Ohhhhh, Taylor, this is your lucky day--one of the few things I love more than shopping is London and one of the few things I love more than London is shopping. Shopping in London is SO much fun, especially at the bespoke places (I've never bought anything there but I've been to every single one). Here are some of my favorites, and I'll just say "you're welcome" in advance. ;)
- Piccadilly and Burlington Arcade -- Don’t even think about getting on the plane without a visit to these two shopping arcades. Even if you come away completely empty handed, it’s well worth coming if just to see the architecture.
- James Smith and Sons -- if you really want to feel transported back in time, check out James Smith. Umbrella makers, seller, and fixers, they’ve been in business for almost 200 years and the whole place looks completely stuck in time. I’ve always wanted an umbrella or walking stick (or something) from here.
- Lock & Co -- the last time I was here I saw a receipt on a table for a hat that one of the members of the royal family (I won’t say which one) was borrowing for an event. If that doesn’t give you an idea of the kind of place this is, then I can’t explain it. If you’re going to splurge on something, a hat from Lock & Co. is a great way to do it.
- King's Rd–unfortunately, chain stores are really starting to take over this area (get out Banana Republic, get out!!!), but it’s still a lovely shopping street with a lot of gems. Bluebird is the hot store of the moment in London and a great place to get inspired. Also be sure to check out Green & Stone art supplies, too as well as Rococo Chocolates.
- New Covent Garden Market– it may be full of chain stores (don’t get me started), but it’s still a lovely place to spend an afternoon. There’s a guy who sells the most incredible paella in the downstairs area and it’s really, really cheap.
- L. Cornelissen & Son-- I never have any idea what anything is when I go to an art supply store, but that’s never stopped me from going and this is one of my favorites. I believe they moved from the original location a few years ago, but brought all the old fixtures and cabinetry with them. I could spend hours here, just looking at all pigments and paints!
- Jermyn St/Savile Row area —it’s mostly men’s clothing but it’s still a lot of fun to peek in the windows here. All the legendary bespoke tailors are here – Turnbull & Asser Ltd, Hilditch & Key, Anderson & Sheppard, etc. This is my favorite part of London to window shop—probably because I can’t do any real damage here since the clothes are mostly for men.