My London: the fashion blogger

As told to Ianthe Butt

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When it comes to the fashion, London isn’t short of icons. But you don’t have to join the fash pack to have a stylish break in the capital. Local fashion and lifestyle blogger Peony Lim shares her insider tips for upping the style stakes on your next city break.

Afternoon tea at The Berkeley is based on current catwalk collections, so expect cakes shaped like Mulberry bags and biscuits that look like Charlotte Olympia pumps

1. Harrods

If you don’t have time to shop around the city’s neighbourhoods, you can still get a very ‘London’ experience at Harrods. The main womenswear floors have recently been redeveloped so that the haute couture ‘Superbrands’ all sit on one floor. Shoe Heaven, the shoe hall, is massive and feels quite New York-y. You can buy customised shoes made in specific fabrics.

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2. Portobello Road Market

The market for fashion lovers is Portobello Road, with its stalls selling wonderful clothes, shoes and accessories, and little arcades with decorative antiques for sale. My top fashion pick is a little shop run by a lady who sells vintage boots. You’ll find it just after Falafel King (which is at number 274). Even on a rainy day people come to Portobello, so be prepared for minimal pavement space and some waiting to browse the most popular stalls.

  • Beautiful floral displays at Nikki Tibbles’ Wild at Heart.

    Flower power

    With a stall outside Liberty London and boutiques in Westbourne Grove and Pimlico Road, Wild at Heart is one of the most pleasant (and fragrant) places to see artisan floral displays and enjoy a slice of the countryside in the city.

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3. Joseph

The Joseph boutique at Brompton Cross is great for womenswear. It’s bigger than the concept store in Westbourne Grove, and stocks interesting pieces from up-and-coming designers, as well as items from well-known names such as Alaïa and Balenciaga.

4. Jamb

Will Fisher, who runs this antiques shop Jamb on Pimlico Road, has a very clean aesthetic. The shop isn’t overcrowded and it’s beautifully styled – it almost feels like you’re walking around an architectural showroom. The shop specialises in lighting and fireplaces, but it also sells furniture that is sourced from all over the world. I’ve picked up pieces for my house including a striking mirror with an eagle on top, holding a ball and chain.

  • An array of rainbow-coloured salads at Ottolenghi, Notting Hill.

    Try it for yourself...

    Ottolenghi Notting Hill is open daily: Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 20:00, Saturdays 08:00 to 19:00, and Sundays from 08:30 to 18:00. Nearest Tube: Bayswater, Queensway or Royal Oak.

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  • Antiques shop Jamb on Pimlico Road.

    Light up

    Jamb Showroom on the famous Pimlico specialises in lighting and fireplaces and is a beautifully decorated antique store in central London. Nearest Tube: Sloane Square.

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  • The colourful Maître Choux serves beautiful éclairs that look like artworks.

    Éclair play

    The origin of the éclair is vague and shrouded in mystery, though some believe the first were made in the 19th century by Marie-Antoine Carême, a famous pastry chef for French royalty.

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5. Wild at Heart

Famous for floral displays, Wild at Heart has a stand outside Liberty London, plus two boutiques – one in Westbourne Grove and one in Pimlico (which is my favourite). The flowers are well curated and are arranged beautifully – it’s a combination of English eclectic style and wildness.

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6. Ottolenghi

Ottolenghi in Notting Hill is a lovely place to get a takeaway on a sunny day. Grab a delicious lunch of bright Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-influenced salads and find a kerb to sit on. It’s a rather unique London thing to do to grab a corner and perch. The tuna with chilli sauce is divine, and for afters, try a slice of apple and olive oil cake with maple icing.

  • Portobello Road Market © JLImages/Alamy.

    Street party

    Much of Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s largest street party that attracts two million revellers every summer, takes place in and around the streets of Portobello Road Market.

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7. Maitre Choux

These are simply the best éclairs you’ll find in London. The shop window is white with multi-coloured spots on it, and that’s what the shop looks like inside – all white interiors with elegantly decorated pastel éclairs that look like artworks. They serve every flavour under the sun, from classic chocolate to seasonal specials such as a strawberry, pistachio sprinkles and mint variety to coincide with Wimbledon.

8. Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley

Afternoon tea is a London classic, and this one is fashion-themed. All of the food is based on current catwalk collections, so expect cakes shaped like Mulberry bags and biscuits that look like Charlotte Olympia pumps. It’s not a case of style over substance either – each morsel is delicious. The Collins Room has just been redesigned in chic grey and lavender tones with sculptural modern lights, and it’s a gorgeous place to linger in.

9. Tower of London

One of my distant relatives was imprisoned in the Tower. I remember visiting when I was younger and my father pointing out their signature on a wall. It’s a place that is so full of history, and the tours are exciting, particularly for kids who will love all the storytelling.

10. Space NK

For beauty, stop at a branch of Space NK. There’s a nicely curated selection of products from the likes of Eve Lom and Becca, and as well as Diptyque fragrances they also have unusual ‘hero’ products that you just won’t find elsewhere, such as creams from Japan. If you’re headed out for a dinner, book an artist to do your make up for you.

Peony Lim is a London-based fashion and lifestyle blogger, and owner of online boutique

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