Best for… hip homeware hounds
The lowdown: This East London street is a hotbed of quirky, independent stores and boutique fashion and beauty brands such as Sunspel, Aesop and Brooklyn-import chocolatiers Mast Brothers. Be sure to make a stop at Labor and Wait: the emerald green store has a cult following among cool homeware-loving Londoners in the know. Its selection of curated homewares are both utilitarian and attractive – where else could you pick up a glass jar of lavender water that looks straight out of an apothecary and a sachet of padron pepper seeds?
If you only buy one thing: This Japanese coffee pot in a very 1970s mustard hue – ideal for brightening up your kitchen table in the mornings.
Where? Take the Overground to Shoreditch High Street.
Lamb’s Conduit Street
Best for… Bookworms
The lowdown: This pedestrianized Bloomsbury street is packed with independent furniture stores and places to eat (try The People’s Kitchen for fresh food that’s both delicious and environmentally friendly). But first make a beeline for Persephone books: it’s a literary paradise, filled with limited editions of novels by 20th-century female writers, with pretty grey and printed covers.
If you only buy one thing: Virginia Woolf’s Flush, an account of fellow author Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s spaniel, and Woolf’s most light-hearted piece of work.
Where? Take the Piccadilly line to Russell Square tube station.
Dover Street Market
Best for… Stylish sneaker addicts
The lowdown: One of the world’s first concept stores, Dover Street Market recently relocated to Haymarket in London’s West End. The set-up is essentially lots of shops within a shop – the designers that the store stocks change seasonally, and each brand has its own visual space, making it very easy on the eye. Don’t miss the ‘sneaker’ lounge, where you can buy limited-edition collaborations from the likes of Adidas, Nike and Common Projects. Be sure to visit at the weekend, when the store has a bit more of a buzz.
If you only buy one thing: A pair of Comme des Garçons Play Converse trainers, featuring artist Filip Pagowski’s iconic red heart logo – guaranteed to put a spring in your step.
Where? 18-22 Haymarket, SW1Y 4DG. Take the Northern or Piccadilly lines to Piccadilly Circus tube station.