So I’ve been living in London for over 5 years now and in that time I’ve done my fair share of shopping in and around London and really got to know the areas I love.
But to someone fairly new to London it must be quite a daunting experience. So I’ve decided to write a guide of my favourite areas in London to shop to make it easier…
There is no denying, everybody has probably heard of Oxford Street and Regent St and there’s a reason for that. Oxford St is named as ‘Europe’s busiest shopping street’ and if you ever venture out to this area, it’s easy to see why – it’s always packed of shoppers! I actually find it quite stressful and tend to avoid that area if possible. But there is no way to get around it, Oxford St and Regent St have all the shops you could possibly want all in a row; from Primark (twice!) to the most beautiful Burberry store I have ever seen.
But there are two areas a little less famous but still up there on the shopping stakes; Seven Dials and Marylebone High St.
Seven Dials can be found just off Covent Garden and has a small mix of high street brands, there’s a medium sized Urban Outfitters store that’s worth a visit, but also some vintage brands as well. One of my favourite stores there is Rokit, a vintage store, where I’ve found a few of my favourite items in my wardrobe. There are also some great places to eat, especially in Neals Yard which is an Instagrammer’s dream full of brightly coloured buildings. Here you can find Homeslice, a London based restaurant that sells amazing and very affordable pizza’s – shopping and pizza? I’m in!
Marylebone High St is tucked away just behind Oxford St, near Bond Street tube, and is an inspiring dream of luxury clothing and lifestyle. The street starts from Marylebone Road, at the bottom of Regents Park, and finishes at St Christopher’s Place, just to the right of Selfridges. The Street has a mixture of high-end highstreet, like Anthropologie, The White Company and Bimba Y Lola, but also designer shops like Matches Fashion which sells truly beautiful clothing from a collection of well known and new designers (I always leave that shop feeling inspired and wishing I had all the money in the world!). It also has The Conran Shop which is fully of inspiring pieces for the home and quirky little gifts for friends and family. I can’t forget to mention Daunt Bookshop which has it’s flagship store in Marylebone, it is every book lovers dream and you could easily spend hours in there soaking up all the amazing books on offer, the interior and architecture of the building is also stunning! For food, there are plenty of beautiful gourmet pubs but my personal favourite is a deli, cafe and shop called La Fromagerie, if you love cheese as much as I do then it’s well worth a visit (they have a room just for cheese!). The food is lovely and they do sell other food and not just cheese, it’s not too expensive either.
So moving West you have one of the two most famous shopping malls in the capital; West field – the largest covered shopping development in London. Westfield is great for shopping on a wet and horrible weather day (let’s face it, most days in the UK are!) and you’re on a great shopping expedition that’s going to take all day realistically. Westfield has everything from high-end designer to Primark. It also has a great load of restaurants for whatever type of cuisine you fancy, trust me, it’s there all you have to do is find it.
But putting aside the biggest shopping centre in the city, you also have a few other streets dotted around; Kings Road, Chelsea being one of them (others include Kensington High St, Westbourne Grove and Holland Park).
The Kings Road, in Chelsea, runs from Sloane Square tube station all the way towards Fulham and is really the heart of Chelsea. It was put on the shopping map in the 1960’s with the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Mary Quant opening shops there. Nowadays it’s a little bit more ‘high-streetified’ with a mixture of true high street queens like Zara to the higher end like Anthropologie and Whistles, it also hosts a very beautiful Club Monaco store which is well worth a visit.
Aside from clothes shopping, a few of my favourite places to visit is Patridges, a delicious grocery store with a lot of celebrities and The Royal Family as customers, and the most beautiful art and antiques shop called Green & Stone – one of my favourite hidden gems in the whole of London. If you want a sophisticated shopping trip with your family or girlfriends that include cocktails or fancy brunches and lunches then The Kings Road is the place to go.
Leaving West and heading East, you leave behind the luxury sophisticated shops, bars and avocado brunches and enter the world of vintage, hipster and Dr Martens. Starting with Spitalfields and the surrounding streets (opposite Liverpool St Station), you have a mixture of cool fashion labels such as Zadig & Voltaire and All Saints as well as plenty of vintage stores to be rummaging through. Absolute Vintage is well worth a visit for men and women including vintage shoes and accessories.
Then heading a little further East, you have Brick Lane, the home of the yummiest bagels in the world as well as the market and plenty of vintage stores. If you’re in market mood, then the best day to go is Sunday to find all the best goodies. In terms of vintage, Blitz is a must visit on Brick Lane, it is absolutely huge and has gorgeous vintage pieces, carefully selected by the buying team, everything is cleaned and steamed before it hits the floor too – bonus! So get yourself down to East London to pick up those one of a kind vintage pieces – you’ll thank me later!
Oh the North, great transport links, lots of greenery and full of million pound houses that you think you’re never going to be able to afford.
North London has always been my home in this city, I love it and wouldn’t ever want to move.
Shopping wise, aside from the famous spots; Camden Market for those weird things you just had to have, and Brent Cross as the answer to the North London shopping centre full of all the usual high-street folk.
You have the leafy hill of Hampstead, the sunny and colourful Primrose Hill and the old Camden Passage in Islington as my personal favourites.
Starting with Hampstead, you have the Main Street running through it called Rosslyn Hill. Here you’ll find lots of lovely shops such as Sandro and Maje but one of my little hidden gems is the charity shop Oxfam, on Gayton Road – just off Rosslyn Hill. There you’ll find a lot of designer pieces such as Chloe and Chanel that locals have donated but guess what, the prices are super cheap! It’ll shock you every time. Once you’ve done your shopping you’re going to need to re-fuel with some yummy food, my favourites are Gails Bakery (they sell the best sausage rolls in the world) and a crepe stall on the street that always has a queue, trusty me though the queue is worth it!
Moving onto Primrose Hill, you have the street called Regent’s Park Road which runs from Primrose Hill to Chalk Farm. Here you’ll find lots of colourful houses, cupcake cafe’s and beautiful and inspiring interior and flower shops.
One of my favourite shops is Anna’s that sells trendy international fashion labels, every time I go in there I want it all!
Then finally you have Camden Passage in Islington; old narrow streets selling lots of fine antiques. One of my favourite little places is called Annie’s, a ‘vintage clothing boutique’ that sells unique dresses as well as vintage lace and trimmings – if you like a bit of customising then this is the place for you. Another great little shop is HAYGEN, a boutique shop that sells beautiful (not too expensive) homeware, fashion accessories and gifts.
Then last but not least, South London. Now I’ll be honest, I’m not as familar with South London as I am with the rest of the capital, mainly because when you live North it feels like forever to get down South.
But one place I have visited many times is Brixton Village. There you’ll find lots of cute stalls and shops – little plant shops full of cute plant pots and hanging baskets, African inspired fabrics and jewellery and lots of other items all from different countries and cultures. One of my favourite places for food is Senzala Creperie Bar & Cafe, they sell both savoury and sweet pancakes and they are incredible! Amazing value too, it’s the perfect place to meet up with some mates before or after looking round the stalls.
So that rounds up my favourite places to shop across the capital, whether you’re Central, West, East, North or South, there’s plenty of shopping to be had! If you have any other favourite places that I’ve not mentioned or any hidden gems you’d like to share, then please get in touch.
But for now, I’m off to go shop, see you later!
Lots of love xx