewellery designed to “love, layer and last”.
Location: 341 Portobello Road, London W10 5SA
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun closed
Founded by health and beauty journalist and editor Suzanne Duckett, Onolla is a plant-based health and beauty hub that stocks a selection of brands that bring together science and nature. It’s the ideal place to buy a gift for a friend who’s in desperate need of some self-care, or treat yourself to products which will help you thrive throughout the festive season.
Location: 54 White Hart Lane, Barnes, London SW13 0PZ
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am- 5.30pm, Sat 10am-2pm, Sun closed
Images: courtesy of brands, except as follows
BookBar: Martin Nosak
Papersmiths: Max McClure
D.A.Y Boutique: JoJoMead Photography