Shopping in London
Yes, London is great for shopping trips, but who wants to spend their weekend break in the push, shove, grab and snarl of Oxford Street? Retail addict Morag Bruce suggests some lesser-known independent alternatives
For a one-stop shop of new designers Sunday Upmarket (Liverpool Street, sundayupmarket.co.uk) has 140 stalls of accessories, fashion and interiors. Keep an eye out for Maria Helena Spector’s jewellery made from silver, lava and meteorites. Hoxton Boutique (Old Street, hoxtonboutique.co.uk) is the place to pick up avant-garde clothes as well as pieces from established designers such as Hussein Chalayan. Laden (Liverpool Street, ladenshowroom.co.uk) is a dressed-up mini-market that showcases new, independent designers – spot the stars of the future here.
For personal service and style bravery, it’s the small boutiques that win. In Shoreditch, Wink (Old Street) is the place to find original T-shirts and pieces by Hysteric Glamour. Stay in Shoreditch for east London shopping institution Start (Old Street, start-london.com): it’s packed with forward-looking brands like David Szeto, Josh Goot and Call of the Wild. But the top tip for boutiques is Luna Doll (020 7485 4804, Tufnell Park); the new silk dresses made from 30s dress patterns will have your heart skipping a beat.
Something to match
We all know the importance of accessories, and Mimi (Liverpool Street, mimimika.com) sells beautiful bags that will last a lifetime – the gold Frankie satchel (£125) is top choice. Sparkly heels in bright shades are beautifully displayed in Lollipop (Angel, lollipoplondon.com) and make it hard to walk past without something catching your eye. Bernstock Speirs (Liverpool Street, bernstockspeirs.com) has over 40 styles of hats in its cute boutique, and, fact fans: that open-brimmed hat Kylie wore on the cover of her debut album in 1988 was their first creation. Look out for Klasik at Spitalfields Market (Liverpool Street, klasik.org) which sells vintage sunglasses and glasses frames from the 30s to the 80s. Plastic lovers are in for a treat at Superette (Liverpool Street, superette.co.uk). Make sure you get a pair of heart-shaped Lolita sunglasses.
Something for the weekend?
Miss Lala’s Boudoir (Chalk Farm, misslalasboudoir.co.uk) is a lather of frilly undies – some handmade by the fantastically named Buttress & Snatch. Bordello (Old Street, bordello-london.com) is a saucy burlesque-themed mix of lingerie and antique furniture designed to create the perfect boudoir at home. For actual hardware, Sh! (Old Street, sh-womenstore.com) is an erotic emporium which men can only enter if accompanied by a woman. Then wet your whistle at Coffee, Cake and Kink (Tottenham Court Road, coffeecakeandkink.com) a café selling award-winning coffee, incredible fudge cake and, well, kinky stuff.