& Other Stories: 256-258 Regent Street, W1B 3AF.
Fashion. Fashion shop under the H&M brand, but an upmarket version of the low budget fashion chain. Much nicer looking shop that actually looks like a sophisticated boutique and sells funky affordable clothes, shoes and accessories.
Artwords Bookshop: 20-22 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ.
Books. Fantastic independent bookshop. This bookshop specialises in art books, but also sells children’s books, a vast collection of magazines, books on urban culture and much more.
Books for Cooks: 4 Blenheim Crescent, W11 1NN.
Books. If you are a foodie as I am, then this is a bookshop to your taste! This is not only your ultimate destination for all your cookbooks, but here you can also sample food cooked from the books on display. In the café at the back of the shop you can sit down for lunch or cake cooked fresh from Tuesday to Saturday. You can also join in in their regular cookery classes. A foodie walhalla! Conveniently located in the heart of Notting Hill, right opposite the shop that was the inspiration for the bookshop in the film Notting Hill, and near the famous Portobello Road market.
Boxpark: 2-4 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6GY.
Fashion, books, accessories, food. Boxpark was set up as a temporary pop-up mall, but has been around for about two years now already. This mini shopping centre consists of two floors and all shops are set up in cargo containers. On the ground floor you will find shops as Nike, Wandering Minds and Philips selling clothes, shoes, gadgets and accessories. On the top floor there are mostly restaurants and a seating area which is a nice location to rest your feet for a moment when you are here in summer.
Brick Lane Bookshop: 166 Brick Lane, E1 6RU.
Books. Another great independent bookshop that sells books in various categories such as East London, travel, children’s books and novels.
Carnaby Street: Soho, W1F 7.
Fashion, books, accessories, food. I love this funky street which actually looks like the set of the Austin Powers intro! The street decorations always look festive and match the time of the year or a special event (for instance the massive Rolling Stones decorations when the pop-up Rolling Stones shop opened there in 2012). There are lots of fashion shops in and around Carnaby Street, but also shops as Pylones where you can find cute, colourful presents. Visit jewellery shop The Great Frog just off Carnaby Street and buy yourself an original Motörhead ring. Or admire the chocolate cakes and other naughty delights at Choccywoccydoodah that actually look almost too pretty to eat.
Happie Loves It: 37 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, WC2B 5RR.
Fashion. Independent clothing shop that sells cute and original women’s fashion. It is obvious that the products are made with love. I highly recommend this shop!
Independent bookshops: entire of London.
Books. This very useful website lists the independent bookshops in London.
Irregular Choice: 35 Carnaby Street, W1F 7DP.
Shoes. I always go in this shop to admire the playful shoe creations. They all look fabulous and the crazy designs will definitely make you smile.
Koenig bookshop: 80 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0BB.
Books. Independent bookshop specialised in art, architecture and photography.
Kingly Court: Kingly Street, W1B 5PW.
Fashion. Shopping centre just off Carnaby Street. Three floors of fashion shops including designer brands, independent boutiques, and food corner.
Roughtrade East: 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL.
Music. Independent record shop that has a good selection of books, CDs and vinyl records. They often have free in-store gigs, film screenings, book presentations etc. These events are very popular, but what else would you expect with bands as Queens of the Stone Age playing here…
Selfridges: 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB.
Fashion. Department store that sells designer fashion, accessories and also has the largest shoe department in the world! Visit the festive Christmas department that opens in winter time.
Shaun Leane: Harrods & Selfridges.
Jewellery. Designer jewellery that is affordable, accessible and funky! Shaun Leane designs beautiful creations for Hollywood stars and haute couture fashion shows, but also ‘normal’ human beings as myself. I am proud to wear a bespoke wedding ring by Shaun Leane, who is not only very talented but also a very kind and down-to-earth man.
Shoe Embassy: various markets.
Shoes. Good quality shoes that are funky, but not too hipster (which is a big plus if you ask me!). Shoes go for a decent price which is handy to know as well. Check their website to see on what day and what market you can find them.
Sister Ray: 34-35 Berwick Street, W1F 8RP and 100 Shoreditch High St, E1 6JQ.
Music. Independent record shop that sells lots of vinyl records, but also CDs and DVDs.
Uniqlo: various locations.
Fashion. International Japanese clothing chain. Buy all your basic essentials here. I am a big fan of their colourful and comfortable skinny jeans, but also think that their Heattech line is a must for winter! This line sells different types of garment as shirts and socks that are made of a clever lightweight material that will keep you warm during cold winter days.
Borough Market: 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL.
(Wed-Sat) Food. London’s most renowned food market which is a feast for the eye and will make your tummy very happy indeed.
Brick Lane Market: Brick Lane, E1 6PU.
(Sat-Sun) (vintage) fashion, books, music, crafts, everything you could ever need, and food. Marvel at the many stalls that sell absolutely everything you could have ever needed, be it vintage photo cameras, Mexican wrestling masks or kitchen tin foil. Feel like a world traveller and take a culinary trip around the world: buy a fresh juice served in a coconut at the Caribbean juice stall or sample food at the many food stalls in and around the old Truman Brewery serving dishes from all over the world. I recommend coming here on Saturday or early Sunday morning as it gets crazily busy on Sunday afternoon.
Broadway Market: Broadway Market, E8 4PH.
(Sat) Food and vintage. Fantastic farmer’s market with many food stalls selling products ranging from game, fresh fruit & veg, cakes, German bread, fresh pasta to high quality cheeses and olive oils. There are also a few stalls that sell (vintage) fashion, books and other products. The market isn’t too big either which makes it less intimidating than most other huge London markets. Come here on a Saturday to buy or sample nice food or to simply look at the über trendy Londoners who come here.
Camden Market: various locations in Camden Town.
(Mon-Sun) (vintage) alternative fashion, books, music, crafts and food. Camden is an alternative area and breathes rock and roll. Unfortunately, it has lost its authentic feel to it and the area seems (to me at least) to be mostly accommodating tourists nowadays. Nevertheless, it is worth coming out to Camden and have a wander around this area. The market consists of several markets actually and includes stalls by the canal, in the streets and also the indoor fashion market at music venue Electric Ballroom (on Sunday only).
Columbia Road Flower Market: Columbia Road, E2 7RG.
(Sun) Plants and flowers. Come here early on Sunday and buy beautiful and exotic plants and flowers (lots of them are freshly imported from the Netherlands actually). Have a peek in the boutique shops on Columbia Road and have a cake or nice lunch in the many food shops along the street. This is a popular market which is visited by both (ultra hipster) locals and tourists.
Portobello Road Market: Portobello Road, W10 5TA.
(Mon-Sat) Antiques, fashion, secondhand and food. The world’s largest antiques market and perhaps the most famous London market. This market is actually several markets in one. Saturday is the busiest day. Visit the market on this day if you are interested in antiques.
Spitalfields Market: 16 Horner Square, E1 6EW.
(Mon-Sun) (vintage) fashion, books, music, crafts and food. What I especially like about this market is that it is indoors. Have a look at the website to see what day would be most interesting for you as there are different types of stalls offering different specialities every day. The main market is on from Thursday till Sunday and the weekend is definitely the busiest time of the week. There are also many shops and restaurants around the market that are worth a visit (shops are open all week).
Sunday Upmarket: Ely’s Yard, The Old Truman Brewery, E1 6QL.
(Sun) (vintage) fashion, books, music, crafts and food. Immensely popular Sunday market with over 140 stalls selling fashion, accessories, crafts, interiors and music. Try to get here in the morning as it gets very busy later in the day.